Each day this month, we will consider key moments in God’s glorious plan to redeem us. We will understand both the overarching story of God and the highlights of all he’s done for us in Christ.
I vividly remember how I felt when I was a child and my favorite toys broke. Do you remember those reactions of frustration, despair, or even anger?
First responders demonstrate their heroism by putting their lives on the line in emergency situations in order to rescue those in danger. Police, firefighters, paramedics or just good citizens rush in when others rush out.
Almost everyone has heard the story of Noah’s ark. Perhaps in Sunday school you colored the stereotypical cartoon of the ark with two happy giraffes poking their heads out of the roof. However, I doubt many of us have seen a cartoon of all the people drowning.
Some people love to learn languages, but for most of us it’s an effort. We are content in our native language and culture. However, if we want to be a blessing to others, we need to get beyond our comfort zone.
God could have used anyone to begin his rescue plan. Yet he chose a Semite married to his half-sister.
I cannot imagine any truly unconditional human relationship. Even the most committed partnerships have an unspoken “I will love you if…” Yet, God loves and saves us unconditionally. A bizarre scene from Abraham’s life illustrates our Lord’s gracious acceptance of us.
Is there anything we will not give to God? In a scene that is as poignant as it is powerful, God asked Abraham to withhold nothing.
God planned to transform a chosen person, Abraham, into a chosen people. This would be the great nation that would experience the fulfillment of God’s promises. After a slow start, the nation building really got going by means of a birthing war between two sister wives.
In God’s overarching plan to fulfill his promises, he used the 11th son of Jacob to first save and then enslave his people.
God wanted a people of his own through whom he would bless the earth and provide a remedy for humankind’s separation from him.
God called an old humble shepherd, Moses, to a nearly impossible leadership task — forcefully removing about a million slaves from one of the most powerful nations on earth.
Movies often include hidden messages or inside jokes that attentive (and knowledgeable) viewers will pick up on. We call these “Easter eggs.” Similarly, God hides marvelous Easter eggs in his redemptive story.
We love or hate rules depending on whether they condemn us or justify us. When a law protects us, we heartily approve. When we break a law, we often resent it.
A rich land stretches between the Jordan River, the Mediterranean Sea, and the deserts of Egypt. God promised to give this area to Abraham and his descendants. After God rescued his people from slavery in Egypt, he led them to occupy it.
My dad liked to provoke people by saying things like “Freedom is a terrible thing.” Isn’t freedom good and what everyone wants? Not necessarily. God’s people found out that freedom, divorced from morality, ushers in a world of hurt.
I was once a slim, handsome young man with lots of dark, wavy hair and a killer mustache. A young woman fell in love with me and foolishly made solemn wedding vows to me. Ever since, I have gradually transformed myself into a hideous old man.
I will never forget a college student I ministered with named Peter. He prayed that he could suffer for the gospel. Can you believe that?
In the course of God’s redemptive plan, for a short, happy time, the warrior-poet King David led and inspired God’s people. His creative genius emanates from many of the psalms.
It is bitter to learn from our own mistakes. It is better to learn from the mistakes of others. This is the meaning of wisdom.
God told Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman. Wait! What?
Who does not deserve the compassion of God? This is the unspoken question in the book of Jonah.
Jeremiah experienced profound rejection, loneliness, depression, and discouragement. He was known as “the weeping prophet.”
How could this barren, ashen landscape be the neighborhood where I played as a kid? How could this atmosphere of acrid charcoal ever be fragrant and familiar again?
I love grateful people. I enjoy doing things for people like that. God loves grateful people too. We have so much to be grateful to God for, most of all that he sent his Son to redeem us from our slavery to sin. This gift was the apex of God’s redemptive plan.
I see people wearing crosses as jewelry. A means of torture has now become decoration. The meaning has often been forgotten.
He’s much more than a feeling: he is God in me. When I trust the Holy Spirit and follow his lead moment by moment, I become his witness in word and deed. And if enough of us do this, maybe the Church will become unstoppable once more.
I want to meet the apostle Paul in eternity. I love this intrepid proclaimer of the faith. God uses his writings to deeply minister to my soul.
Before coming to know Christ personally, I loved the Rice/Lloyd Webber rock opera, “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
Before traveling to a certain Asian country on a mission trip, I had to practice holding hands with another man.
My wife teases me for watching the same movies over and over again. But I enjoy them more the second (or third or fourth) time because I know what’s going to happen.