Transformed by the Word: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we explored the dramatic transformation that Israel experienced between Ezra 4 and 5 when God sent his prophets Haggai and Zechariah to speak to them. What could Haggai and Zechariah have possibly said that led to this sudden change of heart? Consider these four big ideas from the book of Haggai. 1. Don’t Build …

Transformed by the Word: Part 1

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” – James 1:22 (NIV) One of the most admirable things about the people of God in the book of Ezra is their willingness to let the word of the Lord transform their lives. Consider the situation at the end of Ezra 4: “Thus the work …

Stories of Revival: Caught in Adultery

Read: John 8:2-11 One day as Jesus was teaching the crowds, the local religious leaders brought forward a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. As a pastor, I’ve sometimes had my sermons interrupted by various distractions, but I can truthfully say I’ve never experienced anything quite like that. There’s no denying that this woman had broken …

Artwork: Jan van’t Hoff / GospelImages.com

Stories of Revival: A Sinful Woman

Read: Luke 7:36-50In Luke 7, Jesus is invited to dinner at the home of a prominent religious leader named Simon. A woman from that same town who lived a “sinful life” (which was a nice way of saying she was a prostitute) learned that Jesus would be there, and rushed to the scene with a special gift in tow: an …

Stories of Revival: Jairus’ Daughter

There’s nothing like a parent’s love for their child. In Mark 5, an important religious leader named Jairus came to Jesus because his daughter had become gravely ill. He was terrified that without some kind of miracle, she wouldn’t make it. For those of us who are parents, we know the fear and desperation that this father felt. It’s a …

Stories of Revival: A Paralyzed Man

In Mark 2:1-12, news about Jesus had spread like wildfire. Jesus had spent time healing people and casting out demons in the local villages. When he came to a town called Capernaum, so many people came to Jesus that there wasn’t any more room in the house. Or outside. Or anywhere close! But that wasn’t about to stop one man—and …

Stories of Revival: The Sick Woman

In Mark 5, Jesus encounters a woman who had reached a dead end. After twelve years of suffering from a debilitating medical condition, she had probably given up hope. The Bible says she spent everything she had at various doctors, but instead of getting better, she just got worse. Everything changed for this woman when Jesus came to her village. …

Ahaz: The Powerful Christmas Story You’ve Never Heard

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Matthew 1:22-23, NIV) When Jesus was born to the virgin Mary in Matthew 1, his birth was the fulfillment of a promise God had made …

“My Delight Is in Her”

How is that for a Sunday morning blessing?  This is what life in the kingdom of God is all about.  He has placed His name…a name that is above all other names on you.  He has brought you into His family…you are a part of the body that makes up the Bride of Christ.  As such, your Lord “delights in …