Faith and Works

Jul 7, 2017 |

The great reformer Martin Luther, champion of the doctrine of salvation through faith alone, never felt good about the epistle of James. He called it an “epistle full of straw” in the preface to his 1522 edition of the New Testament, and he put the book in the appendix. He preferred Paul’s wording of the ...

Beyond the Mess

Jun 6, 2017 |

Benjamin West, a famous portrait painter at the time of the American Revolution, remembers one of his earliest attempts to paint. He had been left to care for his little sister and used the time to paint her portrait in colored inks. He was oblivious to the mess he made; when his mother, Sarah, returned ...

God’s Purpose Requires Response

Jun 6, 2017 |

We cannot go through life passively if we want to live in accord with God’s purpos¬es. If we are passive, opportunities to join in the work of God will pass us by. Now that you know your purpose is designed and given by God, it’s time you become active by living according to it. Quite ...

Determining God’s Will

May 5, 2017 |

Christians believe that they should carefully obey God’s will. But how can we know what His will is? How should we go about making decisions that honor the Lord? The example of Gideon is frequently cited as a model for godly decision-making. Before acting, Gideon carefully considered whether the Lord wanted him to rally an ...

Yield to God’s Purposes

May 5, 2017 |

Consider this: God is perfect. Eternal. Almighty. He knows everything about everyone (Ps. 139:1–4). On the other hand, we are imperfect. Sinful. Our lives are but a vapor (James 4:14). The more we learn, the more we realize we don’t know. So why in the world wouldn’t we align our plans with God’s purpose? We ...

The Handbook for a Life’s Work

Apr 4, 2017 |

In his final and intimate letter to his “son in the faith,” Paul reminded Timothy of the essentials of the faith, the basis of Christian ministry. Paul did not want Timothy to drift away from the truth, as Phygellus and Hermogenes had done (1:15). Therefore he passionately exhorted Timothy to hold on tightly to the ...

America the Beautiful

Apr 4, 2017 |

At a time when the country was mourning the murder of President John F. Kennedy, weeping for the brave men lost in the unpopular war in Vietnam, and struggling with the wounds of racism, Claudia Alta Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson used her influence as First Lady to give America comfort. She looked at the country ...

Modern-Day Idols

Apr 4, 2017 |

Perhaps you think of idols as objects of wood, stone, or metal worshiped by ancient civilizations or primitive peoples. That perception is accurate, but from the Bible’s point of view, idolatry fundamentally involves allowing anything or anyone to stand in the place of God. The ancient Babylonians fashioned many idols for both public and private ...

God’s Purposes Are Pure

Mar 3, 2017 |

God isn’t selfish. He isn’t vain or conceited. But He is God: Creator and sustainer of all, all-powerful, all-knowing, and ultimately holy. And He does know what He’s doing. God works for what is good. No ulterior motives, no selfish ends, no cruelties couched behind fake smiles. God truly works for the good of all. ...

Jeremiah’s Faith

Mar 3, 2017 |

Some might consider Jeremiah the model of faithfulness, while others might think of him as an example of failure and futility. He served as God’s prophet for over 40 years, yet the rulers and the people of Judah did not listen to his warnings. Jeremiah was put in prison, thrown into a well, and taken ...