grace

Leading with a Limp

Jacob holds the distinction of being the only person who wrestled with God and survived (Genesis 32:28). He not only wrestled with God but also strove with everyone around him, beginning in the womb with his twin brother, Esau (25:22). At birth, Jacob grabbed Esau’s heel (v. 26) and later tricked him out of his […]

Is Free Speech Important?

Free speech laws in Western nations have supported Christians in spreading the gospel throughout the world. Free speech is a special gift that is underappreciated by all of us. But historically, for most of two thousand years, the church has had to survive without freedom of speech. Opposition to free speech began early in the […]

Focus on the Faithful

The Early Church In the last two issues we’ve looked at the personal faithfulness of two giants of the Old and New Testaments, Abraham and Peter. We have examined the relationship of living faith between individuals and our heavenly Father, but faithfulness is also a communal reality. We are God’s people, so what does a […]

Never Will I Leave You

“I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). When I was eight years old, I read Bible verses that explained God’s love, my sin, Jesus’ sacrifice, and my need to repent and accept God’s grace in faith. God spoke to my heart. Although not audibly, He called to me: “Trust Me. Follow Me. […]

Crossing the Jordan

The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:31, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (KJV). Let’s see how the truth of this statement is illustrated in a Bible story we all know in the book of Joshua. By looking at the what, who, where, when, why, and how of Israel’s Jordan crossing, […]

Slow Cooker Conversion

My mother-in-law, Linda Whitney (Grandma Linda, to my kids) had more questions than most teens her age in the 1950s. She loved and respected her parents, but at times she wasn’t sure whether she agreed with their beliefs. Linda’s mom, Vernettie Jones, had a houseful of kids, so there wasn’t much time for them to […]

Serving in Hope

My childhood memories of many sermons in church were from men who seemed angry about a lot of things. They preached long and hard about world conditions and the imminent battle of Armageddon. I greatly feared the nations of Gog and Magog! Late at night, I thought I could hear those evil armies crashing over […]

The Priesthood

The theme of reconciliation is as old as humanity itself. Because of sin, humans damaged their relationship not only with God but also with their neighbor. Because of the Fall, communion between Adam and Eve was lost, giving rise to individualism. Both covered themselves with fig leaves, which they had not needed before: “I was […]

Amazing Grace

Jesus has entrusted us with a critical rescue mission where eternal destinies hang in the balance. Most of us realize we let Jesus down. Our lack of faithfulness reflects our lack of love. My purpose isn’t to immerse us in guilt — that’s self focused; but to help us see how much we’ve been forgiven […]

Thy Kingdom Come

The 2000 movie Pay It Forward tells the story of a seventh grader named Trevor, whose new social studies teacher issues an assignment to think of something that could change the world, and then put it into action. Trevor comes up with the idea of doing big favors for three people that are not intended […]