The Parts We Leave Out

Unless the Lord builds a house,

its builders labor over it in vain;

unless the Lord watches over a city,

the watchman stays alert in vain.

In vain you get up early and stay up late,

working hard to have enough food

Psalm 127

You moved across the country to start a new job. A dear friend has wronged you. Your husband has cancer. Your child is rushed to the hospital. 

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Manifold Redemption

We are all saved from sin by the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. But that does not mean our salvation stories are all the same. Sin leads us into all sorts of damning situations, and God’s steadfast love is always there to redeem us.

Psalm 107 is a good example of this; urging the redeemed of the Lord to praise their Redeemer for his manifold redemption. In this Psalm we encounter four different scenarios that allude to Israel’s past, but are not identified with any one specific event. These four places of deep trouble offer us a glimpse into the varied and wonderful ways in which God redeems his people. 

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Unto to Us a Light Has Dawned

For my morning devotions I have been meditating on Isaiah’s famous “to us a child is born” prophecy. I wanted to read the prophecy in its context and see what fresh light might be cast over these well-trodden verses. So often we take the familiar words of the Old Testament and transplant them directly into their New Testament application without giving thought to the context in which they first applied. Our application of the words may be correct, but we miss something of their full meaning by pulling them out of the soil in which they existed. 

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The Lord Is My Portion

What do you do when you lose everything?

That’s what ran through my mind recently as I watched footage of the floods in southern British Columbia. The rising waters forced hundreds to evacuate the area, leaving behind homes, farms, and businesses. And the rain continues. For those hardest hit by the floods, what they had spent years building was gone in a moment. They experienced not just a loss of home or business, but a loss of a life’s work, a dream, perhaps even a loss of hope. 

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Don’t Love The World

In his first epistle the apostle John gives us the familiar command, “Do not love the world or anything in the world”. But what exactly does it mean to “not love the world”? 

Some Christians have taken it to mean that we ought to shun earthly delights and goods and focus our lives on heaven above instead. They do their best to not participate in culture and remain separate from the heathen world. 

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“I’m Sad”

One night at the supper table our kids were taking turns praying before we started the meal. Moments earlier our second youngest daughter had been kicking and screaming because she didn’t get to sit beside her sister. Consequently, she didn’t feel like praying so I attempted to convince her that God still wanted to hear from her even if she was angry. Through sniffles and snobs she prayed: “Father Heaven, I’m sad. Amen.” 

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