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    Vanity on Fire

    In February 1497, a Monk named Girolama Savonarola started a fire. Leading up to this, he and his followers spent several months collecting items that they thought might entice people to sin or neglect their religious duties—including artwork, cosmetics, instruments, and dresses. On the appointed day, thousands of vanity items were gathered at a public square in Florence, Italy, and set on fire. The event has come to be known as the Bonfire of the Vanities.

    Savonarola might have found inspiration for his extreme actions in some shocking statements from the Sermon on the Mount. “If your right eye causes you…

    Divine Escape

    Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mystery The Clocks features antagonists who commit a series of murders. Although their initial plot targeted a single victim, they found it necessary to take more lives in order to cover up the original crime. When confronted by Poirot, one of the conspirators confessed, lamenting, “It was only supposed to be the one murder.”

    Like the schemers in the story, the chief priests and Pharisees of Jesus’s day formed a conspiracy of their own. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:38–44), they called an emergency meeting and plotted to take His life (11:45–53). But they didn’t…

    Watch Out!

    I grew up in warm southern cities, so when I moved north, it took me a while to learn how to drive safely during the long, snowy months. In my first hard winter, I ended up stranded in a snowdrift three times! But after several years of practice, I began to feel comfortable driving in wintry conditions. In fact, I felt a little too comfortable. I stopped being as vigilant. And that’s when I hit a patch of black ice and skidded into a telephone pole on the side of the road.

    Thankfully, no one was hurt, but I learned something…

    The Supremacy of Jesus Christ

    The holiness movements of today have none of the rugged reality of the New Testament about them. There is nothing about them that needs the death of Jesus Christ. All that is required is a pious atmosphere, prayer, and devotion. This type of experience is not supernatural nor miraculous. It did not cost the sufferings of God, nor is it stained with “the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 12:11). It is not marked or sealed by the Holy Spirit as being genuine, and it has no visual sign that causes people to exclaim with awe and wonder, “That is the work of God Almighty!” Yet the New Testament is about the work of God and nothing else.

    The Changed Life

    If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. —2 Corinthians 5:17

    What understanding do you have of the salvation of your soul? The work of salvation means that in your real life things are dramatically changed. You no longer look at things in the same way. Your desires are new and the old things have lost their power to attract you.…

    The Nature of Regeneration

    When it pleased God…to reveal His Son in me… —Galatians 1:15-16

    If Jesus Christ is going to regenerate me, what is the problem He faces? It is simply this— I have a heredity in which I had no say or decision; I am not holy, nor am I likely to be; and if all Jesus Christ can do is tell me…

    Shelter from the Storm

    When I lived in Oklahoma I had a friend who “chased” tornados. John tracked the storms carefully through radio contact with other chasers and local radar, trying to keep a safe distance while observing their destructive paths so he could report sudden changes to people in harm’s way.

    One day a funnel cloud changed course so abruptly John found himself in grave danger. Fortunately, he found shelter and was spared.

    John’s experience that afternoon makes me think of another destructive path: sin in our lives. The Bible tells us, “Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil…

    Fleeing to Strength

    “Parry four!”

    When I began fencing in high school, my coach would shout the correct defensive position (“parry”) against the move he was making. When he extended his weapon and lunged, to repel the attack I had to listen and respond immediately.

    That active listening brings to mind the prompt obedience Scripture calls for in the area of sexual temptation. In 1 Corinthians 6:18 Paul writes to believers tempted to solicit pagan temple prostitutes, telling them to “flee from sexual immorality.” Sometimes we are to “stand firm” in challenging circumstances (Ephesians 6:11; Galatians 5:1), but here the Bible practically shouts our best…

    Lured Away

    My niece convinced me to play Pokémon Go—a game played on a smartphone, using the phone’s camera. The object of the game is to capture little creatures called Pokémon. When one appears in the game, a red and white ball also appears on the phone’s screen. To capture a Pokémon, the player has to flick the ball toward it with the movement of a finger. Pokémon are more easily caught, however, by using a lure to attract them.

    Pokémon characters aren’t the only ones who can be lured away. In his New Testament letter to believers, James, the brother of Jesus,…

    Using strategic weapons to be victorious

    When are we most susceptible to temptation? Today on Discover the Word, we’ll hear the encouraging conclusion of the series titled “The Temptation of Jesus.” Although temptations are inevitable and come in a variety of forms, we are discussing the one thing you’ll find at the heart of each one. Don’t let temptation rule your life! […]

    How Jesus conquered temptation

    Does the devil really cause us to sin? Well today on Discover the Word,  the team will examine the Bible for ways that temptation can invade our lives, and discover that often there is a spiritual entry point. You’re invited to discover how Jesus conquered temptation. It’s part of this week’s series titled “The Temptation of […]

    Effective strategy for victory

    Have you ever “let your emotions get the better of you”? Well, temptation can often find an emotional entry point in our life that makes it difficult to resist. Today on Discover the Word, we find that Jesus felt the lure of temptation too, but employed an effective strategy for victory. It’s another encouraging discussion about […]

    Exposing the devil’s playbook

    Temptation can sneak up on us. But we don’t have to give in! Today on Discover the Word, we explore “The Temptation of Jesus” in Luke chapter 4 to expose the devil’s playbook. We’ll unmask the trying physical entry points for temptation. Listen today for tactics to fight temptation Jesus’s way on Discover the Word!

    The Temptation of Jesus

    Today on Discover the Word, the team kicks off a new series about “The Temptation of Jesus.” Tune in to discover how Jesus successfully defeated temptation, and how that can help you better recognize and resist when Satan comes calling. There’s victory to be won so listen to Discover the Word today!

    4 Ways to Flee Sexual Temptation

    I read about a recent pastors’ conference in the United States where, during the Q&A session, the inevitable question came to the old preacher sitting on a stool in the middle of the stage: “What is the one thing you want younger pastors to know?”

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