“If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; if gentleness, it appears in his birth. For by his birth he was made like us in all respects [Heb 2:17] that he might learn to feel our pain [cf. Heb 5:2]. If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion; if acquittal, in his condemnation; if remission of the curse, in his cross [Gal 3:13]; if satisfaction, in his sacrifice; if purification, in his blood; if reconciliation, in his descent to hell; if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb; if newness of life, in his resurrection; if immortality, in the same; if inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom, in his entrance into heaven; if protection, if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in his Kingdom; if untroubled expectation of judgement, in the power given to him to judge.” These are the words of the sixteenth century reformer John Calvin. Continue reading
In C.S. Lewis’ The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe, Peter and Susan are troubled by their youngest sister Lucie’s claim she had entered a magical world through a wardrobe in a large, old house. Lucie claims their brother Edward visited this world too, but Edward denies it. Peter and Susan decide to visit the professor, who owns the house, for advice.
To their surprise, the professor says, “How do you know…your sister’s story is not true?” Continue reading
The poster child of evangelism in John’s Gospel is not a Jew nor a man (in that male chauvinist society). Instead, it is a Samaritan woman, and one with a questionable past. With more zeal than any of the disciples – at least in John’s Gospel – she hastily goes out and tells her townspeople of the man she just met. Continue reading
What had started as a playful conversation all the sudden became quite serious. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “Go, call you husband and come back (John 4:16).” We can imagine her muttering and bumbling, “I have no husband (John 4:17).” While in her mind she may have reasoned her response to be true, yet in her heart she knew there was much more to her story. Her life had been a series of broken relationships. We can imagine the woman’s surprise when Jesus reveals his knowledge of her past, which sadly consists of five past husbands and a man she now lives with but is not her husband (John 4:18). Continue reading
There she came. A woman. A Samaritan. She was alone. In first century Palestine, any non-aristocratic woman would have had to travel daily to retrieve water. Nearly all women traveled in groups. To travel alone was dangerous. There were thieves and other ill-intentioned people, not to mention wild animals. Yet, she came alone. (John 4:1-9) Continue reading
“From whence comes love?” asked the nineteenth century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. If love comes from inside a person, can we find it? Can we go deeper and deeper into his interior and find it somewhere there? Kierkegaard would answer, “no,” because the beginning of human love is God’s love. It is like looking at a stream. Though you may see the stream, you cannot see its source. Though the stream may flow or dry up, the source may remain full. So, it is with God’s love. We cannot fully behold its source, but we can see its outflow. Continue reading
Submitted by Andy McIlvain.
I have a heart problem…and so do you.
I work in healthcare. As a nurse, I am privileged to work with many gifted and talented doctors, nurses, office workers, and other healthcare professionals. I work with a gifted cardiologist. He begins his day by turning off the light in his office, turning on two monitors, and looking at videos of people’s echocardiograms. Continue reading
Ancient stone towers litter an ancient village located at the southernmost tip of Greece. The stone towers served as family homes, at a time when the village was self-governed. The towers not only protected the village from outside invaders, but protected the villagers from each other. The families of that village had turned family feuds into a blood sport. When one family offended another, they would hurl rocks and boiling oil from the height their tower on to the other family. The families built higher and higher towers to gain the advantage; the cycle went on until the village nearly destroyed itself. Continue reading