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 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.
Business literature is cluttered with how-to books profiling famous people who achieved success through power, ambition, and manipulation. The Roman empire was similarly dominated by dynasties guilty of tyranny, greed, and violence. Jesus modeled a style of leadership that was entirely unique in both His time and ours. His methods are free of distortion and
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
Lettie Cowman and her husband, Charles, were missionaries to Japan. Together, they founded the Oriental Missionary Society, with the goal of distributing Scripture in the hostile land. When Charles was ill, Lettie wrote a series of inspirational essays based on the encouragement they found in the Lord during this difficult time. The essays were published
Moses learned what countless leaders throughout history have discovered: life is hard at the top. Lacking water, the people complained bitterly to their leader as if he had caused the situation or had the power to fix it. This incident reminds us that our correctly exercising authority does not guarantee that others will treat us
No clearer statement of the intimate interworking of the triune God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and especially of the Spirit’s powerful role can be found in the Old Testament than in Isaiah’s prophecy of the Servant of the Lord (Is. 42:1–9). The passage summarizes the redeeming work of all three Persons of the Trinity in the
God is eternal. He always was and always will be. Anything that is eternal is also ultimately powerful, because nothing created Him and nothing can destroy Him. God alone has all power. (See the concept notes on God at Isaiah 40:28, Genesis 1:1, Psalm 147:5, and Psalm 18:30.) On top of that, God has a
When the Twelve returned from their tour with Jesus (Mark 6: 7, 12, 30), their Master pulled them aside. He modeled a habit that many of us could stand to practice more—the habit of rest.
The Jewish Christians to whom the Epistle to the Hebrews is addressed were demoralized and discouraged. Christianity had proven difficult for them. It was radical. It set aside centuries of tradition. It emphasized a new but troubling kind of spiritual freedom. In short, it incurred the wrath of the Jewish religious establishment.