The internet is full of memes about how bad the year 2020 has been. It has indeed had its difficulties. Some have died because of a virus that people cannot even agree on the name; others have suffered horribly, including some of our own writers.
In spite of the hardship that the sufferings this year have brought to many, the Lord continues to work among his people and to fulfill his promise to work all things together for good for those who love him, Romans 8.28.
It would be an easy thing to cite a list of concrete events and happenings how the Lord has brought blessing to his people. We’ll leave the comments section open for that, if someone has a contribution he would like to make. Continue reading “Lessons worthy of a virus”
For years I have been challenging my assumptions regarding faith as well as prying into its nature. In my opinion scripture presents a perspective that can differ from what some people might embrace. How does the evidence align with our perceptions? The following bullets link to some of my column’s forays into faith. Continue reading “Articles on faith: abstracts and links”
The forerunner for the Messiah was in prison, punished for presuming to speak truth to power. Though John had pointed others to Jesus, he still had followers. These disciples reported to John all that Jesus had been doing (Luke 7:18), most notably raising a widow’s only son from the dead (Luke 7:11-17).
When John hears of these wondrous miracles, he is dismayed. He sends two disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Luke 7:19). Perhaps John is discouraged because Jesus is doing these wonderful things and John is confined. Perhaps John was anticipating the Messiah’s work to be quickly accomplished.
Remember, this is the one who announced with such conviction, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29). It is he who received confirmation from the Father that Jesus is “the Son of God” (John 1:34). John is no stranger to the nature of the one called Jesus. But prison and possible death likely has a way of causing a person to need reassurance. Continue reading “John’s doubt, our challenge”
Faith describes trust and reliance. It exists when people trust or rely upon someone or something. Trusting in God characterizes godly people.
Yet, faith can become twisted as Moses discovered. But I have gotten ahead of myself.
Continue reading “Twisted Faith”
One of the struggles Christians must face is our relationship with our society and the life that it offers us. Because people do not like anyone to be different or do anything other than what they do, there is always the pressure to conform to the standards of ‘everyone else’. How often have we heard as an explanation as to why someone chose to do something, “But everyone is doing it!” As Paul was writing to the Christians in Corinth, he had to deal with this very problem.
“Do not become partners with those who do not believe, for what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what agreement does Christ have with Beliar? Or what does a believer share in common with an unbeliever? And what mutual agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, ‘I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16 NET) Continue reading “Living different lives”
Some modern Bibles render part of Romans 1:5 as “believe and obey” thus making faith and obedience two separate entities. This would seem to reflect more of the editors’ theological outlook than Paul’s mindset. Yet, we should not be surprised. How many people separate faith from obedient actions?
Paul joined faith and obedience into one unified idea. Yet, do we expect this?
Continue reading “Joining obedience and faith”
What would you do if the Lord called you “Satan”?
It happened to Peter. Why would Jesus deliver such a rebuke to such a dedicated disciple?
“From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised” (Matthew 16:21 ESV). Continue reading “Setting your mind”
When disaster strikes, when sorrow overwhelms, when hardship envelops our lives, the first question we often ask is, “Why?”
We wonder why we or the ones we love have to endure pain. We question if God loves us or if we deserve it. We might even demand an answer from God.
Wanting to know why is understandable. Knowing why promises us satisfaction. But does God always tell us why? Continue reading “From why to what now”
Life is different here today than it was one week ago. I suspect that it is for you as well. Tomorrow, life will be different than today. Trying to imagine what life will be like in a month seems a fool’s errand.
When life moves so swiftly it is easy to become insecure. As the unknown advances, darkness fills people’s hearts. Jesus told his disciples to let their light shine before men. What does that mean during a time like this? How can we shine the light of Jesus into this world of dread? Continue reading “Let your light shine”
There are some bizarre definitions of faith in the world. One of the most prevalent seems to be that one only believes in Jesus, and that automatically confers salvation on that person.
Not even John the Baptist, however, agreed with that prevalent idea. In John 3, in a discussion by John with his disciples, the cousin of Jesus said, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him,” (John 3:36 NASB). Continue reading “Obedient faith or disobedience”