Steve’s Devotional – You’re a New Creation Steve Brown Monday April 11, 2016 You know what’s so good about a new car (that is, other than the smell)? It’s the fresh start. It’s giving one’s old car problems to someone else and driving away with no problems (at least in the beginning). You get used to things going wrong with an old car and then just learn to live with them. Dents. Scratches. Bumps. You can try to push dents out. You can cover things up (strategically placed bumper stickers, while not that attractive, are quite helpful). You can touch-up scratches with paint. I once
Leviticus 1:4 Our Lord’s being “made . . . sin”1 for us is pictured here by the very significant transfer of sin to the bullock, which was done by the elders of the people. The laying of the hand was not a mere touch of contact, for in some other places of Scripture the original word has the meaning of leaning heavily, as in the expression, “Your wrath lies heavy upon me” (Psalm 88:7). Surely this is the very essence and nature of faith, which not only brings us into contact with the great Substitute, but also teaches us to lean upon Him with all
Steve Brown Monday March 28, 2016 We’re called to be street-smart Christians. Jesus said, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Jesus wants us to be the smartest, the sharpest, and the most street-smart people in the world. If we aren’t, it’s simply because we haven’t been instructed or we haven’t listened well enough. So here’s a lesson in becoming street-smart. It comes from Jesus. And it centers on a question with which the religious establishment (the Pharisees) and the political leaders (the Herodians) tried to trap Jesus. The question?
Steve Brown Monday February 29, 2016 The source of almost all spiritual problems is an inappropriate effort to avoid the cross. When we, as the church, turn away from the cross, we miss the path that God gave us—the path to freedom, joy, faithfulness and forgiveness. It’s the only way there. We think the cross is fine and necessary for those who aren’t saved…but, once we’re saved, it’s no longer relevant to our lives. We, as Christians, forget that the cross is the very paradigm for who we are and everything we do, think, feel and believe. So if that’s true (and it is), then
Do you know the God you pray to? You can meet that God in the Lord’s Prayer (actually the Disciples’ Prayer) in Matthew 6. You can learn a lot about what people think about God by listening to their prayers. But while we reflect only what we think about God, Jesus reveals what he knows about God. In this prayer, either directly or indirectly, Jesus introduces us to that God. Let’s meet him. God’s Closeness When you pray, remember God’s closeness. In “Our Father in heaven” the word for “Father” that Jesus uses was the Aramaic word “abba,” a term of endearment with which a
Steve Brown Monday February 8, 2016 Are you trapped in a fire and it’s only getting hotter? “Never doubt in the dark what God has taught you in the light.” That sounds good…until you find yourself in the dark and can see no way out. Maybe your dream shattered. Maybe you’re in pain and don’t know what to do. Maybe you look out at the world where the bad guys are winning, wondering if God is on vacation. Maybe you’re sick and nobody else knows the fear. Maybe it’s a financial or family problem. Maybe someone you loved died. But whatever it is, it’s only
Romans 10:14-15 ““How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’” Many Christians have made a grave error in failing to live this passage out in their lives. The Christian church at large today believes that telling others about Jesus Christ and the way of salvation
Steve Brown Monday February 1, 2016 Have you ever read the book of Esther? The more I study it, the more I like it. One of the most interesting things about Esther is that it’s the only book in the Bible where the name of God is never mentioned…not even once. Not only that, there is no prayer, no reference to Scripture, no worship, no condemnation of sin, no lifting up of the moral standards of the law, and no indication that the actions of the leading character, Esther, who seduced the king before marriage, are wrong. It’s a reminder that God works through some