Speaking Clearly

"If I want him [John] to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?

You must follow Me." John 21:22

"Reading from the same page" is an expression often used to point out the need for two (or more) persons to make sure that in the conversation they are talking about the same thing. No agreement can be reached when one is talking about apples and the other about oranges.

God is Love

1 John 3:16 "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us."

Sometimes an adult tells a child, "God does not love you when you are bad." That is really not true. God always loves us. God loves us when things are going well and when things are going wrong. He loves us when in hurt and anger we ask why. God hates our sins but loves us sinners. 

Prescription for Worries

Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything ... present your requests to God. And the peace of God ... will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

What the apostle is doing here in effect is writing a prescription for one of our commonest ailments: worry. It's a remedy God recommends in Scripture in dozens of places. It's really effective, but so often we just don't use it -- we don't even try. 

John, God’s Living Advertisement

And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Mark 1:4

Years ago, a Christian baroness living in the highlands of Nairobi, Kenya, hired a young national to be her houseboy. After three months, he asked the baroness for a letter of reference. He wanted to work for a friendly sheik that lived some miles away. The baroness, not wishing the houseboy to leave, offered to increase his pay. The lad shared he was not moving on to receive a higher salary. Some time ago he had decided to become a Christian or a Muslim; it was that search which brought him to work for the baroness. He wanted to see how Christians lived. Now he was going to work for a believer in Islam. Then he would make his decision. 

A Light in the Darkness

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John 1:5

Nine-year-old Brent was in second grade when most children his age were in fourth. He was big, clumsy, and learning was always a struggle. But Brent was also a gentle child who would always defend the underdog, and was well liked by his classmates. Brent’s parents encouraged him to audition for the Sunday school Christmas service. He wanted to be a shepherd, but the teacher in charge of casting made him an innkeeper. She figured Brent’s size would lend believability to the role when he refused a room to the holy family. Mother and father helped with his lines and during rehearsals all came off without a hitch. Brent was firm telling Joseph, “There’s no room in the inn.” 

Jesus, Our Redeemer

Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles … For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. 1 Corinthians 1:22-23, 25

The world falsely accuses Christians of making up stories about Jesus in order to make an ordinary man seem divine. Perhaps they recognize that their religions are all made-up stories and/or they cannot imagine … or simply accept … that the biblical account is true. 

Jesus, Our Saviour

[The LORD] said, “Surely they are My people, sons who will not be false to Me”; and so He became their Saviour. Isaiah 63:8

You don’t have to read very far into the first books of the Bible to learn that the people of Israel did not live up to God’s expectations. The Lord Himself says as much just a couple sentences later in Isaiah 63. But that is one of the wonderful lessons of the Old Testament – God does not choose His people because they are any better or worse than others. God chooses them because they need a Saviour.