The Perfect Leader

Reading Time: 5 Minutes Isaiah prophesied the coming of the perfect leader. Looking back in history, we know that this leader was the Messiah, Jesus. I suggest three ways to approach this beautiful prophecy about Jesus. (1) Praise God for who he is. God has not left humans to struggle on their own. He sent […]

Warning – The Danger of Pride

Reading Time: 5 Minutes In the face of human pride and arrogance, Christian leaders accurately reflect God’s truth about pride. They say: — C. S. Lewis – “Pride is the sin that made the devil the devil.” — William Law – “Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.” — […]

Discipleship and Healing

Reading Time: 5 Minutes Rudy Ross and I have been visiting for the past couple of weeks on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel about the Book of Isaiah. Our schedules conflicted last week, so our son John and I produced two videos on healing. Tomorrow, both the videos and the blog article will return to […]

God’s Healing Love

Reading Time: 5 Minutes I enjoy providing videos on the Book of Isaiah with my friend Rudy Ross. Rudy and I attempt to produce several videos at one time. This week our schedules didn’t match up because of other obligations. Our son, John, agreed to make a couple of videos with me. One is available […]

The Decline and Fall of a Nation

Reading Time: 7 Minutes Isaiah marks four components of behavior that will assure the decline and fall of a nation. What was true for Israel in 700 B.C. has been repeated for centuries in various nations since that time. The root cause of the decline and fall of nations is arrogance, which then leads to […]

The Ultimate Truth – God With Us

Reading Time: 5 Minutes How we think about the future determines our present attitudes toward life and behavior. The people of Jerusalem in Isaiah’s day believed their future was only “distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish, and thick darkness” (Isaiah 8.22). They professed belief in God but were so distant from God that they […]

Don’t Walk This Way

Reading Time: 5 Minutes According to a news story I recently read, the three most-watched television channels are Fox, CNN, and CNBC. One of the networks they have eclipsed is ESPN, much to my surprise. The rise in viewership of these three news networks is attributed to conflict. Conflict stimulates viewers and gains advertising dollars. […]

Will You Believe?

Reading Time: 5 Minutes To best understand the next few chapters, some key information is necessary. — Ephraim (Israel) – This is the Northern Kingdom of what had become a divided Israel after the reign of King Solomon. — Judah – This was the Southern Kingdom of the divided kingdom with Jerusalem as the capital. […]

Preaching a Nation’s Funeral

Reading Time: 6 Minutes I have used Isaiah 6.1-8 as a text for many sermons. I never remember a time when I have preached from the remaining verses of the chapter. Nearly everyone who has attended church for any time has heard the famous words of verse 8. “Then I heard the voice of the […]

Who Are You Going To Trust?

Reading Time: 7 Minutes Think about it. The most important question a person will ask in their lifetime is, “Who are you going to trust?” Are you going to trust human potential? Some items of human potential and self-sufficiency are: — Personal skill, work ethic, and ability — Governmental and business leadership — Personal physical […]

Remember and Repent

Reading Time: 6 Minutes When I read the words of Isaiah 5, I thought of Jesus’ message to the church in Ephesus: “Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first” (Revelation 2.5). Isaiah 5 reminds us of how far we have fallen and calls us to repentance. […]

Gain It All – Lose It All

Reading Time: 6 Minutes How would you answer Jesus’ question, “For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?” (Matthew 16.26). I expect readers of my blog know the proper answer. A life devoted to Jesus and his […]

Our Sin – Jesus’ Sacrifice

Reading Time: 6 Minutes The Apostle Paul declared two facts about us when he said, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3.23). Isaiah 5 presents the truth of the sin problem of humanity. “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in […]

A Good Friday Message From Isaiah

Reading Time: 6 Minutes If Jesus’ death on the cross was a solution to humanity’s problem, we humans have a serious problem. Isaiah was not shy about making known to the nation the destructive nature of self-sufficient pride and the self-centered abuse of the vulnerable by the powerful. A considerable portion of the Book of […]

We Can’t Defy God’s Laws

Reading Time: 5 Minutes I clearly remember the day in my late teens when I jumped from a perch of about 15 feet. I suffered no harm but was determined to never do it again. I have never dared to jump out of a second-story window or off of the roof of a tall building. […]

Remedial Judgment for the Nation

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Just as a parent takes away a child’s cell phone or favorite toy to correct their behavior, so God must take a thing away from people to return them to proper actions. According to Isaiah, food, security, and leadership was destined to become a scarce item in Israel. 1 For now […]

God’s Promise and Human Rejection

Reading Time: 5 Minutes God doesn’t go halfway when he makes a promise to people who follow his guidance. Consider God’s words to people who follow him. “The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in […]

20/20 Vision

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Hindsight indeed has a 20/20 vision. Just think how nations would have responded if they had only known what the Nazis were doing to Jewish people during World War II. What about our nation’s history of slavery? What if we knew then what we know now about slavery’s lasting impact on […]

The Path to God’s Blessing

Reading Time: 5 Minutes The Book of Isaiah begins with a courtroom scene. God is the prosecuting attorney, who declares his people’s guilt. Isaiah is also a book about a heavenly Father, who desires above all to forgive and restore his people. The pathway to God’s blessing is to have a willingness to follow his […]

When Worship is Worthless

Reading Time: 5 Minutes Worship that doesn’t change the attitudes and actions of people is worthless. Isaiah’s message, 700 years before Jesus walked the earth, was powerful then and definitely needs to be heard today. This is how God reacts to acts of worship that are not accompanied by love and justice. When you stretch […]

Isaiah’s Message to America

Reading Time: 7 Minutes Why study a book that was written 700 years before Jesus walked the face of the earth? Over the past years, I haven’t been able to get away from the message of Isaiah. It was God’s powerful word to Israel. It contains a serious warning and glorious promises for 2021. Please […]

The Power of the Gospel

Reading Time: 6 Minutes More than 40 years ago, I considered leaving the ministry. A friend who operated a counseling service in a nearby large city offered me a job. The plan was for me to serve as a spiritual advisor to clients, while I received further education and experience in counseling. I was honored […]

Self-Giving Love In Action

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Paul began his communication with the church in Corinth by speaking about the power and wisdom of Jesus’ death on the cross. He wrote, “The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians […]

Visions And The “Torn In The Flesh”

Reading Time: 7 Minutes The people of Corinth were more apt to listen to a speaker who had these credentials. — They were effective speakers. — They were dressed in a stylish manner. — They had “secret” knowledge that came from visions, dreams, or special experiences with God or the gods. — They were supported […]

Watch Out For Wolves

Reading Time: 6 Minutes One of the jobs of a shepherd is to protect the sheep against wolves. As shepherd of the church in Corinth, Paul’s job was to keep the sheep safe against wolves that had entered the church. His job was a tricky one, because some of the congregation had been deceived by […]

Combating A Disinformation Campaign

Reading Time: 8 Minutes It appears that traveling preachers conducted a disinformation campaign against Paul. A common characteristic of people who sow disinformation is to simply ask questions that put doubt in people’s minds. Satan is the master of disinformation. The first recorded word of Satan was a question, “Did God say, ‘You shall not […]

What’s In Your Wallet?

Reading Time: 5 Minutes A clever credit card commercial ends with a memorable line, “What’s in your wallet?” The implication is that everyone needs a certain credit card in their wallet. If Paul were to write a commercial about what’s in our wallet, he would have a different concern. His question would be what’s in […]

The Grace of Giving

Reading Time: 6 Minutes People talk about having a “life verse” from the Bible. The verse works like a personal mission statement for people. I believe my life verse is Luke 6.38. This verse is a promise from Jesus: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running […]

Half-Stepping Heroes

Reading Time: 5 Minutes The Urban Dictionary refers to half-stepping as “starting something with no intention of finishing.” The Online Slang Dictionary defines half-stepping like this: “To act like you want to engage in a fight, but then back down once the other person fights back.” Basically, it means to do anything in a half-hearted […]

What Sort of Minister Do You Want?

Reading Time: 6 Minutes One of the issues that Paul faced in A.D. 50 Corinth had to do with what the congregation wanted in their leaders. Their culture highlighted three primary values in leaders. (1) Dress – The appearance of a speaker added to the status of speakers in Corinth. They wore elaborate hats and […]

What is the Big Deal about God’s Love?

Reading Time: 5 Minutes I listened to an interview this week between David Axelrod and Tim Alberta. Axelrod is a political commentator and Alberta is a journalist. At the beginning of an interview that was largely about politics, Alberta told how his father became a follower of Jesus and later served as a pastor in […]

Facts About Heaven

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Birth and death are two of the most profound “holy ground” moments of life. When Toni gave birth to our three children, I was amazed at the athletic effort needed to deliver a child. I was completely awed by the creative power of God to bring forth life. I have also […]

A Battle on Two Fronts

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Paul fought a battle to be able to accurately proclaim the message of the good news on two fronts. The fledgling church was surrounded by thousands of people who worshiped pagan gods. Christians and Jews were tolerated by Roman society, but they were certainly not appreciated. Paul also had to contend […]

Freedom in the Spirit

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Today’s article will focus on what God has done for through the person and work of the Holy Spirit. The Experience of the Holy Spirit We often speak of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If we were to use precise language, we would phrase it like this: “A personal […]

Join the Parade

Reading Time: 6 Minutes The Roman army was the most effective fighting force of its time. Soldiers were disciplined and trained like no other opposing army. They had the best weapons and tactics of war. Only a very few countries were able to resist their power. When they were victorious in a campaign, they returned […]

Forgiveness and Resentment

Reading Time: 6 Minutes It is one thing to read Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians from the distance of 2000 years. It would be a completely different matter to have it read in church and know that Paul has named you as the number one offender of God’s standards. When the church has to […]

God’s Promises are Always “Yes”

Reading Time: 5 Minutes In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5.37). The devil and people who follow him are fast talkers. As the father of lies (John 8.44), the devil does not stand for […]

How God Uses Hard Times

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Whether we know it or not, God’s greatest gift to us is the ability to have a personal friendship-relationship with him. To use the words of Dallas Willard, the most blessed life is when we live a Jesus-kind-of-life. If you picture a triangle, each side represents a component that God will […]

2 Corinthians 1 – Comfort When Afflicted

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Paul’s prayer began his second letter to the Corinthians. Prayers at the beginning of Paul’s letters generally reveal the theme of the entire letter. What do you do when you have to sternly correct someone with whom you still want to work? That was Paul’s situation in Corinth. In the first […]

What is Life After Life-After-Death?

Reading Time: 6 Minutes The phrase “life after life-after-death” originated with N. T. Wright, a highly acclaimed British scholar. It helped me understand some of what the Bible teaches about life after death. Life After Death Let’s begin with what the Bible teaches about life after death. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. […]

What About The Resurrection?

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Why would a follower of Jesus Christ teach other people that there is no resurrection from the dead? I obviously don’t have all of the answers to that question, but here are a few thoughts that stem from Paul’s problem in Corinth. (1) People whose thinking is more controlled by prevailing […]

God’s Good News Message

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Not long ago, someone asked me to write a brief outline of how I became a preacher. What happened was simple, but entirely life-changing. First, I heard the good news message of what Jesus did for the entire world. Second, I placed my faith in what Jesus did, not only for […]

Speaking in Tongues and Prophecy

Reading Time: 6 Minutes What should we know about spiritual gifts? Paul summarized the central point of chapters 12-14, “Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14.1). To make the choice to give love and only love to everyone was the goal of one of my […]

1 Corinthians 13 – The Love Chapter

Reading Time: 7 Minutes This chapter is one of the most beautiful Scripture passages in the Bible. I hope that a brief treatment of how 1 Corinthians 13 fits into the entire message of the letter will increase your appreciation of this famous passage. Background 1 Corinthians 13 is part of a larger message that […]

1 Corinthians 12 – Honored Versus Humiliated

Reading Time: 6 Minutes The Roman Empire had an elaborate honor roll that classified people into either “honored” or “humiliated” status. They actually had two Latin words that were translated “honored” for some and “humiliated” for others. Some people were born into the “honored” class and others received status from the military or money. The […]

Spiritual Gifts And Spiritual Pride

Reading Time: 6 Minutes Paul did not intend 1 Corinthians 12 to be used as a class to help people discover their spiritual gift. There is value in having an idea about what our spiritual gift or gifts may be, but that is not the primary message from Paul. As you can expect, Paul’s message […]