Shame at the cross

Psalm 22:7-8 Crucifixion was not only an agonizing form of death, it was a shameful one. It portrayed one as a criminal and an outcast. So when Christ hung on the cross, he was dealing not only with the guilt of human sin, but also with the shame that comes with it. Isaiah described this…

Rejoicing in persecution

1 Peter 4:12-16 According to Open Doors, 11 Christians are killed daily for their decision to follow Christ. In North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, and several other countries, it is extremely difficult to be a Christian. Believers are attacked by both the state and Islamist groups. Systematic killings of Christians have also been ongoing in…

Righteous Suffering

1 Peter 3:8-18 The Christian life comes with a good dose of suffering. We are a people seeking God’s glory in a world that is hostile to him. Whether overt or subtle, the believer feels the world’s opposition. A look, a remark, an attack – it comes in various forms. And it can be discouraging….

A Tale of two kings

Jeremiah 31:15 The birth of Christ was attended by great sorrow. In one day, several mothers were brought to tears when King Herod ordered all toddlers in Bethlehem to be slaughtered. Why? He learnt a new king had been born there and he didn’t want a rival. Years earlier, Jeremiah had described the sorrow felt…

Already and Not-yet

Isaiah 35:5,6 The entrance of Christ into our world was like ‘water breaking forth in the wilderness, and stream in the desert’ (Isaiah 35:6). He came in power, healing all who were oppressed of the Devil. He came literally opening the eyes of the blind, unlocking the ears of the deaf, and causing the lame…

Jeremiah’s call and ours

Jeremiah 1:5-10 Jeremiah’s call spoke powerfully to me after I became a Christian. In it I could discern God calling me to bear witness to the gospel. I had the same objection, but I received similar encouragement. The God who sends forth never abandons – and so it has been all these years. This is…

Nineveh Repented

Jonah 3:1-10 Nineveh, the heart of the the great Assyrian kingdom, repented at the preaching of Jonah. It was unexpected – even by the preacher. Yet it happened. This was a revival! Everyone turned – from the greatest to the least person. What can we see? We see God’s salvation reaching out to non-Jews long…

When childbearing becomes an idol

  Childbearing is great. It is a blessing from God. The psalmist likewise declared: ‘Children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward’ (Psalm 127:1). Anyone who has experienced the joy of having a child knows how indescribable the thrill is. I can imagine how Adam and Eve must have…

Diversity: A Christian view

Diversity is a hot-button topic today. It is as though modern society has realized that it must recognize the wide differences that exist within the human race and allow for their expression. There is an interesting description of this concept on a website linked to the University of Oregon in the United States. It reads…

The true spirit of Christmas

The Christmas story isn’t fiction, though contemporary notions of it largely are. We speak of a jolly season, where it is all smiles, gifts, and lights. There is Santa Claus, the grandfatherly figure with a wide grin, kind eyes and a sack full of toys. The dinner tables are laid out with all sorts of…