- Published 14 Jan 2014
We all know the relief we experience when after a long period of clouds and rain the sun suddenly pierces the grey mist and gradually dispels the overcast skies with its glorious beauty. All of nature again basks in its golden rays, and the pleasure of living is wonderfully increased.
- Published 07 Jan 2014
- Published 18 Dec 2013
Connie sighed. Every year it seemed she spent hours planning for Christmas, and even more hours cooking, cleaning, and decorating. Although she loved to do all of these things, it always seemed as though it was over so fast after all that effort. She loved shopping for gifts, but she already knew that the joy those gifts would bring would be short-lived. She wished she could make it all last a little longer. As she surveyed the pile of gifts she was getting ready to wrap, she thought about the question her children had asked her that morning: “Mom—if it’s Jesus’ birthday, how come we buy each other presents? Why don’t we give Jesus something?”
- Published 14 Dec 2013
Why did God become man in the form of the Lord Jesus? Our text verse gives the best possible answer to this question: “For God so loved the world...” God’s nature is love. The entire universe, everything in heaven and on earth, gives evidence of this love. There exists no greater power and no greater good than this godly love. It is the best and most precious of all that is. True love can be expressed in a multitude of ways. We see this in our human expressions of love. We could say, for example, that joy is love that laughs. Peace is love that rests. Patience is love that waits. Faith is love that trusts. Hope is love that anticipates. The Fruit of the Spirit named in the Bible can therefore be seen as different forms or expressions of love.
- Published 11 Dec 2013
We are approaching the end of the year. Christmas is before us, a time when we should reflect thankfully on the birth of our Savior. We have the opportunity to step out of the rhythm of our everyday lives, forget about our daily cares and pursuits for a moment, and look to Jesus, who wants to share His love, peace, and joy with us. Jesus is love personified, and He offers Himself to us all!
- Published 10 Dec 2013
We have shared a number of profiles of local congregations over the past few years. We do this to provide our readers with some insight regarding how God plants and builds His church, often from very humble beginnings. The Savior told His disciples and apostles 2000 years ago to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). The people of all nations are to hear the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Published 09 Dec 2013
...that the outer splendor and sparkle is not necessary for this celebration, but that a quiet and prayerful heart is? (Luke 2:10-20)
...that eating and drinking is not the most important part of Christmas, but that experiencing God and seeing the Lord is? (Luke 2:9-30)
...that the Son of God became poor for our sake, so that we could become rich through His poverty? (2 Corinthians 8:9)
...that true wealth can only be given to us by God? That by His mercy and grace we have forgiveness, salvation, a guilt-free conscience, peace, and happiness? True wealth is made up of the heavenly gifts that are found by all who discover Bethlehem and Calvary (Ephesians 1:3).
...that all Christians (not only at Christmas) are to be generous to others and share their wealth? “Let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10).
...that “Gloria in Exelsis Dei” means “Glory to God in the highest”? We glorify God when we do His will. His will is that we believe in His Son Jesus Christ and through faith receive eternal life (Luke 2:14 and John 17:3 and 8).