Remember Whose Name You're Wearing – “Christians, remember whose name you’re wearing. It is the maxim of your membership in the family of God.”
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
The World Is Against You: Fighting to Keep Our First Love – “If talk of worldliness falls into hard times and does not surface much in our thoughts and conversations, it is not a sign that the dangers have disappeared. It is a sign that we have grown careless with the exclusivity of delight in Christ at the center of the Christian life.”
We Are Called to Be Faithful, But Only God Can Make our Efforts Fruitful – “Here’s one thing I know about women in the church: we tend to wear many hats. Each and every day we have a variety of roles and responsibilities and places we need to be.”
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Six Ways to Inspire Confident, Contagious Faith in Your Kids – “How do we help children and teens contend with the big questions? An apologist offers her take.”
Only Love Prevents Adultery – The author shares a letter to a would-be adulteress. “In all our years of ministry, I have never had one woman come to me and say, ‘I am so happy over this affair. It’s even better than I imagined!’ And so as an older woman, I have one word for you: Don’t! Don’t go there. Don’t go there in your mind. Don’t go there in your heart. Don’t go there with your body.”
When the Job You Love Hurts You: Exploring Burnout in the Workplace – “According to Merv Gilbert, an adjunct professor of health sciences at Simon Fraser University, workplace burnout has three components.
Wrestling with the Biblical Text: When We Don’t Like What it Says… - “It’s vital that we equip young people to be confident in handling Scripture in a life-giving way.”
Monday, September 18, 2017
Five Consequences of a Life Out of Balance – Michael Hyatt explains “5 very important assets you are potentially putting at risk if you don’t keep your normal workload under 55 hours a week.”
Godliness is not your Personality – “Why do we take our individual, personality, character, gifts, or calling and make that the sum total of godliness for everyone else? The introvert equates godliness with quietness. The extrovert equates godliness with activity.”
10 Parenting Imperatives from the Book of Proverbs – “Here are 10 things that the King and Queen in Proverbs say to their child that you should say to yours.”
The Ninth Thing God Tells Us Not To Do – “The Ten Commandments draw a straight line from love of God to love of neighbor. The two parties are distinguished, to be sure, but in the life of obedience they are inseparable.”
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Sunday Morning Is Not About Me: The Joy of Self-Forgetfulness – “As we see our Lord for who he is, as we look away from ourselves to gaze upon him again, we will find true, lasting joy and contentment. That is the gift and treasure of Psalm 33.”
No, the World Won't End Next Week and There's No Such Thing as a Christian Numerologist – If we start speaking up about bad "Christian" reporting, maybe people will do it less.
Saturday, September 16, 2017
God, Give Us a Heart for the Lost – “There is a cultural problem in the evangelical church in America. That is, though we claim to believe the gospel is for all people, the natural tendency is still for us to prefer to gather with people who are like us.”
The Gospel is More Beautiful When We Take Sin Seriously – “We need to take sin seriously: we need to admit to ourselves, even if to no one else, that it really is as bad as God says it is.”
What’s Changed in Britain Since Same-Sex Marriage? – Four years ago, amid much uncertainty, 400 British members of parliament voted to redefine marriage in the United Kingdom. Here are some of the tragic consequences that are inevitably entwined. The same things are at work on our country.
When Marriage Is Filled With Worse, Poorer, And Sickness – Lara d’Entremont writes, “Little did I know that those thirteen years would hold chronic illness, financial loss, special needs, suffering children, marital strain, and overwhelming stress. I never imagined that I’d experience so much of the ‘worse, poorer, and in sickness’ part of our vows.”
For the Ordinary Women – “It’s getting harder and harder to feel pretty in our world. Pornography has changed our standards. Photoshop has created unattainable idols. And, the ordinary women of the world are left stranded in the wreckage, searching for some way to feel like we measure up. Waiting for some sign that we are worthy to be called pretty, that we are good enough in face and in body to be wanted by anyone.”
Thursday, September 7, 2017
What is God Saying to Us? – “Understandably, people are trying to make sense of these devastating natural disasters. ‘What is God saying to us?’ is the question of the hour. Many of the responses are less than satisfying. Some are extremely unhelpful. As I have listened to these suggestions, Martin Luther’s wise counsel keeps ringing in my ears; ‘Let the man who would hear God speak, read holy Scripture.'”
Add Spontaneity to Your Evangelism – “As Christians, we’re commissioned by Christ to go and make disciples, but we often turn such practices into a 3-4 step program rather than a natural way of communication and personal interaction. Maybe you are finding yourself lost in how to get involved in sharing the gospel? Why not add some spontaneity to your evangelism?”
Churchgoing Is Beautiful – “The percentage of American Protestants who attend church every week has held steady since the 1970’s. But churches report smaller numbers of Christians in worship each week. What’s going on?”
The Largest Survey Ever Conducted of American Religious and Denominational Identity: 14 Major Findings from a Landmark Study
The Largest Survey Ever Conducted of American Religious and Denominational Identity: 14 Major Findings from a Landmark Study – The results are not interpreted but the findings are interesting.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Singing in the Rain – “I never imagined I’d be sloshing through two feet of brown floodwater in our church building two weeks after my installation service and three months after we moved to Houston. But there I was this past Friday, with my brother Mike, kayaking across the parking lot and gliding through the glass doors and then wading through our freshly baptized building in that eerie silence created by widespread flooding.” Pray for church families deeply impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
When You're Angry at God's Plan – “Only when your life is submitted to Christ are you truly free to let go of every plan, every dream, every pursuit you once held so tightly. This freedom comes from trusting that He is sovereignly in control of your life, ordaining His plans for you, and working all things for your good.”
5 Marks of a Contented Heart – “We know that this contentment is not simply idealistic but rather characteristic of the Christian life. As believers, we continue to learn contentment by learning to trust and treasure God in every situation. God has provided us with the Bible and the church to be the means by which we work this out in our lives.”
5 Benefits to Reading Entire Books of the Bible in One Sitting – This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the Bible. Try it.
You Are Not Destined to Be Your Parents – “Parents have a lot of influence on who we become, but not more than God. Whatever kind of parents you had — godly or ungodly, wise or unwise, kind or unkind — you can overcome your past.”
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
How to Help Kids Whose Parents are Divorcing - “How can we minister to kids who are in the middle of their parents’ divorce? How can we best help them heal from the negative effects of divorce?”
My Soul Thirsts for You – “Water is really only experienced as satisfying when our real need for it makes us really want it. Likewise, God is only experienced as satisfying when our real need for him makes us really want him.”
If All My Sins Are Forgiven, Why Must I Continue to Repent? – “We ask God to forgive us not to be re-justified but to walk before him in confidence that Christ has paid it all.”
Monday, September 4, 2017
Always Looking; Never Wanting to Find – “It’s cool to search for God, but uncool to find him. People talk about wanting to find spiritual reality and deeper meaning, about wanting to get in touch with God. The idea of looking for him sounds good—the search, the journey—but the reality of actually finding him is too much.”
How Can Parents Help Their Kids Embrace Those Who Are Different Than Them? – Trillia Newbell shares four ways to help children view people in the image of God and through the lens of the gospel.
The Most Subtle Form of Pride – “If, like me, you’ve lived under a dark cloud of inadequacy; if the parasite of self-pity drains your energy to go where God calls; if anxiety over your littleness anchors you from stepping out in faith; I encourage you to join me in repentance.”
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Everyday Grace for Everyday Relationships – “Remind us that everybody has a bigger story than the chapter we happened to walk into, on any given moment or day. Give us long fuses and short memories, when it comes to the brokenness of others.”
Reach the Nations through Your Job – “As the world’s economy becomes more global, many Christians have a renewed awareness of the role Christian migration and merchants have played in supporting the spread of the gospel.”
Nothing to Complain About – “Unthankfulness for all the blessings–material and spiritual–with which God daily loads us is one of the most egregious of sins. Ingratitude always fosters a complaining spirit of entitlement in the hearts of men and women.”
Friday, September 1, 2017
500 Years After Reformation, Many Protestants Closer to Catholics than Martin Luther – Pew finds less than half of Protestants in many countries believe both sola fide and sola scriptura.
The Twist in the Sermon on the Mount That You Probably Missed – It’s a simple truth that may get lost in our casual reading.
What If My Worst Fears Come True? – “Crises of faith occur where the rubber of our faith — what we believe should be our experience if we trust God — meets the road of an experience that contradicts (or appears to contradict) our belief.”
Rethinking “God Hates the Sin but Loves the Sinner” – “The next time you’re tempted to repeat the hate-the-sin-but-love-the-sinner cliché to someone, simply tell him the Gospel instead. That’s better news anyway.”
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Do You Know the 7 Differences Between Galilee and Judea in the Time of Jesus? – This brief summary explains well the key differences between the regions.
Precious Clarity on Human Sexuality: The Nashville Statement – In a world of mixed messages and ambiguity, this is a clear, biblical statement.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
When You Can’t Hear God, Keep Talking to Him – “Our world is filled with sin and suffering, the kind of pain and darkness that creeps into every single heart and life. There’s no way around it. Following Jesus will rescue us from a thousand evils, but it will not keep us from getting hurt in this life.”
A Back to School Prayer – There’s a lot of good to be found in this prayer encouragement.– There’s a lot of good to be found in this prayer encouragement.
‘We hear you, we feel you. Believe me’ – “While police officers, 911 operators, and disaster relief workers have been saving lives in Houston for days, some may wonder where God has been as this disaster unfolded. What would our Lord say to those devastated by this unprecedented crisis?”
Finish Strong – “You will need to plan the ways you will run today so you can continue to run in the difficult days ahead. Far better a weak start with a strong finish than a strong start followed by a complete collapse. No runner regrets finishing too strong, but many regret finishing too weak.”
Monday, August 28, 2017
Neighbor Love in Response to Harvey’s Ongoing Impact – “The devastation from Harvey is both widespread and deep. Many have already lost homes, businesses and schools, and the storm continues to rage. Hear our cry for mercy and prepare us for loving well.”
From the Flooded Grounds of Houston – Pastor J.A. Medders checks in from the flooded grounds of Houston. “While the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) anticipates years of relief work, the church of the risen Lord Jesus is ready for her work, too.”
Sunday Worship Begins on Saturday – “Going to church can sadly become just another weekend activity. But should corporate worship be different? How should we prepare our hearts for the weekly gathering of God’s people? Here are a few suggestions.”
Bible Verses Prosperity Preachers Wish Didn’t Exist – “They also choose to ignore the many biblical passages warning against the detrimental effects of wealth—and especially love for wealth. You never hear prosperity preachers mention such verses. It’s as if their Bibles are missing them.”
Six Situations That Aren’t Signs That Your Child Isn’t Saved – “Now to be clear, all of these traits could be visible in an unsaved child, but they are not strong indicators of a lack of salvation.”
Lift the Heavy Burden of Shame – “We want to lift burdens and inspire hope, but we lack the skill. So how do we speak to shame? What can churches do to become a place where families can heal and prodigals can return? Here are four thoughts.”
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Out of the Depths I Cry to You – “As Christians, we delight in our salvation through Jesus’s sacrifice, but depression swallows up our very capacity to delight. The gospel may ring familiar, but we fear that grace has withered away, and that God has withdrawn from our reach.”
3 ABNY Social Realities Shaping North American Missions – The New Testament Church was birthed in the messiness of a religiously pluralistic society.
Friday, August 25, 2017
Why North Koreans are rejecting Kim Jong-un and turning to Christ – Here’s a bright spot in a couple weeks of bad news!
How Worship Helps Me Overcome Anxiety – “Worship, I have discovered, is that special space where I open up to the Father and receive His peace—the kind of supernatural peace that Paul talks about in Philippians 4. Here’s why worship has become my antidote to moments of anxiety.”
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Millennial Motherhood: Three Traps for Young Moms – “Much of what’s true of every generation throughout all time is true of millennials. We are just people. Yet, just like every other generation, we have some particular tendencies, challenges, strengths, and weaknesses that result from the time, place, and society into which we were born.”
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Don't Forget About The Boy – “No one knew that after this moment, every man, woman, and child who trusted in Jesus and read the Bible would know this boy, know exactly what was in his basket that day, and know how Jesus used him to make the point of points about his identity.”
Marriage is as One Long Conversation – The old philosopher said, “Marriage is as one long conversation. When marrying you should ask yourself this question: do you believe you are going to enjoy talking with this woman into your old age? Everything else in a marriage is transitory, but most of the time you're together will be devoted to conversation.”
4 Key Ingredients in a Devotional Reading of Scripture – “Here is a fourfold pattern of Scripture intake to help us avoid treating Scripture as an object, so that we can receive it as the living Word of a living Lord.”
What Good Can a Heretic Bring? – “Downgrade, as Spurgeon called it, is an insidious assault by the enemy, but like all the enemy’s work God will use it for good. In what follow I list five benefits of heresy. I’m sure there are more. But here are five.”
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Do You Read the Bible Like a Nonbeliever? – “The most basic prayer we can pray about reading the Bible is that God would give us the desire to read this book. Not just the will — that would be next best — but the desire.”
Monday, August 21, 2017
Satan Has A Forked Tongue – "Satan has a forked tongue. He speaks with two voices, not one. He’s the tempter and the accuser. He’s licentious and legalistic. He provokes us to shame and to pride. And just when you think you’ve resisted one, the other grabs you from behind."
10 Common but Illegitimate Reasons to Divorce – “God has provided a limited set of circumstances in which a marriage can legitimately be severed. However, many people—even Christians—offer reasons to divorce that are not sanctioned by God.”
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Friday, August 18, 2017
Lay Aside the Weight of Insincerity – “Put your trust in what God says, not what your pride and fear say. Pride and fear will shackle you with weights, but God’s promises, if believed, will liberate you.”
The 8 Beliefs You Should Know about Mormons When They Knock at the Door – It’s good to be prepared.
The 11 Beliefs You Should Know about Jehovah’s Witnesses When They Knock at the Door – It’s good to be prepared.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
4 Bible Reading Strategies for Reading Plan Quitters – “If you struggle like I do, here is the advice that I would offer– change it up. Instead of choosing one Bible reading plan, choose a strategy for reading the Bible and then change what you are doing when you find yourself getting stale. After all, what matters is not that we are sticking to a plan, but that we are reading the Bible and being changed by it.”
A New Set of Priorities for Our Kids – “We must intentionally teach our children the skills and character traits they’ll need to thrive in college and beyond. We must teach them about their need for three things in particular: passion, humility, and trust in a sovereign God.”
Fellow College Students, Please Join a Local Church – Here are four biblical reasons college students should join a local church where they’re currently living.
4 Money Principles for Millennials – Millennials want to change the world. They’re passionate about living lives of purpose and meaning. Unfortunately, they’re often prevented from pursuing their passions because of vast loads of financial debt.
Easy Lies to Believe – “I’d like to take a stab at naming and disarming several lies often spoken to us through social media, especially in understanding the world around us. In naming these lies, I’m not necessarily advocating giving up on #facetagramsnaptweeting, but encouraging us to wise, careful and limited use.”
Does the Church Need a Startup Mentality? – “The Church doesn’t just need entrepreneurs; the Church needs stick-with-iters. We don’t need more sharks in the Shark Tank. We need fishers of men, willing to do the ongoing and often unglamourous work of investing in the kingdom over the long haul.”
Iceland’s Future: Clear, Bright and Cold – “The elimination of something is completely different to the elimination of someone in order for that something to itself be eliminated. That’s the language gymnastics of all totalitarianism, whether Left or Right. What kind of society do we want to live in? You might not get the choice!”
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Why Does It Take An Eclipse To Get Us To Look Up to the Heavens? – “Let's not wait until the next eclipse to stop and pause and wonder. Look up to the heavens, and then look further up, until you find joy in the God who enjoys His handiwork.”
Three Ways God Uses the Prayers of His People – “Whether your prayer requests have been long in the making, or you’ve identified a fresh need just today, here’s one reality you can cling to: God uses the prayers of his people.”
Don’t Check Your Baggage: Why We Never Leave Our Past Behind – “Someone you know — someone struggling with the same sins you once committed against God — needs to hear what God has done for you.”
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Race, the Gospel, and the Moment – “How should Christians, and especially those with an Anglo-white background, respond to last weekend’s alt-right gathering in Charlottesville and its tragic aftermath? Three brief things need to be said.”
What Now in Charlottesville? – “This is Charlottesville, but it isn’t just Charlottesville. This is your town, too. Many are praying for our city, and we are grateful. But don’t miss this: Charlottesville is a mirror to your own cities. Let it be. Don’t move on without acknowledging that racial sin exists, even thrives. Pray for your own cities when you pray for Charlottesville.”