AS WE APPROACH THE ALL-STAR BREAK and the end of the first half of the season, Tony Graffanino takes some time to share his current approach to make disciples during the season.
IN THE EIGHTEENTH YEAR of King Josiah’s reign in Judah, he initiates a project to renovate and repair the temple of the Lord. In the midst of this project, we are given a glimpse into the reality of how far the nation had fallen as we are told that the high priest "found the Book of the Law" during renovations to the temple in Jerusalem.
WHEN WE SUFFER MISTREATMENT and offense from others, we are confronted with the choice to either take revenge into our own hand or to take refuge in the sovereign hands of God. Shortly after stepping up as the savior of Israel and striking down the great enemy of God’s people, David gained an incredible increase in popularity among the people of Israel.
HOW QUICKLY WE TEND TO FORGET the ways in which God has richly provided for us in the past. Today is Day 46 of the bible reading plan, and it's a familiar scene at this place called Meribah as the Israelites begin to complain and criticize Moses due to their lack of water. So Moses asks God for help, and once again, God delivers. However, something happens in the process that costs Moses significantly.
A CAREFUL READING of the Old Testament (OT) may lead us to ask a disturbing question, “Is God’s love conditional or unconditional?” This week in the bible reading plan, we read a particular portion of Leviticus where we heard God warn his people that “if you walk contrary to me then I also will walk contrary to you, and I myself will strike you.”
TODAY IS DAY 32 of the bible reading plan, and for those of us making this journey together, we find ourselves ten chapters deep into the book of Leviticus. It is safe to say that Leviticus is not on anyone's list of favorite books of the bible. I had someone text me this morning to state quite plainly and honestly, "It's okay to say Leviticus is boring right?"
IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE FALL of man, God makes a promise that one day a certain descendant of the woman will reverse the curse and make all things right again. As we read through Scripture, we will come to see and understand that the Descendant first mentioned in this original promise is the Promised One - Jesus the Christ.
OVER THE COURSE OF THIS PAST WEEK, my daily Scripture reading led me to read through the book written by the prophet named Habakkuk. This short book is broken down into three chapters, but it filled up the pages of my journal with thoughts. I began to place myself in the shoes of this great prophet and tried to imagine what it would have been like to experience my country being conquered by the ancient Babylonian Empire.
THROUGHOUT HISTORY, GOD HAS brought judgement upon human empires and even His own people when arrogance and wickedness eventually take over. Scripture continually reveals how God brings the lofty and proud back down to being low and humble. He cuts down the towering empires with His almighty axe of judgement.
THIS SUNDAY WE ENTER into the season known as Advent. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means coming. Traditionally, Advent is celebrated as the season leading up to Christmas which begins exactly four Sundays before December 25th. As early as the fourth century A.D., Christians would normally fast during this season because the whole purpose of Advent was to look forward to the second coming of Christ.
THIS PAST FRIDAY I returned home from my third journey to a country in Central America that is capturing my heart. The weather always seems to be perfect, the scenic landscape is striking and the coffee is unmatched. However, it is the people that I have met along the way that continue to impress me and inspire me to keep coming back.
I AM A REGULAR at the local coffee shop in Downtown Woodstock as it has become my own personal office. Rather than playing zone defense in an attempt to defend my privacy from four children under the age of seven, I sit quietly at my favorite table up against the wooden bleacher seating unique to Copper Coin Coffee in Woodstock, Georgia.
IN WHAT HAS BECOME the most well-known summary statement of the gospel, John the disciple wrote, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." This is an astounding description of God’s love for man and a beautiful promise to those who love Him back. This is perhaps one of the most awesome sentences in all of Scripture. However, I often fear that this summary statement made by Jesus has been hijacked at times to promote a distorted gospel message – one that highlights the act of believing with no mention of entrusting, surrender, or commitment.