Sometimes the world we live in seems like a beautiful, peaceful place. But our environment can be nasty too—sometimes it seems as though nature itself is trying to destroy the people who live in it. Wildfires, hailstorms, typhoons, avalanches, hurricanes, tidal waves, and earthquakes can destroy property and people.
St. Paul explains why nature sometimes seems so broken. It’s because it is. “The creation was subjected to frustration . . . in hope that the creation itself will be liberated... Read More
There are times in our lives when we feel strong, smart, invincible, immortal, and totally in control. And then there are those times when we know we are broken, miserable, weak, lost, and trapped. The apostle Paul didn’t mind those times. God had told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
That’s why Paul could conclude, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that... Read More
Does it ever bother you that you are invited to worship a God that you can’t see? If there really is a divine Maker of this world, why doesn’t he hang around to let us get to know him? God’s seeming absence from this planet has led some to fear that we are all alone here and that there is nobody and nothing greater than man.
Ah, but that’s not so. The Bible says that “in Christ all the fullness... 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 name 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. His memory has enough RAM to remember all human history, small and great.
Psalm 139:1,2 says, “O LORD, you have searched me... Read More
Blaming other people for your problems seems to work for a while. But eventually the truth crashes in—your pain is self-inflicted. It’s your fault. You cheated on her. You made the terrible investments. You took the drugs. You stole the money. You fired the weapon.
One of the most paralyzing of all human experiences is guilt. Guilt makes you think you’re destined to be like that. Guilt smothers hope. Guilt just keeps digging the hole deeper. Guilt keeps you from... Read More
How strong are you? How much of your world can you control? Can you bench-press 5,000 pounds? Can you lift a mountain? Can you change the weather? Well, of course you can’t.
But your God can. God is omnipotent. That means that there is no limit to his power. When God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ, his disciples watched in awe as he showed total mastery over all creation. The gospel of Mark tells how Jesus’... Read More
Even tough guys are afraid to die. In the weeks following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C., what became instant hot sellers? You got it—gas masks and vaccines. Terrorism does indeed breed terror.
We cling to life and do everything we can to preserve it. We pour billions into medical research and care. In the 1950s and 1960s, we built bomb shelters in case of nuclear attack. We work out, huffing and puffing on... Read More
Every boiler has a pressure gauge. That gauge is an extremely valuable indicator of the health of the system. The boiler engineer adjusts the pressure so that it stays within the limits for which it was designed. He doesn’t want it to blow open any joints or pipes on his watch.
When Christians suffer, and especially when they have it really bad, we’re tempted to think that God isn’t paying attention, or worse, doesn’t care. Did you know that the... Read More
We all expect to get sick now and then, and that doesn’t bother us particularly. But when serious illness strikes, it can turn our lives upside down. Sickness shatters our illusion of control. Major sickness can destroy your savings, your career, your future.
God is there for us when we need him. When we put our trust in him, we give him the chance to make the illness work for us. Once when Jesus’ friend Lazarus was seriously ill, everybody... Read More
People are intensely proud of their national flags. That simple piece of colored cloth evokes powerful feelings. Brits love their Union Jack, Canadians love their maple leaf, and Americans love their star-spangled banner. Flags give people a sense of history, of belonging, of place, of identity.
The message of salvation won for us by Jesus Christ is central to Christianity, and the symbol of the cross elegantly sums up his blood-purchase on our behalf. The most important message we have,... Read More