A Chinese couple, a South Korean couple, and my Mongolian friend and I had the privilege of praying together every morning for nearly an entire year. This experience brought us together in unity as brothers and sisters in Jesus, made us more aware of the glimpses of truth He had placed in each of our cultures, and gave us strength and boldness to be light to those around us. It was a sweet taste of the unity Jesus prayed for in John 17.
It may seem that modern, paved highways have always existed, but they’re a fairly recent invention. Intended to help people travel quickly and safely, they’re also a source of accidents and traffic jams. Many commuters lament the need to travel on highways—viewing them as an inconvenient and even dangerous part of modern life. What was designed to be a blessing is now viewed as a burden by these drivers.
In December 2014, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met LeBron James, the most famous basketball player in the US. Despite the fact that one of his nicknames is “King James,” he is in fact not royalty, and protocol demanded that he should not touch the Duke or Duchess. Not knowing this, LeBron put his arm around the couple and posed for a photograph. This was a shocking break in decorum for some, but the royal couple seemed comfortable and shared that they enjoyed meeting “King” James.
Adopting two boys from Russia opened Russell Moore’s eyes to the privilege of being a child of God. People would ask, “Are they really brothers?” “Have you met their real mom?” Moore simply replied, “Of course they’re brothers. They’re both in our family. And their real mom is my wife.”
Q: Why does God seem to act differently in the Old Testament than He does in the New Testament? How would you respond to nonbelievers that call God a murderer and a perpetrator of genocide, based on Old Testament accounts? In the Old Testament we see God primarily as a God of judgment and wrath, but in the New Testament…
Our two young boys wanted a nativity set, so we got a small one to place in their room. One night my wife went to tuck them in bed, only to find that Liam (age 5) had posted little plastic soldiers to guard the nativity. “They’re making sure baby Jesus is safe,” he announced.
Standing near the body of his older brother, his pain was visible. Adding to the weight of death was the knowledge that their relationship had been the closest thing he’d ever known to that of a father and son. His brother had always said, “I love you,” whenever they parted. But the differences in their lives, the jagged edges of their arguments, and the absence of true intimacy left this grieving man wondering if his love was real.
Today, some churches will observe Trinity Sunday as a way to remember and honor the Holy Trinity—our triune God consisting of three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Three, and yet one God. The word Trinity is not found in the Bible. But the New Testament reveals a triune God (Matthew 3:16-17, Matthew 28:19; John 14:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11, 1 Corinthians 12:3-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 3:14; Hebrews 10:29; 1 Peter 1:2).
Following college, I spent several years in sports ministry and developed close friendships with a handful of professional and Olympic athletes. In talking with these friends over the past year, each of them commented that after they retired from athletic competition they struggled to know what to do next with their lives.
I thank God that I was born into privilege. No, I don’t mean that I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. My dad isn’t a rich tycoon, and I don’t live in a luxurious mansion. In fact, when I was young, my dad had to work extremely hard so that my family could experience reasonable comfort. Yet, I can confidently say that I was born into privilege based on what we read in 1 Peter 1:3-6.
Was Jesus a nice guy? Consider this: He made some shockingly exclusive claims about Himself, and nice guys just don’t do that. When Peter told Him, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” Jesus blessed him (Matthew 16:16-17). To a Samaritan woman, Jesus plainly declared, “I AM the Messiah!” (John 4:26). And He announced to His followers, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
When we wrong someone, it’s normal for us to feel distance and shame. We might imagine that the offended person is stewing over our poor behavior, replaying our thoughtless conduct, or writing us off. We may even think there will be a complete disinterest in us until we return and effusively atone for our actions.