How great was King Solomon? So great that Jesus spoke of his glory and wisdom nearly a thousand years after his death (Mt. 6:29; 12:42). Solomon, by his own admission, had it all, saw it all and did it all—but it all left him empty (Ec. 1:12-18; 2:1-11). This proves that earthly possessions and pursuits do not produce true happiness. Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes, which means “teacher or preacher,” as an aged man reflecting on his life experiences. The tone is rather pessimistic and depressing because he realized and regretted the folly of pursuing selfish goals. He was like the man who spent his whole life climbing the corporate ladder only to find out it was leaning against the wrong wall.Read More
The Gospel of John is unique from the “synoptic Gospels” (Matthew, Mark and Luke), so called due to their similar content. The synoptics cover many of the same miracles, parables and events of Jesus’ life and ministry. There is a lot of overlap, repetition and even some parallel passages that are nearly identical. Generally speaking, the synoptics tell us what Jesus said and did; John tells us who Jesus is. The synoptics focus on the signs and sayings of Christ; John emphasizes the identity of Christ. Early church father Clement of Alexandria called John “the spiritual Gospel” because of its deep insight into Jesus’ divinity. Notice these unique features of John’s Gospel:
As a teenager, I worked part-time in my dad’s company, Builder’s Hardware, in Tampa, Florida. Fascinated by the forklift, I watched with envy as my older brothers and other employees unloaded pallets of hardware from trucks and hoisted them up on shelves in the warehouse. Sadly, I was never legally old enough to operate the machine. Instead, I moved freight around the floor manually with a pallet jack. I always dreamed of one day driving the forklift. Well, two days after graduating from high school, I began traveling with an evangelist in full-time ministry, so I never got the chance. However, God gave me what I call a “forklift ministry”—lifting people up with singing, preaching, praying and writing.
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “You can’t have a testimony without a test.” If anyone ever embodied that truth it was Job. He lost everything but his faith. His life was shaken to the core, but he didn't waver despite his extreme suffering. Job was a wealthy, influential man who had “a very great household” and was “the greatest of all the men of the east” (Job 1:3, KJV). His long lifespan (140 years plus—Job 42:16) suggests that he lived during the Patriarchal Period in the book of Genesis. The fact that he wasn’t mentioned in connection with Israel and he offered his own sacrifices indicates that he probably predated Abraham and the Levitical priesthood.Read More
Life is full of peaks and valleys, ups and downs, highs and lows. While we’d love to live on the mountaintop all the time, that’s not reality. You will face some dark valleys in life, so don’t be surprised or despair. We all experience disappointments, failure, betrayal, conflict, broken relationships, financial stress and the loss of loved ones. That’s not negativism—that’s realism! We all deal with negative thoughts and emotions, but we must keep walking by faith, not by our feelings. Emotions fluctuate like a Yo-Yo, but our devotion must remain constant.