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The Good Seed Daily Devotional for 2022


Saturday, July 16, 2022

In Matthew’s gospel the Lord Jesus is described as...

They shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated, God with us.
Matthew 1:23.

In Matthew’s gospel the Lord Jesus is described as the King of Israel. But another thought is also found throughout this gospel, namely, that God wishes to be with His people. In eternity there will be a new heaven and a new earth; then God will dwell with men (Revelation 21:1.3). But even in the present age He wants to be with those who belong to Him.
In the first chapter we read why He wishes to be with mankind: “He will save his people from their sins” (v. 21). The name “Jesus” translated actually means “The...More

Friday, July 15, 2022

The European royal houses formerly had absolute power in their...

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; he turns it wherever he wishes.
Proverbs 21:1.

The European royal houses formerly had absolute power in their lands. They claimed to have been appointed “by God’s grace”. Today monarchs have merely a representative function as a rule; the real power lies in parliaments and governments.

Kings of past ages and heads of governments today think and plan. And God has given them, as He has to all, the possibility to make morally justifiable decisions.

For all their decisions and actions they will one day have to...More

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Two of Jesus’ disciples were returning downcast from...

They constrained him (Jesus), saying, Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to stay with them.
Luke 24:29.

Two of Jesus’ disciples were returning downcast from Jerusalem to their home village of Emmaus. The leaders of the people had condemned their Lord and Master in a totally unjust court case. Now he had died on the cross. Every hope that their nation would be liberated and conditions would improve had been dashed.

On their journey a stranger suddenly joined them. At first it seemed as if he had heard nothing of the events in Jerusalem. Then an...More

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The marriage of the Lamb that will take place in heaven shortly before...

Let us be glad and rejoice and give him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready.
Revelation 19:7.

The marriage of the Lamb that will take place in heaven shortly before the establishment of the millennium has many parallels to a wedding as we know it: we find great joy mentioned, and also fine clothing, invited guests and, of course, the bride and the bridegroom (vv. 7-9) But there is one vast difference: It is not the bride who is the centre of attraction here, but the Bridegroom. It is His marriage, the marriage of the Lamb.

Christ, who is the Lamb, has...More

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

At the start of the 20th century a lady regularly distributed...

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 36:26.

At the start of the 20th century a lady regularly distributed printed copies of the sermons of a well-known preacher in the streets of a European capital city. One of the coachmen in the square outside a station had repeatedly accepted the leaves.
One Sunday, however, he refused one with the remark that he no longer wanted to read the sermons. The lady asked him politely, “Why not?” He answered, “If I go on reading them, I shall have to change...More

Monday, July 11, 2022

I am (10)

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.
John 15:5.

I am (10)
The branches grow out of the stem of the vine to bear the fruit that the vine-grower awaits. If a branch is removed from the vine, the flow of the sap so vital to maintain life is interrupted, and no fruit will result.

The prophet Isaiah had already used the illustration of a vineyard to depict God’s earthly people Israel. He described the assiduous care applied to ensure that a good harvest could be anticipated. But when the time for...More

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (49)

Now early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to him, Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do you say? This they said, testing him, that they might have something of which to accuse him.
John 8:2-6.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (49)
After their dispute with the officers of the law (concerning their failure...More

Saturday, July 9, 2022

John the Baptist called upon the people of Israel to...

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 3:1.2.

John the Baptist called upon the people of Israel to repent. That means, they should change their attitude towards God, they should acknowledge that they had sinned and from then on lead their life according to God’s will. The reason for him preaching this message was that the promised Messiah and His kingdom were about to appear. Jesus Christ would soon be seen in public. The long-awaited, promised Messiah had finally come.

Repenting, i.e. regretting...More

Friday, July 8, 2022

God’s wonders

God ... does great things and unsearchalbe, marvellous things without number.
Job 5:9.

God’s wonders
If we look through a telescope or a microscope, we discover in wonderment the extraordinary work of the great architect of the universe: God. Here are three examples:

The temperature. At the centre of the sun it is 15 million degrees centigrade (27 million °F), and we are about 90 million miles away from it, just the right distance for the earth’s temperature to be suitable for life. Why wasn’t the earth placed twice as far away or even nearer? Was it chance or intention?

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Why was the Lord Jesus “moved with compassion” over this...

When Jesus went out he saw a great multitude; and he was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. 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. But Jesus said to them, They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.
Matthew 14:14-16.

Why was the Lord Jesus “moved with compassion” over this crowd? Weren’t they all more or less wicked sinners? Weren’t many of their problems caused by their failure to lead their lives with God?...More

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

True faith

Faith is the substantiating of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (J.N.D.).

True faith
Today’s verse from the Bible has less to do with saving faith than the effective faith in a Christian’s everyday life. It describes two salient characteristics of faith:

“Faith is the substantiating of things hoped for”. As Christians we have a sure hope. The Lord Jesus will return to take us into our heavenly home. This glorious future, of which the Bible assures us, has an effect on our daily life, if it is already a reality for us through faith. Instead of...More

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Many peace pacts have been concluded between nations since...

There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the LORD’s counsel – that will stand.
Proverbs 19:21.

Many peace pacts have been concluded between nations since the end of the Second World War. In the mean time peace has prevailed in Western Europe for over seventy years. For this we can be truly thankful. However, the Bible predicts that in the not too distant future a massive economic and political crisis will arise in Europe. Governments will then hand over power to a single man – and it will not be for their peace and blessing!

“God has put it into their hearts to fulfil his...More

Monday, July 4, 2022

I am (9)

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

I am (9)
Death means eternal separation from God; so even the simplest soul can understand that life must be present to enable man to dwell in the Father’s house. With God only eternal life counts, for all human life ends with physical death, as we all know, unless the rapture of the Church, when Christ returns for His own, takes place beforehand.

The Lord Jesus Christ is life. In the introductory verses to his gospel the apostle John writes of Him: “In him was life, and the life was the...More

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (48)

Nicodemus … , being one of them, said to them, Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing? They answered and said to him, Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee. And everyone went to his own house. But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
John 7:50-8:1.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (48)
Hadn’t the Pharisees just maintained that none of the leaders and Pharisees believed in Jesus? How fanaticism leads to erroneous ideas!

Quite unexpectedly someone appeared who was both a leader and a Pharisee: Nicodemus. We...More

Saturday, July 2, 2022

The “cut flower” society

God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him.
Genesis 1:27.

The “cut flower” society
In 1944 a professor of Stanford University, U.S.A., made the following comparison:

“The great danger of our age is that we belong to a ʻcut flowerʼ society. However beautiful cut flowers are and whatever ideas we have for keeping them, they must die. They die because they have been separated from their nourishing roots.” Then comes the comparison:

“We try to preserve the dignity of the individual, ignoring the fundamental belief that everyone is made in the...More

Friday, July 1, 2022

In the books of the Bible written by the apostle John light is...

The true light was that which, coming into the world, lightens every man.
John 1:9 (J.N.D.).

In the books of the Bible written by the apostle John light is an important subject alongside life and love. In John’s gospel we read that Christ said of Himself: “I am the light of the world” (ch. 8:12).
What does this imagery mean? In the first place, another statement by John helps us: “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). In the Bible darkness stands for evil, light for what is pure and good. That God is light signifies that God is good absolutely.

By contrast,...More

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Come up here!

Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven. … Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord. … Then I will declare to them, I never knew you.

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

Matthew 7:21-23; Acts 16:31.

Come up here!
On the 30th June 1859 the tightrope walker Charles Blondin crossed the Niagara Falls on a rope 330 metres long before thousands of enthusiastic spectators. He repeated the exploit seventeen times with additional variations: on stilts, pushing a wheelbarrow, with a sack on his shoulders, making perilous jumps etc. It...More

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

When the Jews, who had returned from Babylon, entered...

Though fear had come upon them because of the people of those countries, they (the children of Israel) set the altar on its bases; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the LORD.
Ezra 3:3.

When the Jews, who had returned from Babylon, entered their home town of Jerusalem, a desolate scene of devastation met their eyes. Seventy years previously the soldiers of the new Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar had made a thorough job of the destruction. How forlorn they must have felt amid all those ruins. And it may have been the first time they became properly aware that the present inhabitants of the land regarded...More

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

I just couldn’t!

My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

2 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians 4:13.

I just couldn’t!
Commenting on the expression, “My grace is sufficient for you”, an evangelist confirmed that God’s grace enables us to face anything. One of his listeners sought him out the next day to embarrass him by asking him point-blank:

“Have you the grace to die as a martyr?” – “No,” was the immediate reply, “but today I have the grace to take the meeting for which I have been...More

Monday, June 27, 2022

I am (8)

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

I am (8)
It is exceedingly difficult to define the truth in positive terms. On the other hand, it is relatively easy to say what it is not by using negative phrases. With the help of a man of God with a clear understanding of His Word it is possible to give the following explanation:

The truth is a divine property that serves as a measuring standard, so that everything can be assessed in its actual character, whether it be good or bad, whether men, angels or demons; even God Himself can be...More

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (47)

The officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, Why have you not brought him? The officers answered, No man ever spoke like this man. Then the Pharisees answered, Are you also deceived? Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.
John 7:45-49.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (47)
Jesus’ presence and His sayings enraged people. Some of His opponents wanted to arrest Him. But none dared to do so. Nothing can happen in this world, unless God allows it.

But there was another reason for the failure...More

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Five 14-year-old girls, all friends, were on holiday by the...

I am poor and sorrowful; let your salvation, o God, set me up on high.
Psalm 69:29.

Five 14-year-old girls, all friends, were on holiday by the North Sea. At low tide they were searching for shells in the mud flats and had forgotten the time. High tide came, and the narrow channel through which they had walked, filled with water. The way back to the mainland was cut off.
Ahead of them was an inhabited island that seemed near enough. They set off in that direction. Suddenly they were standing before a shipping channel and saw nothing but water. Only then did they telephone for help. The water was rising...More

Friday, June 24, 2022

Hell and the second death

Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power. … The lake of fire: this is the second death. And anyone not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:6.14.15.

Hell and the second death
In the book of judgments, the Revelation, there is a third expression for hell: “the second death”. What does it mean? Everybody is destined to die once. God had warned Adam that, if he disobeyed, he would die (Genesis 2:17). Since then death has been the earthly end of every human being. Afterwards, as God states,...More

Thursday, June 23, 2022

The reality of hell

Everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

How can you escape the condemnation of hell?

Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Matthew 25:41; 23:33; 1 Thessalonians 1:10.

The reality of hell
You may think this hardly a pleasant subject, and you would be right! But the object of this calendar is not to present a choice of soothing texts, but God’s complete message to mankind. The word “hell” appears frequently in the Bible; so we cannot simply pass over it. We deal with the subject in the light of the Word of God with the wish that no reader should...More

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The privilege and hope of God’s children

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when he is revealed, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
1 John 3:2.

The privilege and hope of God’s children
Believers’ greatest hope might be fulfilled at any moment. Jesus Christ will come again and take His own to be with Him in His Father’s house. Shortly before His return to heaven He assured His disciples: “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” (John 14:3). There in the...More

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, was admittedly in a difficult situation. His...

It happened, when Jehudi had read three or four columns, that the king cut it with the scribe’s knife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the scroll was consumed.
Jeremiah 36:23.

Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, was admittedly in a difficult situation. His land was occupied by the troops of the Babylonian empire, and the capital Jerusalem besieged. At this time the prophet Jeremiah announced the conquering of the city at God’s command. It was a difficult task, for the way despots dealt with unpleasant admonishers and their writings is well known. In this case it was not a message...More

Monday, June 20, 2022

I am (7)

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

I am (7)
Shortly before His death on the cross, the Lord Jesus informed His disciples about His return to His Father’s house, to which He would introduce them at a later point in time. He told them that they knew the way, at which Thomas protested their ignorance of both the destination and the way there. The Lord then pointed out three essentials for attaining the Father’s presence: the proper and exclusive way, the truth and everlasting life.

The significance of knowing the right way...More

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (46)

Many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, Truly this is the prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people because of him. Now some of them wanted to take him, but no-one laid hands on him.
John 7:40-44.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (46)
The wonderful sayings of Jesus and His friendly invitation to come to Him in faith left a deep impression on many people. However, instead of...More

Saturday, June 18, 2022

This story might well bear the title “Ingratitude is the world’s reward.” One...

There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares around it. Now there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no-one remembered that same poor man.
Ecclesiastes 9:14.15.

This story might well bear the title “Ingratitude is the world’s reward.” One might add a few thoughts about our forgetfulness and then go on with our normal routine. But what does it really mean? Simply this: the town represents man’s soul, lonely and defenceless. The great king can be compared to Satan, who is ready to conquer and...More

Friday, June 17, 2022

The screen

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; … o LORD, my God, I will give thanks to you for ever.
Psalm 30:11.12.

The screen
A man who had had a serious accident lay in his hospital bed. There he had plenty of time to consider things. As the prospects of healing were uncertain, he also thought about death.

One day a nurse suddenly put a screen round his bed. The man understood what that meant for him: he had little time left to live.

On the wall opposite his bed hung a text from the Bible: “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you...More

Thursday, June 16, 2022

A certain ruler came to the Lord and asked Him a question that...

A certain ruler asked him, saying, Good teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luke 18:18.

A certain ruler came to the Lord and asked Him a question that occupied him intensely and made him feel uneasy. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” He put the question to Jesus, recognising Him to be a “good teacher” who was able to interpret Old Testament scriptures correctly.

“You know the commandments,” Jesus answered and quoted five examples.

“All these things I have kept from my youth”, replied the ruler.

You still lack one thing,” the Lord Jesus...More

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

How grace teaches us

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.

How grace teaches us
Every time the grace of God leads someone to conversion and faith in the Lord Jesus it gives us a cause for amazement and thanksgiving. It is not our own desert, but sheer grace that saves a sinner from judgment and puts all things right with our holy God. But God’s grace towards the redeemed souls does not end there. It is available for them daily to help and enable...More

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Manaen and Herod

In the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon, … Lucius … (and) Manaen, who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch.
Acts 13:1.

Manaen and Herod
Two names, the first one unknown, the second well known in history. These two men had grown up together. In today’s verse God acquaints us with these two persons. Manaen was a teacher in the early Christian company in Antioch. He had received Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Lord and learned to love and serve Him. He was thus very useful for the early Christians.

Herod, on the other hand,...More

Monday, June 13, 2022

I am (6)

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?
John 11:25.26.

I am (6)
It must have been overpowering for Martha to be confronted with a statement by the Lord Jesus so rich in meaning only a short time after her brother’s death. Martha believed in the resurrection; however, for her it was an event of the future, due to take place at the end of the age. Seeing the resurrection personified before her was something she could not grasp. But her faith came to her aid, for she...More

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (45)

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this he spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
John 7:37-39.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (45)
The Feast of Tabernacles was approaching its end. On the eighth day there was to be a holy convocation for the people of Israel, which was the climax of their joy...More

Saturday, June 11, 2022

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

God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:16.

The apostle John deals with three great subjects in his epistle: life, light and love. He speaks of divine love from experience. When he speaks of himself in his gospel, John calls himself simply “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. He was so full of the assurance that the Son of God loved him! Here are a few aspects of God’s love:

God is love. This is stated in today’s verse. Divine love exceeds all love on a purely human plane, for God’s love has one particular quality: He loves us unreservedly without...More

Friday, June 10, 2022

If one wishes to come to God, must one give up one’s personality or...

This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. And in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.

Repent, and believe in the gospel.

Mark 7:6.7; 1:15.

If one wishes to come to God, must one give up one’s personality or be forced to adapt oneself to the form of a religion?

Not at all! Jesus Christ Himself vehemently opposed compulsory formality and traditions. He reprimanded the religious leaders of His day, who, with their regulations, hindered people from coming to God. Moreover, God created people with varied characters. How could He...More

Thursday, June 9, 2022

God: the Creator and Saviour

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 which are visible.
Hebrews 11:3.

God: the Creator and Saviour
I grew up in an atheistic family. From early on I was taught that religious faith was not only useless but even bad. Like my father, who was a scientist, I totally rejected any form of religiousness or spirituality. I myself became a biochemist.

Today I am a Christian, and have a profound sense of God’s grace. The redeeming power of the Lord Jesus never fails to astound me.

What led me...More

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Who is Jesus?

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

Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God.

John 1:18; Roman 9:5.

Who is Jesus?
Some years ago a book appeared entitled “How did Jesus become God?” The way this title presents Jesus Christ is entirely false; the Bible states the very opposite: God became Man in Jesus, His only begotten Son. Indeed, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). This verse, which is the basis of Christian faith, contains a truth that is surprising and a...More

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Anne is feeling uneasy this evening. She lives in a remotely situated...

Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

Before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.

Psalm 50:15; Isaiah 65:24.

Anne is feeling uneasy this evening. She lives in a remotely situated house. Her husband and son left the house in the morning. Now a heavy storm has forced her to seek other accommodation for the night.

The thought of having to spend the night alone only increases Anne’s fear. Doubtful figures have been roaming about the neighbourhood recently. So Anne knelt down and asked God for protection. She...More

Monday, June 6, 2022

Since that memorable day of Pentecost almost 2,000 years ago, when the...

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
Romans 8:16.

Since that memorable day of Pentecost almost 2,000 years ago, when the Holy Spirit was “poured out” upon the apostles, all Christians have received the Holy Spirit by laying claim to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ in faith (Acts 2:33; Ephesians 1:13).
The gift of the Holy Spirit has an extremely blessed effect in every department of a Christian’s life. Through the Spirit of God

  • they are testified to be children of God;

  • they have free access to God in prayer...More

    Sunday, June 5, 2022

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

    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, the Jewish harvest festival, was celebrated in Jerusalem. It was one of the three great feasts, at which...More

    Saturday, June 4, 2022

    The purpose of our conscience

    Give to your servant an understanding heart … that I may discern between good and evil.

    How much more shall the blood of Christ … cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

    1 Kings 3:9; Hebrews 9:14.

    The purpose of our conscience
    To distinguish between good and evil we need a moral sense organ, a kind of measuring instrument. But every measuring instrument has to be calibrated to give a correct reading. Our conscience can be good, weak, burdened or hardened, and also needs an established standard, which we do not have in ourselves.

    Take this example:...More

    Friday, June 3, 2022

    Paul White was a missionary doctor in the land known today as...

    As the children have partaken of flesh and blood, he himself (Jesus) likewise shared in the same, that through death he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
    Hebrews 2:14.15.

    Paul White was a missionary doctor in the land known today as Tanzania. One evening a whirlwind blew over the steppe and damaged the roof of the men’s ward. White described it as follows:

    “Two Africans lay in the ward with broken legs. One was almost healed and could already walk about, but the other was...More

    Thursday, June 2, 2022


    O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your possessions.
    Psalm 104:24.

    The last known male white rhinoceros died in March 2018. This species, of which only two females remain; is in danger of dying out. “When I hear of the destruction of a species, for me it is like all the works of a great writer disappearing”, said Theodore Roosevelt.

    We do not know which writer he was thinking of. But are not the vegetal and animal species, in their extraordinary diversity, the works of God, that “great writer”? Each species...More

    Wednesday, June 1, 2022

    What hinders us?

    You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
    Galatians 5:7.

    What hinders us?
    A Christian’s life is often compared with a race in the Bible. The thought of soon being with our Lord spurs us on to run towards the heavenly goal with all our energy.

    However, it frequently happens that we slow up on the way to heaven or even come to a stop.

    There are various reaons for this.

    Pehaps we have committed some sin and are not prepared to put things in order with God and other people. With our conscience weighing on our mind, we lack both the strength and the joy...More

    Tuesday, May 31, 2022

    A gigantic image with feet of clay

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

    The earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

    Matthew 24:35; 2 Peter 3:10.

    A gigantic image with feet of clay
    Our title describes something that appears to be solid but in fact is very fragile. It is taken from an account in the Bible (Daniel ch. 2). Nebuchadnezzar, the head of the Chaldean empire, had a strange dream. He saw a great statue made of four different parts. The prophet Daniel was able to explain its meaning to him. He said that this giant with feet of clay represented four different...More

    Monday, May 30, 2022

    I am (5)

    I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. … I am the good shepherd; and I know my sheep, and am known by my own.
    John 10:11.14.

    I am (5)
    What love there must have been in the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life for His sheep! David, Israel’s great king, had, as a boy, chased after a lion and a bear to snatch a lamb from their jaws, but that is a poor illustration of the love and devotion of the Saviour for the sheep of His flock, for through God’s preservation David managed to kill both the lion and the bear and escape with his life. To deliver...More

    Sunday, May 29, 2022

    Thoughts on the Gospel of John (44)

    The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him. Then Jesus said to them, I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to him who sent me. You will seek me and not find me, and where I am you cannot come. Then the Jews said among themselves, Where does he intend to go that we shall not find him? Does he intend to go to the dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? What is this thing that he said: You will seek me and not find me, and where I am you cannot come?
    John 7:32-36.

    Thoughts on the Gospel of...More

    Saturday, May 28, 2022

    Free of charge – but at what a cost!

    You were bought at a price.

    You … have redeemed us to God by your blood.

    1 Corinthians 6:20; Revelation 5:9.

    Free of charge – but at what a cost!
    We occasionally hear: “It’s too easy to say that it’s enough to believe to be saved!” We could reply: “Too easy for whom: for man, or for God?”

    In love God welcomes man just as he is, a sinner, and gives him eternal life. He makes him His child in order to receive him in His heaven. What does He demand in return? Only faith and trust. Believing is the simplest means of salvation there could be. It is within the grasp...More

    Friday, May 27, 2022

    It was dark, but the barrier tempted them and was easy to overcome. So...

    There is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.
    Luke 2:11.

    It was dark, but the barrier tempted them and was easy to overcome. So the two youths set about exploring the abandoned building site. Then one of them stumbled but held on to his companion and pulled him down with him into the soft mud of the excavated pit.

    In his panic the one shouted to the other, “Help me! Get me out of this! I’m up to my knees in this muck!” But the other one snorted, “You fool! I’m stuck just as much as you!” Neither of them could get free; so they had to shout for...More

    Thursday, May 26, 2022

    In His great love toward mankind the Son of God humbled Himself in...

    Therefore God also has highly exalted him and given him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on 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.

    In His great love toward mankind the Son of God humbled Himself in a twofold manner: Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God and Creator of the world became Man, entered His creation and lived on this earth. Then He went to the cross and voluntarily sacrificed His life for us. For that...More

    Wednesday, May 25, 2022

    A heroic act

    David said with longing, Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate.
    2 Samuel 23:15.

    A heroic act
    After David had expressed his wish, three of his faithful companions became active: “The three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate, and took it and brought it to David” (v. 16).

    Their names are unknown and should remain so. But the action of these three heroes of David’s motivate every Christian to emulate them in the discipleship of the...More

    Tuesday, May 24, 2022

    Some time ago the case of a 23-year-old student caused a...

    You who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit; whereas 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. Instead you ought to say, If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.
    James 4:13-15.

    Some time ago the case of a 23-year-old student caused a sensation. She had become infected with the so-called lassa fever on a journey through West Africa. During the final days of her journey she had not felt well and had therefore returned to Europe...More

    Monday, May 23, 2022

    I am (4)

    I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
    John 10:9.

    I am (4)
    We all know what a useful function doors have. We could not do without them; every day we use them to gain access to buildings, rooms and cupboards, or to secure our private domain against undesirable visitors. How good it is that the Lord Jesus regarded Himself as an ever open door when He uttered the words of the verse above. Everyone may enter to be saved and thus come into the security enjoyed by the entire flock of the Good Shepherd, for He Himself tends and guards it. If we...More

    Sunday, May 22, 2022

    Thoughts on the Gospel of John (43)

    Then Jesus cried out, as he taught in the temple, saying, You both know me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of myself, but he who sent me is true, whom you do not know. But I know him, for I am from him, and he sent me. Therefore they sought to take him; but no-one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. And many of the people believed in him, and said, When the Christ comes, will he do more signs than these which this man has done?
    John 7:28-31.

    Thoughts on the Gospel of John (43)
    Some inhabitants of Jerusalem thought they knew where Jesus had come from. But they...More

    Saturday, May 21, 2022

    Life without an end?

    The LORD kills and makes alive.

    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.

    1 Samuel 2:6; John 3:36.

    Life without an end?
    Extracts from a recent journal: “A Californian company has just unveiled a research project that visualises discovering secrets of human health. … The company’s objective is to extend the limit of ageing and even of death thanks to new technology. We could then detect early on any anomalies in the human body, so as to correct them and prolong life to the point of...More

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Two centurions in the gospels (1)

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.

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

Matthew 8:8; Ephesians 2:8.

Two centurions in the gospels (1)
One would hardly expect to find two captains of the Roman legion in the gospels. Being used to commanding, they were not gentle, and their role in the occupational army didn’t seem suitable to turn them to Jesus, that Jew despised even by His compatriots.

The first of them was...More

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The love of money

If riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content, … for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

Psalm 62:10; 1 Timothy 6:7-10.

The love of money
When the passion for money occupies someone, he will never be satisfied, for money cannot bring true peace of mind, being a deceitful power. It claims to ensure security, but does not keep its promises.

Money, moreover, works havoc in man’s heart; it wins his confidence, but...More

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

“All this I must leave behind!”

When one becomes rich, when the glory of his house is increased; ... when he dies he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him.
Psalm 49:16.17.

“All this I must leave behind!”
Jules Mazarin (1602-1661), the French cardinal and diplomat, was the minister ruling over France for a long period. He built up an enormous fortune through his income from numerous offices. In Paris he had his own palace built to accommodate his extensive library and many valuable paintings.

Shortly before Mazarin’s death the Count of Brienne witnessed how he once again had dragged...More

Monday, May 16, 2022

I am (3)

I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.
John 8:12.

I am (3)
Almost the whole of Europe was enveloped in total darkness nightly during World War II. If the moon and stars disappeared behind the clouds, people ran the risk of colliding with persons and objects everywhere in the streets. As a result of our modern street lighting hardly anyone knows what real darkness is.

It is just as black inside the human heart: not a ray of divine light can penetrate, unless the Lord Jesus dwells there. Scripture says of Him: “That was the...More

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (42)

Some of them from Jerusalem said, Is this not he whom they seek to kill? But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ? However, we know where this man is from; but when the Christ comes, no-one knows where he is from.
John 7:25-27.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (42)
What the Lord had taught publicly aroused amazement among some citizens of Jerusalem. They clearly knew that the Jewish leaders wished to kill Him (cf. John 5:18), in contrast to the multitude who could hardly believe that anyone had such an intention (cf. v. 20). Did...More

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Jesus Christ is God

Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.

1 John 5:20; 2 Corinthians 5:19.

Jesus Christ is God
Jesus Christ is not a “superman”, the greatest philosopher, the wisest of men, the most revered of the founders of religions – He is God, but He took a body like ours. For human beings this is a unique, incomprehensible fact. He was born, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit. That is why it is a serious matter to refuse Jesus Christ: it means refusing God. However, believing in Him is the door to a relationship with...More

Friday, May 13, 2022

From darkness to light (2)

He (God) is gracious to him and says, Deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom.
Job 33:24.

From darkness to light (2)
“The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). I re-read those words and said, “That doesn’t apply to a murderer like me!”

The following night I had the greatest struggle of my life. My heart called to God for mercy, and He answered me. I found peace in the morning. God gave me the assurance that Jesus had died for my sins, too. So I was ready to go into death with the Lord Jesus.

The death sentence...More

Thursday, May 12, 2022

From darkness to light (1)

Blessed be the LORD God, … who only does wondrous things!
Psalm 72:18.

From darkness to light (1)
When I once visited a prisoner under sentence of death in the condemned cell, I wondered at the gleam on his face. He then told me his story:

“Three years ago I was sentenced to death for murder. After the sentence was pronounced I returned to my cell, which became a living hell for me. The thought of approaching death plagued me day and night. I still had a few weeks to live, then certain death, then: eternity!

The more I tried to rid myself of the thought, the more it...More

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Three consequences

We glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance character; and character hope. Now hope does not disappoint.
Romans 5:3-5.

Three consequences
The Lord Jesus has not promised us an easy life. We go through much tribulation that God has sent or permitted to test our faith.

When it states” “We glory in tribulations”, it does not mean that the difficulties we experience bring us joy. That would not be rational. It rather signifies that we should rejoice over the positive effects that it has on our life.

The apostle indicates three...More

Tuesday, May 10, 2022


It pleased God … to save those who believe.

He (Jesus) is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him.

1 Corinthians 1:21; Hebrews 7:25.

If you are being swept away by a river in flood, you need someone to save you. If you find yourself in a building on fire without being able to escape, you need someone to save you. If you are in debt and cannot pay, you ask for aid. These examples are the type of deliverance that the Bible alludes to, when it states that God saves those who believe.

What does Jesus save us from? He rescues us from the flood...More

Monday, May 9, 2022

I am (2)

I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger. … If anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever.
John 6:35.51.

I am (2)
Bread is proverbially the staff of life. In the figurative sense in which the Lord Jesus compares Himself with bread, He is more than a mere support. He is life itself. Having once tasted of Him, one never experiences hunger again. That does not simply mean that any appetite for other things, such as various forms of entertainment, is overcome. Hunger is satisfied once for all time, for this inexhaustible form of nourishment contains life instead of merely...More

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (41)

Jesus answered and said to them, I did one work, and you all marvel. Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.
John 7:21-24.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (41)
Let us again consider the situation in which Jesus found Himself here. He was concerned solely with being God’s...More

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Corporate worship

On the first day of the week … the disciples came together to break bread.
Acts 20:7.

Corporate worship
Do we gather together every Sunday, the Lord’s Day, to keep His feast of remembrance according to His wish? If so, can our hearts be unaffected when we consider that God the Father sent His only begotten Son to earth, giving Him into death, and that the Son came voluntarily to accomplish the great work of redemption amid all the suffering connected with it?

Our hearts must surely wish to respond by praising and worshipping both Father and Son for their grace and mercy. The Holy...More

Friday, May 6, 2022

Although Carmen, a young lady, appeared to be healthy, she was...

Seek the LORD, while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.

Incline your ear, and come to me, hear, and your soul shall live.

Isaiah 55:6.3.

Although Carmen, a young lady, appeared to be healthy, she was desperately unhappy. She had been made aware that she was a sinner. She knew that, should she die, she would have to face God with her guilt. So for some time she lived with the fear of dying. A friend advised her to attend the concert of a famous musician to drive away her sombre thoughts. Although she had her doubts, she was finally persuaded and went.

She hadn’t noted the...More

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Jesus Christ is “the Prince of life”; He said of...

Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over him.
Romans 6:9.

Jesus Christ is “the Prince of life”; He said of Himself: “I am … the life” (Acts 3:15; John 14:6). There was a time when death had briefly “dominion” over Him. Jesus never merited death, which is the consequence of sin. As He never sinned, but was absolutely holy and righteous, He was, in contrast to all other human beings, not inevitably subject to death.

So why was there a time when death had “dominion” over Him? It was because Jesus Himself voluntarily bore...More

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

“Saul! Saul!”

Suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? So I answered, Who are you, Lord? And he said to me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.
Acts 22:6-8.

“Saul! Saul!”
The narrative: Young and full of ardour, Saul thought “he must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth” (Acts 26:9). He persecuted Christians to the point of having them killed. But when he went to Damascus to prosecute them, a dazzling light shone from heaven and he heard: “Saul, Saul, why are...More

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The man sitting in front of me was one of the richest...

To him who does not work but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.
Romans 4:5.

The man sitting in front of me was one of the richest and best known persons in the district. He started the conversation by saying, “You are speaking to the greatest criminal in the town.” My spontaneous reply was, “Thank God!” He jumped up from his chair. “What? You are pleased that I am the greatest criminal?” – “No, no,” I calmed Him down, “but I am glad to be talking to someone who knows and admits that he is a sinner.”

“Well,” he said, “so...More

Monday, May 2, 2022

I am (1)

Jesus said to them, Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.
John 8:58.

I am (1)
This verse was the concluding statement of the controversy with the Lord Jesus, in which the Jews denied His deity and heavenly origin. They recognised His words quoted from the Lord’s answer to Moses’ question as to his authorisation when He approached the children of Israel with the promise of deliverance from their bondage in Egypt: “I am that I am.” The Jews acknowledged Moses’ mission as God-given, but as soon as Jesus Christ asserted His deity, they showed their true condition of heart....More

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (40)

He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill me? The people answered and said, You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill you?
John 7:18-20.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (40)
During the period of the Feast of Tabernacles Jesus’ teaching surprised the Jewish leaders. He had never been seen in the Pharisees’ schools. Jesus explained to them that He was One sent to propagate God’s doctrine.


Saturday, April 30, 2022

In many practical matters of life moderation or...

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

In many practical matters of life moderation or “the golden mean” is advisable, and rightly so. However, there are issues in which any thought of taking a neutral position is out of the question. When it is a matter of eternal truths and the way to seek God, there are no alternatives. In Matthew 7 the Lord Jesus Christ speaks of

a broad and a narrow way,
a wide and a narrow gate,
a bad and a good tree,
a foolish and a wise man,
a house built on sand and one built...More

Friday, April 29, 2022

He had never seen his mother’s face, neither the sun, nor...

One thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see.
John 9:25.

He had never seen his mother’s face, neither the sun, nor a flower. He had never been able to cast a glance at himself or see his own face in a mirror, because he had been blind from birth.
He earned his living by begging. When he reached home every evening, he couldn’t see how dirty he had become from the dust in the streets of Jerusalem.

There he was again begging, when Jesus passed by. The blind man did not notice the Saviour looking at him. He did not realise that he was the centre of attention; then he felt clay being...More

Thursday, April 28, 2022

In the reports in the gospels we read of a young man who...

The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. ... But you ... flee these things.

What profit is it to a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?

1 Timothy 6:10.11; Matthew 16:26.

In the reports in the gospels we read of a young man who was exceedingly rich and, at the same time, of an exemplary moral standing, which is not always the case. What then did he lack? The decisive thing: eternal life. There he was, standing before the One who could grant it, Jesus, the Son of God. He needed to take only a single step, but he didn’t do so; instead he went away sad (cf. Matthew...More

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The Christians in Colosse were in grave danger of being...

In him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Colossians 2:9.

The Christians in Colosse were in grave danger of being deceived by the influence of false teachers who sought to draw them away from the Lord. It was not so much a question of their giving up their faith in Christ as of placing other things alongside Him, such as philosophy (human wisdom), traditions (commandments and man’s doctrine) and other elements (worshipping angels). That would result in their losing sight of Him as the Head.
God met this development by showing the Colossians through the apostle Paul the pre-eminence that the...More

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

In order to clarify the meaning of the gospel, the good news, the...

I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.
Romans 1:16.

In order to clarify the meaning of the gospel, the good news, the apostle Paul makes some significant statements about it right at the beginning of his epistle to the Romans. He calls it “the gospel of God”, and points out that God Himself is the author or the source of this good news. And since it is about the message of His Son, Jesus Christ, it is also called “the gospel of his Son” (v. 9).

The main subject and central point of the gospel is the Son of God, the Lord...More

Monday, April 25, 2022

No-one had expected that! The manager, up to then so...

O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins.
Daniel 4:27.

No-one had expected that! The manager, up to then so influential and successful, had fallen from grace through some dubious business and was dismissed from the firm from one day to the next. “The time after that was dreadful,” he said. “I should not like to experience the first six to eight weeks again.” That he was suddenly without a secretary and a chauffeur was the least of his troubles.

Others before him have fared much worse. Powerful rulers have lost all their possessions and had to eke out an existence by...More

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (39)

Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How does this man know letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone wills to do his will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on my own authority.
John 7:14-17.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (39)
The Feast of Tabernacles lasted seven days (Leviticus 23:34). Halfway through Jesus entered the temple area to teach the people. It was not to obtain public recognition, nor to catch...More

Saturday, April 23, 2022

An angel announced the name that the Son of God should...

You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21.

An angel announced the name that the Son of God should bear on earth long before His birth: Jesus. The name itself reveals God’s wondrous plan, for Jesus means: the Lord is salvation.” That was precisely the point of His coming into the world. So God became Man in the Person of Jesus. He wished to “save his people from their sins”.

In the first place Christ came to His earthly people Israel, who had strayed far from God. Did they even know that they were His people, the people of the living God? By no...More

Friday, April 22, 2022

During the reign of terror of the Red Khmer in Cambodia...

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

God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God.

Today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts
Job 33:14; Psalm 62:11; Hebrews 3:7.

During the reign of terror of the Red Khmer in Cambodia Song had to flee to Thailand to escape genocide. Of the twenty-five companions on the dangerous road to exile only seven reached their destination after surviving the most difficult conditions. All the others died or were killed on the journey.

Song then spent four years in a refugee...More

Thursday, April 21, 2022

In John 19, vv. 1-16 we see Jesus Christ at His trial before the...

Pilate then went out again, and said to them, Behold, I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in him....Then he delivered him to them to be crucified.
John 19:4.16.

In John 19, vv. 1-16 we see Jesus Christ at His trial before the Roman governor Pilate.

The atmosphere is hostile towards the accused. In the course of the proceedings Pilate repeatedly stated that Jesus was innocent (cf. John 18:38; 19:4.6). But it was all to no avail. It became clearer and clearer that the accusers, the religious leadership of Israel, wanted to be rid of this troublesome Man. They put...More

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The tribe of the Levites had a privileged place among the...

The Levites...shall carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they shall attend to it and camp around the tabernacle.
Numbers 1:50.

The tribe of the Levites had a privileged place among the people of God. God had sanctified them for Himself. Their assignment stood in connection with the tabernacle, God’s dwelling among His people. This tent, which could be dismantled, had to accompany the people on their wilderness journey. One of the most important tasks of the Levites was to carry the tabernacle and its furnishings.

All that is written in the Old Testament is intended as an example for our...More

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The trial of the Lord Jesus Christ revealed irregular...

Again the high priest asked him, saying to him, Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? Jesus said, I am.
Mark 14:61.62.

The trial of the Lord Jesus Christ revealed irregular legal proceedings indeed! The religious leaders try the case against the innocent One during the night, and the sentence of death has already been decided. Only the reason for the verdict has to be found. Enough witnesses appear, but that was insufficient for the verdict, as they contradicted one another. For all their astute argumentation, probably discussed beforehand, God did not allow His Son to be declared guilty for...More

Monday, April 18, 2022

The Egyptain pyramids are famous because the mummified corpses of...

He said to them, Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.
Mark 16:6.

The Egyptain pyramids are famous because the mummified corpses of the Pharaohs are there. In London Westminster Abbey is famous because the mortal remains of English monarchs and many other respected persons rest there. Mohammed’s grave is revered because of the stone coffin and the bones it contains. The well-known heroic burial place, Arlington Cemetery in Washington is famous as the resting-place of many prominent Americans.

Between all...More

Sunday, April 17, 2022

God raised Christ from among the dead! Holy Scripture witnesses this...

Jesus of Nazareth ... whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be held by it.
Acts 2:22.24.

God raised Christ from among the dead! Holy Scripture witnesses this fact just as clearly as it emphasises painstakingly elsewhere that Jesus Himself rose again in the power of an endless life (cf. John 2:19, 10:18; Hebrews 7:16).

This second aspect is connected with His being the Son of God (Romans 1:4), while the former truth stresses His perfect manhood. So Peter, too, here speaks of the Man Christ Jesus, the Man whom the Jews had “taken by lawless...More

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Normally people are reticent to speak derisively of the...

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

Normally people are reticent to speak derisively of the dead; their natural feelings hinder them. But when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered agonizing pains while hanging on the cross, He was a target for man’s contempt.

It was not only the soldiers and the common people who scorned Him there, but, above all, the leaders of His people, too. They had seen how He had saved others, yet they refused to accept that He had performed those miracles with divine authority and...More

Friday, April 15, 2022

It was a shameful place where the Lord Jesus sacrificed...

When Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. Having said this, he breathed his last.
Luke 23:46.

It was a shameful place where the Lord Jesus sacrificed His life: on the cross between two criminals. People had taken Him there, yet He had gone voluntarily. They had wanted to kill Him more than once, but He had passed through their midst.

Now His hour had come. Of His own accord, He took our place in the judgment of God. He did not die like the criminals who breathed their last amid the cruel ill-treatment of the Roman soldiers. He had refused the...More

Thursday, April 14, 2022

At first sight one might think that there is no connection between...

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; he calls them all by name.
Psalm 147:3.4.

At first sight one might think that there is no connection between these two verses. However, it is the very order of these verses that gives us courage. We might think that we were of no significance for God among the milllions of people. Yet He reminds us that He knows each one of the much greater number of the stars.

Dear reader, you are not only of statistical importance for God: He not only knows your name, but also the innermost state of your soul, which no-one in...More

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Who can imagine himself in Joseph’s situation here! Though...

Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, ... where the king’s prisoners were confined.
Genesis 39:20.

Who can imagine himself in Joseph’s situation here! Though innocent, Joseph was condemned on the ground of a base lie. This must be one of the hardest trials to bear. Yet we read of no word by which he sought to justify himself. His life was in the hand of God who never errs in His leading and whose word eventually “tested him” (Psalm 105:19). Joseph never lost sight of this fact.
Peter wrote (1 Peter 2:19.20): “This is commendable, if because of conscience toward God, one...More

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

In the 1980’s several French journalists and diplomats were...

Who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?
Psalm 18:31.

In the 1980’s several French journalists and diplomats were hostages for several months or even years. They lived in extremely difficult conditions. Some of them tell of their spiritual experiences during this long imprisonment.
Roger Auques states: “The kidnappers allowed me to keep my Bible. ... My time as a hostage was necessary to make me think about God again. God is a rock, as it says in the psalms.”

Marcel Carton reports: “I don’t know how many times I read the same novels, but also and especially the...More

Monday, April 11, 2022

The eternal God, the Creator of heaven and earth has...

All scripture is given by inspiration of God.

Prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21.

The eternal God, the Creator of heaven and earth has revealed Himself to mankind. In creation itself His eternal power and Godhead can be clearly seen (Romans 1:21).

In addition, God has made His presence known again and again in the course of world history by His sayings and actions, particularly in connection with His earthly people.

However, we see the greatest revelation of God in His Son, Jesus...More

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (38)

When his brothers had gone up, then he also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought him at the feast and said, Where is he? And there was much complaining among the people concerning him. Some said, He is good; others said, No, on the contrary, he deceives the people. However, no-one spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews.
John 7:10-13.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (38)
Hadn’t Jesus told His brothers, “I am not yet going up to this feast”, when they suggested that He should go to Jerusalem? Indeed He had. And He went nevertheless. We should not,...More

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Harold Hestekind, a missionary in China, was cycling down a...

We know that all things work together for good to those who love God.
Romans 8:28.

Harold Hestekind, a missionary in China, was cycling down a street in Shanghai. His wife was following him. Suddenly she cried out, “Harold!” He looked round and saw that she had been knocked down and had fallen under a bus. Harold could only pray, “O God, stop the wheels!” And the bus stopped with the rear wheels directly behind his wife. Some policemen ran up and took down the details of the accident.

Mrs Hestekind was taken to hospital where they discovered that she had a severe, but not life-threatening...More

Friday, April 8, 2022

Many people who have come to the Lord Jesus Christ cannot...

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.
John 5:24.

Many people who have come to the Lord Jesus Christ cannot rid themselves of the doubt whether they might not be lost again. They do not dare to respond with a definite “No!” They think of their weak faith in everyday life, their failures and wrongdoings; then doubts arise as to whether eternal life can never be lost.
Now the Bible states in Romans 11:29: “The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” God will...More

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Stephen, 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.

Stephen, a small African boy, was seven years old when his mother left him. Her son soon lived on the streets. He satisfied his hunger from white people’s waste bins and slept under a bridge. At the age of fourteen he joined a violent gang and later a Marxist organisation that sought to liberate the land and gave him the task of causing unrest among the population of his town.

On the edge of the town a tent mission was taking place. Armed with petrol bombs Stephen, now 19 years old, mixed in with those...More

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

The Lord Jesus had spent a troublesome night. One of...

They ... put a scarlet robe on him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on his head.
Matthew 27:28.29.

The Lord Jesus had spent a troublesome night. One of His disciples had betrayed Him, another had denied Him. More than once the high priests had interrogated Him before the Sanhedrin (the Jews’ council), then finally pronounced His death sentence. Then daybreak came.

In order to prevail with their plan of having Jesus killed, they took Him to Pilate, for the sentence could not be carried out without the Roman governor’s consent. He had to pass judgment. Although convinced of...More

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

David had felt God’s nearness and preservation both in...

He restores my soul.
Psalm 23:3

David had felt God’s nearness and preservation both in good and bad times, especially when he was in great danger. However, his faith was not always so strong that he could endure difficulties without sensing defeat. Occasionally he became despondent when fleeing from king Saul; he did not put absolute trust in God.

David once said that he would one day suffer death at the hands of Saul, even if God had anointed him king. Discouraged, he and his 600 faithful followers fled to the Philistines, the enemies of the people of God, and there led a life of deceit and...More

Monday, April 4, 2022

Many people have indeed forgotten God. They...

Consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
Psalm 50:22.

Many people have indeed forgotten God. They no longer reckon with Him, nor do they want to know anything about Him. But God is there. He inquires after His creatures; He is not indifferent as to their fate. He does not want them to fall a victim to judgment without any hope of salvation, which must confront all who ignore Him.
We can already see the consequences of this conscious rejection of God: “Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to...More

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (37)

Then Jesus said to them, My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify of it that its works are evil. You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come. When he had said these things to them, he remained in Galilee.
John 7:6-9.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (37)
Jesus’ brothers had told Him to go to Jerusalem to give proof of His supernatural abilities. He should win everyone over to Himself and liberate the people from the Romans.

“My time has not yet come”, the...More

Saturday, April 2, 2022

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

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 love of God our Saviour 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, lived among the Bantu peoples for five decades by the Orange River. His abilities as a farmer, gardener, carpenter and smith helped him to make contact with...More

Friday, April 1, 2022

Today’s verse from the Bible comes from one of...

Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
Matthew 22:12.

Today’s verse from the Bible comes from one of the parables that the Lord Jesus Christ told so as to explain clearly to His listeners things not easily envisaged. The issue here is: what condition must be fulfilled for someone to spend eternity in God’s presence in heaven?
A king wished to give a wedding feast for his son. Special guests were invited, but despite being asked twice to attend, they did not come. Their daily routine was more important. So they disdained the privilege.

Now the...More

Thursday, March 31, 2022

The end of the world

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9.

The end of the world
Many scientists agree that the beginning of our universe was a kind of gigantic explosion. Others have come to the conclusion that if there was a sudden start, there will probably be a sudden end, too.

We do not need complex scientific calculations to confirm the declarations of the Creator Himself. We read in the first verse of the Bible: “In the beginning God created the...More

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

True greatness

Our Lord Jesus Christ, … though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich.

The Son of God … loved me and gave himself for me.

2 Corinthians 8:9; Galatians 2:20.

True greatness
Some years ago a humanitarian charity made contact with a former president of the United States, requesting that he should undertake certain responsibilities for them. He accepted their offer, but to their surprise stated that he would prefer manual work to an important post on the committee. That man, who had governed one of the biggest countries in the...More

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Two or three years of my life

None of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

Christ … has loved us and given himself for us.

Acts 20:24; Ephesians 5:2.

Two or three years of my life
In June 2012 an Italian footballer declared: “I would willingly give two or three years of my life for a place in the final of the European Cup.” The passion for the game and perhaps the personal glory that he might get from it dominated his whole life.

Such an...More

Monday, March 28, 2022

God’s plan

Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin.

Our Saviour Jesus Christ … has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Romans 5:12; 2 Timothy 1:10.

God’s plan
Countless people do not believe in God. Others believe only in a “God of love” who would not interfere with people’s lives. However, God does not want us to have a vague idea of Him, for He has plans for us, and for each one in particular. Certain people suppose that the end of life is “going to heaven” but their knowledge about it goes no further.


Sunday, March 27, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (36)

Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brothers therefore said to him, Depart from here and go into Judea, that your disciples also may see the works that you are doing. For no-one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world. For even his brothers did not believe in him.
John 7:2-5.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (36)
There were three great annual feasts in Israel: the Passover, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles, which was the last in the Jewish year. During this joyful feast Israelites dwelt in...More

Saturday, March 26, 2022

In dire trouble

About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Matthew 27:46.

In dire trouble
On the cross of Calvary Jesus Christ suffered excruciating pains. For three hours He had suffered under the scornful eyes and contemptuous calls of a crowd of curious onlookers.

At twelve o’clock midday the sun darkened. Three further horrific hours followed. No-one dared to utter a word. During this period of time God poured out His judgment on His own Son, who “bore our sins in his own body on the tree” (1...More

Friday, March 25, 2022

The son I lost

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

He who did not spare his own Son but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

John 3:16; Romans 8:32.

The son I lost
There were two trials in court that morning: first of all a thick, incriminating dossier on an accident that cost the life of a 23-year-old young man. Then a young delinquent of the age of 23, a habitual thief, was brought before the judge. He explained that he had been brought up in a home for...More

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Have you forgotten Him?

My son, give attention to my words, incline your ear to my sayings. … Keep them in the midst of you heart; for they are life to those who find them.
Proverbs 4:20-22.

Have you forgotten Him?
Stop complaining! God has created a wonderful, varied world with sun and snow, the sea for your sense of adventure, the desert for your understanding of immensity and the trees and flowers for their beauty. What do you make of these things?

He has given you simple advice for leading your life: “Do not steal; do not kill; honour your father and mother.” Have you kept it?

He promises...More

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Christ in the place of honour

He put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Ephesians 1:22.23.

Christ in the place of honour
With the work of redemption accomplished, God raised the Lord Jesus up from among the dead, received Him in heaven and accorded Him the place at His right hand. There God had set Him in the highest possible position: Christ stands, as a Man, over the mighty angels in heaven and over all human beings on earth.

His pre-eminence will be visible to all in the future, when the Lord Jesus appears...More

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

A slip of paper

The scripture says, Whoever believes on him will not be put to shame.
Romans 10:11.

A slip of paper
A man once said to a Christian who was doing pastoral work, “I refuse to believe in Jesus Christ, because I have been cheated in financial affairs by someone who called himself a Christian.” – “Is that the only reason?” the pastor asked. “Yes!” The other retorted. – “Then I suggest that we take that down in writing.” He took out his notebook and wrote: “The reason why I am not a Christian is that someone who claimed to be a Christian robbed me out of some money.” He tore the...More

Monday, March 21, 2022

The great choice

See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. … I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life.
Deuteronomy 30:15.19.

The great choice
Life involves an uninterrupted succession of choices to make. They may have to do with the present or the future, merely concerning insignificant daily problems or, on the contrary, they may extend over our whole life and, what is extremely earnest, our eternal future.

If you do not know God, you resemble a traveller who has reached a road junction. There are two roads before you to choose from....More

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (35)

Jesus answered them, Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray him, being one of the twelve. After these things Jesus walked in Galilee, for he did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.
John 6:70-7:1.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (35)
How the Lord Jesus must have rejoiced when His disciples told Him that they intended to stand by Him! They said: “We have come to believe and know that you are the Christ”, the Holy One of God (v. 69). Yet they had to remember that it was...More

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Pharisees and Herodians on the same course – what a...

Some of the Pharisees and the Herodians … said to him, Teacher, we know that you are true, and care about no-one; for you do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth.
Mark 12:13.14.

Pharisees and Herodians on the same course – what a remarkable coalition! The Pharisees were zealous about the law of Moses and the religious Jews’ traditions that had been added over the centuries, whereas the Herodians were probably officials of the tetrarch Herod Antipas, who ruled over Galilee.

Now a legation of both groups was on a common mission. Before they came out with their...More

Friday, March 18, 2022

A pointed sermon

Therefore you are inexcusable, o man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practise the same things.
Romans 2:1.

A pointed sermon
“I enjoyed your sermon yesterday,” a farmer said, when the pastor visited him. “But there was only one thing: I wish that you had preached even more pointedly. But please don’t take offence.”

“No, indeed! Perhaps the sermon could have been more pointed.” – “Yes, especially when you spoke about conversion and greed. You wouldn’t believe what skinflints we have in the...More

Thursday, March 17, 2022

The decision that the leaders of the Jews had to make...

The governor answered and said to them, Which of the two do you want me to release to you? They said, Barabbas.
Matthew 27:21.

The decision that the leaders of the Jews had to make would have great consequences: Jesus or Barabbas? Barabbas was a terrorist, a robber who had participated in a revolt and committed murder in it, too. The Romans made short work of robbers and rebels: it meant death by crucifixion. So Barabbas would land in prison and face execution.

Jesus Christ had been condemned to death by the highest court of the Jews for calling Himself the Son of God. Wasn’t He the Son of God? Hadn’t...More

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Now and afterwards

No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:11.

Now and afterwards
In Hebrews 12 the educational dealings by God, our heavenly Father, with believers are compared with the upbringing of children by their natural father. But there is one fundamental difference: our God and Father always acts perfectly, whereas earthly fathers can err considerably.

We do, however, recognise one parallel: in both cases the form of correction causes no joy at the time....More

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Why believe the Bible? (2)

The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit.
Hebrews 4:12.

Why believe the Bible? (2)
When we received Jesus Christ into our life as Saviour and Lord, we knew something of the content and message of the Bible. It was not logical proof that made us believe at the time. Having felt the sharpness of the blade, one does not need a formal proof that a sword is really a sword. Nor is it necessary for anyone standing in bright sunlight to ascertain that the sun really exists.

The message of the Bible affected...More

Monday, March 14, 2022

Why believe the Bible? (1)

I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.

From childhood you have known the holy scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15.

Why believe the Bible? (1)
Some of our readers may wonder why so many Christians believe the Bible absolutely. Other religions and philosophies of life also have ancient traditions. There are various answers to this question.

Some Christians have had a similar...More

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (34)

From that time many of his disciples went back and walked with him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, Do you also want to go away? But Simon Peter answered him, Lord, you have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God (or: the Holy One of God J.N.D.).
John 6:66-69.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (34)
Many people had followed Jesus. They had tasted His goodness and wanted to experience more. But when Jesus stated that the natural man by himself can achieve nothing that will please God, they turned away disappointed. It...More

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Victim or victor in temptation?

Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
James 1:14.15.

Victim or victor in temptation?
The Irish author, Oscar Wilde, once wrote: “I can resist anything – except temptation.” It is a sentence full of irony and self-criticism, but it expresses the truth, and not only for himself!

Since the first human couple transgressed God’s commandment, everyone has the inclination to do wrong and evil in himself. That is fatal: when a temptation affects...More

Friday, March 11, 2022

A missionary in Africa made a great effort to convert...

Rejoice in the Lord, always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Philippians 4:4.

A missionary in Africa made a great effort to convert an elderly tribal chief to Christianity. However, the preacher did not know his Bible too well. In his opinion the Christian dogma of faith consisted to a great extent in prohibitions that he endeavoured to put across to the aged chief.
The old man listened patiently. Finally he said, “You are telling me that I must not take my neighbour’s wife.” – “Right!” said the missionary. – “Nor his ivory, nor his oxen?”- “Quite right.” – “And I mustn’t do a war...More

Thursday, March 10, 2022

What distinguishes a Christian?

The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Acts 11:26.

What distinguishes a Christian?
Christians, as the Word of God describes them, are disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, i.e. people who follow Christ and reflect His essential characteristics.
A Christian is someone who has made a radical change in his life: formerly he led his life without God according to his own mind. Now, however, he knows Jesus Christ as His Saviour and Lord; he likes to hear His voice and follows Him (Ephesians 2:1-13; John 10:27).
A Christian has the forgiveness of his sins (Ephesians...More

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

For whom did Christ give Himself?

Christ … has loved us and given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God.

Christ … loved the church and gave himself for her.

The Son of God … loved me and gave himself for me.

Ephesians 5:2.25; Galatians 2:20.

For whom did Christ give Himself?
In the three verses above we read that Christ “gave Himself”, i.e. He gave Himself, body and soul, voluntarily, going as far as the supreme sacrifice, His death on the cross.

“Christ … has given Himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God.” God wished to save the sinners that we were, and Jesus...More

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

It sounded as though the young lady was reciting...

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:12.

It sounded as though the young lady was reciting the recipe for a cake: she believed in some of the Sermon on the Mount, and in some words from the Koran, and also in reincarnation. That summed up her individual faith. She said she had an easy conscience and gave us the impression that she was content.

Is being content with our own thought-out faith sufficient? Isn’t it more important what God thinks of it? Can such a mixture give security in sickness and death? Such...More

Monday, March 7, 2022

A victim of thieves

Jesus … said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
Luke 10:30.

A victim of thieves
The world is God’s creation. However, since the majority of people will not serve God, they have become dependent on Satan. Jesus Christ calls this great adversary “the ruler of this world” (John 12:13). So we need not be surprised, if we “fall among thieves”, as it were, in the world and suffer harm.

We mean primarily harm in our soul. This could be harm that we ourselves...More

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (33)

The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray him. And he said, Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to me unless it has been granted to him by my Father.
John 6:63-65.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (33)
“This is a hard saying!” was the complaint of the people who had first been attracted to Jesus, because His miracles impressed them. However, the Lord pointed out the divine origin of His words: They are “spirit and they are...More

Saturday, March 5, 2022

From Buddhism to Christ (2)

Give me your heart.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Proverbs 23:26; 2 Corinthians 5:17.

From Buddhism to Christ (2)
Sarah’s report continued: “From that day on I regularly attended those meetings of young Christians. I wanted to learn more of this God, who seemed to know me so well. I was astonished to discover that this God takes the first step towards the one suffering, whereas in Buddhism the people have to go to Buddha. Then I also recognised that Jesus died for me on the cross to save me from my...More

Friday, March 4, 2022

“God, if you exist … ” (1)

See, o LORD, that I am in distress; … my heart is overturned within me, for I have been very rebellious.

You drew near on the day I called on you, and said, Do not fear!

Lamentations 1:20; 3:57.

“God, if you exist … ” (1)
This was Sarah’s report: “I was brought up as a Buddhist, but was never convinced of that religion. My mother and I once took part in a Buddhist festival. The people there gave an impression of contentment as they repeated their mantras, whereas I was dreadfully bored. When the time came for blossoms to be strewn before the Buddha, I asked my mother, “Why...More

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Has it ever been your experience that you wanted to...

He … immediately got into the boat with his disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha. Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven, testing him.
Mark 8:10.11.

Has it ever been your experience that you wanted to assist someone, and your help was shamefully refused? When the Lord Jesus Christ visited the towns on the Lake of Gennesareth, He healed the sick and suffering. At the same time His sayings and preaching gave His listeners practical help for their life, in particular spiritual light for the uncertain and seekers. Such a visitor should have been...More

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Acting without the Lord’s leading

Simon Peter said to them, I am going fishing. They said to him, We are going with you also. They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.
John 21:3.

Acting without the Lord’s leading
Seven disciples set out to fish on the lake. The Lord had not instructed them to do so. They were acting on Peter’s initiative. Although some of them were experienced fishermen, their expedition proved a miserable failure: “they caught nothing”. When they returned to dry land in the early morning, Jesus was standing on the shore. He asked them, “Children, have you any...More

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

In the parable of the sower that Jesus Christ told...

A sower went out to sow, and as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside, and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root, they withered away.
Matthew 13:3-6.

In the parable of the sower that Jesus Christ told the seed falls on four different types of soil. The seed itself is an illustration of the Word of God, while the pathway on which some seed fell stands for a hard heart that the Word fails to...More

Monday, February 28, 2022

You are well worth it!

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.

We do not present our supplications before you because of our righteous deeds, but because of your great mercies.

Titus 3:5; Daniel 9:18.

You are well worth it!
This title has been taken from an advertisement for a cosmetic product. It proved very successful and one might wonder why. Could it be that it flatters the good opinion that everyone who reads it has of himself or herself?

What are we really worth? God created every human being in His image according to His likeness (Genesis...More

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (32)

Many of his disciples, when they heard this, said, This is a hard saying; who can understand it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples complained about this, he said to them, Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of man ascend where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.
John 6:60-63.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (32)
The Lord’s remarkable instruction had a heart-searching, challenging effect on the multitude (v. 36), on the Jewish leaders (vv. 41.42.52) and even on His disciples (vv. 60:61), some of whom were offended. His...More

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Saying yes or no to God

Through this man (Jesus Christ) is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; … by him everyone who believes is justified.
Acts 13:38.39.

Saying yes or no to God
By crucifying Jesus, men showed the wickedness in their hearts, but at the same time God manifested His love toward us in passing the judgment that we deserved on His Son.

Because Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for us, God forgives us and grants us eternal life. It is a gift that those who believe in Him accept joyfully.

But human beings are capable of and responsible for saying yes or no to God. If anyone wilfully...More

Friday, February 25, 2022

Which way?

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.

Which way?
In a square in a large European city a stranger asked a passer-by, “Can you tell me how far it is from here to the main station?” The answer he received was: “If you continue on the way you are going at the moment, it is about 25,000 miles. But if you turn round and go in the opposite direction, you’ll be there in five minutes.”

This amusing incident should make us think of our own life’s journey. We could be in the same situation as the tourist in...More

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Reconciliation with the God of peace

If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Be reconciled to God.

Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:20.

Reconciliation with the God of peace
Two friends are arguing. Their previously good relationship is becoming tense, on the point of breaking up. They stop speaking to each other: communication has become too difficult. Gradually these friends become strangers to one another. Such an outcome can be avoided solely by reconciliation. Then friendship and harmony are...More

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Torn between numerous demands in the family, their profession and...

They (two of Jesus’ disciples) said to one another, Did not our heart burn within us while he talked with us on the road, and while he opened the Scriptures to us?
Luke 24:32.

Torn between numerous demands in the family, their profession and social life, people have difficulty in maintaining their balance. Believers are also faced with this problem. With more and more to be accomplished every day, the number of hours is insufficient. Don’t we often say, “I haven’t the time!”? However, in order to live as true Christians, we need to be always prepared to listen to our God and Father without being...More

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Too proud for the Saviour

As he (Jesus) drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace.
Luke 19:41.42.

Too proud for the Saviour
Jesus Christ wept over the city of Jerusalem. Why? Because its inhabitants refused to acknowledge that He had come to them with the one purpose of truly helping them. In another place He laments: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were...More

Monday, February 21, 2022

Excuses for ignoring the Bible

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18.

Excuses for ignoring the Bible
“I don’t understand what I read.”

Certain passages of the Bible may seem difficult to understand, being complicated or too abstract. The evangelist Spurgeon said: “It is wonderful to see how a text from the Bible that is hard like stone gives off sparks when struck by the steel of prayer.” Before reading, ask God, who inspired the text, to give you understanding.


Sunday, February 20, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (31)

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven – not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live for ever. These things he said in the synagogue as he taught in Capernaum.
John 6:56-59.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (31)
Some of the succeeding statements in verses 50 to 58 seem to be a repetition of the same subject, because they sound so similar. Whoever examines them more closely,...More

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Through a magnifying glass

When that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. … Now we see … dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
1 Corinthians 13:10.12.

Through a magnifying glass
I was admiring a large painting in a museum, when a small boy came along and, for a joke, started looking at the picture through a magnifying glass. I asked him to describe the picture for me. He took his magnifying glass and started listing many details. Here was a bunch of flowers, there sat a robin etc. In this way the boy saw nothing but tiny...More

Friday, February 18, 2022

”Jesus, have mercy on me!” (6)

Then Jesus said to him, Go your way; your faith has made you well. And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
Mark 10:52.; (concluded)

”Jesus, have mercy on me!” (6)
Bartimæus had come across to the Lord Jesus in faith. Once he had expressed his need, the Lord was ready to assure him that his wish had been granted. “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” Bartimæus was healed: he could now see.

The healing of this blind man is an illustration of how Jesus Christ is still prepared to heal people of spiritual blindness, i.e. blindness regarding God...More

Thursday, February 17, 2022

The inhabitants of the island of Nias, near Sumatra, were...

The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.
Matthew 4:16.

The inhabitants of the island of Nias, near Sumatra, were formerly head-hunters. One islander reported what the gospel of Jesus Christ had brought about among his people:

“Until the gospel came to us, we resembled people stuck in a swamp and sinking deeper and deeper; we were being ruined, body and soul. Our vice corrupted us, and our constant fear of evil spirits and the horror of death was wearing us down.

Then we heard the good news of...More

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The mystery of godliness (7)

Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.
1 Timothy 3:16.

The mystery of godliness (7)
The mystery of godliness ends with the statement that Christ was received in heaven in glory. It is the climax of the description of the Lord’s piety and of great significance for a godly life.

The words “received up” in the New Testament frequently describe Jesus’ ascension (e.g. Mark 16:19; Acts 1:2). His ascension was no...More

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

“Jesus, have mercy on me!” (5)

Jesus answered and said to him, What do you want me to do for you? The blind man said to him, Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.
Mark 10:51.

“Jesus, have mercy on me!” (5)
Bartimæus was now standing in front of Jesus, waiting for the Saviour’s response to his call. Jesus had heard him and had him brought before Him. The blind man now had to wait and see how He would react to his plea for his sight.

Jesus did not heal him immediately. Bartimæus had asked for mercy. The Lord Jesus wanted him to be more specific despite His knowledge of the man’s condition. Therefore He asked,...More

Monday, February 14, 2022

Tolerance or benevolence?

There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all.
1 Timothy 2:5.6.

Tolerance or benevolence?
Tolerance is in modern times one of the highest virtues. It is reckoned to be an essential precondition for harmonious cooperation among people and as a means of combating fanaticism, prejudice and discrimination. Intolerance, on the other hand, is certainly the cause of disagreement, whether in families, social strata or internationally.

We must, however, all admit that we can easily be tolerant in matters that barely concern us,...More

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (30)

The Jews therefore quarrelled among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
John 6:52-55.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (30)
Jesus first spoke of the manna, the wilderness food of the people of Israel, then proceeded to the bread of life, a type of Himself who had become Man....More

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Up in the loft

As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:11.12.

Up in the loft
Martina had been brought up in a Christian family, but then she had led her life not according to the will of God, but as she herself pleased: twenty long years without God, twenty wasted years including adultery, divorce and imprisonment.

One day she found a Bible up in the loft. It wasn’t her intention to seek after God, but God sought her! Martina opened the book and by...More

Friday, February 11, 2022

”Jesus, have mercy on me!” (4)

Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, Be of good cheer. Rise, he is calling you. And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.
Mark 10:49.50.

”Jesus, have mercy on me!” (4)
“Jesus stood still.” These few words reveal the Saviour’s sympathy. And it applies to everyone who realises his sinful state. The Son of God came to earth to die on the cross for sinners. This shows the greatness of His mercy. Bartimæus was important to Him, as is everyone who turns to Him in dire need.

Jesus said, “Call him!” The...More

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Peter and John, apostles of Jesus, had healed a lame man who...

Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said, … Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man stands here before you whole. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:8-12.

Peter and John, apostles of Jesus, had healed a lame man who was begging at a gate of the temple in Jerusalem. They explained to the...More

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

The mystery of godliness (6)

Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world.
1 Timothy 3:16.

The mystery of godliness (6)
“That … which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled” (1 John 1:1). Thus the apostle John summarised the time that he and the other eleven disciples spent together with the Lord Jesus. He was indeed present and seen, even if His appearance was not conspicuous.

Today He is hidden from human sight. The Lord had...More

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

”Jesus, have mercy on me!” (3)

Then many warned him (Bartimæus) to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, Son of David, have mercy on me. So Jesus stood still.
Mark 10:48.49.

”Jesus, have mercy on me!” (3)
We may well understand why the crowd was angry over Bartimæus shouting so loudly. Everyone wanted to hear what Jesus said and witness what He did. Their expectations were disturbed by his desperate pleading; so they endeavoured to silence him. It would have been better, if they had simply taken him to Jesus Christ: then he would have stopped shouting. Was it egotism or indifference that overshadowed any feeling for...More

Monday, February 7, 2022

A Christian lady once said: “At the age of eight I...

The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.
Jeremiah 31:3.

A Christian lady once said: “At the age of eight I made friends with a classmate whose family believed in Jesus Christ. In our home God was never mentioned. Nevertheless I had questions about God early on.

Later my friend invited me to a meeting of young Christians. There I heard

a)that the Son of God came to earth to save people;

b)that Jesus bore the guilt of lost sinners and its punishment on the...More

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (29)

I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever, and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.
John 6:48-51.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (29)
In the course of their discussion with Jesus the Jews had mentioned the manna in the wilderness. In their view that miracle was much greater than the single occurrence they had experienced...More

Saturday, February 5, 2022

The raising of Lazarus from the dead makes it abundantly plain...

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

The raising of Lazarus from the dead makes it abundantly plain that Jesus is the Son of God (cf. Romans 1:4). Today we should like to consider one detail of the report. The two sisters of Lazarus, who had fallen gravely ill, sent this message to Jesus: “Lord, behold, he whom you love is sick” (v. 3). They were well acquainted with Jesus; He had frequently been their guest. Now their brother was very ill. Tactfully, so as not to give Jesus a direct order to come to them, they simply described the...More

Friday, February 4, 2022

“Jesus, have mercy on me!” (2)

When he (Bartimæus) heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!
Mark 10:47.

“Jesus, have mercy on me!” (2)
Blind Bartimæus was aware that a great multitude was passing by. That gave him hope for pity and perhaps some small donations. Then he learned just who was passing by: Jesus of Nazareth. How astonishing for him! Bartimæus cried out: “Jesus, Son of David!”

Jesus was the miracle worker, the carpenter and teacher from Nazareth, that small, insignificant town that once caused one to ask: “Can anything good come...More

Thursday, February 3, 2022

In April 1943 during the Second World War the Scottish pastor...

In the day when I cried out, you answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.

The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; your mercy, o LORD, endures for ever.

Psalm 138:3.8.

In April 1943 during the Second World War the Scottish pastor Donald Caskie, who lived in France, was taken prisoner for helping allied soldiers to flee from France.

He later wrote about his imprisonment: “It was an extremely humiliating experience that could easily make a person despair. But my knowledge of the Bible preserved me.” His Bible was, in fact, confiscated, but he said: “I had it in my...More

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

The mystery of godliness (5)

Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles.
1 Timothy 3:16.

The mystery of godliness (5)
The first three statements about the Lord Jesus concern His life and work from His birth to the ascension. Now we shall consider a fact that has had great significance since the glorification of the Lord Jesus. It is “the preaching of Jesus Christ” (Romans 16:25).

It concerns the gospel, the good news that is made known: “He who believes and is baptised will be saved; but he...More

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

“Jesus, have mercy on me!” (1)

Now they came to Jericho. As he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimæus, the son of Timæus, sat by the road begging.
Mark 10:46.

“Jesus, have mercy on me!” (1)
We have here one of the many short reports in the gospels with a wealth of content. A life full of need (Bartimæus), hearts void of understanding (the multitude), and the love and mercy of the Lord Jesus.

Jesus Christ was on His final journey that took Him from Jericho to Jerusalem, where He would be crucified a few days later. A “great multitude” followed Him, among them surely...More

Monday, January 31, 2022

What a surprise!

The grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 1:14.

What a surprise!
A burglar crept cautiously through the garden, forced the door of the terrace open and entered the house. With his torch that he had dimmed he made his way through the rooms and searched them. Then he heard a car coming up the drive and stopping in front of the garage. In his haste he grabbed a bundle of banknotes on a chest of drawers and fled.

What a surprise he got when he examined his booty! What he had stolen was not banknotes, but a pile of Christian...More

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (28)

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught by God. Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me has everlasting life.
John 6:44-47.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (28)
The Jewish scribes revealed their disapproval of Jesus by murmuring, when He claimed to have come from heaven (vv. 41-43). They thus proved what...More

Saturday, January 29, 2022

He didn’t want to be healed!

Heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.

The chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.

Psalm 41:4; Isaiah 53:5.

He didn’t want to be healed!
The man whom I saw stretched out in the sun on the ground near one of the city’s gates was begging.

When a tourist passed by, he would pull up his trouser leg to show a wound covered with dust, while he held out his other hand with a sad expression. That wound needed treatment! In the hospital opposite he could have received all the care necessary. A friend from the district explained to me that...More

Friday, January 28, 2022

“I am the bread of life”

Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger; and he who believes in me shall never thirst.
John 6:35.

“I am the bread of life”
Everyone knows how important bread is. Bread means life. The Lord Jesus used this everyday illustration to explain a spiritual truth. He said that He Himself is the bread of life. Therefore whoever receives Him will never again suffer spiritual hunger in his heart and soul, for in contrast to the daily nourishment that sustains life, he has come to know Him who is life itself and who alone gives life. Bread must be eaten. The Lord...More

Thursday, January 27, 2022

A budding policeman

There is no creature hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Hebrews 4:13.

A budding policeman
Jamie was a young Canadian boy living in Ottawa in the eighties. One day he went shopping with his mother to buy what he longed for: a siren for his tricycle imitating that of the police. On the way home Jamie tried out his siren. The strident sound startled a man coming towards him, who stopped terrified, then ran off after throwing away the bag he was carrying. Jewels scattered over the pavement.

Jamie’s mother picked them...More

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The mystery of godliness (4)

Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels.
1 Timothy 3:16.

The mystery of godliness (4)
When the Lord Jesus was on earth, not only the visible world looked upon Him, but also the world of angels. Angels had been created long before they beheld their Creator for the first time at the birth of Jesus. But then they immediately rejoiced audibly: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men” (Luke 2:14).

The Son of God on this earth fully occupied the attention of the angels....More

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

He has paid for you

When we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. … While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6.8.

He has paid for you
A Christian was preaching the good news of Jesus Christ in a town in Canada. A man entered the hall under the influence of drink and started to abuse those present. When some tried to take him outside, he became violent and insulted the preacher. The police had to intervene, and one month later legal action was taken against him. Since he could not pay the fine imposed by the court, he was sentenced to a few weeks in...More

Monday, January 24, 2022

A slight change of direction, or a total return?

They return, but not to the Most High.
Hosea 7:16.

A slight change of direction, or a total return?
In the course of a lifetime many people are forced to make a correction in the course they have taken, because they notice that things cannot continue on the pathway they are following.

Businessmen who have spent their working life making a success of their career retire early in order to enjoy life at last.

People who have been leading an unhealthy way of life pay more attention to the food they eat and undertake physical activity to promote their health.


Sunday, January 23, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (27)

The Jews then complained about him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he says, I have come down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said to them, Do not murmur among yourselves.
John 6:41-43.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (27)
Jesus had provided His listeners with bread, but the spiritual teaching that He added was rejected. Only a few minutes before the people had pleaded, “Lord, give us this bread always” (v. 34). Now they were complaining. They...More

Saturday, January 22, 2022

The first miraculous sign performed by the Lord Jesus happened...

This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him. After this he went down to Capernaum, he, his mother, his brothers, and his disciples, and they did not stay there many days.
John 2:11.12.

The first miraculous sign performed by the Lord Jesus happened at a wedding in Cana. He turned water into wine. It was a matter of six large vessels containing an average of some 22 gallons each, and the wine was of the best quality! Through this sign Jesus manifested His glory as the Son of God, the promised Redeemer (ch. 1:14; 20:30.31).

As wine...More

Friday, January 21, 2022

The right one to serve God in prison (2)

The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor, he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.
Isaiah 61:1.

The right one to serve God in prison (2)
After being imprisoned I was subjected to a harsh interrogation and finally led to a squalid cell in which there were other prisoners. They were a pathetic group of dirty, famished human beings. They had suddenly become my companions for an indefinite period.

One man looked at me and asked, “Why...More

Thursday, January 20, 2022

The right one to serve God in prison (1)

I heard the voice of the LORD; saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I! Send me.

How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

Isaiah 6:8; Romans 10:14.

The right one to serve God in prison (1)
I was troubled by the problems confronting my compatriots who were suffering greatly under a totalitarian government. Preachers were being executed, Christians cast into prison and Bibles burnt.

I decided to visit Christians living in isolated districts to encourage them and bring them new...More

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The mystery of godliness (3)

Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit.
1 Timothy 3:16.

The mystery of godliness (3)
We have seen that true godliness is connected with the eternal Son of God becoming Man in the fullness of time. Now we learn that He was “justified in the Spirit”.

“Justified” in this context cannot mean that he was exonerated from guilt. That can apply only to those accused and found innocent. “Justified in the Spirit” signifies that He was declared or proven to be righteous, as if a judge had found a person...More

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Lord Jesus was speaking here of people who belonged to Him through...

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.
John 10:27.28.

The Lord Jesus was speaking here of people who belonged to Him through faith. He called them “my sheep” and that characterised them.

“My sheep hear my voice”. A simple sentence, but what a significance for those who have been saved through Christ’s shed blood! Other voices may be audible, but they do not interest them. This one voice alone means so much to them!

“I know them”....More

Monday, January 17, 2022

Groping about in the dark

Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.
Jonah 1:6.

Groping about in the dark
When someone feels helpless, being void of any ideas when trying to come to terms with a problem, he is, metaphorically speaking, groping about in the dark. It is improbable that he will ever succeed, unless by pure chance.

The prophet Jonah was on a ship that was in dire trouble out at sea. The sailors were calling on their gods in their fear. When nothing availed, the captain went up to Jonah, saying the words of today’s verse: “Call on your God; perhaps your...More

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (26)

I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. This is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of him who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:38.40.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (26)
These three verses deal with two aspects of the will of God the Father. In the first place we read of His will concerning Jesus Christ, His Son. Those whom the Father has...More

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) was one of the greatest artists of...

And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to myself.
John 12:32.

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) was one of the greatest artists of the western world, known as a painter, sculptor and architect, but he also left some masterly poems behind. In his last sonnet he takes stock of 80 years, comparing his life with a journey over a stormy sea in a rocking boat. He is well aware that, at the end of this journey, he will have to account for all his activity.
Michelangelo knows that his devotion to art will not help him in this. So he looks ahead and ends with the words: “Neither...More

Friday, January 14, 2022

Luke reported the feast that Levi made for the Lord Jesus in...

He (Jesus) went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And he said to him, Follow me. So he left all, rose up, and followed him. Then Levi gave him a great feast in his own house.
Luke 5:27-29.

Luke reported the feast that Levi made for the Lord Jesus in his house. When Jesus called him, Levi left everything, his work and his habits, to follow Him. The first thing on this new pathway was a feast for Jesus. People of all kinds came to this feast, which was in honour of Jesus.

The self-satisfied, religious Pharisees (whose name means “separated”) wouldn’t think of...More

Thursday, January 13, 2022

According to human standards God’s message, the gospel, would be...

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

According to human standards God’s message, the gospel, would be doomed to failure.

It is a message that speaks of weakness: an itinerant preacher announced it for three and a half years 2,000 years ago and was then crucified in weakness (cf. 2 Corinthians 13:4). Indeed, the message of the cross means nothing but “foolishness” to many (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Those who made it known were weaklings: they were unknown,...More

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The mystery of godliness (2)

Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh.
1 Timothy 3:16.

The mystery of godliness (2)
The word “godliness!” or the fear of God does not so much indicate certain forms of piety that people observe; true godly fear is rather expressed by the fact that the Lord Jesus is the central Person in the life of a believer. He Himself must ever be before our eyes, not merely on Sundays or religious holidays.

The first statement about the Person of the Lord Jesus reveals a great wonder: the eternal Son of God became Man and revealed all...More

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Pyrrhus lived from 319 to 272 B.C. He was the king of...

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Psalm 23:1-3.

Pyrrhus lived from 319 to 272 B.C. He was the king of the realm of Epirus in the north-west of Greece and was one of the leading warlords in the era following Alexander the Great. He achieved fame through conquering the Romans. In one of these victorious battles, however, he lost so many of his own soldiers that he exclaimed: “Another such victory and we are lost!” Even today a victory...More

Monday, January 10, 2022

In the parable of the prodigal son we cast a glance into God’s...

Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.
Luke 15:18.19.

In the parable of the prodigal son we cast a glance into God’s fatherly heart and see His joy when a sinner repents and turns to Him. But we see even more.

The prodigal son set out to return home. What he intended saying to his father we have read in today’s verses. He is still a long way from home, but when his father spots him, he is deeply moved and runs towards him and embraces him. The son starts to make his confession, but gets no...More

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Had the Jews in Galilee listened carefully? Clearly not! Beginning...

They said to him, Lord, give us this bread always. And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will by no means cast out.
John 6:34-37.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (25)
Had the Jews in Galilee listened carefully? Clearly not! Beginning with the manna in the wilderness, Jesus had just spoken of the “true bread from heaven”: “The bread of God is he who comes...More

Saturday, January 8, 2022

The living God changed my life

Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1.

The living God changed my life
This is Michael’s report: “Through my religious upbringing I was constantly in touch with belief in God as a child. In my youth, however, I was influenced by the philosophy of Descartes and began to doubt everything religious. I considered my childish faith as naïve. Many of life’s vital questions remained unanswered however.

At the age of 20 I met a Christian lady who lived out her faith authentically and naturally. I started to see God and the...More

Friday, January 7, 2022

Religious tradition

This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. And in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
Mark 7:6.7.

Religious tradition
When Jesus Christ lived here on earth there were countless religious persons in Israel. They held on to their Jewish traditions tenuously. But with most of them living faith in God was lacking. The Son of God, who could see into their hearts, unmasked their sanctimonious attitude, making it clear to them how empty and useless their external religious appearance was. Today, too, there are many who profess to be...More

Thursday, January 6, 2022

The prophet Elijah suddenly appeared on the scene and boldly...

As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.
1 Kings 17:1.

The prophet Elijah suddenly appeared on the scene and boldly confronted the wicked king Ahab. Elijah referred to the one true, living God, before whom he stood. He knew that he was seen and protected by God, and he served Him.

“The LORD, He is God!” was Elijah’s basic message (1 Kings 18:39) and the meaning of his name. These were words that shocked, penetrated and polarised the people, being out of place in the age in which he lived.

In chapter 16 of...More

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

The mystery of godliness (1)

Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness.
1 Timothy 3:16.

The mystery of godliness (1)
The content of this verse, which will occupy us on the following Wednesdays in more detail, has called forth wonder and worship among many believers.

Six meaningful statements about the Son of God are entitled “The mystery of godliness”. The word “mystery” occurs several times in the New Testament and generally indicates what was concealed in Old Testament times, but revealed by Christ and the apostles and prophets of the New Testament, and can now be understood by all born again...More

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Standing in the limelight

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern for all who are going to believe on him for everlasting life.
1 Timothy 1:15.16.

Standing in the limelight
How we love prominence! It is part of man’s nature to want to take the prime place. But here it is not a question of being the footballer of the year, the number one in the tennis rankings, or the world’s best skier, not even of being the world’s richest inhabitant.

Today’s text is about being the...More

Monday, January 3, 2022

How can someone be free and yet obey at the same time? For...

Now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
Romans 6:22.

How can someone be free and yet obey at the same time? For many people this is a contradiction of terms. Freedom for them signifies the possibility of doing what pleases them or whatever enters their mind without any restriction. They say, “If I have to obey someone, then I am not free.”

Even Christians may be inclined to think so. But for whoever follows the Lord Jesus Christ and is guided by the Word of God the words “freedom” and “obedience”...More

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (24)

They said to him, What sign will you perform then, that we may see it and believe you? What work will you do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said to them, Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
John 6:30-33.

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (24)
The Lord Jesus had told those who had followed Him to believe in Him whom God had sent, i.e. Himself. But they...More

Saturday, January 1, 2022

What a precious, comforting word this is! At the start of...

Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask him.
Matthew 6:8.

What a precious, comforting word this is! At the start of a New Year it is especially encouraging: “Your Father knows.”
Do you feel pitiable or oppressed? Entrust yourself to Him, for your Father knows your situation perfectly. And with His love He wants to make you feel happy. He is “your shield and your exceedingly great reward” (Genesis 15:1).

Are you sad and troubled in your soul? Trust Him, for your Father knows the cause of your trouble. Keeping close to Him soothes your pain.

Are you...More

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