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Wonder

His name shall be called Wonderful (Is. 9:6). In general, a wonder is anything that is extraordinary in our experience or that defies our ability to imagine, perform, or explain it. It refers to special vows (Num. 6:2), difficult cases to judge (Deut. 17:8), unusual diseases (Deut. 28:59), the unique…

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Cover

Although rather plain, the word ‘cover’ communicates a rich variety of meaning. Its basic idea is simply to hide or conceal. But depending on the type, purpose, object, or means of concealment, ‘cover’ can mean to hide temporarily (mask) or hide permanently (obliterate); to hide from sight, hearing, knowledge, creditors,…

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Dwell

In general, “dwell” refers to the close, rich, abiding love lived between husbands and wives, parents and children, and members of the church within a structure (tent, house, city, land) that promotes and preserves that communion in peace (I Pet. 3:7; Heb. 11:9; Ps. 133:1). The main significance is that…

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Re-

The celebration of our redemption and resurrection in Jesus is a good time to remember the wonderful aspect of the gospel indicated by the prefix re- of these two words. Re- basically means “again” and denotes something repeated, returned back, or done intensely. Redemption, therefore, means “to be bought back”…

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Fire

Fire is the most prevalent, destructive yet, if controlled, beneficial power in the universe. Man, therefore, largely credits his ability to control fire for being able to swing out the trees and build modern civilization, to heat homes, forge steel, make electricity, and even rocket to the moon. But man…

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Hope

Basic to hope is its place in the grand spiritual trinity of the Christian life: faith, hope, and love (I Cor. 13:13). In this relationship, faith and hope are essentially one. Martin Luther once wrote that although faith and hope can be distinguished, there is such affinity between them that,…

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Candle

The candle is a significant biblical picture. This should not be that surprising, since for thousands of years candles were a prominent appliance in the ev­eryday life and even worship of the church. The fact that candles have little practical value and use today does not diminish their continued spiritual…

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Rend

Rend is an uncommon word in the Bible, but one with a rather specific use, which actually sharpens its meaning and enhances its significance. In Scripture, to rend is the opposite of to sew (Eccl. 3:7), and refers almost exclusively to the tearing apart of fabrics, or, occasionally, items with…

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Keep

“Keep” is a biblical word that teaches both the preservation and perseverance of the saints. Preservation of saints is God’s keeping them; perseverance of saints is their keeping God’s law by His keeping them. Basically, “keep” means to exert careful attention (thus, to heed, obey, and observe), so that something…

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Year

The beginning and ending of each year is a rather momentous time for mankind. It is celebrated with festivities the world over. We consider the year a significant marker of time, and remember important events by the year in which they occur. The church also recognizes each new year’s connection…

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Shame

Shame is a form of suffering. Shame is essentially the painful feeling, in one’s soul, of disgrace, embarrassment, disappointment, anxiety, and confusion. And there are many causes. Although we usually associate shame only with guilt, Scripture does not. As with all suffering, shame certainly does have its ultimate source in…

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Covet

Each year the godlessness of Americans is shamefully displayed to the world by the long season of crass cov­etousness that follows our national day of thanksgiving. Af­ter stuffing their bellies and perhaps muttering a few words of thanks, greedy hoards then race off to the merchants to claw, shove, trample…

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Red

For some strange reason many Christians seem to think God prefers the color black. It’s almost exclu­sively how they see themselves or God’s creation, and it’s usually what they wear or the only color approved for worship. But everyone bought with Christ’s blood should love red. No color more richly,…

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Seas

Rev. Kuiper is pastor of Immanuel Protestant Reformed Church in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. What can we learn from the restless seas? What do the Scriptures intend to teach us with these large bodies of water with their immeasurably powerful waves, tides, and storms? The uniform teaching of the Word of…

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