Yearly Archives: 2017

186 posts

God’s gifts never stop

The space under the tree is empty. The presents have been opened. Christmas day is done. I remember as a child on these first days after Christmas thinking that next Christmas was more than a life-time away.. I remember being sad that there were no more gifts to open. As I look back on those thoughts I am amazed at how quickly gratitude was replaced with self-centered longing for more stuff. Not pleasant thoughts! Now as adult, I find, I really haven’t changed all that much. God’s goodness to me is quickly forgotten and replaced with, “I want more.” This thinking clouds reality. The truth is that God’s giving to me and to you never stops! Each morning the gift […]

The manger to the cross

God’s first priority is not to make you and me happy. What impresses us is not what impresses God. Perhaps nothing demonstrates this more clearly than the incarnate life of his Son, Jesus. Christ’s birth was that of a peasant and his death was that of a criminal. He was born in the company of animals in a stable. He died in the company of thieves on a cross stained with his blood. The political leaders of his country tried to murder him as a baby. But it was the supposed bible-believing religious leaders who finally succeeded where Herod had failed. His friends fled from him at his trial. His family fled to Egypt when he was a toddler. This […]

Mary, an ordinary girl with ordinary faith

Mary was a teenager. There was nothing remarkable about her. The first time we see her is in the first chapter of Luke when she is greeted by the angel Gabriel. To say that she was startled and taken aback would be an understatement! But Gabriel comforted her and then with a few words turned her life upside down. She was going to become a mother. She was told her child would grow up to take the throne of King David and that his kingdom would have no end. So far, so good until she learns who the baby’s father would be. This was no ordinary conversation. Gabriel was no ordinary visitor. Her baby would not be an ordinary son. […]

Your last Christmas

What if you knew that this Christmas would be your last one on earth? Would it make a difference in how you celebrated, in the gifts that you give, and in the meaning of the day? Obviously, the answer would be yes. But how would it play out in your life? Of course, you can look at things from a statistical perspective and conclude that this will probably not be your last Christmas. But the truth is that the length of our lives is not determined by statistical probabilities. The number of your days are set by the will and plan of God. (Psalm 139:16) We live at God’s pleasure and purpose. Thus, it is not idle speculation to consider […]

Are you Santa’s helper?

Your children know everything about you. They see when you are sleeping, they know when you have been good or bad, they know when you pout and when you shout. Your kids know all of this without your ever having to say a word. When you stumble and ask God for help — they learn. When you stumble and snap or make excuses — they learn from that, too. If you value your relationship with God above all else, your children will know that as well. What does this have to do with being Santa’s helper? Just this: in Psalm 72:18 we read that “God alone does marvelous things.” However, at Christmas time, for little children someone else is portrayed […]

Joy to the World — He Rules With Truth and Grace

Joy to the World: A Biblical Worldview A Four-Part Series Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 [hr] Part 4: He Rules With Truth and Grace Verse four of “Joy to the World” completes the biblical worldview contained in this Christmas hymn. This last verse is a dynamic testimony to the power of the gospel. The King who was anticipated in the first verse, celebrated for his rule in the second verse, and viewed as the Savior of this sin-cursed world in third, now is depicted as the One who will bring a just judgment to this broken world. Life often appears to be unfair and unjust. Will evil people prevail? Corruption and perversion are everywhere. […]

Joy to the World — Far as the Curse Is Found

Joy to the World: A Biblical Worldview A Four-Part Series Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 [hr] Part 3: Far As the Curse Is Found “Joy to the World” is a Christmas carol that proclaims a biblical worldview. This is the third post on Isaac Watts’ famous hymn which is based on Psalm 98. The lyrics of this hymn reflect a biblical worldview, a worldview that brings honor to God in all that we do. The first part of this worldview has to do with the joyful anticipation of Christ’s rule. The second part encourages us to delight in the ongoing reign of our Savior. This third element of the worldview acknowledges that there is […]

Joy to the World — The Savior reigns!

Joy to the World: A Biblical Worldview A Four-Part Series Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 [hr] Part 2: The Savior Reigns! The second verse of “Joy to the World” builds on the theme of the first verse, where Isaac Watts anticipates the coming king. Now he exults in the current reign of Christ. This is the next foundation stone in constructing a biblical worldview based on this hymn. This truth is simple, yet profound – if Jesus is reigning, it is a good thing. Here is the second verse: Joy to the World, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains Repeat the sounding joy… All […]

A child is born

Things were falling apart in Israel. The worship of God had been exchanged for the worship of convenience. The truth of God was exchanged for the lies of the pleasures of the flesh. The prophets of the Lord were exchanged for the prophets of Baal. The practice of purity was exchanged for debauchery and lewdness. The word of God was exchanged for human desires. Sound familiar? God’s message to Israel 2,800 years ago is the same for you today. As Psalm 2 says, The Lord laughs at those who think they are in control. The corrupt rule of man is preferred to honoring the Prince of Peace. In a world that appears to be falling apart, Christ is on the […]

Joy to the World: A Biblical Worldview

Joy to the World: A Biblical Worldview A Four-Part Series Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 [hr] Part 1: Let Earth Receive Her King! Worldview can be an intimidating topic to discuss, let alone teach to your children. Isaac Watts has done the church a huge favor in putting a biblical worldview in the form of a song—the Christmas Carol, “Joy to the World.” In this post and in 3 upcoming posts we will look at each of the hymn’s four verses and see how they combine to offer a compelling worldview that brings honor to God. By singing and believing this carol you have the basics for teaching a biblical worldview to your family! Isaac […]