As we look back on the last year, here are the most popular posts of 2016.
The Surprising Work of God in the Life of Phoebe Bartlett By: Daniel Klassen
Salvation had come to Phoebe Bartlett. She would return to her closet, but this time as she came out, she was smiling and exclaimed to her mother, “I can find God now!” She was asked many validating questions that evening from her family members as to the legitimacy of this conversion, and she responded positively to each one. As she was in bed that evening, she called out to one of her little cousins only to tell him that heaven was better than earth, meaning that to spend time with God was better than anything on earth. The next day her mother asked her, “Phoebe, what has God made you for?” She answered, “To serve him,” and added, “Everybody should serve God, and get an interest in Christ.” Phoebe had truly been affected by Christ; her heart had been changed.
Singleness and the Church By: Daniel Klassen
Every Church has singles. This unavoidable reality is regularly met with different responses varying from disappointment to excitement. The response usually depends on people in the Church being up for the task of matchmaking. Nevertheless, singleness is largely seen as a problem to overcome. If it is not explicitly said to be a problem (which it rarely is), the way in which it is described, and the rate at which potential matches are made say enough. While having a partner for life is more desirable than being without one and parents want to have grandchildren, these longings must not take precedence over the design of God for singles in the Church.
Unmoved by the Scripture By: Kyle Friesen
What is easily missed in the reading of the scriptures is the purpose for why they were written. We must take care that we read it through the proper lens by understanding who they are pointing to. It would be sheer robbery for us to assume that the meaning of a certain passage hinges on our circumstance and interpretation. This not only idolizes man by making him central, but also leaves us free to interpret the word of God to fit our current condition.
The Sting in Forgiveness By: Delten Ens
Since our world is a broken place hampered by sin, forgiveness is a necessity in practically every human relationship that we have. Forgiveness is needed because it is the means by which friendships are repaired and enhanced. Without it, relationships deteriorate and never come to reconciliation for any hurt that has been caused. At its core, forgiveness is the act of granting a pardon for an offense. Often times it is also viewed as the cancelling of a debt. Both of these ideas are very similar and have much overlap, even to the degree that they are inseparable.
The Center of it All By: Delten Ens
If one were to do a survey of the common responses of people in our time to the cross of Christ, the responses may be as wide and varied as one can imagine. Some people may scoff and demand that it be relegated to a fairy tale. Others may think it was a just punishment for a man who falsely claimed to be God. Some might think that it was a shame that such a wise and noble teacher died such a cruel death. While certain people may meet the idea of the cross with excitement, believing that it is the means for God to bless them with every earthly blessing and luxury. In such a survey, some responses may generate some truth or half-truths, while others may miss the mark entirely. But for those who call Jesus their Lord, the cross should mean something entirely different.
God Has an Address By: Delten Ens
As Jesus taught His disciples hours before His arrest, He made sure to inform them that God would soon be living inside of them. No longer would it be a temple that the glory of the Lord would reside in but rather it would be the only object created in God’s image. This Spirit of truth would comfort and help those who had faith in Jesus for salvation. And it would be personal for He would also dwell within them (Jn. 14:16-17). All of this was only made possible because of the victory that Jesus won on the cross. With redemption realized, salvation would now make the necessary change in a man, or woman, so that God could live inside of that individual.
When God Remains Silent By: Daniel Klassen
We are greatly in need of the Spirit to work in us as we pray that our hearts might not be hardened towards God, or carried away with sinful desires. God shuts his ear to those whose hearts are turned away from him. We must, then, always approach the throne of God in great reverence and dependence; as the letter to the Hebrews makes clear, only then will we be able to approach boldly the throne of God laying all our burdens and requests at the feet of our Father.
Thank you for your support in reading our blog this year. We look forward to another year of God-glorifying and helpful content in 2017 at The Christian Explorer.