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Context can help us understand mysterious texts
“What’s going on here?” How many times have you asked that while reading your Bible? Well, as we reveal today on Discover the Word it’s so often all about the context! Context can help us understand mysterious texts, like in Jude 9 where it talks about Michael the archangel disputing with the devil about the body […]
Humbly accepting the “tension of mystery”
Being finite beings, we’re limited in how much we can understand. And that’s why some Bible passages really challenge us. Today on Discover the Word, the team will discuss 1 Peter 3:18–20 where Peter talks about Christ’s spirit “preaching to the spirits in prison.” It’s another one of those strange texts that remind us that sometimes […]
Our Divine Defense
Under Nehemiah’s supervision, the Israelite workers were rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. When they were nearly half finished, however, they learned that their enemies were plotting to attack Jerusalem. This news demoralized the already exhausted workers.
Nehemiah had to do something. First, he prayed and posted numerous guards in strategic places. Then, he armed his workers. “Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked” (Neh. 4:17-18).
We who are building God’s kingdom need to arm ourselves against the…
Most of what goes on in the universe we never see. Many things are too small or move too fast or even too slow for us to see. Using modern technology, however, filmmaker Louis Schwartzberg is able to show stunning video images of some of those things—a caterpillar’s mouth, the eye of a fruit fly, the growth of a mushroom.
Our limited ability to see the awesome and intricate detail of things in the physical world reminds us that our ability to see and understand what’s happening in the spiritual realm is equally limited. God is at work all around…
My husband, Jay, and I have a new family member—a 2-month-old tabby cat named Jasper. To keep our new kitten safe, we’ve had to break some old habits, like leaving doors open. But one thing remains a challenge: the open stairway. Cats like to climb. Even as kittens, they know that the world looks better when you’re looking down on it. So whenever I have Jasper downstairs with me, she is determined to go upstairs. Trying to keep her confined to a safe place near me has tested my ingenuity. Gates that work with children and dogs do not work…
Use Your Weapons
Above all, [take] the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. -Ephesians 6:16
While visiting a museum, I was intrigued by a small inscription describing a class of Roman gladiators-the Retiarii-who fought using only a net and a trident. Of all the fearsome and lethal weapons available to those warriors, who often battled to the death, these men were given two items-a piece of webbing and a three-pronged spear. When they entered the arena, their survival depended on how well they used their weapons.
Know the Enemy: Revealing Truths About Satan
“When a person means to do you harm, understanding that person’s identity, appearance, whereabouts, modus operandi, intentions, and skills are things you must know,” writes Greg Dutcher.
This excerpt from Dutcher’s book Living in Enemy Territory helps prepare us to battle the ultimate Enemy of all believers. We are reminded that Satan is not free to do as he pleases, that we are not battling alone, and most importantly, that Christ has already defeated him at the cross.
Karl Elsener, a Swiss designer of surgical equipment in the 19th century, worked for years on perfecting a military knife. Today his Swiss Army Knife is associated with excellence in blades and a variety of utilities. One model includes knife blades, a saw, scissors, a magnifying glass, a can opener, a screwdriver, a ruler, a toothpick, a writing pen, and more—all in one knife! If you are out camping in the wild, this one item can certainly make you feel equipped for survival.
One early autumn morning as I drove to work in the dark, I was startled by a flash of brown in my headlights followed by the sound of something hitting the front of my car. I had clipped a deer at 70 miles per hour! It was only a glancing blow, and no damage was done to my car (or the deer, as far as I could tell), but it really shook me up. I had been in my usual “autopilot mode” for the familiar drive to the office, but the shock of the incident certainly got my attention. I was now fully alert and trying to calm a racing heartbeat. It was a most unpleasant wake-up call.
Do You Believe In Magic? Interacting With The Spirit World
Interest in magic and a fascination with supernatural knowledge and power have become a part of today’s culture. This fascination raises questions in the minds of many. Find out what the Bible has to say about magic, as author Dennis Fisher offers a biblical response to some of the questions you may have regarding popular views of magic, the dangers of experimenting with magic, and the difference between real and make-believe magic.
Written in the sixth-century bc by Chinese general Sun Tzu, The Art of War has been a guide for military thinking for centuries. But it has also been used by men and women in a wide variety of other arenas, including leadership, management, business, politics, and sports. What Sun Tzu wrote about military warfare can help followers of Christ to understand the tactics of our spiritual enemy:
Hawks And Lions
One morning, I watched a rabbit nibble grass in my backyard. He was on the small side, with brown flecked fur and a cotton-puff tail. Suddenly, a hawk sliced through the air as fast and precise as lightning. With talons outstretched, he snatched for his prey. But the rabbit recognized the approaching danger and sped to safety, just inches ahead of the hawk.
When I played American football as a kid, one thing that took some getting used to was all the equipment we had to wear. Running effectively in a helmet, shoulder pads, and a variety of other protective items can feel awkward and clumsy at first. But over time the protective gear becomes like a familiar friend that provides welcome protection against serious injury.
For a dozen years, I took an auto emergency kit on every long driving trip but never had to use it. It became such a familiar item that on the night we really needed it, I forgot it was there. But fortunately my wife remembered.
Last Line Of Defense
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was the site of a battle that turned the tide of America’s Civil War. One of the focal points of the conflict was a rocky knoll called Little Round Top where Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the men of the 20th Maine Infantry stood their ground. Had the Confederate troops gotten past Chamberlain’s men, some historians believe the Union army would have been surrounded—possibly leading to the loss of the war. The “20th Maine” was the last line of defense.