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    And in Truth

    Years ago, I attended a wedding where two people from different countries got married. Such a blending of cultures can be beautiful, but this ceremony included Christian traditions mixed with rituals from a faith that worshiped many gods.

    Zephaniah the prophet pointedly condemned the mixing of other religions with faith in the one true God (sometimes called syncretism). Judah had become a people who bowed in worship to the true God but who also relied on the god Molek (Zephaniah 1:5). Zephaniah described their adoption of pagan culture (v. 8) and warned that as a result God would drive the people of…

    Open My Eyes

    The first time I went to the gorgeous Chora Church in Istanbul, I was able to figure out some Bible stories from the Byzantine frescos and mosaics on the ceiling. But there was much I missed. The second time, however, I had a guide. He pointed to all the details I had previously missed, and suddenly everything made perfect sense! The first aisle, for instance, depicted the life of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of Luke.

    Sometimes when we read the Bible we understand the basic stories, but what about the connections—those details that weave Scripture into the one perfect…

    Not What It Seems

    “Listen!” my wife said to me over the phone. “There’s a monkey in our yard!” She held up the phone so I could hear. And yes, it sounded just like a monkey. Which is weird, because the nearest wild monkey was 2,000 miles away.

    Later, my father-in-law burst our bubble. “That’s a barred owl,” he explained. Reality was not what it had seemed.

                When King Sennacherib’s armies had Judah’s King Hezekiah trapped inside Jerusalem’s walls, the Assyrians thought victory was theirs. Reality proved different. Although the Assyrian field commander used smooth words and pretended to speak for God, the Lord had…

    What We Want to Hear

    As human beings, we are prone to seek out information that supports the opinions we hold. Research shows that we’re actually twice as likely to look for information that supports our position. When we’re deeply committed to our own way of thinking, we avoid having that thinking challenged by opposing positions.

    Such was the case in King Ahab’s rule over Israel. When he and Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, discussed whether to go to war against Ramoth Gilead, Ahab gathered 400 prophets—men he’d appointed to that role himself and would therefore tell him what he wanted to hear—to help them decide. Each…

    The Power of Demonstration

    My attempts at fixing things around the house usually lead to paying someone else to undo the damage I caused while trying to fix the original problem. But recently I successfully repaired a home appliance by watching a YouTube video where a person demonstrated step by step how to do it. 

    Paul was a powerful example to his young protégé Timothy who traveled with him and watched him in action. From prison in Rome, Paul wrote, “You . . . know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings” (2 Timothy 3:10–11). In…

    Direct Instructions

    My second child was eager to sleep in a “big-girl bed” in her sister’s room. Each night I tucked Britta under the covers, issuing strict instructions to stay in bed, warning her I’d return her to the crib if she didn’t. Night after night, I found her in the hallway and had to escort my discouraged darling back to her crib. Years later I learned her customarily-sweet older sister wasn’t excited about having a roommate and repeatedly told Britta that she’d heard me calling for her. Britta heeded her sister’s words, went to look for me, and thus landed herself…

    Have You Felt the Pain Inflicted by the Lord?

    He said to him the third time, “…do you love Me?” —John 21:17

    Have you ever felt the pain, inflicted by the Lord, at the very center of your being, deep down in the most sensitive area of your life? The devil never inflicts pain there, and neither can sin nor human emotions. Nothing can cut through to that part of our being…

    The Piercing Question

    Do you love Me? —John 21:17

    Peter’s response to this piercing question is considerably different from the bold defiance he exhibited only a few days before when he declared, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” (Matthew 26:35; also see Matthew 26:33-34). Our natural individuality, or our natural self, boldly speaks…

    Listening to His Voice

    I’m hard of hearing—“deaf in one ear and can’t hear out of the other,” as my father used to say. So I wear a set of hearing aids.

    Most of the time the devices work well, except in environments where there’s a lot of surrounding noise. In those settings, my hearing aids pick up every voice in the room and I cannot hear the person in front of me.

    So it is with our culture: a cacophony of sounds can drown out God’s quiet voice. “Where shall the Word be found, where will the Word resound?” poet T.S. Eliot asks. “Not here,…

    The Authority of Truth

    Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. —James 4:8

    It is essential that you give people the opportunity to act on the truth of God. The responsibility must be left with the individual— you cannot act for him. It must be his own deliberate act, but the evangelical message should always lead him to action. Refusing to act leaves…

    5 Reasons Why the Reformation Matters Today

    In a conversation about our favorite historical figures, I asked a coworker if he knew who Martin Luther was. He responded with, “Oh! Is that the guy who nailed stuff to the door?” “Yes, that’s him!” I said with a laugh.

    Living and Powerful

    “Where will the word / resound? Not here, there is not enough silence.” These words from T. S. Eliot’s haunting poem “Ash Wednesday” lament a world of people so hardened and afraid that they “walk among noise and deny the voice.” The poem echoes the thought of John 1, where the light of Jesus persistently shines in the darkness of a world that will not recognize Him (Isaiah 55:5,10).

    The Bible: Why Does It Endure? Part III

    Take a closer look at the fascinating process of biblical research that helps reveal the foundations and credibility of the timeless wisdom of the Bible. Dr. Peter Williams, biblical scholar and researcher, uncovers results that point to the Bible as the inspired Word of God. Gain a deeper understanding of what is revealed in the […]

    The Bible: Why Does It Endure? Part II

    Take a closer look at the fascinating process of biblical research that helps reveal the foundations and credibility of the timeless wisdom of the Bible. Dr. Daniel Wallace, biblical scholar and researcher, uncovers results that point to the Bible as the inspired Word of God. Gain a deeper understanding of what is revealed in the […]

    The Bible: Why Does It Endure? Part I

    Take a closer look at the fascinating process of biblical research that helps reveal the foundations and credibility of the timeless wisdom of the Bible. Dr. Daniel Wallace, biblical scholar and researcher, uncovers results that point to the Bible as the inspired Word of God. Gain a deeper understanding of what is revealed in the […]

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