Showing posts from March, 2013

The Swimming Lessons of Faith

Over three years ago, I began a blog series on the most neglected entry in the Ten Commandments: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (see Exod. 20:8-11). Seven months and forty posts later, the series still hadn’t covered all the Scriptural material dealing with the Sabbath. Nevertheless, I had been duly affected by my study, and our family’s Sunday habits evolved into something more refreshing, restful, and relaxing than we could have ever dreamed. Imagine a poor landowner accidentally breaking open an oil reserve on his property. That is how we felt in our pursuit of the Sabbath—like God had a main conduit of blessing just beneath the surface and we found ourselves positioned to receive from its abundance. Our relationships with God and each other experienced an increase in joy and affection. Of course, it can be easy for our souls to turn habits and practices—even divinely ordained ones—into rote and bland traditions. Three years after my blog series, it can sometim

Real Change You Can Believe In

It has been said that the only thing constant in life is change. Nothing stays the same, except for the fact that everything keeps changing. For the Christian, the truth is much more comforting. Finishing the topic we began last week, here is what Scripture has to say about God and change. The one thing in life I need to stay the same is God—and He never changes. “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Num. 23:19). “ Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; yes, they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will have no end” (Ps. 102:25-27). “For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob” (Mal. 3:6). “Every good gift and every pe

The More Things Change…

Humans are in a constant state of change. These changes can be good or bad. The best kind of change we can experience is what Scripture calls repentance. In fact, the word “repent” in the New Testament is often a translation of the Greek word metanoeo , meaning, “ to change one’s mind.” When we align ourselves more closely to God’s ways, experiencing a change of heart, belief, and action, it is a great change indeed. Conversely, a refusal to change is drastically dangerous. The following is a Scripture-heavy meditation on what God has to say about humans and change. Apart from grace, mankind does not demonstrate the good kind of change—i.e., repentance—because of a stiff-necked refusal to forsake sin. “God will hear, and afflict them, even He who abides from of old. Selah. Because they do not change, therefore they do not fear God” (Ps. 55:19). “ O LORD, are not Your eyes on the truth? You have stricken them, but they have not grieved; You have consumed them, but they have

Marriage: the Intimacy and the Ecstasy

Let’s continue our blog series on Paradise Lost by looking at Book 4. Summary With a mixture of nostalgia (remembering the glories of his heavenly state) and wounded pride (his refusal to seek repentance), Satan experiences inner turmoil on his way to Earth. With his first exposure to Adam and Eve, Satan is struck with both wonder and disgust at their perfections and pleasures. Their utterly happy state fills him with envy and hatred. Overhearing Adam and Eve’s conversation, he learns that the tree of knowledge of good and evil is forbidden to them. Meanwhile, Uriel, who has quickly discerned the deceit of Satan’s earlier inquiry, warns Gabriel that an evil spirit is making his way to Earth. Gabriel appoints two angels to guard Adam and Eve from any attempts made on their safety. In the evening, these angels come upon Satan, now disguised as a frog, whispering tempting dreams into Eve’s ear. Satan is forcefully brought to Gabriel; the two verbally spar before Satan flies out of