God of the Ordinary: All Things Reconciled

God of the Ordinary: All Things Reconciled

August 11, 2018By Jerome Blanco

In Colossians 1, Paul says that all things were made in Christ, all things were made for him, and all things hold together in him. Finally, Paul says, all things will be reconciled to him. No language can be plainer: all means all. For Paul, the Gospel of Jesus is not only about getting human souls right with God, but getting every single part of his very good creation right with him. When we think about it, doesn’t it make such wonderful sense that the redemptive story of the Bible is not only for everyone but for everything?

The Right Frame Makes All the Difference, Part 3

The Right Frame Makes All the Difference, Part 3

August 10, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

In the last couple of days, I have been reflecting with you on how the “frame” of Scripture helps us understand the Bible, and therefore our lives, more completely. In yesterday’s devotion, we noted how both the first creation in Genesis 1-2 and the new creation in Revelation 21-22 underscore the importance of the created world to God. And if God cares so much about creation, then certainly we should as well. Today, I want to consider the role of human beings in both creation stories.

The Right Frame Makes All the Difference, Part 2

The Right Frame Makes All the Difference, Part 2

August 9, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

If we frame the biblical story with these verses and what follows, we will understand just how much God cares for his creation, including but not only human beings… The more we take seriously the Bible’s own frame, the more we will understand that this world matters, not just to us, but to God. God is not just in the business of getting human beings to heaven when we die. Rather, God wants the world he created and its inhabitants to flourish as much as possible.

The Right Frame Makes All the Difference, Part 1

The Right Frame Makes All the Difference, Part 1

August 8, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

I believe that Christ died so that I might be forgiven and rose so that I might enter into the life of God. No events in history have a greater bearing on my life than the death and resurrection of Jesus. However, when I framed the biblical story mainly by the death-bringing events of Genesis 3 and the eternal-life-giving events of the Gospels, I missed much of the story of Scripture… My frame limited my vision, which also limited the way I lived each day.

Names That Represent God’s Grace – Part 4

Names That Represent God’s Grace – Part 4

August 7, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

Last Friday, I told you the story of the naming of my son, Nathan. His name, which in Hebrew means “he has given,” represents God’s grace given to my wife and me after a long season of infertility. When Nathan was about a year old, Linda and I began to think about having another child. Given how long it had taken for us to get pregnant with Nathan and how much medical help we required, we assumed that it might be several years before we had a second child, if we were able to do so at all.

Names That Represent God’s Grace – Part 3

Names That Represent God’s Grace – Part 3

August 6, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

Joseph named his second son Ephraim, explaining, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my misfortunes.” The name “Ephraim” is rather like the Hebrew word meaning “made fertile” or “made fruitful.” This name represented God’s grace to Joseph that came in the form of astounding fruitfulness in Egypt… I’m struck by the last few words in Joseph’s explanation of Ephraim’s name. He could have stopped at “For God has made me fruitful.” Instead, however, he added “in the land of my misfortunes.”

Becoming a Better Storyteller

Becoming a Better Storyteller

August 5, 2018By Tim Yee

Why do stories captivate kids so much? Here’s something to consider: Have adults somehow wrongly categorized storytelling as “kid stuff”? Isn’t it true that we never hear the local library advertising story time for adults? And yet storytelling continues to be a significant part of our lives as we read books, watch movies, stream Ted Talks, and follow our favorite Instagram influencers. Perhaps, in our work, we are storytellers by trade…

Revolutionary Communicator: Storytelling

Revolutionary Communicator: Storytelling

August 4, 2018By Tim Yee

Jesus was committed to using various forms of storytelling during his three-year ministry. Storytelling is just as important today as it was for Jesus’s listeners… If we want to follow Jesus and be good storytellers, it means much more than being good verbal communicators. We have the opportunity to be good storytellers in our spoken, written, visual, and various digital communication media that we regularly use.

Names That Represent God’s Grace – Part 2

Names That Represent God’s Grace – Part 2

August 3, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

In yesterday’s devotion, we looked at how the name “Manasseh” represented God’s grace to Joseph. A name that meant something like “made me forget” pointed to God’s grace that enabled Joseph to “forget” the suffering of his youth. He could still remember the facts, but he remembered them without bitterness or hatred… Today, I thought I’d share with you how the name of my own firstborn represents God’s grace to my wife and me.