In 1908, wealthy Norwegian factory owner, Christian Nicolai Mustad, purchased what he thought to be a genuine Van Gogh oil painting.  It was a dramatic landscape showing a church’s ruins on a hilltop.  It was done in the thick brush strokes characteristic of Vincent Van Gogh.

Mustad prominently displayed his new acquisition in his home.  He hosted a dinner party to show it off. The French Ambassador to Sweden was in attendance.  He was thought to be a respected art critic.

That evening, the ambassador took Mustad aside and told him the painting was a fake. After the party, the embarrassed host pulled the painting down, covered it with sheets, and put it in the attic, where it remained for 62 years.

Mustad died in 1970, at 91 years of age.  When his estate was settled, the painting was sold to a new collector who contacted art experts to have the painting re-evaluated.  They found it to not be authentic. As the years passed, the artwork changed owners a few more times with failed attempts to verify its legitimacy in each instance, the last being in 1991.

Two decades later, modern tests that were not available earlier were performed on the painting.  Even though it had been hidden from public view for over 100 years, It was finally officially recognized as Van Gogh’s “Sunset at Montmajour”.  Since 2013, it has been hanging in the Van Gogh Museum.  It is estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars.

Many times we hide the valuable treasure of our salvation. Jesus said:

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).

Just as Christian Nicolai Mustad hid his now famous Van Gogh painting of hilltop church remnants, many Christians try to hide the masterpiece of God’s grace in their lives. Countless churches lie in a state of spiritual disrepair because Christians hide their influence in a dark and desperate world. Uncover the light of Jesus in your life and display it for all to see. 



keep calm

Keep Calm

Keep Calm and Carry On was a poster created by the British government to inspire their people before World War II. The placard was intended to encourage the panicked English population during the threat of Nazi air raids. The crown pictured on the top of the poster was meant to give the impression of an

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red light bulb

Inspired in a Dark Place

Austin Miles was an amateur photographer. He discovered he could read his Bible in the red lighting of a darkroom. He would often peruse Scripture while he waited for his pictures to develop. On March 1912, while awaiting the photo developing process to finish, Miles picked up his Bible. It fell open to John 20.

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Demonization (Part 2) Mark 5:11-20 This is the second blog in my series on “Demonization” from Mark 5. Last month’s post covered verses 1-10 from the same chapter. This month’s blog is from verses 11-20. Here, we see three significant “departures” on the same date in Jesus’ encounter with this demoniac who was possessed by

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