As we start our fourth year, we thank God for His Grace, and all our readers for your support.
Defining a Christian's relationship to the Law of Moses.
Henna is only referred to twice in the Song of Songs (chapter 1:14 and 4:13), in relation to beauty, fragrance and love.
Five tests from the pen of J.C. Ryle (1816-1900).
Constantly watching others can make us lose sight of our own goals.
There is only one verse in the Bible where cotton is mentioned (Esther 1 v 6), although many versions translate it as linen.
We are our own worst enemy when we follow only our own desires.
Desire itself is not evil, on the contrary, it is a delight in pleasure implanted by an infinitely festive Creator.
The term was translated as “cedar”, “poplar” and even “cypress” as it was thought that fir trees did not exist in Biblical lands.
Humans are intrinsically religious because there is a real God who created us and who we are searching for.
In the Bible we see people like us who were tempted to give in, but were restored by God.
In ancient times carob pods were used to feed horses, donkeys and pigs, though they could also be used as a source of food for humans.
Even in an apparently God-forsaken place there is beauty and humanity worthy of a symphony.
There's nothing like reacting to aggression and scorn with a smile and kindness, turning the other cheek.
The phone I hold in my hands makes me behave and relate to others differently than I did before.
Power reveals who we are, and reveals even more the fundamentals of our worldview.
Remembering R.C. and the Chicago Statement.
Debora means “bee”, an animal regarded by the Hebrews as organised, wise and hard-working.
Twelve months of blessing, provision and harvest are on the way.
Marriages can’t flourish out of self-centered postures.
How could a life-long atheist abandon evolutionary materialism and embrace the existence of God?
We are often cranky and cynical already at a young age, aren’t we?
Possession is less demanding than belonging, but it raises anxiety nonetheless to an aging person.
The Bible says that some day, everyone in the world will kneel before the Lord Jesus, and acknowledge his lordship over all.
You need more than superpowers to flourish in your family and in life.
Beauty, at least the kind of beauty the impressionists captured, can for now be only momentary.
There is a slavery that is all the more insidious for being largely hidden and undetected: the slavery of sin.
The Dead Sea area - situated some 400 metres below sea level - only gets 150 to 200 per square metre per year.
There is always much more going on in the heavenly realms than we are aware of here on earth.
No-one can consider themselves too old to serve the Lord and others.
The Bible says that everyone who has received Jesus as Lord of his life is one of his ambassadors.
The Four Seasons are portraits carefully crafted by each season’s elements, and questions our notions of the human face and the sentiments it evokes.
God established one way to him in Jesus. There is no other mediator, no other system by which to reach God except through Jesus.
How sad it is to have heard the word of God, and to allow it to be snatched away.
We are not neutral to the outcome of our spiritual journeys. As objective as we try to be, we want to arrive at some outcome, be it belief or disbelief.
How can you know if you are really a believer?
If God doesn’t change your inside, you’re living by appearances.
Without commitment, you can't grow in any area, be it sport, work, or relationships, much less in your spiritual life.
The greatest madness, the supreme stupidity of the human being consists in hearing the Word of God, delighting in it, but without wanting to put it into practice.
We feel pressured to live and work as a salvation project where I’m the hero of my own story.
Do we have any long-term vision for our own lives, for our family, for our church, for our city, for our country?
The need to recover the God of the Bible.
It is easy to deconstruct other points of view but what about your own views?
We are hungry for it, but we fear it so much. Bend space and transcend time, no worries, but don’t ascribe it real meaning.
Now a refugee in Italy, Sayid is running away from his past. He fled his Middle-Eastern home when charged with blasphemy after he confronted an Iman who often abused sexually a boy.
Sometimes we need to take time to think and go back over our actions. You can learn a lot this way, not only when you win, but more especially when you lose.
Peter tells us that we have been called to blessing, in order to inherit a blessing.
Only our personal relationship with God is worth anything. Only God deserves our effort, our time, and our lives if need be.
God will set things right in his time, the right time.
Answering a tricky question.
They are ruminating animals, capable of running more than one hundred kilometres a day without eating or drinking anything. Hence they were trained in Arabia in the 13th century before Christ, as the basis of what has come to be known as the "camel civilisations".
I’ve found that biographies are a great way to take our minds to other periods, “live” someone’s life, learn some of their lessons, and reassess our own lives.
Art can help us unwrap the riches of Scripture. Our world was created by the greatest of Artists, after all.
A closer look at a controversial chapter.
What about the gospels not included in the Bible? Why were they not chosen? What do they say?
When we are caught with the silverware, God offers also the candlesticks.
God says that he will exalt the humble and reject the proud. And there is nothing worse in approaching God than to go in a proud way.
Rumours don't help anything or anybody, nor do they serve to strengthen friendships or affections, they only cause frustration and anguish.
The extension of the plot beyond the ecstatic falling in love of romantic comedies surprised me.
Does God ever go against our wills?
The guests are celebrities such as writers, comic book artists, politicians and journalists, so I’m not sure what I was doing there.
A beginner's guide to theology.
Growth in the Christian life depends on our knowing the will of God and obeying it, day by day.
Jesus understood that when religion springs out of fear it becomes really a religion of power.
A closer look at the eight key arguments of Luther's 1525 masterpiece.
Will Graham mentions ten reasons why God blows him away.
Gaga’s video is a lucid cultural depiction of sin. She knows who the right guy is, and yet cannot leave the wrong one.
In our context in Rome, Italy, adult baptism has a counter-cultural ring. Most people here are baptized when they are infants.
Being so ugly, bald and having a taste for dead meat, they tend not to be seen as the most charismatic of animals. Nevertheless, they have certain features which make them unique.
Our stories cannot help but echo the universe’s defining moment.
The common deer (Cervus elaphus) often appears in the Bible as an illustration.
Are we prepared to simplify our lives for the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord?
For the past decades, many scientists have affirmed so, extrapolating an overarching, all-explaining philosophy out of the biological process of the evolution of the species.
The choice of companion to get married to depends on your own relationship with God.
A closer look at what the German Reformer thought about the Word.
To become a force for life and healing, we have some striving and some growing to do.
Biographers of Marc Chagall mention the “gift for happiness,” the “sacred simplicity” which characterized his art, and which was articulated in large part by his ingenious, vibrant use of color.
Donald Trump is the President of the most powerful country in the world; and no doubt before entering into office he thought that all he had to do was give the orders and they would be carried out.
How philosophy and science point to a personal Creator.
You and I are not the centre of the world.
When the molting period is over, the eagle's youth is renewed and it looks like a different bird altogether.
There’s a Heavenly kind of logic, right there: If you believe, you’ll see (not the other way round).
Freud paraphrases Jesus’ famous words with his own, rather peppery, twist.
Compassion should always be our over-riding motivation, and we should always offer people a way out of their situation; otherwise our words are only condemnation.
Simple preaching is powerful preaching.
The bird got its name from the English clergyman, Henry Baker Tristram, who took an interest in the Bible's natural history, and therefore in the fauna of Israel.
What remains of modern ideology, free-market capitalism, gives us some nice gadgets but does not nurture the soul.
Have you ever felt so full of joy that you literally prayed: 'Let me die?'
Who are the people who have made a positive difference to our lives along the way? And have we remembered them?
Joseph could have become a spoiled success, an adolescent who dreams of power, receives power, and remains adolescent.
The secret of forgiveness is not what we do but what God has already done.
Ten reasons why Will Graham admires the American preacher, Paul Washer.
Jesus is the question that haunts us still. He is the promise we dare not ignore.
Nobody does any more important work than those who pray for others.
The testimony of a wonderful man of God, John Harper (1872-1912).
God wants us to tell him our desires and dialogue with us over them; but most of all he wants us to delight ourselves in him.
Bee colonies give the impression of being a single organism made up of thousands of individual parts.
Rereading Schaeffer some thirty years later seems eerily prophetic.
Get rid of evil from inside you, or it will finish by conquering you.
“Seize the day. Live for the moment. Be yourself.” Behind the vitality these maxims exude there is such desperation, so much fear.
We are living in a society which is driven by appearance and image, where aesthetics take precedence over ethics and morality.
The forgotten doctrine of the fear of God.
The captain of Pharaoh’s guard, was a person who benefitted from the blessing of God on his household through the presence of a believer.
Strawberry juice, with its bitter-sweet taste and mouth-watering aroma, is one of the most complex natural products of the vegetable kingdom.
How Isaac's example should teach us all.
– “I beg your pardon?” – “Yes, the person you need to see is Mr Crow! Come this way, follow me, I’ll introduce him to you, I’m his wife!”
Do you have the courage now to ask your teenage children, your spouse or a trusted friend if you have any double standards?
I wish our public discourse would reflect the complexity of life more fully.
It is 588 metres high and stands on the southern edge of Lower Galilee. It was a sacred mountain for the Canaanites, and then also for the Northern Israelite tribes.
The gospel we nod to today is something like: believe in yourself. Be authentic. Be you. You’re beautiful. Fulfill your dream.
Nothing can compare to the security of our relationship with him and the peace that he puts in our hearts.
A closer look at Spurgeon's teaching on regeneration.
I walk on to a stretch on the edge of the forest that is particularly full of light, and right there: Whoosh!
A closer look at Romans 10:6-8.
When we accommodate our moral beliefs and choices to our personal preferences, we are almost always distorting the message of Jesus Christ.
60 explosive quotes from an old-fashioned prophet of the Lord.
As the psalmist says, the Moon has enabled mankind to measure time with remarkable accuracy, and to reflect on the nature of the cosmos.
God did not look at the arrogant young Joseph and say, ‘That’s it. He’s blown it. I can’t do anything with him.’ Not at all.
To speak evil of others is the sport practised by 99% of cowards, those who are afraid to solve their own problems face to face.
How to prepare an expository sermon.
The Bible is not like our Western society. It does not glorify sex. But it certainly does not avoid it.
As there is no better way of gaining time than by talking with God I go into the forest.
A fresh look at the infamous Down-Grade controversy.
Ten key lessons from Christmas-time.
We do not often remember that bitterness is one of Satan's favourite weapons.
No term in human language is sufficient to adequately express the greatness of the resurrection.
I remember one young man who never told me his name or address. He gave me his Olympic Volunteer jacket when he found out I was a foreign visitor.
‘Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven...’ (Jesus, in the Gospel of Matthew 18:18)
The Prince of Preachers on the Holy Spirit.
Just what was Peter talking about?
Remembering the Dutch reformer, Hendrik de Cock.
How will we react if God calls us to take a step of faith which could have drastic consequences?
Quotes by Pink on the Scriptures.
Some lessons from Moses' intercessory prayer.
The Bible says that time is running out and that all prophecies about the future are about to be fulfilled.
God took the initiative to solve your problems, out of love.
The Bible gives us extensive guidance on how his heart functions, but there are many situations where we will also need that extra dimension of Spirit leading to help us apply the Bible to our current situation.
I really have to go for a walk.
Our efforts to gain more influence and power may lead us to execute the very Jesus we hope to announce.
No matter what sort of bad habit we're fighting against, God shows us how to break it.
Share the Gospel with your children this Christmas.
Sometimes, not deciding and just "dithering" is worse than making the wrong choice.
What's all this fuss about the Babe of Bethlehem?
- ‘My kids and I used to make dens in their bedrooms with sheets and things. We made up this whole new world, full of adventures… ‘
How to use the word 'amen' wisely.
God has promised to be with you, whether things go well or badly.
What is the Gospel all about?
Whatever you do, you can't heal your worst wound. That's why God provides a remedy.
The sun can now get right down into every corner of the garden, the tender shoots of new grass can finally start to flourish.
How an eighteenth-century preacher dedicated his life to Christ.
The more of Christ we have in the world, the more peace and human flourishing we will have.
Celebrating Reformation week with the prophet of Protestantism.
A quick introduction to Credobaptism.
Will Graham names his ten favourite Luther theses.
Drama–at the theater but also in movies, books, TV–is a modern religious mechanism.
Do we want to be healed, say, of our greed or bad moods? I’m not quite sure. Being healed includes changes and sacrifices.
Six characteristics of true repentance.
You never forget what you learned as a child.
These insects are mentioned in the Bible ten times, in the Old and New Testament.
Key doctrines that characterize the church’s preaching during seasons of revival.
We're the ones who miss the opportunities to do good, help others, speak of God's love, or defeat the enemy.
How Lloyd-Jones can help the evangelical church today.
God never deceives anyone! No friend is as important as he is. No-one can understand you as well as God does.
The leading Welsh preacher shares thirteen characteristics regarding true evangelicals.
God is not an idea. Or concept. Or system of doctrines. Or force.
Why is there no room for God in our society?
I liked the Psalm’s image of the tree because it measures our prosperity not in the base of how much we receive but in how much we give.
Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be good enough to "compete" in heaven!
When the Lord gives us a word to guide our lives, he only reveals to us as much as we need to know at that time.
This kind of situation has Jesus written all over it…
It's often essential in life to fight on without wasting a second, especially in the spiritual realm.
A closer look at Matthew 8:1-4.
A closer look at how to preach the Word faithfully.
I don’t know where Fitzgerald got his inspiration for Benjamin Button, but it got me thinking about another baby who was born old.
Brazilian transgender pastor Alexya Salvador claims Christ was the first transsexual.
The Bible gives us some very interesting insight into the minds of those who have committed a serious crime.
We should not turn back in the face of seemingly impossible difficulty. God takes charge of solving impossible problems.
If you look at it realistically, Jesus was a very unattractive messiah to believe in. He was a peasant who lived in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire.
‘Being’ is more important than ‘doing’ (because without a relationship with God, only death awaits). In short, whatever you do, let it be inspired by love!
Jesus taught a spiritual lesson that we often forget: what there is inside us is what really matters.
As Paul says, people ought to regard us as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 4:1).
Everything man puts his mind to doing, no matter how good it is, cannot be compared to the wonders created by God.
Why Christians reject Pantheism, Deism and Dualism.
God does not blame us for turning towards him when we do not understand something
A closer look at what Jesus thought of the Bible.
Our food is nothing more than the daily reading of the Bible and the daily contact with God in prayer.
Within an inch of victory, a very popular newspaper (a giant) makes me bite the dust, refusing the interview that it dangled in front of me.
In other words, just as the partridge, which covers eggs that are not its own, will probably lose the chicks later on, so anyone who stores up riches that do not belong to them will end up losing everything.
Three truths that help us overcome the power of the flesh.
By focusing on our aspirations, resentments and grievances, the world-as-spa message exhorts us to be self-centered, begrudge the needs of others, focus on our personal freedom.
Why Scripture refuses to separate the theological from the historical.
In Jesus God became human, thus bringing himself into proximity with the nature that he had created. Animals were the silent witnesses of this unique and mysterious event.
God has taught us to pay all that we owe, and to give honour to those who deserve it.
The resurrection of Jesus is not only a victory over biological death, but a victory over global Death and over the prince of darkness.
More than 200,000 spectators watched the final of the 1950 Football World Cup. Against all the odds Uruguay beat Brazil at home at the Maracaná stadium.
What is my picture of death? What awaits me? Will beauty engulf me, or will I dance on its bosom? Will I finish by myself, or will eternity ravish me with overflowing life.
God looks for people willing to put themselves in his hands, and go anywhere without any conditions, at whatever the cost.
A closer look at the doctrine of election.
The best way of resting is to have a personal and private conversation with God.
The Christian narrative leaves us remarkably healed from fear and free to enjoy the delights of this world and long for the eternal ones.
Don't stay in the "almost". Commit yourself to God today , right now Hell is full of "almost safe" people.
The Old Testament links the health of the body with the health of the soul.
Stop feeding resentment, doubt, problems and bad memories, and put a moment of gratitude in their place, of happiness...a sweet memory.
For a long time, archaeologists doubted the historicity of Solomon and the horses which, according to the Bible, he possessed, as at that time supposedly only camels were used.
A defence of the Spirit's personhood from the Old Testament.
And something happens inside little godless, lawless me: I need to know more about it.
The stars, be they the celestial or the marine varieties, shine brightly or stand out against the background where they are located.
A proposal has been growing on me that I believe honors the heart of mature masculinity without succumbing to Nietzsche’s übermensch, patriarchy, or gnostic sexuality.
He suffered in our place, because that was what we deserved, including the crown of thorns.
Whatever your fears are (timidity, challenges, etc.), here’s a piece of advice: if Jesus asks you to walk on water, don’t think about it too much, just do it…
God’s hiddenness is one of his most unnerving qualities.
We want to do good to others, because God does good to all. It is the natural fruit of our life with God.
A closer look at 2 Samuel 1:26.
God has placed people with more wisdom at our side to help us in difficult moments. Never despise his advice, given through these people.
Instead of logos and pathos, Aristotle chose instead ethos: the speaker’s character.
A big Harley, with a roar that would make hell tremble, is parked in front of the church door.
Why is marrying-for-love so obvious to us today? There are of course many historical factors. But I wonder whether one of the most important ones isn’t a letter written many years ago.
Begin by asking God to show us his will and then everything else will fall into place in its time.
While horses were often used for war, donkeys were symbols of peace, which is why Christ chose to enter the capital of Israel as a gentle and humble king on the back of a donkey's colt.
The importance of keeping up-to-date with God.
As soon as I arrived at the apartment, my ten year old son called out to me from his bed: - ‘Dad! Dad! I’ve got a passage from the Bible to read to you...’
A closer look at the sufficiency, clarity, authority and necessity of Scripture.
We all prayed before the computer, with its email from Beijing, opening a new door to the Holy Spirit to reach a whole country.
When we want everything to finish quickly, it's because we are afraid of losing our victory in the last moments.
Tamar knew what it was to be blamed for something that was not at all her fault; and that blame determined the course of her whole life.
Being a Christian is not an excuse for mediocrity, nor is it an excuse to passively accept defeat.
There is a danger that we can all fall into - to do things only for others to admire us.
I am listening to Revelation 21 which talks to me about God’s house, with its foundations of precious stones... I stop: - ‘Precious stones!’
How to listen to a sermon.
Earwigs are calm and peaceful insects which feed on aphids and sea-slug eggs, which makes them beneficial for agriculture.
Do you still think you are self-sufficient?
There is wisdom in the Holy Scriptures which vastly surpasses the knowledge that was available to human beings at the time!
If we are not capable of giving, we have not learned what loving means.
Jesus overcame death, when, after suffering on the cross, he came back to life, proving himself the victor when he appeared to more than five hundred people in different situations.
What did the three main Reformers think about Christmas?
Simeon and Levi are lessons to us when we are tempted to use violence - physical or verbal – to bring about what we desire (or, worse still, what we think God desires).
These giants contemplate me scornfully from on high, looking at the little man at their feet in a monk-like silence. Who dares disturb their sleep?
The feng shui mirrors, the statuettes of Ganesh, the Tarot games... From now on, they have no need of these lucky charms and protections, as they have all of that and morem, in Jesus alone!
They reside in the dark rocky depths close to the shore, but when they are exposed to artificial light they show off their marvellous colours. But there is nothing ostentatious about their display.
Sexual immorality really does open a doorway for the devil, not only in one’s own life, but in the whole community.
In a world in which everything is subject to the passing of time and the inexorable entropy of decay, true wisdom consists in taking hold of that which is truly immutable and everlasting.
Am I actually / really competent at anything? / How does it feel to be a grown up?
A winner lives by his character, but that is not enough: he has to add training, concentration and physical condition to play in a team.
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