• Topic > Christian Beliefs

    Views of Creation

    One of my favorite views is from atop the arch of the Harbor Bridge in Sydney, Australia. Since the BridgeClimb officially opened in 1998, more than three million people have ascended to the apex of the iconic structure to view the stunning city.

    “The Lord’s”

    It doesn’t take much to notice that getting “inked” is very popular these days. Some tattoos are so small that one barely notices them. Others—from athletes to actors to everyday people—have opted to cover much of their bodies with multi-colored inks, words and designs. The trend seems like it’s here to stay, a trend that netted $3 billion in revenue in 2014—and an additional $66 million for tattoo removal. 

    Regardless of how you may feel about tattoos, Isaiah 44 speaks metaphorically about people writing something on their hands: “The Lord’s” (v. 5). This “self-tattoo” is the climax of an entire paragraph…

    Can, Can’t

    “I can’t do this math,” the bright little boy declared.

    Steadfast Love

    “I love you!” my dad called out as I slammed the car door and headed into school. I was in sixth grade, and for months we had played out basically the same scenario every morning. We arrived at school, Dad said, “Have a great day! I love you!” and all I said was “Bye.” I wasn’t angry with him or ignoring him. I was simply so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I didn’t notice his words. Nevertheless, my dad’s love remained steadfast.

    God’s love is like that—and more. It endures forever. The Hebrew word that expresses this steadfast kind…

    Home

    Recently a friend who sold homes for a living died of cancer. As my wife and I reminisced about Patsy, Sue recalled that many years ago Patsy had led a man to faith in Jesus and he became a good friend of ours.

    How encouraging to recall that Patsy not only helped families find homes to live in here in our community, but she also helped others make sure they had an eternal home.

    As Jesus prepared to go to the cross for us, He showed a keen interest in our eternal accommodations. He told His disciples, “I go to prepare a…

    The Road Least Traveled

    The story of Eric Liddell’s athletic prowess was immortalized in the highly acclaimed 1981 movie Chariots of Fire. Eric was expected to win gold in the 100 m race in the 1924 Olympics. Staying true to his convictions, however, Eric withdrew from the race because he would not compete on Sunday. Despite intense criticism, he entered the 400 m race instead and—with only five months preparation—won the gold in world-record time. Lucrative sponsorships and deals awaited him. But Eric chose to walk away from fame and wealth to be a missionary in China.

    God’s Hidden Hand

    My friend was adopted by a missionary couple from Michigan and grew up in Ghana. After his family moved back to Michigan, he began college but had to drop out. Later, he signed on with the military, which eventually helped him pay for college and took him all over the world. Through it all, God was at work, preparing him for a special role. Today, he writes and edits Christian literature that ministers to an international audience. 

    His wife also has an interesting story. She failed her chemistry exams during her first year of college due to the strong medication she…

    Adjust the Atmosphere

    As I walked into my house, my teeth began chattering as soon as the door closed behind me. Because it was warm outdoors, the frigid air inside was shocking. However, the cool temperature set on the thermostat indicated something more to me than the temperature in our home. For more than twenty years my husband and I have debated how cool the thermostat should be set. The coolness of our house reminded me how the atmosphere of a room can be determined by the choices of those who enter it.

    Questions at Christmas

    Well before the calendar flips to December, Christmas cheer begins to bubble up in our northern town. A medical office drapes its trees and shrubs in close-fitting strings of lights, each a different color, illuminating a breathtaking nighttime landscape. Another business decorates its building to look like an enormous, extravagantly wrapped Christmas present. It’s difficult to turn anywhere without seeing evidence of Christmas spirit—or at least seasonal marketing.

    Some people love these lavish displays. Others take a more cynical view. But the crucial question isn’t how others observe Christmas. Rather, we each need to consider what the celebration means to us.

    A…

    Springs of Life

    I once visited an urban farm organized by the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The IRC relocates refugees from ravaged countries and helps them establish a new life. Since many refugees grew up in an agrarian lifestyle, farming can be a natural way for them to rebuild their lives. Portions of the farmland simply grow wild each year, allowing the soil to rest. Then, in the year to follow, they till the grass back into the dirt, using it to enrich the soil that will help nourish the crops they’ll eventually harvest.

    Lord Over the Invisible

    The term “visible light” might seem redundant. After all, what kind of light is there besides “visible” light? But the light we see is only a small part of the greater electromagnetic spectrum. There are actually many frequencies of light our eyes cannot naturally perceive: infrared, ultraviolet, and many more. This is an important reminder that just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there!

    "By the Grace of God I Am What I Am"

    The way we continually talk about our own inabilities is an insult to our Creator. To complain over our incompetence is to accuse God falsely of having overlooked us. Get into the habit of examining from God’s perspective those things that sound so humble to men. You will be amazed at how unbelievably inappropriate and disrespectful they are to Him.

    The Supremacy of Jesus Christ

    The holiness movements of today have none of the rugged reality of the New Testament about them. There is nothing about them that needs the death of Jesus Christ. All that is required is a pious atmosphere, prayer, and devotion. This type of experience is not supernatural nor miraculous. It did not cost the sufferings of God, nor is it stained with “the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 12:11). It is not marked or sealed by the Holy Spirit as being genuine, and it has no visual sign that causes people to exclaim with awe and wonder, “That is the work of God Almighty!” Yet the New Testament is about the work of God and nothing else.

    The Riches of the Destitute

    The gospel of the grace of God awakens an intense longing in human souls and an equally intense resentment, because the truth that it reveals is not palatable or easy to swallow. There is a certain pride in people that causes them to give and give, but to come and accept a gift is another thing. I will give my life to martyrdom; I will dedicate my life to service— I will do anything. But do not humiliate me to the level of the most hell-deserving sinner and tell me that all I have to do is accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

    Hope That Will Not Die

    When I was a boy, we’d often visit friends for meals overflowing with delicious country cooking: fried chicken, mashed potatoes, meatloaf, green beans simmering in bacon grease, and biscuits. There was a moment of pure anticipation, however, when the plates were cleared and someone would say, “Save your fork.” Those magical words could only mean one glorious thing: Dessert’s coming.

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