No limits to his power over Satan
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“Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.” With that monotone threat, the alien Borg collective announced the imminent defeat of the starship Enterprise and her crew. Captain Picard needed all of his resources to save the ship and its people. I know where the Star Trek scriptwriters got their material for this story. They lifted it from Satan’s ongoing marketing campaigns. Satan wants you to stop struggling, stop trying to live a moral life, stop believing that there’s anything worth... Read More
Mercy, not sacrifice
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Counterfeiting is not dead. The digital age we live in has made faking currency easier, and so governments have to resort to special tricks in paper and ink to foil counterfeiters. You know, you can fake a relationship with God too, at least to casual observers. It’s not particularly hard to perform religious rituals, but they are meaningless and worthless before God if your heart isn’t in it. God’s prophet Hosea was his spokesman to Israelites who thought religious performance... Read More
Spur one another on
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A regular reader of these devotion books asked me who my literary influences are. I was flattered anyone thought I had literary influences. Without giving it much thought, I rattled off in no particular order C.S. Lewis, the apostle John, Erma Bombeck, and Garrison Keillor. And then I smirked, “And if I can turn a phrase it’s because I spent most of my life listening to country music. “She loves the singer; she just couldn’t live the song.” The hope... Read More
Time to sharpen yourself
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In Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he tells the story of a woodcutter. On the first day of work, the man brought down 18 trees. The next day he tried harder, but could only do 15 trees. The third day’s results were worse: 10 trees.  The woodcutter apologized to his boss, explaining he couldn’t understand what was going wrong. “‘When was the last time you sharpened your axe?’ the boss asked. ‘Sharpen? I had no time... Read More
I know your deeds
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“Do you love me?” Tevye the milkman asks his wife, Golde, in Fiddler on the Roof. “I’m your wife,” she says. “I know. . . . But do you love me?” Golde can’t give him an answer, “Do I love him?” Does it surprise you to know that God is intensely interested to know if his love for you and me is requited or unrequited? What difference has the gospel made in your life? Did you know that through your... Read More
How much is enough?
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It’s fairly easy for me to criticize other people for being materialistic. I can see conspicuous consumption in others; I am not quite so sharp in seeing it in myself. Even though I don’t have a Porsche, golf club membership, or second home, I am just as at risk in being seduced by the addictive allure of MoneyMoneyMoney as any wealthy person. Money is an amazing tool. It concentrates power and makes it portable. It allows you to accumulate things... Read More
Don’t give up on me
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King Manasseh of Judah was the worst. He did everything in his power to destroy the worship of the Lord and reinstitute the worship of Baal and Asherah that his father, good king Hezekiah, had gotten rid of. He practiced sorcery and witchcraft and even performed child sacrifices. He was a lost cause, right? “The LORD brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze... Read More
No limits to his power over death
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Play characters like Dr. Faust traded his soul to avoid it. And in the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian Gray tried to cheat it by having his mortality trapped in a painting. We are all afraid of death, the dark stalker, who is after us all. Because of the curse of death hovering over us, it will get us all. Human mortality is absolutely no problem for our Savior Jesus. The One who created us in the first... Read More
Victory in the courts
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“Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:16). Every time the Supreme Court rules on a hot social topic, my Facebook feed is filled with opinions from both sides. Television reports show the chaos created when throngs of supporters and protestors converge. People either celebrate or decry the direction the nation is headed. In the middle of every... Read More
New clothes
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Hans Christian Anderson’s tale about a vain emperor’s invisible clothes continues to delight one generation of children (and adults) after another. Though the emperor could not see his royal robes, he imagined that he looked regal and elegant as ever. He was, in fact, naked. Through your faith in Christ you have been named a member of God’s royal family, cleared of all charges against you in God’s court, and given new clothes to wear. Satan, however, cannot bear to... Read More