Surprised by God

In today‚Äôs Bible reading in Acts 12, we see that Herod kills James. Because the Jewish leaders respond favorably, Herod imprisons Peter, presumably to be executed. Knowing how badly things have turned out in the past with Jesus and His followers, Herod assigns four squads of soldiers to guard Peter. This seems like overkill since there were…

Free Will?

Today’s Bible reading* raises an interesting question: “How free is our free will?” Many people hold very strongly to the view that everyone has free will. There are even Free Will Baptists. Second Chronicles 36:22 and Ezra 1:1 are obviously parallel passages; they say the same thing about Cyrus of Persia. In the first year…

Spectacular and Terrifying Visions Lead to Confession

In today’s Bible reading* Daniel has some spectacular visions that terrify him. Chapters Seven through Nine coincide with the stories in Daniel Chapters Five and Six. In other words, Chapters Seven through Nine are flashbacks. Daniel investigates Jeremiah’s prophecy and timetable and learns that God’s punishment on His people would last for seventy years. This…

How to Respond to Demands Against Your Faith Convictions

How should you respond when someone demands something that goes against your faith convictions? What if those making those demands are your government leaders who have been established by God? We begin reading Daniel with today’s Bible reading*. As I read it, I saw a powerful application for today. In Daniel Chapter One, we see…