Our pluralistic culture offers a variety of "ways" to heaven. Many of the so-called truths overlook the need for Jesus-or a savior of any kind. God's Word, however, reveals Jesus as the only way to salvation. He is:
God's Son sent to earth by a loving Father (see John 3:16)
God's plan to save that which was lost (see Matt. 18:11)
God incarnate, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin (see Luke 2)
The second person of the Trinity, endorsed at baptism by the Father: "And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'" (Matt. 3:17, NKJV).
God's perfect sacrificial lamb to redeem humankind: "‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!'" (Rev. 5:12). "‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!'" (John 1:29).
The late Corrie ten Boom experienced extreme suffering in her days as a Nazi concentration camp prisoner during World War II. In her book Corrie ten Boom's Prison Letters, she wrote that she "often felt lonely and afraid." Suffering became a way of life.
To seek relief from fear, loneliness and suffering, ten Boom turned to the assurance of God's Word found in Psalm 91:4: "He shall cover thee with His feathers" (KJV). She prayed this verse every night. Then, closing her eyes, she would picture herself under the actual feathers of God's protection. Peaceful sleep would follow. read more
John 1:4-9 (NLT) says: "The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. "God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world."
In 2 Corinthians 4:5-7, Paul explains his ministry as follows: "You see, we don't go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,' has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. read more
We are creatures of desire. We move and decide on the basis of desire. Desire is our inescapable motivation.
Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate the one and love the other; you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money" (NLT). read more
Few things mean as much to parents’ hearts as raising their kids to love God. But in this day and age, how is that accomplished? When the Israelites first entered Canaan, the pressures of a pagan world threatened constantly to lure them and their children into sin. God’s words to them for parenting and life apply just as much to us today as ever. read more
This question betrays a misunderstanding that could prove critical to spiritual maturity. The Holy Spirit is a person, so the real question is: "Should I be filled with the person of the Holy Spirit?" To answer that question, you first need to know who He is.
Jesus defined the person of the Holy Spirit and His work. There is no greater source of information regarding the Spirit than the Master's own words. read more
For anyone who truly knows God, the question of whether He heals is absurd. Circumstantial evidence, however, suggests that He does not always heal in the same way or timing. Perhaps a more relevant question might be: When and why does God not heal?
It would be presumptuous to expect to answer that question fully. However, Scripture clearly indicates at least some conditions in which God does not, even will not, heal. read more
The crises of man are not new. There is nothing "more secular" about the world today than there has ever been, in any age or society. The world's hostility toward God has not changed since the days of Adam.
Living out your faith in a secular world does not depend on the approval or disapproval, acceptance or persecution, or health or disease of the world. The issue at stake centers not on the depth of the world's depravity but on the depth of your personal desire for God. read more
This month’s bible study |Read Zechariah 9-11, Matthew 21:1-5
Jesus illustrated His humility when He chose the lowly donkey as His servant
When we think about the biblical story of Christmas, what often comes to mind are mangers, wise men, angels, shepherds and stars. But we don’t often think about donkeys.
Donkeys are small, unglamorous beasts of burden. While they’re useful for such things as bearing firewood, hauling produce to market or pulling up roots and stumps, they aren’t animals that we associate with pedigree or status. You’ve probably never heard someone say, “What a beautiful donkey you have!” read more
Why we don’t need to hide in the dark from our mistakes
A little boy was playing in his father’s garage one sunny afternoon. It was a place of treasures and wonders for the youngster, who loved the tools, the workbench and watching his father work. He knew he wasn’t supposed to play in the garage unless his father was there too, but his dad wouldn’t be home for hours, and he wasn’t going to hurt anything anyway.
His father’s latest project was a wooden model of a sailing ship. Dozens of small parts and hours of labor had gone into it so far. It was going to be a beautiful ship.
As the boy explored the wondrous world, something on the shelf over the workbench caught his eye. He had to know what it was. He climbed onto the bench and stretched to reach the item. Holding on to the shelf to steady himself, he suddenly felt it give way. Everything on it crashed onto the yet-to-be-completed model, smashing many of its delicate parts.
The boy jumped down, horrified at what he had done and thinking how mad his father was going to be. He decided the best thing to do was to cover the ship with a piece of canvas and push it to the back of the workbench. Maybe his dad wouldn’t notice—or maybe he’d forget about the project.
The boy ran into the house, worried about being found out. His mom offered him an afternoon snack of milk and cookies, but he couldn’t think about anything else except what would happen if he were discovered.
John 8:31-47 gives the answer to the boy’s problem. Verse 31 tells us what to do when faced with our wrongdoing. Jesus said, “The truth will set you free.” The passage goes on to say, “Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.’”
It is our human nature to try to hide in darkness, to think that if we cover up our sins no one will know. But God always knows our deeds and our hearts. By hiding our sins, we actually make ourselves slaves to them.
God tells us in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (NIV).
If the boy had just called his father and confessed his disobedience he wouldn’t have spent the entire afternoon worried about the consequences. There probably were consequences—there are in real life as well—but they are never as bad as we imagine they’ll be.
A note about this passage in the Fire Bible: Global Study Edition says: “Yet there is only one truth that will set people free from sin, destruction and Satan’s power. That truth is Jesus Himself.”
What are you hiding? What is inhibiting you and holding you back from real freedom? Are you a slave to things in your life that you wish you were free from?
Then the answer is clear: Confess your sins to the Father, let the light of Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross shine on your life, and let Him wash away the guilt. Let the peace of the Holy Spirit come and comfort you. Know true freedom from the bondage of slavery! read more
Are you willing to let God use you despite your tainted past or major struggles? Pat Schatzline shows you how God uses the unqualified to do the qualified work for his kingdom. Let go of excuses, confront your past and rise up now.
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