What's in a name? How much can you tell about someone from his or her name? Well, you won't get much from mine. My name, Mark, means absolutely nothing. I guess my parents just liked the sound of it.
The names that God has chosen for himself, however, have great meaning. Take the name Jesus for example. The Bible says in Matthew chapter 1 that an angel came to a carpenter named Joseph to tell him that he would... Read More
Sociologists tell us that all change brings stress. They tell us that we can take on only one major change a year without serious emotional trouble. Some of these major changes are getting married, changing jobs, moving, and becoming parents.
Imagine how stressed out we would be if God were constantly changing on us. One of God’s characteristics that we don’t prize highly enough is that he is unchanging.
James says, “[God] does not change like shifting shadows.” (1:17). His... Read More
The ancient Greeks and Romans longed to connect with the great power of the world. They constructed for themselves an elaborate system of gods and goddesses whom they supposed had authority over the land, sea, sun, moon, and so on. But those gods and goddesses were just like them—big and powerful, but also jealous, petty, and vengeful.
How sweet it is for us to hear from the Bible that there is only one God and that he is holy and... Read More
One of the worst human burdens we have to drag with us each day is guilt. No matter how much we try to pretend that “we’re doing fine” and “everything’s wonderful,” each one of us has a conscience inside. That pure, moral voice tells us the ugly truth: we are not holy enough to deserve the approval of a holy God.
That’s why it’s so good to get to know the true God better. The Bible tells us that he... Read More
Some parents teach their children a sense of justice in which rewards follow good deeds and punishments follow bad deeds. What really disturbs children is when the guilty go unpunished. They feel violated, whether it’s because of the actions of a playground bully or of a terrorist.
Sad to say, human justice often doesn’t get done.
Ah, but the Lord watches, remembers, and acts. Even if our justice system is imperfect, sometimes punishing the innocent and failing to punish the... Read More
A question for you today: How do you find God’s actions—puzzling or clear? The answer is: both of the above. There is, for example, no mistaking the clear intent of Jesus’ healing miracles—he loves people and delights in ending their misery.
But sometimes God sends or allows things that seem destructive to us. Sometimes his pace seems slow or he seems absent altogether. But nothing can change his steady love for his people. In times of fear and doubt, Isaiah... Read More
Thomas Jefferson and some of the other founders of the United States were deists. They believed that God was only watching the world and, therefore, not acting in it.
God has a different view. Psalm 103 says, “The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all” (verse 19). That means the Lord is sovereign. He acts. He is managing and steering and guiding all the world’s events to benefit believers. He is sovereign over sin,... Read More
I’ll bet that more than once you’ve been frustrated because you had obligations in different places at the same time. “Well,” you thought, “I can’t be in two places at once.”
God can. He is omnipresent. He is everywhere at the same time. Psalm 139 says, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are... Read More
Normally we don’t like it when people think of themselves as smarter than we are. We call them know-it-alls, and that term is not meant as a compliment. Well, guess what? God is omniscient; he really does know it all. His mind is vast enough to track all the thoughts and actions of all the people on earth.
Psalm 139 says, “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise;... Read More
Experience is a great trump card. When employees of a company are jockeying for supremacy of their views, the winning argument usually starts out something like this: ‘‘I’ve been with this company 31 years, and we never blah, blah, blah.” The point is, the longer you’ve been around, the more you deserve to be listened to.
Well, where does that put God? God is eternal. Psalm 90:2 says, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and... Read More