Bible Studies

The Adoration of AddictionPremium Content

Recently, I saw of photo of a clouded leopard, lovingly gazing into its trainer's eyes. There was unconditional trust and affection in that gaze. At least, I hope it was and not an entrée selection.

But, looking at that leopard's face, I was struck by that adoration look. It could be unconditional love or a food craving, but the emphasis is still the same. It can be person, place or thing. And that's the thing about addictions; they can also be person, place or thing. But the adoration answer is definitely there somewhere. It's the magic solution to our lives. It's the promised fix of "happily ever after."

That adoration look frequently shows up on Harlequin romance book covers. Someone is in a pirate's outfit; someone's in a bodice and petticoats. But when you look at that the cover, there's that gaze, that kind of "my life is now complete" gaze.

And that's addiction. It's addiction because it is a substitute for God, the spiritually driven hunger for connection with our first love. We may not even know He is just that. After all, God started the whole thing...

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It's the Waiting in RecoveryPremium Content

Recently, I chatted with a young girl I've been mentoring. She's currently in an eating disorder treatment facility- and fighting her treatment. She has flat out refused to eat, drink or take any medication. She's been closely monitored, mainly due to a recent episode in which she swallowed glass.

Yes, you heard me right; she swallowed glass.

I asked her what brought this on and she responded she wanted to feel pain and she was tired of waiting for her recovery. I don't think it has sunken in that recovery is very much a process, not an instant cure.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

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What Do You Think Jesus Wants You to Do?Premium Content

"My Yoke Is Easy."

What do you think Jesus wants you to do?

I'm not thinking of specific choices like whether to have pizza or turkey for lunch (I don't think He cares). But in terms of overall life choices and directions, what do you think He wants? There are probably a lot of answers to that question, but I'm thinking of one right now that I'll bet nobody else mentioned.

I think He wants me to quit. (It's okay if you're surprised.)

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

The scripture above is one of the most well-known passages in the bible. It's a source of comfort to folks who are buried under the weight of illness, despair, and impossible expectations. But it's even more comforting when we understand the historical context.

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What Is Prayer?Premium Content

Prayer, as defined in the NKJV Study Bible, is based on the Hebrew verb palal, as noted in God's words to King Solomon when the Lord appeared to him the second time following Solomon's dedication of the temple:

Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: 'I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.

The word "pray," as used above in , means "'to intervene,' 'to interpose,' 'to arbitrate,' or even 'to judge.' The Lord was asking His people to intercede for others in their prayers." (NKJV Study Bible, Second Ed., p.671)

So, what does it mean "to intercede for others in prayer?" According to the NKJV Study Bible, based on the Greek words enteuxis and entugchano, translated "intercession," this term refers to "the act of petitioning God or praying on behalf of another person or group. The sinful nature of this world separates human beings from God. It has always been necessary, therefore, for righteous individuals to go before God to seek reconciliation between Him and His fallen creation. The sacrifices and prayers of Old Testament priests were acts of intercession that point forward to the work of Christ. Christ is, of course, the greatest intercessor." (NKJV Study Bible, Second Ed., p.1914)

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Are You Experiencing True Guilt or False Guilt?Premium Content

We must differentiate between true guilt, and false guilt. Listen to how Paul differentiates between the two:

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness; to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.2 Corinthians 7:10-11


Before we investigate these types of guilt, I would like to give you an overview.

  • 1. True guilt. Corinthians calls this Godly sorrow in the NIV, or sorrow that is according to the will of God in the NASB.
  • 2. False guilt. Corinthians calls this worldly sorrow in the NIV, or sorrow of the world in the NASB.
    Within false guilt I see two categories:
      a. Deliberate pretended guilt.
      b. Imposed guilt. This is guilt that we, the world, and other people impose upon ourselves.
  • Let's explore.

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    Nurtured by the Right QuestionPremium Content

    Wrong questions are the breeding ground of doubt, despair and unbelief. I know; I've asked the wrong questions for almost sixty years. But, in the midst of those questions mercy, grace, atonement and the answer burst its way into my darkened questions. Tell Me Why is the most foreboding of all wrong questions.

    Don't miss-hear me; questions are natural and a part of our God given DNA. But: to end up at Why? That wrong question is not a part of the likeness and image of God that we are all endowed with. It is the epitome of our fallen, darkened condition! So, how do we approach these unanswerable questions?

    Before there are answers, there is a relationship you must have your heart opened to. There is a knowing that paves the way for sufficient answers. Here it comes! You must know that God's plan is God; revealed in a "baby wrapped in old dirty clothes", a Son of Man, a life lived exemplary for all generations, on a Cross-disfigured and murdered by His own and in an empty tomb. He is not a program, or an impersonal idea.

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    UncondemnedPremium Content

    Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1


    My immediate reaction when I read this verse is, Hallelujah!!! If there's any reason for the children of God to praise the Lord - and there are many reasons piled on top of each other - this must be it. If we were to list our blessings, as the old hymn exhorts us to do, surely the first in line would be the fact that if we're in Christ Jesus, we are uncondemned.

    Only those who understand our state outside of Christ can truly grasp what that simple phrase - no condemnation - means. Anyone who lacks a clear vision of human depravity simply doesn't have the background to understand the fundamental importance of this verse. We must first understand, in the words of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, that:

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    Are You Worried about God's Provision?Premium Content


    The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
    the righteous run into it and are safe.
    The wealth of the rich is their strong city;
    in their imagination it is like a high wall.
    Proverbs 18:10-11 NRSV


    America is imploding on itself. And, unfortunately, as America goes, often goes the rest of the world. Home foreclosures are up; unemployment is up. Institutions that were reliable are shaky, at best. While it's important to be prudent, there may soon be no good choices left that provide for a stable economic future . . . except obedience to the Word. As believers, we always have a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11) because our trust isn't in the institutions and economy of this world, but our hope is in the Lord. The apostle Peter wrote:

    He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.,/span> 1 Peter 1:3b-4 NRSV

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    Rules to Live ByPremium Content

    1. Wake Up !! Decide to have a good day.
    Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24

    2. Dress Up !! The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
    The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart.
    I Samuel 16:7

    3. Shut Up !! Say nice things and learn to listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking.
    He who guards his lips guards his soul. Proverbs 13:3

    4. Stand Up !!... For what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything..
    Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good... Galatians 6:9-10

    5. Look Up !!... To the Lord.
    I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

    6. Reach Up !!... For something higher.
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, And He will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5-6

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    God Fights for His PeoplePremium Content

    There was no day like that before it or after it, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel. Joshua 10:14


    We don't have to attack and subdue physical cities - which in any care aren't walled today, military technology having changed since Joshua's day. Paul said that "the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses" 2 Cor. 10:4, and that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." Eph. 6:12 We fight, we struggle, but not against physical enemies. Even when the church faces persecution from human beings, with very real guns, very real prisons, very real torturers, and very real executioners, the very real struggle isn't against those tools of Satan, but against the spiritual wickedness which impels men to act so barbarically.

    And we're not in the fight alone. There may be no armed and armored armies beside us, and there may be no massive forces to back us up, but we're not alone. On the contrary, the Lord fights for us.

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