Rebuilt lives

On our last road trip we saw four accidents complete with emergency vehicles, highway patrolmen, and rubberneckers. In at least two of those incidents it appeared to this rubbernecker that the vehicles involved were likely to be totaled. They soon would be branded with a salvaged title.

These salvaged vehicles can occasionally be repaired. In the hands of a capable mechanic and body shop these cars can be salvaged. After a thorough inspection, these vehicles can receive a rebuilt title. They can be driven and sold, yet with a perpetual branded title. A vehicle that was ruined is given a new life. Continue reading “Rebuilt lives”

God preserves life on a daily basis

The nurse looked out the back window of the lead RV, concerned that the cars following in the caravan make it through the icy patch of the Indiana freeway. Just as she feared, the last car went to pass a slow vehicle, hit the ice, flipped over, and landed in the ditch. She was sure she would be pulling the dead bodies of three college students out of the vehicle.

The wrecked car was mine. I was in the passenger’s seat. A friend had offered to drive the first leg of the trip. In order to write a thank-you note to our hosts, back in the city where our group had campaigned during spring break, I did something I never do: I had removed my seat belt. Continue reading “God preserves life on a daily basis”

The secret of life

On February 28, 1953, 67 years ago this week, two scientists made a discovery that would forever change the way people understood the human body. On this day, James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the famous “double helix” structure of DNA.

This ground-breaking discovery proved that DNA could indeed carry complex data. It also allowed people of all ages to understand the human body in new and exciting ways. In announcing their discovery, the scientists exclaimed, “We have discovered the secret of life!”

As scientifically significant as this discovery was, I would propose to you that the secret of life is something else entirely. I suggest that the real secret of life is death. Continue reading “The secret of life”

A second chance

The people who ate from the bread and fishes Jesus gave wanted him to feed them again. This time Jesus wanted them to provide them with spiritual food. He told them the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to everyone (John 6:33).

They became somewhat excited and asked Jesus for that bread. Jesus did just that and said, “I am the bread of life.” Then, it was almost as if they took three or four steps away from Jesus. He told them that he had come down from heaven to do the will of the one who sent him (John 6:38). Jesus repeated that he was the bread of life. Continue reading “A second chance”

Life and immortality

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:8-10 ESV).

Life and death. It is a lesson we learn early on; that which is born is going to die. It seems to be an unbroken cycle. Life is a gift, death is a curse. We rejoice with those who experience new life, and we mourn with those who experience death.

For thousands of years people lived and died without knowing the full measure of God’s grace. The faithful longed to see it (Matthew 13:17). The prophets wished to know the fulness of their message (1 Peter 1:10). What is the meaning of life? How will God deal with sin and death? Continue reading “Life and immortality”

Conquering and reigning

We commonly consider conquerors to be those who wield swords, plot military strategy, and display powerful and aggressive personalities. Conquerors like Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, and Genghis Khan used daring, might, and intelligence to forge large and imposing kingdoms.

But Christians, who are called to be meek, loving, and submissive to authority, are said by God to be conquerors. Consider this statement: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). Not only are we conquerors, but we are “more than conquerors.” What is it that we conquer and how can we be conquerors?

Jesus promised his disciples that in the world they would have tribulation, but he had overcome the world (John 16:33). The promise of tribulation, persecution, and general hardship for followers of the Way was certain. But just as certain was the assurance of overcoming.

Continue reading “Conquering and reigning”

Who is your life?

We are all seeking something. Some seek after affirmation, others after wealth, power, or prestige. Still others are seeking simpler things, such as daily food and clothing. Whatever we seek, it has the power to become our lives, to consume us entirely.

Knowing this, Jesus instructed those who would follow him to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33 ESV). If you are like me, you probably read that with an emphasis upon the word “first.” We say we are to seek FIRST the reign and righteousness of God. Thus leaving the impression that God’s reign and righteousness are first among almost equals.

But the emphasis is not found in the order but in the object. The seeking of God’s reign and righteousness, in contrast to that of the Pharisees seeking their own (Matt. 5:20), should be stressed.

Continue reading “Who is your life?”

Jesus is the way

As we look at the conversation Jesus had with his disciples in the upper room, we can understand some of the frustration they were having. Jesus had been their teacher for a few years. They had travelled around as his pupils, learning from him. But they could feel that something was about to happen. He had washed their feet. He had talked about bread and wine representing his body and blood. And he kept talking about going away.

“Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God; believe also in me. There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going away to make ready a place for you. And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” (John 14:1-5 NET) Continue reading “Jesus is the way”

The Goldilocks paradox

Our earth resides in the Goldilocks Zone, the region that is just right for life. This habitable zone is neither too far from, nor too close to, the sun. The earth is neither too big nor too small. The atmosphere contains just the right mixture of ingredients. The ratio of water to land is just right. It is undeniable that out of numberless possibilities, our planet has the perfect conditions for life.

To atheists, this principle presents a paradox. How can the earth be so perfectly fine-tuned for life by accident? Continue reading “The Goldilocks paradox”

Light from beginning to end

The Bible begins with the creation of light by a word from God, Genesis 1.3. It ends with a mention of the light of God, tying it with the privilege of his people reigning forever: “Night will be no more, and they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever” Revelation 22.5.

Light is important as a Bible theme because:

1. God is light, 1 John 1.5

Light comes into being as a result of God’s power. The creation started with light. God spoke and it existed. Its creation before the heavenly bodies speaks to its nature as emanating from God. We speak, rightly so, of the moon not having its own light but only reflecting the light of the sun. Similarly, no heavenly body — sun or stars — has, in one true sense, any light of its own. God put them there. He caused them to exist and to shine. He is the only real source of light. Continue reading “Light from beginning to end”