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Just a Minute

Just a Minute is a collection of brief but meaningful meditations on Scripture. BJU Press has published a book by the same name with 96 of these devotional articles. Each chapter focuses on a Scripture verse or two, blending key facts about context with meditations on the truth of the passage. Find out how taking just a minute each day can change your life!
If you are interested, you can purchase Just A Minute, containing the first 96 printed articles.

The Second Surprise (Just A Minute #126)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying, Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name;Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:1-3)

In the previous chapter Jeremiah had received his first surprise.

As a prisoner in Zedekiah’s courtyard, God had interrupted his puzzled thoughts. Unsure about exactly how the Babylonian siege would play out, and perhaps wondering about his own safety, he was probably asking the Lord for direction. Whatever his request, most likely he had not expected the message he got.

God told him to buy property from a relative who was about to visit him!

Now that was really strange.

Read more: The Second Surprise (Just A Minute #126)

Witnesses! (Just A Minute #125)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. . . . But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Isaiah 43:10/Acts 1:8)

How beautifully the Holy Spirit weaves His themes in and out of Scripture, causing them to emerge in different centuries of the sacred story, each time according to His wise purpose.

The wording of Isaiah’s verse is so close to that of Acts 1:8 that there can be little question about their being close spiritual cousins. The exact details are different but the living thrust of both passages is a divine mission for every true believer in God.

We are to be His witnesses.

Read more: Witnesses! (Just A Minute #125)

Ugly Memories (Just A Minute #124)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:75)

You might find part of the following reading a bit unpleasant; hopefully, it will also be healthy.

Think about what you consider to be the weakest, lowest, most humiliating spiritual moment of your life. It was likely a private one, and although it might have included a physical and public expression, the real source of the sin was in your mind. If today you are walking with the Lord, the mere recollection of the terrible facts probably causes you to blush.

Now imagine that God decided to publish the dirty details of that awful moment in four global periodicals. Oh yes, He also chose the writers. They were four of your closest friends, and each one consulted you before the publication went out, just to make sure they had all the facts straight.

Read more: Ugly Memories (Just A Minute #124)

An Almighty Lesson (Just A Minute #123)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

(1)And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; . . .
(2)And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved. . . .
(3)Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: (Genesis 35:11; 43:14; 49:25)

These three “Almighty” references stand out as verbal mileposts along the rocky road that made up Jacob’s life. The first was Jehovah’s revelation of His own omnipotence, followed by a promise. The second was spoken by Jacob many years later. It was the fatalistic cry of a man who remembered what to believe about God, but had never really brought himself to bow to it in humble submission. At this moment, after having made such a mess of his life, he had little hope of experiencing God’s joy ever again.

But what about the third verse?!

Read more: An Almighty Lesson (Just A Minute #123)

Two Pagan Birthdays (Just A Minute #122)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. . . . But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. (Genesis 40:20 & Matthew 14:6)

Pharoah and Herod are the only two men whose birthdays are recorded in the Bible. The unusual coincidences connected with their special days actually make a strong case against them being coincidences at all.

Notice that both kings are pagan and have in their jails two very godly man—Joseph and John the Baptist. One story takes place in the Old Testament, the other in the New. The two faithful believers associated with these rulers were unjustly thrown in prison and neither had much hope for a fair trial. From all human perspectives, they are mere pawns at the mercy of an unsaved king’s whim.

Read more: Two Pagan Birthdays (Just A Minute #122)