...

All Articles For Smidstra, Justin

Results 1 to 10 of 12

When the dark storm clouds roll in, the lightning flickers, and the thunder rumbles, it is a sound like no other. Thunder evokes awe and fear. Rightly so, for every thunder clap resounds with raw, untamed power, reminding man how small and powerless he is and how mighty God is. Unlike our everyday speech, the Bible never says it thunders, but that God thunders. “The God of glory thundereth” (Ps. 29:3). “The Lord also thundered in the heavens” (Ps. 18:13). Thunder is no natural phenomenon occurring by itself; thunder is God’s creature that does His bidding. God has decreed the...

Continue reading

What comes to mind when you think about sand? After a long, cold winter perhaps you feel a certain eagerness for some time at the lakeshore or seaside with the warm sun overhead and soft sand underfoot. Children may be excited to go to the beach again, or even the sandbox in the backyard, to build something out of sand. Sandis so ordinary that we do not think about it much. It is dirt we walk on. It can be a nuisance. We shake it out of our shoes, broom it out of our homes, and vacuum it out of...

Continue reading

On the third day God clothed His new world with living green (Gen 1:11). Standing tall among these plants are the “trees of the Lord,” full of sap and fruitful (Ps. 104:16). God gave the trees “several offices” (Belgic Confession, Art. 12). He created them to yield lifenourishing fruit, “good for food” (Gen. 2:9), to supply the needs of man and beast. “Behold, I have given you,” God told Adam, “every tree…to you it shall be for meat.” God made the trees to serve as shelter for His creatures. In the trees the birds build their nests (Ps. 104:17). Under...

Continue reading

Few things cheer us like the sunrise stretching its  colorful wings across the morning sky, or the warmth  of the sun at its midday zenith. In the colder months the  sun rises late and sets early. Gray clouds cover its face.  We miss it! The sun is a creature of peculiar glory and  importance (I Cor. 15:41). God made it so. God created light on the first day. On the fourth day  God made the sun to be “the greater light to rule the day”  (Gen. 1:14). God issued the sun its abiding command to  shine upon the earth and...

Continue reading

What is the most important question in the whole world? It is the question that tormented Martin Luther until he discovered its answer in Romans 1:17. This question will cast you about upon the waves of dread and doubt unless you have the same answer Luther found. When you embrace it by faith, you enjoy peace and happiness that cannot be taken away. The all-important question is this: How can I, an unworthy sinner, be reckoned righteous, received into favor, and be accepted by the holy and just God? Put another way, how can an unholy man or woman draw...

Continue reading

Meekness. It’s a quality that the world disdainfully considers weakness. Sadly, a similar disdain for it can crop up in the church too, if meekness is looked at with a carnal eye rather than the eye of faith. The meek, the flesh says, are pushovers, doormats, wobbly-kneed, double-minded compromisers. The meek, Christ says, are blessed, for they shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5). And the Bible says more: the meek “shall eat and be satisfied” (Ps. 22:26). “The meek” God will “guide in judgment” and “teach his way” (Ps. 25:9). Jehovah arises “to save all the meek of the earth”...

Continue reading

Rev. Justin Smidstra, pastor of First Protestant Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). Unbelieving man suppresses this knowledge. But he can never shake off the fear of death. More than anything, man wants to live, and to keep living forever. Fallen man dreams of immortality. Not true immortality, but endless life after the imaginations of his own heart. In every age he chases after this dream. He looks to all sorts of things to lengthen his days and deliver him from death: idol gods, a mythical...

Continue reading

For us the word tower brings different things to mind than it did for God’s people in ages past. There are towers today. Radio towers dot the landscape spreading cellphone coverage over the country. The cityscape is dominated by skyscrapers housing offices and businesses. Go to one of today’s major cities, and you can likely visit a special tower erected as a monument to some important event or person. Few towers today serve the purpose they had in the past. The first mention of a tower in the Bible is not a favorable mention. This tower came to be called...

Continue reading

Once in a while, you will find a word in the Bible that surprises you because it seems it should not be there. Hap is such a word. The King James Version renders this word as chance, event, or haply. “Hap” refers to something that, from our human point of view, happens by chance, an accident, or a seemingly random event. “Hap” is indeed a strange word to find in the Word of the sovereign God! Yet when we read our Bibles, we run into this word more often than we might expect. When Ruth went out to glean in...

Continue reading

We know Ulrich Zwingli as one of the great leaders of the Protestant Reformation. When speaking of the men God raised up to reform His church, we mention the names of such men as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli all in the same breath. Yet, of these three servants of God, Zwingli is perhaps the least known to us. Zwingli was powerfully used by God to inaugurate the reformation of the church in Switzerland. Zwingli’s ministry laid foundations upon which the next generation of Reformers built. It is worth our while to become more familiar with this servant...

Continue reading