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The Good Seed Daily Devotional for 2024

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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

My Redeemer lives!

I know that my Redeemer lives.
Job 19:25

My Redeemer lives!
The conviction that Job had in the midst of his serious illness formed the foundation of his faith: he knew that his Redeemer lived. Therefore, looking at his sick body, he could say: “And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God” (Job 19:26). In his suffering, Job possessed the firm hope that his Redeemer would one day raise him up.

This same conviction of faith can be possessed today by everyone who knows Jesus Christ as personal Saviour. His life and His death, and especially His...More



Wednesday, June 19, 2024

My Redeemer lives!

I know that my Redeemer lives.
Job 19:25

My Redeemer lives!
The conviction that Job had in the midst of his serious illness formed the foundation of his faith: he knew that his Redeemer lived. Therefore, looking at his sick body, he could say: “And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God” (Job 19:26). In his suffering, Job possessed the firm hope that his Redeemer would one day raise him up.

This same conviction of faith can be possessed today by everyone who knows Jesus Christ as personal Saviour. His life and His death, and especially His...More



Tuesday, June 18, 2024

“That’s me!” (2)

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:6

“That’s me!” (2)
When the young Englishman read the first part of this Bible verse to his terminally ill compatriot in the barn in Australia, the latter exclaimed, “This is me, this is myself! That’s what I’ve been doing all my life.” Then they were both silent. After a while, the sick man asked his new companion to continue reading.

“The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” “Ah,” he said again, “Jesus Christ!”...More



Monday, June 17, 2024

“That’s me!” (1)

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way.
Isaiah 53:6

“That’s me!” (1)
Many years ago, a young Englishman stayed in Australia for a long period of time. At one point he got lost in a wooded area until he finally came to a large farm. To his request for a place to spend the night, the farmer replied, “You can go into the barn over there if you want. But there’s already someone in there.”

In fact, another person was already lying quite miserably in a corner, coughing terribly. Then, in conversation, it became apparent that he, too, was...More



Sunday, June 16, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (142)

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
John 15:1–2

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (142)
The Lord Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Passover together in the upper room. During this occasion, He spoke about their relationships with the persons of the Godhead. Now they are on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane, and this way leads through vineyards. The Lord takes this setting as an occasion to instruct His disciples about what their task and...More



Saturday, June 15, 2024

Andrew brings others to Jesus

Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
John 12:20–22

Andrew brings others to Jesus
Not only Jews came to the Passover in Jerusalem, but also people who were not part of the people of Israel. Among them were Greeks. They want to speak to Jesus, so they turn to Philip. But the latter is simply unsure, so he goes and tells Andrew. Together they now go and tell Jesus –...More



Friday, June 14, 2024

Forgiveness

In Him (Jesus Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
Ephesians 1:7

Forgiveness
You may ask yourself: How do I know that God has forgiven my sins? This important question must definitely be answered. The Bible says: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered” (Romans 4:7). To whom does this statement apply? To all who believe in the Lord Jesus!

Have you realised in faith that He, in His grace, took your place on the cross and died there for you? Have you grasped by faith that the...More



Thursday, June 13, 2024

Look to the Lord Jesus!

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Look to the Lord Jesus!
When we look at the waves of time and circumstance, it is easy for fear and worry to creep into our hearts. But this need not be so. The Lord Jesus encourages us to look to Him in the midst of affliction and find peace with Him.

Perhaps we are afraid of what is coming. We fear for our jobs because the economic situation has worsened. Or we are afraid of an operation and ask ourselves: What will...More



Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Rude awakening

Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?
Acts 9:4

Rude awakening
On a crowded morning train, a passenger bumps into another passenger and swears at him for getting in his way. It is an unfortunate, thoughtless moment that usually has no further consequences. But what eyes this man makes when, an hour later, he sits opposite the one he insulted on the train at a job interview!

On his journey to Damascus, Saul also met a person he would never have expected. He was abruptly stopped in his persecution of Christians by a bright light from heaven. A voice addressed him, “Saul, Saul, why are...More



Tuesday, June 11, 2024

You are the light of the world

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Matthew 5:14

You are the light of the world
Jesus Christ, who shone into the world as the perfect light, returned to heaven after His death and resurrection. Now His disciples, who believe in Him and possess new life, are the light of the world. This is both a statement and a call.

People who have the light of life through faith in the Lord Jesus can be light bearers in the dark world and show people something of God. They have the mission to spread light about the living God through their words and...More



Monday, June 10, 2024

I am the light of the world

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 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 the light of the world
The Son of God, who came to earth as a man about 2,000 years ago, was the light of the world. He shone into people’s lives and revealed what was in their hearts. Thus, they were placed in the divine light and recognised their lost condition before God. At the same time, the light showed them the way to salvation: whoever believed in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would not be judged.

But most turned away...More



Sunday, June 9, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (141)

You have heard Me say to you, I am going away and coming back to you. If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, I am going to the Father, for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.
John 14:28–31

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (141)
The disciples were enabled to look confidently into...More



Saturday, June 8, 2024

Total surveillance

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Revelation 13:16–17

Total surveillance
Government surveillance in the Western world has increased significantly in the course of the war on terror. With the help of today’s technology, it is becoming increasingly easy to collect and evaluate digital traces that people leave behind: camera images are scanned, cell phones are located, messages on the...More



Friday, June 7, 2024

A young man was in...

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that … you … may live.
Deuteronomy 30:19

A young man was in hospital. He was in a serious condition because his life was hanging by a thread. A visitor asked him, “Do you think you’ll get better?” The young man replied, “If I survive this, it will be grace; but if I die, it will be glory!” Only a short time later, it had become glory for him.

Yes, life is grace. And to be healthy and to have enough to eat and to grow old in good health is a...More



Thursday, June 6, 2024

In today’s Bible passage, the apostle...

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:13

In today’s Bible passage, the apostle Paul addresses people whom he calls “brethren”. He could address them in this way because he was united with them through faith in Jesus Christ. They, just like him, knew God as their Father – they had become children of God. That is why even today believing Christians call each other ‘brothers and sisters in the Lord’, because they all belong to the family of God.

Christians do not need to worry...More



Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Through waves, through...

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day.
Proverbs 23:17

Through waves, through clouds and storms,
God gently clears the way;
We wait His time; so shall the night
Soon end in blissful day.
He everywhere hath sway,
And all things serve His might;
His every act pure blessing is,
His path unsullied light.
When He makes bare His arm,
Who shall His work withstand?
When He His people’s cause defends,
Who then shall stay His hand?
We leave it to Himself
To choose and to command,
With wonder filled,...More



Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Burning and shining

He was the burning and shining lamp.
John 5:35

Burning and shining
The Lord Jesus compares John the Baptist to a lamp burning and shining. In his testimony about the Son of God, he spread warmth and light. Because his heart burned for the Lord, John was a bright light. He pointed people in an appealing way to the Lamb of God who had come to solve the problem of sin.

In the past, there was only light when a fire was burning. Later, electric light bulbs were used, which gave more light than a fire but at the same time produced a lot of heat. Today there are LED lights. They are more...More



Monday, June 3, 2024

Brought to God

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.
1 Peter 3:18

Brought to God
In today’s Bible verse we can recognise several results of the work of redemption that the Lord Jesus accomplished on the cross.

Christ suffered once for sins because God in His holiness demands just punishment for every offence. By His work on the cross, the Lord Jesus fully restored the glory of God that had been defiled by the sins of His creatures. The word “once” indicates that His sacrifice need never be repeated. His work of redemption stands complete...More



Sunday, June 2, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (140)

These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:25–27

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (140)
In today’s verses, let us notice the two expressions “these things” and “all”. When Jesus was here on earth, He had already shared many things with the disciples. But...More



Saturday, June 1, 2024

The lame man leaps (6)

And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Acts 3:9–10

The lame man leaps (6)
A miracle has happened: a lame man, who couldn’t walk from birth and for over 40 years, can walk and leap again! But the reactions to this are disappointing! The crowd recognises that the lame man, who had sat day after day at the Beautiful Gate, is suddenly walking around healed. Here, in front of all the people, a miracle has happened that...More



Friday, May 31, 2024

The lame man leaps (5)

(He) entered the temple with them – walking, leaping, and praising God.
Acts 3:8

The lame man leaps (5)
The first reactions of the formerly lame man are to leap up, to stand, and to walk around – signs of his personal joy. But he does not stop there, because the Bible text says that he “entered the temple with them” and that he was “praising God” – signs of a joy expressed together.

Until then he had sat in the gate that led to the temple. But most likely he was never allowed to enter himself, because he was lame. But now he is allowed. What might he have felt in doing...More



Thursday, May 30, 2024

The lame man leaps (4)

And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked.
Acts 3:7–8

The lame man leaps (4)
Who makes the sick person well? Jesus Christ, who gave Peter the authority. How does the sick man get well? By Peter speaking a word from God and taking him by the hand and lifting him up. He leaps up (although he had never leapt before in his life), is able to stand and he walks around. Whoever today puts his trust in Jesus, the crucified and risen Lord, will also experience that He intervenes in salvation. How...More



Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The lame man leaps (3)

Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
Acts 3:6–7

The lame man leaps (3)
The beggar expects a small gift from the apostles – but Peter refers him to “Jesus Christ of Nazareth”; the beggar expects something for sustenance – but Peter heals him, making him well (ch. 4:9). How “silver and gold” and all other alms pale in comparison to this!

Peter refers to Jesus...More



Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The lame man leaps (2)

(The lame man), seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have”.
Acts 3:3–6

The lame man leaps (2)
Peter and John enter the temple area through the Beautiful Gate. There sits a lame man, a beggar. When he sees them, he asks for alms, a donation, as he does countless times every day. But this time everything is different.

Peter and John stop, look steadfastly at the beggar...More



Monday, May 27, 2024

The lame man leaps (1)

Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple.
Acts 3:1–2

The lame man leaps (1)
Peter and John have a good habit: they go to the temple to pray. We also have habits: in our daily routine, in our job, in our relationships. Do we also know the habit of praying to God regularly – each one for himself, but also, as here, together with others?

At a gate to the temple...More



Sunday, May 26, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (139)

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world? Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.
John 14:22–24

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (139)
The change that was about to take place for the disciples was difficult for them to understand: Christ in heaven and the Holy Spirit here on earth – this did not...More



Saturday, May 25, 2024

A comparison

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
2 Corinthians 4:17

A comparison
In 2 Corinthians 4, the apostle Paul addresses the toil and effort involved in serving the Lord. He also reminds us that the body deteriorates through sickness and old age. All this is not easy to bear. But Paul wants to encourage us to persevere in the work of the Lord and in physical sufferings. That is why he compares the present tribulation with the future glory.

In view of eternal happiness in heaven, the difficulties on earth pass...More



Friday, May 24, 2024

From the weary to the blessed

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

From the weary to the blessed
When Jesus Christ lived on earth and observed people, He saw their problems. As the Son of God, He also recognised the hardships in their lives.

How many troubled people there were: people who tried hard to live a decent life; people who wanted to do God’s commandments. But they had to realise afterwards that they had not succeeded in doing everything right. Through this constant, unsuccessful striving, they became weary. The Lord Jesus saw it and invited them,...More



Thursday, May 23, 2024

Great expectations?

And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them.
Jeremiah 45:5

Great expectations?
Today’s Bible verse was addressed by the prophet Jeremiah to Baruch, who was faithful to God. He had supported Jeremiah when he was opposed by his peers. Baruch had also written the prophet’s words on a scroll. But the king had rejected these divine communications and burned the scroll. This opposition struck Baruch deeply. Disappointed, he exclaimed, “Woe is me now! For the Lord has added grief to my sorrow” (Jeremiah 45:3).

Are we also discouraged and disappointed? Why might this be...More



Wednesday, May 22, 2024

There are people who are convinced that the...

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
1 Thessalonians 2:13

There are people who are convinced that the Bible is of human origin, and some even attribute it to the devil. The following story is 150 years old, but I am convinced that it is just as possible today.

On a ship, a preacher is talking to some passengers. In the process, they also come to talk about the Bible. One of the listeners...More



Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The message in the wastepaper basket

The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.
John 6:63–64

The message in the wastepaper basket
Every time Christoph and Anne visited their neighbours, they gave them an evangelistic flyer to read. As soon as they left, it went into the wastepaper basket. In this house, they didn’t want to know anything about God.

But the woman who did the house cleaning every week discovered the unread leaflets in the bin. She took them out and read them. God touched her heart so that she accepted the word of truth. She believed in the...More



Monday, May 20, 2024

Jesus Christ had announced that He would send...

For by one Spirit we were all baptised into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free.
1 Corinthians 12:13

Jesus Christ had announced that He would send another Comforter (or as some Bible translations put it, Helper) to the disciples after His ascension. This came to pass when the Holy Spirit came to earth on the day of Pentecost at Jerusalem. He came to dwell in the individual believers who had accepted the good news of Jesus Christ.

It was at the same time the birthday of the worldwide church (or congregation, assembly), which consists of all who know Jesus Christ personally...More



Sunday, May 19, 2024

Christmas – Easter – Ascension – Pentecost

Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Acts 2:21

Christmas – Easter – Ascension – Pentecost
A few months ago it was “Christmas”. These holidays commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. On which day this happened about 2,000 years ago, we can no longer determine precisely. The exact date is not important anyway. What is much more important is that Jesus, the Son of God, became man to redeem us from our sins.

To do this, the Lord Jesus had to die on the cross. He had never done anything evil. And yet He willingly allowed Himself to be punished by God for sin so that...More



Saturday, May 18, 2024

Andrew names what is present

One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?
John 6:8–9

Andrew names what is present
Jesus Christ wants to be alone with His disciples. But a great crowd follows Him, remains with Him, and listens to Him: all day long. He sees their inner need but He also knows that now, towards the end of the day, they are hungry. So He asks His disciple Philip the question, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” The latter counts, calculates and replies, “Two hundred denarii...More



Friday, May 17, 2024

The path of life

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.
John 7:37

The path of life
Modern music concerts attract crowds of enthusiastic fans like a magnet. The singers enjoy unspeakable adoration. But a life in the fast lane is not automatically a happy life.

As if to prove the point, sad news hit the media in 2017: World-famous US singer Chris Cornell was dead! He had an incredible vocal range of almost four octaves, from a particularly deep bass to a very high tenor. With his band he sold 22 million records. On...More



Thursday, May 16, 2024

It is certainly not very often that a full...

Then Jesus said … “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:31–32

It is certainly not very often that a full professor of theology comes to a living faith in God. She says of herself that she used to fully advocate biblical critical theology. She was convinced that with her theological work she would be doing God a service and contributing to the proclamation of the gospel. But in doing so, she had made philosophies her foundation that excluded God’s Word as the source of truth.

God, however, did not let...More



Wednesday, May 15, 2024

God and His Word

So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace.
Acts 20:32

God and His Word
In his farewell words to the Christians in Ephesus, the apostle Paul warned them of the dangers that lurked on the common path of faith. On the one hand, people would enter the circle of believers like ravening wolves and not spare the flock. On the other hand, people from among the Christians would rise up to draw the disciples away from the Lord Jesus with perverse teachings. In the face of these dangers, the apostle commended the believers to God and to the word of His grace.

We know that...More



Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Can guilt be covered up?

They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
1 Peter 4:5

Can guilt be covered up?
In 1799, English fishermen caught a large shark. In its stomach they found a bundle of papers tied together with a strap. They showed that a ship named Nancy had been carrying contraband. This find was immediately handed over to the competent authority.

At that time, the trial of the crew of the Nancy was in progress. They were suspected of having transported smuggled goods during the war between England and France. Until this find, however, there was no solid evidence...More



Monday, May 13, 2024

Being humble and self-restrained

When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.
Proverbs 11:2

Being humble and self-restrained
In our time, moderation is hardly one of the most vaunted qualities. Be satisfied with less? No! Striving for more is much more the order of the day. Doesn’t advertising constantly try to convince us that we need this and that in order to be truly happy?

From a divine point of view, things are quite different. In the Bible, moderation is portrayed very positively, and not only in the Old Testament. The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews urges us: “Let your conduct be...More



Sunday, May 12, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (138)

A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.
John 14:19–21

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (138)
In just a few hours the unbelieving world would not see Jesus any more. Between His resurrection and ascension the world didn’t see Him; after His ascension it couldn’t see Him.

But...More



Saturday, May 11, 2024

Martin is proud of his daughter Sarah...

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
2 Corinthians 9:15

Martin is proud of his daughter Sarah – specially now, when she is beaming all over because she has received a small gift from the man at the book table.

“What do you say, Sarah?” Martin asks her.

“Oh, she already said thank you,” the man assures, turning to her once more. “God bless you, little Sarah!”

Then he turns to Martin, “Your daughter has already learned her lesson beautifully.”

Martin doesn’t understand him, “What lesson?”

“Well, she says thank you for what...More



Friday, May 10, 2024

The Gospel of Luke records a remarkable...

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.
Luke 5:32

The Gospel of Luke records a remarkable encounter of the Lord Jesus with a tax collector named Levi. Levi, who is also called Matthew, is sitting at the customs house when Jesus sees him. The tax collectors in Palestine at that time worked for the Roman occupation forces. Their customs and tax demands were executed by military force if necessary. Therefore they had a bad reputation among their countrymen. Nothing more is said about Levi’s professional practice. However, it is quite possible that he, like other tax collectors of his...More



Thursday, May 9, 2024

The Acts of the Apostles

… until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
Acts 1:2–3

The Acts of the Apostles
The evangelist Luke reports in his Gospel the details of the life and death of Jesus up to His ascension into heaven. Whoever reads this Gospel will be impressed by the way Jesus was guided by the Holy Spirit in all life situations. Even the...More



Wednesday, May 8, 2024

A few months later, a friend invited me to a...

Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
Psalm 2:12

A few months later, a friend invited me to a conference. It was about the relationship of Jews to Jesus. I didn’t attend, but in the invitation flyer there was a Bible verse from Psalm 2 that made me think. Unfortunately, my friend could not explain the verse to me.

I then opened the Old Testament in the translation of a Jewish rabbi and read the entire second Psalm, noticing that the verse in question was translated somewhat differently...More



Tuesday, May 7, 2024

My parents raised me in the Jewish...

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

My parents raised me in the Jewish faith. My mother told me about the Messiah who would one day redeem all people. But the Nazi genocide had destroyed this seed of hope in me.

After my studies, singing became my religion. I became a singer and actor and I was very successful: soon I was performing with the most famous singers of the time. But this success didn’t bring me inner peace and I asked myself what was the meaning of my life.

“Are you at peace?” I sometimes asked my...More



Monday, May 6, 2024

Everyone knows that they will...

No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, and no one has power in the day of death.
Ecclesiastes 8:8

A 63-year-old man had a new denture fitted. The following conversation ensued:

Patient: “The old dental bridge lasted 25 years!”

Dentist: “I hope the new one lasts just as long.”

Patient: “If I last that long ...”

Dentist: “Yes, that’s the anxious question we all face.”

Patient: “I believe in Jesus Christ, so that lets me rest easy.”

Dentist: “Yes, I understand that. That’s what it says in the reading you...More



Sunday, May 5, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (137)

If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:15–18

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (137)
The Lord Jesus was about to leave the earth. But His love for His disciples would never cease – He loves them “to the end” (ch. 13:1). And His disciples – would they love their Lord and remain...More



Saturday, May 4, 2024

What God has in store for you

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:10

What God has in store for you
God wants to talk to you. Although He lives in heaven, He seeks contact with you. He has written many things for you in the Bible. Take this book and start reading it. Then you will learn that the Son of God lived on earth as the man, Jesus Christ. Through His words and deeds, He communicated that God loves us all, including you.
God wants to cleanse you. Through your transgressions you have made yourself dirty – not outwardly, but...More



Friday, May 3, 2024

Troubles of old age

Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength fails.
Psalm 71:9

Troubles of old age
A woman of advanced age tells us, “I am so weak on my feet, and it’s getting worse. You can’t imagine how troublesome it is to barely get out of your room or out of your home.” God knows that it is troublesome for many to grow old and to see themselves becoming more and more frail. That is why He makes a glorious promise: “Even to your old age, I am He, and even to grey hairs I will carry you” (Isaiah 46:4).

“What are you saying?” retorts an aged man. “I...More



Thursday, May 2, 2024

It was 70 years ago now – but...

How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?
Hebrews 2:3

It was 70 years ago now – but I still remember it as if it were yesterday. As an engine driver, I was travelling by train one night. We were in a hurry, although it was stormy and very dark. As I was going around a long curve, I suddenly saw red lights ahead of me. “Brake, John, brake!” I shouted. “Brake – or it will be too late!” My colleague got into the irons and brought the train to a halt. It was not a second too soon, because the debris of a freight train that had derailed was piled up in front of us. I can’t imagine what...More



Monday, April 29, 2024

Since the early 1970s, the German Language Society has...

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.
Isaiah 53:7

Since the early 1970s, the German Language Society has regularly chosen a “Word of the Year” that has often played a special role in public debate. The first time, the expression “aufmüpfig” was chosen, which means something like unruly or defiant. It contains the idea of revolt and rebellion, and we can well imagine that it was widely used in those times of social upheaval.

But rebelliousness did...More



Sunday, April 28, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (136)

Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
John 14:11–14

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (136)
The words of Jesus are profound. They show that He not only became fully man, but that He is God at the same time. He is man and God in one...More



Saturday, April 27, 2024

Everyone is affected!

For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:22–23

Everyone is affected!
Hardly any statement in the Bible evokes such general displeasure as the idea in today’s verse. For many, it is too absolute that all have sinned without exception. They do not like being lumped together with criminals.

Aren’t we all inclined to think that we are a little better than our fellow human beings? We like to compare ourselves with those who have more dirt on them in order to see ourselves in a good light. But if we want to know who and what man really...More



Friday, April 26, 2024

To run against and to leap over

For by You I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall.
Psalm 18:29

To run against and to leap over
David speaks in today’s verse from the Psalms about two possible obstacles on the path of faith:

There is a hostile crowd that opposes us in following the Lord. This doesn’t mean people, for our struggle is not against flesh and blood. Rather, it is about the world with its ideas that wants to keep us from a consistent life of faith. It can also be the devil who tries to convince us that we are missing out on something in life if we faithfully follow the Lord...More



Thursday, April 25, 2024

What do a burn injury, a fall from scaffolding, a...

Is there no balm … , is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery?
Jeremiah 8:22

What do a burn injury, a fall from scaffolding, a stroke, a bad traffic accident and a medication overdose have in common?

They are all emergencies – emergencies that occur in one place, perhaps within a few hours, and for which the emergency telephone number is dialled. Day or night, man, woman or child, old or young: when this number is dialled, an ambulance with experienced paramedics and life-saving equipment sets off. For all these emergencies, as different as they are, there is this common...More



Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Bring your problems to Jesus!

Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once.
Mark 1:29–30

Bring your problems to Jesus!
This is an impressive thing about the Bible: that it also mentions the dark side of life – suffering, failure and death.

One day, Jesus Christ was staying in the city of Capernaum with some of His disciples. He first visited the synagogue and then went to Simon and Andrew’s home. There, however, Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with...More



Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Perhaps someone thinks, “That’s not...

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be still! And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
Mark 4:39

Perhaps someone thinks, “That’s not possible! A storm doesn’t calm down simply because some person calls out to it, ‘Peace, be still!’” No, of course not! But it wasn’t just anyone who did that; it was Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Himself.

People like us would have made ourselves look ridiculous with such an attempt to calm the wind and the waves. But here was One whom the wind and waves obeyed. This could only be the Almighty God! The disciples of...More



Monday, April 22, 2024

George Whitefield (1714–1770) was a famous...

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.
Matthew 18:11

George Whitefield (1714–1770) was a famous preacher in England. It is estimated that he preached about 30,000 sermons to almost 10 million people in his lifetime.
This man had a brother who didn’t want to know anything about God and lived accordingly. There came a day when he began to think about God, but he was unable to believe in His forgiveness in view of the great guilt he had become aware of. One day he was a guest of some friends. Knowing how desperate he was, his hostess introduced him to the grace of God that came through...More



Sunday, April 21, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (135)

If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him. Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us. Jesus said to him, Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
John 14:7–10

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (135)
Many think that they do...More



Saturday, April 20, 2024

Counting on God

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Matthew 6:33

Counting on God
I am sitting in the office of a Salvation Army officer. With various examples, the man describes how his operation works. He talks about the people who work there. Many come from difficult backgrounds. They first have to learn to have a regular job. Some come from the penal system. There are also people who have had to flee their country of origin. For these asylum seekers, it is a matter of learning a foreign language and getting used to a completely new...More



Friday, April 19, 2024

He who places his hope in God ...

You … through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
1 Peter 1:21

He who places his hope in God ...
A pithy saying expresses human hope: We should hope for the best, be prepared for the worst and take what comes. This attitude takes into account the whole range of what could come our way. But it gives neither stability nor perspective.

In view of the future, human beings are not in a position to offer real and secure hope. Only God can do that. He gives those who believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, a perspective that...More



Thursday, April 18, 2024

Continuing with the Lord Jesus!

[Barnabas] encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.
Acts 11:23

Continuing with the Lord Jesus!
The exhortation in the verse of the day consists of four parts:

Continuing with the Lord concerns our heart. The Lord does not expect our time, our strength, our money or our service first. He wants our affection. The central motive for everything we do in our lives should be love for the Lord Jesus. Because He died for us, our heart belongs to Him.
Continuing with the Lord requires a decision. Every day we make decisions –...More



Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Contaminated sites

Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.
Isaiah 1:18

Contaminated sites
At disused factories or in old landfills, there may be contaminated sites that pollute the soil. Whether they lie on the surface or are filled in, whether they have already caused damage or not, these contaminated sites pose considerable risks to groundwater and human health. That is why most countries take this problem seriously and conduct thorough remediation of all contaminated sites.

Contaminated sites – do they also exist in our...More



Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Wouldn’t that leave you cold as...

(He) sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, Come, for all things are now ready. But they all with one accord began to make excuses. …Then the master of the house, being angry …
Luke 14:17–18, 21

Wouldn’t that leave you cold as well? You invite your best friends to dinner, put a lot of effort into it – and when you finally have everything prepared, one after the other cancels shortly beforehand ...

Probably such insulting behaviour happens only rarely. But the Bible tells of a man who had exactly the same thing happen to him. When everything is ready, none of...More



Monday, April 15, 2024

Whenever a pianist anywhere in the world hits...

The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot.
Proverbs 10:7

Whenever a pianist anywhere in the world hits the keys on a “Steinway & Sons” grand piano, the sound experience is owed to Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg, who was born on February 22, 1797, in Wolfshagen in the Harz Mountains, Germany. Heinrich began a carpentry apprenticeship at the age of 15. He then went to Goslar, where he worked as an organist and trained as an instrument maker. From 1814 to 1822 he was drafted into military service.

After first making guitars, zithers and mandolins as a sideline,...More



Sunday, April 14, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (134)

And where I go you know, and the way you know. Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
John 14:4–6

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (134)
Jesus has made known to His disciples the destination of their journey: it is the house where God the Father dwells. No child of God has yet reached this eternal home; that will not happen until the Lord comes and raptures all the redeemed to Himself (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). But the Lord is concerned...More



Saturday, April 13, 2024

Last-minute testimony

To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.
Acts 10:43

Last-minute testimony
A major weekly newspaper published testimony from condemned death row inmates. Many expressed clear revolt – not so with M.

He said, “First of all, I would like to express my sincere regret to the family of my victim. I have caused a lot of pain, sorrow, grief and suffering. This fills me with very deep sadness. I know that nothing can bring A. (his victim) back. ... But I want you to know that I am no longer the person I was: this one is...More



Friday, April 12, 2024

Our verse of the day is one of the best...

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and for ever.
Hebrews 13:8

Our verse of the day is one of the best-known statements in the Bible – and rightly so. The fact that Jesus Christ does not change brings happiness and joy to all who entrust their lives to Him, the Saviour and Redeemer. Don’t we all long for stability and reliability in an environment that is becoming increasingly unstable and chaotic? Where can we find secure footing and a firm anchor for our lives?

Only Jesus Christ, the Son of God, can give us what we long for deep inside. He does not change. He takes care of our...More



Thursday, April 11, 2024

You have to take a break for 14 days!

But you stand here awhile, that I may announce to you the word of God.

Hear, and your soul shall live.

1 Samuel 9:27; Isaiah 55:3

You have to take a break for 14 days!
This instruction by the doctor can be received very differently by patients. Some feel completely hollowed out by such a forced break. They cannot be without activity. Others may consider themselves indispensable and find it hard to bear the thought that professional life will go on without them for 14 days. Still others may find such a time a beneficial break that allows them to take a breath and regain their...More



Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Jesus Christ, God’s promised Redeemer and...

When He had been baptised, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, this is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Matthew 3:16–17

Jesus Christ, God’s promised Redeemer and Ruler of His people, has come to the Jordan to John the Baptist. Outwardly, the Son of God cannot be distinguished from the others who are being baptised there. The Baptist, too, did not recognise Him until He demanded baptism from him; at first, he even wanted to...More



Tuesday, April 9, 2024

John the Baptist is the forerunner of the...

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptised by him.
Matthew 3:13

John the Baptist is the forerunner of the Messiah, the Redeemer and Ruler of Israel. His coming is announced in many places in the Old Testament, and everything points to the fact that the Messiah will soon appear. Not only John, but also all the people are full of expectation (e.g. Luke 2:25–38; 3:15).

In what way do you think the Messiah will come? How will they recognise Him?

It must impress us that just as Jesus Christ did not come into the world in a palace, so now, when He begins His public...More



Monday, April 8, 2024

Celebrities often have a hard time living a...

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life … we declare to you.
1 John 1:1–3

Celebrities often have a hard time living a normal life undetected by paparazzi and fans. Once, a man with a glued-on beard and wig appeared in a jewellery store in Los Angeles. The jeweller thought that he was a robber and alerted the police. But then the suspect turned out to be a well-known artist who had disguised himself to avoid the attention of his admirers.

At that I think of the Son...More



Sunday, April 7, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (133)

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
John 14:1–3

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (133)
Jesus told His disciples that He would leave them and that they could not follow Him then. The disciples are troubled by the thought of His leaving because they still expect Him to ultimately deliver them from the rule of the Romans as...More



Saturday, April 6, 2024

Have faith in God

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; or His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.
Isaiah 59:1

Have faith in God
Above the clouds in calm, majestic splendour,
Our Lord is now enthroned, the Son of God,
Who once came down in love so pure and tender,
To suffer for our sins, and shed His blood.
In trusting Him all doubt and fear and worry
Are swept away, for He is on the throne:
Confusion, panic, senseless rush and hurry
Are quieted in seeing Him alone.
The world goes mad, but He remains the Master,
And soon will come to take His...More



Friday, April 5, 2024

The Son of God

And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.
John1:34

The Son of God
In all the writings of the apostle John, the Lord Jesus is presented to us as the Son of God.

In his Gospel, John speaks of the Son of God in whom we believe. He became man to bring us divine grace. All His words and works testified to Him as the One who came to us from God the Father. At our conversion, we received Him into our lives and believed in His name. As a result, He gave us the right to be children of God (John 1:12).

In the letters of the apostle John, we come to know the Son of God...More



Thursday, April 4, 2024

Bibles for Cuba

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11

Bibles for Cuba
The story goes that the Cuban head of government, Fidel Castro, wanted a Bible for a certain occasion and had it ordered from the Bible Commission. The Bibles available at the time were simple copies with a coloured cover. Fidel Castro was not very impressed with this book and asked if there was any other edition available. “What kind would you like?” asked the person in charge of the...More



Wednesday, April 3, 2024

The heart of the believer

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
2 Chronicles 16:9

The heart of the believer
Yesterday we saw that God has given a new heart to every person who repents towards Him and believes in the Saviour. Thus begins a life of faith with the Lord Jesus. Now this life of faith depends on how our heart stands with Him. Everything depends on it. In the Bible we find two different inner states: we can have a divided heart or an undivided heart.

A divided heart is shown by the fact that we...More



Tuesday, April 2, 2024

The heart of man

I will give you a new heart.
Ezekiel 36:26

The heart of man
When the Bible speaks of the heart, it is usually not about the organ that pumps our blood through our arteries and veins. Almost always, the “heart” is about the seat of our affections or the place where we make our decisions.

God’s judgment on the human heart does not correspond to the widespread opinion that man has a good core. On the contrary! In Jeremiah 17:9–10 He says: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart”. He sees evil, envious,...More



Monday, April 1, 2024

How do we picture the guards who watched over...

And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
Matthew 28:2–4

How do we picture the guards who watched over Jesus’ tomb? At the crucifixion of Jesus, four soldiers and a centurion are mentioned. And in Acts we learn that “four squads of soldiers” guarded Peter in prison (John 19:23; Luke 23:47; Acts 12:4).

Thus, we can assume that there were also...More



Sunday, March 31, 2024

Jesus Christ was captured, condemned, brutalised and...

You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here.
Mark 16:6

Jesus Christ was captured, condemned, brutalised and crucified. But why didn’t He fight back? Why did He accept the gross injustice without protest and finally die an agonising, shameful death? In the end, He lay in the grave – and with Him hopes, expectations, dreams and longings. Everything seemed over and done with – on Good Friday.

On Sunday, “very early in the morning”, some women come to the tomb. They have spices with them and want to anoint the Lord’s body. It was a last service of love, so to...More



Saturday, March 30, 2024

Comfort through the rod and the staff

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

Comfort through the rod and the staff
In Psalm 23, the relationship of the believer to his Lord is compared to the relationship of a sheep to the shepherd. What the shepherd is and does for the sheep symbolically describes the care of the Lord Jesus for His own.

Today’s verse is about the shepherd’s rod and staff. What are they for and what do they mean?

The rod is a knotted stick in the shepherd’s hand. It serves as a weapon to ward off the attack of wild animals on the flock and to put these enemies to...More



Friday, March 29, 2024

“Truly this Man was the Son of God!”...

So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, Truly this Man was the Son of God!
Mark 15:39

“Truly this Man was the Son of God!” said the Roman centurion. And probably for the first time in this hard soldier’s life, he felt naked fear rising within him. Yes, this crucifixion was different from usual – completely different. The Roman felt that clearly. Everything had gone quite strangely – even until the very end. At that point, for example, the condemned man had cried out twice more.

The Roman mercenary knew from experience...More



Thursday, March 28, 2024

What really counts

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.
Philippians 3:8

What really counts
A Bible study for young Christians was about priorities in life. The message to us was powerful: “Don’t waste your time on meaningless goals. Rather, reach out for what really counts.”

Then each of us was given five sheets of paper. On each sheet we were to write down a fundamental goal of our lives: in the areas of relationships, achievements,...More



Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Someone always has time for you!

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:7

Someone always has time for you!
People often have no time for the concerns of others. Not so Jesus Christ. Whoever sincerely seeks Him and prays to Him will never be turned away. Even when He lived on earth, He was there for everyone who needed His help:

The Lord Jesus simply left the crowds on the streets of Jericho and visited Zacchaeus, who could no longer cope with his guilt before God.

Surrounded by a crowd, the Saviour immediately noticed that a...More



Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Different kinds of grace

For it is good that the heart be established by grace.
Hebrews 13:9

Different kinds of grace
Grace for the journey of faith: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:3; Philippians 1:2). The apostle Paul uses exactly the same wording in his greeting to the believers in Corinth and Philippi. He wishes grace and peace to both. From this it becomes clear that we are dependent on God’s grace both in a bad spiritual condition like the Corinthians and in a good condition like the Philippians. It is available to us for every step of the journey of...More



Monday, March 25, 2024

No one is excluded

The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
John 6:37

No one is excluded
In the lead-up to large sporting events a selection procedure often has to take place. Athletes are selected for the World Championships on the basis of good performances and results. There are many bitter disappointments when the selection criteria are not met.

Even when applying for a job, a multi-stage selection process is often used to choose the most suitable employee. Those who fall by the wayside in the race for the job are fobbed off with a polite letter. They then feel completely left...More



Sunday, March 24, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (132)

Simon Peter said to Him, Lord, where are You going? Jesus answered him, Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward. Peter said to Him, Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake. Jesus answered him, Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.
John 13:36–38

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (132)
Did the new commandment Jesus had just given make no impression on Peter? To love one another as their Lord loved them – this sounds very challenging....More



Saturday, March 23, 2024

The Family Tree of Jesus Christ

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.
Matthew 1:1

The Family Tree of Jesus Christ
The Gospel according to Matthew begins with the family tree of Jesus Christ. With the individuals who are listed there, it is noticeable that it concerns a record of people who all failed, more or less. But why did God decide to “choose” exactly these ancestors for the Messiah? We can only see His mercy in this. Just this list of persons makes it undoubtedly clear why God came in the person of His Son.

The second thing that stands out about the genealogy of...More



Friday, March 22, 2024

Andrew brings his brother to Jesus

He (Andrew) first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, We have found the Messiah (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.
John 1:41–42

Andrew brings his brother to Jesus
Andrew has followed Jesus Christ and he has come to know Him personally. And now he is fascinated by and satisfied with this person. He wants to tell others about Him. So he first seeks out his brother Simon and tells him, “We have found the Messiah”, the Saviour who “will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

We read in the report the short and yet so meaningful...More



Thursday, March 21, 2024

The beginning of the persecution of Christians...

But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
Acts 7:55

The beginning of the persecution of Christians, which unfortunately still takes place worldwide today, is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. With an urgent sermon from the faithful disciple Stephen, God makes a final appeal to the spiritual and political leadership of the Jews at that time. They have condemned Jesus Christ, the completely guiltless one, to death. And Stephen holds this up to them in plain words.

When Stephen then gazes “full of the Holy...More



Wednesday, March 20, 2024

In early 1978, the Belgrade police discovered a...

Fear involves torment.
1 John 4:18

In early 1978, the Belgrade police discovered a former soldier hiding in the attic of his house for fear of being punished. And he had been doing so since 1945!
In 1943 he had joined partisans commanded by the communist, Tito. Three months later he was captured by the Germans. Later he joined a group that fought against the communists. But then Tito won and became president.

Now the former soldier feared being punished for his activities in World War II. And so he went into hiding. When he made the decision, he was 32 years old – and when he was discovered,...More



Tuesday, March 19, 2024

In the well-known international bestseller...

For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favour from the Lord.
Proverbs 8:35

In the well-known international bestseller, “The Café on the Edge of the World”, by John Strelecky, the focus is on the question of the meaning of life. The plot is simple: an overworked advertising manager gets lost in a café in the middle of nowhere. As he reads the menu there, he comes across three questions:

Why are you here?
Are you afraid of death?
Are you living a full life?

At first he is sceptical. But then he gets absorbed with the questions and discusses them...More



Monday, March 18, 2024

Being ransomed means that a ransom price has...

...knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ.
1 Peter 1:18–19

Being ransomed means that a ransom price has been paid. In kidnappings, sums of money are often demanded in return for the release of hostages. Such ransoms have been paid many times in history:

20 talents of silver were demanded by pirates in ancient times for the Roman general, Julius Caesar;
6,000 buckets of silver were demanded in 1194 for the English king, Richard the...More



Sunday, March 17, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (131)

Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, Where I am going, you cannot come, so now I say to you. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:33–35

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (131)
For the first time the Lord addresses His disciples as “little children”. On the one hand, He sees them as those who have been brought into the family of God (cf. ch. 1:12). On the other...More



Saturday, March 16, 2024

The presence of the Lord

Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:20

The presence of the Lord
After His resurrection, Jesus Christ gave His disciples the promise that He would be with them every day. This is still true today for all who believe in Him. Although we do not see our Lord, we know that He is near us at all times and in every place.

He is present in the workplace when we have to solve a difficult task or have a delicate conversation.
He is with us in our lonely hours and helps us to bear them and spend them for His joy.
He is with us and sustains...More



Friday, March 15, 2024

Justification by faith

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

Justification by faith
I have been justified by faith from God. This is not due to any merit on my part, but only to grace from God. Because I believed that Jesus Christ died on the cross to forgive my guilt, God has justified me. Now I stand before Him as if I had never sinned. Therefore I have peace with God.

I know that all my sins have been blotted out by the blood of the Lord Jesus. As a result, there is no longer any question between God and me regarding my sins. Everything...More



Thursday, March 14, 2024

Mrs L. led a happy life. Her husband...

Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Mark 10:17; Matthew 7:7–8

Mrs L. led a happy life. Her husband loved and cared for her, and her children were healthy and brought her joy. She really lacked nothing, and yet deep in her heart was a longing for more. No, not for material things – it was her soul that was not at peace.

Then one day at a Christian event she heard for...More



Wednesday, March 13, 2024

1941: The Second World War is...

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
John 15:13

1941: The Second World War is raging. In the concentration camp in Auschwitz, where probably at least one million Jews, Poles, Sinti and Roma people, as well as Russians, met a cruel death, the priest Maximilian Kolbe is also imprisoned.

When one day a prisoner cannot be found, the sadistic guards suspect an escape. In retaliation, they arbitrarily select some men to murder. Among them is a husband and father, Franciszek Gajowniczek. As he breaks into loud weeping, not wanting to leave his family behind –...More



Tuesday, March 12, 2024

To fear and to be afraid

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

To fear and to be afraid
In today’s Bible passage, God, through Moses, tells the people of Israel the comforting words, “Do not fear nor be afraid of them”. This encouraging statement applies to us too.

Fear creeps up on us when we have an evil foreboding of what the future might bring us. We are afraid of an exam at school, or of evil people, or of a disease that might befall us. We are afraid that we...More



Monday, March 11, 2024

John the Baptist

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
John 1:6

John the Baptist
Today’s Bible verse begins the story of John the Baptist in this Gospel. What we read of him here we can well apply to ourselves.

“There was a man.” John came into the world, lived as a child and grew into a grown man. He was a human being like you and me. But he had a personal relationship with God. That made his life meaningful. Maybe you see yourself as just an ordinary person. Then don’t forget that through faith in the Lord Jesus you are a redeemed person who is very precious to...More



Saturday, March 9, 2024

The lifesaver

The Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

The lifesaver
Wesley Autrey, a 50-year-old construction worker, was waiting for the next train at an underground station. Then the young student Cameron Hollopeter, who was standing right next to him, suddenly had an epileptic seizure and fell off the platform directly onto the tracks. The lights of the approaching underground were already visible. Nevertheless, Autrey didn’t hesitate for a second and jumped after him.

As he didn’t have enough time to hoist the student back onto the platform, he pulled him into the...More



Friday, March 8, 2024

Exercising godliness?

Exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
1 Timothy 4:7–8

Exercising godliness?
We often associate “exercising” with school, music or sport. We want to make progress in something and achieve a goal. That’s why we do the same thing over and over again, to discover inconsistencies and mistakes in the execution of tasks and to eventually avoid these errors. We practise something until it belongs to our range of behaviour – until we can, for...More



Thursday, March 7, 2024

Where from, what for, where to?

Woe to him who says to his father, What are you begetting? Or to the woman, What have you brought forth? Thus says the Lord, The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons; and concerning the work of My hands, you command Me.
Isaiah 45:10–11

Where from, what for, where to?
Three important questions have always occupied people’s thoughts: Where do I come from? What am I living for? Where am I going?

Whatever you face in your life, do not accuse your parents of having conceived and given birth to you. Remember: the Creator is the source of all life....More



Wednesday, March 6, 2024

On a snowy day

Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day.
2 Samuel 23:20

On a snowy day
Benaiah was one of the men who accompanied David on his flight from King Saul. The Bible calls him a brave man and tells how he fought a lion in a pit on a snowy day. Benaiah performed a difficult task in a difficult place and under difficult circumstances.

God took note and made a point to record this feat in great detail in His...More



Tuesday, March 5, 2024

This man, reported in the Acts of the...

And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning.
Acts 8:27–28

This man, reported in the Acts of the Apostles, occupied a position of considerable importance. Not only did he have to manage the huge treasures of his queen, but he was certainly wealthy himself.

And yet – deep down he was missing something; otherwise he would not have made the arduous journey to Jerusalem to get to know the true God there. Unfortunately, he had not been able to find Him in the...More



Monday, March 4, 2024

Fear is like an invisible ballast that can...

O Lord, I am oppressed; Undertake for me!
Isaiah 38:14

Fear is like an invisible ballast that can spread over our entire lives. The quotation above comes from Hezekiah, the king of the ancient Jewish Empire. His fear becomes immediately understandable when we read the 38th chapter of the prophet Isaiah. Hezekiah had just learned that he had only a short time to live.

When the Bible speaks of fear, the emphasis is often on the external causes and not so much on the feeling triggered by a threat. The causes of fear can be very different: getting older, threatening situations or people, illness or an...More



Sunday, March 3, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (129)

Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, What you do, do quickly. But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, Buy those things we need for the feast, or that he should give something to the poor. Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.
John 13:27–30

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (129)
This must have been a real shock for Judas. The Lord knows exactly what he is going to do! But Judas doesn’t take this last opportunity...More



Saturday, March 2, 2024

The exciting story of the disobedient prophet...

But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
Jonah 1:3

The exciting story of the disobedient prophet Jonah is written in the first part of the Bible, in the Old Testament. God sends Jonah with a message of judgment to Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire. Jonah sets out on his journey, but in the wrong direction! Does he really think he can outrun God? Apparently so, but that’s completely impossible. And that is perhaps the first important lesson this interesting Bible book contains.

God catches up with the disobedient prophet – through a large fish that saves him...More



Friday, March 1, 2024

The "radio church" Latvia around the...

For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth; Your faith toward God has gone out.

1 Thessalonians 1:8

The "radio church" Latvia around the year 1980: The Christian faith and the spreading of the gospel were fiercely opposed by the rulers of the countries of the then USSR. At that time, Christians from Finland who ran a radio mission station had received permission to travel to Riga. In one family they visited, they also met an elderly woman. She had come from a distant village and had an interesting story to tell.

She lived alone in her cottage in a large village. One evening she came...More



Thursday, February 29, 2024

Single-minded discipleship

To him (Caleb) and his children I am giving the land on which he walked, because he wholly followed the Lord.
Deuteronomy 1:36

Single-minded discipleship
Caleb was one of the twelve men who had passed through Canaan for 40 days. During this time, he had come to know and appreciate the Promised Land. He also believed that God would give this land to the people of Israel as their possession. He held fast to this belief during the year-long wilderness journey. Shortly before the people crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan, God gave him a good testimony: Caleb had...More



Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Flee from God?

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
Psalm 139:7-8

Flee from God?
No man can run away from God. Nevertheless, many try. Here is a story from the Bible: The godless King Ahab was told by a prophet of God that he would not return alive from war. But Ahab had an idea to escape his fate - or so he hoped. Since kings and army commanders were particularly targeted in such battles at that time, he went into battle in the uniform of an ordinary soldier - in order to remain...More



Tuesday, February 27, 2024

God's hands

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?
Isaiah 40:12

God's hands
I had accidentally knocked over my glass. Now the water was flowing over the edge of the table to the floor. In my embarrassment, I tried to catch the liquid with my bare hands - but in vain! Most of the water ran through my fingers. Only a fraction remained in my palms. The rest formed a puddle at my feet.

Some days my life feels very similar. I try to solve...More



Monday, February 26, 2024

Salvation

He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.
Psalm 18:16

Salvation
David uses a striking image in today's verse from the Psalms to describe divine salvation. He sees himself in a flood of water, almost drowning. Then God intervenes from above, taking hold of him and pulling him out of the water.

Isn't that an apt picture of our salvation at conversion? We were in a stream that was taking us further and further away from God. We were being drawn into the depths by our sins. We were drifting unavoidably towards eternal destruction.

Then we heard the...More



Sunday, February 25, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (128)

Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. Then, leaning back on Jesus' breast, he said to Him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it. And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
John 13:23-26

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (128)
"One of you will betray Me", the Lord tells His disciples. They become insecure because, although the traitor knows exactly that he is the one, he does not...More



Saturday, February 24, 2024

Prayer

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
John 15:7

Prayer
In today's Bible verse, the Lord Jesus gives two conditions for our prayers to be answered:

1. "If you abide in Me ..." By this He means a life of conscious and constant dependence on Him. It is about maintaining regular prayer contact with Him and asking Him what He wants from us. This closeness to the Lord Jesus in everyday life requires that we judge ourselves so that our relationship with Him is not clouded by sin.

If we stay close to...More



Thursday, February 23, 2024

Partition walls

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
Isaiah 55:7

Partition walls
We know about partition walls from open-plan offices. They separate colleagues' desks from one another so that people can work with as much concentration as possible. At home, in the garden or on the balcony, there are privacy screens to create some degree of separation. Who wants their neighbour to look at what is on their dinner plate?

Walls separate people from people but also people...More



Wednesday, February 22, 2024

The banquet of grace

A certain man gave a great supper and invited many.
Luke 14:16

The banquet of grace
To show people the grace of God, the Lord Jesus told a story that is still relevant today: A certain man invited many guests to a banquet. When everything was ready, his servant went to those invited and asked them to come.

This is how God invites people today to come to Him and accept His grace. Because His Son, Jesus Christ, accomplished the work of redemption on the cross, He is ready to receive all. He does not expect anything from them. They do not have to have a decent life or a record of good...More



Tuesday, February 21, 2024

Saviour, Comforter and Preserver

For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
Psalm 116:8

Saviour, Comforter and Preserver
In today's short verse from the Psalms, God is introduced to us in three ways.

He is our Saviour. Because of the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus, God has saved us from our lost condition and brought us to Himself. As saved or redeemed, we are now His beloved children. Every day He cares for us. In Psalm 68:19 we read about this: "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation!" Again and again, we come into situations...More



Monday, February 20, 2024

Starting the day with praise to God

Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God.
Psalm 147:1

Starting the day with praise to God
Alina comes to school cheerful every day. The teacher notices this. Once she asks Alina, "How come you are so happy every morning?" The girl replies, "My mother sings me to school." When the teacher inquires, it turns out that Alina's mother sings while preparing breakfast.

At a parents' evening, the teacher asks Alina's mother about it. She begins to talk frankly: "I used to always be in a bad mood in the morning. I noticed that this habit infected my whole family. We started...More



Sunday, February 19, 2024

Saved - and then?

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

Saved - and then?
Those who have been saved by the grace of God can rejoice in many wonderful facts:

Forgiveness of sins: "I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake" (1 John 2:12).
Peace with God: "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
Being children of God: "But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become the children of God, to...More



Saturday, February 18, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (127)

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me. Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.
John 13:20-22

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (127)
Once again, the Lord refers to feet-washing by means of His Word. But this time He does not put the responsibility on those who perform the task; now it is about the one who receives this...More



Friday, February 17, 2024

On January 31, 1953...

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
Mark 10:45

On January 31, 1953, the inhabitants of the Dutch island of Texel learned that a severe north-west storm was approaching. At the same time, a particularly high water level was putting pressure on the island's dykes.

Since it was known that one particular dyke in the north of the island was in poor condition, the men of the so-called "dyke army" were called together that very evening. They were obliged to come and help in the event of an impending dyke breach. They toiled to stabilise...More



Thursday, February 16, 2024

Andrew comes to Jesus

Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, Behold the Lamb of God! The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.
John 1:35-37, 40

Andrew comes to Jesus
Simon Peter and Andrew were brothers in the flesh, but very different from one another. Peter, obviously the older one, set the tone and was often the first. Of Andrew, on the other hand, we read little; apparently he didn't speak much and rarely came to the fore. Peter preached to many...More



Wednesday, February 15, 2024

Follow the instructions for use!

And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day.
Deuteronomy 6:24

Follow the instructions for use!
When buying a garment, it is important to follow the washing instructions. It is worth following the recommendation, for example, not to wash delicate fabrics in boiling water. If you do not follow the washing instructions, you may not notice much damage to your clothes in the short term. But sooner or later unpleasant consequences will occur: the colour changes or the garment shrinks. And at...More



Tuesday, February 14, 2024

Whoever wants to benefit from...

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

Whoever wants to benefit from the Bible, the Word of God, must never overlook the fact that this Word judges us - and not the other way around. Many people think they can form their own judgment about the Word of God. The result is then, unfortunately, that many are hostile to the Bible. Others, on the other hand, make up their own interpretations instead of letting the words of the Bible have an unbiased effect on them.

Yes, even true...More



Monday, February 13, 2024

How do we use the word...

We have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul.
Hebrews 6:18-19

How do we use the word "hope" in everyday life? Here are some examples: We climb a rickety ladder - and hope it will hold. We leave at a certain time - and hope to arrive on time. We change jobs - and hope that things will get better. We hope so ... But these hopes are often very uncertain because they do not have sufficient justification: no solid basis. A stable hope that actually leads to the hoped-for goal needs, like an anchor, a secure hold or a fortification.

Unanchored...More



Sunday, February 12, 2024

Nyepi is the holiest..

We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 2:1-2

Nyepi is the holiest Hindu holiday in Bali. It is the first day of a new year and is supposed to be a new beginning in as much purity as possible. On the day after, Balinese people visit each other and ask for forgiveness in order to start the new year purified. Many of them rub their bodies with mud from the mangrove forest on this day and then bathe in the sea to wash away everything bad: like mud, negativity, and mischief. Great fun - but with a serious background!

Is it...More



Saturday, February 11, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (126)

Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me. Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.
John 13:16-19

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (126)
Jesus gave His disciples an example: just as He washed their feet, they should also wash one another's feet....More



Friday, February 10, 2024

Here is Pilate, in conversation with...

Pilate said to Him, What is truth?
John 18:38

Here is Pilate, in conversation with Jesus Christ: he speaks a great word calmly - perhaps more or less calmly. The question "What is truth?" has been on the agenda since the beginning of human history. Many seem to be no longer interested in it. Not only do people lie their heads off, but lies can also be printed with confidence - and somehow we have become accustomed to this fact.

Truth is reinvented in this way, and an absolute standard is not necessarily desired. Of course, this causes some shifts - in interpersonal relationships as well. What one...More



Thursday, February 9, 2024

A young man to whom I want to...

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

But He said, More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!

Psalm 19:9; Luke 11:28

A young man to whom I want to give a Christian flyer refuses, saying, "I'm not religious at all!" "But why don't you want to familiarise yourself with an important subject for once?" I counter.

"I'm not a Bible person," the other continues. "Do you already know it, then?" I enquire. "Not really," he replies. But then he becomes more serious: "The only thing I want to know...More



Wednesday, February 8, 2024

Martha, Martha!

For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.
Luke 22:27

Martha, Martha!
Jesus Christ comes with his twelve disciples to Bethany - to a village about three kilometres from Jerusalem. A woman named Martha takes the group into her home. So many people to entertain at one time: what generous hospitality! But Mary, the sister of the hostess, sits down "at the feet of Jesus" and listens to His words while Martha has her hands full feeding the guests.

Eventually, the busy Martha has had enough and...More



Tuesday, February 7, 2024

Interestingly, famous personalities often receive little...

He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.
Isaiah 53:2

Interestingly, famous personalities often receive little attention in their hometowns. This was also the case on July 20, 1969, when astronaut Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) became the first person to set foot on the moon. He coined the famous expression, "That's one small step for a man, but one giant leap for mankind". Armstrong's great-grandfather came from Ladbergen in Westphalia, Germany. In the town, however, people took only passing notice of the moon landing - because at the time, many preferred to...More



Monday, February 6, 2024

How can I be released?

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke their chains in pieces. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Psalm 107:13-15

How can I be released?
Sylvain, a convict in another country sentenced to life in prison, explains:

For ten years I made plans how to escape from this dark place: ten years full of plans for revenge and full of hatred for society and for people! For ten years, day after day, I...More



Sunday, February 5, 2024

Sometimes you can't believe your eyes...

For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, Saying, Peace, peace! when there is no peace.
Jeremiah 8:11

Sometimes you can't believe your eyes, for example seeing the fingernails of an orangutan painted purple. Crazy, isn't it?

The animal has been operated on in an animal sanctuary. And just when he wakes up from anaesthesia, an animal keeper starts acting as a beautician and applies purple-coloured nail polish to his nails. What's the point of this? Well, the unfamiliar procedure on the nails is to distract the orangutan so he doesn't get the idea of playing with the...More



Saturday, February 4, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (125)

So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
John 13:12-15

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (125)
Feet-washing was a common gesture in the Orient at that time to welcome visitors. It was often performed by slaves. The fact that Jesus Himself washed the feet of His disciples shows His...More



Friday, February 3, 2024

A mind at perfect peace...

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:13


A mind at perfect peace with God -
Oh, what a word is this!
A sinner reconciled through blood -
This, this indeed is peace.
By nature and by practice far,
How very far from God!
Yet now by grace brought near to Him
Through faith in Jesus' blood.
So near, so very near to God,
I cannot nearer be;
For in the person of His Son,
I am as near as He.
So dear, so very dear to God,
More dear I cannot be;
The love wherewith He loves...More



Thursday, February 2, 2024

Conversion

to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.
Acts 26:18

Conversion
God causes the good news of His saving grace to be proclaimed and spread so that people will turn to Him. He accepts everyone who recognises his lost condition before Him and converts to Him with confession of his sins. The basis for this is the work of redemption that Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross.

Conversion to God is a decisive step for every...More



Wednesday, February 1, 2024

The son of a civil servant is healed

Then Jesus said to him, Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.

Jesus said to him, Go your way; your son lives. So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.

John 4:48, 50

The son of a civil servant is healed
Jesus Christ worked His miracles wherever He was received. When He was in Galilee, someone whose son was dying came to Him. This father had travelled about 30 kilometres because he hoped for help from Jesus.

The Lord put him to the test: "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe."...More



Tuesday, January 31, 2024

From far away to near

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:13

From far away to near
How can we live happily near God? Let's start at the beginning: God had created Adam and Eve and placed them in a beautiful garden. There, the first humans had close contact with God. But then suddenly everything changed: Adam and Eve disobeyed God - they sinned. This had tremendous consequences for all mankind, which the prophet Isaiah expressed as follows: "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you" (ch....More



Monday, January 30, 2024

Kind treatment

And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment.
Acts 27:1

Kind treatment
Paul was a prisoner. He could no longer freely control his movements. Others decided when and how he should come to Italy. During this journey he was under the supervision of the Roman centurion Julius. From a human point of view, it now depended on his goodwill how well or how badly Paul would fare.

We too experience situations in which we have no freedom decide for ourselves what we are going to do. At...More



Sunday, January 29, 2024

Lot, the big loser

Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom.
Genesis 13:12

Lot, the big loser
When Abraham and Lot have to separate because of their large herds of cattle, Lot moves to the fertile Jordan plain. In that place is also the city of Sodom, where very wicked people live. Thus, the believing Lot deliberately exposes himself to the bad influence of the godless world, which eventually takes him over completely.

If we continue to read his story in the Bible, we see how Lot goes further and further downhill. In the end, he stands there as a big...More



Saturday, January 28, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (124)

Simon Peter said to Him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head! Jesus said to him, He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you. For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, You are not all clean.
John 13:9-11

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (124)
When Peter learns that he can only have fellowship with his Lord if his feet are washed, he asks for more: he wants his whole body to be washed. This desire is understandable, since it shows how attached Peter is to his Lord. On the other hand, Peter has not yet...More



Friday, January 27, 2024

A warm welcome found

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.
Ephesians 2:19

A warm welcome found
Steven comes to England as a young African refugee. He is stateless. He guesses that he was born in Mozambique, but perhaps it was in Zimbabwe. He never knew his father and lost his mother at an early age. With no identity card and no proof of his birthplace, Steven enters a police station and asks to be arrested. Prison seems better to him than having to struggle along homeless and without a residence permit.

Before our...More



Thursday, January 26, 2024

But you must continue!

But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them.
2 Timothy 3:14

But you must continue!
In today's Bible verse, every Christian is personally instructed to abide in what he has learned from the Bible, especially from the New Testament. What this means in concrete terms is illustrated by two examples:

You have learned from the Word of God that a redeemed person cannot be lost because the Lord has promised: "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand"...More



Wednesday, January 25, 2024

The new birth

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!
1 John 3:1

The new birth
When we have children of our own, we love them. The love of parents for their children has been placed within us by the Creator. Next to the love between husband and wife, there is no closer relationship than that between parents and their children. And now we learn from the Bible that God makes people His children. How can this happen?

A child comes into being through procreation and birth. It is the same with God's relationship with men in a figurative sense....More



Tuesday, January 24, 2024

At the beginning of the Victorian Era in Ireland there...

Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
Isaiah 45:22

At the beginning of the Victorian Era in Ireland there lives a farm labourer, Andrew Dunn, who sincerely seeks peace with God. A priest in charge of him cannot give him satisfactory answers to his questions.

Then Andrew receives a New Testament as a gift. Inquisitive, he begins to read it. When he comes to the passage in Luke 15 where the prodigal son says, "I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy...More



Monday, January 23, 2024

The Dane, Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), was an...

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me.
2 Timothy 4:7-8

The Dane, Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), was an astronomer and the greatest astrologer of his time. When he died, not only the most famous scientist in Europe was laid to rest, but also the order of earth and sky as it had been since ancient times. For forty years, Brahe had researched, observed, discovered, mapped, measured, determined and described stars. According to his thinking, in contrast to the ideas...More



Sunday, January 22, 2024

Faith in God's Word

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17

Faith in God's Word
God wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). That is why He has the good news of salvation proclaimed and spread. On this subject, today's Bible verse presents an important principle: saving faith comes through the proclamation of the Word of God.

This is true for those who have been commissioned by the Lord Jesus to bring the gospel of grace to people. Surely they will ask themselves how they can reach people who hardly know anything from the...More



Saturday, January 21, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (123)

Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, Lord, are You washing my feet? Jesus answered and said to him, What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this. Peter said to Him, You shall never wash my feet! Jesus answered him, If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.
John 13:6-8

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (123)
Picture this: Jesus, the creator of the universe, takes off His outer garments to wash the feet of His disciples. All His disciples say nothing about it - except for Peter! He has a sense of the incomprehensible humility of his Lord. And he can't...More



Friday, January 20, 2024

Unique

Since you were precious in My sight...
Isaiah 43:4

Unique
You are unique to God. Because He created you, you are precious to Him. He loves you. His desire is that you might live in a happy relationship with Him. But there is a fundamental problem. Our sins separate us from God. This obstacle must be removed so that we can make personal contact with our Creator. He Himself took the first step.

God's love is unique. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Surely we can hardly...More



Wednesday, January 18, 2024

Jesus Christ is coming again!

And at midnight a cry was heard: Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!
Matthew 25:6

Jesus Christ is coming again!
In Matthew 25, the Lord Jesus tells the parable of ten bridesmaids who were waiting for the bridegroom. When he failed to appear they fell asleep. At midnight they were awakened by a loud cry, "Behold the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!"

What does this story have to tell us? At the beginning of the Christian era, believers were eagerly waiting for the Lord to come again. A beautiful example of this is the Christians in Thessalonica who turned to God...More



Tuesday, January 17, 2024

One could transfer this "teacher of Israel" named...

Jesus answered and said to him (Nicodemus): Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:3

One could transfer this "teacher of Israel" named Nicodemus to our time and perhaps call him an outstanding theologian. He had heard much about Jesus and was impressed by the miraculous signs He performed.

From what Nicodemus had seen and heard, he judged that this man, Jesus, must have come from God, because no one else could do such signs. And in this he was right.

The miracles that Jesus did were "signs" by which He proved Himself to be the One...More



Monday, January 16, 2024

Is there life before death?

For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: Seek Me and live!
Amos 5:4

Is there life before death?
Many people ask the question: Is there life after death? Others desperately search for the meaning of their lives before they end.

The songwriter and lyricist Wolf Biermann was born in Hamburg in 1936 and moved to the GDR in 1953. There, in 1965, his performances were banned. Biermann once expressed his thoughts on our question thus: "That can't be all. There must be something more to come! No, there must still be life in life."

The Bible tells of a king who was just as...More



Sunday, January 15, 2024

The Saviour - then and now

When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.
Luke 4:40

The Saviour - then and now
When Jesus Christ worked in Israel, He helped all who came to Him with their problems. He healed the sick, freed the demon-possessed and fed the hungry. Even today, He is still willing to help anyone in need. It is true that He no longer lives on earth but in heaven. Nevertheless, His offer is still valid: "Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew...More



Saturday, January 14, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (122)

And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
John 13:2-5

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (122)
The contrast here could hardly be greater: on the one hand the unceasing love of Jesus for His own,...More



Friday, January 13, 2024

According to God's plan

I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go.
Isaiah 48:17

According to God's plan
God wants the best for your life. Do you want it too? Then think about the following points:

God has a plan for your life. In Ephesians 2:10 Paul writes, "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." God has saved you by grace. Now He wants you to honour Him by living according to His thoughts. How this is to be done He has planned in advance. Will you allow Him to carry out this...More



Thursday, January 12, 2024

If someone "lives large", he leads an...

You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendour was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image's head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
Daniel 2:31-33

If someone "lives large", he leads an expensive lifestyle; if someone "gets off on the wrong foot", something catches him off guard. If a thing "stands on feet of clay", it is uncertain and has no firm foundation.

The phrase "standing on feet of clay" has its origins in the Bible:...More



Wednesday, January 11, 2024

Acquittal after 35 years

Pilate said to them, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; no, neither did Herod, and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him.
Luke 23:13-15

Acquittal after 35 years
A few years ago, a large picture appeared in many daily newspapers. It showed the innocent convicted felon, James Bain, embracing a distinguished grey-haired gentleman, his lawyer. For 35 years, James Bain had served time in prison, although completely innocent. A genetic test finally brought the truth to light: he could not have been the perpetrator who had assaulted and...More



Tuesday, January 10, 2024

The Most Leaning Tower in the World

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11

The Most Leaning Tower in the World
For a long time it was thought that this title belonged to the Tower of Pisa. But the East Frisians knew better. The church tower in the East Frisian village of Suurhusen, in the municipality of Hinte, is considered the most leaning tower in the world. At a height of 27.37 metres, the tower has an overhang of 2.47 metres at the ridge, which corresponds to an inclination of 5.19 degrees. By comparison, the Tower of Pisa has an inclination of just 3.97...More



Monday, January 9, 2024

The young explorer Raymond...

The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away.

Luke 19:10; Ezekiel 34:16

The young explorer Raymond Maufrais tried to get from Guyana to Brazil alone, passing through one of the least known areas of the country. For a while, news of him was received regularly - until he disappeared without a trace. Six weeks later, a native found Raymond's diary, which he had left in a deserted settlement.

Firmly convinced that his son was not dead, his father decided to search for him. For twelve years, he covered a total...More



Sunday, January 8, 2024

The Word of the Cross

For 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

The Word of the Cross
"God really exists and Jesus Christ lives." With these words a colleague, who taught at the same university as me, once addressed me. I was so perplexed that I said nothing in reply. But I thought to myself that this colleague must know, because I knew him as a serious Christian.

I was inwardly rather ambivalent because, although I believed in the existence of God, I lacked the real conviction that Jesus Christ lives....More



Saturday, January 7, 2024

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (121)

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
John 13:1

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (121)
Chapter 13 marks the beginning of a new section in John's Gospel. We want to read it especially carefully, because it presents the farewell words of Jesus. The Son of God is about to return to His Father and leave His disciples in this world. His teachings concern the time between Pentecost and His coming again, when He will receive all believers to...More



Friday, January 6, 2024

The mole

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

The mole
A colourful children's picture book tells about a mole who tries to build his own mini-car. At the first attempt, the mole fetches all kinds of car parts such as bolts, nuts, spark plugs and a steering wheel. He puts them together and is surprised that his car doesn't run, even though he has only used original parts.

On his second attempt, he has more success. He finds a smashed toy car and, on the advice of a little mouse,...More



Thursday, January 5, 2024

Nevertheless continue to believe

But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.
John 11:22

Nevertheless continue to believe
John 11 tells the story of Lazarus. When he became ill, his two sisters Martha and Mary sent a message to the Lord Jesus saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick". They hoped that He would come to them immediately to make their brother well. But Lazarus died before Jesus arrived in Bethany.

Martha went to meet Him and immediately shared her disappointment with Him: "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died." But then follow words that testify to her...More



Wednesday, January 4, 2024

The living bridge

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

The living bridge
A fire broke out in a high-rise building in Brooklyn, New York. The building was about to be completed. Because the fire spread so quickly, the tradesmen could only save themselves by climbing to the top floor.

The fire brigade approached and the longest ladder was driven out. But there was a nasty surprise. The firefighter who was standing at the top of the ladder saw it first: the ladder was too short. It was only a few rungs too short, but it meant the...More



Tuesday, January 3, 2024

Is the Bible the Word of God?

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

Is the Bible the Word of God?
To this question, the Bible itself gives a convincing answer. In the Old Testament it is made clear that this book was inspired by God. Three examples show the divine origin of the Bible with powerful effect:

In the opening chapters of Genesis, events are reported to us that are completely outside man's possibility of observation. How heaven and earth were created by the mighty work of God presupposes a...More



Monday, January 2, 2024

The Northern Lights

Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
Matthew 13:43

The Northern Lights
Following a shared lunch after the service, M. showed impressive film footage of a vacation in Norway. With a drone he filmed the wonderful landscape, the fjords, the picturesque fishing villages and the untouched nature on the Lofoten. He also captured the Northern Lights with moving images.

The northern lights are electrically charged particles of the solar wind that are attracted to the Earth's poles. They hit oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the upper layers of the Earth's...More




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