In the town of Wellsboro, Pa, where I live, we reached record-breaking rain fall. Water was overflowing everywhere. Every stream roared with rushing water. Every hollow was filled. Every depression in our yards seemed fit for an ant’s kayak. The apostle Paul identified overflowing with thankfulness as one mark of the Christian life (Colossians 2:7). Continue reading
Where can peace be found? (Luke 2:1-7)
Peace comes in many forms. We long for the day when peace between nations will end all wars. Our hearts ache for reconciliation with those we have become estranged. Nature earnestly awaits the day when her relationship with humanity becomes symbiotic rather than parasitic. Our hearts and minds seek a state of tranquility. Our bodies ache for freedom from deterioration and decay. Can such a peace that fulfills all these types of peace be found?Continue reading
The Wellspring in the Wilderness (Numbers 20:1-13)
The Israelites were gunny-sacking. Gunny-sacking occurs when we store up a list of grievances instead of dealing with them in the order they happen. It is a common experience among married people. A sock left on the floor, the cap left off the toothpaste, or a dish filled with dirty dishes becomes the fodder for the argument that erupts. Before long, the couple no longer knows what started it all. It is as if they had been carrying invisible burlap sacks on their shoulders, throwing grievances in, until finally something as small as a toothpaste cap causes the sack to bust and grievances spill all over.Continue reading
Is Jesus a Corner Stone or a Stumbling Block? (1 Peter 2:4-10)
There have always been two building projects going on throughout history, into which all other projects generally fit into. There are those projects that join with the people of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) to build a tower to the heavens to make a name for oneself or one’s group. Then there are those projects that partner with God to make a name for him, by exalting his Son, Jesus Christ, to his rightful place (Philippians 2:9-11).Continue reading
Think on Christ’s Second Coming (1 Peter 1:13-21)
It has been said that Christians are so heavenly minded they are of no earthly good. While this may be the case with some Christians, this ought never to be the case with the Christian faith. Continue reading
Why did Jesus keep his ministry a secret? (Mark 1:29-34)
There was a peculiarity about Jesus’ ministry that may surprise you in today’s content-driven, media-crazed culture. Throughout most of his earthly ministry, Jesus kept his identity under wraps. If social media had existed in Jesus’ day, he would not have used it. He would have been the person at the party saying, “No photos online, please!” Continue reading
A Commitment Whose Benefits Far Outweigh its Cost (Mark 1:16-20)
Commitment is waning in our society. Sociologist Peter Berger once said, “The modern mind is distinguished by this: to the modern person, our needs and our own fulfillment is more real to us than any other obligation.” Berger is saying that if it comes to choosing between fulfilling our own desires or fulfilling our commitment to another – say a child, parent, boss, our membership in a group, etc. – we have a greater tendency to choose fulfilling our own desires than we did several decades ago. Many sociologists say this trend has only gotten worse since Berger said this. Continue reading
The sacrifice that reconciles (Leviticus 1)
The late teacher and theologian R.C. Sproul once told about an encounter he had with the holiness of God. He was in college and a recent convert to Christianity. One afternoon, he felt compelled to leave his dorm, brace icy weather, and make his way to the chapel. There he sank to his knees, speechless. Terror overcame him, which gave way to deep peace. Continue reading
It was the Best of Times; it was the Worst of Times (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Submitted by Andy McIlvain.
In his book A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens has given the literary world one of the greatest statements of all time. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…” This so aptly describes our age and our world.
Have You Not Heard? (Isaiah 40:28)
Submitted by Andy McIlvain.
We must not forget Christmas is about celebrating the Incarnation of God, Jesus fully God and fully man. Before he was born, the Ancient of Days thought about being born. The form God chose to enter and experience his creation was an infant that grew and matured and was born in the same way as you and I. Somehow God’s infinite power was contained within a fragile infant. Continue reading