Hagar, Ishmael, and the God of Redemption

The story of Hagar and Ishmael is a painful story that leads to a split family. Though the story is filled with tragedy, it also gives us powerful glimpses of God’s desire to bring salvation and redemption in the midst of sin and rebellion. When we recognize God’s desire for

The Centrality of Worship

This post is from an upcoming book called “Discipleship Begins with Beholding.” Because humans seek out beauty and emulate what fascinates them, worship is central to discipleship: Missions is not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God

Pleading with Men

This is an excerpt from the book “Mercy Before Judgment.” Paul’s conviction of God’s judgment and his longing for mercy provoked his intercession and his preaching. Paul engaged in both aspects of intercession. He stood before God on behalf of people, and then stood before people on behalf of God. If we

The Ministry of Reconciliation

This is an excerpt from the book “Mercy Before Judgment.“ When the book of Hebrews says Jesus lives forever to make intercession, it is not just saying Jesus prays constantly. He lives every moment as the Advocate of His Church before the Father, simultaneously being the Advocate of His Father

The Revelation of Jesus and His People

This is an excerpt from an upcoming book on discipleship. Far too many people think the book of Revelation is mostly about the beast and suffering. The book of Revelation does contain very sobering warnings that should be taken seriously, but this is not the main theme of the book.

The Priest Who Became a Messenger

This post is an excerpt from a book on John the Baptist being published in 2020. The message of Malachi summarized John’s life and message:  The priesthood had become compromised and politicized.  Priests were to be God’s messengers, but the priesthood had failed and therefore not instructed the people in

The Day of His Mercy

Note this in an excerpt from the book Mercy Before Judgment. The end of the age is the great climax of history, and the Bible gives us a tremendous amount of information about it. By some counts, there are over 150 chapters in the Bible which primarily describe the events

The Ancient Pattern

Note this in an excerpt from Mercy Before Judgment. Before we examine God’s interactions with His intercessors, we need to identify a biblical pattern we will see in these interactions. The pattern we see in Scripture is basically this: Before God released His judgments, He would come to an intercessor

Calling and Assignment

This post is an excerpt from a book on John the Baptist being published in 2020. We have a lot of confusion in the area of calling vs. assignment. We often use the word “calling” to refer to our ministry assignments or our vocation, but these are temporary tasks God has assigned to us.

Why Singing?

The Bible repeatedly commands singing and predicts the church will be a singing people in the most difficult hour of history. This raises a profound question: why does God use singing in such a profound way? Why is singing so central in the Bible and why does God want the

The Beauty of the Divine Man

In Isaiah we find an outrageous statement about Jesus: 2 …he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. (Isaiah 53:2 ESV) Isaiah predicted Jesus would not have any natural beauty. Because Isaiah’s words are familiar we can easily