Some time ago a businessman was having a visit from an important investor that had the potential to greatly benefit his company. In the middle of their discussion they took a coffee break, and the investor started to discuss some personal problems. He got quite upset as he was relating a business deal that had gone sour and started to curse profusely. “I am sorry,” said the other man, “but what you just said, really hurt me. I am a Christian, and I believe dearly in the God that you just ridiculed. Please don’t say these things in my presence.” The investor looked stunned for a moment and suddenly roared: “What do you think, man? I am a Christian too. I even teach Sunday school.” The first man shook his head and quietly said: “Maybe so, but it’s hard to believe. You certainly don’t act like it.”Right away a little voice in his head whispered, “Nicely done; you just ruined the deal. Congratulations.” A month later the investor came back.Continue reading »

Strangely enough, God usually gets the blame for everything that we consider unpleasant. It’s human nature to consider everything bad in our lives to be the fault of circumstances, others or God, and everything good the logical consequence of our own smartness. Even an atheist blames God. He is the fellow who shakes his fist & defies the God he claims doesn’t exist. Not a very good picture. It’s why the Bible has not much good to say about the carnal man and our inborn sinful nature that we all have to battle with. But the good news is that God never rewards us according to our sins and shortcomings and always treats us with grace, understanding and mercy. We can read about it in Psalm 103. In fact the vision God has for us, is a vision of joy and true happiness. God believes in happiness. He is a happy God, who knows our frame and understands our deepest needs and wants us to be happy too. Of course,Continue reading »

Sometimes it looks like the whole world has gone insane. The newspapers are full of news, but it’s mostly bad. Hatred, greed and selfishness seem to be the rulers of this world and many people try to hide in holes of deep discouragement. Where is it all going to? And is there hope? Of course there’s hope. The future is as bright as the promises of God and according to the Bible, our future couldn’t be any better. When the Puritan leader John Owen was dying, his secretary was writing a last letter on his behalf. The man began his letter with the words, “Today, I am still in the land of the living, but…” John Owen motioned to him that that was not at all what he wanted to say. He motioned for the secretary to carefully listen to him and then he whispered, “Write this. Today I am still in the land of the dead, but soon I will cross the threshold and I will step into theContinue reading »

The dark clouds of the Endtime seem to be gathering. There is a storm coming and it may soon break upon our heads. The news reports are full of suffering and pain, and the immediate future could hardly be any darker. But it is only for a little while. Soon Satan’s power will be broken and man’s rule on earth is done. Then these days of pain will be like a dream that is quickly forgotten in the light of the new day, when we raise our hands in joy and worship to the King of Kings. What a day it will be when love is the standard by which we live. The Kingdom of God is coming; Jesus will come for a second time. But the Bible is full of prophecies about the time just before the return of Christ. In Matthew 24 Jesus Himself prophesied, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come toContinue reading »

“Who are my . . . brothers?” – Mark 3:33 With these words Jesus puts forth a question of family and brotherhood. While scholars debate, and renounce, interpretations that claim that Mary had other children the words of Jesus speak clearly- following the Word of God forms a bond as strong as that of blood among Christians. Jesus knew the unique relationship which exists among brothers. No one can fight with each other the way two brothers, no one can get one as angry as a brother can, but no one can help like a brother can. The connection between brothers surpasses and can not be limited by time or distance. The blood and history which exists between brothers- or sisters- has the power to overcome such obstacles. Past insults or hurts are forgiven when a brotherly connection is made. My only brother lives many hundreds of miles away from me and I have not seen him in years. We have had close times and tumultuous times in our lives. Continue reading »

“With God all things are possible” – Mark 10:26 Jesus gives this comforting thought in the midst of his teachings about the danger of riches. Christianity does not oppose riches or success; it is not a religion of deprivation and suffering. However, the road to wealth is laden with difficulties for the Christian. Money intoxicates and compromises judgment. Money becomes an end to itself, not means to an end. For many, money is not a tool that can served, but a demanding taskmaster that is to be served. The gaining of wealth can become addictive; there is never enough money and always more to gain. The singular pursuit of wealth was as common in ancient times as it is today- and Jesus was well aware of the dangers. Jesus states that it is easier for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God. The “eye of the needle” is something that few people can agree upon. Many scholarsContinue reading »

God puts people on our hearts to pray for and to come alongside as Aaron and Hur did for Moses during the battle between the Amalekites and the Israelite army led by Joshua in Exodus chapter 17. The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Continue reading »

Face it, church can be dull and boring for a generation that has grown up with flashy entertainment and constant ad campaigns promising services and products that will bring fun! fun! fun! Then add to that those who grew up with the fast-paced Bill Nye the Science Guy and watch today’s Red Zone from the NFL Network. Images are constantly changing in such a way that if it were possible, the conscious mind would hyperventilate. Many of us have jobs and/or families that keep us busy well into the night. In short, our minds are always active. Vacations and entertainment used to offer relief. They don’t seem to help anymore. Vacations are either packed with activities or they’re filled with heart-pumping, adrenalin producing thrills or we allow our work to interfere with cell phone calls and emails. Action-packed thriller books and movies are designed to engage us within the first few seconds and keep us on the edge of our seats throughout the story time. Concerts have laser displays, pyrotechnics,Continue reading »

“I will send him to you” – John 16:7 With these words Jesus assures us that the Holy Spirit will come to us to continue Jesus’ ministry, guide us, and help us. The Holy Spirit, or the Paraclete, is the Christian understanding of the “Spirit of the Lord”, found throughout the Old Testament. The Hebrew term for “Spirit” is RUACH. The words can rendered “breath”, “wind”, or “Spirit”. When the Lord bestows His Spirit upon a man, or humankind, it is a changing force that can not be contained. While we can not know the mind of God or understand His ways, we know that the Spirit of the Lord is a powerful intervening force through which God accomplishes His ends in the lives of humankind. The Spirit is the great wind of which we read in the first verse of Genesis. It is the RUACH that was put into the nostrils of man that gave him life. It was the RUACH which came upon the Judges and the Davidic Kings. Continue reading »

I am shattered. Tears fill my eyes so I can barely see. I blink them away quickly; still they run down my cheeks unchecked. I think my heart is breaking. I am shaken by the news – the news that I can hardly believe. What are they saying? How can this be? Are they blind? Yet another high profile Christian, not fallen, but walking into the darkness of atheism willingly, declaring Christianity a sham, a weak crutch full of lies and manipulations designed to ensnare the unsuspecting. How can this be? There is a pain in my chest; I feel like I cannot breathe, and I grieve for the deceived. So many thinking they have real life, real salvation, something to really live for. Suddenly they stand and walk away from God as if He were never even there. He’s there because He’s everywhere, but they can’t see Him. It’s a tragedy, yet no one even knows it. The unsaved call it liberation. The religious call it back-sliding. The savedContinue reading »

Forgive us our debts as we have also forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12 (NIV) A debtor is someone who owes something to someone. Therefore “our debtors” are people who owe us something. The New Living Translation replaces the words “debt” and “debtor” with “sins” and “sin against us.” This clears up the question of “what do they owe us?” If someone sins against us what they owe is variable. They probably owe at least an apology, but perhaps they owe a great deal more – more than they can repay you, if they even care about repaying you at all. Our sins against God are much greater than we can ever repay; therefore, Jesus became a man and bore our sins against God on the cross to repay all of our “debts” that we could not pay. Still, even in the light of all that we have been pardoned for, we often times refuse to forgive wrongs done to us by other people. The Bible tells us that God forgivesContinue reading »