Mark Johnson

Our Wonderful God of Christmas

For more than 50 years, Charles M. Schulz’s animated classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas, has touched millions of television viewers. In it, Charlie complains, “I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy…

When We Hurt

Easter was the next morning. I was at church, tired but rejoicing after three packed-out presentations of our church’s passion play that weekend. Hundreds of people…

What Grace Can Do

God is the author of history; it’s His story. In God’s sovereign plan, He “works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11). That’s why some call God’s providence “the hand of God in the glove of history.”

Tapestry of Grace

Why did so many people in the Bible do such bad things? Was it okay that God’s people had multiple wives?” a newly saved young mom asked me. I told her the Bible portrays humanity’s sinfulness honestly, but its record of such behavior does not…

Corrie’s Courage

A pastor’s visit to the Ten Boom house reminds us how the faith of one Christian family preserved many Jewish lives during the Holocaust. We were in the last room on our tour through the Corrie ten Boom Museum…

The Story of Glory

Bobby was exactly my age—only 28. The cause of death was a horrific car crash. His extended family was unchurched, and I was asked to pray with them and later conduct the funeral. As a young pastor…

He Still Seeks and Saves

Tears streamed down Sandy Yao’s face as she stood by her mother’s bed. God felt so far away. She had trusted His Son as her Savior. She believed God had opened the door…

The Folly of Misplaced Trust Obadiah 5—9

Obadiah 5—9: Most Americans remember where they were on 9/11. We remember our vulnerability; our politicians singing together on the Capitol steps in Washington, DC; the national prayer…

Up Close Among Suffering Nigerians

“I’m sorry, Mr. Johnson, but your life insurance application was rejected.” When I asked why, the agent explained: “On the questionnaire, your answer about travel said you are going…

The Road to the Cross

Are you ever tempted to doubt God’s love for you? Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one, heard bad news from your doctor, or face some nagging temptation yet again. “God,” you agonize…

The Girl Almost Nobody Loved

One of the many wonderful things about the Bible is how full it is of real people and their real struggles. It is not a sterile Book. God clothed His truth in skin through the hundreds of…

How to Listen to a Sermon

Take off your shoes, please,” my Asian friend warned. I was preparing to step onto the stage to preach to persecuted Christians in a restricted country.