How Does It Work?

A story is told about a young soldier who was fighting on the front line in Europe during World War II. He jumped into a foxhole to avoid the bullets that were whizzing over his head. Wishing the foxhole were deeper, he started exploring his hiding place and found a silver cross that someone had left behind. A moment later another U.S. soldier leaped into the foxhole beside him. The young soldier soon recognized that his new companion was an army chaplain. Holding out the cross, the soldier exclaimed, “Am I glad to see you! How do you work this thing?”

It’s a shame that it often takes a crisis to cause us to want to pray.

“Pray continually.”—1 Thess.5:17.


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My wife and I bought a new car a few months ago. Well, it was new to us—a 2017 model. We knew that the car had been wrecked, but we liked the way that it looked and drove, so we took a chance and bought it.

For the most part, the gamble has paid off. We have only had one problem with the car. It was terribly out of line. That was evidently one thing that was not repaired. The car was so much out of line that the front tires quickly began to wear. I also noticed that the car tended to hydroplane when driving in the rain, no doubt a result of the badly worn tires.

Once I realized the problem, I took it in for an alignment and had two new tires put on the front. The car has been fine ever since.

Sometimes we get out of alignment with God. Sin wrecks our lives and causes damage that may go undetected for a while, but eventually shows itself in one way or another. Being out of alignment with God wears on a person and eventually has a negative effect on one’s relationship with God and with other people. Being out of alignment with God also causes our lives to skid out of control.

The only fix for this problem is to get re-aligned with God. It’s called repentance. Repentance is turning from sin and following the path that God has laid out for you. It’s the only way to escape the damage of sin and the destruction that inevitably follows for those who do not turn their lives around.

Is your life aligned with God?

“…But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”—Luke 13:5.

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Robert Roe recently compiled a list of offbeat descriptions of famous movies and characters. Here is a sampling of that list:

The Wizard of Oz—“American invades foreign land, kills local leadership and struggles to find an exit strategy.”

The Hunger Games—“Older sister ruins younger sister’s chance to be on television.”

Titanic—“Everybody tries the ice bucket challenge.”

Lord of the Rings Trilogy—“Group spends 9 hours returning jewelry.”

Batman—“Billionaire tries to improve his city by dressing like a bat and punching people.”

While these descriptions may be partially true, they all fall woefully short of being effective explanations of what is being described. Let us be careful that we don’t base our understanding of Jesus on a description that only has a sliver of truth. Let’s really dig into the Scripture and allow Jesus to reveal himself to us as he actually is.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”—John 14:6.


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Test of Character

“Money is one of the acid tests of character and a surprising amount of space is given to it in Scripture…Whether a man is rich or poor, observe his reaction to his possessions and you have a revealing index to his character.”—Oswald Sanders.

Jesus taught quite a lot about financial matters. He warns against greed and misplaced priorities. In Matt.6:19-24, he cautions us not to store up treasures on earth at the risk of losing heavenly treasures. He says that we can’t serve both God and money; we must choose which one will be our master.

A very important verse about the relationship between finances and character is Matt.6:21—“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

How is your character looking?


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Pro-Life President

A scene from the 2020 March for Life

President Donald Trump attended the March for Life rally on the National Mall in Washington last Friday. He was the first president to join the annual pro-life event. President Trump has addressed the group via satellite the past two years, but this year he showed up in person and spoke to the huge throng of people who gathered to show their respect for human life.

Trump’s appearance thrilled Jeanne Mancini, the president of the March for Life, who said, “We are so excited for him to experience in person how passionate our marchers are about life and protecting the unborn.”

Let’s hope that more and more people develop such a passion for life, and that future presidents will also speak up on behalf of those who are unable to speak for themselves.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”—Psalm 139:13.


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Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was concerned that his responsibilities in the Senate during the impeachment trial would hinder his ability to campaign effectively in Iowa. He couldn’t be in two places at one time, and he would be at a disadvantage compared with the other candidates who are not Senators.

Never fear! Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Sanders supporter, would fill in for Bernie. She would speak on his behalf in Iowa while he was doing his duty in Washington. There was only one small problem. In her speech at a Sanders rally, she forgot to even mention Bernie’s name!

We Christians are called to speak on behalf of Jesus. Let’s make sure that we mention his name every now and then!

“…You will be my witnesses…”—Acts 1:8


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Kobe Bryant

The world is dealing with the shock of the death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant. The retired Los Angeles Laker perished in a helicopter crash earlier today at the age of 41. Many people are deeply affected by the passing of this man who possessed a rare combination of amazing talent and an unsurpassed desire to excel at what he did. Tributes are pouring in from those who want to honor this man who had such a great passion for the game.

To open their NBA contest this afternoon, the Toronto Raptors and the San Antonio Spurs both deliberately took 24-second clock violations. This was a fitting tribute to Bryant, who wore the number 24 on his jersey for much of his career.

We Christians gather together each Sunday to pay tribute to someone that we admire, another man who died at a young age–Jesus, who willingly went to the cross to pay for our sins. In communion, we honor a man who has a great passion for all of humanity. Don’t miss your weekly opportunity to pay tribute to Jesus!

“On the first day of the week, we came together to break bread…”—Acts 20:7.


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For Us

A prayer that a lady offered up in our adult Bible study at church last night made me stop and think. She asked God to help us understand what he wants for us. Usually we pray for God to tell us what he wants from us. I thought this was a refreshing outlook. We often spend a lot of time trying to figure out what God wants us to do next, and too little time rejoicing in his blessings.

Today I have a lot of things on my to-do list that I really think God wants me to get done. However, I plan to spend some time basking in his love and thanking him for all the blessings I have through Jesus.

How about you?

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”—Romans 8:28.

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Precious Blood

I recently saw an article that talked about the importance of knowing your blood type. This would indeed be a helpful fact to know in case of a medical emergency where you might need to receive blood or where you might be able to give blood to someone who was in need.

It is also important for us to know the type of blood that Jesus had. He had the only type of blood that could possibly pay the price for the sins of mankind—the precious blood of the perfect Lamb of God!

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”—1 Peter 1:18-19.


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The Need to Forgive

Leonardo da Vinci

It is reported that when Leonardo da Vinci was painting “The Last Supper”, he became angry with a man and lashed out at him. He even threatened the man. Then he went back to his workplace and tried to paint the face of Jesus. He couldn’t do it because there was too much ill will stirring inside of him. The lack of peace finally forced him to put down his brushes, go find the man and ask for his forgiveness. Only then did he have the inner calm he needed to paint the face of his Master.

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”—Matthew 6:12.


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