Category: The Gospel and the Christian Life

Trading Fear for Confidence

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? . . . You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me” (Psalm 56:3-4, 8-9). This Psalm has many facets to it that will speak to the human heart. In this Psalm, we find enemies chasing, cries for...

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The Guiding Thermostat in Paul’s Letter

The Guiding Thermostat in Paul’s Letter The oven in our apartment is a mystery to me. The markings on the dials have long been worn off by previous tenants. When the workers come to replace the empty gas tank for the oven, I excuse myself to the living room (as is appropriate culturally). If I bake cupcakes, they might lean to the left or the right indiscriminately. At Thanksgiving time the only sure bet for roasting the turkey properly is a trusty meat thermometer and lots of patience, and an adventurous spirit. I have so many questions about my...

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Unto the Hills: How God Defends His Saints

Unto the Hills (Psalm 121) As the ancient Hebrew children of God made their way up to Jerusalem, they sang the Psalms of Ascent. One of those, Psalm 121, remains one of the most beloved selections from the sacred Psalter. Perhaps, it is because the Psalmist is enabled to paint a picture with mere words which we all can relate to. For as the Psalmist begins with the unforgettable phrase, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help,” the reader must face the juxtaposition of the serene vista of God’s creation, in their...

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There Must Be Factions Among You

Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is an epistle filled with rebuke and correction. And in chapter 11, Paul is in the middle of some scathing denunciations of some horrific abuses of the Lord’s Supper. Then, in verse 19, he takes a wholly unexpected turn and says, “There must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.” How strange, we might think, for Paul to go from telling the Corinthians how wrong this situation is to telling them that such occasions are absolutely necessary! The fact that Paul describes false teaching...

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Empty Nest, Full Heart

Subaru has captured the quintessential where did the time go moment. In a recent commercial entitled Moving Out, a blonde-haired little boy packs up his belongings and puts them into the back of the family Impreza. His faithful puppy tags behind. Although way too young to venture out on his own, he remains undaunted in his task. He returns to his room for another box. Something feels strange here. His dad, looking out into the hall from a bedroom, raises an eyebrow when he sees an oversized box making its way down the stairs. His little boy, barely visible...

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