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    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…

    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…

    "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.

    Embracing “Messiology”

    The church can be a messy place. Although we should never use God’s grace as a reason to deliberately sin, believers in Jesus do mess up—sometimes with tragic results. Extramarital affairs, financial mismanagement or fraud, lying, manipulation, abuse, or skewed teaching—most of us have heard of horror stories coming straight out of the church—the bride of Christ.

    Direction of Focus

    Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters . . . , so our eyes look to the Lord our God . . . —Psalm 123:2

    This verse is a description of total reliance on God. Just as the eyes of a servant are riveted on his master, our eyes should …

    The Distraction of Contempt

    Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us! For we are exceedingly filled with contempt —Psalm 123:3

    What we must beware of is not damage to our belief in God but damage to our Christian disposition or state of mind. “Take heed …

    God Sees You

    What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” That is perhaps Shakespeare’s most famous quote from his tragic play Romeo and Juliet. Saying that it doesn’t matter that Romeo is from her rival’s house of Montague, Juliet implies that names don’t really matter. All that matters is what something is, not what it’s named. This may be so for a Shakespearean lyrical tale, but Bible names are significant and convey specific lessons and meanings to the events accompanying the naming of the individual.

    The Forgiveness of God

    In Him we have . . . the forgiveness of sins . . . —Ephesians 1:7

    Beware of the pleasant view of the fatherhood of God: God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us. That thought, …

    The Gift of the Spirit

    Many of us, perhaps unconsciously, try to win the love of God. We endeavor to be better people, to do more to spread His love and grace, to work harder. But God doesn’t love us because of the things we accomplish for Him; He loves us “because of his mercy” (Titus 3:5), as Paul wrote to Titus while he ministered on the island of Crete.

    “What Is That to You?”

    Peter . . . said to Jesus, ’But Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ’. . . what is that to you? You follow Me’ —John 21:21-22

    One of the hardest lessons to learn comes from our stubborn refusal to refrain from interfering in other people’s lives. It takes a long time …

    Discovering Divine Design

    As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me… —Genesis 24:27

    We should be so one with God that we don’t need to ask continually for guidance. Sanctification means that we are made the children of God. A child’s life is normally obedient, until he chooses disobedience. But as soon as he chooses to disobey, an inherent inner conflict is produced.…

    Dumb Sheep, Good Shepherd

    My friend Chad spent a year as a shepherd in Wyoming. “Sheep are so dumb that they’ll only eat what is right in front of them,” he told me. “Even if they’ve eaten all the grass in front of them, they won’t turn to look for a fresh patch—they’ll just start eating dirt!”

    We laughed, and I couldn’t help but think about how often the Bible compares humans to sheep. No wonder we need a shepherd! But since sheep are so dumb, not just any shepherd will do. Sheep need a shepherd who cares about them. When the prophet Ezekiel wrote…

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