Joe Duke
Freedom From the Past

Freedom From the Past

Our past marks us. Those experiences go into making us the people we are. But some of those experiences we would rather forget. Guilt, shame, and regret can carve deep gashes in our souls—permanent reminders of another life we would prefer to leave behind. But God...

Knowing Yourself and Your God

Knowing Yourself and Your God

Getting to know God ranks high on the list of life’s most meaningful quests. God has revealed Himself to us. He is knowable. And we can grow to know Him in deeper and deeper ways. But our knowledge of God is always connected to the knowledge of ourselves. As we get to...

From the Inside Out

From the Inside Out

To be spiritually healthy is to be thriving in your desire to pursue Jesus and walking in the strength of the Holy Spirit. But spiritual health is tricky. We might be so obsessed with looking good outwardly that we fail to pay attention to what’s going on inside us....

Encore: Becoming Unoffendable

Encore: Becoming Unoffendable

Seems like there’s plenty to be upset about in our world. We can even get personally offended by the actions and comments of others around us. Here’s a radical, relational idea: What if you can become unoffendable? That’s right—unoffendable. It’s rare but possible....

Discovering and Doing the Will of God

Discovering and Doing the Will of God

Finding the will of God is both a mystery and an adventure. Certainly, we would be short-sighted if we didn’t curiously and diligently pursue the path God wants us to walk. If Jesus is our Lord, it makes sense for us to do what He wants us to do. Can we know what He...

Aware of the Dangers

Aware of the Dangers

Temptation is real. And so is the danger of making sinful choices that displease the Lord of our lives. Fortunately for our sakes, others before us have made unfortunate choices that we can learn from. While the Bible is filled with examples of success, it is just as...

The New You

The New You

If we grudgingly view Christ’s lordship in our lives as a threat to our freedom, we don’t understand the real freedom we’ve been given through Him. Jesus has come to make us new, literally! Through the new birth, we’ve been given a new nature and the cord to sin and...

Bought with a Price

Bought with a Price

No one makes Christ Lord; He is Lord. So, it goes without saying that His lordship extends over the life of every person. Whether or not we acknowledge His lordship is another matter altogether. The price paid for the sins of all was a high price indeed—the death of...

Jesus, the Head of the Church

Jesus, the Head of the Church

Every person in every church and every pastor should never forget a singular, irreplaceable truth: Jesus is the head of the church. Jesus is first in everything. Get that priority confused and you invite the disintegration of what’s most important usually replaced by...

Raised to Life

Raised to Life

No other event is more central to our finding and following Jesus than His resurrection. Without it, the Christian faith is just wishful thinking. But if Christ is raised from the dead, that changes everything. Because Jesus lives so can you! You can be raised to a...

Running From God

Running From God

You may not be a prophet like Jonah, but there are times when God wants you to do something you should not ignore. You can respond in obedience. Or you can run. Running from God is never a very good option. You may not get swallowed by a giant fish, but you will be...

Where are you, God?

Where are you, God?

Ever felt like God was far away, uninterested, or worse yet, that He had abandoned you? You’re not alone. In Psalm 13, David expresses the raw emotion of wondering where God is when he needs Him the most. Far from being unspiritual, cries of lament create a dialogue...

You Are Above All

You Are Above All

God invites us to authentically express what we’re feeling when we ponder life’s realities. Many of these expressions are recorded for us in the Psalms—the songbook of the Bible. Psalm 8 is a Psalm of praise. In it, David encourages us to instinctively look up and...

Giving Matters

Giving Matters

Money can activate either greed or generosity within us. When God urges us to share our financial resources for the good of others, He doesn’t do so by appealing to guilt or obligation. God tells us that we can invest in things that really matter by sharing the money...

Money Matters

Money Matters

Money is strange. You need it to live, yet it can squeeze the life right out of you. We shouldn’t find it surprising that God has a lot to say about money and our possessions. Far from being an off-limits conversation even in the church, your view of money reveals...

Seeing the Light

Seeing the Light

With photography, as an illustration, discover the power of seeing the light. God reminds us that “light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.” Discover how you can see the light in your own life. Pick up a camera if you’re so inclined, but,...

Hidden for All to See

Hidden for All to See

The arrival of God to earth could have been the most extravagant welcome ever seen—an all-out effort for an over-the-top celebration. But it didn’t happen that way. A few private announcements confirmed the arrival of Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah. But the Savior’s...

Make Room for Jesus

Make Room for Jesus

The story of that very first Christmas includes chilling words for any family trying to deliver a baby: “There’s no room for you.” Truth is, that’s not the last time that sentiment would be spoken in Jesus’ direction. Life wants to crowd out Jesus. The pace. The...

The Final Victory

The Final Victory

Jesus is distinct from any other political leader. He is God in the flesh. He is a coming King. He will bring earthly powers into account. He will win the final victory. It’s not unusual these days to hear people ask, “Is this the end times.” Maybe. God tells us what...

Vote for Jesus

Vote for Jesus

It seems clear that Jesus wants to shape culture. To ultimately transform the conscience and morality of a people. His disciples anticipated that Jesus was about to establish a political machine capable of toppling the Roman Empire. But that’s not what Jesus did. The...

When You Find and Follow Jesus

When You Find and Follow Jesus

Becoming a Christian and living as one are two different things. God refers to one as justification and the other as sanctification. We might also understand these two distinctions as finding Jesus and following Jesus. Blur this distinction between salvation and...