You can read Psalms 23 in thirty seconds. David’s masterpiece is only six verses long, yet it contains a treasure trove of spiritual truth. Sadly, we usually only hear it read at funerals or quoted as a crutch in a crisis. Many Scriptures allude to the shepherd/sheep analogy to describe God’s relationship with His people. Prominent shepherds in the Bible include Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jacob’s twelve sons, Laban, Moses, Jethro, and David. Oh, and there’s one more we can’t forget—JESUS! “The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep . . . I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own” (Jn. 10:11, 14, NKJV).Read More
Jesus went out of His way to break down racial barriers in His day. The racism He confronted was between Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles. There was even a racial rivalry among the Jews (Judeans derided Galileans and Galileans disdained Nazarenes). This is evident by how Nathaniel stereotyped Jesus, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (Jn. 1:46). He prejudged Jesus before he ever met Him based on his bias against Nazarenes.
Jesus was a master storyteller. He communicated clearly by using many stories, analogies, and metaphors. Parables have been used since ancient times to convey truth in a memorable way. While Jesus didn’t invent the parabolic method of teaching, He perfected it. Herbert Lockyer wrote, “In the entire realm of literature there is no book so rich in its parabolic and allegoric material as the Bible.”
Over a hundred tornados ripped through ten states Easter weekend causing massive damage and over 30 deaths. An invisible virus has knocked the world to its knees making millions sick and killing tens of thousands. The global economy staggers under the weight of closed businesses, lost jobs, and lost revenue. Medical teams are stretched to the limit as they struggle to contain a deadly pandemic. Many are wondering why a loving God allows such tragedy.
With the Coronavirus outbreak, many Christians are wrestling with the balance between faith in God's power over disease and the prudence of social distancing. Certainly, we trust God and believe that He can and will protect us from sickness. The power of Jesus’ name is greater than any virus. However, where do we draw the line on taking unnecessary risks? Many pastors grappled with this reality as we closed our churches and held online services in order to protect our flocks and curtail the pandemic.