Joe Duke
Stages of Growth

Stages of Growth

While salvation is instantaneous, spiritual maturity involves a process. It’s one filled with twists and turns and failures and successes. And each stage of our growth requires an awareness of whether we’re a spiritual baby, a young person in the faith or a mature...

Time to Grow Up

Time to Grow Up

Change is part of life. And we can change for good or change for the not-so-good. In the language of the Bible, changing for good is called growth. It’s normal for living things to grow—under one condition—if they’re nourished. In other words, growth doesn’t happen...

God Gave

God Gave

We’ve just come through a time of gift-giving and joy. Of course, the most significant gift of all was God’s gift of Jesus to the world. We find this profound truth simply stated in what might be the most famous of all Bible verses: John 3:16. Maybe this verse is so...

Jesus, The Hope of the World

Jesus, The Hope of the World

Hope. It’s so easy to lose but so generously available. We need hope. In a world where uncertainty and disillusionment are mixed into the air we breathe, we need a fresh perspective. For centuries people hoped for the coming Messiah—Jesus, the Savior of the world. He...

Cradle to Cross

Cradle to Cross

God’s plan for humanity is grand in scope and scale! It also seems at least mildly absurd. The all-powerful God of all creation enters the world as a helpless baby. And his final days on earth are spent in humiliation and suffering—becoming sin for a sinful human...

Remember Who You Are

Remember Who You Are

Compromise is everywhere. It’s a potential pitfall even for the most well-intentioned Christian. No wonder Paul reminds the Colossians to remember who they are in Christ. Affirming the life-changing benefits of a relationship with Jesus means we’re alert to even...

Moving Toward Maturity

Moving Toward Maturity

Through Jesus, all things are reconciled to God. That doesn’t mean that all will be saved but that all are now savable. A believer who continually pursues Christ will grow and move toward maturity in Him. But some believers who ignore their need to mature will remain...

Jesus is the Point

Jesus is the Point

It all points to Jesus. But for centuries Jesus has been a flashpoint for controversy. Some recognize Him for who He is while others reject Him outright. No single book of the Bible elevates and explains the person of Jesus quite like the Book of Colossians. And in...

To the Church Called LifePoint

To the Church Called LifePoint

It’s one thing for you to evaluate your own spiritual progress. It’s another thing altogether to have Jesus give His critique of how you’re doing. Sometimes the truth hurts. If Jesus were to write a letter to you about what He thinks of your devotion to Him, what...

Count Me In

Count Me In

It shouldn’t surprise us that through the centuries, superstitions arise and thrive even among well-meaning church people. Most of these superstitions are based on a desire for a kind of good luck charm in a life filled with uncertainty and hardship. Even the practice...

A Brand New Day

A Brand New Day

While God never changes in His nature, He does change the way He works with human beings. Jesus announced a significant change when He held up a cup and identified it with His blood that would establish a new covenant. After being raised from the dead, Jesus told His...

The Meal of the Movement

The Meal of the Movement

The church can be described as a body, a family, an army. It’s a movement of influence—one that seeks to bring glory to God and point people toward the Savior. On the night Jesus was betrayed and arrested, He initiated the movement with a meal. He chose food and drink...

The Power of Vulnerability

The Power of Vulnerability

It might seem natural to equate spiritual health with an absence of weakness and vulnerability. Maybe it’s exactly the opposite. Sometimes power and strength are found where we least expect them. Could it be that running from weakness is actually a weakness? We become...

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...