“You shall not plant any tree as an Asherah beside the altar of the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 16:21

Idol worship was a persistent and pervasive issue in the Old Testament. Despite God’s repeated warnings, many Israelites continued engaging in worshiping a pagan god called Asherah as well as others. From human sacrifices to carved trees, Asherah was a problem many Israelite kings struggled against.

Who exactly was Asherah? Was she a goddess as many believed, or was she just a cult symbol? Was she God’s ex-wife? Why did the people worship her? …

“Hold fast [to] what you have that no one may take your crown.” Revelation 3:11

Life at the end of the first century was in no way easy, especially for the early Christian church. Most of the apostles were dead, the churches were in decline, and Roman persecution of believers was rampant, with many martyred. But one apostle still endured — John.

Despite the oppression, John continued to minister to the churches in Asia Minor (now Turkey) until his arrest in Ephesus by Roman authorities. …

“For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14

When we think of God and heaven, we might also think of angels. The Bible mentions only three angels by name — Gabriel, Michael, and another you might not immediately recall. His name was Lucifer, God’s most trusted angel, His Morning Star. But Lucifer rebelled, and God cast him out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12).

Now, as an adversary of God, Satan (which means “adversary”) tries very hard to destroy the one thing God loves most — us. …

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness…lest any root of bitterness springing up causes trouble.” Hebrews 12:14,15

Most of us probably have a friend or loved one we wish would find Jesus. We pray and pray for them, but nothing happens. They refuse to go to church and want nothing to do with God, and they stay blind to their sin. Why does it seem they can’t or won’t repent?

The answer is often based in bitter roots.

Esau’s Bitter Root

In Genesis 25, we read about Esau selling his birthright to his brother Jacob.

Jacob was a creative kind of guy. Verse…

“And we beheld His glory.” John 1:14

Every Christmas, we celebrate Advent, the first coming of Jesus Immanuel, which means “God with us.” We celebrate His coming, and we celebrate how He came to dwell with us. When we do this, we are celebrating His Shekinah Glory.

Though not specifically mentioned by name in the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments record evidence of shekinah. These unique passages of Scripture illustrate how God revealed His glory. But there was no occurrence more spectacular than the one revealed in the Gospels.

God Dwells with Us

In Hebrew, Sh’cheenah, or shekinah as English speakers say…

“One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

The United States has reached a pivotal moment in its history. This week, we all witnessed an insurrection by President Trump supporters in an attack on the U.S. Capitol while Congress was in session. People lost their lives, property was damaged, and faith in law enforcement and civility was shaken. We can draw comparisons to protests occurring last summer, but these particular folks have put a certain indelible mark on the country, unlike anything seen since the War of 1812.

How should a Christian react? What should be our…

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2

Sometimes in the Bible, we read about events that don’t seem to make sense. Take the Christmas story, for example. How was it possible the Magi followed a bright star hundreds of miles to a manger holding the newly born Jesus? And how did the shepherds know where to find Jesus? And just how did Mary manage to travel ninety miles on the back of a donkey a full nine months pregnant? …

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” John 3:16

Now that it is December, people worldwide are celebrating the season of Advent, a season with a long history. Contrary to what many people believe, it doesn’t wholly refer to Christmas, though it still has deep Biblical meaning rooted in God’s love for His people.

Advent History

For some, Advent is simply a time to countdown to Christmas Day. We may have an Advent calendar on the wall made of anything from cloth to wood to Legos, all containing small surprises for children in the build-up to…

“And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” Matthew 5:41

Jesus often taught how to love and live at peace with others throughout His ministry. In Matthew 5, He touches on these subjects as well as several others, including the importance of forgiveness and generosity. Most notably, in verse 41, He tells us to go with someone two miles even if we are only required to go just one.

What did Jesus mean by this command? What was its context? …

“When Jesus therefore saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman behold your son!’” John 19:26

In the book of John, we read six times about an anonymous figure interchangeably called “the one whom Jesus loved,” “the other disciple,” and “beloved disciple.” For years, scholars and laypeople alike have scratched their heads, wondering the identity of this person. Several theories exist. Some are plausible, and some are not. But if we look at Biblical text evidence, we can better determine who this mystery person might be.

The Book of John

Before we begin, we must…

Steppes of Faith

Walking together with you as we build our faith in our holy Lord and Savior together.

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