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The Good Seed Daily Devotional for 2021

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The circumstances of our life, e.g. at school or work, or...

A certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab.
Ruth 1: 1.

The circumstances of our life, e.g. at school or work, or in our family, can have a strong influence on our mental condition. In unfavourable cases they can lead to discouragement and exhaustion. This happens especially when one sees no end to the trouble. The verse in Proverbs 13:12 proves the truth of this: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”

We do not know how long Elimelech and his wife Naomi had sought a way out of their trouble. Did they wonder why God allowed that famine to affect His people? How...More



Tuesday, October 19, 2021

At a motorway picnic area a married couple were eating their...

By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works.
Ephesians 2: 8.9.

At a motorway picnic area a married couple were eating their sandwiches in the car next to ours. I handed them both a Christian tract, adding that it was spiritual food that was important for eternity.

The husband asked, “Has this flyer a Catholic background?” I explained, “It contains the clear gospel, as the Bible presents it. Just as food is necessary for our bodies, so is God’s Word equally important for our souls.” – “Yes,” he said, “We belong to...More



Monday, October 18, 2021

The court proceedings had been going on all...

The chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. Let the Christ, the king of Israel, descend from the cross, that we may see and believe.
Mark 15: 31.32.

The court proceedings had been going on all night. They were, in fact, useless, for the sentence had already been decided: Jesus was to be crucified. Pilate, the Roman governor, felt uneasy about the case. So three times he asked the multitude, “What evil has he done? I have found no reason for death in him” (Luke 23:21). On the third occasion they could no longer be held back....More



Sunday, October 17, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (63)

I have a greater witness than John’s, for the works which the Father has given me to finish – the very works that I do – bear witness of me, that the Father has sent me. And the Father himself, who sent me, has testified of me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form. But you do not have his word abiding in you, because whom he sent, him you do not believe.
John 5: 36 – 38.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (63)
When Jesus of Nazareth stated and explained to the Jews that God was His own Father, which He was indeed, He referred to four witnesses:

1....More



Saturday, October 16, 2021

In a house in Capernaum Jesus Christ was teaching before...

They were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things today.
Luke 5: 26.

In a house in Capernaum Jesus Christ was teaching before prominent Jewish personages from the province of Galilee and from Jerusalem. Inside the house were many people, so many that four men could not penetrate the crowd to bring their paralysed friend to Jesus. So they climbed on to the flat roof, made an opening and let the lame man down on his portable bed to where Jesus was standing. The Saviour amazed those present by saving, “Man, your sins are forgiven you” (v. 20). The...More



Friday, October 15, 2021

Jesus’ disciples were impressed by the enormous buildings of...

Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!
Mark 13: 1.

Jesus’ disciples were impressed by the enormous buildings of the temple in Jerusalem and pointed them out to their Lord. Jesus answered them, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down” (v.2).

I thought of these words when I stood in front of the ruins of the All Saints Monastery Church in the Black Forest. The early gothic edifice was destroyed by fire after being struck by lightning in 1804. Impressive parts of the walls, however, still tower up...More



Thursday, October 14, 2021

What I have found

What profit has a man from all his labour in which he toils under the sun?

Provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail.

Ecclesiastes 1: 3; Luke 12: 33.

What I have found
“Generation after generation, young people begin their activity full of strength, enthusiasm and determination. Then, one after another, they fall into indifference and the selfsame mistakes of their predecessors.

“After a few years I noticed that life on earth is often mere appearance, false glitter and transient. When young, I imagined that the...More



Wednesday, October 13, 2021

During His life here on earth the Lord Jesus...

Christ also suffered for us. … When he was reviled, did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but committed himself to him who judges righteously.
1 Peter 1: 21.23.

During His life here on earth the Lord Jesus suffered constantly from the opposition and hatred of His enemies. Their response to His acts of kindness was contempt and suspicion. When we think of the interrogations and the judicial trial that preceded the crucifixion, what a flood of wickedness and injustice there was, as they sought false witness to justify a sentence of death!

In all this our Lord remained...More



Tuesday, October 12, 2021

God can count

Does he not see my ways and count all my steps?
Job 31: 4.

God can count
This morning the mother of the family baked biscuits for the afternoon tea and put them in the dining-room. “Oh, what tasty biscuits!” exclaimed Louis, “I’ll take one.”

“You mustn’t!” said Anna, firmly holding his arm. “Mummy won’t be pleased; they’re for this afternoon.”

“Mummy hasn’t counted them,” said the boy.

“No, but think what the Lord Jesus said: ʻThe very hairs of your head are all numberedʼ. God can see you” (Luke 12: 7).

God can...More



Monday, October 11, 2021

With this quotation Paul endeavoured to show the Jews from...

There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Romans 3: 18.

With this quotation Paul endeavoured to show the Jews from their own holy scriptures that, like the heathen nations, they are guilty before God (cf. Psalm 36:1). All need the forgiveness of sins and deliverance from the power of sin. In the previous verses Paul had revealed the Jews’ general condition, then their teaching and their ways. Now it was a matter of the central object of their hearts and lives.

No fear of God! This is the main characteristic of sinful man. He fails to include God in his life and thinking. In him God has no...More



Sunday, October 10, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (62)

If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another who bears witness of me, and I know that the witness which he witnesses of me is true. You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.
John 5: 31 – 35.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (62)
The Lord Jesus is still speaking to the Jews. The starting point of the dispute was their criticism that Jesus had made Himself equal to God....More



Saturday, October 9, 2021

Reading the gospels, we get the impression that demons were...

What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him. And immediately his fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.
Mark 1: 27.

Reading the gospels, we get the impression that demons were thoroughly startled by the effect of Jesus Christ’s power. These were evil spiritual beings that stood under the influence of Satan. Right at the beginning of Mark’s gospel we read of such a confrontation, when Jesus taught in the synagogue. A demon-possessed man shouted loudly: “What have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Did you come to...More



Friday, October 8, 2021

Surely I am coming quickly”

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.

Today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.

Luke 21: 33; Hebrews 4: 7.

Surely I am coming quickly”
In his work “Christ will return – Messages for modern man”, published in 1978 Norbert Hugedé, a professor at the Sorbonne in Paris, stated: “One must be blind to deny that we are approaching the end of our planet’s history. … Whoever takes the trouble to reflect on present events must conclude that the world has come to the end of a blind alley, economically, socially, politically...More



Thursday, October 7, 2021

Many people would like to be on the list of guests invited...

The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants saying, Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding. But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully and killed them.
Matthew 22: 2 – 6.

Many people would like to be on the list...More



Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The problem, but not the solution

In everything … let your requests be made known to God.

My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Philippians 4: 6; Isaiah 55: 8.9.

The problem, but not the solution
The holiday-makers set out across the lake in their yacht. Thanks to a slight breeze they were proceeding calmly, but then out in the middle of that vast lake the wind dropped. In August the sun is oppressive, and the surface of the water smooth like a mirror. Time...More



Tuesday, October 5, 2021

From the Koran to the gospel

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. … He was buried, and …rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him.

1 Corinthians 15: 3.4; Hebrews 7: 25..

From the Koran to the gospel
An Egyptian once told me: “As a child I used to play under palm trees on the bank of the Nile. Later I studied the Koran and became a good Muslim. Five times a day I used to kneel on the ground to pray toward Mecca, and I observed Ramadan, the month of fasting.

”Then I studied in Germany, where...More



Monday, October 4, 2021

Who is Jesus Christ? A Jew, a simple carpenter who did nothing but...

I (Paul), … when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2: 1.2.

Who is Jesus Christ? A Jew, a simple carpenter who did nothing but good. But He was sentenced to death and crucified. Yet He has left His mark on man’s history like no other person. For many He is a wise Man, others call Him their Master, yet others a prophet.

How did it happen that this Person, who lived in poverty, coming from an insignificant town in Israel,...More



Sunday, October 3, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (61)

The Father … has given him (the Son) authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming, in which all who are in the graves will hear his voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is righteous, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father who sent me.
John 5: 26 – 30.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (61)
The subject here is still the voice heard...More



Saturday, October 2, 2021

I worked for a time on the production line of a firm. One...

Temmy's the good seed daily devotional I worked for a time on the production line of a firm. One... picture

Is not my word like a fire? says the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
Jeremiah 23: 29.

I worked for a time on the production line of a firm. One of my colleagues generally read a book during the breaks, while the others chatted about anything and everything. That man, however, avoided all superficial talk. He always turned to his reading matter.

Some time later I noticed that he didn’t read various books: he always had the same book with him and read it every time. I observed him for weeks and months. Still the same book after all that time? “How boring!” I...More



Friday, October 1, 2021

Life’s autumn

Temmy's the good seed daily devotional Life’s autumn picture

Bless the LORD, o my soul, and forget not all his benefits, … who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth (or: old age) with good things.
Psalm 103: 2 – 5.

Life’s autumn
Nobody likes growing old, yet, whether we like it or not, at some stage the autumn of our life will begin. But just as it is in nature, when the autumn brings forth beautiful colours and fruit, so can life’s autumn be beautiful and enjoyable. The pre-requisite for it is that we have a personal relationship with God and sustain it . We...More



Thursday, September 30, 2021

Come from heaven

I am the living bread which came down from heaven.
John 6: 51.

Come from heaven
In the book of Proverbs this question is to be found: “Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?” (ch. 30: v. 4). Centuries later Jesus gave the reply: “No-one has ascended to heaven but he who came down from heaven” (John 3:13). And the apostle Paul states specifically: “He who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens” (Ephesians 4:10).

Here we have something extraordinary: Jesus Christ descended form heaven, leaving that place of joy where He dwelt from...More



Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The circumstances of our life are often tiring. Many...

I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Psalm 16: 8.

The circumstances of our life are often tiring. Many of us can speak from experience: old age, illness, even the suffering of a loved one, and nobody can change the situation. Some are plagued by worries connected with their work, others have more than they can cope with. In short, we could cite a long list of difficulties that trouble us. Our thanks have been silenced, all joy has gone, and many gloomy thoughts torment us. Basically we all know that things need not be like this.

If anyone was...More



Tuesday, September 28, 2021

A remedy for loneliness

The disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

I am with you always.

John 20: 20; Matthew 28: 20.

A remedy for loneliness
The media are able to transmit the countless items of news to everyone in a flash. Technology offers innumerable possibilities of private communication. Yet one constantly hears of people suffering from loneliness.

Two persons who found in Jesus Christ someone who is ever close by them speak of their experience of something vastly different:

“Jesus is the only One with whom I can exchange thoughts in any situation. He understands me...More



Monday, September 27, 2021

Jesus – moved with compassion (5)

So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men besides women and children.
Matthew 14: 20.21.

Jesus – moved with compassion (5)
The work of the Lord Jesus was always carried out to perfection. This vast multitude, which may well have exceeded ten thousand, was nourished and satisfied, yet they hadn’t exhausted the supply! A huge quantity, enough to fill twelve baskets, remained over. Nothing was to be wasted; so the Lord made the disciples gather up what was left over (cf. John...More



Sunday, September 26, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (60)

Most assuredly, I say to you, He who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.
John 5: 24 – 26.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (60)
Jesus of Nazareth is eternal God just as much as our heavenly Father is God. Here, however, the Lord regards Himself as the One sent...More



Saturday, September 25, 2021

What will you do in the end?

What will you do in the end?

Today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.

Jeremiah 5: 31; Hebrews 3: 15.

What will you do in the end?
This verse can be found in a long list of indictments that God made against Jerusalem recorded by the prophet Jeremiah 2,600 years ago. The inhabitants of the city had rebelled against the Lord and refused to heed His warnings for a long time. So the hour of judgment had come.

A distant nation would invade the city and deport the population (cf. (cf. Jeremiah 5: 15 – 19)). The question was therefore an ultimate...More



Friday, September 24, 2021

Turning the Saviour away

See that you do not refuse him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from him who speaks from heaven.
Hebrews 12: 25.

Turning the Saviour away
Someone has rung the bell at our neighbour’s house. It is evening, but no-one has answered the door, although they are at home. Behind the curtains it can be seen that the light is on, and people are moving about. The person outside the front door calls something to catch their attention, but still no-one comes to open up. They clearly have no time for him. “And in any...More



Thursday, September 23, 2021

Jesus – moved with compassion (4)

They said to him, We have only five loaves and two fish. He said, Bring them to me. Then he commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven he blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes.
Matthew 14: 17 – 19.

Jesus – moved with compassion (4)
When the Lord suggested that the disciples should give the multitude the food needed, they had to admit that there was very little available for such a crowd: only five loaves and two fish, which didn’t even belong to them...More



Wednesday, September 22, 2021

If we pour oil into a vessel containing water, we shall quickly...

These are in the world. … They are not of the world.
John 17: 11.16.

If we pour oil into a vessel containing water, we shall quickly establish the fact that the two fluids will not mix. Even after vigorous stirring or shaking the two substances immediately separate.

This is an apt illustration of the incompatibility of our old, sinful nature with the new nature given to us by God. The two have nothing in common and cannot be intermingled. Our new divine life cannot improve our old nature, nor can our old nature weaken the life brought about by the Holy Spirit.

This comparison also...More



Tuesday, September 21, 2021

If we speak to people about God and their relationship with Him, we...

Jesus said, … I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of myself, but he sent me.

God … has in these last days spoken to us by his Son.

John 8: 42; Hebrews 1: 1.2.

If we speak to people about God and their relationship with Him, we get very different answers.

The atheist says, “There is no God” He seeks many arguments to persuade himself and many others of his conviction. However, three great opponents undermine the credibility of his assertions: nature; the Word of God and his own conscience.

A godless person says, “”If there is a God, why...More



Monday, September 20, 2021

Jesus – moved with compassion (3)

Jesus said to them (the disciples), They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat. And they said to him We have here only five loaves and two fish. He said, Bring them here to me. ... He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes.
Matthew 14: 16 – 19.

Jesus – moved with compassion (3)
Jesus’ response to His disciples’ suggestion to send the crowd away must have taken them by surprise. But they quickly found an excuse to justify themselves: “We have...More



Sunday, September 19, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (59)

As the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom he will. For the Father judges no-one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him.
John 5: 21 – 23.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (59)
Up to the fifth chapter John’s gospel reports three miraculous signs that Jesus did: turning water into wine and two healings. The heavenly Father would soon show His Son even greater works that He was to perform: He would raise the...More



Saturday, September 18, 2021

Do you know where you are going?

Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14: 6.

Do you know where you are going?
How can I know whether I am going in the right direction? At sea or in the desert people have learned for centuries to take their bearings from the sun or the stars. Nowadays satellite navigation systems enable one to know precisely one’s position and the direction to take to reach one’s destination. Without GPS it is still possible to ask a passer-by for the information required. Yet all these ways can prove unreliable. Clouds sometimes hide...More



Friday, September 17, 2021

A treasure undiscovered

I rejoice at your word as one who finds great treasure.
Psalm 119: 162.

A treasure undiscovered
During a chance visit paid to a modest family one of my acquaintances was intrigued by something unusual hanging in a frame on the living-room wall. He went up to it to examine it more closely and discovered that it was a foreign banknote of high value framed and behind glass. The head of the house explained that in 1944 his parents had hidden a wounded parachutist officer who, when he left them, gave them that banknote. They had kept it carefully as a souvenir. When the family learned through my...More



Thursday, September 16, 2021

Jesus – moved with compassion (2)

When it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.
Matthew 14: 15.

Jesus – moved with compassion (2)
In our last meditation on this subject we saw what the Lord noticed among the multitude. Today we can read what the disciples saw there.

In the late afternoon Jesus was still speaking and healing. The disciples observed the situation. They eventually suggested inconsiderately that owing to the desolate surroundings and the lateness of the...More



Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Most of us who are still working or being educated know...

I prayed to the God of heaven, and I said to the king...
Nehemiah 2: 4.5.

Most of us who are still working or being educated know what it is to be under pressure. Appointments have to be kept. Our superiors or teachers determine the course of our life, influencing the way we work. It becomes particularly difficult for us, if we have to represent the interests of our firm or institution or fulfil the demands of others, when these are in conflict with our own conscience.

In such situations the children of God can always pray. Maybe there is only time for a brief prayer; it is nevertheless a prayer...More



Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Hidden under the bed

O LORD, you have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up. You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
Psalm 139: 1 – 3.

Hidden under the bed
The following incident took place in Brazil:

A burglar broke into a house one evening. Hearing a noise, he quickly slipped under a bed. To his horror all the members of the family gathered in the room where he was hidden. And lo and behold, the father sat down on that bed, picked up a book and read a page from it to his wife and children. They...More



Monday, September 13, 2021

Jesus – moved with compassion (1)

When Jesus went out, he saw a great multitude; and he was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
Matthew 14: 14.

Jesus – moved with compassion (1)
The miracle that we shall be dealing with in some of our future meditations is the only one reported in all four gospels.

As so often, Jesus was on a journey. He had heard that John the Baptist, who announced His coming and prepared the way for Him, had been killed. That affected Him, for he knew that they were already planning His death. He wanted to be alone and withdrew to a ship with His disciples. When He landed, a...More



Sunday, September 12, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (58)

Then Jesus answered and said to them, Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do; for whatever he does, the Son does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that he himself does; and he will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel.
John 5: 19.20.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (58)
When Jesus spoke to His critics about His Father, they became very annoyed. They considered His words to be a blasphemous assertion and consequently wanted to kill Him. The Lord took the opportunity to speak about His...More



Saturday, September 11, 2021

The spider’s thread

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey.

If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Romans 6: 16; John 8: 36.

The spider’s thread
My work forced me to live away from home for long periods. That was a burden for my family. My young daughter once decided to tie me hand and foot to stop me from going away. Armed with a ball of string, she started to wind it round me. After a few circuits she stopped and said triumphantly: “Daddy, try to get free!” I could easily have broken free, but didn’t want to...More



Friday, September 10, 2021

The spider’s web

The hypocrite shall perish, whose confidence shall be cut off, and whose trust is a spider’s web. He leans on his house, but it does not stand. He holds it fast, but it does not endure.

They ... weave the spider’s web; … their webs shall not become garments.

Job 8: 13 – 15.

The spider’s web
A big spider’s web has been woven between high grasses near the ground. Covered with frost, it is a magnificent sight. What fragile work! Just a light touch will destroy it.

A friend of the patriarch Job used this illustration to speak about “all who forget God”...More



Thursday, September 9, 2021

Before the catastrophe

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation?

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.

Hebrews 2: 3; John 14: 27.

Before the catastrophe
A humorous poster warned the inhabitants living near an atomic power station of the danger they were exposed to. The picture showed a signpost with the words “In the event of an atomic alarm” pointing to a small glass case with a hammer to break the glass, and in the case was a Bible.

One thing was missing: the words “Too late!” The Bible is not a book for later life, nor...More



Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The Son of God became Man

Christ Jesus … made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant.
Philippians 2: 5.7.

The Son of God became Man
When we begin to consider who the Son of God is, we realise more and more clearly how far He humbled Himself at His incarnation.

He is the eternal Son, who is in the Father’s bosom, enjoying His love in all eternity. When He became a Man, He entered a sinful world at enmity with God. Step by step He was confronted with the misery that sin had caused. Every day He experienced the hatred of so many who surrounded Him. What a contrast that was to the loving...More



Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The apostle John deals with three great subjects in his epistle: life, light...

We are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
1 John 5: 20.

The apostle John deals with three great subjects in his epistle: life, light and love. They are three characteristics of God, for God is the source of life; and God is light and God is also love (1 John 1; 5; 4: 8.16).

We should not, however, make the mistake of using our human intelligence to understand these concepts. The life of God is in no way comparable with our life. Our life starts at birth and ends, as far as our body is concerned, with death. Life that is divine has no beginning...More



Monday, September 6, 2021

Call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work.

Peter opened his mouth and said, In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears him and works righteousness is accepted by him.
Acts 10: 34.35; 1 Peter 1: 17.

Acting “without partiality” means being neutral, unprejudiced and judging without considering anyone’s status, origin etc.. In human society this is a rarity. With God it is otherwise in a twofold sense.

In the positive sense we find God’s impartiality and lack of prejudice in the first of our verses above. The apostle Peter found it difficult at first to understand that God did not offer His...More



Sunday, September 5, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (57)

The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, My Father has been working until now, and I have been working. Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
John 5: 15 – 18.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (57)
It was the Sabbath, and Jesus healed a sick man. Instead of rejoicing there was much criticism, the...More



Saturday, September 4, 2021

The place of refuge

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

To you, o my strength, I will sing praises; for God is my defence, my God of mercy.

Psalm 46: 1; 59: 17.

The place of refuge
The press reported a tragic occurrence: In the Mont Blanc massif four alpinists were overtaken by a violent storm at a height of about 13,000 feet, Struggling against the storm and the cold, they tried desperately to reach the Goûter hut 300 feet below them. Only two of the men managed to get so far totally exhausted. The others were later found dead under a thick layer of snow.

What...More



Friday, September 3, 2021

In chapter 3 of the Epistle to the Romans Paul wrote about...

David … describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.
Romans 4: 6 – 8.

In chapter 3 of the Epistle to the Romans Paul wrote about justification by faith. In chapter 4 he first mentioned Abraham as convincing proof from the Old Testament. Then he quoted King David’s words from Psalm 32. David was considered by the Jews to be the greatest of their kings. They also knew that he was a man after God’s own heart (cf. 1...More



Thursday, September 2, 2021

Despotic exploiters, thirsty for power, is how most rulers of...

Behold, your king is coming to you; he is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah 9: 9.

Despotic exploiters, thirsty for power, is how most rulers of ancient history can be described. Human life was unimportant to them. Opponents were disposed of as they saw fit. Even among the kings who reigned over the nation of Israel there were few who heeded God’s law. This contained clear precautions against the abuse of power or exploitation. Even today no-one among the powerful in politics, economics or society wants to be ill treated or suppressed. We long...More



Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Lord Jesus took three disciples up that mountain to...

After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves, and he was transfigured before them.
Matthew 17: 1.2.

The Lord Jesus took three disciples up that mountain to reveal His glory before them.

He took Peter with Him, that disciple who was impulsive, active, a leader who was an example to the others in his zeal, but who also occasionally proved to be too self-assured.

He also took John, who was a temperamental, yet sensitive disciple. The Lord called him and his brother James “sons of thunder” (Mark 3: 17). John enjoyed...More



Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The assurance of forgiveness (2)

Jesus … said to the paralytic, Son, your sins are forgiven you.
Mark 2: 5.

The assurance of forgiveness (2)
The deaconess thought, “It is remarkable that I have never before paid attention to these verses from the Bible about the forgiveness of sins! I have confessed my sins to God and hoped that He has forgiven me and would save me, but I thought it pride to say hat I was already redeemed.”

Then some examples from the Bible occurred to her. She thought of what Jesus said to the paralytic and also to the sinner woman: “Your sins are forgiven you. …Your faith has saved you....More



Monday, August 30, 2021

The assurance of forgiveness (1)

In him (Jesus Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.
Ephesians 1: 7.

The assurance of forgiveness (1)
During the Crimean War (1853 – 1856) the Russians had erected a big military hospital to the north of Sebastopol, where their sick and wounded could be cared for. One day a man was admitted severely wounded. The expression on his face showed how he was suffering. A deaconess tried to get him to speak several times, but in vain. He lay silent and motionless on his bed.

Some day later he finally broke his silence. Warily he asked the sister to...More



Sunday, August 29, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (56)

The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, It is the Sabbath: it is not lawful for you to carry your bed. He answered them, He who made me well said to me, Take up your bed and walk. Then they asked him, Who is the man who said to you, Take up your and walk? But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.
John 5: 10 – 14.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (56)
What joy for that man! Healed after...More



Saturday, August 28, 2021

God’s mighty power

That you may know … what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe according to the working of his mighty power.
Ephesians 1: 18.19.

God’s mighty power
Sitting on the beach, we can look out to sea and watch the waves approaching in the distance. They are still over a hundred metres away. More than an hour will pass before high tide is reached. Have you ever considered what power there is behind that unceasing movement of thousands and thousands of tons of water twice a day for centuries on end? Has man ever produced such power? God’s mighty power is unlimited. We do not...More



Friday, August 27, 2021

God’s conditions

The LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn his face from you if you return to him.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2 Chronicles 30: 9; 1 John 1: 9.

God’s conditions
From his childhood John was difficult, causing his parents much trouble. Later his misdeeds became so serious that he spent several stays in prison. Every time his father paid for damage done and welcomed his son when he returned. After his parents’ death John, thinking he would inherit some of his father’s...More



Thursday, August 26, 2021

The Alpha and the Omega

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Revelation 1: 8; 22: 13.

The Alpha and the Omega
Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, omega the last one. When God says that He is the Alpha and the Omega, it means that He is the origin of this world’s history and that He will preside at its disappearance. He spoke in order to create the universe: “The worlds were framed by the word of God” (Hebrews 11:3)....More



Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The apostle Paul had previously explained to the Philippians how...

Let us, as many as are mature (or: perfect, J.N.D.), have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
Philippians 3: 15.

The apostle Paul had previously explained to the Philippians how uncompromisingly he ran the race of faith, which has only one objective: “the prize of the upward call of God” in glory (v. 14).

All his human advantages, all that distinguished the one time Pharisee Saul, he now considered “loss” and “rubbish”. It all belonged to the past. Nothing was to hinder him from “reaching forward to those things which are ahead”(v....More



Tuesday, August 24, 2021

At about 1 o’clock on the 24th August 79 A.D. the volcano Vesuvius erupted...

Remember how short my time is; for what futility have you created all the children of men? What man can live and not see death?
Psalm 89: 47.48.

At about 1 o’clock on the 24th August 79 A.D. the volcano Vesuvius erupted, and all became dark in Pompeii. For the next four days ash and pumice poured down, until the town lay buried under a five metre covering. Whoever could not escape in time lost his life. Human beings and animals were literally “baked” by volcanic ash.

In the course of time corruption caused cavities to develop, which are now being filled with plaster to obtain plastic moulds...More



Monday, August 23, 2021

How true this verse from the Bible is! Many people have...

Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
John 8: 34.

How true this verse from the Bible is! Many people have dabbled with sin out of curiosity and then found themselves addicted to it. Initially they were seduced by the attraction of something new or forbidden. As time passed, the lust for these things became so strong that they had no power to resist them, and sinning became habitual.

Then people start to reproach themselves: “If only I hadn’t started it!” Realising the compulsion they are under, they would like to get free again. But any attempt to break away from the fetters fails...More



Sunday, August 22, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (55)

When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well? The sick man answered him, Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me. Jesus said to him, Rise, take up your bed and walk. And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.
John 5: 6 – 9.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (55)
The hopeless condition of the man who had suffered for thirty-eight years did not leave the Son...More



Saturday, August 21, 2021

Works or faith?

We have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
Galatians 2: 16.

Works or faith?
There are so many religious groups in the world, one might think. Actually, there are only two. One wishes to merit divine grace. The other comprises those who accept that they can give God nothing, not even for only one of their sins.

The first group suggests that man should undertake meritorious deeds to offset his guilt and win God’s favour and paradise, like carrying out good...More



Friday, August 20, 2021

Dr. Friedrich Wilhelm Baedeker (1823 – 1906) was born in Germany, but...

The life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2: 20.

Dr. Friedrich Wilhelm Baedeker (1823 – 1906) was born in Germany, but spent a large part of his life in England, where he founded a high school in Weston-super-Mare.

In 1866 He was invited by an army officer to addresses by the well-known evangelist, Lord Radstock. The preaching interested him, and he attended more on the following evenings. But he skilfully evaded any encounter with the preacher.

One evening, however, he did not succeed in avoiding...More



Thursday, August 19, 2021

The bankruptcy that saves

None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him – for the redemption of their souls is costly, and it shall cease for ever.

You were not redeemed with … silver or gold from your aimless conduct … but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

Psalm 49: 7.8; 1 Peter 1: 18.19.

The bankruptcy that saves
This was the title of a news item that told of the course of someone who after years of imprisonment can at last breathe again. His mind is relieved: he is free of his debts. He benefits from a recent law...More



Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The story of the prosperous farmer is well-known to readers of...

God said to him, Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?
Luke 12: 20.

The story of the prosperous farmer is well-known to readers of the Bible. It is a serious warning for all who have not put their life in order with God by accepting the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. The parable also has some important lessons for the Lord’s disciples. It pinpoints three errors to which we can easily succumb, whether we have much or little wealth.

Error no. 1: Money and riches give security. It is sensible and by no means wrong to make...More



Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Some 150 years ago a missionary emigrated to South Africa with...

You will call upon me and go and pray to me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29: 12.13.

Some 150 years ago a missionary emigrated to South Africa with his family. He wanted to go into the interior of the country to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people there. The descendants of the European settlers in South Africa tried to prevent him and refused support in any form. There the family stood alone; every door seemed to be closed.

Finally he obtained an ox-cart and decided to set off in it. He left it to the...More



Monday, August 16, 2021

Jesus Christ speaks to people in whatever circumstances of life they...

As he (Jesus) passed by, he saw Levi, the son of Alphæus sitting at the tax office. And he said to him, Follow me.
Mark 2: 14.

Jesus Christ speaks to people in whatever circumstances of life they find themselves and tells them to follow Him. This call was also made to the tax collector Levi. He was to follow Jesus immediately and accompany Him through the land as one of the twelve apostles.

Tax collectors were appointed by the ruling Roman powers. They had obtained their right and authority at a high price and had to hand over the taxes and tolls taken in their area. It also gave them the...More



Sunday, August 15, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (54)

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralysed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.
John 5: 1 – 5.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John...More



Saturday, August 14, 2021

Over two thousand years ago a God-fearing man named...

My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.
Luke 2: 30 – 32.

Over two thousand years ago a God-fearing man named Simeon lived in Israel. He waited longingly for the “consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25; Isaiah 40:1.2). The Messiah, who was to redeem His people was meant. God had promised Simeon that he would see the promised Redeemer in his lifetime.

One day Simeon was led to the temple by the Spirit of God. The dealings and bargaining of the sacrifice...More



Friday, August 13, 2021

Gold or life?

So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners.
Proverbs 1:19.

Gold or life?
During the gold rush a river steamer on the Mississippi had an accident. It collided with a submerged wreck and sank quickly. Among the passengers were many prospectors for gold travelling back home with their booty. There were not sufficient lifeboats for everyone; so many attempted to save themselves on boards and planks, while others succeeded in swimming to the bank. Finally, all the passengers were saved – except one.

This man had also jumped into the water, but...More



Thursday, August 12, 2021

Funny people

The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

Jesus said, You shall be witnesses to me … to the end of the earth.

John 5: 15; Acts 1: 8.

Funny people
You have probably met people offering a gospel, a tract or a Christian calendar despite critical looks or contempt. Or you have heard Christians speaking to others of Jesus Christ, inviting everyone to get to know Him. What incites these believers to spend their time and energy evangelising in their neighbourhood, despite hostile reactions? Perhaps you think, “Funny people!”

Spreading the...More



Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Lord Jesus is “the faithful witness”...

For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.
John 18: 37.

The Lord Jesus is “the faithful witness” (Revelation 1:5). In the course of man’s history God has had many faithful witnesses, who fearlessly stood for His rights and for the truth. But they all had their weaknesses and faults, and, for all their dedication, their testimony was lacking in some respects.

It was not so with the Man Christ Jesus. In His steadfast faithfulness and perfection throughout His life His works and words gave witness of the truth. Indeed,...More



Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Hardly any chapter of the Bible describes the sufferings of the Messiah, the...

He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. … The chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53: 3.5.

Hardly any chapter of the Bible describes the sufferings of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, as impressively as this 53rd chapter of the prophet Isaiah. And it was this very chapter that an Ethiopian finance minister was reading in his carriage between Jerusalem and Gaza. This stranger had previously sought contact with God in vain in the Jewish capital.

Suddenly the Ethiopian was addressed by a Jewish man alongside...More



Monday, August 9, 2021

Times were bad when this character, Enoch, lived...

Enoch walked with God.
Genesis 5: 24.

Times were bad when this character, Enoch, lived.

The economy and culture were developing well, to be sure, but brutality and violence were increasing in a horrific measure. And that was a very long time ago: before the great flood.

“We must make the best of things!” most people say under such conditions. It was so then, and things haven’t changed today. But Enoch behaved otherwise: he swam against the tide by living with God.

Where was the righteous God, if everything was in turmoil? Enoch, that man of faith, knew that God was...More



Sunday, August 8, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (53)

As he (the nobleman) was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, Your son lives! Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, Your son lives. And he himself believed and his whole household. This again is the second sign Jesus did when he had come out of Judea into Galilee.
John 4: 51 – 54.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (53)
The nobleman’s son was so seriously ill that there was no more hope for him. But Jesus...More



Saturday, August 7, 2021

Adventure attracted the young man after his classical studies. He...

… that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
Act 17: 27.

Adventure attracted the young man after his classical studies. He planned to cycle across North America from east to west. That extensive land both enraptured and dispirited him. As he rode for miles along the highways of Canada and only occasionally met a car or was overtaken, severe loneliness overcame him, and he fell into periods of depression.

Going along lonely roads through thick forests, he suddenly realised that there is a God in heaven. He...More



Friday, August 6, 2021

Today we wish to mention three reasons why we believe in the resurrection of...

This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
Acts 2: 32.

Today we wish to mention three reasons why we believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ: the powerlessness of His enemies, the power of His disciples and God’s omnipotence.

Jesus had announced that He would rise from the dead. His opponents tried to ensure that it would not happen: they secured His tomb with a big stone and a guard. But they failed to keep the Son of God captive. When the news of His resurrection became known, they produced neither His corpse nor a credible excuse. In their powerlessness they could...More



Thursday, August 5, 2021

Religions devised by men do not lead to God. Their founders are...

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10: 9.

Religions devised by men do not lead to God. Their founders are dead; their mortal remains, if not cremated, are in the place of their burial. Prominent for the Christian faith, however, is the empty tomb in Jerusalem. It establishes the decisive distinction between the Christian faith that God Himself has revealed and this world’s religions.

The tomb in Jerusalem is empty because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, rose from the dead. Together with the...More



Wednesday, August 4, 2021

These moving words are the language of Jerusalem, the city that...

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Behold and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which has been brought on me, which the LORD has inflicted in the day of his fierce anger.
Lamentations 1: 12.

These moving words are the language of Jerusalem, the city that at that time had to suffer bitterly the consequences of unfaithfulness towards God. Prophetically, something of the gravity of the future judgment is recognisable, by which God will lead His people Israel into the blessings of the millennium. And, as so often in the Old Testament, we can see the application to the Lord Jesus, who in His...More



Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Investing for Christ

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, I have no pleasure in them.
Ecclesiastes 12: 1.

Investing for Christ
I used to know an elderly Christian woman who was ill and totally dependent on others. As a professor of languages she had been very active and had travelled a lot. Now, being almost deaf and blind, she lived with a family related to her.

Her positive state mind, her untroubled joy and living faith constantly comforted those who visited her. She was grateful for the care lavished on her and...More



Monday, August 2, 2021

For three years the Lord Jesus Christ “went about doing good, and...

The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.
Matthew 8: 8.

For three years the Lord Jesus Christ “went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38). He frequently stayed in Capernaum, a city on the north-west bank of the Lake of Genessaret. A Roman garrison was stationed there, as two governmental regions met there.

When Jesus returned there one day the Roman centurion asked for help for his servant who was lying paralysed at home in great pain. Jesus...More



Sunday, August 1, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (52)

Jesus said to him, Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe. The nobleman said to him Sir, come down, before my child dies! Jesus said to him, Go your way; your son lives! So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.
John 4: 48 – 50.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (52)
When the nobleman appealed to Jesus for his son who was mortally ill, he undoubtedly expected a positive response from Him. Instead, he heard a reproach.

Would the Lord turn him away? By no means! He merely put the supplicant to the test: had he faith, or...More



Friday, July 30, 2021

Our testimony

What does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6: 8.

Our testimony
When we use certain forms of public transport we have to put a ticket with a magnetic strip into a machine that reads the information showing our right to use the vehicle. One or two generations ago this technology did not exist. Ticket collectors and conductors had to punch a hole in the ticket. It was tedious work for the employees with the thousands of passengers travelling daily at peak hours.

One such retired ticket collector, who had spent his whole life...More



Thursday, July 29, 2021

God’s love of mankind

I have loved you, says the LORD. Yet you say, In what way have you loved us?
Malachi 1: 2.

God’s love of mankind
In this present age of grace God has the gospel proclaimed. By this means he informs people everywhere: “I have loved you”. But many people question or doubt the truth of this. They think that God does not love them, because they suffer severe strokes of fate. They fail to understand why they have such difficulties and in their bitterness ask God, “In what way have you loved us?”

I myself cannot comprehend all that God has allowed to happen in my life....More



Wednesday, July 28, 2021

In the epistle to the Hebrews God addresses the recipients with...

God is not unjust to forget your work and labour of love, which you have shown toward his name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Hebrews 6:10.


In the epistle to the Hebrews God addresses the recipients with serious words right at the beginning of the sixth chapter. Such an admonition is necessary, too, for among true believers both then and nowadays are to be found those who merely profess the faith, having been attracted to Christianity for a time (cf. vv. 4 – 8: Matthew 13: 5 – 7.20 – 22).

In our passage, however, the writer changes...More



Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Astray at night

Knock, and it will be opened to you.

I am the door of the sheep.

Matthew 7: 7; John 10: 7.

Astray at night
My father liked to tell us of an experience of his childhood. It happened one winter’s night on the plateau of the Ardèche in France. There had been heavy snowfalls all day, and the family farm was totally isolated. At night the wind had risen and caused snowdrifts that wiped out any footsteps, so that travelling was perilous.

Towards midnight there was a knock on the door. It was a man from the neighbouring village who had lost his way. When he recognised where...More



Monday, July 26, 2021

We may well wonder why the eternal, holy God abandoned the,,,

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Psalm 22: 1.

We may well wonder why the eternal, holy God abandoned the Saviour of the world at the cross.

The Lord Jesus had glorified His Father during His entire life. Now it was a question of glorifying God in his death. He had not to do with His Father as such, but with God, who must judge sin. Christ, who had glorified the Father through His life of obedience, glorified God by dying, having become obedient unto death on the cross. And not only that: at the cross our sins were laid upon Him, the pure, sinless One.

Then and there the divine...More



Sunday, July 25, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (51)

So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to him and implored him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.
John 4: 46 – 48.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (51)
In the fourth chapter of John’s gospel Jesus turns to four persons or groups of people:

The woman at the well in the region of Samaria...More



Saturday, July 24, 2021

The story of the rich young man who came to Jesus with a question and then...

Jesus said to him, If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.
Matthew 19: 21.

The story of the rich young man who came to Jesus with a question and then went away troubled because of the answer is tragic and has a message for us. With the people of Israel prosperity was a sign of God’s blessing for the faithful. It was a mark of God’s favour and the fulfilment of His promises to His earthly people.

God had granted this man in particular much blessing. It is very similar for most of us in western...More



Friday, July 23, 2021

God does indeed exist! (2)

Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Isaiah 55: 6.7.

God does indeed exist! (2)
I knew that I had to take the step of faith, but I kept postponing the decision. Then came the evening when I asked Jesus to come into my life. It was like diving into deep water, taking a step from which there was no going back. I opened the door to Him and he entered. That evening I made a rightabout...More



Thursday, July 22, 2021

Does God really exist (1)

You who seek God, your hearts shall live.

If you seek him, he will be found by you.

Psalm 69: 32; 1 Chronicles 28: 9.

Does God really exist (1)
A Christian from Israel states:

“I never had any desire to seek God. During my military service I learned to trust in myself, in my will power and my potential. I got on very well without God, yet I wanted to know whether He really existed.

I spent a lot of time thinking about this question. When I spoke to a friend about it, she said, “Why not ask God to give you a sign that He does exist?” So I asked Him for a...More



Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Many people refuse advice. They consider themselves wise enough and...

The teaching of the wise man is a fountain of life.
Proverbs 13: 14 (J.N.D.).

Many people refuse advice. They consider themselves wise enough and reject all well-meant counselling by other people on principle. They regard it as interference in their private affairs. The Word of God teaches that there is more hope for a fool than for someone who is “wise in his own eyes” (Proverbs 26:12).

Other people, however, are willing to listen. They also know where to obtain good advice and hold experienced teachers in esteem. Yet even human wisdom has its limits. In Jesus Christ we are confronted...More



Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Apollo 15

You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain. … You are the same, and your years will not fail.
Hebrews 1: 10 – 12.

Apollo 15
Whenever he gave an account of his landing on the moon during the flight of Apollo 15 in 1971, the astronaut J. Irwin always added: “The fact that Jesus Christ walked on earth is more important than the fact that man has walked on the moon.” What was acclaimed as the zenith of technology at the time had less value than the coming of the Son of God to earth in the view...More



Monday, July 19, 2021

The statement contained in this text must strike every reader as...

I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide my face from shame and spitting.
Isaiah 50: 6.

The statement contained in this text must strike every reader as extraordinary! It can be assumed that none has ever witnessed such cruelty.

It is one of many prophecies by the prophet Isaiah concerning the Messiah, the Redeemer who was yet to come. The gospels report how these ancient prophecies were fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (e.g. Matthew 27: 28 – 31).

Let us consider the sufferings...More



Sunday, July 18, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (50)

Now after the two days he (Jesus) departed from there and went to Galilee. For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honour in his own country. So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans received him, having seen all the things he did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they also had gone to the feast. So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee, where he had made the water wine.
John 4: 43 – 46.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (50)
Jesus was on the way from Judea to Galilee. He had consciously, and in obedience to his heavenly Father, chosen the way through Samaria: He “needed” to go...More



Saturday, July 17, 2021

Hands that were pierced

Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, Peace be with you. When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
John 20: 19.20.

Hands that were pierced
All four gospels report on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but they give different details. It is in John’s gospel alone that we find any mention of the doubting disciple Thomas and the Lord Jesus’ pierced hands.

Thomas was not present when the risen Lord first appeared in the midst of the disciples. Dubiously he said, “Unless I see in his hands the...More



Friday, July 16, 2021

On a beautiful summer’s day a hiker set out alone on a tour in the...

I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction, and he answered me.

God may speak in one way, or in another, yet man does not perceive it.

Jonah 2: 2; Job 33: 14.

On a beautiful summer’s day a hiker set out alone on a tour in the French Alps. He planned to go to a small village at the foot of steep rocks on the other side of the mountain. His wife would wait there with the car at the time he estimated he would arrive. But he failed to turn up. Night fell, but no-one came. Next morning a rescue operation was started. A helicopter flew low over the barren, rugged area without success. Days...More



Thursday, July 15, 2021

No-one

The sick man answered him, Sir, I have no man.

No-one gave him anything.

Greater love has no-one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 5: 7; Luke 15: 16; John 15: 13.

No-one
In all three verses quoted above we find the thought of no-one being available.

The first quotation concerned an invalid who had not found anyone to help him for 38 years. Then the Lord Jesus came to his aid.

In the second passage of Scripture a young man had got far away from his parental home and from God and was enjoying life to the full, but...More



Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Over my writing-desk hangs the print of an old, famous oil...

She (Ruth) gleaned in the field until evening and beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. Then she took it up … and gave to her (mother-in-law) what she had kept back after she had been satisfied.
Ruth 2: 17.18.

Over my writing-desk hangs the print of an old, famous oil painting, “The Gleaners” by J. F. Millet. It depicts three women bending over to pick up single ears of barley left over from, the harvest.

As a result of modern technology this exhausting work is today largely unknown. However, God uses this illustration in His Word to show us how we should...More



Tuesday, July 13, 2021

These things I have written to you who believe in the...

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.

John 5: 24; 1 John 5: 13.

Just as I was leaving the hospital, I passed an elderly man sitting away from others and looking sad and worried. I offered him a Christian flyer, but he replied, “I can’t read. A week ago my sight suddenly deteriorated so much that I cannot read this small...More



Monday, July 12, 2021

How difficult it is for us to confess a wrongdoing! A mishap or...

When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long.
Psalm 32: 3.

How difficult it is for us to confess a wrongdoing! A mishap or some deceit is only admitted a long time after the occurrence, because the conscience constantly nagged the perpetrator. When finally the sense of guilt weighed too heavily, it could no longer be kept secret. That was King David’s experience. Even such a God-fearing man tried to hush up his guilt; but he became so miserable as a result that he could only moan from morning to night. Then he finally confessed his wickedness before God, who forgave him, and...More



Sunday, July 11, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (49)

Many of the Samaritans of that city believed in him, because of the word of the woman who testified, He told me all that I ever did. So when the Samaritans had come to him, they urged him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his own word. Then they said to the woman, Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard him and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
John 4: 39 – 42.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (49)
Who would have imagined that the Samaritans of Sychar would listen to that infamous...More



Saturday, July 10, 2021

Hands that grasp firmly

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no-one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
John 10: 27 – 30.

Hands that grasp firmly
One regularly meets people who sincerely believe in the Lord Jesus Christ but wonder whether they can be sure that they have been saved for eternity. Today’s verse gives a clear answer. Jesus was speaking of people who belong to Him and follow Him; He calls them...More



Friday, July 9, 2021

Just a flyer

O LORD, you have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; you understand my thought afar off, you comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
Psalm 139: 1 – 3.

Just a flyer
A flyer came through the letter-box. “Something from those religious people once again,” said the owner of the house as she picked it up. Then her glance fell on a verse from the Bible on the front page that suddenly made her feel uneasy. It was a saying of the Lord Jesus Christ: “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications,...More



Thursday, July 8, 2021

Hands that bless

They brought little children to him (Jesus), that he might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was greatly displeased. … And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
Mark 10: 13.14.16.

Hands that bless
As a book the Bible is exceedingly frank. It often mentions weaknesses and faults of its main characters. This is one of the many characteristics that convince us that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Today’s verse clearly describes wrong behaviour by Jesus’ disciples. Parents brought their children to...More



Wednesday, July 7, 2021

When the apostle John wrote his epistles, Christianity had...

Let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you will also abide in the Son and the Father. … These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.
1 John 2: 24.26.

When the apostle John wrote his epistles, Christianity had already existed for some decades, during which great political and social changes had taken place. Jerusalem and the temple, for example, had been destroyed and sacrifices had ceased. New religious trends were creeping in. The question then arose: how far should Christian doctrine and practice be...More



Tuesday, July 6, 2021

A young boy whose father was a coal miner was standing at...

He who formed the eye, shall he not see?
Psalm 94:9.

A young boy whose father was a coal miner was standing at the gate of the colliery one evening, patiently waiting for his father to appear among the many miners homeward bound. An elderly man watching him asked, “What are you doing here?” – “I’m waiting for my father.” – “But you won’t be able to recognise him among so many men. They are all wearing the same helmet and have the same black faces! You’d better go back home.” – “No! You see, my father knows me!” the boy answered.

What a fitting reply! The lad knew what he...More



Monday, July 5, 2021

Hands that work

Where did this man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to him, that such mighty works are performed by his hands? Is not this the carpenter?
Mark 6: 2.3.

Hands that work
Jesus Christ the Lord went about preaching. Then He returned to His home, His own town of Nazareth, entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and taught the people. Everyone was astonished at His words and the miracles He had performed elsewhere. Yet the inhabitants of Nazareth did not believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah. So Jesus did no miracles among them apart from laying His hands on a few sick...More



Sunday, July 4, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (48)

Do you not say, There are still four months, and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: one sows and another reaps. I sent you to reap that for which you have not laboured; others have laboured, and you have entered into their labours.
John 4: 35 – 38.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (48)
The Samaritan woman was still in the city inviting...More



Saturday, July 3, 2021

Martin was a young man but already living in a...

By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2: 8.

Martin was a young man but already living in a care home. He was lame and blind, helplessly bed-ridden. Tim, a true believer, often visited him. One day he asked, “Martin, have you really peace with God?” Martin made a painful grimace. “Whatever do you think? That’s not for people like me. I can’t help being unable to move any more.”

Tim shook his head: “Do you think God unjust?” Guessing what Tim was thinking, Martin replied, “That’s not what I meant.” Tim grasped...More



Friday, July 2, 2021

Since God had the history of Israel recorded in His Word, there...

Jehoash did what was right in the sight of the LORD all the days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him.
2 Kings 12: 2.

Since God had the history of Israel recorded in His Word, there can be no doubt that we have a lot to learn from it. Here we have God’s verdict on the young king Jehoash.

It is both proper and natural that young people’s behaviour follows that of their parents and other older persons. God clearly recognises what is good, even if it occurs through the influence of others. It should not be despised, for it is not hypocrisy. Any form of upbringing, however,...More



Thursday, July 1, 2021

Hands that save

When he (Peter) saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, Lord, save me! And immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him.
Matthew 14: 30.31.

Hands that save
At the beginning of the New Testament, in the four gospels, we read what Jesus Christ said and did. Sometimes His hands are mentioned

In this case the disciples have launched their boat one evening at their Master’s command. In the early morning they are still on the lake. A strong wind has risen and they have to struggle against the waves. They had been toiling all night,...More



Wednesday, June 30, 2021

It was one of the most meaningful moments in king Saul’s life, when...

You stand here a while, that I may announce to you the word of God.
1 Samuel 9: 27.

It was one of the most meaningful moments in king Saul’s life, when the prophet Samuel addressed him with these words. God also occasionally addresses our hearts and consciences with a particular appeal. Inner peace and quiet are then necessary, so that we can truly heed His voice.

It has probably been the experience of us all that we have heard or read the Word of God without receiving real benefit from it. Surely, the reason was frequently that we were not truly peaceful. We may have been still...More



Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Helplessness

There will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring.
Luke 21: 25.

Helplessness
We cannot fail to notice the increasing perplexity in the fields of economics, finance and politics. Although we should trust the ability of well-educated, competent people in key positions to solve the problems, we slither from one crisis to another.

Five years ago today a journalist gave his article on an EU summit the headline “The peak of perplexity”. Was the writer aware that he was stating something...More



Monday, June 28, 2021

David and Goliath – how often is the comparison used when a weak person is...

All the men of Israel, when they saw the man (i. e. Goliath), fled from him and were dreadfully afraid. ... David … took out a stone, and he slung it, and struck the Philistine in his forehead.
1 Samuel 17: 24.49.

David and Goliath – how often is the comparison used when a weak person is confronted with a strong opponent. This unequal duel between the giant Goliath and Israel’s later king David is related in the Bible, but the narrative has a more profound, spiritual meaning. David is a type of Jesus Christ; Goliath, the enemy who put fear in everyone’s heart, bears traits of the devil, the...More



Sunday, June 27, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (47)

In the meantime his disciples urged him, saying, Rabbi, eat. But he said to them I have food to eat of which you do not know. Therefore the disciples said to one another, Has anyone brought him anything to eat? Jesus said to them, My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work.
John 4: 31 – 34.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (47)
The Samaritan woman left everything behind and went into the city. Meanwhile the twelve disciples took the opportunity to urge their Master to eat something. Their encouragement was certainly well meant. But just as happened at the temptation...More



Saturday, June 26, 2021

Christ, the Victor over death (3)

He who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, Loose him, and let him go!
John 11: 44.

Christ, the Victor over death (3)
Lazarus was dead. Corruption had already set in. Nevertheless the Lord cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And the miracle happened. The dead man came out of the tomb by himself in the power of the new life given him. He was still wearing the graveclothes in which his body had been wrapped. So the Lord said to the bystanders, “Loose him, and let him go!” Those wrappings were not...More



Friday, June 25, 2021

Christ, the Victor over death (2)

He … took her by the hand and called, saying, Little girl, arise! Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And he commanded that she be given something to eat.
Luke 8: 54.55.

Christ, the Victor over death (2)
This account of the raising of Jairus’ daughter also contains important instruction for us. When the Lord entered the house, the young girl was sleeping “the sleep of death”. But all “live to God” (Luke 20:38). So the Son of God saw in that child a living soul and could say, “She is not dead, but sleeping.” The scornful laughter of those present was silenced...More



Thursday, June 24, 2021

Christ, the Victor over death (1)

He who was dead sat up and began to speak. And he presented him to his mother.
Luke 7: 15.

Christ, the Victor over death (1)
When Jesus was here on earth, He raised three dead persons to life, two of them young people, one a grown man. He thus proved Himself to be the Victor over death before destroying the devil “who had the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14), through His own death on the cross. Each of these resurrections contains particular instruction for us.

Here it is a question of a young man, the son of a widow of the city of Nain. Like everyone who, in a spiritual sense,...More



Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The wisdom with which God ordered the construction of the tabernacle and...

They shall make an ark of acacia wood; … and you shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it.
Exodus 25: 10.11.

The wisdom with which God ordered the construction of the tabernacle and its equipment is remarkable. In almost every detail an attentive reader can discover types that point to the Lord Jesus or His work of redemption and its results.

Today’s verse deals with the ark of the covenant, the symbol of God’s presence among His people. Hardly any item in the tabernacle signifies the Lord Jesus so obviously. The ark of the covenant contained the two tables of...More



Tuesday, June 22, 2021

André had emigrated from Poland to South America before the...

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me.
Revelation 3: 20.

André had emigrated from Poland to South America before the Second World War. There he settled as a farmer. His wife was a believer, and he went to church with her every Sunday, but he did not share her faith. He was so near to Christ, yet did not belong to Him. He was a sceptic.

Then the war broke out, he was called up for service and sailed to Scotland. In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean the fleet was attacked, and ships hit by...More



Monday, June 21, 2021

There was a stir in the palace of King Herod the Great: astronomers from...

But you, Bethlehem, Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the one to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.
Micah 5: 2.

There was a stir in the palace of King Herod the Great: astronomers from the east had arrived in Jerusalem and spoke of the birth of a new King of the Jews (Matthew 2:1.2).

Herod was indeed the king appointed by Rome over Judea, but he had no proof of Jewish descent. He was an Edomite. Until then his reign had been secure; any rival to the throne, including three of his own...More



Sunday, June 20, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (46)

The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, Come, see a man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ? Then they went out of the city and came to him.
John 4: 28 – 30.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (46)
Jesus’ gracious words opened up the Samaritan woman’s heart. When she finally discovered that He was the Christ, the effect was instantaneous. She left her waterpot there and went into the town.

All that comprised her daily toil and effort, symbolised by the waterpot, she put behind her. She had found what was...More



Saturday, June 19, 2021

In Athens, the ancient centre of wisdom and philosophy, Paul...

Some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Acts 17: 34.

In Athens, the ancient centre of wisdom and philosophy, Paul preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to the inhabitants. He presented God as the Creator and Preserver of all and testified that God now commands all to turn from their life of sin and paganism to Him, the one true God.

Conversion is not a non-committal recommendation by God for mankind, but a divine command. And man cannot evade this command of God’s without suffering personal, eternal harm.

How...More



Friday, June 18, 2021

The abuse of social welfare

Be sure your sin will find you out.

I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: afflicting the just and taking bribes; diverting the poor from justice in the gate.

Numbers 32: 23; Amos 5: 12.

The abuse of social welfare
The media report all too often that persons in high office are prosecuted for “the abuse of social welfare”. What have they done? Those responsible, caught up in the whirlwind of business and success, have mistaken what actually belongs to them with what belongs to others or the state.

They are considered honest and perhaps believed...More



Thursday, June 17, 2021

At first it was hard to believe: the Lord Jesus Christ received the...

When he (Jesus) heard that he (Lazarus) was sick, he stayed two more days in the place where he was.
John 11: 6.

At first it was hard to believe: the Lord Jesus Christ received the news from the two worried sisters in Bethany that their brother was ill, yet He stayed another two days where He was.

Wouldn’t it have been better to set out straight away? Weren’t those whom He loved, and who loved Him dearly in dire need? He was always so sympathetic, we would have expected Him to react at once!

However, Jesus, who already knew the outcome, waited and then, apparently, arrived in...More



Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Gaining knowledge demands intensive occupation with a particular field of...

I count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.
Philippians 3: 8.

Gaining knowledge demands intensive occupation with a particular field of learning. It means understanding fundamental things – the purpose, the structure, the laws connected with the subject and then drawing correct conclusions. This process of learning can be arduous and lengthy.

For Saul of Tarsus it was not so. Through a revelation of the Lord Jesus he suddenly obtained totally new, profound knowledge. Until then he had determinedly persecuted enemies of the Jewish nation and law-breakers,...More



Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The accusation that Jesus had made Himself the Son of God led...

Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was his Father, making himself equal with God,
John 5: 18.

The accusation that Jesus had made Himself the Son of God led to His crucifixion at a later date. It is clear that the leaders of the people understood precisely what the Lord Jesus meant by the expression “Son of God”.

Jesus had called Himself the Son of God on many occasions, or confirmed it when the disciples designated Him as such (cf. John 5; 9:35; 11: 4; 1: 49; Matthew 16: 16). Jesus, however,...More



Monday, June 14, 2021

With this accusation Jesus Christ was condemned to death by...

The Jews answered him (Pilate), We have a law, and according to our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
John 19: 7.

With this accusation Jesus Christ was condemned to death by the religious leaders of His people and handed over to the Romans governor Pilate. Other reasons, however, also played a part in that shameful legal process.

First there was the motive in the hearts of the high priests and scribes: their envy led them to have Jesus killed. Even the governor was aware of that (cf. Mark 15: 10). Pilate undoubtedly knew what respect the accused had among the...More



Sunday, June 13, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (45)

The woman said to him, I know that Messiah is coming (who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things. Jesus said to her, I who speak to you am he. And at this point his disciples came, and they marvelled that he talked with a woman; yet no-one said, What do you seek? or, Why are you talking with her?
John 4: 25 – 27.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (45)
The Samaritan woman had asked the question on her mind, “Where is the right place to worship?” but she had not properly understood what Jesus had said. She was comforted by the thought that the expected Messiah would...More



Saturday, June 12, 2021

The law of sin

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death:
Romans 8: 2.

The law of sin
Maurice is holding a ball in his hand. What will happen if he lets it go? Of course, it will fall to the ground, for it is subject to the law of gravity. If he throws the ball into the air with all his might, what then? It will rise, only to fall to the ground soon afterwards. The impulse that Maurice gives it is weaker than the attraction to the earth. We are all subject to this law of physics.

We are equally subject to another law that Paul calls “the law of...More



Friday, June 11, 2021

The foolishness of the preaching

It pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, … Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1: 21 – 24.

The foolishness of the preaching
An evangelist was just leaving the hall where the gospel had been preached, when a stranger approached him, saying, “I have great respect for your conviction and your sincerity, but the entire gospel that you preach is pure foolishness.”

The preacher took his Bible and said, “You are...More



Thursday, June 10, 2021

God spoke to His people Israel formerly through men to whom He...

To everything there is a season. … A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1.7.

God spoke to His people Israel formerly through men to whom He had given a commission. Jesus Christ, the Son of God came to earth, and God spoke through Him, more directly and more comprehensively than ever before. And nowadays?

Today He speaks through the Bible, the written Word of God, a calendar leaf like this one or by means of posters, flyers and preaching. And He says repeatedly: “Repent … and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3: 19). But the day will come...More



Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Jesus Christ was derided with these words by the leaders of...

He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him; for he said, I am the Son of God.
Matthew 27: 43.

Jesus Christ was derided with these words by the leaders of the people of Israel after He had been crucified. They had perceived His absolute trust in God. They also knew the words of David: “Truly my soul waits silently for God; from him comes my salvation” (Psalm 62: 2). Those religious men were blinded by envy and self-righteousness. Because God did not intervene and rescue Jesus, they thought that He took no interest in the crucified One. They had considered His claim to be the...More



Tuesday, June 8, 2021

“Good bye till later”

As for me, I trust in you, o LORD; I say, You are my God. My times are in your hand.

You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Psalm 31: 14.15; Isaiah 26: 3.

“Good bye till later”
A Christian lady had this experience: “I was in hospital for a thorough check on my health. A partition separated my bed from that of a young patient suffering from a terminal illness. The doctor treating her had given up any treatment to cure her, and as she was suffering badly she was given strong sedatives. One day, when she was answering the...More



Monday, June 7, 2021

Whoever wants to buy something special and valuable will...

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.
John 3: 16.

Whoever wants to buy something special and valuable will consider how much the desired object is worth to him. If necessary, he will forego other things so as to be able to afford the purchase.

When we consider what God was prepared to do in order to save people from their sins and eternal condemnation, we soon reach the limit of our powers of imagination. That God should love the world might be conceivable, if this world consisted of persons who loved and honoured Him. However, we know that the opposite is...More



Sunday, June 6, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (44)

The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
John 4: 23.24.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (44)
In His conversation with the Samaritan woman Jesus announces that times are changing: a new era has commenced with His incarnation. God has revealed Himself as the Father in His Son Jesus Christ. That far exceeds what was revealed in the Old Testament. Moreover, God now wishes to be worshipped as Father by...More



Saturday, June 5, 2021

In the Spanish-American war (1898) Theodore Roosevelt was...

I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
Revelation 21: 6.

In the Spanish-American war (1898) Theodore Roosevelt was the commander of a regiment of soldiers. The provision of food being sparse, many men were ill. Roosevelt then learned that the Red Cross had obtained fresh fruit and vegetables. He inquired whether he might purchase some and was prepared to pay for it himself. However, they would not sell him any. When he complained, someone said to him, “Just try asking them!” Roosevelt was taken aback and said with a smile, “Is it as easy as that? Then I now ask for some...More



Friday, June 4, 2021

Is the Bible the inspired Word of God?

The Scripture cannot be broken.
John 10: 35.

Is the Bible the inspired Word of God?
Jesus Christ affirms this unreservedly. He said: “The Scripture cannot be broken,” referring to the Old Testament, the first part of the Bible, in which primarily four reports are under attack and rejected nowadays. Yet Jesus Christ declares all four to be true and reliable.

First, the biblical account of the creation of the world is considered a mere myth; yet Jesus referred to it: “Have you not read that he who made them at the beginning made them male and female?” (Matthew...More



Thursday, June 3, 2021

The testimony of a biophysicist

You alone are the LORD; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them, and you preserve them all.
Nehemiah 9: 6.

The testimony of a biophysicist
“We have two revelations: creation and the Scriptures, both being superior to mankind. I have been studying the wonderful book of creation with admiration for sixty years, and this long study has only strengthened my certainty that these two sources of testimony are in full agreement. Many people who are prepared to believe are troubled by the often repeated assertion...More



Wednesday, June 2, 2021

When the apostle Paul wrote these words to the Corinthians under the...

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6: 14.

When the apostle Paul wrote these words to the Corinthians under the leading of the Holy Spirit, he was no doubt thinking of the Old Testament commandment in the law:

“You shall not plough with an ox and a donkey together” (Deuteronomy 22: 10). He takes this illustration to show that we should not be associated (“yoked together”) with anything that is foreign to our spiritual life. The two animals named have...More



Tuesday, June 1, 2021

At the gate of the Galilean city of Nain two groups of people...

Fear came upon all, and they glorified God saying, A great prophet has risen up among us, and, God has visited his people.
Luke 7:16.

At the gate of the Galilean city of Nain two groups of people met. One was following the Lord Jesus, the other accompanying a widow to the burial of her only son. The Lord felt deep sympathy with the mother in mourning and said to her: “Do not weep.” That seems easier said than done, but the Lord Jesus knew what was shortly to happen. He stepped up and touched the bier. The bearers stood still. Then He addressed the corpse, “Young man, I say to you, Arise! So he who was...More



Monday, May 31, 2021

Grace – the gift of God

By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Ephesians 2: 8.9.

Grace – the gift of God
From this verse so rich in content we shall comment on three expressions: “by grace”, “saved”, and “through faith”.

The first of them, “by grace”, shows us that mankind cannot enjoy a living relationship with God through his own efforts. The end of the verse confirms it: on the basis of works no-one can be saved, so that no-one will boast. “By grace” means that being saved from our...More



Sunday, May 30, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (43)

Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one should worship. Jesus said to her; Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.
John 4: 20 – 22.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (43)
“If you knew … who it is who says to you …” (v.10), the Lord Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well. She did not yet know just who was in front of her. After the Lord had revealed a sore...More



Saturday, May 29, 2021

A thorough change

They … came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind.
Luke 8: 35.

A thorough change
After sailing through the storm on the lake, Jesus and His disciples landed in the country of the Gadarenes. There they met a man who was totally possessed by occult powers and so violent that people were afraid of him. But the Son of God is more powerful than the devil. He freed the man from Satan’s power by commanding the evil spirits to come out of him. His deliverance was immediately obvious. People who had known him...More



Friday, May 28, 2021

Returning

So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, with her, who returned from the country of Moab. Now they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.
Ruth 1:22.

Returning
Yesterday we learned of Elimelech’s self-willed decision to leave Bethlehem for Moab and saw the terrible consequences it had for himself and his family: only his wife Naomi remained alive as an impoverished widow.

Then in Moab she heard the news that God had again given His people bread. Touched by such divine grace; she made her way back home. Her daughter-in-law Ruth, a Moabitess,...More



Thursday, May 27, 2021

Running away

It came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.
Ruth 1: 1.

Running away
Because famine raged in Bethlehem and people had nothing to eat, Elimelech and his family left the land to reside in Moab.

What seems sensible from the human point of view turned out to be a tragedy: Elimelech and both his sons died, leaving Naomi behind as a widow in a foreign country. This confirms the verse in Proverbs 14:12 impressively: “There is a way...More



Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The survivor from a wrecked ship had been stranded on...

We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose.
Romans 8: 28.

The survivor from a wrecked ship had been stranded on an uninhabited island. After some time he had built a provisional hut in which he kept the few belongings he had managed to rescue in the catastrophe. He asked God to free him from his precarious situation and watched the horizon daily so as not to miss any ship that might happen to pass.

When he returned from searching for food one day; he was horrified to find his hut in flames. The worst thing imaginable...More



Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Needing help, Balaak, the king of the Moabites, summoned the...

God came to Balaam at night and said to him, … Go with them, but only the word which I speak to you – that you shall do. So Balaam … went with the princes of Moab. Then God’s anger was aroused because he went.
Numbers 22: 20 – 22.

Needing help, Balaak, the king of the Moabites, summoned the heathen prophet Balaam. He was to curse the people of Israel. Balaam knew, however, that the Israelites owed their victories solely to their powerful God; so at first he was cautious. When Balaam first asked God, he was forbidden to follow Balak’s call. But Balak did not relent. He sent his messengers...More



Monday, May 24, 2021

It is an exceedingly significant fact that every true believer...

Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
Ephesians 5: 18.19.

It is an exceedingly significant fact that every true believer possesses the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God was “poured out” on the believers on the day of Pentecost. Since then He has, as a divine Person, indwelt everyone who has found faith. Holy Scripture testifies clearly that this indwelling is something that has taken place once for all time like the new birth. There can be no thought of a repetition.

Some may therefore well...More



Sunday, May 23, 2021

Ten days after the ascension of the Lord Jesus the feast of Pentecost was...

When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2: 1 – 4.

Ten days after the ascension of the Lord Jesus the feast of Pentecost was celebrated in Jerusalem. In the Old Testament this feast was called the “feast of harvest”...More



Saturday, May 22, 2021

Genuine liberty

If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
John 8: 36.

Genuine liberty
The words “freedom” and “liberty” have become key words with an almost magic quality both for young people and for countless adults seeking to imitate them. For many people being free means ridding oneself of tabus and moral regulations that they consider out-of-date. In the end they think that being free is doing just what they like without considering others. Without our mentioning some consequences, which are often catastrophic, do they realise that they are becoming slaves to their inclinations, their...More



Friday, May 21, 2021

The merciful judge

Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.

You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon you.

1 Peter 3: 18; Psalm 86: 5.

The merciful judge
More than a century ago, in a small provincial French town, the judge occasionally held court sessions without any delay. One day a man was accused of stealing a large loaf of bread. When the judge asked him why he had done so, he explained in his confusion: “My family was hungry, and I didn’t know how they could get anything to eat...More



Thursday, May 20, 2021

Like a mistake in the type-setting

As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
Romans 5:19.

Like a mistake in the type-setting
The epistle to the Romans deals with the great subject of God’s righteousness. Our text above shows us our tragic moral state before God, then how He deals with it.

In the first part of the epistle (chs. 1 – 15), the apostle explains how God has wiped out our sins, our wrongdoings, and made us righteous through the work of Christ that we accept by faith. However, the believer discovers that inside him he still has...More



Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Physical and moral beauty

How great is its goodness, and how great its beauty!

This is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes on him, should have eternal life.

Zecharaiah 9: 17; John 6: 40 (J.N.D.).

Physical and moral beauty
“How wonderful!” These words easily come across our lips when we contemplate the setting sun, a panorama of mountains or the rolling waves of the ocean. We are exceedingly appreciative as to beauty; with the believer it calls forth both spontaneous praise for God our Creator, His power and greatness and gratitude for His goodness. He wanted His creature,...More



Tuesday, May 18, 2021

What if it had happened yesterday?

You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.

Today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.

James 4: 14; Hebrews 3: 15.

What if it had happened yesterday?
Mary, the daughter of a Christian mother, led a nonchalant life. One evening in London she passed a hall where the gospel was preached. A Christian lady named Sheila invited her in. Mary replied: “Another time. I haven’t a Bible.” Sheila offered Mary her own one, and Mary was persuaded to enter. The message struck...More



Monday, May 17, 2021

Second birth

Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God

As many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in his name.

John 3: 3; 1: 12.

Second birth
Our physical life, that we receive from our parents, our senses and intelligence enable us to discern our Creator God in nature: “the things that are made” (Romans 1:20), as it is called. They speak on His behalf (Psalm 19:1–3). Otherwise contact with him would be impossible, since we are sinners. All our efforts: praiseworthy intentions, good works, religious forms and...More



Sunday, May 16, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (42)

Jesus said to her, Go, call your husband, and come here. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You have well said, I have no husband, for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly. The woman said to him, Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.
John 4: 16 – 19.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (42)
The conversation between the Lord Jesus and the Samaritan woman seemed about to end. What the Lord had made so desirable, the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8), had awakened her longing, but...More



Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Bible is an integral whole. It consists of...

Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed.
Psalm 2:1.2

The Bible is an integral whole. It consists of the Old and the New Testaments that were written many centuries apart. Yet the two parts are closely knit. What is particularly impressive is that the psalms, the spiritual poetic works and hymns of the Old Testament are quoted more than a hundred times in the New Testament.

This applies also to today’s verses from Psalm 2. They were cited by the early Christians...More



Friday, May 14, 2021

Change and constancy: a contrast

He himself (Jesus Christ) has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.

He always lives to make intercession for them.

Hebrews 13: 5; 7: 25.

Change and constancy: a contrast
Some time ago I phoned my doctor who has been treating me for years, only to be told by his assistant that he had retired. Another doctor, whom I did not know, was going to replace him. Dismayed, I ended the conversation, feeling deserted.

For some time I have been having care at home, but the nurses frequently change. I find it difficult to adapt myself to them, as I have to explain everything...More



Thursday, May 13, 2021

Jesus seated in heaven, what rest for us!

After the Lord had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

This Man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down at the right hand of God.

Mark 16: 19; Hebrews 10: 12.

Jesus seated in heaven, what rest for us!
The gospel of Mark presents Jesus in the character of a servant dedicated to God. It ends by showing us Jesus raised to heaven, sitting at God’s right hand with the work God had given Him accomplished (cf. John 17:4.5). He can do so like a servant resting after finishing his work. It is not, however, a...More



Wednesday, May 12, 2021

A slave through ignorance

Just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free.

Romans 6: 19; Galatians 5: 1.

A slave through ignorance
Long after the proclamation of the official abolition of slavery in the United States in 1863, blacks could be met who believed they were still slaves. Their masters had taken care that they did not hear the news of their liberation so that they could continue to exploit...More



Tuesday, May 11, 2021

“What is truth?” This question asked by the Roman governor Pilate at...

They will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
2 Timothy 4: 4.

“What is truth?” This question asked by the Roman governor Pilate at the trial of Jesus Christ has fatal repercussions for the whole of mankind. It is not just a matter of the correctness of any factual content, but of truth in a higher sense. The question is topical today as ever before. In the final instance it concerns eternity and a knowledge of God.

On that occasion the Lord Jesus testified clearly: “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear...More



Monday, May 10, 2021

Who will explain Holy Scripture for us? Who can...

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
2 Timothy 3: 16.

Who will explain Holy Scripture for us? Who can tell us how to understand a certain verse of the Bible? God alone can explain His Word!

Perhaps we think it would be better to learn the biblical languages, Hebrew and Greek, and study history or archaeology to understand the historical background better. Learning and studying is useful and helpful, it is, however, not the key for an understanding of Holy Scripture.

So what is...More



Sunday, May 9, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (41)

Jesus answered and said to her, Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman said to him, Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.
John 4: 13 – 15.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (41)
The conversation that Jesus had with the Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar began very simply. But when the Lord spoke of “living water” that He could give her, the woman had...More



Saturday, May 8, 2021

It is almost inconceivable that this verse is to be...

We have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.
Isaiah 28: 15.

It is almost inconceivable that this verse is to be found in the Bible. This was the language of Israel’s leaders. But what about ourselves today?

If we are frank and honest and can scrutinize what we and our fellowmen say, we shall have to admit that we do not speak absolute truth. Many people live according to principles that concern mere practicability or their own wishes. We adapt our ethics and behaviour to the circumstances, and that makes it more and more difficult for us to regard lying as sin....More



Friday, May 7, 2021

I grew up in a good, albeit atheistic family. I was a...

We ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

Titus 3: 3; 1 Timothy 1: 15.

I grew up in a good, albeit atheistic family. I was a lively boy, often boisterous, provocative and rebellious. When my grandfather died, I was still a child, but I realised that life came to an end, and that frightened me.

At the age of eleven I attended a Christian holiday camp, where I got...More



Thursday, May 6, 2021

As a result of the first Christian preaching some 3,000 souls found...

Those who gladly received his word were baptised; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Acts 2: 41.42.

As a result of the first Christian preaching some 3,000 souls found faith in Jesus of Nazareth. They had listened to Peter and “received his word”, i.e. his personal testimony of Jesus Christ and the proof from the Old Testament that Jesus was the promised Redeemer

These 3,000 people did not succumb to mass propaganda or hysteria. There was a fundamental...More



Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Faith rather than investigation

Let us send men before us, and let them search out the land for us, and bring back word to us of the way by which we should go up, and of the cities into which we shall come.
Deuteronomy 1: 22.

Faith rather than investigation
In the book of Numbers the LORD Himself had given the order to send spies into the land of Canaan. Yet from Deuteronomy chapter 1 we discover that that order corresponded to the express wish of the Israelites. Their spiritual state had sunk to a low level; and God met them on that low level. Since they did not have the faith to boldly conquer the Promised Land with their...More



Tuesday, May 4, 2021

How Jesus Christ changed my life (2)

Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11: 28.

How Jesus Christ changed my life (2)
“I bought a Bible and heard the gospel on the radio at five o’clock every morning. Then one day, in the quietness of the morning, I asked the Lord Jesus to receive me. He answered me at once. In my heart I felt that He was near me so clearly that I wept. The Lord is so wonderful and loving. The oppressive burden of my life had disappeared.

“That was the day of my conversion, although I could not explain it at the time. When I stood up from praying, I...More



Monday, May 3, 2021

How Jesus Christ changed my life (1)

Return, … says the LORD, I will not cause my anger to fall on you, for I am merciful.

In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord.

Jeremiah 3: 12; Psalm 77: 2.

How Jesus Christ changed my life (1)
Here is the testimony of a Christian woman:

“I grew up in a family in which there was a lot of violence. My father was an alcoholic and often beat my mother. He kept us well away from anything that had to do with God. “There is no God,” he used to tell us. However, my grandmother once spoke to me about God, and it was that that kept me from suicide.

“At the...More



Sunday, May 2, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (40)

The woman said to him (Jesus), Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?
John 4: 11.12.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (40)
The conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman was unique indeed. The Son of God, travelling as a humble, dependent Man, met a person whose desires were far different from His. She may not have sensed physical thirst, but her soul was suffering. Had she known that the “Saviour of the...More



Saturday, May 1, 2021

Jesus said these words to a lame man, whom he had just...

Sin no more.
John 5: 14.

Jesus said these words to a lame man, whom he had just healed. For 38 years that man had suffered from his illness. Now he had been cured in a miraculous way. Everything now seemed to be all right in his life, but the Lord had a matter to discuss with him that he probably did not think about: sin. Now sin means living and acting without considering the will of God. And that applies to us all.

Whoever is in dire trouble wishes to be rid of it as quickly as possible. Many people then pray. And sometimes God actually helps just as we wish. The illness, or whatever it is,...More



Friday, April 30, 2021

Suffering and glory (2)

God … has highly exalted him, … that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of those in heaven, and of those on the earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2: 9 – 11.

Suffering and glory (2)
After His rejection by mankind, Jesus died on a cross. But through His sacrifice He accomplished the work that God had given Him for the salvation of sinners.

God resurrected Him and crowned Him, after that “crown of thorns”, with “glory and honour” (Hebrews 2:9)....More



Thursday, April 29, 2021

Suffering and glory (1)

He is despised and rejected of men; … and we did not esteem him.

I am … a reproach of men and despised by the people. All those who see me ridicule me.

Isaiah 53: 3; Psalm 22: 6.7.

Suffering and glory (1)
Having spoken to people through the prophets, God then sent them His beloved Son as His message to them here on earth. How was Jesus received?

Born in a poor family, Jesus had a manger for His cradle. Soon afterwards King Herod sought to kill Him. When He had grown up, He was rejected from the start of His public ministry. In His own village they tried to throw Him...More



Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Happy Christians

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Colossians 3:16.

Happy Christians
Believers are often laughed at or pitied, because people think their life is monotonous and cheerless. Today’s verse from the Bible proves the very opposite to be true, however:

Jesus Christ grants His own redeemed people a life of enrichment. By reading the Word of God, they discover how great and glorious their Saviour and Lord is. They find spiritual riches in the...More



Tuesday, April 27, 2021

“We preach Christ crucified”

We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1: 23.24.

“We preach Christ crucified”
Somewhere in England there was a church over whose porch one could read the engraving: “We preach Christ crucified”. In the course of time ivy started growing over the walls and covered the last word: “We preach Christ”. Later it was only “We preach”, and finally the entire inscription was covered. Today the building is nothing but a ruin...More



Monday, April 26, 2021

“Dead indeed to sin”

Our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6: 6.11.

“Dead indeed to sin”
Everybody has sin within him from birth. This evil desire is the source of all our sinful thoughts, words and deeds. This has serious consequences: from the outset all stand before God as sinners, having no power to resist the wicked demands that sin makes upon them.

Upon conversion a fundamental change takes place, however....More



Sunday, April 25, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (39)

Then the woman of Samaria said to him, How is it that you, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, Give me a drink, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.
John 4:9.10.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (39)
Jesus had to go through Samaria for the express purpose of resting by the well of Sychar to meet a Samaritan woman. How surprised she must have been that a Jew spoke to her and even asked her for a drink! She recognised Him...More



Saturday, April 24, 2021

Archias’ banquet

You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.
James 4: 14.

Archias’ banquet
In the year 378 B.C. the governor of Thebes in Greece gave a great feast. The food, the wines, the music, dancing and all the blandishments proved to be a treat for all the guests. In the midst of the feast he received a letter informing him of Pelopidas’ plot to bring about his downfall. Archias deferred reading it and put it under his cushion, saying, “Tomorrow will do for important business!” But there was no...More



Friday, April 23, 2021

Don’t you know?

That you may know that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins.

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.

Matthew 9: 6; 1 John 5: 13.

Don’t you know?
God was not obliged to make His loving plans known to sinful mankind. He could have left us all in ignorance. We should have found some pretext to exonerate ourselves. But God made Himself known. He spoke to people in various ways, and He still does so.

Man must first acknowledge God’s existence: “The heavens declare the glory...More



Thursday, April 22, 2021

Can we hope for better days?

The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ … according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1: 3.

Can we hope for better days?
We believe in God, who has revealed Himself in the Bible. But today countless people have replaced the reality of the Creator God with mere theories. We need not be surprised if the world is drifting more and more in an ocean of uncertainty and varying beliefs. The most elaborate human reasoning cannot lead to a well-founded, stable hope. In view of so many present day sad, even...More



Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Children, sons and heirs of God

As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.

Romans 8: 14.16.17.

Children, sons and heirs of God
At our conversion we became children of God through our new birth. “As many as received him (Jesus Christ), to them he gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12.13). As His...More



Tuesday, April 20, 2021

I am, I was

He who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has everlasting life and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. … The hour is coming , and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
John 5: 24.25.

I am, I was
The class was learning to conjugate the verb “to be” in the present and the past. The teacher explained, “The past tense means that something is over. If I say, ʼI was illʻ, it means that I am no longer ill.” The pupils gave further examples: “I was young; now I am old.” “I was sad; now I am...More



Monday, April 19, 2021

The book of Job in the Bible tells a story of...

I know that my redeemer lives, and he shall stand at last on the earth.
Job 19: 25.

The book of Job in the Bible tells a story of suffering that can affect our feelings. Job was devoted to God, led his life sincerely and in godly fear, avoiding evil (ch. 1, v.1). Then, on a single day, he lost almost all that was dear to him: his entire possessions and even his seven sons and three daughters. And if that were not enough, he was plagued with boils all over his body (ch.2 v. 7).

How this series of fateful blows affected Job, how his friends attempted to help him, and how God finally spoke...More



Sunday, April 18, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (38)

He (Jesus) came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from his journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give me a drink. For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
John 4: 5 – 8.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (38)
We have here a beautiful, yet inconceivable scene! The Creator of the worlds, the eternal Son of God, had become Man and “dwelt among us … full of grace and...More



Saturday, April 17, 2021

His last haircut

Man dies … and where is he?

Jesus promised His disciples: I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Job 14: 10; John 14: 2.3.

His last haircut
A sailor in his best years was suffering from worrying signs of a serious illness and had therefore decided to consult a doctor. Being immediately admitted to hospital gave him the dreaded confirmation of his suspicion. Shattered at the prognosis, he went to the first hairdresser he could find. When he sat in the chair, he...More



Friday, April 16, 2021

God offers redemption to everyone in the whole world through...

He (Jesus) answered and said, I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then she came and worshipped him, saying. Lord, help me! But he answered and said, It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs. And she said, Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.
Matthew 15: 24 – 27.

God offers redemption to everyone in the whole world through the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ. During His life on earth, however, Jesus’ tasks were largely restricted to the people of Israel.

The woman...More



Thursday, April 15, 2021

Still an atheist?

The kingdom is the LORD’s, and he rules over the nations. All the prosperous of the earth shall eat and worship; all those who go down to the dust shall bow before him, even he who cannot keep himself alive.

O Lord, … you alone are holy, for all nations shall come and worship before you, for your judgments have been manifested.

Psalm 22: 28.29; Revelation 15: 4.

Still an atheist?
“The atheist finds it natural being placed on a ball of fire covered by a thin layer of dry mud, revolving at supersonic speed around a kind of hydrogen bomb, swept along in the gyration of milliards...More



Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Sowing with perseverance

Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 6: 9; Philippians 1: 6.

Sowing with perseverance
Today’s text reminds us of the importance of sowing for the Spirit and not for the flesh. If we sow for the Spirit we begin to sense the joyful effects of harvesting in our life. But sowing does not germinate overnight. We sometimes have the impression that nothing is happening. Let us be assured that God, in His grace, has saved us and...More



Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A young bank employee spoke about his faith as follows...

The LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.
Psalm 100: 5.

A young bank employee spoke about his faith as follows:

“My parents and grandparents were Christians. Consequently the atmosphere in my family left a distinct mark on me from early on; not only what I heard, but also what I experienced: their actions agreed with their words, the loving care, the readiness to forgive, and the understanding shown in many problems in my life.

“Being a Christian was always a happy experience. At no time in my upbringing was the Bible forced upon me. My...More



Monday, April 12, 2021

What does repentance, as God understands it, and as...

Repent therefore and be converted; that your sins may be blotted out.
Acts 3: 19.

What does repentance, as God understands it, and as the Bible teaches it, really involve? On this subject there is much uncertainty. Is repentance simply a religious rite? Does it consist in endeavouring to make sins committed good by certain prayers or good works?

I recently wanted to give a young woman a short flyer on the subject. “Repentance?” she said, “I don’t need repen­tance, I have three small children.” Three small children may well cause their mother trouble and work, even problems, but can...More



Sunday, April 11, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (37)

When the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptised more disciples than John (though Jesus himself did not baptise, but his disciples), he left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But he needed to go through Samaria.
John 4: 1 – 4.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (37)
John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, had a clear commission from God, which he wished to carry out faithfully and modestly: the baptism of repentance. The fact that more people came to Jesus than to himself for baptism was no problem for him. On the contrary, he rejoiced that Christ was thus...More



Saturday, April 10, 2021

Marcel was a former mercenary; he had been a...

The LORD … has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities.
Psalm 103: 8.10.

Marcel was a former mercenary; he had been a non-commissioned officer in the French foreign legion. Now he was spending the last years of his life in a home for senior citizens in Paris. Several things reminded him of his turbulent past as he lay there in his small room.

He had been bitterly hostile towards any form of religion; yet now he accepted visits from a preacher, presumably to pass the time away: The latter always spoke to him of the love of God; who had sent His Son to...More



Friday, April 9, 2021

An ark of bulrushes (2)

For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of him.

Pray without ceasing.

1 Samuel 1:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

An ark of bulrushes (2)
After watching over their children with great care and giving the appropriate attention at every stage of their growth, parents are faced with the moment when they have to allow them to leave the family home for a world in which dangers abound. What can they do to continue showing their concern and care for their children?

The following thoughts are by a Christian author with reference to the story of...More



Thursday, April 8, 2021

An ark of bulrushes (1)

Pharaoh commanded …, Every son who is born you shall cast into the river.

When she (Moses’ mother) could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river bank.

Exodus 1: 22; 2: 3.

An ark of bulrushes (1)
Let us remember the extraordinary story of Moses, right at the beginning of his life in ancient Egypt. The Hebrews were slaves there, and though they were treated harshly, their numbers increased. Seeing a threat, Pharaoh decided that every boy born to them should be thrown into...More



Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Sowing – but for whom?

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
Galatians 6: 7.8.

Sowing – but for whom?
The verses quoted show two ways of sowing: do we sow to the Spirit, to live for God’s glory, or just to satisfy our evil desires, which the Bible calls “the flesh”?

Christian friends, when we succumb to an envious look or tolerate unhealthy thoughts or deeds, or when we watch a film with filthy pictures (and there...More



Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Four essential “3: 16” verses

Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the scriptures nor the power of God?

The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

Mark 12: 24; John 6: 63.

Four essential “3: 16” verses
“God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

“God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” 1 Timothy...More



Monday, April 5, 2021

But Christ rose from the dead: death could not hold Him. Shamefacedly, the...

This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
Acts 2: 32.

The religious leaders of Israel had successfully had Jesus crucified. His tomb had been sealed off and secured with a guard. They were then rid of that troublesome preacher, or so they imagined.

But Christ rose from the dead: death could not hold Him. Shamefacedly, the guards had to admit what had happened (cf. Matthew 27:66; 28:11).

Then fifty days later, on the Day of Pentecost, the apostles started speaking publicly of the resurrection of Jesus. The high priests’ and elders’ anger was tremendous,...More



Sunday, April 4, 2021

At the end of the four gospels one event is...

When he rose on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene.
Mark 16: 9.

At the end of the four gospels one event is reported on which they concur, and which introduces a new age: Christ rose again from the dead. The day of the resurrection was our Sunday. On that day the Lord had four significant encounters:

He first met a woman near the tomb who was weeping for her deceased Lord. Jesus comforted her. He enabled her to recognise Him and entrusted her with a wonderful message (cf. John 20: 16.17).
Two disciples had left Jerusalem with a heavy heart. On their journey...More



Saturday, April 3, 2021

Mockery and derision

Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save.
Mark 15: 31.

Mockery and derision
The high priests and scribes were the driving force behind the trial and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. They brought an accusation against Him before the Roman judge and incited the people to demand His execution.

When the Saviour was hanging on the cross, they imagined they had achieved their objective. They said to one another: “He saved others; himself he cannot save.” With such scornful words they ridiculed His...More



Friday, April 2, 2021

The spirit of forgiveness

To the LORD our God belong mercy and forgiveness.
Daniel 9: 9.

The spirit of forgiveness
Six years ago today the University of Garissa in Kenya became the victim of a terrorist attack by Shebabs, in which 148 people lost their lives. Ciku Muriuki, a radio announcer, transmitted a personal message to the assassins. Here it is:

“You are responsible for the death of 148 students. I am saddened for all those families who have been deprived of their loved ones. But I am not sad because of those who have passed on. I suppose you have deliberately chosen this Easter time, when Christ gave...More



Thursday, April 1, 2021

God’s moral standards remain unchanged, because...

The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.
Titus 2: 11.12.

God’s moral standards remain unchanged, because God Himself does not change. “You shall have no other gods before me. ... You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. ... You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife. ... (Exodus 20: 1 – 17). Our Creator can rightfully make these demands of us.

For centuries these moral principles served as a basis for...More



Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Imagine this were my last day!

It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.

Hebrews 9: 27; Acts 16: 31.

Imagine this were my last day!
On waking this morning I was challenged by a thought: suppose this were the last day of my life. I was immediately affected through thinking of my nearest and dearest. Then: am I ready to die? Certainly, for Jesus Christ has saved me from the clutches of death. His death and resurrection brought me eternal life. Dying means being with Him in the joy and peace of His presence in paradise (Luke...More



Tuesday, March 30, 2021

A wrong classification (2)

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
John 12: 24.

A wrong classification (2)
Opening the book he had bought that day, the farmer was surprised to read its title: “The New Testament”. He needed to read only a few lines to realise that he had been mistaken: He had been sold a book on religion. He slammed it shut in his fury and put it in his bookcase, resolved to change it at the earliest opportunity, and to complain to the shopkeeper about the incompetence of his...More



Monday, March 29, 2021

A wrong classification (1)

He who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces some a hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty.
Matthew 13: 23.

A wrong classification (1)
Joseph was working as an apprentice in a small bookshop. His boss once asked him to classify books according to the contents and place them on the right shelves. “You can see that the shelves are clearly marked: travel, family, technology, agriculture, religion etc.. If the title is unclear, open the book and read a few paragraphs. You will soon find out what is the right group.”...More



Sunday, March 28, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (36)

He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
John 3: 34 – 36.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (36)
For centuries God had spoken to His people Israel through His prophets, but the truth concerning God and mankind had never been fully revealed. Only a part of its entirety had been discernible. Now, however, the Son of God Himself had appeared,...More



Saturday, March 27, 2021

The origin of the universe

Lord, you are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them.

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things that are visible.

Acts 4: 24; Hebrews 11: 3.

The origin of the universe
Since time immemorial the origin of the world, of living beings, particularly mankind, has preoccupied people’s minds. In the course of the last centuries many theories have been developed to exclude the Creator from it. While we admit that certain mutations are probable, who could have formed the...More



Friday, March 26, 2021

The parable of the ten virgins

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his.

Surely I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Matthew 25: 13; Romans 8: 9; Revelation 22: 20.

The parable of the ten virgins
Summary. It was a wedding day. The marriage was celebrated when the night was fresh. The bridegroom was to be escorted by a train of ten young ladies of honour. But he was late, and they fell asleep. At midnight a cry rang out: “Behold, the bridegroom is coming!” They started...More



Thursday, March 25, 2021

Was it so serious?

Just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, … thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.

The Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Romans 5: 12; 1 John 3: 8.

Was it so serious?
Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit. Sin thus entered the world, and with it suffering and death. Some people object: “All that just for eating fruit! Was it so serious?”

The implications of that deed really were immense. In fact, by surrounding Adam and Eve with wonderful signs of His goodness, God gave...More



Wednesday, March 24, 2021

God is faithful

He is the rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are righteousness; a God of faithfulness.

The LORD is good; his loving kindness endures for ever; and his faithfulness from generation to generation.

Deuteronomy 32: 4; Psalm, 100: 5 (J.N.D.)

God is faithful
We well understand what faithfulness is in human relationships, whether in marriage or friendship. It means being worthy of trust and firm and stable in any relationship. But what does it mean when the Bible states that God is faithful? What has He promised?

First of all, Jesus promised, “The one who comes to me,...More



Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Bread and games

Do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written. The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.
1 Corinthians 10: 7.

Bread and games
At the time of the decline of the Roman Empire the capital Rome was the place of refuge for a vast number of inactive people who had no resources: they were peasants whose land had been confiscated, former legionaries and exiles from many lands. The emperor organised the distribution of grain to satisfy their hunger. They also had to occupy these unemployed people to prevent them from rebelling. The emperor therefore organised games in the...More



Monday, March 22, 2021

Religion or faith?

Our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for himself his own special people, zealous for good works.
Titus 2: 13.14.

Religion or faith?
It has long been imagined that Christianity would make the world a more pleasant place to live in. Unfortunately we are forced to admit that that has not been the case. The Christian religion has certainly been the source of much social progress. Most of our values like justice, solidarity, tolerance etc. result from our Christian inheritance, which became secularised in the age...More



Sunday, March 21, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (35)

He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. And what he has seen and heard, that he testifies; and no-one receives his testimony. He who has received his testimony has certified that God is true.
John 3: 31 – 33.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (35)
John the Baptist is still speaking to his disciples about Jesus Christ. One might think that John cannot cease speaking about Him, once he has started.

Whoever follows what John says attentively will learn a lot about Christ. He came “from...More



Saturday, March 20, 2021

Notice one word in this verse: “first”. It had not...

Go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son.
1 Kings 17: 13.

Notice one word in this verse: “first”. It had not rained for some time; so there was a famine. The woman to whom the prophet Elijah spoke was at the end of her tether. She had just enough flour and oil for one meal. Elijah first wanted a drink, then asked her for a morsel of bread. She told him her desperate situation, yet he insisted: “Make me … first!”

His demanding the little she had for himself may seem impertinent, but as a...More



Friday, March 19, 2021

I once had a conversation with a young Moslem lady about...

Jesus … said to them, Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me has everlasting life.
John 6: 43.47.

I once had a conversation with a young Moslem lady about questions of faith. The young woman spoke about the Islamic tradition, by which people hoped for the forgiveness of their sins when fasting in the month of Ramadan. That applied when one prayed sincerely at night, seeking the approval of Allah. She of course realised that after the period of fasting further transgressions could come about. So I asked her: “What happens if you suddenly die without the forgiveness of your...More



Thursday, March 18, 2021

Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, was on...

A great multitude of the people followed him, and women who also mourned and lamented him. But Jesus, turning to them, said, Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
Luke 23: 27.28.

Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, was on His way to Golgotha, the place of execution. At His birth an angel had announced to the shepherds, “Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour” (Luke 2:10.11).

The joy, however, had given way to wailing and lamenting,...More



Wednesday, March 17, 2021

What do you look at?

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
Hebrews 12: 2.

What do you look at?
Do not look at unbelievers! They may enjoy much success on their life’s pathway and even make a fortune. Don’t envy them for it! Unless they are converted, they will be lost for eternity,

Do not look at your own situation! Since it can be as changeable as the weather, it provides no foundation for a life of faith. Good days make you carefree, bad days give rise to fear.

Do not look at the world! It is godless and hates you, because you believe in the Lord Jesus. At the same...More



Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Unusual vengeance

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12: 21.

Unusual vengeance
A Japanese Christian discovered a brand of toothpaste that was marketed extremely successfully. His product was, however, soon copied illegally. But the deceit came to light, and the guilty person was condemned to a term of imprisonment.

The Christian manufacturer heard that the family of his dishonest rival was living in great poverty; so he sent the prisoner’s wife an anonymous donation every month. In their surprise the family wondered who the generous benefactor was.

One day the...More



Monday, March 15, 2021

Who is God?

There is no other God besides me, a just God and a Saviour; there is none besides me.
Isaiah 45: 21.

Who is God?
The only true, living God has revealed Himself, so that we human beings might come to know Him.

In creation He shows us His omnipotence and wisdom. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handiwork” (Psalm 19:2). Unbelief seeks for human explanations of the wonders of nature. Faith, on the other hand, takes God at His word and acknowledges that the world originated through the Creator’s authoritative command.

When our...More



Sunday, March 14, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (34)

You yourselves bear me witness that I said, I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him. He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.
John 3: 28 – 30.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (34)
John’s humility and modesty impress us. It is not the first time that he stressed: “I am not the Christ”. His disciples could testify that he did not claim all the glory for himself. He was merely the...More



Saturday, March 13, 2021

The man born blind

Jesus … said, … I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me should not abide in darkness.
John 12: 44.46.

The man born blind
He had been blind from birth and he used to beg. That is a reflection of man without God: he cannot know God; he cannot recognise himself properly; he is unaware of the truth – he is blind through sin.

But Jesus Christ came by. He could help and was ready to heal. First, however, the man’s faith had to be tested. “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam,” the Lord told him. The blind man went in faith and obedience and returned seeing....More



Friday, March 12, 2021

Unable to sleep (2)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1: 9.

Unable to sleep (2)
Her mother was dead! The daughter herself had persuaded her to drive home so late at night!

How guilty the young woman felt! Her conscience plagued her. She would never rid herself of that sense of guilt. In addition, she felt guilty before God. He would be justified in punishing her for all the wrong in her life. A dreadful period of her life began. She wanted to keep out of the sight of God and man. A host of self-reproaches made her...More



Thursday, March 11, 2021

Unable to sleep (1)

I will … speak comfort to her.
Hosea 2: 14.

Unable to sleep (1)
A young woman who was browsing at our Bible stand told us joyfully how she had found her way to God four years previously.

It all started when she couldn’t sleep. An inexplicable uneasiness took possession of her whenever she went to bed. She had nodded off several times in her car on her long journey to work.

The young lady refused to take sleeping tablets, but what could she do? One day on her way to work she passed a succession of posters. “Read the Bible!” the first one said, then again 100 yards...More



Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Jesus, conqueror or loser?

The chief priests … mocking …said, He saved others; himself he cannot save.

Christ … who is the head of all principality and power, … having disarmed principalities and powers, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it (i.e. the cross).

Matthew 27: 41.42; Colossians 2: 8.10.15.

Jesus, conqueror or loser?
A well-known journal once published an article with a provocative title: “Jesus, was He a loser?”

At first sight, one might think so: from birth He was rejected by His people. He lived in poverty, suffered, was betrayed and forsaken....More



Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Sin entered the world in the Garden of Eden, alienating man...

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29.

Sin entered the world in the Garden of Eden, alienating man from God and bringing suffering on the whole of creation. Yet it did not destroy God’s plan for creation. God’s final answer to it is Jesus Christ, “the Lamb of God”, as John the Baptist announced Christ in today’s verse..

“Behold the Lamb of God.” We find symbolical pointers to Christ, the Lamb of God, already in the Old Testament. At the exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt the Passover lamb...More



Monday, March 8, 2021

Many people wish us all the best and many happy returns on...

I will not let you go unless you bless me.
Genesis 32: 26.

Many people wish us all the best and many happy returns on our birthday. These friendly words do us good. But what does “happiness” actually constitute for a person? How can I find personal joy and satisfaction? These are questions that we are bound to ask.

Take this example from the Bible. A man sought to pile up wealth and achieve more and more all his life. He had good intentions and good taste. Moreover he was interested in God and the blessing that He has for us. But the means he adopted were not in order.

Initially he...More



Sunday, March 7, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (33)

After these things Jesus and his disciples came into the land of Judea, and there he remained with them and baptised. Now John was also baptising in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptised. Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification. And they came to John and said to him, Rabbi, he who was beyond the Jordan, to whom, you have testified – behold, he is baptising and all are coming to him. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.
John...More



Saturday, March 6, 2021

Peace

Saying, Peace, peace! when there is no peace.
Jeremiah 8: 11.

Peace
The longing for peace and harmonious relationships in every sphere of life is considerable.

In politics intensive efforts are made to achieve peaceful solutions for all kinds of problems. Every endeavour is made to bring disunited parties around a table to sign peace treaties, yet the number of armed conflicts in the world does not decrease.

In firms the employees attend courses in order to learn how to deal with conflicts, as everyone knows that enmity and disagreement at one’s place of work are...More



Friday, March 5, 2021

Steven, a small African boy, was seven years old, when...

When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take care of me.
Psalm 27: 10.

Steven, a small African boy, was seven years old, when his mother abandoned him. He soon landed in the street. He used to satisfy his hunger from the dustbins of the white people and slept under a bridge. At the age of 14 he joined a Marxist organisation that sought to liberate the land. He was given the commission to cause trouble among the population.

On the outskirts of the city a gospel campaign was taking place. Armed with a petrol bomb, Steven mixed with those attending it. At the start someone gave a...More



Thursday, March 4, 2021

Whenever and wherever God works, Satan endeavours to...

Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.
Acts 19:13.

Whenever and wherever God works, Satan endeavours to imitate His working and cause damage. That happened in Ephesus on that occasion. The apostle Paul had stayed there preaching for a lengthy period, “so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks” (v.10).

God had also performed many miracles there through Paul. Then some Jewish exorcists tried to...More



Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Resolution for the Lord

When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin.
2 Chronicles 15: 8.

Resolution for the Lord
Asa was a king of Judah who inquired after God’s will and sought to please the Lord.

In order to strengthen him on this pathway that found God’s approval, He sent a prophet to the king with a message that ended: “But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded” (v.7). In this way, too, the Lord encourages us to follow Him as His disciples,...More



Tuesday, March 2, 2021

God is good!

God … who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that he might humble you, and that he might test you, to do you good in the end.
Deuteronomy 8: 14.16.

God is good!
That morning things started as usual: the journey to work, parking the car and entering the office, like every other day.

Suddenly my smart phone rang. The message from my wife was the day’s verse on our calendar that I hadn’t yet read, the verse above. The people of Israel had been dependent on the food that God sent them every day in the wilderness, having no other source. That...More



Monday, March 1, 2021

We have here two different passages from the Bible reporting how...

He (Zacchæus) sought to see who Jesus was.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see him, because he had heard many things about him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by him.

Luke 19: 3; 23: 8.

We have here two different passages from the Bible reporting how two different persons had the same wish: to see Jesus. If their wishes were identical, their motives were fundamentally different. For Zacchæus it involved the Person, Jesus Christ. He wanted to know who He was and now had the opportunity to find out, for Jesus was passing through...More



Sunday, February 28, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (32)

He who believes in him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practising evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.
John 3: 18 – 21.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (32)
The...More



Saturday, February 27, 2021

God on earth

No-one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.

God … has … spoken to us by his Son, … through whom also he made the worlds.

John 1: 18; Hebrews 1: 1.2.

God on earth
People sometimes say: “Show me God, and I’ll believe in Him.” Can our thoughts be restricted to what we see? God is a spirit; the human eye cannot see him, nor can our reason conceive Him. “God is greater than man” (Job 33:12).

But God makes Himself known. Hasn’t He revealed Himself through His works in nature, which He...More



Friday, February 26, 2021

In the 19th century the pioneer missionary, Robert Moffat, spent...

We ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.
Titus 3: 3 – 5.

In the 19th century the pioneer missionary, Robert Moffat, spent five decades working in South Africa among the Bechuana tribe by the Orange River. His abilities as a farmer, gardener, carpenter and smith afforded...More



Thursday, February 25, 2021

Following Jesus

As he (Jesus) walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men. They immediately left their nets and followed him.
Mark 1: 16 – 18.

Following Jesus
In the gospels we often hear Jesus say, “Follow me” or “Come after me.” Jesus never calls anyone to serve Him, but to follow Him. Today, all who have been saved by His work on the cross, for whom He laid down His life, are invited to accompany Him. When He chose His disciples, the first...More



Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The best part still lies ahead

With Christ, which is far better.

In hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.

Philippians 1: 23; Titus 1: 2.

The best part still lies ahead
This thought, frequently expressed by elderly believers, refers to the hope of the Christian. It sums up their comparison between their transient life on earth, often difficult and sad, and the eternal heavenly joy promised by the Lord Jesus. “I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3).

From experience everyone knows that the hopes...More



Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Mountains of debts

The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the guilty.
Nahum 1: 3.

Mountains of debts
Many countries are badly in debt. The interest that they are obliged to pay on borrowed money places an enormous burden on the national budget. As a result it begins to get out of control. The annual deficit calls for further credits. Many people wonder how long such a process can continue.

The situation in which the state finds itself can also be a bitter reality for private persons. They have bought so much on hire purchase and only then realise what problems the...More



Monday, February 22, 2021

Christian faith

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

We did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

Romans 10: 17; 2 Peter 1: 16.

Christian faith
You say: “I envy you having faith, for I cannot get myself to believe.” Do you really know what faith is?

Do you perhaps consider it being naive or credulous, surrendering your reason, or a kind of leap into a void with your eyes closed? Or possibly a crutch for support when one has difficulty in walking? Or an...More



Sunday, February 21, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (31)

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:16.17.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (31)
Today’s verse 16 from the Bible is surely well-known. Maybe you have heard it or read it, even quite often. You may recognise that the words “whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” occurred in last week’s reading (v.15).

These two verses have, however, a...More



Saturday, February 20, 2021

Christian hope – an anchor of the soul

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast..

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 6:19; 11:1.

Christian hope – an anchor of the soul
A Christian spoke of his hope in God and then heard this retort: “Leave us in peace; you can occupy yourself with heaven, but leave us the earth!”

We respect our readers’ convictions, whether they are sceptical or unbelievers, but wonder whether it is possible to enjoy peace without God. One can live without knowing God, but can one really be absolutely happy...More



Friday, February 19, 2021

The compassion of Jesus

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation.

His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.

2 Corinthians 1: 3.4; Lamentations 3: 22.23.

The compassion of Jesus
Frederick Booth-Tucker (1853 – 1929) was a member of the Salvation Army, first in India, then in America and finally in Great Britain. His first wife died during an epidemic of cholera. He re-married and had nine children, three of whom died in infancy. One evening after preaching on the compassion of Jesus, a...More



Thursday, February 18, 2021

God has given every human being a conscience; it...

Look on my affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins.
Psalm 25: 18.

God has given every human being a conscience; it tells us whether our dealings agree with God and His will or not. In order that our conscience functions properly as an indicator, it needs to be calibrated according God’s Word, the Bible, which is the official standard measure, the conscience is merely a pointer.

When our conscience works, it sounds an alarm when we do something wrong and against God’s will. It points out our guilt. We certainly want to be free from guilt before God, the reproaches of ourselves and...More



Wednesday, February 17, 2021

A difficult choice

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

Proverbs 3: 7; 29: 25.

A difficult choice
The story of Obadiah (cf. 1 Kings 18) took place in Israel in the 10th century B.C.. They were difficult times: a wicked king, Ahab, ruled over the land, and his heathen wife persecuted God’s prophets. Moreover, a drought had been ravaging the land for three years. Obadiah himself was a believer who feared God. He occupied the high office of governor of the royal palace. He did not approve...More



Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The lifeline

God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3: 17.

The lifeline
In the year 1907 the steamer “Netherland” was in distress off the coast of Wales and eventually sank. It was night, but the crew managed to swim to safety on the beach. There, however, they discovered to their horror that their way was barred by high, vertical cliffs. How could they possibly escape from the rising tide? Without any aid their situation was hopeless. Then they suddenly discovered a rope hanging down from above. One by one they quickly climbed up...More



Monday, February 15, 2021

The pre-history of today’s verse is: a few years after...

He asked Philip to come up and sit with him.
Acts 8: 31.

The pre-history of today’s verse is: a few years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, the finance minister of the queen of Ethiopia longed to know the God of Israel. He undertook the long journey to Jerusalem to worship Him there. Clearly dissatisfied, he set out on the return journey, not having found what his heart desired.

This high official, however, had spent much money on a scroll of the prophecy of Isaiah. On his way back he was engrossed in this reading matter in his chariot, when the evangelist Philip...More



Sunday, February 14, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (30)

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3: 14.15.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (30)
When the Israelites rebelled against God towards the end of their wilderness journey, God sent them fiery serpents whose bite was fatal. Yet God also showed grace: He did not wish to destroy the people completely. He ordered Moses to make a serpent of brass and fix it to a pole. Everyone who looked up at that serpent remained alive (cf. Numbers 21: 4 – 9).

The...More



Saturday, February 13, 2021

Wrapping paper with valuable contents

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out!

My word … shall accomplish what I please.

Romans 11: 33; Isaiah 55: 11.

Wrapping paper with valuable contents
A Christian publisher in France once received the following letter:

“The means used by God are truly mysterious. This is my story: One day my cell mate in the prison ran out of tobacco. So he asked the prisoner in the next cell for some. The tobacco arrived – wrapped in one of your calendar leaves. There were two verses from...More



Friday, February 12, 2021

A book of surprises (2)

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.
2 Corinthians 10: 4.

A book of surprises (2)
Two brothers, Shosei and Majan, who lived on a Japanese island, had received a Bible. They had read a lot in it for themselves and also aloud to others. Now the entire village believed in Jesus Christ.

In 1945 the group of islands was occupied by American troops. Many Japanese inhabitants were killed, as the army conquered one village after another. One day the Americans reached the village where Shosei and Mangan lived. The two brothers went out to...More



Thursday, February 11, 2021

A book of surprises (1)

God is love. … This is his commandment: that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another. … Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
1 John 4: 8; 3: 23; 3; 18.

A book of surprises (1)
At the beginning of the 20th century a missionary arrived on a Japanese island. In a small village there he met two brothers, Shosei and Majan and gave them a Bible as a present.

The two started reading it. One morning Shosei said to his brother: “This book is full of surprises! It says here that we should practise love and serve one another....More



Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The lengthy course of a legal process can mean...

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns?
Romans 8: 33.34.

The lengthy course of a legal process can mean years of uncertainty for the accused as it goes through the various stages until the final verdict is pronounced. When, on the other hand, it is a question of God’s verdict concerning His elect, we do not find this oppressive uncertainty.

The first chapters of the epistle to the Romans show us how a sinner is convicted. If he, however, confesses his sins and believes in the Lord Jesus and His blood, he is pronounced free of all guilt....More



Tuesday, February 9, 2021

The family of Joseph, the carpenter, was well known in...

When he (Jesus) had come to his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?
Matthew 13: 54.

The family of Joseph, the carpenter, was well known in Capernaum. At least seven children grew up there. They were not conspicuous inhabitants, apart from one: the eldest, Jesus, who was talked about throughout the country. Since He was about 30 years old, He had gone about preaching. What He said and taught was not mere pious admonitions like the teaching of the Jewish law. There was a great power of attraction in...More



Monday, February 8, 2021

Christ had just been crucified between two robbers...

Those who passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads and saying, You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.
Matthew 27: 39.40.

Christ had just been crucified between two robbers. Some onlookers had gone to the place of execution out of curiosity. Others felt their attachment to Him and accompanied Him on that difficult pathway. But there were other passers-by, who showed no interest in Him or His situation.

They walked past, but by no means in silence. They blasphemed the Son of God. They should have kept quiet;...More



Sunday, February 7, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (29)

Most assuredly, I say to you, we speak what we know and testify what we have seen, and you do not receive our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No-one has ascended to heaven but he who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of man who is in heaven.
John 3: 11 – 13.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (29)
“Most assuredly” – this is the language of one who has true knowledge of all things: God Himself in the Person of Christ.

Although Nicodemus was “the teacher of Israel”, he had difficulty...More



Saturday, February 6, 2021

The Lord Jesus had fed 5,000 hungry men by means of...

Those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, This is truly the prophet who is to come into the world. Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he departed again to the mountain by himself alone.
John 6: 14.15.

The Lord Jesus had fed 5,000 hungry men by means of a miracle. They then wanted to proclaim Him king immediately. They all thought: “Whoever can do such a thing can also liberate us from the yoke of the Romans and settle every economic and social crisis. He has truly been sent by God as a genuine prophet. He must be our...More



Friday, February 5, 2021

Abysmally sad, or exceedingly happy?

Woe is me, for I am undone (or: cut off, dumb)!

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Isaiah 6: 5; Psalm 32: 1.

Abysmally sad, or exceedingly happy?
A memorial slab over the grave in an English cathedral bears the inscription “Miserrimus”, which means “most miserable”. That is all that is reported of the dead man, although he had the honour of being buried in one of the most famous churches in Christianity.

In the catacombs in Rome, those extensive subterranean passages, where the early oppressed and persecuted Christians used to...More



Thursday, February 4, 2021

In the biblical report of the creation, with which...

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1: 1.

In the biblical report of the creation, with which Holy Scripture begins, we read three times that “God created” (vv. 1.21.27). In each case this expression denotes something being created that did not exist before, nor was there anything similar.

First of all, God created the heavens and the earth. That was the inception of material. God brought something into existence that was not there previously.

Later God created the animals. The fifth day of creation is introduced with the words: “Let the waters...More



Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Praise and testimony

Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth! Sing out the honour of his name; make his praise glorious. … Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what he has done for my soul.
Psalm 66: 1.2.16.

Praise and testimony
The author of this psalm invites the whole earth to praise God, even to shout for joy thereby. He anticipates the day when the entire earth will bow down and sing to celebrate the majesty of Him who is our great God.

He expresses His praise to God for the ways He has delivered His people in the past, as if he had experienced them, calling on the believers to...More



Tuesday, February 2, 2021

An English major who was involved in a conversation with...

Assuredly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Matthew 5: 18.

An English major who was involved in a conversation with a clergyman demanded clear and convincing proof that the Bible is truly the Word of God and was not written by men. The clergyman knew that the major had served in the Middle East, travelling around a lot, and asked him if he had visited Babylon. The latter at once began to tell enthusiastically what he had experienced there.

“The ruins of Babylon are teeming with wild animals that can be...More



Monday, February 1, 2021

In his first epistle the apostle John takes up...

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the word of life.
1 John 1: 1.

In his first epistle the apostle John takes up the thoughts expressed in his gospel, the first chapter of which states: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (v. 1). Who is this eternal Word? It is God the Son. He is called “the Word”, because He is the expression of God’s thoughts and intentions.

We can utter a word casually or write it down. God chose a...More



Sunday, January 31, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (28)

Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said to him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said to him, Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?
John 3: 7 – 10.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (28)
Let us imagine a Pharisee who endeavoured to keep and teach God’s commandments. He was waiting for the promised Messiah, who would free the people of Israel from...More



Saturday, January 30, 2021

The gospel in miniature

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3: 16.

The gospel in miniature
The title above is Martin Luther’s description of today’s verse of Scripture. Those few words summarise what God has done with the reason for and the objective of His action. They express a great, divine truth: our great God’s love towards His creatures; His only begotten Son – a great gift; whoever – a great appeal; should not perish – a great deliverance; everlasting life – a great...More



Friday, January 29, 2021

More tolerance?

The Lord … is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3: 9.

More tolerance?
At our Bible stand a young man asserted, “Times and customs have changed. You ought to re- consider your attitude towards the cohabitation of men and women and be more tolerant towards them on this matter.”

I replied; “Now we are not here to represent our own opinion, but to propagate the message of the Bible. The Word of God is always valid and true. It shows us that God is light and love. He will never alter His standard of...More



Thursday, January 28, 2021

It was all for me!

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53: 4.5.

It was all for me!
Reading the 53rd chapter of Isaiah’s prophecy, I was suddenly touched by the message of the cross. For the fist time I realised that the cross is the central point of the gospel. I understood what Jesus did for me: He bore my sins and all that tormented me; He was laden with my...More



Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Every day is useful

All things work together for good to those who love God.

It will be well with those who fear God.

Romans 8: 28; Ecclesiastes 8: 12.

Every day is useful
When we are passing through difficult times, we may be able to keep a stiff upper lip as we await better days. We do not wish for these times of testing. However, God permits them to teach us lessons that we would not learn otherwise. How could we, for example, experience His comfort, if we have never been sad?

The Lord Jesus has promised those whom He has redeemed the peace that gives our conscience rest (John...More



Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Who is God, “and what is his Son’s name?”...

God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through
him might be saved.

John 3: 17.

Who is God, “and what is his Son’s name?” (Proverbs 30:4). God has a Son, and, as the quotation from the book of Proverbs shows, even the oldest people in the Bible suspected that it was so. That Son was sent to us by God. Is it possible to send a son who doesn’t exist? Isn’t that an indication that the Son of God is eternal like God Himself?

Already before His birth God had decided on His Name: Jesus! And that Name, which means “the Lord is...More



Monday, January 25, 2021

Living serenely in a troubled world

You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Isaiah 26: 3; John 14: 27.

Living serenely in a troubled world
Our future is becoming increasingly uncertain. The planet is in danger, life is being increasingly degraded, the rate of unemployment is growing, corruption and violence attract attention in the media. How can we enjoy living in this terrifying context?

Must we behave...More



Sunday, January 24, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (27)

Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born? Jesus answered, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
John 3: 4 – 6.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (27)
Being born again – how was Nicodemus to understand that? Should one somehow supernaturally re-enter one’s mother’s womb to be born again? The Son of God could not possibly have meant...More



Saturday, January 23, 2021

God can see through us

Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the LORD, and their works are in the dark; they say, Who sees us? and, Who knows us?
Isaiah 29: 15.

God can see through us
Most crime happens at night. A thief is hardly likely to try a series of break-ins in broad daylight. He could so easily be spotted and even recognised by someone and thus prevented from carrying out what he planned.

Crime takes place much more in towns than out in the country. Townspeople do not know each other so well. After committing a crime, the perpetrator can “submerge” in a town much...More



Friday, January 22, 2021

Time to reflect

Set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God.

He who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.

1 Chronicles 22: 19; Hebrews 11: 6.

Time to reflect
He dropped his keys, and when he bent over to pick them up, he noticed that his hand didn’t respond. Very worried, he went straight to the doctor’s. Soon after he was lying on a hospital bed, his body subjected to elaborate examination, his soul adrift, his existence as an active person thrown into confusion. During long sleepless nights he was assailed by...More



Thursday, January 21, 2021

Illusions as merchandise

Jesus … said to them, Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.
Luke 5: 31.32.

Illusions as merchandise
You probably find plenty of prospectuses in your letter-box telling you that you have won a fortune, or will receive a free gift etc.. Similar offers arrive in our mail box with a host of advertising material as soon as we open the website. We are promised health, wealth and success. It is surprising how many people appear to have responded successfully to the deceptive methods of fake...More



Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Among the Hebrew believers there was the danger that...

Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some.
Hebrews 10: 24.25.

Among the Hebrew believers there was the danger that they might tire as they walked by faith. Owing to the bitter persecution to which they were exposed the tendency to return to Judaism had arisen, so that they might escape any pressure from outside, whether from the world or Jews. Therefore in the epistle to the Hebrews the Holy Spirit constantly presents the Person of the Lord Jesus in various aspects, for occupation with Him is...More



Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Disfigured for another

He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows. … And we hid, as it were, our faces
from him, … and we did not esteem him.

God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Isaiah 53: 3; Acts 2: 36.

Disfigured for another
A fire broke out in a house in the village. The neighbours came running up. Suddenly there was a desperate cry. It came from a small boy trapped by the fire. The mother, who had been shopping, arrived panic-stricken. She rushed across, but an arm held her back. A man went through the flames instead and managed to reach the...More



Monday, January 18, 2021

Man’s sin and God’s love.

Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.
Romans 5: 20.

Man’s sin and God’s love.
At the cross of Calvary any question regarding good and evil is answered once for all time.

It was there that the decisive battle between Satan and the Lord took place. The enemy did his utmost to overcome Jesus Christ. But he suffered a bitter defeat. By His death the Lord took from Satan his power of death.

At Calvary sin was exposed in all its horror and wickedness. At the same time God judged sin in His Son according to His own holiness.

By crucifying the Son of...More



Sunday, January 17, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (26)

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no- one can do these signs which you do unless God is with him. Jesus answered and said to him, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3: 1 – 3.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (26)
The miracles of the Lord Jesus attracted many people of His day to Him. Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, was one of them. He felt the need to discuss a certain matter...More



Saturday, January 16, 2021

Be prepared!

We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Romans 14: 10.

Be prepared!
Bill was well-known by everyone in his naval unit, as he always wore a life-jacket. He insisted on it in spite of all the teasing he had to endure. Out at sea he was never seen without his life-jacket. In 1945 his unit was cruising in the South Pacific, when unexpectedly a bomber squadron appeared, spotted the ship and began firing and dropping bombs. The ship sank. The rescue team found a sole survivor: Bill. He had taken the right precaution early enough; his comrades, regretfully had...More



Friday, January 15, 2021

God’s final word

I was sought by those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. I
said, Here I am.

Isaiah 65: 1.

God’s final word
Because God no longer speaks, many people believe that He will never speak again. That is, however, a rash conclusion, for He calls Himself the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last. He will have a personal word for each one of us, a final word! But it will not be the same word for all. There are two groups of people:

Those who believe in God. They did not seek Him from their own motives. Yet their attention was drawn to Him,...More



Thursday, January 14, 2021

The atmosphere in the situation in which...

They (the Jews) said to him (Jesus), Who are you? And Jesus said to them, Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning.
John 8: 25.

The atmosphere in the situation in which the above words were spoken was tense. Jesus Christ was confronted by the religious leadership of the time, the Pharisees. They had been watching the Son of God closely wherever He went, waiting for the opportunity to accuse Him publicly before all; but so far they had failed. They noticed that that Man’s reputation with the people could endanger their influence and their own position.
They had just brought a...More



Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Ungodliness and godliness

Exercise yourself towards godliness. For … godliness is profitable for all things, having
promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

Godliness with contentment is great gain.

1 Timothy 4: 7.8; 6: 6.

Ungodliness and godliness
When I was studying, three years after May 1968, atheism was prevalent among students. One was either a Marxist or considered thoughtless and behind the times. But things changed. However, after several decades of militant atheism the attraction of spiritual things is still nowhere near disappearing. Russia and China are...More



Tuesday, January 12, 2021

A slave to drugs

The grace of God, which carries with it salvation for all men, has appeared.

God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

Titus 2: 11 (J.N.D.); 1 John 5: 11.

A slave to drugs
Mandy had an unfortunate childhood and has been addicted to drugs since her youth. In the course of time the doses she took increased considerably, and she was in hospital several times. Her condition deteriorated constantly. The doctors told her that she did not have much longer to live.

In this desperate situation a Christian couple took her in. Mandy declared that she would have...More



Monday, January 11, 2021

Right at the beginning of His public ministry Jesus...

Repent, and believe in the gospel.
Mark 1:15

Right at the beginning of His public ministry Jesus told His listeners (and us, too) to repent and believe in the gospel. Repentance, that complete change of heart by which we break with all the wrong of our past, is closely linked with faith in the gospel.
What does “believe in the gospel mean”? Quite simply, accepting the good news that Jesus announced. Having faith in this good news expresses confidence in Him, just as accepting what people state expresses the trust you put in them.

On this pathway of faith there are hindrances. They...More



Sunday, January 10, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (25)

Now when he (Jesus) was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself to them, because he knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for he knew what was in man.
John 2: 23 – 25.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (25)
“Seeing is believing” is a common saying; it was also the attitude of the Jews in Jesus’ time. They had experienced impressive signs and miracles that Jesus had done; so they had no doubt that Jesus was all that He claimed to be. Therefore they...More



Saturday, January 9, 2021

What makes our faults to be a burden for us?

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103: 12.

What makes our faults to be a burden for us? Can’t we simply ignore them, and the matter is done with? That will not succeed. Some time we shall remember, and they will again begin to trouble us. What causes that? The fact that we did not rid ourselves of them properly! So they raise their ugly head once again and become a troublesome force.
Consider this comparison: aren’t we all afraid of nuclear radiation. People have been trying to dispose of radioactive material for decades, but no...More



Friday, January 8, 2021

“Who wrote that?”

Prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 1: 21.

“Who wrote that?”
When the teacher entered the classroom, she found a handwritten poem on her desk. She liked it: every line had been written in a different colour, and the text pleased her.

“Who wrote this nice poem?” she asked the class in her surprise. Nicolas put up his hand: “I wrote the first line in red.” Matthew continued: “And I wrote the second in blue.” The teacher interrupted the next pupil: “The coloured pencils were only the...More



Thursday, January 7, 2021

Have you ever infringed the law?

There is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 3: 22 – 24.

Have you ever infringed the law?
I have! I had exceeded the speed limit by 5 m.p.h.. All the time the police officer was taking down the evidence I was saying to myself that he would do better to prosecute real speedsters or crooks. The fact was, however, that I had broken the law and had nothing to say in my defence.

Sometimes we regard sin similarly: we classify it into various categories....More



Wednesday, January 6, 2021

What remains eternally

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.

Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and for ever.

Luke 21: 33; Hebrews 13: 8.

What remains eternally
We are sometimes anxious owing to the instability of things in this world, where everything can change so quickly. God, however, reassures us by drawing our attention to what remains eternally.

“The Christ remains for ever” (John 12:34). What bliss to be able to place our confidence in the One who, “because he remains for ever has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore he is...More



Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The joy that God gives

Jesus … went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
Acts 10: 38.

The joy that God gives
This is what a young lady from Algeria has reported:

“I come from Algeria and am proud of my beautiful country. I have wonderful parents who always pampered and spoilt me. When I got older, I started asking questions about the universe: how and by whom was it created? What concealed power rules over it?

As a student I lived in the city where the university was. I didn’t feel really well there, when I considered how other...More



Monday, January 4, 2021

Noah’s faith

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household.
Hebrews 11: 7.

Noah’s faith
The basis of his faith was the word of God. When God informed him of the pending judgment, he believed the message and built an ark. Today genuine faith also rests on God’s eternally valid sayings. His word alone gives conviction and security.

The object of his faith was invisible. Noah believed the unseen God and reckoned with the flood of water submerging the earth, as announced, although it had not yet rained. Biblical...More



Sunday, January 3, 2021

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (24)

The Jews answered and said to him, What sign do you show to us, since you do these things? Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then the Jews said, It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you will raise it up in three days? But he was speaking of the temple of his body. Therefore, when he had risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this to them; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had said.
John 2: 18 – 22.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (24)
The Lord Jesus’ purification of...More



Saturday, January 2, 2021

Our verse for today is one of the...

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and for ever.
Hebrews 13: 8.

Our verse for today is one of the best known in the Bible, and rightly so. The fact that Jesus Christ does not change makes everyone who has entrusted his life to the Saviour exceedingly happy. Do we not all long for stability and reliability in an environment that is becoming more and more unstable and chaotic? Where can we find security and a firm anchor for our life?
Jesus Christ alone, the Son of God, can grant us what we long for deep down in our heart. He never changes. He takes care of our yesterday, taking away all our...More



Friday, January 1, 2021

At the start of a New Year we probably...

The LORD said in his heart, ...While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.
Genesis 8: 21.22.

At the start of a New Year we probably sense more than ever that the future is like unknown territory through which we have to go. Some things that will come upon us may already be looming, but on the whole we have no idea what lies ahead for us.
One thing, however, we know for certain: that the change from summer to winter, or from day to night, will continue normally. Have we ever considered the constancy of this aspect of our lives to be...More



Thursday, December 31, 2020

The final day of the year has arrived. That is a...

LORD, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to stay with them.
Psalm 90:1; Luke 24:29

The final day of the year has arrived. That is a good enough reason to cast a brief glance back, before we turn to the unknown of the New Year.

When Moses composed the 90th psalm as a prayer to God, he, too, surveyed past events. The children of Israel were travelling in the wilderness and had not yet reached the promised land. Yet they were not without a dwelling place. “The eternal God”, as Moses called Him, had...More



Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Remember!

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works.
Revelation 2:5

Remember!
The church in Ephesus, to whom these words were addressed, had been characterised by exemplary devotion to and affection for the Lord Jesus in the early days. God was able to entrust them with the most precious truths concerning Christ and His church, as we see in the epistle Paul wrote to them. Have we perhaps experienced such feelings of love and devotion to our Lord, as we followed Him in the early days of our life of faith?

Sadly, that healthy state degenerated, as today’s verse...More



Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Whiter than snow

Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness:
Psalm 51:7; 1 John 1:9

Whiter than snow
I like to recall the winters of my childhood and the games we played in the snow. There was no pleasure like it, but it took only a few hours and the snow was no longer brilliant white but dirty grey. What joy to discover next morning that fresh snow, beautifully white, had fallen! The snowmen, the toboggan slopes were covered over again. It was pure delight.

What a fine illustration of the...More



Monday, December 28, 2020

A promise from God our Saviour

Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

A promise from God our Saviour
Society has changed so much over the past few years that many no longer know where to find their feet. Others despair in face of the uncertain future. Nowadays people are being forced to reject all sense of morality, so as to be free regarding sexuality, divorce, abortion, drugs etc.. The claim that we can ourselves decide what is good or evil leads to making all kinds of behaviour that God condemns commonplace and even legalising them. Governments legislate under the pressure...More



Sunday, December 27, 2020

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (23)

When he had made a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And he said to those who sold doves, Take these things away! Do not make my Father’s house a house of merchandise! Then his disciples remembered that it was written, Zeal for your house has eaten me up.
John 2:15-17

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (23)
The second chapter of John’s gospel presents a picture of contrasts. First, the Son of God brings joy to the celebration of a marriage, then He drives animals out of the temple area...More



Saturday, December 26, 2020

The birth of the Son of God in Bethlehem was...

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the one to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting.
Micah 5:2

The birth of the Son of God in Bethlehem was the starting point for the great, glorious blessings that God intended for mankind. For all our joy on that account we must not forget the particular joy that it brought to the heart of God Himself. Our verse states: “Out of you shall come forth to me”. In the Redeemer who was to come God’s counsel regarding Israel and the nations was to find its...More



Friday, December 25, 2020

With this comparison the Lord confronted those...

I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.
Luke 19:40

With this comparison the Lord confronted those who objected to the joyful praise of the disciples. If those called upon to praise him remained silent, God would employ apparently unsuitable instruments to express the praise of which His Son was worthy.

Therefore an angel announced the glorious news of the birth of Jesus to simple shepherds. They then went to see the Child and told others of their experience. But Jerusalem, “the city of the great king” failed to join in the praise. There were indeed a...More



Thursday, December 24, 2020

What a remarkable sign it was, by which the...

This will be the sign to you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.
Luke 2:12

What a remarkable sign it was, by which the shepherds of Bethlehem were to recognise the newborn Saviour! We should normally expect something much more impressive than this humble state to welcome an important person. But the Son of God, Israel’s expected Messiah and future King, entered this world in far from majestic conditions, despite the fact that, in such lowliness, He was the one who upheld “all things by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).

The Son of God could have appeared...More



Wednesday, December 23, 2020

God the Holy Spirit had a special place in...

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
Luke 1:35

God the Holy Spirit had a special place in the life of the Man Christ Jesus. Various New Testament scriptures speak of it:

He was begotten of the Holy Spirit. As a result of this tremendous fact Jesus Christ could be called from His birth the “holy One”. He was the only sinless human being. His entire life was well-pleasing for God.

When He began His public ministry at the age of thirty, He was baptised by John...More



Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Long before His birth an angel announced our...

You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21

Long before His birth an angel announced our Saviour’s Name. As a Man on earth the Son of God was to be called Jesus. This name itself reveals God’s wonderful plan, for it means “The Lord is salvation”. And that was the great purpose of His coming into the world. For this reason God became Man in the Person of Jesus Christ. He wished to “save his people from their sins.

Christ came primarily to His earthly people Israel. The nation needed salvation, for they had distanced themselves from God. Did they...More



Monday, December 21, 2020

God does not change His mind

Indeed it was for my own peace that I had great bitterness; but you have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for you have cast all my sins behind your back.The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Isaiah 38:17; Romans 6:23

God does not change His mind
From its first pages the Bible reveals that God, our Creator, seeks only our good. He placed His creature in a wonderful, perfect environment and granted him the privilege of communicating with God Himself. He also gave him the responsibility to obey His will. But man soon disobeyed...More



Sunday, December 20, 2020

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (22)

After this he went down to Capernaum, he, his mother, his brothers and his disciples; and they did not stay there many days. Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And he found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business.
John 2:12-14

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (22)
When Jesus began His public ministry, Joseph was clearly no longer alive and His sisters were presumably married. They were not mentioned in the group when Jesus went to Capernaum, a city by the lake of Gennesaret, with His mother, His brothers and...More



Saturday, December 19, 2020

Those with a good knowledge of Holy Scripture understand...

Pilate said to him (i.e. Jesus), What is truth? God our Saviour ... desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
John 18:38; 1 Timothy 2:3.4

Those with a good knowledge of Holy Scripture understand truth to be the divine yardstick by which absolutely everything can be assessed and judged as good or bad. The nature of every being, from God Himself via human beings and angels to demons and Satan, and of every deed, word or thought can be subjected to this test. As it is God’s measure, people’s differing opinions are left aside. His judgment is correct and final.

God...More



Friday, December 18, 2020

The editor-in-chief of our daily newspaper once...

Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools is folly.
Proverbs 16:22

The editor-in-chief of our daily newspaper once wrote a full-page review of a book dealing with the theme of God and the Bible. Here was a man wanting to inform his readers about this subject. In political and social matters the editor has always expressed fair and well-balanced judgments. His knowledge of the Bible, however, proved faulty, not only in his judgment but also in its factual content. He expressed surprise that “the name of Moses’ father is not mentioned”. My Bible names Amram,...More



Thursday, December 17, 2020

The beauty of Jesus Christ

You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you for ever.
Psalm 45:2

The beauty of Jesus Christ
Today’s text from the psalms undoubtedly refers to Jesus Christ. He is more beautiful than all other people, even if we read of Him in Isaiah 53, v. 2: “He has no form nor comeliness, and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” How are we to understand these two apparently contradictory prophetic statements?

What Isaiah wrote in chapter 53 refers to the Lord Jesus’ outward appearance. He did not come to His...More



Wednesday, December 16, 2020

It is reported of the early Christians that...

They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Acts 2:42

It is reported of the early Christians that “the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul” (Acts 4:32). This practical unity of all believers unfortunately no longer exists. Today Christians are divided into countless denominations and groupings. Moreover, they have incorporated persons who are mere nominal Christians without God-given new life. We need to confess that we are all equally guilty of causing and continuing this sad situation.

Even if the...More



Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Come just as you are!

Return …, says the LORD, I will not cause my anger to fall on you. For I am merciful.When he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
Jeremiah 3:12; Luke 15:20

Come just as you are!
In a village in Brazil a mother was worried. A few days before her 18-year-old daughter had left home saying, “I’m fed up in this hole where nothing ever happens. I want to live my life and blossom out in the town. Months passed without any news. Finally, unable to hold out any longer, the mother took her savings and went to Rio de Janeiro...More



Monday, December 14, 2020

His holy One

You will not leave my soul in sheol, nor will you allow your holy one to see corruption.
Psalm 16:10

His holy One
The Lord Jesus led a perfect life here on earth. He obeyed His God and served Him with great devotion. No resistance or suffering could prevent Him from living piously and righteously. As a consequence God constantly took unlimited pleasure in the Man Christ Jesus, for He was in deed and truth “his holy One”.

It must therefore have been extremely difficult for Christ to die at the early age of roughly thirty-three years. It was not what He deserved! In Psalm 102:23.24 He...More



Sunday, December 13, 2020

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (21)

He (Jesus) said to them (the servants), Draw some out now and take it to the master of the feast. And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, Every man sets out at the beginning the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now. This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
John...More



Saturday, December 12, 2020

An experienced teacher was once asked what qualities he...

The meekness and gentleness of Christ.The Lord is ... long-suffering to ward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2 Corinthians 10:1; 2 Peter 3:9

An experienced teacher was once asked what qualities he considered essential for his profession. After a few moments’ consideration he answered, “It goes without saying that he must have a sound knowledge of his subjects and a love of children and young people plus the ability to hold his pupils’ interest and keep discipline. To go with these, if he is to be successful, he must be exceedingly patient and...More



Friday, December 11, 2020

Through the half open door

My soul loathes my life; I will give free course to my complaint, I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.With everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you, says the LORD, your redeemer.
Job 10:1; Isaiah 54:8

Through the half open door
As a boy I lived alone with my drunken father. I often found refuge with a kind Christian who loved God and his neighbour. He used to care for a small group of believers who met in a chapel near his home. But I was far from God.

I had to start work as a youngster. In 1968 my pals invited me to a party. Alcohol flowed, and I fell asleep, totally drunk....More



Thursday, December 10, 2020

Jesus Christ offers everyone who accepts Him perfect...

Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all.Behold, now is the day of salvation.
1 Timothy 2:5.6; 2 Corinthians 6:2

Jesus Christ offers everyone who accepts Him perfect freedom. It cost Him a lot, for He had to endure suffering and death on the cross to obtain it for us.

The world, however, has other ideas. People do not believe in Christ; so they live as though He did not exist, and as if His resurrection and exaltation as the Lord were pure fantasy and His promise to return mere wishful thinking.

But the Bible teaches us otherwise. Nobody will be an unbeliever for ever! Eventually...More



Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The baptism of the Holy Spirit

By one Spirit we were all baptised into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:13

The baptism of the Holy Spirit
The baptism of the Holy Spirit was announced by both John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Himself. The baptism was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost after the Lord’s ascension to heaven. On that day the one church, the unity of all the redeemed as the one body, was formed; and it has continued until this day. The Holy Spirit is the unifying power and bond of the church of the living God. The...More



Tuesday, December 8, 2020

God answers prayer

Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
Psalm 50:15

God answers prayer
It was winter. As so often happens in this season, a sudden snowstorm arose between the United States and Canada. It makes the pilots of small aircraft shudder to be caught in such a storm. On this particular occasion it was a Christian missionary flying to Canada in his Cessna.

Visibility nil, radio contact not available, and the ice was increasing the weight of the plane. The pilot had to try to land, but only one of the wheels of the undercarriage could be lowered; the...More



Monday, December 7, 2020

What happened to that lame beggar in Jerusalem was...

In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. And he (Peter) took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked.
Acts 3:6-8

What happened to that lame beggar in Jerusalem was a true miracle. That was the verdict of every eye witness. But the apostles Peter and John did not perform it in their own strength. They explained that they had acted in the power of Jesus Christ, who was known to the Jews as the Nazarene.

The beggar rejoiced over his newly gained health. But the healing affected not only...More



Sunday, December 6, 2020

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (20)

Jesus said to her (his mother), Woman, what does your concern have to do with me? My hour has not yet come. His mother said to the ser­vants, Whatever he says to you, do it. Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
John 2:4-7

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (20)
There was a disaster at the wedding in Cana: the wine ran out. Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew who could help and turned to her son, who, however,...More



Saturday, December 5, 2020

It was dark and foggy. Unsure of himself a man...

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:24

It was dark and foggy. Unsure of himself a man was groping his way along the harbour wall. He took a false step, fell into the water and screamed for help. Then it was quiet. Others heard his cry and tried to rescue him, but in vain. Next morning he was found dead. He was an expert on docks, ships and navigation and very capable. But he couldn’t swim!

Nobody is competent at everything, but everyone can know and do certain things. Some are experts in their own sphere. But few people know what is...More



Friday, December 4, 2020

I was the guide taking a class of schoolchildren round a...

I kept back nothing, … testifying … repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 20:20.21

I was the guide taking a class of schoolchildren round a Bible exhibition. They all listened attentively, and at the end of the tour one boy asked me, “Where did you get all this knowledge about the Bible” and “Do you believe in Jesus?”

How would you have answered these questions in my place?

You might have dealt with the first query like this: “I read the Bible from time to time. I go to a church regularly, where the Bible is explained. I am also interested in...More



Thursday, December 3, 2020

When Jesus Christ lived here on earth, the Romans...

He (Pilate) knew that the chief priests had handed him over because of envy.
Mark 15:10

When Jesus Christ lived here on earth, the Romans occupied the land of Israel. The areas that had been conquered were administered by high Roman officials, to whom the soldiers stationed there were subject. Any rebellion by the population was put down immediately with military power.

The Roman governor residing in Jerusalem was Pilate. His task was not easy: the Jews of the time were known for their resistance to the occupation. Now, however, Pilate had a remarkable experience: the Jews turned to him, handing...More



Wednesday, December 2, 2020

How wonderfully the glory of the Person of the Lord Jesus is...

They said to him, Who are you? And Jesus said to them, Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning.
John 8:25

How wonderfully the glory of the Person of the Lord Jesus is revealed in this brief answer that He gave the Jews! Who else could have said that all His words agreed perfectly with what He Himself really was? What a discrepancy there is so often between our words and our innermost being!

The Lord Jesus was “from above” (v. 23). He spoke the truth that He had heard from God (v. 40). That sufficed to reveal Him as the One He was: the truth itself. Therefore the Word of God...More



Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Between scriptural Christianity and man’s religions there is...

Most assuredly I say to you, He who believes in me has everlasting life. … The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.Lord, to whom, shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
John 6:47.63.64.68

Between scriptural Christianity and man’s religions there is a fundamental difference, indeed a total contrast: the Bible announces salvation solely on the basis of grace through faith in Christ. Religions demand adherence to rites and efforts to reach and please God thereby. But man proves incapable of doing so. Therefore the Bible teaches us...More



Monday, November 30, 2020

Being born again

I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes.The world through wisdom did not know God.
Luke 10:21; 1 Corinthians 1:21

Being born again
Replying to the religious man who had been interrogating Him, Jesus said, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3; 3). Some time later He told His disciples, “Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).The Lord Jesus set an objective and a condition before His...More