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    What Is God Like?

    To celebrate a special occasion, my husband took me to a local art gallery and said I could choose a painting as a gift. I picked out a small picture of a brook flowing through a forest. The streambed took up most of the canvas, and because of this much of the sky was excluded from the picture. However, the stream’s reflection revealed the location of the sun, the treetops, and the hazy atmosphere. The only way to “see” the sky was to look at the surface of the water.

    Jesus is like the stream, in a spiritual sense. When we…

    Christ Our Commander

    During the American Civil War, Colonel Joshua Chamberlain was tasked with defending the left flank of the Union Army. Running low on ammunition and knowing that the outcome of the battle depended on the defence of their position, Chamberlain ordered his soldiers to fix bayonets and charge the enemy on foot. As outlandish as this order must have seemed, his soldiers obeyed his orders and pushed back their attackers. Through their courage, they prevented the defeat of the Union Army.

    Before the Beginning

    “But if God has no beginning and no end, and has always existed, what was He doing before He created us? How did He spend His time?” Some precocious Sunday school student always asks this question when we talk about God’s eternal nature. I used to respond that this was a bit of a mystery. But recently I learned that the Bible gives us an answer to this question.

    When Jesus prays to His Father in John 17, He says “Father, . . . you loved me before the creation of the world” (v. 24). This is God as revealed to…

    Light of God’s Love

    Hieronymus Bosch’s painting Ascent of the Blessed depicts souls being escorted from a place of darkness through a tunnel leading to dazzling light. At the end of the tunnel awaits a radiant being. The painting portrays a phenomenon often described by those who have had a near-death experience—a “tunnel of light” leading to what seems to be heaven.

    Supreme Over All

    A few years ago, I learned about a type of protein found in humans and animals called laminin. This protein, positioned outside cells, provides support for cells inside organs. Because laminin has the ability to bind like glue with other proteins and cells, it provides a vital role in holding tissues and organs together. Interestingly, when viewed from a specific angle, laminin has a shape similar to that of a cross.

    The Book of Hebrews

    Hebrews is one of the most challenging books in the New Testament. Many of its topics and themes are difficult to understand, and it tends to approach them differently than other New Testament books do. But it helps when we recognize that the original audience was facing persecution and that they were tempted to turn away from Christ. That’s why the author of Hebrews placed his emphasis on standing strong in the faith, and it’s why this book is one of the most valuable and encouraging to Christians in every age.

    God with Us

    “Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ at my right, Christ at my left . . .” These hymn lyrics, written by the fifth-century Celtic Christian St. Patrick, echo in my mind when I read Matthew’s account of Jesus’s birth. They feel like a warm embrace, reminding me that I’m never alone.

    Matthew’s account tells us that God dwelling with His people is at the heart of Christmas. Quoting Isaiah’s prophecy of a child who would be called Immanuel, meaning “God with us” (Isa. 7:14), Matthew points to the…

    Big World, Bigger God

    As we drove through northern Michigan, Marlene exclaimed, “It’s unbelievable how big the world is!” She made her comment as we passed a sign marking the 45th Parallel—the point halfway between the equator and the North Pole. We talked about how small we are and how vast our world is. Yet, compared to the size of the universe, our tiny planet is only a speck of dust.

    If our world is great, and the universe is vastly greater, how big is the One who powerfully created it? The Bible tells us, “For by [Jesus] all things were created, both in the heavens…

    Why I’m In Awe of Baby Jesus

    This month, I celebrate one year of motherhood. Yes, that means my baby has turned a year old, and what a year it has been! It may be a cliché, but what’s been said about motherhood is true: it’s tiring, trying, and stretching, yet every single bit of it is worth it.

    Only One King

    Think of any monarchy in the history of the world. The royal family may have had a few princes and princesses. It may have even had more than one queen, as did the kingdoms of David and Solomon. But there was only one king.

    What Never Changes

    Quartz timing is a term we often hear mentioned in reference to watches and clocks. But most of us don’t have the faintest idea of what it means. In a quartz watch, the battery sends an electric signal through a tiny piece of quartz which vibrates at a very precise frequency, exactly 32,768 times per second. The watch uses that fixed vibration rate to keep time. Because the vibration rate is always the same and never changes, quartz timepieces are highly dependable—much more accurate time-keepers than many other types of clocks.

    Seeing What’s Invisible

    From the time I first encountered Magic Eye stereograms (posters that show one obvious picture, but supposedly reveal more if you stare at them long enough), they’ve only frustrated me. I sat in front of one for what seemed like hours while everyone coached me, telling me to look through the image, then past the image, and then telling me to cross my eyes and look harder. No matter what I tried, I simply couldn’t see what, I’m told, was right there in front of me.

    Faith or Experience?

    …the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. —Galatians 2:20

    We should battle through our moods, feelings, and emotions into absolute devotion to the Lord Jesus. We must break out of our own little world of experience into abandoned devotion to Him. Think who the New Testament says Jesus Christ is, and then think of the despicable meagerness of the…

    Who Is This?

    “Remove everything from your desks, take out a piece of paper and pencil.” When I was a student these dreaded words announced that “test time” had come.

     In Mark 4, we read that Jesus’s day, which started with teaching by the seaside (Mark 4:1), ended with a time of testing on the sea (v. 35). The boat that had been used as a teaching platform was used to transport Jesus and a handful of His followers to the other side of the sea. During the journey (while an exhausted Jesus slept in the back of the boat), they encountered a swirling…

    Life of Christ

    Jesus lived the most impactful life in all of history. This course takes students through the key events in Jesus’s life.

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