Our One True Hope

Noah could have used a smartphone! After bobbing around on a worldwide ocean for a year, he had no idea where he was when he and his family disembarked after the Flood. With a smartphone, Noah could have easily used the location finder to determine that they had landed in (what would become modern-day) Turkey, on the side of a mountain called Ararat. Any number of map apps could have ...

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Children

When I was growing up, most churches had some sort of a Christmas pageant every year. The average-sized church could pull together enough grammar school-aged kids to be the cast and fill all the roles: shepherds, wise men, angels, the innkeeper, and the various animals that we assume were in the stable that eventful night. The plum roles, of course, were Mary and Joseph, given to a couple of the ...

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The Sweet Life

The principle of sweetness also applies to the spiritual life. Did you know the English word “sweet” appears almost 100 times in the Bible? We don’t think of Scripture as talking much about sweetness, but it does. The Hebrew word is sometimes translated (especially in the first five books of the Old Testament) as “pleasing” or “soothing” instead of “sweet”—referring to the pleasing aroma of the sacrifices made to God. ...

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The Classics

When I was a student at seminary, several professors had “legendary” reputations among the students. One who earned that mantel, and wore it justifiably, was Dr. S. Lewis Johnson, professor of Greek and New Testament. He was a favorite among students for many reasons. For one, he was a distinguished Southern gentleman—he was sure the Garden of Eden was somewhere in the low country of South Carolina near his beloved ...

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Bliss!

I don’t know how many couples I’ve led through premarital counseling, but this I do know: I have never heard a young couple say, “Pastor, we want to have a bad marriage; we want to be unhappy; we don’t want our marriage to last.” I wince at the absurdity of such words. Who would plan such a marriage? No one that I have known or heard of.

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