On My Mind

The Proximity Effect

By Joe Barnett / March 3, 2018 / Comments Off on The Proximity Effect

Sooner or later nearly every church is contaminated by contention. Like cancer, it infiltrates furtively at first and goes undetected. But eventually, it metastasizes and permeates the body, resulting in severely depleted strength. Or death. Toxic Intruders Paul used a lot of ink exhorting Christians to encourage one another, build each other up, love one […]

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Don’t Be Afraid

By Joe Barnett / February 3, 2018 / Comments Off on Don’t Be Afraid

To Abram, God said, “Do not be afraid . . . I am your shield” (Gn 15:1). To Joshua, God said, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Jo 1:9). To Isaiah, God said comfort my people, telling […]

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Put Your Hand in God’s

By Joe Barnett / January 6, 2018 / Comments Off on Put Your Hand in God’s

A century or so down the road, if the Lord’s coming is delayed until then, people will look back at our time on this planet with as much fascination as we look back on the time of George Washington, Thomas Edison, or the Wright Brothers. They’ll wonder what life was like for those of us […]

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Only Six Miles

By Joe Barnett / December 2, 2017 / Comments Off on Only Six Miles

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”   —Matthew 2:1–2 ♦    ♦    ♦ […]

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Make Someone’s Day

By Joe Barnett / November 4, 2017 / Comments Off on Make Someone’s Day

University freshman Ben Byrum was lonely. Ben had been to a nearby church a few times but didn’t feel connected or wanted. He decided to go one more time. He would walk in and sit down. If no one spoke to him before the service started, he would walk out and not return. A countdown […]

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My Lord and My God

By Joe Barnett / October 7, 2017 / Comments Off on My Lord and My God

Scene I — AD 33 (John 18:17, 25, 26) “For the third time,” said Peter, “I do not know this man, Jesus! How many times do I have to tell you?” Scene II — Two Months Later (Acts 4:17–20) “This court has reached a decision. We order you not to speak of this man, Jesus, […]

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You Are Highly Favored

By Joe Barnett / September 2, 2017 / Comments Off on You Are Highly Favored

Gus Niblack was already elderly when I met him; one of the best men I’ve known. When I’d ask how he was, he’d stiffen his spine, throw his head back and say, “The Lord has been partial to me!” I don’t doubt it. God has often singled out specific people for favor. In Old Testament […]

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When God Changed His Mind

By Joe Barnett / August 5, 2017 / Comments Off on When God Changed His Mind

Hezekiah was a good man. He brought the nation of Judah back to God. He refurbished the boarded up temple and opened it to worship. He reestablished the service of the priests and Levites. He reinstated the celebration of the Passover. He pulled the plug on idolatry. “[S]ince the days of Solomon son of David […]

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The Door Widely Open

By Joe Barnett / July 8, 2017 / Comments Off on The Door Widely Open

Luke 15:11–31 Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky was twenty-eight when he was arrested for his vocal opposition of Tsarist Russia. Sentenced to death by firing squad, Dostoyevsky was on the scaffold, soldiers with muskets at shoulder, when the execution was stayed. Tsar Nicolas I had commuted his sentence to ten years of exile, four of them […]

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Where Is the Lamb?

By Joe Barnett / June 3, 2017 / Comments Off on Where Is the Lamb?

William Cowper had a miserable childhood. His mother, his sole source of comfort, died when he was six, and he was hustled off to a boarding school where he was mercilessly bullied. Cowper felt the guilt of sin more than most. By the time he reached his mid-twenties, he was so conscience-stricken that he twice […]

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