On his deathbed Jacob prophesied the future of each of his twelve children, foreseeing their future ascendancy or demise, prosperity or impoverishment. For some, the future would be full of violence and heartache. But for others, theirs would be a future of prominence and victory.Read More
When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”Read More
Genesis 15 presents one of the most remarkable if not macabre episodes in the life of Abraham.
For a nomad, the promise of a land to possess would have been both comforting as well as difficult to believe, so it is only natural that Abraham would respond to God’s promise (v. 7: “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess”) with a request for assurance (v. 8: “How am I to know that I shall possess it?”). What is surprising is not the request, but the sign that God provides.Read More
The Lenten season has historically been a time of solemn reflection on the human condition. Ash Wednesday reminded us that human life is fragile — for dust we are, and to dust we shall return. But we learn quickly that the human condition is marked not merely by fragility, but by depravity. In fact, by the time of Noah, human corruption and violence had become so pervasive that God was said to be grieved to his heart and filled with regret. That the all-powerful God could be portrayed as regretting the creation of man powerfully conveys the sinfulness of sin.Read More
Genesis 3:14-19 (ESV)
The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
To the woman he said,
I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
What is Lent? The word “Lent” comes from the Old English word “lengten,” which simply means “spring” — when the days lengthen and new life springs forth. It is a time in which we anticipate the victory of the light and life of Christ over the darkness of sin and death. It is, to borrow a phrase from C.S. Lewis, a season of a kind of “happiness and wonder that makes you serious.”Read More
Rest? No, that’s a sign of defeat. We keep going.
We even pride ourselves in our busyness. If you’re constantly busy, you’re going somewhere — and if you aren’t busy, you’ll never make it in the real world. Success only waits for those who never stop — or at least, that’s the lie that we believe. That is why we overbook ourselves with leadership positions, various clubs, volunteering, jobs, special projects, and of course, an active social life. We just can’t say no.
Our constant busyness is not really about productivity or high aspirations. It’s about control. It’s about the lie that we run our lives, not God.Read More
The Bible is the best selling book in history. It's also one of the most questioned books of all time. If people question its reliability, how can someone put their trust in the Bible? The Curiosity Collective brings together thought leaders, authors, philosophers and theologians to explore this difficult question.Read More
We study what we love, don’t we? When I was a kid, I studied Michael Jordan statistics—not because I loved stats, but because I loved basketball and I loved Jordan.
Or picture this scenario. Imagine you asked me about my wife and I responded, “Oh, she’s incredible—the most amazing woman I’ve ever known! She’s from Oregon, has beautiful red hair, and hates chocolate.” In reality, my wife is a chocolate-loving brunette from Virginia. Would she feel honored and loved by the previous description? Of course not. I can gush about her all day long, but unless my words reflect who she really is, she’ll be insulted.
Does it make sense, then, to operate with carelessness when it comes to how we think and talk about God?
The study of God in the pages of the Bible is both intensely practical and the joy of those who cherish him. “Great are the works of the Lord,” the psalmist exclaims, “studied by all who delight in them.”9 There is the key: study anchored in delight.Read More