Infancy is back-to-basics time! It is during that era that we set the cornerstone and fix in place the initial blocks, upon which we develop the balance of our lives, spiritually speaking. Because of the essential nature of these truths, it is helpful for us to return to them periodically and be reminded of their importance.
One thing quickly becomes apparent to anyone who reads the gospels, the pages of Scripture that contain Jesus' words and actions: no one who heard His words failed to react. Some who listened shook their fists at Him. Others marvelled at a depth of wisdom they'd never heard before. And some believed His words, choosing to follow Him. Whatever the reaction, no one left His presence unaffected by the encounter.
Jesus easily stands as the most influential person in history. Even today, millions call Him Saviour. Why? What was it about His short time on earth that shook the world so? What did He say to grab people's hearts the way He did? Why do so many believe in Him as the Son of God?
Embark on an eye-opening journey into the life and times of this carpenter from Nazareth. Just don't expect to be unstirred after your encounter with Jesus.
All who work with babies and bottles, toddlers and high chairs, building blocks and toy boxes enjoy one of the special delights life offers. Yet with all the thrills, there are also the threats unique to newborns. Being so tiny and dependent, their little lives often hang perilously close to danger and death. What is true of infant humans is equally true of infant believers in God's family.
There is one common analogy used throughout the New Testament regarding the local church. It is not a business, farm, team, school, or hospital, though those word pictures are frequently used by us to convey various dimensions of congregational life. The most often used analogy is that of a family. God is our Father; we are called His offspring—sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, even fellow heirs.
Jesus was the master teacher. Against relentless and hostile opposition, and in spite of many who followed Him for all the wrong reasons, He spoke with wisdom and taught with skill. Among the methods He preferred to use, the parable was one of His favourites. By placing a familiar and simple word picture before His audience, Jesus was able to draw out profound analogies that have intrigued even the brightest minds for centuries.
I've been told that Jesus died for my sins. What does that mean exactly? How could the death of Jesus help me get to heaven? What does the death of Christ save me from?
The command of our Lord is clear. Faith begins and continues with a simple plan—stalk Jesus. The plan is simple but the execution of it isn't. You and I both admit that following Jesus is layered with struggles and questions.
On the first Easter morning, when the stone was rolled away from Christ’s tomb, hope dawned and grace shone brighter than it ever had. For us, though, the monotony and troubles of daily life seem far removed from the miraculous impact of that glorious morning two thousand years ago. Sometimes even Christians get so caught up in the concerns of life that we think, What’s the big deal about Easter anyway?
Probing Deeper into the Incarnation will remind you that before Mary placed baby Jesus in the manger, He existed in heaven with God the Father and God the Spirit. The Son of God became a man and gave up His own life out of His love for you—and to make it possible for you to love Him in return.
Let’s focus our attention on what the Lord said in His Great Commission in Matthew 28:16–20 and learn what it means to live as a true disciple.
In this section of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is with His disciples on the Mount of Olives, just east of Jerusalem across the Kidron Valley. They are full of questions, and He graciously responds to their concerns.