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according to plan

It was the week of the Passover celebration. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish pilgrims came to the temple to commemorate their deliverance from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12:1-28). On the Sunday preceding the Passover, Jesus had allowed the people to honor Him as king as He entered... read more »

Jesus weeps

It happens often at weddings. The mother of the bride can be seen quietly sobbing. Her tears are a fitting response to the coming of age of her daughter and the memories of the years she had nurtured her. The Jews were celebrating the coming of their long-awaited king (Luke 19:35-38). Yet Jesus was... read more »

the Rock

The Christian faith is a singing faith. Knowing that I love to sing hymns, a friend gave me the devotional book 101 Hymn Stories: The Inspiring True Stories Behind 101 Favorite Hymns so I could learn the history of great songs like “Amazing Grace,” “A Mighty Fortress,” “Great Is Thy... read more »

God is powerless?

Rabbi Harold Kushner lost a son to a degenerative disease—premature aging syndrome. He later wrote the bestseller When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Trying to maintain his belief in God, he said that God is either not good enough, since he allowed the sickness, or not powerful enough to... read more »

firstfruits

John started his new job. When he got his first check at the end of the month, he wanted to celebrate by buying my lunch for me. During our meal, he told me that his first paycheck was his “firstfruits.” With a grateful heart, he wanted to give a significant portion of it back to God. Moses... read more »

glory & authority

John records for us two events that occurred at the beginning (probably in the first few weeks) of Jesus’ public ministry. Jesus performed the first of his 35 recorded miracles at a wedding in Cana, turning plain water used for ceremonial washing into top-quality wine (John 2:1-11). More than just... read more »

happy new year!

Happy New Year!” “Have a joyous New Year!” We will hear a lot of these greetings today. And you’ll find yourself saying them to others too. Undoubtedly, we hope that 2014 will be a blessed and joyous year for us. The psalmist articulated his desire for happy days ahead with this confident... read more »

“Christ” offends people

A few years ago, a prominent Christian group removed the word Christ from its organization’s name. The organization defended its name change, citing research which revealed that 20 percent of non-Christians were alienated and offended by the name of Christ. So they stated that they were merely... read more »

away in a manger

According to a Gallup Poll, “Away in a Manger” was voted the second most popular carol. Although some of what we sing isn’t mentioned in the Bible (for example, cattle present at Jesus’ birth or Jesus not crying), the carol affirms some deep theological truths. We’re told that “[Mary]... read more »

a dad for Christmas

Most children will ask Santa for an extensive list of toys and treats this Christmas. A study of 2,000 British parents revealed, however, that the majority of children in the UK put a new baby brother or sister at the top of their Christmas list, closely followed by a request for a real-life... read more »
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