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.

Wall Repairers (Just A Minute #134)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord. . . . After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. (Nehemiah 3:5, 20)

Nehemiah had recently arrived in Jerusalem from Persia, with a burden on his heart and a building permit in his hand. One night when most were asleep, he toured the ground where 140 years earlier the majestic walls of Zion had been. What he saw confirmed the awful report his brother Hananiah had brought to him at the Shushan palace. The situation in the city was pathetic.

So, the next day he gathered the discouraged leaders and laid out his ambitious plan, backed up with that royal permission: Let's rebuild the walls!

Read more: Wall Repairers (Just A Minute #134)

Names For Life (Just A Minute #133)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego. (Daniel 1:7)

There are many important child naming scenes recorded in the Bible. Esau and Jacob, Benjamin, Moses, Samuel, Ichabod, and John the Baptist are a few. Each of these received special attention in the first minutes of their lives, as their fathers or mothers wrestled with choosing just the right name.

No doubt the parents of Daniel and his three friends all had a story to tell.

But they could never have foreseen the dramatic events that would swell their choices with providential significance. That the parents deeply loved and revered God is obvious: Daniel meant "God is judge". Hananiah meant "The Lord is Gracious". Mishael meant "Who is like God?". Azariah meant "The Lord is my Helper". It is quite likely that among the first spiritual lessons the boys received were the doctrines of God linked to their names.

Read more: Names For Life (Just A Minute #133)

Dashed Hopes (Just A Minute #132)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, . . . and Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, . . . came in the press behind, and touched his garment. (Mark 5:22-27)

As serious a trial as the situation was with his daughter’s health, Jairus was about to be tested even more deeply.

At first it would seem that the deathly state of his little princess was in itself the most pressing matter. She was, as the text points out, breathing her last. This drove the distraught father out of the house, even at such a critical moment. And though he was a man of position and wealth, this did not keep him from taking extreme measures. There, in the street, in view of everyone, this ruler of the synagogue fell before Jesus' feet and begged for his attention.

Out the window went any air of superiority he might have cultivated as an important leader in the community. While normally he might have maintained some degree of public dignity, not today. Not this time.

His daughter was dying.

Read more: Dashed Hopes (Just A Minute #132)

The First Obedience (Just A Minute #131)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. . . .
And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. (Gen 1:3 & Mat 9:9)

The first to obey God's voice in the Bible was light . . . or was it nothing?! The actual facts are that God spoke to nothing and told light to exist. Nothing responded, so to speak, and there was light.

Sure, that sounds sort of odd, but by focusing on the creation this way, we are reminded of a very important Biblical truth. God is the One who both speaks and empowers. He is the ultimate reason for every good thing that is ever created or happens. When the Lord spoke to the deaf and dumb void, reality sprung into being.

Read more: The First Obedience (Just A Minute #131)

David's Footstool (Just A Minute #130)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building: (1 Chronicles 28:2)

Somehow a glorious temple and a footstool don’t seem to have much in common.

But King David applied this humble image to one of the most magnificent and expensive buildings ever built. A simple calculation of the man hours involved in erecting the Temple, plus the quality of the supplies used and the methods employed in its construction, will quickly reveal a staggering cost.

A footstool just isn’t what most of us would have compared it to. Whether made of common wood or ornately decorated with gold and exotic hardwoods, it was still a lowly piece of furniture. Whether stepped on by a Jewish carpenter to reach some nails or placed under the feet of Pharoah to heighten his sense of authority, a stool was a stool.

Read more: David's Footstool (Just A Minute #130)