Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

Pastor John R. Harvey D.D.

Recent Entries

  • The Dangers of Envy

    Have you ever wondered what causes envy? On the surface, it may seem like simply a reaction that occurs when we want something another person has. But it actually goes much deeper than this: The real root is resentment that God hasn’t provided for us what He has given someone else.   Je...
  • Jealousy a Path to Destruction

    Jealousy is an emotion of displeasure over someone else’s good fortune. Constantly comparing ourselves to others leads to discontent, resentment, and bitterness. If these negative emotions remain unchecked, they can poison our relationships. What’s more, they can eventually flare into su...
  • God is Always Working

    The Lord is a God of action. Even when He rested after six days of creation, it wasn’t because He was tired and needed to recuperate—His creative activity may have stopped, but He never ceased working. And throughout history He has always been intimately involved in individual lives with...
  • How God Shapes Us

    God’s kindness is demonstrated by the fact that He doesn’t leave us in the condition we were in before salvation. Throughout our life, the Lord uses certain tools to shape us into the image of His Son.   God’s Word. We grow in Christ when we spend time reading the Bible, bec...
  • Facing Challenges

    A few thousand years ago, the young shepherd David stepped forward to fight Goliath. We often speak of this story as a reminder of the young man’s bravery, even when the odds were against him. But David’s bravery—and success—came from His deep faith in God. (See 1 Samuel 17)....
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  • The Resurrection to Come

    Scripture uses beautiful imagery to describe the return of Christ. Today’s passage, for example, says at the Lord’s shout and the sounding of a trumpet, the “dead in Christ” will emerge from their resting places and soar into the sky (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Close behind them ...
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  • The Good News

    The Bible teaches that death is only the beginning for believers. God has prepared an eternal home for us, and the condition for entry is clear: Believe that Jesus died for your sins, and receive His forgiveness. Some people consider this narrow-minded and unfair. But God set up that condition for a...
  • Having Focus on God

    Abiding in God’s will requires a steady, trust-filled focus upon Him. The life of Joseph is a good example.   Joseph’s brothers hated him so much that they sold him to a caravan on its way to Egypt. There, he became the slave of Potiphar, captain of Pharaoh’s guard. Despite ...
  • Trust God in Troubling Times

    If you listen to the news, no doubt you’ve heard scary stories of political upheaval, global threats, and natural or man-made catastrophes. Although people around you may be fearful and stressed, there is no reason a child of God should feel this way. For Christians, the Lord is a refuge and v...
  • Passionate Obedience

    Yesterday, we studied passionate obedience and how it develops over time. The apostles reached the pinnacle of submission. Without being compelled by fear or the hope of reward, they faced shame, pain, and death. Why? Because they loved Christ too much to stay quiet.   People who receive salv...
  • A Passion to Obey

    A passion to obey God doesn’t come naturally. Salvation may spark love and a desire to please Him, but a passionate fire is built slowly from the timbers of spiritual knowledge, faith, and devotion.   Obedience usually begins with a fear of the consequences of disobeying. That is, newer...
  • Trust in the Lord

    In looking back at your Christian journey so far, when did you experience the most spiritual growth? For many of us, it was during seasons of great discomfort. Jesus tells us we will encounter difficulties in the world John 16:33, but that doesn’t mean we should just go about our life with res...
  • Bigger God, Smaller Problems

    No one enjoys illness, conflicts, or difficulties. Such stressors tend to demand attention and drain energy, narrowing our focus until our troubles become larger and all else is pushed to the side. What we need at such times is a glimpse of the greatness and majesty of the Lord. Looking at Him helps...
  • When We Don’t Understand

    Starting at a very early age, children will repeatedly ask their parents the question Why? And this desire for reasons isn’t something we outgrow. As adults, especially during dark times when we cannot figure out what the Lord is doing, we tend to think, If I could just know why, then it would...
  • The Power of Consistency

    We live in a noncommittal world, where perseverance is all too rare. If a job is difficult or boring, people often think, Why not find another one? Or when a marriage becomes unhappy, many wonder, Should I be with someone else?   Sadly, this mindset is also found among believers. At the first...
  • The Influence of Our Convictions

    Although our circles of influence vary in size, we all have the power to affect people at home, in church, or in the world. The fact is, our life is always on display, whether we’re aware of it or not. Daniel didn’t set out to impress others, but his convictions had an effect on everyone...
  • A Generous Giver

    Have you ever had the chance to visit Israel? There is a stark contrast between the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. The banks of the Jordan are surrounded by trees and greenery, but very little grows in the vicinity of the Dead Sea because there’s no outlet—water can only evaporate. This ...
  • The Bible on Financial Matters

    When God created the heavens and earth, He carried out His plan with purpose. Nothing was haphazard, late, or uncertain. The same could be said regarding His plans for each of His children.   Every aspect of our life, including our finances, is under His watchful eye and providential care. B...
  • In Times of Frustration

    All too often, our frustrations about life impact our ability to submit to God and be intimately connected with Him. Trusting our Father requires humility—we must remember He alone knows all. But we also need to keep in mind that He loves us more than anyone can grasp.   When we stay fo...
  • Why We Chose The Wrong Path?

    Have their been times in your life that you have felt that you were going in the wrong direction? Maybe, it’s been your circle of friends, co-worker’s, or a relationship that has put you on a path that you don’t quite feel comfortable with. Is there a pull on your life; you’r...
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  • Grandchildren & God...

    Being a parent is an awesome responsibility like no other. It is important to be a good role model, mentor, teacher and spiritual leader. But have you ever considered, what role a grandparent can play in leading their grandchildren to Christ?   The first thing you need to do is get down on y...
  • God Sees the Big Picture...

    As followers of Christ, we must be careful not to confuse God’s goodness with our own expectations of Him. Many people of faith feel that accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior will make their lives better and easier. But when adversity strikes and it will, they are somehow disappointed. We ra...
  • Keep your eyes on God

    How do you respond in times of crisis? If you’re like most people, it’s probable that your attention is immediately focused on the situation rather than on God. But by forgetting the Lord and relying on your own resources to solve the problem, you’ll miss the opportunity for trust ...
  • What We are Called to Do

    We’ve been living in difficult times lately, and the more tumultuous life becomes, the easier it is to be self-centered. Even though the future is uncertain, we can’t afford to let ourselves be consumed with fear and anxiety regarding how we might be affected.   God wants us to g...
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  • The Power of the Church Family

    Although pastors are called to care for the needs of people in the church, this duty is not theirs alone. And it has nothing to do with the size of the pastoral staff, the entire congregation is to be involved in caring for each other.   Every Christian is equipped to serve other believers. F...
  • Support One Another in Times of Need

    Have you ever felt alone or uncertain? At times, all of us struggle under the weight of a difficult situations. It might be a sin we cannot overcome, a trial that just doesn’t let up, or a need that remains unmet. However, there’s no need to struggle through it alone. We have the support...
  • What You Do Matters to God...

    Did you know, what you do matters to God? No matter the hardship, difficulty or circumstance, the Lord cares about you and is always there to guide you, support you and care for you if you let Him. But what about our responsibilities in all this? Do we hold ourselves accountable to Almighty God? Do ...
  • Understanding the Unbeliever

    Have you ever been confronted for your faith? Harsh persecution for Christians isn’t something most of us have been subjected to here in the United States. Yes, at times we may have felt rejected, or treated unfairly, but for the most part, we haven’t been challenged with physical suffer...
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  • Made in His Likeness

    Did you know, that each of us is made in the likeness of Almighty God? The spiritual creator of all things loved us so much, He made us a reflection of Him. What an awesome gift to know that we were thought of so highly by our Lord that our very appearance constitutes a direct link to God’s et...
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  • Surrendering Your Life to God

    If I asked you, “Have you surrendered your life to God?” What would you say? Presumably, if He is your Savior and Lord, then this should be your wholehearted response. “Yes. I know that I am saved, baptized in Christ, my sin debt paid and my name is written in the Lamb’s Book...
  • The Enemy of All Mankind

    Many people who have trusted Jesus as their Savior have suffered repeated defeat throughout their lives simply because they don’t realize they have a spiritual enemy. It’s a deliberate, willful assault by Satan upon an individual for the purpose of doing harm in the body, mind and s...
  • Having the Courage to Wait

    Let’s face it. no one in our culture likes to wait. We are in an instant gratification society where at a touch of a button, we expect things to happen. Right? Wrong! Just because technology has changed the way we look at the world around us, doesn’t mean that Almighty God has changed th...
  • Controlling Your Fears

    What do you do when your fears seem to be winning the day? What if you pray and God still hasn’t come through for you? If you are like most people, you begin to lose hope, and you wonder why you bothered to pray in the first place. Deep in the soil of your heart, little seeds of doubt take roo...
  • The Spirt of God

    The Holy Spirit who lives inside you will enable you if it is God’s will that you should live a different life than the one that you are currently living. He has the transformative power if you believe and have faith that He alone will do so.   Until then, I always thought that if I wo...
  • God is Works In Us If We Let Him

    Do you ever find yourself becoming discouraged because of your struggle with sin? Even though we want to walk obediently before the Lord, we often find ourselves thinking sinful thoughts, adopting worldly attitudes, speaking rashly, and acting in ways that are anything but Christian like.   ...
  • Working Together As One

    Many years ago, as a firefighter, I worked very closely with my squad. We would practice techniques that helped to save lives and ultimately would build trust with one another. It is only through mutual submission and collaboration, that we were able to attain something greater than we ever could al...
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  • When Churches Go Wrong?

    Since the beginning of church history, believers have been in a battle for the truth. That’s why, in today’s reading, Paul admonished Timothy to be faithful, not only in preaching God’s Word but also in refuting false doctrines. Both types of instruction are necessary for the healt...
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  • What's Heaven All About?

    Someone asked me once, "What's Heaven All About?" I replied; "Imagine a place designed for you by someone who loved you so much He gave His Son to die for you?" The truth is, we are limited in our knowledge of the details about Heaven. God has purposely withheld some things from us. But He gives us ...
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  • God’s Word

    The Bible is an amazing book because it is God’s words given to mankind in written form. Yet many people misinterpret it. Instead of diligently studying Scripture to discover what God means and how He wants us to live, some people search the Bible to find passages to support their preconceived...
  • Have You Been Called?

    Do you feel God has called you into ministry? Are you unsure if he has, but you have a desire to share God’s love with others and feel using the internet to do that is a good fit for you? I suggest that you pray on it and ask God if this is your purpose? Let Him lead you, as you walk the path ...
  • The Believer’s Calling

    We all have a story. Oftentimes the more we surrender to God, the more we see His hand in our life. And the more we watch Him work, the more we want to share with others what He has done.   The same was true of the disciples, who gathered around Jesus before His ascension. They heard His com...
  • Having Vision to See God’s Will

    Before ascending to heaven, Jesus told His followers to tell all nations about Him. However, many of us aren’t working to fulfill this Great Commission—at least not fervently and purposefully. What might be holding us back?   Sometimes self-preserving barriers, such as fear, are ...
  • What Does it Mean to Be a Christian?

    Today’s verse from Romans 15 is Paul’s concise description of how God can transform hearts and attitudes when people trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Instead of being filled with fear, anxiety, frustration, and stress, they can now—empowered by the Holy Spirit—be cha...
  • Shepherd’s Care for There Sheep

    What words come to mind when you think about a valley? The first part of Psalm 23 paints a picture of green pastures and abundant waters. It’s a restful, sheltered, and restorative place where every need is met and God’s care is evident. Some valleys, however, are inhospitable passages w...
  • Serve One Another

    In his letter to the Galatians, Paul says that freedom is an opportunity to serve one another through love (Gal. 5:13). Jesus is our example of how to minister in this way: He emptied Himself and took the form of a human and a bondservant (Phil. 2:7). And “He loved [believers] to the end&rdquo...
  • A Time for Healing and Fellowship

    Long before Covid-19, social media and children’s sports schedules, the author of Hebrews wrote: “let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” Hebrews 10:25.  The Hebrews...
  • Being Young a Heart

    Our bodies may age, but we get old only if we choose to do so—attitude is what makes the difference. Here are some suggestions for staying young your whole life. And since I’m well over 50, you can be sure I’ve tested them all! First, we need to keep learning. Though learning takes effort, it all...
  • Giving Gratitude to God

    Most of us know, cultivating a grateful heart is an integral component of showing God that we are grateful for His blessings. While practicing daily thankfulness may seem like another chore to some, I hope to convince you that the power of gratitude far outweighs the few minutes it takes pract...
  • Why Unforgiveness Hurts

    It can be difficult to let go of resentment towards those who have hurt us. But that is exactly what God asks us to do—not only for their good but also for our own. Unforgiveness causes stress and unhappiness that can creep into our relationships with co-workers, friends, and family. But when ...
  • Mental Illness and Spiritual Health

    Every one of us probably knows someone that struggles with mental illness or chronic depression. Sixty million Americans, that’s one in five adults, will experience a mental illness in the coming year. That means as a pastoral community of faith, every one of us knows someone who is ...
  • Bringing Value to Others

    What does it mean to add value to others? It means to be intentional about serving others. It’s all about leaving people better than they were when you found them. It’s about enriching and enhancing the quality of life for individuals and families.   We are here to be of service ...
  • God Is Able and Willing

    Unfortunately, there are times when, no matter how hard we try or how talented we may be, we fail. How are we to succeed when the odds are against us? For believers in Christ Jesus, the answer is to live with the knowledge that God works despite our weaknesses.   In Genesis, Sarah doubted wh...
  • Be The Light

    What does it mean “To be the Light?” In the Gospel of John, Jesus is called “the true light, which gives light to everyone” (John 1:9). Throughout the New Testament, the followers of Jesus are called to be lights in the darkness. So, what does it mean to shine?  We...
  • The Great Deception?

    When people speak of the “great deception,” they refer to 2 Thessalonians 2:11, which predicts that God will, in an end-times judgment, send “a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.” This great deception is associated with the satanic work of the Antichrist and...
  • How Do We Reinforcing Our Faith?

    Though we’ve considered some ways to identify false teachers, it’s not possible to avoid this destructive influence completely. The best defense is a foundation of faith that enables us to stand firm against the subversive pull of the world.   So how can we build a stronger faith...
  • False Teachers

    Unsound teaching can be a danger in our Christian walk. Let’s learn to spot those who might lead us in the wrong direction.   False teachers usually ...   • Mock truth. That is, they attack or attempt to discredit the Word of God or the church. When presented in a passionate...
  • A Culture of Insanity

    One definition of the word insanity is to continue to repeat the same behavior repeatedly expecting a different result. How many of us could say we did something insane this week? This week we are going to try something new, I would like to teach on the Old Testament at least once...
  • Finding Strength in Weakness

    Great strength is no guarantee of protection from temptation. Although Samson had God-given power, he was defeated by a personal weakness. In the same way, we as Christians have the omnipotent Holy Spirit to enable us to live righteously. But as broken beings, we’re bound to make mistakes along the ...
  • Getting to Back to God?

    Getting Back to God? “When you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed” (Jeremiah 29:13). I don’t know where you are today. You may be far away from God. Maybe you haven’t been to church in years...
  • When God Fails You

    When God Fails You We all have a way in which we expect the world to work. When life doesn’t go the way we want, we become frustrated, angry, hurt, and anxious. In the unknown, we turn to God. Sometimes things turn out the way we hoped, but often life just doesn’t run according to our p...
  • God Wants to Bless You

    “The Lord will again take delight in prospering you.” (Deuteronomy 30:9) God does not bless us begrudgingly. There is a kind of eagerness about the beneficence of God. He does not wait for us to come to him. He seeks us out, because it is his pleasure to do us good. God is not waiting f...
  • Sunday Reflection: The Lord Guides Us

    Have you ever encountered a rule that seemed confusing or unnecessary? Often in situations like those, what we lack is context—a deeper understanding. Sometimes the Lord’s wisdom can feel frustrating or confusing, too. But chances are, we simply need more insight and time. That’s w...
  • The Dangers of False Hope

    There are those today without hope, while others, have false hope. Let’s examine how God provides us with true hope and how to discern the differences.   There are those who have No Hope; those who have False Hope; and those who have True Hope. According to God’s Word, there are ...
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  • The Mission of Christ

    If Jesus’ ministry on earth could be summed up in one concise verse, it might be John 6:38: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” Even at a young age, Jesus was conscious of His mission (Luke 2:49). And later when He began His p...
  • Purify Your Heart

    Once we have received Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we are clean in His eyes. But that doesn’t mean we will never sin again (John 13:9-10). As we live in this world, we’ll continue to exhibit some fleshly patterns—at times thinking wrong thoughts, making hurtful comments, having inappropriate...
  • What Does the Bible Say About Unfairness in the Workplace?

    Ever feel like the wrong people always get ahead? The talented, humble, hard workers are often ignored, and those that flatter the boss, or take credit for things they didn’t do, get the promotions, the bonuses, and all the praise. It’s frustrating and can be demoralizing. When faced wit...
  • A Clean Heart

    One of the most misleading pieces of advice you will hear is the recommendation to follow your heart. God says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick” (Jer. 17:9). We all enter life with a inclination toward sin and selfishness, and there is no way we ourselv...
  • A House Divided Can Not Stand

    What does it mean that a house divided cannot stand? There are three accounts in the Gospels in which Jesus states that a kingdom divided against itself is laid waste or a house divided cannot stand (Luke 11:17; Mark 3:25; Matthew 12:25). All three instances of this statement are spoken in response ...
  • The Promise of Eternal Life

    Our culture is obsessed with longevity. While it’s natural to desire many healthy years on earth, we must remind ourselves life doesn’t end with physical death. The bigger issue is eternal destiny. There is only one way to assure that we are destined for life in heaven: We must recognize...
  • The American Story

    Daniel was a pure man. He is one of only a few people in the Bible of whom much is said that nothing negative is said. 3x in this book it is said Daniel was ''dearly loved by God.''Daniel was a prophetic man. He had discernment when it came to interpreting dreams, visions, and prophecies. The book o...
  • What Truly Protects a Nation?

    As you look at the state of our nation today, what do you see? The Bible says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 33:12), but this is not a popular belief in our society. However, it’s the only way our nation can flourish. Further support for this truth is found in ...
  • God’s Message

    Sometimes we hear so much about love in books, songs, and conversations that we begin to lose sight of its spiritual dimensions. Believers must remember that God’s love is of a much higher caliber—it is the starting point of our salvation. If He had not loved us first, we’d be dest...
  • Turning From Discouragement

    Many people view discouragement and disappointment as the same thing, but there’s a slight difference. Disappointment is an emotional response to a failed expectation, whereas discouragement, or despair, usually comes from prolonged disillusionment or continued hardship.   Since we can...
  • What Freedom Is and Isn’t

    Today, we are bombarded by strong messages about freedom and how to obtain it. Whether we’re watching TV, listening to the radio, scrolling through social media, or reading the news, the message is consistent: The heart of freedom in the world is about making our own way, living life on our te...
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  • The Believer’s Repentance

    Do you know the difference between confession of sin and repentance? We should be careful not to confuse the two because it’s possible to confess without moving into genuine repentance. To confess sin is to agree with God’s assessment of our transgression, but repentance goes further. It involves ta...
  • Love thy Neighbor

    What it Really Means to Love Thy Neighbor? To do most things in life there is a prerequisite. Or, should we say, a recommended prerequisite? Let’s say you want to bake a pie. Unless you’ve honed your baking skills (a prerequisite), you may want to Google some directions, right? Of course, then yo...
  • The Value of Repentance

    Repentance is a concept that isn’t talked about enough in some churches today. Yet it was a key point in what Jesus preached and something He specifically instructed the church to proclaim everywhere (Matt. 4:17; Luke 24:47). Repentance is prompted by the Holy Spirit: He brings conviction con...
  • Discerning God’s Plan

    Perhaps this has happened to you: While working toward a goal that honestly seems good, you realize getting there will require a choice or action that feels troubling. Anytime that is the case, you can be sure the Lord hasn’t approved the plan, because a godly goal will never force you to violate yo...
  • Self-Reliance & God’s Wisdom

    In our individualistic society, we may think we don’t need anyone’s help in making decisions, forming convictions, or distinguishing truth from error. But such self-reliance doesn’t lead to true wisdom and spiritual discernment. To know the Lord’s mind about a matter, we must...
  • In the End, God Will Win

    One of the great themes of our faith is our collective understanding that someday, God and His people will triumph and defeat evil and sin with the Savior our Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul described the living conditions of "the last days" as "very difficult times," in which people "will be cr...
  • New Year With A Fresh Start

    Do you feel trapped in your situation? Maybe you don't like the way your life has been going lately, but can't seem to change it. Perhaps you're struggling with an unhealthy habit that you know you should stop, yet still continue despite your best intentions to change.   No matter how st...
  • Why is the World so Angry?

    It’s not just your imagination. People really are angrier these days and it is a direct result of the absence of God, faith and a solid spiritual foundation. The moment when God was absent from schools, homes, families and churches, temperaments changed and the results are irrefutable. More a...
  • Church Can Make a Difference

    You don’t need to be anything more than a casual observer of American (and Western) culture to know that something significant is happening. The current political division is as bad as it’s been in a long time. No church can pretend we’re not living in an age of heightened tension....
  • Finding Hope in A New Season

    Seasons of adversity, economic or otherwise, do not catch God off guard. He knows everything that is going on in our world. He also knows what lies ahead. He is orchestrating all things to fulfill His eternal, redemptive purposes and to glorify Himself. God cares about how adverse circumstances af...
  • The Gift of Giving

    Whether you celebrated Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other religious holiday this month, any gift without love is no gift. The best gift is that which is given out of love. How big it is or how expensive it is, does not determine the worth of it. It is love, care and concern that make a gift precious....