Devotional

Comparison, the Thief of Joy (Psalm 37:4)

Do you find yourself continually wanting to be first, right, best, richest, or highest? Each of those traits has one thing in common: comparison. When we compare ourselves to others in order to determine where we rate, we are, most likely, experiencing pride of life, which is a heart issue (see 1 John 2:16-17). President […]


Three Habits of Highly Destructive People – Pride of Life (1 John 2:15-17)

How do you keep score in life? We all select some sort of measurement of success that drives our behavior. It might be money, accolades, assets, degrees, vacations, or even our good works. When we keep score of our successes by standards diametrically opposed to God’s, we focus on measuring our record of achievement by […]


Three Habits of Highly Destructive People – Worldly Power vs. Godly Power (John 19:30)

Have you pursued control apart from God, this week? Herod the Great learned firsthand the results of lusting for power apart from our Creator. After a lifelong pursuit of the lust of his eyes, Herod died out of control, lying in the darkness of his Jericho palace in 4 BC. Historians say that he passed […]


Three Habits of Highly Destructive People – Powering Up (Proverbs 27:20)

Solomon taught that the eyes are never satisfied (see Proverbs 27:20). We desire one more deal, one more illicit relationship, one more achievement, one more title, one more company. Consequently, whether at work, home, in the community, or even at church, we power up on others to achieve more. We power up physically, claiming, “I’m […]


Three Habits of Highly Destructive People – Power (1 John 2:15-17)

Do you desire control apart from God? Worldly power is the desire for more control than we were designed by God to have. The apostle John called it the lust of the eyes, the second of three habits of highly destructive people: “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone […]


Three Habits of Highly Destructive People – Pleasure (1 John 2:15-17)

Do you pursue satisfaction of your desires apart from God? In our fallen nature, we lust for sex outside God’s design. We crave food beyond that which is healthy, life-giving, and nutritional. We restrict intake in order to feel thin. We pursue the rush of a drug or the escape of alcohol in attempts to […]


What Can We Learn from Solomon? (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

Life apart from God is meaningless. A divided heart led to a divided kingdom. It’s the first sin. It’s the wide gate. It’s love of the world. King Solomon pursued earthly knowledge for the sake of contentment, possessions for the sake of significance, military might for the sake of control, money for the sake of […]


Solomon Pursued Pleasure for the Sake of Gratification (Ecclesiastes 2:1)

What kind of pleasure do you seek in order to gratify your desires? Pleasure is defined as “enjoyment, delight, amusement, or happiness.” Too often, we seek happiness apart from God. Solomon sought pleasure from wine, women, and song: “I thought in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what […]


Solomon Pursued Money for the Sake of Security (Ecclesiastes 5:10; 7:12)

Where do you turn for security? Is it a person, a place, or a thing? Security connotes “safety, refuge, or a sanctuary.” Oftentimes, we seek security from money. Solomon was wealthier than any other king on the planet (see 1 Kings 10:23). “The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents” (1 […]


Solomon Pursued Military Might for the Sake of Control (Ecclesiastes 4:13-16; 8:2-10)

Do you ever abuse control? When given more responsibility, do you exercise more and more authority over those around you? Control means “to roll against.” When seeking control, we roll our will against others. Pursuing the development of his own mighty hand, Solomon experienced control issues. Israel’s king ruled over God’s people (see 1 Kings […]


Solomon Pursued Possessions for the Sake of Significance (Ecclesiastes 2:4-8a, 11)

Have you ever pursued the accumulation of possessions for significance? Significance includes the word, “sign.” In essence, significance says, “Hey, look at me.” Sometimes, we think possessions will bring us the attention and meaning we seek. No one has attempted this at the level of Solomon. The King of Israel constructed the temple in seven […]


Solomon Pursued Earthly Knowledge for the Sake of Contentment (Ecclesiastes 1:12-18)

Have you ever encountered God, yet pursued knowledge, possessions, might, money, or pleasure apart from Him to satisfy your desires? No one in history did this like Solomon. Solomon was the Son of David and Bathsheba; named Jedidiah, which meant “loved by the Lord” (see 2 Samuel 12:24-25). He became Israel’s third King who led […]


In Christ to Instruct – Connect with the Heart of Others (2 Timothy 2:22-26)

Have you ever tried to debate someone into the kingdom of heaven? Perhaps, what started out as a healthy exchange of different experiences led to a foolish argument that didn’t honor the heart of Christ. Paul taught we connect with the heart of others by avoiding stupid arguments that produce quarrels (see 2 Timothy 2:23). […]


In Christ to Instruct – Heart to Heart (2 Timothy 2:22-26)

When you communicate with others, do they connect with God’s heart? When we are in Christ to instruct, we connect heart to heart. We engage with God’s heart to reach the hearts of others. God’s heart is the vertical component of the cross; the hearts of others represents the horizontal component. What is the spiritual […]


In Christ to Instruct – Getting the Word into Our Words (2 Timothy 2:14-21)

How often does the wisdom of the Bible flow into your words? When we are in Christ to instruct, we get the Word into our words. The Word represents the vertical, our words the horizontal. We are to keep reminding others of what we glean from the Word, warning them before God against quarreling words […]


In Christ to Instruct – Learn to Teach (2 Timothy 2:1-13)

When we are in Christ to instruct, we learn to teach. Learning is the vertical component of the cross; teaching is the horizontal. In order to learn, we must engage in the grace of Christ. Paul wrote: “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). There […]


In Christ to Instruct – 4 Barriers to Evangelism and Discipleship (2 Timothy 2:1-2)

How do you plan to equip and release future generations with the gospel of Christ? Rarely is this question addressed because we remove ourselves from the responsibility for at least four reasons captured in the following statements: “I’m not worthy;” “I’ll create conflict;” “I don’t have time;” or “I don’t know enough.” First, we feel […]


Pray or Prey? (1 Peter 5:7-10)

How do you respond when you are stressed? There is something about worry or anxiety that screams our need for God. When conflict in our hearts arise, our response is either to pray or become prey of the enemy. The Apostle Peter clearly understood this internal battle. Peter wrote: “Cast all your anxiety on him […]