Start with God

The world started with God. He spoke, and it came into existence. God existed before all else. He is not created. He created all things.

Human beings started with God. Before the world was created, God planned to make man. In fact, everything else was created for man’s benefit.

Salvation started with God. He gave free will to man, so that the choice to love and serve God would be a real one. But man rejected God. God was not content to leave it at that. He had decided to bring man back to himself. Continue reading “Start with God”

Obey the giver of life

Is all life on earth the result of an accident that caused an accident?

Instead of an accident, consider the design of the eye. Scientists believe they understand how vision works by comparing the eye to a camera and how it focuses an image on the retina. But, what happens after the image arrives on the retina? Science doesn’t know how that “message” is transported to the brain and how that message is recreated there. Continue reading “Obey the giver of life”

The years of our lives

A year is a God-given division of time. He made the heavenly lights to mark days, seasons, and years. So people — recognizing God’s sovereignty or not — make plans for a year, such as traveling, doing business, and making money, James 4.13.

As people age, it seems that “the years that lie ahead are few” Job 16.22. Even though we may reach the ripe old age of 80, “the years of our lives pass quickly, like a sigh” Psalm 90.9-10. But Solomon said it doesn’t matter if you lived a thousand years twice, death is still coming for you, Ecclesiastes 6.1-9. Maybe how you live, and what you live for, is what really matters, yes?

The Bible has a recipe for adding years to one’s life: wisdom, Proverbs 4.10; 9.11, and obedience to parents, Deuteronomy 5.16; Ephesians 6.1-3. Diet and exercise are good, but God’s plan for longevity is better. Remember that Hezekiah got 15 years added to his life, but it didn’t turn out so well for him, Isaiah 38.5. Continue reading “The years of our lives”

Better to have never been born

Job expressed the desire to have never been born, so great was his suffering. In his moral confusion, Solomon considered better than both the living and the dead “the one who has not been born and has not seen the evil things that are done on earth” Ecclesiastes 4.3.

The Lord Jesus used this idea, of better to have never been born, for the one who betrayed him. Continue reading “Better to have never been born”

Abundant life is a life sacrificed

What is the abundant life?

Jesus said that he came that people might have an abundant life (John 10:10). The prosperity preachers think that Jesus meant he came so that we would be rich in money and possessions. How truly they misunderstand the son of God!

A study of John 10 shows exactly what Jesus meant. The Lord began by saying he is the door of the sheep (John 10:1, 7). After the sheep were placed in an enclosure for the night, the shepherd put his body across the entrance. Wolves would, therefore, have to take the shepherd’s life before gaining access to the sheep. Continue reading “Abundant life is a life sacrificed”

The opportunities of life and time, and why we don’t pursue them

If God has still allowed me time on this earth, it is because he still has something for me to do. I do not presume to know all his thoughts, but that seems to be a safe statement to make. Others younger and more talented than I have entered eternity. There have been moments when I came close to the exit: car accident, surgery, my own foolishness, perhaps. (You may have your own moments to tell about.) But the Lord rescued me from them all (to borrow Paul’s language, if not his experience, in 2 Tim 3.11). Continue reading “The opportunities of life and time, and why we don’t pursue them”

It would be better if I had never been born

The tradition in the Galloway home on Christmas Eve is to watch two seasonal films before retiring. One of those might be “A Christmas Carol” (either the Muppet or Patrick Stewart version), or it might be “Christmas with the Kranks,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” “The Family Man,” or even “The Grinch.” But each year, without fail, the second film we watch is Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring James Stewart. We began with a very cheap DVD of it and have finally progressed to the colourised version. Continue reading “It would be better if I had never been born”

Sunday morning breakfast in Urbanova

Editor’s note: This was written 2014 November 9 and translated from the Portuguese for Forthright Magazine.

The low clouds moved like a gigantic river, slow and muddy, on this early Sunday morning, about 7 o’clock, promising to dump rain upon us, as I drank coffee and ate a fresh piece of toast in the padaria on the hill behind our house in Urbanova. The clouds reminded me of a memorable boat ride in the middle of the Amazon River, minus the tropical heat and scorching sun of the green jungle. This Sunday morning, it was pleasant to sit at the table outside, taking in the hills being occupied by housing construction. Not so many years ago, I taught my sons to drive on those asphalted streets and empty lots that gave the impression of abandonment. Today, the area is building up faster than the clock of time. Continue reading “Sunday morning breakfast in Urbanova”