Isn’t Hell an Overreaction to Sin? – “The grievousness and heinousness of sin rises to its infinite proportions, not by the extent of time covered in an act of sin but by the one whom we dishonor.”
Monday, July 31, 2017
Opening Your Home and Heart to Women’s Bible Study – Your neighbors are interested in studying the Bible. Maybe this is something you could do. The author provides helpful starters.
Why You’re Being Invited to Fewer Weddings – “You’re not the only one spending fewer summer weekends watching other people get married—but don’t worry, the weddings you’re still invited to might feel a little more special these days.” There are several interesting observations here.
Sunday, July 30, 2017
May We Never Take a Dry-Eyed Look at Sin – “To think that we have offended so kind and good a Lord is more than sufficient reason for being constant weepers. Lord, smite our rocky hearts, and make the waters flow.”
In Awe of Her God – “This weekend marks fifty years since the diving accident that left Joni Eareckson Tada with quadriplegia. Fifty years of relying on others to meet her physical needs. Fifty years of pressing on in the midst of weakness, fatigue, and pain. Fifty years of trusting God to provide.”
The FAQs: What You Should Know About the Military’s Transgender Policy – This has been much talk on this topic in the last week. Joe Carter sorts out the issues.
Friday, July 28, 2017
Embrace the Race God Gives You – “Here you are: in this race, on this route, at this pace, on this terrain, in this climate, with these people, and your strengths, and your limitations, for this distance. Like it or not, this is your race.”
Parenting a Full Quiver with a Barren Heart (Three Lies Moms Believe) – “Idol-carrying always makes beautiful things into barren things. As I walk this path of parenting God has placed before me, I’ve noticed some of the idolatrous lies I’m particularly prone to clinging to.”
Shadows of Hell: Fear and Emptiness Before Death – This article speaks to one of my great burdens for so many who have attended church for years. As the article says, “It would take incredible humility for anyone to admit, ‘I have been wrong all my life; I have wasted my life.’”
Seven Habits to Help You Fight Comparison – “So how do we get out of this self-destructive trap? How do we break the cycle? Ultimately, we embrace our identity as children of God, wholly accepted and loved. But how do we get to that place?”
I Feel Tempted, Inside and Out – “Jesus shows us how to resist temptation—swiftly, immediately rejecting it and drawing on God’s Word to do so. Above all, Jesus’s temptation assures us that he understands our weakness and temptation.”
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Actually They Don’t Just Hate the Church, They Hate Jesus – “At least we’re cutting to the chase now in our culture. At least we’re cutting through all the cant about how the problem we have is that people hate the church but deep down really love Jesus. At least we’re not going to spend acres of time and millions of dollars devising strategies around the idea that if we can just get minimise the idea of church, and maximise the idea about Jesus then those who hate church will start to see what we’re really about and join us.”
3 Ways Gethsemane Encourages Us When Our Dreams Die – “What wisdom might we glean from Jesus’s hours in Gethsemane? How might it encourage us on days when joy is slim? Here are three thoughts.”
Reading Is Just the Beginning: Five More Ways to Enjoy God’s Word – “When you hold a Bible in your hands, you are holding one of the most precious objects imaginable. No antique or priceless artifact, no famous piece of art or giant diamond is more precious than whatever medium communicates God’s own self-revelation.”
Politics, Elections, and Christians: Reconciling the Church after the Great Divide of 2016 – Have you allowed election speech to replace the speech of the 'elect'?
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Why Moralism Is Not the Gospel – And Why So Many Christians Think It Is – This is the great deception in American Christianity. Being good, nice, and moral is substituted for a relationship to God through faith and surrender to Christ.
Six Things You Can Do To Grow (or Save) Your Marriage – These are good and godly principles for any marriage.
Our Cultural Waterloo – “With Trump in the White House, Christian colleges have four, maybe eight, years in which the cultural and political tide might not flow as strongly against them as it did under Obama. Now is the time to organize, externally and internally.”
Pray Them Home – “By God’s grace, my parents did not give up on me—despite how tempting it must have been at times. Instead, they entrusted my life to God, prayed for my brokenness, and fought for me in prayers that God eventually answered.” When we could do nothing but pray for our son, God did His greatest work. This is a good read.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Hope for a Hurried Soul – This is a great quote from this article on our busy lives – “Like a top, my soul continues in this frantic spinning until one of two things happens: either I run out of energy or someone gently interrupts my spin cycle.”
Facebook, You Are Not My Church – “The First Christian Church of Facebook can only temporarily spackle the holes in our hearts and lives, never fix or heal them. We need Jesus for that, and Christ’s Plan A for our sanctification and the world’s redemption is the local church.”
The Gospel is Like an Old Hymn – Jared Wilson writes, “A lot of the new songs–not all of them, of course, but a lot of them–head straight to how I feel about Jesus but never take me into the depths of why I ought to feel that way.” You can’t skip the Gospel and just jump into worship.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Twelve Questions to Ask Before You Watch ‘Game of Thrones’ – John Piper writes, “So, here are 12 questions to think about, or 12 reasons why I am committed to a radical abstention from anything I know is going to present me with nudity.”
Who Are the Least of These (and Why Does It Matter)? – “Let’s love deepest inside the church and let’s overflow in loving care towards our neighbor.”
What is the Gospel? A Look at 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 – The gospel has been defined by many people in many ways. What does Scripture say the gospel is?
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Why the Ascension of Jesus Matters to You – “The Ascension of Jesus isn’t just the story of how our Lord “went away” between the Resurrection and the Second Coming. The Ascension means that you, Christian, are connected always to God.”
Kids, Broccoli, and Jesus – “When Jesus is presented as broccoli and not a filet mignon, kids will see him as a means to an end. But Jesus is not a means. He is the end. The goal of the gospel is God himself. And the goal of all kids ministry should be to direct their gaze into the splendor of God's grace in the gospel of Christ.”
Don’t Like Diversity? You’ll Hate Heaven – “If you don’t like diversity, you are going to hate heaven. It’s the one place where no one will fight over whose cultural expressions are best suited for God’s work.”
Looking Forward to a Heaven We Can Imagine – “What difference is Heaven supposed to make in our lives now? Why do you think many Christians don’t look forward to Heaven anymore? What are some of the biggest misconceptions about Heaven?”
Friday, July 21, 2017
How Knowing the BibleDoes Not Automatically Make You More Holy – While Bible study is critical, the process of spiritual growth takes more than Bible knowledge.
3 Things Not to Do While Pursuing Spiritual Growth – A few attempted shortcuts to growing spiritually that just don't work.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Suffering: For God’s Glory and Your Good - We are constantly reminded by our friends, family, and media of that suffering. Believers are not exempt; every follower of Christ will experience some kind of trial or suffering.
Nominal Christianity Will Fail You When Suffering Hits – “In the face of suffering, all the world can offer are sad clichés. But true Christianity actually has something substantial to offer, because we have a Savior who went through suffering so we can have confidence that he’ll never let us go.”
Suffering Is Not What It Seems – “What if suffering isn't quite what it seems? Often, suffering is viewed as a mood-destroying interruption (in our best moments) or a faith-wrecking obstacle (in our worst)…Suffering is our foe.” We may be missing something important.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
7 Ways to Fight Distraction During Prayer – “Distraction can be a huge hindrance in our prayer life, but I am also discovering that it provides an opportunity for growth. Here are seven strategies for fighting distraction, and harnessing it to deepen and direct our prayers.”
25 Quick Tips and Reminders to Help Your Prayer Life – It’s a quick list with great reminders and ideas for strengthening personal prayer.
Three Biblical Practices for Prayer – “Jesus was in the habit of praying. And if it was important to him, it’s important to us. Though we can find many lessons throughout the Bible on how to pray, here are just three elements of prayer that we can put into practice now.”
Tim Challies shares what many of us have felt in connection to our prayer lives:
"I have said it often and said it recently, that prayer has always been a struggle for me. It's not that I don't pray--I do!--but that I find it a battle to put my theology into action day-by-day and to live out my deepest convictions about prayer by actually praying. I experience little of the joy and sense of fulfillment that so many of the great pray-ers speak of. As often as not, I have to rely on the objective facts of what I believe about prayer more than any subjective feeling or sense of satisfaction."
Monday, July 17, 2017
9 Steps to Putting That Sin to Death – “It’s a battle we all must fight. It’s a battle we all must fight from this moment until the moment we die. It’s a battle fraught with discouragement and setbacks, yet a battle we all can and must win. It’s the battle against sin.”
10 Things That Are True When I Confess My Sin – “Ponder these thoughts concerning God, sin, grace, forgiveness, and the sufficiency of Christ and his sacrificial work on your behalf. When I confess my sin…”
Six Evil Effects of Sin – Yesterday, we taught about the need we all have to confess our sin and repent. I shared a brief list of the consequences of sin. Here is the list:
In his great work Overcoming Sin and Temptation, John Owen lists six evil effects of sin—sin that we identify BUT refuse to destroy.
- Sin deprives us of spiritual strength and comfort.
- Sin weakens the soul and deprives it of its strength.
- Sin becomes the delight of the heart.
- Sin becomes the meditation of our minds.
- Sin hinders our spiritual walk. “
- Sin darkens the soul.
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Not on Earth as It Is in Heaven – “Three aspects (at least) of our worship during this earthly age should differ from the heavenly worship of the age to come: confession of sin, mission to the lost, and lament over brokenness. If we diminish or remove any of these aspects, our worship will suffer in the here and now.”
God Made Every Part of You for Worship – “God gives us five senses to help us worship him: the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes testify to the diversity of God’s gifts and to the depth of worship God deserves.”
Saturday, July 15, 2017
You Don’t Need More Parenting Advice – Paul Tripp writes, “Many Christian mothers and fathers are exhausted, discouraged, and frustrated. It’s time we consider a new and better way: the way of grace. These fourteen gospel principles are meant to help you see how radically different parenting becomes when you quit trying to produce change and become a willing tool of the grace that rescues, forgives, and changes.”
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
13 End Times Errors to Avoid – “Unfortunately, believers often cycle through a stock list of end-times errors. These mistakes discredit gospel proclamation and rob Christians of the blessings and wisdom God gives from meditating on this area of truth.”
17 Benefits to Reading the Entire Bible – “As I set aside my Bible reading plan this year in favor of soaking in shorter passages, I realized that I didn’t need to choose between the two—nor did I want to! The benefits and joy of journeying the entire way through God’s salvation story are too good to miss, so I decided to do both.”
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
How Many of the Ten Commandments Do Americans Think They’ve Broken This Month?
“How many of the ten commandments have you broken this month?” Find out what the most common response is.
“How many of the ten commandments have you broken this month?” Find out what the most common response is.
Five “Fake News” Stories That People Believe about Early Christianity – “Given this rash of ‘fake news,’ I thought it might be interesting to observe that an analogous phenomenon can be seen in the study of early Christianity. There is quite a bit of ‘fake news’ out there regarding the person of Jesus, the origins of the church, or the development of the Bible . Even though such ‘news’ as no factual basis, it is believed by an uncomfortably large number of people.”
Seven Reasons You Owe Everything to Suffering – “Every good thing you ever dreamed about having now or in eternity comes to you through suffering, and only through suffering; namely, the suffering of Jesus.”
Sloth Doesn’t Just Mean Sleep – “A sluggard doesn’t have to be a sleeper. While the Bible has sleep as the favorite past-time of the sluggard it also paints a broader picture. The sluggard is really the one who is doing something other than what ought to be done in that moment to the glory of God.”
Monday, July 10, 2017
The Worrying Effects of Working More and Sleeping Less – “Here are some stats which will either keep you awake tonight or perhaps send you to bed earlier”...with a biblical application.
Angered At and Angry With – “As I work my way through the proverbs, I see anger everywhere. I see the folly of anger, the danger of anger, the sinfulness of anger. I see that the godly learn to control their anger while the fools let it rage.”
Discovering Christ in the Psalms – “It should not, therefore, surprise us that the New Testament writers cite the Psalms more than any other book of the Old Testament. Neither should it surprise us that, in each citation, Jesus and the Apostles teach us that the Psalms are Messianic in nature. In so doing, they teach us the principles that we must follow as we seek to discover Christ in all the rest of the Psalms.”
Hospitality Is Not Just for Home – “Hospitality is both an attitude of the heart and a practice of the hand. It seeks to turn strangers into friends through acts of welcome and generosity. Throughout Scripture, God calls his people to show hospitality to strangers—orphans, foreigners, the poor, widows, and more.”
Martin Luther’s Shelter Amid the Flood of Depression – “He didn’t attempt to decipher the causes of the depression or the source of the attacks. While he recognized emotions were powerful catalysts for reflection, repentance, and resolve, he also acknowledged they were sometimes disproportionate responses to terrifying circumstances.”
Saturday, July 8, 2017
A Spiritual Inheritance – “In a day when multitudes are enthusiastically committing themselves to Christian financial management principles, it would serve us well to consider what sort of inheritance we are storing up for our children.”
Friday, July 7, 2017
Spiritual Growth Comes From Community – “My encouragement to young moms, or busy students, or stressed businessmen and women is this: put yourself in a role that will require you to show up at your local church week after week.”
If You Truly Know God, Then You Will Love – “If love is this important then we need a clear picture of it. Where do we get a clear definition? Who do we look to? The apostle John says to look to God.”
4 Principles for the Exercise of Christian Liberty – “Paul’s teaching in Romans 14:1–15:13 contains healthy (and very necessary) guidelines for the exercise of Christian liberty. Here are four of them.”
Relationships in Heaven – Randy Alcorn writes, “One of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked about Heaven over the years is about the nature of marriage there. As I share in my book Heaven, there will be one marriage in Heaven, not many. That marriage will be what earthly marriage symbolized and pointed to, the marriage of Christ to His bride. So we will all be married—but to Christ.”
Joy Is for the Generous – “Money may not be able to purchase the greatest and deepest joy, but it can still generate it. The joy is there for the taking. The joy is there for the giving. The joy is for the generous.”
Survival of the Fondest: Love Defies Darwin and Defeats the Devil – “Does this love exist? This is the question I pose to atheists. Because if such love really exists, it is a powerful and unnerving indicator of a profound reality beyond the bounds of what we call the material universe.”
Money: An Instrument for Blessing, Not an Indicator of It - As it addresses the prosperity gospel, the article explores the difference between money as a sign of blessing and money as an instrument of blessing.
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Why Would You Say Yes? – “I believe that the story of Noah and the Ark is in the Bible to help us define what biblical faith looks like. You see, Noah was just an ordinary guy who by faith accepted an extraordinary call from God.”
Go to Bed for the Glory of God – “Has it ever occurred to you that going to bed can glorify God? He created us to need sleep and He graciously gives it. Therefore, we can please Him by acknowledging this need and accepting the gift with gratitude.”
New Army Training Tells Female Soldiers To ‘Accept’ Naked Men In Their Showers – “The force-wide presentation sheds quite a bit of light on the implications of the rule change on transgender service members. The policy prioritizes subjective feelings over combat-readiness and inverts military order by placing the needs of individuals over the well-being of their units.”
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Don’t Just Tweet Your Proverbs – “I don’t quite understand it. Everyone knows that King Solomon was the wisest man in the Old Testament. Yet, he had the most precipitous moral freefall of all the kings.”
Eight Reasons to Cling to Scripture in Suffering – “Whether affliction has touched or devastated you, God promises in his Word to be your help, just as he did the psalmist. See in Psalm 119:49-56 eight reasons to cling to Scripture in your suffering.”
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Thank God for the Idea of America – “I understand the dangers of an unthinking ‘God and country’ mentality, let alone a gospel-less civil religion. But I also think love of country–like love of family or love of work–is a proximate good. Patriotism is not beneath the Christian, even for citizens of a superpower.”
Civil Religion Has No Place in God’s House – “When we bring civil religion into our worship services, we are confusing our patriotic duty to the temporal country God gave us with the allegiance we owe to the kingdom in which we will be citizens forever.”
The United States of Ambivalence – “And the extent to which the Declaration of Independence and Constitution reflect biblical principles about equality and human nature helps account for the enduring strength of the American republic, in spite of its many imperfections.”
8 Ways Satan Convinces You To Question Your Salvation – “Though Satan can never steal the Christian’s crown he will leave no stone unturned in robbing the Christian of comfort and peace, in making their life miserable, in giving them reason to live in constant sorrow and mourning, doubt and questioning.”
Monday, July 3, 2017
Worshipping a Golden Calf on Sunday – “A church will become idolatrous in a heartbeat because it’s already there. So, we cannot set our worship on autopilot. We cannot mistake the appearance of busy religiosity for worship in spirit and truth.”
Private Confession and Rebuke – “We have to confess and make restitution to those we have wronged, that they may forgive us; we have also to seek to bring to repentance those who have wronged us, that we may forgive them. This is a widely neglected duty. Most of us are as irresponsible as Cain in imagining that we are not our brother’s keeper.”
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Should I Feel God’s Presence in My Life? – “I realized that I’ve got to live by the Word of God, not by what I feel. I think that’s how you deal with doubt. You begin to focus on what God says He’s going to do rather than on your feelings.”
Trump Administration to Teachers: You Must Use a Transgender Student’s “Preferred Pronouns” – “They’ll learn that in America everyone has a right to choose their gender. They just don’t have a right to follow their conscience.”