Category  |  assurance

love, life, and religion

In the book Bono: A Self-Portrait in Conversation, the legendary U2 vocalist shared these thoughts on God’s love with author Michka Assayas. “My understanding of the Scriptures,” Bono says, “has been made simple by the person of Christ. Christ teaches that God is love. What does that mean? What it means for me: a study of the life of Christ. Love here describes itself as a child born in straw poverty, the most vulnerable situation of all, without honor. I don’t let my religious world get too complicated. . . . God is love, and as much as I respond in allowing myself to be transformed by that love and acting in that love, that’s my religion.”

you choose Q: will God forgive me if i keep on sinning?

Q: Does God continue to forgive if we keep on sinning in the same way again and again? I'm not able to overcome a specific temptation and find myself circling through forgiveness and sin again and again. Will God kill me as He did in Old Testament for sin? I am scared and worried.  —Ebenezer

A: A Christian is forgiven of his sins,…

trust and reality

The young man looked at me in wide-eyed fear. He could climb no further. “What happens,” he cried, “if I fall off the rock?” “The problem isn’t falling; the problem is hitting the ground,” I said, smiling. He sent an accusing stare in my direction.

underground serenade

I was wowed by a video clip in which seven singers performed an 800-year-old hymn. They sang it a cappella in a German subway station where the underground acoustics created a haunting, beautiful sound. While the performance mesmerized me, I noticed that only a few people stopped to listen. With such a beautiful message and amazing delivery, I wondered why more people failed to attend the impromptu concert.

not less in your mess

God’s royal family in Genesis was a bit seamy. Consider Abraham’s family. He slept with his female slave and later consented to his wife’s desire to banish the woman and his son by sending her into the wilderness (Genesis 21:14). What family could be worse than that?

storytellers

Every two years in Wales, hundreds of people gather for an international story festival called Beyond the Border. The festival is an effort to celebrate the world’s rich heritage of oral tradition.

happy endings

The 1995 movie Apollo 13 contains two famous radio transmissions:

shattered dreams

A friend had been working at a job he loved for many years when he was suddenly laid off. He took another position at a new company, but the work was not as fulfilling and didn’t pay well. Then the first employer asked him to return, which he did with joy. Sadly, he and most of the workforce were again laid off just 7 days later. The other company wouldn’t take him back, and he’s now working a menial, low-paying job. His dreams of having a position he needs and loves have been shattered.

into the light

One of the hardest things about getting ready in the morning is picking out my socks. Are they blue or black? Because I’m color-blind, those two colors look the same to me in the dim morning light! So what I typically do is take them out into the kitchen and compare them under some bright lightbulbs, which helps me see their true colors.

the way out

Shin was born in a North Korean prison camp, where he lived until he was 23. He never thought to escape, for he didn’t imagine that life was any different on the other side of the electrified fence. Then he met a new prisoner. Park told Shin about the outside world, especially that people enjoyed pork and boiled chicken rather than the rats that Shin ate to survive. One evening Shin and Park dropped the firewood they were collecting and ran toward the fence. Park arrived first, and was immediately electrocuted when he squeezed between the first and second wires. Shin crawled across his lifeless friend and scrambled to freedom. Today Shin lives in South Korea, where he calls attention to the barbaric conditions in the camps.

using the keys

Based on the bulky size of the key ring that holds my car and house keys, losing it shouldn’t be an issue. But it seems that I’m always searching for my keys, and they’re hardest to find when I need them most. One time I lost a set of keys after wrapping up gift baskets we had made for a youth fundraiser. I imagined someone opening her gift, only to wonder how to claim the house and car that came with her basket!

trapped

There was a time, deep into my walk with Jesus, when life became extremely difficult. I told a friend that I felt like a mouse, batted back and forth between the paws of a cat that was toying with his victim before making the final blow.

40 days

Forty is a significant number in the Bible. The great flood of Genesis was the result of 40 days of rain (Genesis 7:4). Moses was with God for 40 days receiving the Law (Exodus 24:18). Spies explored the land for 40 days (Numbers 13:25). The Jews wandered in the desert for 40 years (Numbers 32:13). Jonah warned of judgment in 40 days (Jonah 3:4). Jesus was tempted for 40 days as He began His ministry (Luke 4:2), and He appeared to the disciples for 40 days as He concluded it (Acts 1:3). So one Bible teacher suggests that when you see the number 40 in Scripture, it means that God is doing something significant.