Posts by Steve Thiel

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Peace for Whom?

Luke 2 has some of the most familiar and encouraging words of Christmas? I mean, in particular verse 11, which says, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” And how about verse 14? When the multitude of the heavenly host praise God saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace among those with whom [God] i...

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No Vacancy Signs in Bethlehem

In Luke 2:1, we’re told, “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.” So you would think that if God so rules the world as to use an empire-wide census to bring Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, He could surely have seen to it that there was a room available in the inn. Yes, He certainly could have. And Jesus could ha...

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Turning the Hearts of Kings

Have you ever thought what an amazing thing it is that God ordained beforehand that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem? Because that’s exactly what Micah 5:2 says, “But you O Bethlehem… from you shall come forth for Me one who is to be ruler in Israel.” So that’s God’s promise 700 years before the birth of Christ. And yet, God turns the heart of a king t...

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Full of Grace and Truth

The Apostle John begins His gospel by telling us that the Word was in the beginning “and the Word was with God and the Word was God”. And that Word “became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son, full of grace and truth.” Now, Jesus is clearly the Word. But how exactly is He full of grace and truth?...

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Competition in the Kingdom of God

What does the bible have to say about competition in the Kingdom of God? In other words, should we be comparing and competing with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Should we concern ourselves with what the Lord has called them to in comparison to our calling?...

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Love or Obedience?

Which is more important, love or obedience? Is it more important to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength or to walk in obedience to His commandments? Which is the greater priority? Well, the bible both tells us that they’re one and the same....

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The Lord is Good

Paul commands us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything, to give thanks for this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus.” So here’s my question, what causes you to be less than thankful, even causes you to grumble and complain and be difficult to live with because you’re frustrated and irritated with everyone and everyth...

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The Lord is God

What robs you of your joy? What steals your peace? What causes you to be less than thankful, even causes you to grumble and complain and be difficult to live with because you’re discouraged and depressed and irritated with everyone and everything? In its essence, I think it’s having a wrong understanding of who’s running the show....

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Give Thanks in Everything

Paul commands us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything, to give thanks for this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus.” So here’s my question, how is that even possible? How can a person rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in everything?...

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Rules Or Relationship

When you think about the essence of Christianity, do you think about rules and regulations, God’s commandments, thou shall and thou shall not, or do you think about relationship? Well you should think relationship....

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How Important Is Unity?

How important is it for Christians to get along? I mean, how critical is it for God-loving, bible- believing, gospel-centered people to love one another, to fellowship together, and to be unified in the truth? Is it essential or is it optional?...

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Where Can I Find Truth?

We live in a day and age when there’s more information than ever at our fingertips. In fact, we hold it in the palm of our hands with our smart phones. And yet, it seems harder and harder to find out what is actually true. Every piece of information seems to come with a spin or someone’s jaded perspective. So how can we find truth, absolute truth?...

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More Than Conquerors

Have you ever seen a kid’s football game where one team comes out and starts warming up and getting ready for the game, and then their opponent comes out and immediately you can tell that they’re better than the first team in every way. They’re bigger. They’re faster. They’re stronger....

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Expectations Management

Do you know that one of the keys to living a happy life is having reasonable expectations? That’s true with your marriage, you kids, and your career, but it’s also true with regard to the reality that all who live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12)....

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The Blessings on Christ's Departure

Is there ever a time when it’s actually helpful for your closest friend to go away? Is there an occasion where their departure is a tremendous blessing and benefit to you? Well, Jesus says that there is in John 16....

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What Does Love Look Like?

What do you think is the greatest demonstration of love? Is it giving someone an unbelievably expensive gift? Or is it spending time with them, especially when their sick or dying? Or is it something else? Well, Jesus helps us answer that question in John 15:12-13 when He says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another even as I have loved you. Greater love has ...

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Pruning for a Purpose

Do you ever ask yourself the question, why does God bring hard things into my life? Why does He put trials and tribulations in my path? What’s the purpose?...

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Not Identity Theft, But Identity Gift

Well, I’m not sure if you’re aware, but identity theft is a major problem in our country right now. It’s when a person steals your name, your credit card, or your personal information and uses them for fraudulent purposes. Now, clearly, it’s unacceptable behavior to steal another person’s identity. And yet, as Christians, we are by definition a people who have so...

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How to Cure a Troubled Heart

What would you be doing right now if you knew you would not only be killed tomorrow, but that you would also be tortured for an indefinite amount of time before dying? My guess is that you would be desperate to find your own place of peace, comfort, and stability in the midst of the storm. You might even call loved ones, gather friends and family together to be close to yo...

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Home Is Where the Heart Is

Have you ever heard of that well known idiom, “Home is where the heart is”? If you’re not familiar, it means that your home will always be the place for which you feel the deepest affection. And often, it’s not a house at all. Instead, it’s a special relationship. So maybe a husband or wife, a parent or child, or a loved one that is so special that nowhere feels ...

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Humility is Beautiful

Isn’t it a beautiful thing when somebody humbles themselves in order to serve another? I mean, how about a teacher who helps a student, not only with their education, but with their life? Or a man who takes it upon himself, at personal cost, to start an orphanage for the poor? Or a nurse who willingly puts herself in harms way to love and serve her patients from disease ...

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Can Not or Will Not?

Many are those who demand proof for the truthfulness of Christianity. In fact, I was having coffee the other day with a man who said, “If you can show me beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is God, I would be happy to believe in Him.” And yet, in contradiction to his demand for proof, Jesus did many signs and wonders over the course of His ministry and yet people con...

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Jesus is the King of the World

How do you picture a king? Do you envision a man sitting on a throne in a large castle overseeing land and people, or maybe a knight in shining armor on a massive white horse coming back from a victorious battle with crowds of people cheering His return? Well, if that’s the case, what do we do with John chapter 12 and the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey...

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How Much is Jesus Worth?

How much do you think Jesus is worth? I mean, if you had to put a dollar figure on the Son of Man. What value would you give Him? And would you be willing to pay it?...

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Out of the Mouth of Babes

Sometimes people speak better than they know. That’s why we have sayings like “out of the mouth of babes”, an expression that we use when young and inexperienced people say things that are remarkably wise....

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Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life

After Lazarus dies in John chapter 11, Jesus meets his sister Martha on the road to the tomb. Now, Martha is obviously grieving the loss of her brother. So Jesus consoles her by saying, “Your brother will rise again”. But when Martha hears that, she assumes He’s talking about the resurrection that will take place on the last day. So Jesus clarifies, “I am the resur...

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How does Jesus demonstrate love?

Jesus provides us with a very strange demonstration of love in John chapter 11. In verse 5, we’re told, “Jesus loved Martha and her sister [Mary] and Lazarus. So, when He heard that Lazarus was ill, He stayed two days longer in the place where He was.” Now, if Jesus truly loved this family, how could He possibly delay when He heard Lazarus was sick?...

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Good Shepherd or Bad?

In John 10:14-15, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” Now, how would the religious leaders in Jesus day understand that statement? Would they have a context for it? And what would come to their minds?...

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Salvation and Safety in One Statement

In John chapter 10, Jesus makes this bold statement, “I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly....

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Is He insane or is He God?

In John 10:20, there is much debate over who Jesus is. In fact, “Many of the religious leaders said, ‘He has a demon, and is insane: why listen to Him?’” And if you just look at the immediate context, you can totally understand their accusation of insanity....

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Conclusive Evidence to Worship Jesus

In John 9, Jesus heals a man born blind. So for confirmation, the religious leaders investigated the situation. And in every step of the process, the evidence was conclusive. It was consistent and confirming that Jesus gave physical sight to a man born physically blind; which obviously points us to the reality that Jesus is the one who gives spiritual sight, life, to th...

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Abraham Never Died

In John 8:51, Jesus declared, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death.” Now that’s an amazing promise; that those who believe in Jesus Christ will never see death. What’s equally amazing is that moments later, Jesus goes on to say to the Jews who were listening to Him, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day. He saw it ...

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You Will Never See Death

How often do you think about death? And when you think about it, are you filled with questions? Where do you go? Who’s there? And what is it like? Well, Jesus has some incredible words for you in John 8:51 when He says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death.” Now how is that possible? Don’t we all know Christians who h...

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Who is this Jesus Really?

Who is this Jesus really? Is He the Prophet? Is He the Messiah? Is He from the line of David? That’s what the crowd was asking in John chapter 7. In fact, verse 43 tells us, “There was a division among the people over Jesus.”...

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Life Stinks and then You Die!

“Life stinks and then you die!” At least that’s the view of a cynical bumper sticker that I just saw the other day. Now why do you think its author would characterize life in such hopeless and meaningless terms? And more importantly, is it a true statement? Is that all there is? Or does life have a greater purpose?...

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No Pain. No Gain!

You’ve heard the well-known saying, “No pain. No gain!” We use it all the time when we’re talking about exercising, being willing to endure the difficulty of running and lifting weights so that you can experience the benefit of a body that’s healthy and in great shape....

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Comfort Regardless of the Calamity

Are you worried about the things that are going on in your life? Are you anxious about your job, your health, your finances, and all the issues that are going on in the world right now? Where is peace to be found? Where are comfort and hope and perspective?...

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Only Jesus is Essential for Life

What do you really need in this life? I mean, what are the essentials? If you had to create a list of the things that are critical for your life, what would they be? And how many things should be on the list? Health professionals say that there are six essentials: food, water, shelter, rest, exercise, and air....

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Bread, Water, and Light All Point to Jesus

Have you realized that one of the reasons that God created bread is so that when Jesus Christ came into the world, He could use it as illustration of what it means to believe in Him? The same is true of water and of light and of every good thing that God has made. “All things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16)....

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Do You Know About Jesus or Do You Believe In Jesus?

What is your favorite verse in the entire bible? I asked that question to a gentleman just the other day over coffee. And he quickly answered like many would, “John 3:16 of course.” So I asked him why? He said, "Because it’s so clearly tells me about Jesus. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. That whoever believes in Him should not pe...

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Who You Know Makes All the Difference

You’ve probably heard the well-known phrase, “It’s not what you know, but who you know, that makes all the difference.” But I’m wondering if you’ve ever thought about that from a spiritual perspective? Because I’m convinced, it contains a mountain of biblical truth....

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What's the Main Point of the Bible?

Have you ever asked yourself the question, what’s the main point of the Bible? I mean, if the Bible is God’s Word, and I would argue that it is, what’s the essential message that God is trying to communicate? What’s He trying to say to us?...

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Famous Last Words, "It is Finished!"

Do you know that Jesus said some pretty amazing things from the cross of Calvary? For example, in Luke 23:34, He said, “Father, forgiven them, for they no not what they are doing.” Now what’s amazing is that He said this while they were crucifying Him, pounding nails in His hands and feet, and casting lots to divide up His garments....

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Born Again Christian. Is There Another Kind?

Have you ever been asked, are you one of those born again Christians? Now it has always fascinated me that by the question itself, the asker is suggesting that there are born again Christians, and there are Christians who are not born again....

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Did Jesus Know that He was Going to Die?

Have you ever asked the question, did Jesus know that He was going to die? When He began His earthly ministry, did He know that it would end on a cold wooden cross, that He would be crucified, dead and buried, and rise again on the third day?...

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Witnesses that Convict Jesus as the Messiah

Do you know what is essential in a court of law to convict a person of a crime? Witnesses. And what nails down a conviction? Many witnesses, who are all saying the same thing....

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The Word Made Flesh

In the opening verses of the gospel of John, he identifies Jesus as the Word, the Message, who is synonymous with God. Listen for yourself. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”...

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Do Not Be Unbelieving, But Believing!

In John chapter 20, the Apostle gives us the purpose for writing his Gospel. In verses 30 and 31, he says, “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these things are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing, you may have life in His name.”...

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