The Passion Week Shows What Jesus is Looking for in Your Life

What Jesus wants to find when He looks at our lives.

Sometimes what you expect is not what you get. You come to a situation that promises one thing, but you find another altogether. Monday of Passion Week proved that way for Jesus.

Fig tree in Israel

(Photo: Fig tree in Israel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

After His Triumphal Entry on the colt, Jesus entered the Temple area in Jerusalem and found the Court of the Gentiles—the area for Gentiles to worship God—filled with markets and moneychangers.

The next day, Monday, Jesus returned to Jerusalem along the same road He had traveled before. He saw a fig tree in leaf, which typically indicated that it would have unripe figs to eat. But the tree offered only leaves.

No fruit for breakfast. So Jesus cursed the tree. His disciples heard Him.

We should hear Him too.

Jesus’ words indicate what He is looking for in our lives.

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Whenever I visit the holocaust museum in Jerusalem I like walking down the “Row of Righteous Gentiles.” It’s a great reminder of the one thing we need in order for God to use us.

This quick video will tell you what it is.

Tell me what you think: What are some reasons you struggle to let God use you? To leave a comment, just click here.

I walked by the Church of the Primacy of Peter yesterday—beside the Sea of Galilee—one of my favorite places in all Israel. Why so special? Because here Jesus said something to Peter we all need to hear when we’ve blown it. Watch the video. 

Tell me what you think: What encourages you most when you blow it? To leave a comment, just click here.

Beersheba—The Last Stop and a Point of Beginning

What God told Jacob there also applies to you.

If you have a twinge of fear to follow God’s leading, you’re not alone. After all, your future is clear only to Him—and He is good at keeping secrets. At Beersheba, Jacob had this struggle. What God told him also applies to you.

3 Sites by Beersheba You Seldom See—Arad, Besor, and Aroer

(Photo: Beersheba tell from east. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Beersheba epitomizes the faith God required to live in the Holy Land. Standing in the arid winds of Tel Beersheba, the truth seems both overwhelming and irresistible.

God used this unassuming, barren place to shape some of the most significant lives in the Bible.

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Salem—The Surprising Lesson We Learn From Abraham’s Visit to Jerusalem

What motivates you to give your best to God?

What motivates you to give your best to God? When Abraham came to Jerusalem, he gave his best to a king who was God’s priest. This may have laid the groundwork for when Abraham gave his very, very best to God. 

Salem—What We Can Learn From Abraham's Visit to Jerusalem

(Photo: City of David with Middle Bronze and Iron Age walls. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

We usually associate Abraham with Jerusalem in connection with the binding of Isaac—Abraham’s heroic willingness to sacrifice his son in the region of Moriah—today’s Temple Mount (Gen. 22:2; 2 Chron. 3:1).

But Abraham had come to Jerusalem (Salem) many years earlier. His visit there gives us more than a peek at early Jerusalem.

It gives us a lesson worth pondering.

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I always enjoy going to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Western Wall is no exception. In this quick video I share one of major reasons coming to the Wall is so exciting. It reminds me of a hope that also will encourage you. 

Check it out! 

Tell me what you think: What is your greatest hope? To leave a comment, just click here.

We visited Tel Dan today, a place that always reminds me that the quick-and-easy path isn’t always the best. And when it urges us to compromise God’s will, it never is the best path.

Watch this short video for an encouraging reminder.

Tell me what you think: What shortcuts to faithfulness do you see most often in our lives? To leave a comment, just click here.

I’m currently in Israel, helping to lead a couple of tours—and also to video LOTS more content for Walking the Bible Lands. Here is some footage I shot Monday morning over ancient Joppa, where a resistant Jonah and a convinced Peter set off to share God’s Word with Gentiles.

I’m convinced that Joppa’s greatest export was God’s compassion—to us!

Tell me what you think: What comes to mind when you think of Joppa?  To leave a comment, just click here.

What the Bible’s Kosher Laws Can Teach You Today

It's about far more than food.

Before I went to the Holy Land, the kosher laws of Leviticus seemed mere words on a page. For example, Exodus 34:26 says not to boil a goat in its mother’s milk. When have you last applied that?

What the Kosher Laws Can Teach Us Today

(Photo: Baby goats in Israel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The verse has been misunderstood to mean people shouldn’t eat meat and milk during the same meal. Yet, even if that meaning was true, the truth isn’t timeless. Abraham himself had no qualms in serving both together—even to God (take a peek at Gen. 18:8)!

Although all of the Bible’s commands for dietary laws aren’t represented in modern Israel, the fact that any are observed serves as a powerful illustration of what God first intended the diet code to accomplish.

Even in the Garden of Eden, with the first dietary law given to eat from any tree except one (Gen. 2:16-17), God’s command centered around one question.

Would they obey?

But food also had another purpose.

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