Wisdom Isn’t Enough [Podcast]

Selections from 1 Kings

How could Solomon have been so wise and yet blow it so badly? In this episode of Live the Bible, we talk about what we need to succeed in life. Wisdom isn’t enough. It also takes one more action.

Solomon offers a great reminder in our lives to do more than simply read the Bible for knowledge and instruction. We should also read it with a mind to apply it in our lives.

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How to Choose a Contagious Hope

Jesus' Miracle in Bethany Gives Context to Our Current Fears

What an unusual time we’re living in. Less than two weeks ago, much of America still stood in the dark as to the potential of the coronavirus. Many (including me) saw its threat as mostly media hype.

How to Choose a Contagious Hope

(Photo: Bethany. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

But now, America and other countries find themselves in quarantine mode—with grocery stores struggling to stock the basics, airlines flying near-empty planes, and social distancing keeping us from connecting face-to-face.

Kind of sounds like the book of Revelation, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not (at least, not yet). But the events of these days do remind us how global our issues have become and how easily the Lord could engage end-times events should the Rapture occur today.

Remember Jesus’ great miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead in Bethany?

The story gives great context (and hope) to our current fears.

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Finding Shelter When Critics Curse [Podcast]

2 Samuel 16; 19; Psalm 3

What can you do when you are unfairly criticized? In this episode of Live the Bible, we talk about finding a place of shelter when the critics show up in your life. King David’s example in a time of unfair criticism is a model for us in our days of discouragement.

If you’re in a season of injustice, you can ease the burden of unjust criticism by knowing that God knows the truth and He will make things right in His time.

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Where is God in All the Chaos?

2 Helpful Truths When God’s Plan Seems Delayed

These days the news can seem downright depressing. Whether it’s a pandemic sickness or political agendas, it can seem tough to see God working in the world. Our personal struggles feel the same. Our days are filled with hard work and little harvest.

Wheat harvest combine on Mount Arbel

(Photo: Wheat harvest combine on Mount Arbel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

We seldom ask the questions out loud. But we all think it: Where exactly is God working in this fallen world? Why does He seem so silent—and even distant?

We know the answers in our heads. The Bible gives us good ones:

  • God allows evil so that we may choose good. Yep. Got it. God is patient (2 Pet. 3:9).
  • God uses evil for His good purposes. Yes, of course. God is sovereign (Rom. 8:28).

These answers give an explanation for what we see. But what about what we don’t see?

How come there seems so little of God’s work in the world? Jesus told us why.

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How God Uses Your Ordinary Days [Podcast]

Selections from 1 Samuel 17

Ever wonder how to make it through the blah days of the week? In this episode of Live the Bible, we head to the Elah Valley in Israel where David fights Goliath. It’s much more than an exciting story. Why? It gives us encouragement that are ordinary days are not ordinary to God.

I love how practical God’s Word is. He is not calling us to do something great today but simply to be faithful. Then He takes our ordinary day and makes it great in His time.

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Purim Offers Surprising Reasons Why God Put You Here

How coincidences in the Book of Esther point to your life.

Purim represents more than costume parties for kids and eating triangular cookies filled with fruit (called “Haman’s Ears”). The holiday remembers the historical event in the book of Esther where the Jews survived a plot to exterminate them.

Purim in Israel—God Has You Where You Are for a Reason

(Photo: Hand-written scroll of the Book of Esther in Hebrew. By Chefallen. Own work. CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia)

My favorite part of the modern celebration of Purim includes the reading of the book of Esther. Amazingly:

  • Esther is the only book in the Bible that never mentions God.
  • It never speaks of prayer.
  • It has no miracle.
  • And yet it’s Scripture.

The story of Esther is built on a growing series of seeming coincidences, all of which play essential to the story.

God is never seen or spoken of—yet He works quietly behind the scenes, orchestrating His sovereign will.

Just like in our lives.

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Ephesus – Redeeming the Time You Have Now

How the Ephesian Agora illustrates Paul’s principle of focus in your life.

What if God inspired 3 books of Scripture for your church and also sent two apostles to live and minister among you for years? Ephesus got both. And much more.

Ephesus commercial agora

(Photo: Ephesus commercial agora. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

On his third missionary journey, the apostle Paul lived for several years as a (literal) tent-making missionary in Ephesus. He may have even sold his tents in the city’s agora, or marketplace.

The commercial agora of Ephesus served as a real-world illustration for an intensely practical principle Paul would later write to the church at Ephesus.

It’s a principle of productivity we can (and must) apply today.

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Sweetening that Bitter Spirit [Podcast]

Selections from the Book of Ruth

What one thing in your past is keeping you from your future? When life has hurt us deeply, it’s too easy to slide into a bitter, disappointing spirit. The book of Ruth gives us a boost of encouragement, because it’s your story and it’s my story.

In this episode of Live the Bible, we’re going to look at a story of God’s grace working through our daily lives for great results that only He knows about for now. It’s good news for us.

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