Our Religion: Phony or Real?

William C. Brownson

READ : James 1:26-27 What, in God’s eyes, is genuine religion? Is it in us?     What Is “Religion”? I’d like to think with you now about religion. I wonder what that term means to you. I’ve heard people talk about it as though it were something mysterious that you catch. “So and so has been a different man,” they say, “since he got religion.” Sometimes a person will decline to participate in a certain activity because, he says, …

When Troubles Gang Up On You

William C. Brownson

READ : James 1:1-4 When troubles come in bunches, can we cope? Can we even celebrate? It’s a great privilege and a happy experience for me to speak about the New Testament letter of James. Several features about it give special interest and practical value. You might call the book of James, “Studies in Applied Christianity.” Here is down-to-earth religion, guidelines for everyday behavior. This letter shows us how the faith of the gospel is to be expressed in common …

The New Creation

Rev. David Bast

READ : Isaiah 65:17-24 If life has you down right now, here’s a suggestion: read ahead in God’s book to the end of the story and see how it all turns out for those who love him. I have a confession to make. I love to read popular fiction — spy novels, techno-military thrillers, murder mysteries, that sort of thing. I realize that these books are to literature what junk food is to fine cuisine, but I really can’t help …

True Worship

Rev. David Bast

READ : Isaiah 58:3-9 A lot of people are interested in “spirituality.” Many today are designing their own religion, made up of the things that interest them. Isaiah 58 is all about the kind of religion that interests God. One morning as I sat in his chair getting a haircut, my barber asked me, “So what’s with this Ramadan thing, anyway?” I explained to him a little bit about the five pillars of Islam, the major religious acts that every …

Where Does God Dwell?

Rev. David Bast

READ : Isaiah 57:14-21 The Bible promises us that those who belong to God will some day live with him in heaven. Better yet, it promises that God will some day live with us on earth. In fact, if you’re willing, he will live with you right now. One spring day in 1909, my grandmother stood on a pier in the city of Rotterdam, waiting to board a steamship that would carry her to America, and away from her homeland …

The Power of the Word

Rev. David Bast

READ : Isaiah 55:10-13 The Word of God has power, power to accomplish the purpose for which God sends it forth. It’s like the rain and snow that water the earth and make it productive. The Word creates life. The 20th century Swiss theologian Emil Brunner once suggested a wonderful illustration for the way Christians read and listen to the Bible. He described the original logo of the RCA Victor Corporation. Perhaps you’ve seen it. It’s a picture of an …