The Joy of Books

The Joy of Books

HAS IT EVER struck you as odd? God has an urgent message for us, and He has infinite power at His disposal. He could have taken over the world’s TV channels, or written in the sky, or sent out angels with loudhailers. But instead He chooses to communicate by means of an old book. The cynic might turn the question round, and suggest that if God really did want to communicate with us He would use some other means. But this would be to miss the point of what the Bible is. It is not just an old book. What God wants from us is faith. ‘Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him’ (Hebrews 11:6). History shows that overt displays of God’s power do not produce faith. For Example…

For those who have Lost their Sheen

For those who have Lost their Sheen

LOTS OF US are kind of broken. We’ve been through things in our lives we’d rather forget. If I was a car, I’d be the one with the scratched and dented bodywork and some trouble starting up. For people like us, there are words of Jesus which will come like music to our ears: “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavour, how shall it be seasoned?” (Luke 14:34). For other people, the ones with pristine bodywork and an engine that starts first time, this might go straight over their heads. If they are paying attention, they may simply think: “If salt has lost its flavour you’d just throw it out, wouldn’t you?” But it was those whose lives had lost their sheen to whom Jesus spoke: “Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to him to hear him” (Luke 15:1). It’s obvious, isn’t

Father of the Faithful

Father of the Faithful

WE KNOW VERY LITTLE about his early life, but much about his later life. He is revered by Jews, Muslims and Christians. The Jews trace their ancestry back to Abraham and regard him as their father. We first meet him in Genesis 11:28 as Abram (before his name was changed). He was a rich man living in Ur, a city in modern Iraq. Archaeologists inform us that the inhabitants of Ur were advanced and sophisticated. Abram would be schooled in mathematics and astronomy, and he would have lived in a comfortable brickbuilt house. If he was a merchant he would have possessed his own private army to protect his business interests. His family worshipped the gods of Ur, but Abram and his wife Sarai appear to have been different, worshipping the true God. The Promises In Genesis 12:1 we see God’s call to Abram to leave his life in Ur