The Bible never fails to surprise. I recently came across 1 Peter 4:14 where the apostle is writing to encourage believers who are surrounded by hostility. Here is what he says: “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” … Continue reading Christ will wipe it off
Return hatred with love
If you play hockey in a full-contact league, do not be surprised if you get body-checked. If you go outside when it’s raining, do not be surprised if you get wet. And if you follow Jesus, do not be surprised if the world hates you. The apostle John says that very thing in 1 John … Continue reading Return hatred with love
When you feel like a misfit
When I was younger I loved the cartoon version of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. One of the scenes is about The Island of Misfit Toys. It’s for toys that don’t fit in. They sit there dejected, waiting for someone to want them. That’s a how a lot of Christians feel today. With each passing year, … Continue reading When you feel like a misfit
What if fitting in wasn’t the goal
Malam Ibrahim was a teacher of the Qu’ran in northern Nigeria. That’s the holy book for Muslims. Through his reading and study he became convinced that a unique function and role is given to the person of Isa Mahis—Jesus the Messiah—as the mediator “through whom the prayers of the faithful are offered up to” God. … Continue reading What if fitting in wasn’t the goal
Criticized for faith? Rejoice!
William Lane Craig is a well-known defender of the faith. He writes books, speaks at conferences, and debates atheists in front of thousands upon thousands of people. This makes him a frequent target. He is yelled at, ridiculed, and criticized—over and over and over. Someone asked him how he responded to all of this. He … Continue reading Criticized for faith? Rejoice!
His love was greater than his fear
What did Stephen say in the very moments in which he was being killed (by stoning) for his faith? Let’s listen in to Acts 7:60: “Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’” Picture the scene. While he was being pelted with stones by grown men, … Continue reading His love was greater than his fear
Dead ends into doorways
Stephen is often called the first Christian martyr. Behold these final moments of his life. “they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city… While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them’ … Continue reading Dead ends into doorways
A tipping point called joy
There’s a lifetime of ponderance in Acts 5:41: “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” They had been put in jail, sprung by a messenger of God, taken before the influential and powerful Sanhedrin, told to not speak in Jesus’ name, and whipped. They … Continue reading A tipping point called joy
Do you need consistent encouragement?
A man we’ll call Taher lived in Iran where it is dangerous to be a Christian. His house was ransacked. He was taken from his wife and two daughters. He spent time in jail, interrogated at night between midnight and 4am. He was told to write down the names of other Christians. He didn’t. Eventually … Continue reading Do you need consistent encouragement?
Not old-fashioned, but God-fashioned
With every passing year here in North America Christians will be increasingly criticized. One of the things you sometimes hear is that our ways are “old fashioned” and out-of-date. So today I’d like to invite you to think about this idea from a certain perspective—one that will, I hope, give you confidence and some words … Continue reading Not old-fashioned, but God-fashioned