“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3, 16) We invite you to explore faith in Christ Jesus. Read the blog, look into the different topics, pray and explore a life with a great God!
God, the father, and the son, and the holy spirit, be with you and bless you!
Your Jesus Network
Thursday, March 14, 2019. As a human race, or as indivicuals, how far is our understanding? “Wait a moment”, you might say. “What are you talking about?” You might say: “I have problems enough in my job, very strange rules, a salary which does not fully pay what the kids need and relatives which show difficult behaviour. We can talk about understanding of this situation - and a good path through the next days!”
At the same time, of course, a lot of us are working on a better understanding of our world. There are engineers working on “how to make this happen”, for example electric cars. There are scientists working on the basic understanding of phenomena. They search ways to understand, to describe, to simulate and to predict! ... more
Tuesday, March 12, 2019. How important are names for us? Today we are all used to brands, to particular names which are used for building up a brand which carries meaning. Companies try to connect positive associations to their name. And if some name is linked to some bad event, usually the institution which bears the name suffers strongly - up to the point that it needs to be closed completely. Names ARE important, even on a very secular level.
Strong Tower …
In the bible, the name of God, the name of the Lord is of particular importance. In the ten commandments humans are called to not misuse the name of God. Further, in the Old as well as the New Testament you find many places where calling on the name of the Lord is a key step of faith for people. Who ever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved! (Joel 2, 32 and Romans 10, 13). Salvation and justice, which is given to us for free, comes by faith in Christ Jesus, it comes through the name of the Lord. God built his own brand, the “Christ”, his son Jesus, “the Lord saves”. In Proverbs 18, we read: ... more
Monday, March 11, 2019. Let us discuss honesty and integrity. Let us discuss pride versus humility, riches versus righteousness, purity versus wickedness. The book Proverbs, part of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, is addressing these things. We are invited to think about it. We are called to wisdom!
Discussing wisdom has some tradition in human history. Today, it is usually hidden in particular tasks, for example the discussion about environmental protection implicitly talks about wisdom. How should we as human race deal with the earth, with our environment, with animals and plants? ... more
Wednesday, March 6, 2019. We have been looking into the wisdom literature of the Proverbs, this important book of the Old Testament. As a core part, it tells us to listen to God and his wisdom, to trust God, to fear God and take him serious. But it also gives very practical on various levels. Wisdom is not only something spiritual, but it is practical. It has clear and immediate consequences. It is about action, about our behaviour!
What is the value of wisdom in our life? What is its status? The following passage talks about the role which wisdom has for us. Have a look! ... more
Tuesday, March 5, 2019. Let us look a little further into the book of “Proverbs”, where we find teachings attributed to Solomon, the wise king, son of David. The advice given here is written in the form of a father speaking to his son. We can read it as a historical document, but we can also read it as God, the father, speaking to us, his sons and daughters.
The following part from Proverbs is remarkable in various aspects. There are so many layers of our mind and our life addressed here. But before we go into further discussion, let us read: ... more
Monday, March 4, 2019. What is it that makes humans wise? Today, we all know that we have gained a lot of understanding of natural processes by science. Sciences means the search and research of humans by thinking, testing, experimenting with nature. So we know that without this search and the experiments we cannot gain a proper understanding of natural processes.
Does science make us wise? Mankind has learned by many experiences that sciences helps to understand particular points of nature. Perhaps more, we gain a quite broad image of how important parts of nature work. We do not yet understand many things, but we have a concept for understanding which worked in many cases in the past - and we expect it to help us to gain further insight. ... more
Friday, March 1, 2019. How does it work with faith today? Is faith fit for modern times? What is it we believe in a 'post-modern' world? Let us ask these questions - with a clear view on the situation as it is today in the world, in Europe, in the US, in Asia.
Of course, if you ask different people this question, you will get very different answers. This is a common feature which connects our world today with the world 1000 or 2000 years ago. Over all the time humans have given very different answers to the question of faith. But can we say more on this? ... more
Wednesday, Feb 27, 2019. How can I listen to God? If you think you cannot listen anyway, probably you should go to another website or book. But if you are interested, you might join us thinking about how we listen to God, how we hear what he says.
The biblical view is quite clear: God is has spoken through the prophets. He has spoken through the son - that is through Christ Jesus. He has spoken through his apostles and evangelists, recording the words of Jesus, and writing letters to the churches and to other Christians. Also, God is speaking through the spirit, until today. Listen to the spirit. ... more
Tuesday, Feb 26, 2019. We are in the middle of a discussion about the phrase “lamb of God”, about the question why forgiveness is necessary. Indeed, we talk about two main points here, one is forgiveness, the other is justification.
Forgiveness and justification are both linked to both behaviour and the state of the human life. We should talk about this: where does the concept come from? Is it valid for our human life? Is it intrinsically there, linked to life itself? Or is it brought to life by some external entity? What is its role to ethics and morale? ... more
Monday, Feb 25, 2019. The New Testament uses the term “lamb of God” for Jesus. The image of a lamb comes many times. You have probably heard it. Some of us have heard it so many times that we have forgotten what is means! Others never realized the term. So let us check it out for a moment.
The term lamb can be seen as an image by itself. I like this idea, to take it out of context first. A lamb is an animal, which is usually very soft, very innocent and very sweet. If you have ever been with your kids looking at lambs and sheep on a farm, you will have an unforgettable experience. The kids love the lambs, they are excited. And there is no sign of any fear. You do not have to fear a lamb! ... more
Wednesday, Feb 20, 2019. The God of the Old and New Testament is the God of Truth. He calls himself by that title in the book of Isaiah (chapter 65). And truth is a core topic in many parts of both the Old and the New Testament.
We will have a special service next Sunday, where the topic “truth in times of fake news” has been chosen. As preparation, I have been browsing for bible passages about truth recently. I can say that I am truly moved by the role which truth plays in the relationship between God and mankind. It is very important - up to the point that we are called to live in spirit and truth! Nothing less. ... more
Tuesday, Feb 19, 2019. What is the background of Christian faith? Is it rooted in truth, in facts? What has happened? What do we know? How do we know? And is it reasonable to believe in Jesus? Is it well grounded? Is it a rational step of human life?
Today, there are a lot of opinions and statements hovering in the social media. People claim all different kinds of things. And we are confronted with strong statements about this and that - which includes sometimes Jesus or “the church” as a whole. People formulate their emotions and opinions. But what are the facts behind the story?
Solid Ground …
The biblical books of the New Testament claim to be a correct account of what has happened in and with Jesus. The apostles, which are cited and which are authors of most of the New Testament letters, have been living with Jesus. They have experienced the events which are described and taken up in the gospels and the New Testament letters. In Acts 4 we find the following typical remark: ... more
Friday, Feb 15, 2019. Sometimes when you see or hear things in our community which are not working well, you could become very angry. This can happen in politics. It can happen just around you, in your neighborhood. It can happen in our schools, when your kids talk about behaviour of teachers or administration. What when you see some behaviour of another person, which is really bad? You could become very angry about it! There are good reasons for this. There is, however, also another reaction pattern: mercy. What is it about?
How to react? …
Let us study a situation where King David, the great king of Israel, took Bathsheba as wife, the wife of Uriah, one of his soldiers. The prophet Nathan came after him to address the evil in his actions. Here is a Psalm about the situation: ... more
Thursday, Feb 14, 2019. What is worth doing? What is of value? What is the driving force of ethics? Sometimes we believe that negation of all values is a modern idea. But it is not. If we look back 3000 years ago, we find basic thoughts already in the Old Testament books, the book Ecclesiastes, the preacher Salomon.
Catching the Wind …
Take some time to read the book where the preacher Solomon writes about life. Here is a passage from its beginning: ... more
Wednesday, Feb 13, 2019. What is prayer? How does prayer work? How to pray? How often to pray? What to say? What to expect? Who is there to be addressed in prayer? What to hear? How to hear? There are a lot of good questions when it comes to prayer - to the communication with God. Prayer is the word we use to talk about this communication.
Two-Way Communication …
Prayer is a two-way communication. You want to speak to God and tell him your points, your feelings, your needs, your requests. Indeed, God wants to hear from you. He wants you to pray. Jesus himself gives us templates for prayer, which contain several important elements. But you also want to listen. You want to listen to God talking to you - usually not by hearing voices. No, God talks in different ways. ... more
Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019. What is it that makes life worthwhile? We all have many things around us which are fantastic. We all know to enjoy food, or community, or sports, or work. There is art, music, beauty. Life is full of fantastic nature, of amazing technology, of culture, theatre, funny stuff, animals, plants, leisure … so much to enjoy! What is making life worthwhile?
We all know that we need to eat to live. Without eating, we cannot survive for long. Without bread or something like it, we cannot live. Jesus is using the image of bread to talk about his own role. In the gospel of John he says: ... more
Monday, Feb 11, 2019. Last summer was quite dry in Europe. We had three months of high temperatures and nearly no rain in the center of the continent. All meadows became yellow-ish. The grass withered, with a lot of consequences which you can still see today, after half a year.
The bible compares human life with grass and flowers. They look green now, but they might wither tomorrow. They look pretty for some days, but then they are gone. What is lasting? What is it that has a future? The fugacity of life is well known to all of us, though we might ignore it for most of our life. ... more
Friday, Feb 8, 2019. What is mankind? What is man? We should know ourselves, we are men and women, we live as humans. We should know! Yet, we strive ourselves to get to know. Sometimes we seem to know. People have ideas about how community works. They have ideas on how to deal with others. Usually, it only works for a very limited time. Or it does not work at all. We seem to be different from our philosophies, our ideas. But who are we? How do we find out?
Reading the biblical stories, we hear about far reaching events. The flood of Noah, for example. With the text from Genesis 8 today we jump into the end of the flood story, when Noah and his family alone survive and inherit the earth, approximately 4500 years ago. There are several exciting things to take up from this story! ... more
Thursday, Feb 7, 2019. As humans we are very concerned about glory. When you watch the evening news, you find reports on the latest winners of the olympics, or the European chapionships. You find news about the latest economic indices and which party is winning in the opinion polls. Much of the media is concerned with talking about people, about their glory, about failure and achievements - which might only be topped by news about catastrophy and war.
God's Glory …
Before we discuss the question of “glory” further, let us look into the following song, from the book of Psalms, one of the famous biblical books. It is about glory as well - but about God's glory. ... more
Wednesday, Feb 6, 2019. The book of Jeremia is one of the tree great prophetic books of the Old Testament. Jeremia's ministry was active between about 626 and 587 before Christ. The book is full of faith, it reflects the struggle of God with his people, the people of Israel.
We hear a lot of detail about the life of Jeremia from the book. Today, let us have a look at the beginning, when Jeremia was called to be a prophet.
I Formed You …
Let us read from Jeremia 1. After some introductory words to the ministry of Jeremia, giving the framework of his lifetime by relating it to the kings of his time, here we are taken to the beginning of the phrophetic work of Jeremia. ... more
Tuesday, Feb 5, 2019. Films about lover's grief are everywhere. In modern times we share the excitement of falling in love. Love is one of the ingredients which cannot be left out in any film which wants to be popular and successful. We all know what happens when love is not returned, when she wants love, but he is not willing to give love, or the other way around. We all know the feeling when “she broke my heart” or “he broke my heart”.
Today, we come to this phrase in a slightly different framework: when it comes to God. Here, the broken heart is addressed in the framework of our relationship to God, the creator, the center of the universe.
Contrite Heart …
In Psalm 51 we hear King David speak about his relationship to God. He talks about his heart, about his spirit, about turning to God and about the restoration of the relationship. Let us read a little: ... more
Monday, Feb 4, 2019. Sometimes we realize that we need to turn around on our path. Sometimes we realize that we need to change our behaviour. Some change is needed even for our heart, for what we think, what we want, for our dreams and goals. What is it to be changed? What is it for you? Where do realize that you are not on a good path?
It is important to be self-critical. It is important to be willing to see where you could do better - or even where you are completely on the wrong track. In Psalm 51, the song writer asks for a clean heart, for a willing spirit, that is a spirit which wants to be shaped and filled by the holy Lord: ... more
Friday, Feb 1, 2019. Two weeks ago I attended a Christian service in a very young and dynamic church in Kobe, Japan. I arrived a day before for a conference, which took place there at the local supercomputing center. So I looked in the internet and found a worship service for Sunday 10am, and I dropped in there to join the congregation. There were many young people, students and people with small kids - in a very exciting atmosphere. It was 20 minutes of worship and dance, then some dedication of two kids, sermon, prayer, vision day for 2019 and much more.
Community without Limits …
When it comes to Christian community, it is a community without the limits and boundaries of nation or origin. In Jesus Christ, we are one people. We are his, and our origin or language or the way we have been shaped before is no longer important. What is important is that HE shapes us now! ... more
Thursday, Jan 31, 2019. Let us discuss one point today. In our text from the letter of Colossians yesterday it was claimed that in Christ there are hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge. What does it mean? In what sense is it true? What are the consequences for us personally? What are these treasures of wisdom, what treasures of knowledge? In what way does it link into modern science and knowledge? How does it relate to our personal life?
Let us recall the text, where the apostle Paul writes about his struggle and about God himself: ... more
Wednesday, Jan 30, 2019. In the New Testament, there are many words about love, about peace and the way to live together in a peaceful way. At the same time, there is a lot of struggle in the letters of the apostles as well as in the gospels. Not all is well in the Jewish community. And not all is well in the early Christian church. So there is struggle by those who are called to lead the church deeper into faith.
Deeper into faith …
Paul is writing to the church. Let us listen for a moment, and then put his words into a perspective which includes us today. ... more
Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019. As Christians, we are called to walk in Christ. But what does it mean? Do we understand? Do we do it? Do we know what it means? We can read a lot about Jesus in the gospels and letters of the New Testament. We can read a lot about faith in the whole bible. It is a book full of inspiration, full of wisdom, full of truth, love, joy and encouragement.
In the letter to the Colossians we are called to walk in Christ. Let us read the original passage: ... more
Monday, Jan 28, 2019. Where to find God? The apostle Paul points us to Jesus himself. What was his main goal and message? Paul points us to the reconciliation which comes through the cross of Christ Jesus. What does it have to do with me? Paul talks about our alienation from God, and about the salvation which we find in Jesus, when we get back into a relationship of truth and love with the creator.
In the New Testament letter of Colossians we find a passage which summarizes core parts of Christian faith. Let us read it together and then discuss and understand the statements. The apostle Paul writes to the Church in Collossae: ... more
Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019. How can you know about God? How can you listen to him? Is it possible at all? Many people today think you cannot know much about God. And many think that you cannot listen to God. And indeed: how can you listen? Is God talking to you? How could he be talking?
The idea of many people today is that there is no God, and all people who believe are following some strange old myths or ideas which help them to cope with the problems of life. There are many others, though, who have learned about God when they grew up. What you have learned depends on where you have grown up. Of course, there are many religions today and people get to know some ideas from their social environment, from schools (public or for example Koranic schools). Let us look at some possible answers from different sources … ... more
Monday, Jan 21, 2019. Do you have enemies? Do we all have enemies? Who is your enemy? It is quite some important question. In the past, the French and the British were enemies. Or the French and the Germans. Or the Germans and the British. Then, they became friends, after the desaster of the Second World War. A new chapter was opened. But before that, clearly there were people fighting each other, to death!
It is good to know who is working against you, who is your enemy, who is not honest towards you. I must say that I had to learn that deliberate lies against other people are something people really use and practice, even in the middle of a civilized environment. We call it evil if people behave like that - and this kind of evil might happen in the middle of the best families … ... more
Sunday, Jan 20, 2019. Do you want to be rich? Do you want to be well set with your life and your environment? Do you want to live in a country where milk and honey flow? Yes, you will probably say. Yes, it would be good not to have to fight for the basic things in life day by day, but to be well set, to be prosperous, to be rich and to have all what is needed - and a little bit more.
It is very exciting - this phrase of a “land, where milk and honey flows” comes from the book of Exodus, the second book of the bible. What is the framework in which this phrase is used?
Out of Slavery …
The people of Israel have been in slavery for many years. They have been in Egypt. And now God is talking to Moses at the burning bush. He is promising to free his people, and to bring them into a land where they have plenty. It is adressing the needs we talked about. It is about the desire to be save and in a neighborhood where all is well. Let us look into this passage, the following part formulates the promise a second time: ... more
Wednesday, Jan 16, 2019. Are you willing to look critically into your own activities? Are you willing to hear what is going really wrong in your life? And are you open to hear what is going really well? Sometimes both things are connected. Sometimes people want to stay secure behind some layer or in some distance. But as a conseqence they cannot accept good feedback nor critical words.
Jesus addressing points …
When you listen to the words of Jesus, you hear both clear blessings, consolation and encouragement, but you can find also quite critical and even hard words. Both of them are formulated in a breathtaking and very clear way, in particular in the “Sermon on the Mount”: ... more