Love that Surpasses

Valentine’s Day causes people to think of people they love. Sometimes it is love between good friends. Sometimes it is love in a family. It is also a good time for us to think about God’s love. People send Valentine’s Cards to express friendship and love. God sends us His word to tell us about his love. God’s love is so great that He tells us about it in many different ways. The prophets told us about his love. For instance, in the Book of Jeremiah it says that God love is “from everlasting to everlasting.” In the Book of Psalms it says over and over that “His love endures forever.” Most clearly do we see God’s love at the cross. God could not speak more loudly than He did at the cross. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” In the New Testament much is said about God’s love. It says this about the nature of God. “God is love.” Paul wrote that nothing can separate us from God’s love. He lists many things that might trouble us greatly but he says that none of these things such as tribulation, or distress can separate us. Nothing present or future, nothing seen or unseen can separate us. What should be our response to this kind of love? We should receive the One who loves us unconditionally, eternally, personally. We should rejoice in the One who floods us with such love. We should follow faithfully the One whose love has no end. We should share the good news about the One whose love is...

God is on His Throne!

At the beginning of the year it is wise to remember that God is on his throne. There are many uncertainties around us. The future may seem quite threatening. We do not know what may happen this year in our country or in our personal lives. But, we can be certain about this. God knows the future. And there are no uncertainties with him. Man made catastrophes on earth will not change his purpose or plans for us. On the throne is a wise ruler, a King who does not change with the times. He is working out his purpose in our lives and nothing will detour him. On the throne is One who loves us. He invites us to come boldly to his throne to find grace and mercy. On the throne is One who understands us fully, who wants us completely. He knows where we are, regardless of any distance that we feel from him. We may feel down and out but He invites us to his throne. All we need to do is to come clothed in the perfect righteousness of Jesus. We come in the name of Christ, at the invitation of Christ, and through the worthiness of Christ. It is a throne of grace. God has not abdicated his throne. He never will. Throughout the endless ages He is the ever-living One. Men may fight against Him but they only harm themselves. Whatever may happen during 2019, you can be sure that a wise, loving God is upon the Throne! This is very comforting to me. Here is an anchor for the new year....

The Gift of Gifts

Many people will spend much time trying to find the perfect gift for someone they love. Some people will buy an expensive gift in order to impress someone. Christmas is a time for giving. But the best human gift pales into insignificance compared to God’s gift to us. He gave us his best. He gave us Himself. That baby in a manger was his gift to us. That boy in the temple was his gift to us. That man teaching on the mountain was his gift to us. That man of Galilee touching and healing the leper was his gift to us. That man on the cross between two thieves was his gift to us. That man who came out of the grave conquering death was his gift to us. In giving Jesus to us, He gave us salvation, abundant life, eternal life. The Bible says, “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” And Paul broke into praise when he wrote, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” And through the ages men and women of faith have been talking about this amazing gift. It is a gift so precious that many have died martyrs deaths because of it. It is a gift so life-changing that many endure imprisonment and ridicule to tell others about it. We have just finished observing “Thanksgiving Day.” But, Christmas is certainly a time for thanksgiving. It is a time to thank God for the gift of eternal life, abundant life. We can spell that gift in one word, Jesus. No wonder that we celebrate Christmas every year....

Looking Right Side Up

I have a bookmark which is woven like a Persian rug. Looking at the back side you see no pattern. In fact, it is ugly. But, right side up it is beautiful. Those who fly have had the experience of taking off in cloudy, rainy weather. But once, you get above the clouds, the sun is shining and everywhere you see clear blue skies. How we look at things determines much of how we feel and enjoy life. We can look around us and see much to frighten and discourage us. That is why we need to look up. “Looking unto Jesus” we see things as they really are. We see the bigger picture. When we live a mole-like existence, it is easy to fall into depression. Around us may be much darkness. When we look up, we see that the light is shining. The disciples were with Jesus when a storm came up. They were fishermen and had seen many storms. This one must have been especially bad because it frightened them greatly. They awoke Jesus who was sleeping and asked, “Don’t you care that we are perishing?” It was life-threatening to them. Jesus calmed the storm and simply asked, “where is your faith?” All around us are storms of varying intensity. Like the disciples have we fastened our eyes on the storm or are we looking to the Ruler of the storms? Perspective changes everything. We need to look right side up. The Bible gives us that perspective on life. Let’s look at the world, the problems, and all our needs through the eyes of faith. God...

The Moral Abyss

No doubt most sensible people would recognize the moral abyss that our country has fallen into.  When you think things could not get worse, they do.  Things you would never talk about in public a few years ago are now spoken of without shame.  Hate speech is common.  Political enemies are treated worse than many animals.  What has happened to our country? I believe there is a way out of the destructive path that our country is heading.  It is a spiritual solution.  We need God.  We need to know Him and trust Him.  When man shuts out God, life goes down.  Relationships deteriorate.  Rightly related to God, we respect one another.  We become servants who think about other people and want the best for them. The Bible says that love covers a multitude of sins.  Biblical love is so foreign to much of modern society. We talk about “selfies.”  Problems always arise when selfish people are each trying to have their own way.  Whether it is a divided country or divided families we cannot make it by ourselves.  We need God’s love.  Love is the way out of the abyss.  Only God’s kind of love will do.  There is an old song which says it well,  “I Need Thee Every Hour.”  How we need God during this hour!      ...