Tag  |  knowing God

Necessity of Suffering

A chrysalis was hanging from a branch. Inside, a butterfly seemed to be struggling. Curious to witness its emergence, an observer waited. Time passed, however, and the insect was still trapped in its self-made prison. So the person made a small tear in the chrysalis—hoping to relieve the butterfly’s struggle and suffering. It soon died, for the struggle to be free is essential to making a butterfly strong enough to survive. Without adversity, it won’t achieve maturity.

Confident Hope

It’s truly difficult to sit beside someone who’s grieving or in despair, a person who has taken one hit after another and has lost all hope. Whenever we surrender hope, our life slowly ebbs from us. We may continue to put one foot in front of the other, but we can no longer see the beauty around us. We no longer find joy in our life or in relationship with others. We see only gloom, and we find it nearly impossible to move toward light and love.

Nursing a Grudge

Author Marilynne Robinson wrote, “I have always liked the phrase, ‘nursing a grudge,’ because many people are tender of their resentments, as of the things nearest their hearts.”

reading Scripture, missing God

Some years ago, I had a sobering epiphany regarding my faith. After a decade of ministry, I realized that I didn’t really know God very well. Yes, I knew there was a God and that He was good and holy. I knew that Jesus had died for my sins. But did I really know God’s character well? His personality? Not very deeply.

beyond understanding

A father was trying to explain to his 5-year-old daughter how she could see and speak with her mother using a smartphone. He tried his best to explain how technology had put her mother inside the phone but to no avail. Sensing his exasperation, the daughter said, “Daddy, I don’t need to know how the phone works as long as…

praying with intentionality

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed (Mark 1:35).

This is one of my favorite passages in the gospel. It describes Jesus' prayer life amid the pressing demands on His time throughout His ministry. More importantly, it tells of a man…

i believe that i know God

Romans 10: 1-4: Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with Himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their…

knowing Him

Knowing HIM is . . . OVERWHELMING (to say the least)! This is a good “overwhelming”, of course, but nonetheless, overwhelming!

I couldn’t help recently revisiting the song Be Thou My Vision over and over again. Most have heard this old hymn, but  it became most special to me, because of the Scripture it's based on—Philippians 3: 7-11: "But whatever gain…

honey dripping

In Eugene Peterson’s Eat This Book, he tells the story of his 7-year-old grandson Hans who appeared to be devoutly reading his New Testament as he sat on a park bench. The boy’s eyes moved back and forth across the pages of the Bible, denying the fact that he had not yet learned how to read.

Similarly, we can consistently…

intimacy with God

As we look at the Christian landscape, only a  portion of believers in Jesus appear to enjoy an  intimate, vibrant relationship with God. Are they God’s favorites? Is it possible that there are some people who have “qualified” for a deeper intimacy with Him?

In Exodus 24, we read about people who were at four different levels of intimacy with…

knowledge isn't enough

The preacher asked his audience whether they believed he had a $20 bill in his closed hand. After a woman said that she believed he did, the speaker announced that he would destroy her faith by opening his hand and showing the money. “Now that you know I have a $20 bill,” he said, “you can no longer have faith…

language barrier

Most days, I love my minivan. When its floor seems excessively littered with crumbs and random items, however, my affection wanes.

On one particular trip to the carwash, I began talking with the woman who was wiping my van’s newly washed windows. I soon realized that she didn’t speak much English. Frustrated by the language barrier, I fumbled to find…

the beauty of God

Novelist D. H. Lawrence believed the human soul needed beauty more than bread, and for good reason. There is a reason why we bring flowers to the depressed, take the weary on scenic drives, and choose the restaurant table with the view of the lake. Beauty refreshes, encourages, and inspires us. The reason can be found in its source. As…

knowing God

Pastor A. W. Tozer wrote, “What comes to mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” If Tozer were alive today, he might discover that his quote is obsolete for many Christians. Our problem is not so much what enters our mind when we think about God, but rather that we’re not thinking about Him…

the many faces of God

In their "American Piety in the 21st Century" study, Baylor University and the Gallup Organization asked 1,721 survey participants about God's character and behavior. They discovered that contemporary Americans worship at least four versions of the Almighty.

First, there's Authoritarian God, who is seen as highly involved in believers' lives and in world affairs, but who is ready to throw the…

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