Author Archives: John Avery

About John Avery

I am a Bible teacher and author of The Name Quest (Explore the names of God to grow in faith and get to know Him better). I write these Bible devotions in the hope that they will foster spiritual maturity and help people to grow in faith. I live in Oregon and enjoy hiking and cross country skiing.

Resuscitation or Resurrection?

I guess that most of us, when we talk about resurrection life, mean resuscitation. Let’s face it; we tend to love our lives, with their relationships, dreams, hopes, possessions, health, and so many other facets that give them quality. When part of us dies we want it back—exactly as it was. We have little or […]

The Synagogue Official

Chemical tests are helpful but the results are sometimes unwelcome. Sodium rhodizonate is an example. When it is applied to something containing lead, like older paints, it turns red—helpful to know, because it warns of poison, but potentially expensive to fix. There’s a reaction when Jesus and religion make contact too. It happened with one […]

Possessing Canaan

Twelve men had returned from an inspection of their new home in the hill country of Canaan. It was time to present their report to the extended family and sell the idea of possessing Canaan quickly. However, the men were divided. Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go […]

Swimming in the Purposes of God

Large rivers flow smooth; it is hard to discern the current. The same can be said of the purposes of God. But when we find His current, life takes on a meaning and direction it never had. That was true for the disciples after Jesus rose and sent His Spirit. One example is when Peter […]


The walls lining the road to hell are plastered with Satan’s favorite religious posters and memes. They announce half-truths. One reads, “God loves you just as you are.” In fact, love is bigger than acceptance. Perhaps the most toxic inhibitor of spiritual growth is the idea that God accepts us as we are. It is […]

Reflections of a Fisher of Men

What plans we had when we were younger! We worked all hours on the lake. We saved every spare denarius hoping to buy our next boat. What dreams! A small fleet; dominating the Galilean fishing business; building nice houses; acquiring land for animals, olives and vineyards; enough servants to semi-retire. It all changed that day […]

The Ventriloquist’s Puppet

Spiritual growth goals can become idols. When I long for God to re-order my life to be more fruitful there is a danger that I unconsciously imagine Him saying what I want Him to say. I act like a child on a trail, running ahead of its parent. “Look at this view.” “What pretty flowers!” […]


In times of flourishing conspiracy theories many people are misled and accuse each other of the same foolishness. Jesus began His prophecy about the end times with a warning, “See to it that no one misleads you.” (Matt. 24:4; Mark 13:5; Luke 21:8) So, it’s important to consider why we choose the leaders that we […]


I’m told there is a sign on a dirt road in the Australian outback, “Choose your rut carefully, you will be in it for the next fifty miles.” We get confused about our choices. Some are inconsequential but we bite nails and lose hair over them. Others matter far more but we shrug, and act […]

Encounters with Women

Before you read this, do a little exercise for yourself. Think about the life and ministry of Jesus as we know it from the Gospels. Of course, He spent most time with His family and His disciples. But beyond them, what were the most intimate encounters that Jesus had (based on subject matter, time spent, […]