We need to respond with the values that we see in Jesus Christ’s life.
She lived 4,000 years ago and, although she can hardly be called a celebrity, even today people all over the world are still reading about her.
If you knew nothing about Colombia, you might well think, “That’s great! There’s peace now”. But life in Colombia is never quite as straightforward as it might seem.
The servant has to travel a road that is far from straightforward; and through his journey in Genesis 24 we can learn a lot. The one characteristic that stands out above all others is his single-mindedness in serving his master.
We have become increasingly accustomed to corruption in high places, and this has resulted in a cynicism towards those in power.
Some of us, like Churchill and Isaac, may have a defining period in our lives, which leaves everything else in the shade.
Imagine you are a former member of a guerrilla. Imagine you met Jesus and you became a pastor.
The Bible never ducks sexual issues. Within its pages you will find stories of adultery, rape, and, as here with Lot’s daughters, incest. These subjects are dealt with openly, but always in a matter-of-fact way and never sensationally.
When we decide to follow Jesus, his resurrection life enters into our bodies, so that we are ‘in Christ’ and we become a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come!
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall (1 Corinthians 10:12). Bad company corrupts good character.
I was reminded of Ishmael when recently I saw a homeless teenage boy being interviewed on TV. He explained that he was on the streets because his step-father had thrown him out of the house.
Like Hagar, Paul, and Jesus, we may sometimes need to take the way of powerlessness in order to experience the power of God in our lives.
Being in the background does not absolve us from living by faith. Indeed, it is often in background roles that God can most effectively develop our character and our faith.
We Christians have so much to offer people in a post-conflict situation.
So was Abraham a superhero? In fact, he started life rather unpromisingly as a refugee from Iraq (Ur of the Chaldees), settling in Turkey (Haran), then he became a nomad in Palestine, and lived for a time as a foreigner in Egypt.
Noah was prepared to engage in a 100-year building project on the basis of a warning from God about things that he had not seen and could not yet see.
What are our hopes and aspirations for old age - if God allows us to reach that point in life? None of us can escape the ageing process: Outwardly we are wasting away, but inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
No longer is each day a struggle to work hard for Jesus, so that I can receive his approval. I know he accepts me because I have received his free gift of eternal life and grace.
When we react badly to a situation, do something that is wrong or mess up, how do we react? Cain’s example shows that we can either master sin, or we can let sin have us.
Abel was the first martyr for his faith; and his example, together with the words of Scripture, tells us that those who are killed for the sake of Christ do not lose their lives in vain.
God has given every one of us certain privileges, abilities and gifts. What are we going to do with them?
When you read a book, are you one of those people who, like me, love to be kept in suspense until the very last moment?
In this 13th chapter of Hosea we unexpectedly come across one of the most remarkable verses in the book, if not in the whole Old Testament. But first we need to see its context.
Will you, like Israel in Hosea's time, become increasingly confident in what you have gained? Or will you remember your origins, where you have come from, and so keep yourself humble before your God?
God is love. We often find this difficult to comprehend, especially when faced with hard circumstances, because our understanding of his love is so small. We find it hard to grasp how he can hold light and love in balance.
We can sow to please our sinful nature or sow to please the Spirit - in both cases we should be aware of what we are sowing for. Our sowing has consequences in the future.