Imprisoned in Rome and chained to a guard day in and day out, the apostle Paul faced an uncertain future. He didn't know whether he would be acquitted or beheaded. Yet Paul was able to rejoice amid those circumstances.
Did you know that you were prewired for hope? There is a restlessness in the human heart for something more than this world can offer.
I think someone should establish a national Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Maybe they already have. I know I for one appreciate those officers who serve our communities, our nation, and us. These are people just like us, who have, in many ways, made a sacrifice to literally risk their lives each and every day for relatively little pay. I think this appreciation is overdue, especially in the light of the NYC police officers who were just murdered.
There are two ways that we can live our lives: the right way or the wrong way. There are two paths that we can take in life: the right path or the wrong path. The result is that we can live either the happy and holy way or the miserable and unholy way.
I am not a film reviewer, but I am a fan of film in general and have been anxiously awaiting the release of the new movie Unbroken, which is the life story of someone I got to personally know, Louis Zamperini. Let me start by saying I loved it. I, for one, wish Louis's conversion was included in the film.
Are you trying to live in two worlds? If so, then I know something about you. I know you're not happy. Am I right? When you spend time around other Christians, you're uncomfortable because of your sin. On the other hand, when you're doing things you know you shouldn't as a Christian, then you have the conviction of that sin.
In this day of instant information, we can get our news so fast that we don't have to wait for the evening news anymore. We don't have to wait for the newspaper. We can go out on the Internet and get our news in real time.
Christmas is a day of joy. But for me and my family, it is also tinged with sadness, because it is a day when Christopher's absence is intensely felt.
We celebrate Christmas in order to rejoice over God's most precious gift to us. The birth of Jesus Christ is a gift from God that came in simple wrapping, as well as a gift we don't deserve. But the gift of Christ also explains His purpose for humankind.
When you're a child, Christmas is all about receiving gifts. In December, your head is swimming with nothing but images of your favorite toys. But the true message of Christmas is not the presents we give to one another.
This Christmas, don't miss the point of celebrating Christmas. Don't be like the innkeeper who missed Jesus because he was too busy (see Luke 2). Make time for the Lord. Don't be like King Herod who was too afraid to let Christ rule his life (see Matthew 2). Turn your heart over to Christ.
Although it has been more than three decades, I still remember clearly the day I was joined in marriage to my wife, Cathe. She walked down the aisle looking beautiful. I, on the other hand, resembled Jeremiah Johnson with my shoulder-length hair and big beard.
What does the Bible mean when it says that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit? In the apostle Paul's day, when goods were shipped from one place to another, they would be stamped with a wax seal, imprinted with the signet ring of the owner. This was a unique mark of ownership. People could look at the crate, see its wax seal, and know they had better not open it.
Why has the Spirit come into this world? What does God's Holy Spirit want to do in the life of the unbeliever? The Holy Spirit is very involved in the actual work of conversion. You see, before we were Christians, it was the Holy Spirit who convicted us of our sin (see John 16:8). Another way to translate the word convict in John 16:8 is "convince." Notice this verse doesn't say that He will convict the unbeliever of a specific sin. Rather, He wants to convince him or her of sin in general, the root cause of all sins.
Have you ever tried to explain something to someone and couldn't quite find the words? Have you ever tried to describe something complex to a child? For God to describe heaven to us in a way we could understand would be like trying to describe the beauty of Hawaii to a three-month-old child. We're not able to comprehend, in our finite human understanding, all the infinite glories of heaven.
Jesus spoke of people who hear the Word of God, but it never quite takes root. These people appear to be converted and even motivated. They seem to be living on an emotional high and even try to bring others to Christ. Yet they are a picture of soil embedded with rocks. The good seed of God's Word breaks ground and shoots up, but no fruit ever appears. No real change ever results. Theirs was not a true encounter with God.
A while ago, I ran into a guy that I once hung out with in school. I hadn't seen him in about twenty-five years. He had called to say that he was coming to hear me speak, so we arranged to meet beforehand.
If intellectualism alone were the major key to purpose and fulfillment, then our universities and college campuses would be bastions of peace and purpose. Yet as you walk around your typical secular university today, you will see the emptiness of academic pursuit without God. On these campuses you will often find the most bizarre and aberrant ideas circulating today.
When Scripture says, "Love your neighbor as yourself," it is not saying, "First learn to love yourself, and then love your neighbor." Rather, it is saying, "It is obvious you already love yourself. Love your neighbor in the same way."
For the time being, I don't have a complete knowledge of life beyond this life. The fact of the matter is, there's so much about the person of God, His ways, and His dwelling place that I don't know. But one day in a new body, I will see Him face-to-face, and all of my questions will be answered.
An interest in life on Mars seems to run in cycles. At this writing, our nation has a new exploration robot prowling around and digging little holes in the dirt near the Martian north pole.
Many of us will put ourselves into situations we don't need to be in. We hang around with people that we don't need to be hanging around with. We watch movies that we don't need to be watching. We listen to music that we don't need to be listening to. And it will affect us.
God can work in spite of sickness. He still answers prayer and heals people today, and He still does miracles. In sickness and in hardships, He can work in a person's life. Even if a person still has the sickness or problem, God can work in spite of it and give them a special strength.
Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" — Acts 8:30 Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?
Philip was used to leading others to Jesus because he was obedient. How easily Philip could have argued with the angel who gave him these instructions from the Lord: "Arise and go toward the south." But why? Philip had been preaching in the city of Samaria, and revival was breaking out. And now God was sending him alone into the desert?