Sins Cause Callousness

Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” (Nehemiah 2:17 ESV)

Jerusalem had been destroyed and lying in ruins for over 125 years. The people Nehemiah was talking to here had been living in the rubble heap that was Jerusalem for ten years or more.

Why then, was it necessary for him to tell them to look at the “ruins” and start building the wall? It was because the Israelites that were living there had become callous to their surroundings.

Day after day they became numb to walking over rubble and not having gates to protect them. Eventually, this literally broken city became comfortable and home to them.

Unfortunately,

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Let Your Yes Mean Yes

It’s happening.

Gray hair is sprinkling into my temples.

As we all do, I’m getting older. But in today’s verse, Jesus uses the inevitable aging process to show us something. Something key about the character of a disciple.

How many times have you said something like, “I swear to God it’s true…” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us simply: let your yes mean yes and your no mean no.

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How the Persecuted Church Advances the Gospel

A question I’ve been asking myself is, “How can I pray for and support the persecuted church?”

Recently, I got a glimpse of the answer from today’s devotional verse:

And Saul approved of his execution.

And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Acts 8:1 ESV

Just a couple days ago, I was on a plane en route to Chicago.

I was reading Acts 8 and jotting down some notes in the margins of my Bible, when a man tapped me on the shoulder.

He said, “That’s a good book.”

I replied, “It sure is. And powerful, too.”

We struck up a conversation, and it happened that he was a church planter in the Bangalore, India area. His name is Tim, and over the past 12 years, his church has helped plant 50 churches in area towns and villages.

Ready to hear the most incredible part of the story, though?

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