God up there, and us down here. What a distance, right? God is really far away, isn’t he? Not at all! For those who seek him, God is near.

The Lord looks down from heaven
on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.
Psalm 14.2 NLT

Let’s note these points from the verse above. Continue reading

God lets anyone enter his kingdom, but he doesn’t allow them to come any old way they please.

But when the king came in to see the wedding guests, he saw a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But he had nothing to say. Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Matthew 22.11-14 NET

To participate in the party without the appropriate clothing means to lack the necessary preparation — faith and obedience — that the Lord requires. Continue reading

We talk a lot, and rightly so, about what God expects of us. There are some things also that we can expect of God.

In fact this is why we work hard and struggle, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of believers.
1 Timothy 4.10 NET

What does it mean to set our hope on God? Among other things, it means that there are things we can expect from him. Among those things we can expect from him are these: Continue reading

Doing some preparation for another evangelistic study tonight. Pray for the young man Wash. Here are some notes I jotted down for my own use.

• The passage about the widows in Acts 6 starts and ends the same way: “the number of the disciples was multiplying” (v. 1); “the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly” (v. 7). Maybe Luke has a hint for us: Those churches that grow take care of their own. Continue reading

We have written much, recently, about the passage of Matthew 19.27-30. But today a structure appeared in verse 29 that deserves attention. Here’s the verse:

And whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
Matthew 19.29 NET

There are seven items in the list of things that the disciple can and must leave for Jesus’ sake. Seven is the number that represents the totality of human interests and relationships. Continue reading