• Biblical Studies

    Feasting after Fasting

    “How can they observe the season of Lent and then miss out on the feasting afterwards?” a friend asked, mulling over the seemingly lost practice of celebrating the season of Easter—the fifty days following Resurrection Sunday. Christians who follow a more liturgical tradition dedicate the forty days before Easter as a season of prayer and fasting (while celebrating the resurrection each Sunday), but they sometimes neglect to embrace the discipline of celebration during the Easter season. Fasting without the subsequent feasting loses the experience of joy that God longs for His people to know and embrace.

    His Agony and Our Access

    Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples….”Stay here and watch with Me.” —Matthew 26:36, 38

    We can never fully comprehend Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, but at least we don’t have to misunderstand it. It is the agony of God and man in one Person, coming face to face with sin. We cannot learn about Gethsemane through personal experience. Gethsemane and Calvary represent…

    View All

    Christian Beliefs

    The Art of Forgiveness

    One afternoon I spent two hours at an art exhibit—The Father & His Two Sons: The Art of Forgiveness—in which all of the pieces were focused on Jesus’s parable of the prodigal son (see Luke 15:10–31). I found Edward Rojas’s painting The Prodigal Son especially powerful. The painting portrays the once wayward son returning home, wearing rags and walking with his head down. With a land of death behind him, he steps onto a pathway where his father is already running toward him.  At the bottom of the painting are Jesus’s words, “But when he was yet a great way off,…

    With Us in Our Suffering

    Poet Christian Wiman, some time after being diagnosed with an incurable form of blood cancer, reflected on his ordeal, writing, “I have passed through pain I could never have imagined, pain that seemed to incinerate all my thoughts of God and to leave me sitting there in the ashes, alone.” But he found hope in the powerful presence of Jesus. “I am a Christian because of that moment on the cross when Jesus, drinking the very dregs of human bitterness, cries out, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’ ” (Matthew 27:46). In times of great suffering, Wiman…

    View All

    Christian Living

    Feasting after Fasting

    “How can they observe the season of Lent and then miss out on the feasting afterwards?” a friend asked, mulling over the seemingly lost practice of celebrating the season of Easter—the fifty days following Resurrection Sunday. Christians who follow a more liturgical tradition dedicate the forty days before Easter as a season of prayer and fasting (while celebrating the resurrection each Sunday), but they sometimes neglect to embrace the discipline of celebration during the Easter season. Fasting without the subsequent feasting loses the experience of joy that God longs for His people to know and embrace.

    Anywhere

    As I flipped through a box of my old wedding photographs, my fingers stopped at a picture of my husband and me, newly christened “Mr. and Mrs.” My dedication to him was obvious in my expression. I would go anywhere with him.

    Nearly four decades later, our marriage is tightly threaded with love and a commitment that has carried us through both hard and good times. Year after year, I’ve recommitted my dedication to go anywhere with him.

    In Jeremiah 2:2, God yearns for His beloved but wayward Israel, “I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed…

    View All

    Christian Ministry & the Church

    Gaining God’s Heart While Following His Law

    When a student decides to become a lawyer, they hit the books! A lot of books. But today, the Discover the Word team sums up God’s law in one sentence. And while it’s easy to state, living it out sure isn’t. So how do we gain God’s heart and follow His laws? It’s another way […]

    When God Calls Us To Submit . . . Or Resist

    From preschool to adulthood, submission to authority isn’t all that popular. But today on Discover the Word, we’ll see how God calls us to submit to governing authorities and when we’re called to resist. Learn to live in the tension of being a citizen of heaven living on earth when you tune in to Discover […]

    View All

    Christianity & Culture

    A Delightful Corner

    “God means us to delight in his world. . . . Just observe. And remember. And compare. And be always looking to God with thankfulness and worship for having placed you in such a delightful corner of the universe as the planet Earth.” These were the last words Paul Brand’s father wrote to him before his death. They had a profound effect on Paul’s life. He eventually became a missionary doctor in India and was well known for his pioneering work in the treatment of leprosy. He never forgot his father’s urging to enjoy and delight in God’s creation.

    Anonymous Kindness

    When I first graduated from college, I found myself needing to adopt a strict grocery budget—twenty-five dollars a week, to be exact. One day, while entering the checkout line, I suspected the groceries I’d selected cost slightly more than my remaining money. “Just stop when we reach twenty dollars,” I told the cashier, and was able to purchase everything I’d selected but a bag of peppers.

    As I was about to drive home, a man stopped by my car. “Here’s your peppers, ma’am,” he said, handing the bag to me. Before I had time to thank him, he was already walking…

    View All

    Ethical Issues

    Strength in Suffering

    When eighteen-year-old Musah received Jesus as Savior, his family rejected him because their tradition was of a different faith. But the Christian community welcomed him, offering encouragement and financial resources for his education. Later, whebn his testimony was published in a magazine, his persecution intensified.

    But Musah did not stop visiting his family. He visited whenever he could and talked with his father, even though His siblings cruelly prevented him from participating in family affairs. When his father fell ill, Musah overlooked his family’s slighting and attended to him, praying his father would get well. When God healed him, the family…

    Travesty of Justice

    The Netflix documentary David and Me tells the story of David McCallum, who in 1986, at only age sixteen, was convicted of murder. But McCallum claimed he was pressured to confess to the crime. And in 2014, DNA tests and forensic analysis on the stolen car revealed that McCallum was innocent. David had spent nearly thirty years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

    View All

    Evangelism & Missions

    Silence Isn’t Always Golden

    Samaria, the capital of Israel, was being besieged by the Aramean army. Food was soon depleted, and many died of hunger while some resorted to cannibalism (2 Kings 6:24-31). The prophet Elisha told the unbelieving king that God would rescue them and provide food for them (2 Kings 7:1). Soon, the divine army that Elisha’s servant had seen earlier scattered the enemy (2 Kings 6:14-17, 2 Kings 7:6-7).

    Faith, Love, and Hope

    For ten years, my Aunt Kathy cared for her father (my grandfather) in her home. She cooked and cleaned for him when he was independent, and then took on the role of nurse when his health declined.

    Her service is one modern example of the words of Paul who wrote to the Thessalonians that he thanked God for “your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:3).

    My aunt served in faith and love. Her daily, consistent care was the result of her belief that God called her to this important…

    View All

    Life Struggles

    Work Matters

    “I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure,” said Eric Liddell to his sister Jenny in the movie Chariots of Fire. Eric was a famous Scottish Olympic champion in short distance and a missionary to China. Although his sister was urging him to return to China as soon as possible, he knew God had given him a gift. By choosing to delay his return and run in the 1924 Paris Olympics, Eric was convinced he was honoring God by pursuing his calling as a world-class runner.

    Learning to Know God

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a mother. I dreamed about getting married, getting pregnant, and holding my baby in my arms for the first time. When I finally got married, my husband and I never even considered waiting to expand our family. But with each negative pregnancy test, we realized we were struggling with infertility. Months of doctors’ visits, tests, and tears followed. We were in the middle of a storm. Infertility was a bitter pill to swallow and left me wondering about God’s goodness and faithfulness.

    When I reflect on our journey, I think…

    View All

    Life To Come

    Marriage & Family

    How to Move Forward in 2018

    “Look to the future with the past in mind.”  I came across this phrase last year when I went on vacation in Baguio City, one of the tourist towns in Benguet Province of the Philippines.

    Don’t Give Up On Making Resolutions, Here’s 5 Tips

    Making New Year’s resolutions is one of my favorite traditions of the holiday season. “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” is an unavoidable question asked of friends, family, and coworkers alike this time of year.

    View All

    Relationships

    Judging Origins

    “Where are you from?” We often use that question to get to know someone better. But for many of us, the answer is complicated. Sometimes we don’t want to share all the details.

    In the book of Judges, Jephthah might not have wanted to answer that question at all. His half-brothers had chased him out of his hometown of Gilead for his “questionable” origins. “You are the son of another woman,” they declared (Judges 11:2). The text says starkly, “His mother was a prostitute” (v. 1).

    But Jephthah was a natural leader, and when a hostile tribe picked a fight with Gilead,…

    Address the Mess

    A Japanese man finally broke the silence between him and his wife after twenty years.

    View All

    Spiritual Growth

    Feasting after Fasting

    “How can they observe the season of Lent and then miss out on the feasting afterwards?” a friend asked, mulling over the seemingly lost practice of celebrating the season of Easter—the fifty days following Resurrection Sunday. Christians who follow a more liturgical tradition dedicate the forty days before Easter as a season of prayer and fasting (while celebrating the resurrection each Sunday), but they sometimes neglect to embrace the discipline of celebration during the Easter season. Fasting without the subsequent feasting loses the experience of joy that God longs for His people to know and embrace.

    Refined Faith

    I know you have a plan, God, but why does it hurt so much? I closed my eyes and flopped onto my bunk bed in my dorm room. It was my final semester in college, and it wasn’t going as I had hoped. I was busier than I wanted to be, and two of my closest friends were battling depression while others were also struggling.

    View All

    Ten Commandments

    Gaining God’s Heart While Following His Law

    When a student decides to become a lawyer, they hit the books! A lot of books. But today, the Discover the Word team sums up God’s law in one sentence. And while it’s easy to state, living it out sure isn’t. So how do we gain God’s heart and follow His laws? It’s another way […]

    When God Calls Us To Submit . . . Or Resist

    From preschool to adulthood, submission to authority isn’t all that popular. But today on Discover the Word, we’ll see how God calls us to submit to governing authorities and when we’re called to resist. Learn to live in the tension of being a citizen of heaven living on earth when you tune in to Discover […]

    View All

    When Life Hurts

    With Us in Our Suffering

    Poet Christian Wiman, some time after being diagnosed with an incurable form of blood cancer, reflected on his ordeal, writing, “I have passed through pain I could never have imagined, pain that seemed to incinerate all my thoughts of God and to leave me sitting there in the ashes, alone.” But he found hope in the powerful presence of Jesus. “I am a Christian because of that moment on the cross when Jesus, drinking the very dregs of human bitterness, cries out, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’ ” (Matthew 27:46). In times of great suffering, Wiman…

    Into Our Storms

    Wind howled, lightning flashed, waves crashed. I thought I was going to die. My grandparents and I were fishing on a lake, but we’d stayed out too long. As the sun set, a fast-moving squall swept over our small boat. My grandfather instructed me to sit in front to keep it from capsizing. Terror flooded my heart. But then, somehow, I began to pray. I was fourteen.

    I asked God for His reassurance and protection. The storm didn’t weaken, but we made it to shore. To this day, I don’t know if I’ve experienced a deeper certainty of God’s presence than in…

    View All

    Wisdom

    Failure Is Not The End Of The Story

    Today on Discover the Word, we conclude our study of the life of Solomon on a hopeful note. Although Solomon lost sight of God, his failure is not the end of the story. Consider the “true and better Solomon” the Bible and all history points to when you join the group today on Discover the Word!

    True Wisdom That Goes Beyond Mere Knowledge

    We have more access to knowledge than any other generation in history. Most any question we have, we can Google an answer to in seconds. But even with all that knowledge, wisdom still seems to be in short supply. Today on Discover the Word, the team will help us connect to the source of true […]

    View All

    Wisdom of God

    Failure Is Not The End Of The Story

    Today on Discover the Word, we conclude our study of the life of Solomon on a hopeful note. Although Solomon lost sight of God, his failure is not the end of the story. Consider the “true and better Solomon” the Bible and all history points to when you join the group today on Discover the Word!

    True Wisdom That Goes Beyond Mere Knowledge

    We have more access to knowledge than any other generation in history. Most any question we have, we can Google an answer to in seconds. But even with all that knowledge, wisdom still seems to be in short supply. Today on Discover the Word, the team will help us connect to the source of true […]

    View All