Devotional

Twisting the Shot

Adikia, a Greek word for sin, is twisting a wrong to make it right. Using a basketball analogy, twisting a wrong to make it right is missing the shot, then telling everyone that we made it. Adikia literally means “no righteousness.” John said that all unrighteousness is sin (1 John 5:17), and we must realize […]


Missing the Mark

Hamartia, a Greek word for sin, is missing the mark. Using a basketball analogy, missing the mark is attempting to make the shot, but missing it-similar to an 88 percent free throw shooter who doesn’tmiss 12 of every 100 on purpose. Missing the mark describes one aspect of how every one of us sins. Using […]


Lust & Basketball

The New Testament writers used several Greek words for sin. However, those most frequently used can be summed up in four predominant terms. Each can be illustrated using a basketball free-throw analogy. First, missing the mark (hamartia) is attempting to make the shot, but missing it. Second, twisting a wrong to make it right (adikia) […]


Walk With God

After being blessed with God’s glory on Mount Sinai, Moses spoke to God in a way that showed his heart of confession, repentance and belief in God’s grace: “O Lord, if I have found favor in your eyes, then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and […]


Moses & God

On Mount Sinai God revealed to Moses that He was indeed gracious, which is translated from the Hebrew root word chanan, meaning “to bend or stoop to one who is inferior.” In spite of our sin, the Restorer bends to us in order to engage us, the undeserving, with His love. Moses’ response to the […]


The Restoration of Grace

On the opposite side of the sin spectrum is God’s grace. Grace is the kind of undeserved love and or unmerited favor exhibited in the father who ran to his son outside the city gates in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. God is like that father: Even though we break His law, He pursues […]


Temptation

Have you ever been tempted…today? Each of us is guaranteed temptation, so let’s examine it a little more closely. Temptation is not sin; however, pursuing the satisfaction of our desires apart from God in the temptation is sin (1 John 2:16). In fact, it is impossible to be tempted without knowing what is right. That’s […]


The Secular Fool

The final stage of foolishness is the secular fool who exalts himself rather than God (Proverbs 30:32). The godless fool has hardened his heart with the image of his own handprint impressed so solidly in his inner being that he is unsatisfied by spiritual things (Proverbs 30:22). Consequently, he brings no joy to his earthly […]


The Stubborn Fool

The third stage of foolishness is the stubborn fool who is right in his own eyes. Solomon noted, “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12:15). The stubborn fool is so sure of himself that he declines sound advice. He is confounded by wisdom (Proverbs […]


The Stupid Fool

The stupid fool represents the second stage of a foolish heart. Solomon observed, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly” (Proverbs 26:11). The stupid fool repeats his patterns of lashing out in anger (Proverbs 29:11), leading to the disruption of family relationships (Proverbs 10:1). He repeats his wickedness (Proverbs […]


The Simple Fool

The first stage of foolishness is the simple fool. The simple fool is gullible. Solomon advised, “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps” (Proverbs14:15). The simple fool is naïve, but still teachable-able to learn from his circumstances-leaving hope for wisdom (Proverbs 19:25; 21:11). If we are ever going […]


Five Stages of a Fool

A study of Proverbs shows us five stages of foolish behavior from the Hebrew language. First is the gullible, or simple fool (Proverbs 14:15). The second level of hardening is the stupid fool who repeats his gullible behavior (Proverbs 26:11). The third stage is the stubborn fool who despises wisdom and discipline (Proverbs 1:7). Fourth […]


King Solomon

Have you ever played the fool? King Solomon was the wisest mortal to ever live. Many of his wise sayings are captured in the biblical book of Proverbs where he had much to say about the destructiveness of being a fool. Solomon’s work focused more on the fool than, say, the liar, the cheat, or […]


Pride Blocks Restoration Road

The prodigal son in Jesus’ parable jumped at the chance to live free from the rules of his father; his pride fueled his decision. He survived for a while by his own giftedness and survival skills, but his foolish choices perpetuated a tug of war between pride and humility. Pride won temporarily. With his heart […]


Tradition of the Ring

Do you have a family heirloom passed down from one generation to the next? On his deathbed, my great-great grandfather passed down his wedding ring to his sixteen year-old grandson, my grandfather, who passed it down to me with the same message he had received: “Keep it, and pass it on to future generations.” When […]


One-of-a-Kind Treasure

Do you ever doubt your value? In 1985, I sold a restored, one-of-a-kind Duesenberg to Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza and owner of the world champion Detroit Tigers. He took delivery of his prized possession at home plate in Tiger Stadium. It was the first car to sell for a documented $1 million cash, […]


Gold Love

Where do you turn to satisfy your desires? As a teenager I traveled to the nation’s premier collector car auction in the middle of the oil patch during its boom of the early 1980’s. The clientele reflected that newfound wealth. I attended a party to celebrate the annual auction where gold Rolexes glittered in abundance […]


The Curio Cabinet

As I called my first auction, my voice cut through the public address system, echoing into the air. On the block was an old curio cabinet. “One hundred dollars. Now one-fifty.” Hundreds of bidders watched as Grandpa Russell shouted to stop me from dropping the hammer at too low of a price, “Wait, Mitchell! Is […]


The Secret to Leading Leaders

Are you a leader of leaders or a leader of followers? Solomon revealed the secret to leading leaders: “One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend” (Proverbs 22:11). A pure heart has no mixed motives. It’s a picture of the impurities being removed in the […]


You Shall Not Steal

At nine years old, I stood in my Dad’s office supply room in the half-light, in my mind risking eternal salvation for a shiny metal box to hold my rock collection. In the days after I stole the box, I tried to justify my actions. I’ll never forget the dichotomy of my parents’ response during […]