The protestant reformer John Calvin starts the first chapter of his theological magnus opus with the words, “Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.” It is tempting to think Calvin means that the pursuit of wisdom involves searching our souls and experiences. Continue reading
The Sri Lankan Bible scholar Anjith Fernando once said: “We are living in an age when many are disillusioned with their leaders and have come to believe that it is impossible for good people, people of integrity, to succeed in life. Most good people appear to them as unsuccessful in life and they wonder whether goodness and success can be combined. To this generation, groping to find a model of success that does not contradict the voice of conscience, we present Jesus: the good person, the perfect person, who started a movement so effective that in three centuries the mighty Roman empire had bowed its knee to him.”
The philosopher Alasdair McIntyre once said that for something to make sense it needs to be put into the context of a story. So many of our disagreements today stem from arguments over what the real story is. The Bible offers us a story that can be counted on, one that makes sense of the world we live in. This story can be trusted because it comes from God.
Prior to the day of Pentecost, Jesus’ disciples committed themselves to prayer in an upper room (Acts 1:12-14). Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the gift God the Father had promised (Acts 1:4). Never underestimate the power of prayer. God has many times used the prayers of his people to accomplish great things.
At his ascension, Jesus told his followers, “…wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about (Acts 1:4).”
Hannah was one of the sweetest young ladies you ever could meet. She was bright and smart, graduating the top of her class in college. Upon graduating, she took a job at a non-profit that specialized in helping impoverished families. With her grades and newly minted credentials, she could have chosen a more lucrative career. Money, however, did not motivate Hannah. Her heart was warm and compassionate. She wanted to help those less fortunate than herself.
Hope helps move us forward. The things we hope for motivate us to get out of bed in the morning. We hope that today will be better than yesterday. Hope enables us to overcome adversity and envision a better future.
When David penned the words, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars…(Psalm 8:3),” he did not know just how big those dots of light in the night sky were. Galileo had not yet used the telescope to observe the sky.
We often hear that we are to love and pray for our enemies. But how does one do that? Psalm 4 gives us an example. Continue reading
“Arise, LORD, in your anger,” “a God who displays his wrath every day,” “he makes ready his flaming arrows.” You might not expect to find those words in the Bible. Yet, they are the words of David when his enemies pursued his life for unjust reasons. (Psalm 7)