After birth, you continued to grow and change - sometimes intensely, at other times much more slowly. During periods of intense growth, you may experience physical and emotional pain, and wonder if your body really knows what it’s doing. But after that intense growth, you will usually emerge more capable and better-equipped for the challenges of life. It is the same with spiritual growth. Jesus said that we must be born again.
You may wonder what happens to you when you die, but have you asked yourself what you were before you were born? If you have some belief in life that continues uninterrupted beyond death, such as an immaterial soul, then you may read something similar into passages such as Jeremiah 1:5. Does that mean that Jeremiah existed somewhere in some immaterial state? Does that mean that everyone is alive in some pre-existent way before they are born? Is this what the Bible is teaching?
Jesus taught many things that have become so common place in the western world that it’s so easy to ignore them. One of those things was a prayer that he gave to his followers to use.
You might know it as the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Or perhaps as the Parable of the Lost Son. Or perhaps even “sons”; plural. Or you may not know it at all, nor any of the parables of Jesus. But however much or little you know about this teaching of Jesus in Luke 15, it’s always worth looking afresh at these stories because they reach beyond the characters involved and encourage us to ask questions about ourselves. In fact, that’s exactly the point of parables.
Training to keep fit is needed daily. And it’s great when you get into a routine and rhythm because it helps to keep up the exercise regime. The more you do, the better it is and the easier it becomes.
There’s a huge bridge before you. You’re not an engineer, but you see many people go on ahead without any problems. So, although it might feel daunting, you proceed based on the evidence available to you; the bridge has been there for some time and it isn’t collapsing when people are on it. You don’t have absolute proof, but firmly believe it will be ok. You have evidenced based faith that the bridge is structurally sound.
Picture the scene; a swiftly approaching foreign army that threatens to destroy everything in its path. You’re in an overcrowded city that provides little protection and shelter. What do you do?
The writer to the Hebrews explains that Jesus died to “destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). What does that mean? The devil is in the detail if you look carefully.
When Jesus was “led up by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Matthew 4:1) to be tempted, he had just been baptised, received the Spirit of God, and had heard an astonishing proclamation by God from heaven.