Saul hated Christians. He did all he could to hurt the cause of Christ when he launched his intense persecution of the early followers of Jesus. But when they fled Jerusalem to escape persecution, they proclaimed the gospel everywhere they went (Acts 8:4). This caused the church to grow more rapidly—just the opposite of what Saul intended.
I was 17 when I first examined the gospel. Not that I felt I needed to, mind you. I was a churchgoer, a do-gooder, and above all I was sincere. But I had met some Christian teenagers who had something I didn't have, and I was curious.
One nice thing about having a young daughter is the frequent reminders she gives me about joyful trust. Debbie still jumps into my arms from the stairs, the porch, or the picnic table with a shout and a great big smile. We never have a long discussion ahead of time about whether or not I'll catch her. She just looks at me and leaps.
Other than the usual twice-a-day brushing times, we didn't spend much time around our house worrying about my son Steven's teeth. At least not until he knocked out one of his permanent front teeth in a little scrape with his favorite climbing tree.
The principle that we reap what we sow is taught and illustrated throughout the Bible. The effects of our choices may be in the here and now, or they may be experienced in the hereafter, when we stand before God.
Why would John end his letter by writing, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols"? (1 Jn. 5:21). Certainly his words do not apply to us, do they? We don't have false gods in our living rooms, do we?
Do you agree with the apostle Paul that nature bears witness to the wisdom and power of God the Creator? (Acts 14:15-17; Rom. 1:20). Or do you think that everything accidentally evolved? According to astronomer and writer Carl Sagan, "Nature does not require a Designer. Maybe there is one hiding, maddeningly unwilling to be revealed."
A group of animals decided to improve their general welfare by starting a school. The curriculum included swimming, running, climbing, and flying. The duck, an excellent swimmer, was deficient in other areas, so he majored in climbing and flying, much to the detriment of his swimming. The rabbit, a superior runner, was forced to spend so much time in other classes that he soon lost much of his famed speed. The squirrel, who had been rated "A" as a climber, dropped to a "C" because his instructors spent hours trying to teach him to fly. And the eagle could no longer soar to the treetops because he had to learn how to swim.