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    The Forward Look

    When the great Dutch painter Rembrandt died unexpectedly at age 63, an unfinished painting was found on his easel. It focuses on Simeon’s emotion in holding the baby Jesus when He was brought to the temple in Jerusalem, 40 days after His birth. Yet the background and normal detail remain unfinished. Some art experts believe that Rembrandt knew the end of his life was near and—like Simeon—was ready to “be dismissed” (Luke 2:29).

    The Holy Spirit was upon Simeon (v. 25), so it was no coincidence that he was in the temple when Mary and Joseph presented their firstborn son to…

    Foretastes of the Kingdom

    When I was 10 years old, Baskin-Robbins opened a new ice cream store in my neighborhood. It didn’t serve the icy, generic brand of sweet treats that my mom occasionally bought at the grocery store. This was good ice cream—thick and creamy!

    Hold On!

    A cowboy friend of mine who grew up on a ranch in Texas has a number of colorful sayings. One of my favorites is “It don’t take much water to make good coffee.” And when someone ropes a steer too big to handle or is in some kind of trouble, my friend will shout, “Hold everything you’ve got!” meaning “Help is on the way! Don’t let go!”

    In the book of Revelation we find letters to “the seven churches in the province of Asia” (chs. 2–3). These messages from God are filled with encouragement, rebuke, and challenge, and they speak to…

    This Could Be the Year

    My dad was a pastor, and on the first Sunday of each new year he preached about the return of Christ, often quoting from 1 Thessalonians 4. His point was always the same: “This could be the year that Jesus will return. Are you ready to meet Him?” I’ll never forget hearing that sermon at age 6, thinking, If that’s true, I’m not sure I will be among those He’s coming for. I felt certain that my parents would be going to heaven, and I wanted to go too. So, when my dad came home after church, I asked how I could be…

    Joy to the World

    For two of my friends, this yuletide season will be a difficult one. They’ve both lost loved ones during this period, and the festive season reminds them of the painful absence. Sometimes it’s hard to feel joyous during Christmas.

    Pax Romana

    No one can afford the price of war. One website reports 64 nations are currently involved in armed conflicts. When and how will they end? We want peace, but not at the expense of justice.

    Jesus was born during a time of “peace,” but it came at the cost of heavy-handed oppression. The Pax Romana (“Roman Peace”) existed only because Rome squashed all dissent.

    Seven centuries before that time of relative peace, hostile armies prepared to invade Jerusalem. From the shadow of war, God made a remarkable pronouncement. “On those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned,” the prophet…

    the God who will come

    My wife and I have arrived at that poignant age when we can’t believe how quickly time has passed—especially while looking at one of my favorite videos of our oldest son, taken when he was just 2 years old. Miska and I had gone out for a date, and the kid-sitter shot a short video of our boy clinging to the bottom ledge of the living room window. He was just tall enough to peek over the edge. As he watched us get in our car and drive away, he said, “Momma. Dadda.” There was an anxious longing in his…

    the waiting

    Since so many people are desperate for work, I’m grateful for my husband’s job. But his retail work with its agonizingly long hours can be ruthless on a family. Accustomed to evening meals and weekends together, my doing life almost as a single mom has seemed like a very long 4 years. One evening, I was feeling particularly tired and sighed to my father that I didn’t know how to pray anymore. After many years of praying for a breakthrough in his own life, he knew how I felt and encouraged me from God’s Word—renewing my hope and resolve.

    The Promises of God

    Time and time again in the Bible we see where God is faithful to His promises. They are the heart of the Bible and actually reveal His good, merciful, and trustworthy character. Explore both His conditional and unconditional promises, and know that His promises are perfect even when we don’t completely understand them. In The […]

    King of Glory!

    Today on “Discover the Word,” we will talk about what many popular and passionate modern worship songs communicate so beautifully, God is glorious! Even more, He’s the King of Glory. But who is the King of Glory? Quite simply, He’s Jesus! He’s the Lord Almighty, the Victorious and Conquering King. And one day our King will return to rule and reign in Jerusalem. And the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of His glory.

    practicing resurrection

    Believers in Jesus look forward to two great events in the future: our resurrected bodies and the “resurrection” of our groaning planet into a new heaven and earth full of beauty, healing, justice, and joy (Isaiah 11:4, 65:21-23; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Revelation 21:1-23).

    How do we see the coming King?

    In verse four of Psalm 24 we’re told that only those with “clean hands” and a pure heart “qualify” to ascend to God’s holy hill. But who can possibly meet that standard? The answer is . . . no one. Today on “Discover the Word,” we will talk about how David could not completely see the coming King as we see Him now. It’s because of Christ’s sacrifice that our hearts have been washed cleaned!

    What Are You Hoping For?

    Most of us have things we’re hoping for in life, but what are you ultimately hoping for? Paul told Titus to “look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed” (Titus2:13). Do you believe that Jesus will return to this earth? Do you want Him to come?

    To Be Continued . . .

    Growing up in the 1950s, I often attended the Saturday matinee at a local movie theater. Along with cartoons and a feature film, there was an adventure serial that always ended with the hero or heroine facing an impossible situation. There seemed to be no way out, but each episode concluded with the words “To Be Continued . . . ”

    The apostle Paul was no stranger to life-threatening situations. He was imprisoned, beaten, stoned, and shipwrecked as he sought to take the good news of Jesus Christ to people. He knew that someday he would die, but he never considered…

    How Jesus comforts us

    On the eve of His death, Jesus had an intimate meal with His disciples, and He loved them to the end. The disciples had no idea what plans Jesus had for them. Join us for a rich discussion about how Jesus comforted His disciples, and us!


    September 2019: Christian Living

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