Our Past, Present, and Future God

Kristen Deede Johnson

Read: Revelation 1:1-8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (v. 8) After my woman’s Bible study group spent a year studying the book of Revelation, we came away convinced that God gave his people this book to be a source of deep hope in uncertain times. This hope comes from the conviction that Jesus Christ continues to live and to reign, even though …

Not the Light but the Lamp

Kristen Deede Johnson

Read: John 5:30-36 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. (v. 35 NIV) In today’s passage, John the Baptist is described as “a burning and shining lamp.” He gave off light, but he was not the primary source of the light. We read this same conviction in the opening of John: “He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which …

Joy and Sorrow

Kristen Deede Johnson

Read: Psalm 126 Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! (v. 5) During Advent, we are deeply aware that we live in between Christ’s coming for the first time and his coming again. In this “already, not yet” time, we know that Jesus Christ came to begin his reign and invite all to become children of God, even as the world does not yet fully reflect his kingdom and many do not recognize God as Father. …

An Advent Prayer

Kristen Deede Johnson

Read: Psalm 33 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. (v. 5) I remember the moment when an older, wiser Christian asked which psalm was my favorite to pray. I had no answer. Praying the psalms was an entirely new idea to me, but I decided to give it a try. After years of cultivating a prayer life rooted in my own words, it was hard to make the shift to …

Hopeful Gratitude

Kristen Deede Johnson

READ : Revelation 11:15-19 Then the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, singing, “We give you thanks, Lord God Almighty, who are and who were, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.” (vv. 16-17) As Christians we have much to be grateful for already. We know that God loves us, that Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again so that we might become children of God, …

The Wisdom of Paul

Kristen Deede Johnson

READ : 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances. (vv. 16-18) I can still remember the first time I read these verses. I thought they were impossible. How can we be expected to rejoice always, to pray without ceasing, to give thanks no matter what the circumstances? As I learned more about the Bible, I realized that these verses had been written by the apostle Paul, a man who had undergone intense persecution for …