One of my favorite Old Testament Bible stories is one of true love. Isaac and Rebekah were destined to be together, and their story was anything but ordinary. Perhaps I love this story because I’m a romantic at heart. I envision what it must have been like for Rebekah and leave her family home to journey towards a husband she had never met. Her courage, bravery, and faith in God’s promise are truly inspiring. But what is even more inspiring is how God moved in His love through it all. Continue Reading
Relationships matter to God. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus responded by telling them to love God and to love one another. In fact, six of the Ten Commandments are actually relational in nature and they concern how we treat one another (stealing, lying, committing adultery, etc.). We serve a relational God, and He designed us to be relational as well. We need each other in this life. And for this reason, friendship matters to God… especially when it comes to our relationships with each other as His children. Continue Reading
Most of us have heard the story. In his old age, Abraham is given a son named Isaac. But God asks Abraham to do the unthinkable… to sacrifice this son on an altar. Some would say this test of Abraham was mean and cruel. Others would suggest that God had a divine purpose in asking Abraham to do such a thing. But what we must remember as Christians today is that every story found in Scripture is significant.
After all, it was Jesus who said that all Scripture indeed pointed to Him. (John 5:39) Continue Reading
When it comes to ways to share the Gospel with others, I’ve learned many methods throughout my years as a Christ follower. I’ve learned the importance of preparing my own personal testimony. (After all, no one can argue with your story.) I’ve also learned the importance of knowing the Bible well enough to share it. (Be prepared in and out of season, right?) But what about those in our lives who don’t want to talk about Jesus?
Are there ways to share the Gospel of Jesus without saying a word? Continue Reading
Before seminary, I gave very little thought to theology. After all, I was an everyday, ordinary Christian… not a theologian. While I enjoyed studying and reading the Bible, I never once saw myself as a scholarly theologian. In my mind, that job was reserved for teachers and commentators. But if there is one thing I learned from attending seminary, it’s that theology is important. In fact, it has the power to shape your entire worldview. I also learned that based on our studying and even our personal experiences, our theology has a way of shifting and adapting throughout our lives. Some of the greatest theologians in history changed their points of view throughout their lives and ministries.
Truth be told, we are all theologians… even if we don’t know it yet. Continue Reading
The book of Job tells the story of a man who lost everything. And in the midst of his suffering, he never gave up his faith in God. It’s a story that most of us have at least heard bits and pieces of… even outside of the church. At first glance, it can seem like a dark and intense book of poetry. But the suffering of Job has a lot to say to us as Believers today. In fact, it points to Christ in some very interesting ways. Continue Reading
As a child, I remember hearing the Old Testament story about the Tower of Babel. But to be honest, it often baffled me. On the surface, it seemed like a simple story of how God scattered people across the whole earth and gave them different languages. But when I actually took the time to think about it, I simply couldn’t relate. Did these men really think they could build a tower to God?
Fast forward to the Day of Pentecost. In Acts 2, we are told that the gift of the Holy Spirit had arrived causing the people to speak each other’s languages. And while these stories may seem unrelated, the issue of language strangely connects them. In one story, language separates the people. And in the other… it connects them. Continue Reading
What does it mean to be obedient to God? To some, this may seem like a simple question with an even simpler answer. We are obedient to God when we obey Him and His Word. But if someone were to ask you to explain this in further detail or to make it more practical, what would you say?
Perhaps you would tell them to obey the Bible. But what about the Old Testament laws? Where do they fit in with all of this? And if we’re not required to obey all of the Old Testament laws, which rules of the Bible are we supposed to obey and what makes them different from the rest? Truth be told, depending on your denominational views as well as personal beliefs and experiences, your view of what obedience to God looks like may be different from your fellow Christian neighbor.
So what does it really mean to be obedient to God? Continue Reading
How do you define the grace of God? Is it His mercy? His blessing or favor in your life? His gift of salvation? As Christians, we hear about God’s grace on a regular basis. But do we fully understand its meaning and purpose? Is it possible that there’s more to it than we realize? Continue Reading
“No” is such a simple word. So simple, in fact, that it often becomes one of a child’s firsts words. I speak from experience when I say that most toddlers love saying the word… almost as much as they hate hearing it! But all joking aside, the power of no is something we learn at a very young age. And while the concept is simple as a child, “no” has a way of becoming a complicated word as we mature into adults. But what would happen if we chose to embrace the power of no as adults the same way we did as a child? Continue Reading
We know as Christians that we are called to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. But what does this mean exactly? And what role do we play in making this happen? Continue Reading
Most of us have heard of a man named Noah. He was a righteous man of God at a time when the world was at its worst. In fact, the world was so evil that God saw it fitting to start over. He was saddened by His creation so much so that He sent a world-wide flood to destroy it. Only Noah and His family were spared. Continue Reading
We all crave peace in our lives. No one enjoys chaos and unrest. So we attempt to find it any way we can. We try to make some alone time for ourselves, take warm bubble baths, minimize our schedules, take vacations, etc. But in the end, do we really feel any more at peace? And what happens when life throws us a curve ball? Everything we do to try to find peace in our lives only lasts for so long. Sooner or later, that “peace” runs out and we are off trying to find peace some other way. The truth is that we need the peace of God in our lives. Only His peace surpasses all understanding. And only in Him can we be at peace even in the midst of trying times.
I love the stories found in the Old Testament. Growing up, I remember learning all about Noah and the flood, Jonah and the whale, David and Goliath, and Daniel in the lions’ den. But while the pages of the Old Testament are filled with courageous stories that inspire us to trust God in all things, there are also some difficult aspects to consider. The Old Testament contains the Law of Moses, biblical prophecy, and many difficult (and often controversial) passages. So as a child, my Bible studies skipped over a lot of these elements. I studied the individual stories, but the controversial pieces were kept to a minimum.
The problem with studying the Old Testament the way I did as a child is that it feels very disconnected. How do these men and women relate to one another? How do they relate to God’s Law and covenants? And most importantly, how do they relate to Jesus and our salvation? Continue Reading
If only I had a better paying job, I would feel better about my finances. If only my children would learn to listen more, I could be a better mom. And if only my spouse would pitch in more with the day-to-day chores, I would feel less overwhelmed. There are many reasons why some of us may be lacking contentment in our lives, but the truth is that most of them aren’t valid. We have a tendency to blame everything (or everyone) around us for the fact that we simply don’t have it.
But truth be told, a lack of contentment has nothing to do with the people around us or our circumstances. Continue Reading