Recently I read a book by a physicist trained at MIT. His intention was to convince his readers that the six days of biblical creation are exactly the same as the 15 billion years which some people think the earth has existed. He lost me in his discussion about the stretching of time and its super-compression. Definitely beyond my intellectual capacity. While it’s fascinating to contemplate the science behind creation, I can’t help but think we get a little lost in the details. Reading books filled with such theories makes me all the more thankful for the simplicity of the gospel.
But in an age when we have more and more complex technologies being unveiled almost monthly, I wonder if some people assume the gospel is too simple for our tech-savvy culture because it doesn’t have the ring of newness or complexity. With new information exploding all around us, I wonder if some people mistakenly consider the gospel to be “ancient literature” having little value for today’s sophisticated intellect. Continue reading
One of the major events in the Bible’s book of Exodus is the miraculous departure, or Exodus, of the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt. The memory of this single event is repeated over and over throughout the history of the Jewish nation. The Hebrew people had been slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years. That’s all the people knew – harsh slavery. The Pharaoh had deceitfully enslaved them and through hard labor, forced them to construct cities for him.
But once they began to call on God for help, He raised up Moses to be their deliverer. If you take time to notice, you will see that the early story of Moses really magnifies the character of five women. First on the scene are two midwives. Because they feared God more than they feared Pharaoh, they disobeyed his orders to throw newborn males into the river. Secondly, you see the faith of Moses’ mother to hide him for three months and then, unable to hide him Continue reading
Though the answer wouldn’t be obvious to unbelievers or even to most Christians, the Bible is clear on this: it’s Jesus. Psalm 45:6-7 is quoted in direct reference to the Messiah, in Hebrews 1:8-9, where the Father says of His Son: “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” Most scholars think “companions,” in context, is the whole human race that Jesus became part of in His incarnation.
Notice the connection between Christ’s righteousness and His gladness, whereas in Scripture wickedness brings misery. Ironically, we often think of ourselves as fun -loving, and of God as a humorless killjoy. But we’ve got it backward. We are the dull ones, not God. Did we invent wit, humor, and laughter? No. God did. We’ll never begin to exhaust God’s sense of humor and His love for pleasure-filled joy. Continue reading
The Bible is full of stories of real people who face real challenges. One such story is about a young Jewish girl who becomes an orphan. Later, as a grown woman, she confronts a corrupt and proud politician who uses his position for personal gain. It’s a story with a bleak future unless God steps into the picture. But God does step in. He uses this orphan and her cousin, two ordinary people, to accomplish remarkable things in their country. As we review her story, you’ll see some similarities to your own, as well.
Years before our heroine, Esther, was born, Babylonia was the dominant world empire. Following its conquest of Israel, many Jews were taken to Babylon as captives. Continue reading
I realize that this title sounds out of line, but stay with me and it might make sense. I intend no disrespect toward God – in reality, my goal is just the opposite. But I wonder if He sometimes feels like we see Him as our handyman. I believe we can treat Him that way and not even know it is happening.
The handyman occupation is focused on fixing things. We break something and we schedule our handyman to repair it. We do not consider the time of day or night because we know he wants us to call. We are his livelihood – he needs us. Continue reading
George Washington is quoted as saying when asked by his father if he cut down the cherry tree “I cannot tell a lie …I did cut it with my hatchet”. My guess is that he could – – and likely did lie at times in his life. General Washington undoubtedly lied to confound the enemy in order to protect the lives of his own troops.
In researching the topic of “LYING”, I found extensive information that suggests there are many reasons that people lie. Not to poo-poo these brilliant psychiatrists and psychologists who likely put in hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on their studies – – but in my very humble opinion, people lie because they WANT THEIR CAKE & WANT TO EAT IT TOO. Simple as that! The “why” a person lies is truly unimportant. Continue reading
The Bible’s view of human sexuality is quite direct: God created them “male and female” (Genesis 1:27). There are two sexes, or genders, and only two. Period!
People may be confused about their sexual identity, but the solution in such cases is to help them reconcile their mental view of themselves with biological reality. It is not to mutilate the human body in a vain attempt to work things the other way round.
Jesus was quite clear that abiding in his word is the key to knowing the truth, and it is the “truth (that) shall set you free” (John 8:32), not hormones or the surgeon’s scalpel. Continue reading
Seeing positive outcomes of some suffering should lead us to trust that God can bring good from all suffering. Consider three people who through suffering became extraordinary:
Doctors once thought that Joseph Merrick, “The Elephant Man,” had elephantiasis, though now they believe he suffered from Proteus syndrome, which causes abnormal growth of bones, skin, and other systems. Joseph was born in England in 1862 and appeared normal until age three. By age eleven, his deformities had grown severe; at that time his mother died, and later his new stepmother kicked him out.
He became a door-to-door salesman but suffered constant harassment. His condition worsened: protruding, cauliflower-like growths appeared on his head and body, and his right hand and forearm became useless. No longer able to do physical work, he took a job as a curiosity attraction. After a promoter robbed and abandoned him, he returned to London and visited Dr. Treves at the London Hospital, where he received permanent living quarters. Despite his adversities, Joseph Merrick remained cheerful and gentle, and never grew bitter. He found comfort in writing, including poetry. He died at age twenty-seven. Continue reading
There’s a lot of reasons in our world today to be overcome with discouragement. It seems there is unrest around every corner. News is filled with murder, rape, abuse, burglary, and tragedy. Entertainment has become politicized. People on social media often act like spoiled brats instead of listening to one another like mature adults. Health insurance and rent have skyrocketed, creating financial anxiety for many families.
But, followers of Jesus are to lift their heads high above these things. When Jesus warned us that life would be filled with evil, He had no intention that His people should become down-in-the-mouth. We have every reason to be joyful regardless of this world’s social climate. Continue reading
Do you sometimes feel as though your faith needs a boost? Hebrews chapter eleven is often called the “Hall of Faith.” It is meant to encourage us, but sometimes I find it discouraging when I compare myself to the people listed. Take Abraham, for instance. Can you imagine if one morning you told your wife that God had instructed you to sell the house and pack the trailer for an unknown destination? Wouldn’t go over well in my home.
Or compare your faith to that of Noah. Try convincing your kids to spend most of their lives helping you build a monstrous ship in preparation for a flood God promised to send in 100 years. (Mind you, it had never even rained up to this time.) And what about Moses? His faith moved him to trade in a life of luxury for one filled with hardship, like giving up a lucrative job for minimum wage. And how about Joshua’s faith? He simply walked around Jericho for a week, gave one shout, and the walls of Jericho crumbled. Continue reading