The most common trait of the latest National Merit scholar students? Family meals, at least three times a week. Eating is central to God's family, too. Move from tablet to table and discover God's grace.
Families bring us our highest highs and our lowest lows. Jesus was born into the bittersweet complexities of a human family. If you've ever wondered if God knows the struggles of family life, the answer is yes. Discover the bonding power of family life.
The seven-day work week has become a familiar part of contemporary life. But in Creation, God models a different sort of work week, in which the seventh day is for rest. What if a space for grace allowed us to be both more balanced and more productive at the same time?
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 2:2-3
Today there is remarkable consensus among scientists that human action is determining the quality of future life on the planet, and it isn't pretty. Some blame the Bible for this mess, but the Bible tells the story of a God who created from nothing. This truth — that God made ex nihilo — has huge implications for how we should live.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1
Authors like to reveal as little as possible at the beginning of their story in order to build the suspense. God, as the author, does the opposite. So much is revealed in the beginning of God’s story that we cannot help but want to see where the story will end.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1:1-5
The Magi have been slandered throughout history: “Had they been women, they would have asked direction, shown up on time, helped with the birth, and brought useful gifts, like casseroles and diapers.” In reality, these men showed up on God’s timetable, and brought gifts with meaning and purpose.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 2:1-12
If you've ever put a baby into a 4-year-old's arms, you've seen something magical. The 4-year-old looks down with awe, reverence, and even a little fear. At Christmas, we're the 4-year-old, and God is placing the baby Jesus, the Prince of Peace, in our arms.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 9:2-7
The final paragraphs of A Christmas Carol report that Scrooge “knew how to keep Christmas well.” Simeon kept Christmas well, too, by seeing God's promise through to the day of its fulfillment.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 9:2–7
At Christmas, we long to transcend typical consumer trappings. The Christmas story is based on such an experience - the appearance of the angel, bringing good news of a great joy. The catch is that an angel's appearance is but a glimpse of the ultimate experience, God made flesh in a baby.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 2:8–15
Think of the keepsakes and heirlooms you treasure. How carefully do you protect them? How much more God protects us, when we belong to Him. But the fine print is that we have to be willing.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 43:1-7
John, who called people to return to the wilderness where Israel first became a people, is the best friend you could have to start the Christmas season. Only when we understand that we're lost and hopeless on our own does the coming of a Savior make any sense at all.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 3:1-20
The church is familiar with responding to crises. But what about the margins of chaos and violence, where few are equipped to respond? Jesus has called us to a life of justice, mobilizing His church to the most fragile of places. What if we were to take on the greatest needs of our day?
Christian marriage isn't really traditional marriage. It's a shining ideal of lifelong fidelity by two sexually different humans in mutual surrender. We cannot define Christian marriage. It defines us.
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 5:21-33
The feeding of the 5000 is the only miracle repeated in all four gospels. It's a story of how we can become channels of God's power. All we need to do is offer our meager resources to Jesus.
SCRIPTURE: John 6: 1-14
At the heart of life with Jesus, we freely give to others what we have graciously been given from God. In forgiveness, grace abounds and transformation ensues. How do we learn to apply the value of forgiveness in our most precious community - our family?
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:21-35
Have you ever felt like caving in? What's the use in such continued suffering? The prescription for discouragement isn't alcohol or shopping or vacations. It's a glimpse at God's majesty in worship.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 40
How do we explain the silence of God? Jesus' own prayers went unanswered. How can Jesus' own forsakenness on the cross help me with unanswered prayer?
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 22
The Bible says this universe is ruled by the mighty will of a sovereign God. On the other hand, it says our prayers make things happen. How can both of these things be true? God is deeply affected by our prayers.
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 32, Matthew 5
Prayer is a spiritual discipline. If you're going to be a disciple, you need to exercise discipline. Discipline isn't like eating your broccoli as much as it is creating space in your life for God to work.
SCRIPTURE: Mark 1:32-39