Yearly Archives: 2019

163 posts

You Have More Gifts To Give

The presents have all been opened. Christmas is done. For your children, next Christmas seems more than a lifetime away. I remember feeling sad that there were no more gifts to open, even as I was surrounded by presents and empty boxes! As I look back, I am amazed at how quickly gratitude was replaced with a self-centered longing for more stuff. Not pleasant thoughts! Now as an adult, I find I still quickly forget God’s kindness to me. His goodness to me is quickly forgotten and replaced with, “I need more.” Losing sight of God’s goodness skews my understanding of reality. The truth is that God’s faithfulness to me never stops! God is relentless in his pursuit to bring […]

Time and the Glory of God

Time as we know it is not eternal, it is created. Before there was time there was God. After time ends there will be God. This is one reason God refers to himself as I Am. God is infinite, he cannot be measured by time. He simply and profoundly is. Time is temporal, having to do with what is temporary.  As Paul says, don’t focus on what is temporary, but focus on eternity.  Faith has to do with eternity. This means that faith is rooted not in time but in the person and character of God! For example, when we say, “I have faith everything will work out,” our understanding of faith is misplaced. Faith is not primarily about everything […]

Joy to the World: A Biblical Worldview, Part 4

He Rules With Truth and Grace (Part 4 of 4) 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 praised for bringing a just judgment to the world. Life often appears to be unfair and unjust. Will evil people prevail? Will the hard things in your life ever be resolved?  Corruption and perversion are everywhere. The Holy Spirit says there is no need to despair at the apparent inequities of […]

Joy to the World: A Biblical Worldview, Part 3

Far As the Curse Is Found (Part 3 of 4) “Joy to the World” is a Christmas carol that proclaims a biblical view of the world. This is the third post on Isaac Watts’ famous hymn which is based on Psalm 98. The lyrics of this hymn reflect 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 much wrong with the world. Here is the third verse: No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest […]

Joy to The World: A Biblical Worldview, Part 2

The Savior Reigns! (Part 2 of 4) 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 that is good, noble, and excellent in life stems from the glory and goodness of God, not from any other […]

Joy to the World: A Biblical Worldview

Let Earth Receive Her King! (Part 1 of 4) 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 Watts’ Christmas carol is one of the most beloved of all the Christmas hymns. The words (at least the first […]

The Story of the Manger to the Cross

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 is not exactly the story one would expect for the greatest life ever lived. If someone were to come to your church to speak and his bio read like Christ’s, you would be […]

Comfort One Another This Christmas

The authors of 31 Ways to be A “One-Another” Christian have a simple yet life-changing message for you this Christmas: Comfort one another! Instead of frustration or irritation with people think of how you can bring comfort to them. That is radical!  This excerpt from the book is truly a special gift for you and those whom you love: True comfort comes not from limited human wisdom or a quickly dispensed phrase but rather from the ministry of the very words of God—that is, the Word carefully and compassionately unfolded within a sufferer’s difficult, fearful, or sorrowful context. Romans 15:4 states, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement […]

Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Faith

Mary was a teenager. There was nothing remarkable about her. The first time we see her is in Luke’s Gospel 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. Mary, an ordinary […]

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 you 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 […]