Bethany Pyle is the editor for Bible Study Tools.com and the design editor for Crosscards.com. She has a background in journalism and a degree in English from Christopher Newport University. When not editing for Salem, she enjoys good fiction and better coffee.
We are blessed by so many little joys in our day-to-day life, by needs met in unexpected ways, but people who come into our lives to help us, or just to make us smile. God can bless us by laying a particular verse on our hearts, to encourage us in a difficult time. Or we can be blessed just by a sunny day and a good song on the radio when we need a pick-me-up.
Pop culture is rich with Holy Grail references. Despite its strong ties to Christianity, the grail has remained an object of legend. But whether you associate it more with “Monty Python” or “Indiana Jones,” almost everyone has heard of the sacred cup.
As the legend goes, the Holy Grail was used in two significant instances of Jesus’ life: He drank out of it at the Last Supper, and later Joseph of Arimathea used it to collect the Savior’s blood on the cross. Mythology ascribes all sorts of miraculous events to those who find – and use – the grail. But is any of this true? Let’s take a look at where we see a potential “holy grail” in Scripture, and see if we can separate fact from fiction.
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This image of interlocking wheels that are covered in eyes is strange to say the least. But is it correct to say that this is a “biblically accurate angel”? To answer that question, we have to answer two others: first, what is this creature that Ezekiel witnesses, and second, what does the Bible say angels are like?
When we begin to grow impatient – with a situation, with waiting, or even with ourselves – our first instinct is often to take control and get it done. The old saying goes “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” But these verses remind us that in all things, we must come to God in prayer first.
No matter what sort of season we are in, it’s still important to keep up a healthy prayer life. God wants to celebrate our joys with us just as much as He wants to sit in the sad times with us. And let’s face it – when things are going well and we take time to rejoice with God over that, it only serves to increase our joy.
As a parent or caregiver, you know your child’s maturity level, understanding, and squeamishness better than anyone. But even for the most sensitive little one, the Easter story is one of miraculous hope and joy. Together, we’ll dig into some do’s and don’ts of talking about this with young kids.
For those of us who have been in times of deep fear or terror – whether it’s a health issue, a natural disaster, a crime, or something else – a shallow reading of the story of Jesus calming the storm can sting a bit. Would Jesus reprimand me for being afraid, as He did His followers? Is it unfaithful for me to feel afraid, even when I’m in physical danger?
Let’s take a look.
Today I want to take a look at what the Bible says about who God is, and why that’s important to understand. After all, as Christians we should be seeking to mimic God, to act like Him. And we pray that as we start to reflect God more, we can show a hurting world what He is really like.
We had a mouse problem in my little home last month – big time. What started with a call to the exterminator and a few glue boards here and there quickly escalated. I had four different types of traps in every corner of my bedroom, all slathered with peanut butter and goldfish crackers.
For a long time after I first put them down, the traps weren’t attracting any mice. But they were attracting my poor dog.
Before you get too worried, my dog was safe through the whole ordeal! (If you’re worried about the mice… sorry.)
But the bait I used to lure the pests also happens to be my dog’s favorite treat – peanut butter. And more than once I caught him slinking off to a corner with his nose down, sniffing out what he thought was a delicious free snack. I snatched him up, yelled at him, but then snuggled him because I know he doesn’t understand.
My dog can’t know that if he were to stick his tongue in that seemingly harmless peanut butter, it would end with a sore nose at best, or a panicked trip to the emergency vet at worst. He must think I’m holding out on him. He can’t understand the danger, and since I’m a loving dog mom, I don’t want him to find out.
Throughout this, I can’t help thinking that maybe sometimes we are like this with God. We smell something great around the corner, and think wow I want that now! But just as we start to check it out, God makes it clear to us that that thing is a no-go. Maybe He speaks to us through Scripture or a sermon, and reminds us what is good and not good for us. Maybe, like me with my dog, He seems to physically snatch you away from that thing.
Or maybe there aren’t many “mouse traps” in your life. Maybe you are waiting for a good, promised thing from God. And waiting. And waiting… and waiting….
It’s hard not to feel disappointed that God is keeping this awesome thing from you. But is that really what He’s doing?
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The clock has struck midnight, and the new year has begun! This is the one, you think. This is the year I’m going to [inset grand plans here]. Maybe you want to get in better physical shape, or eat healthier. Maybe you want to finally finish that project you started a year (or three) ago. Maybe you hope to finally read the Bible from cover to cover.
All are praiseworthy goals! And as believers, we should never be content with stagnating in life. We should always be striving to grow and improve ourselves. But change is often hard. We commit to start running more frequently, but then comes a cold, rainy day, or that old hip pain, and we think hmm not today. We genuinely want to spend more time in Scripture, but then we hit Leviticus, or the genealogies, and we think maybe I’ll read this passage tomorrow.
Right now, with the New Year still fresh, you are probably feeling pretty gung-ho about your resolution. And that’s great! But life will keep marching on, and if you have any hope of completing this goal, you’re going to need some encouragement. Here’s a few quick tried-and-true tips to keep up with your commitments, whatever they be:
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