She is Broken, and She is Beautiful – “The Church is broken because she is made of broken people. But she is also beautiful because she has been healed by a beautiful Savior. I find pieces of my sanctification in serving alongside the members of the broken and beautiful Bride of Christ. He will surely present her pure and spotless before the Father one bright, glorious day.”
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Why It’s Hard for Muslims to Convert – “Most Muslims are born in a Muslim country and/or a Muslim family and simply adopt Islam as their religion by default. What that means is that there is a strong cultural and familial component to being Muslim. Abandoning Islam often means abandoning their family and tradition. That is hard to overcome.”
Mothers, Embrace the Mess – Caroline Albanese writes, “I feel trapped in the tension of wanting an immaculate home and a full and vibrant childhood for my kids. I wind up anxious and dissatisfied with the state of my home, and sometimes my life.”
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Will #MeToo Cause Hollywood to Rethink its Views on Sex? – “While it is certainly a good thing that systemic harassment and predatory sexual behavior are being called out and exposed, the reality is Hollywood has always been one of the chief purveyors of sex as commodity.”
10 Aspects of Gospel-Centered Forgiveness – “The fruit of the gospel’s work in a person’s heart includes the forming of a posture of forgiveness which flows from grace.” Here are principles from the story of Philemon.
How to Reconcile with Another Christian – “How do we reconcile with fellow Christians? In my thirteen years of pastoral ministry, I have found that much of my calling deals with helping those who have been injured by other people—especially other people in the church.”
Taking Care of the Poor: The Most Ignored Command in the Bible? – “Chances are, you’re well aware of what the Bible says about the poor. You know the Bible says we should be generous in how we treat them. Very few Christians would argue that God wants us to be stingy around poor people or suspicious of them. So here’s the question: why don’t we obey?”
Monday, January 15, 2018
The Easiest Sin to Justify – “When it comes to the sin of anger, we can always find an explanation that exists outside of us. We can always dump this sin in the lap of a husband or wife, a child or stranger. Failing that, we can plead fatigue or hormones or waking up on the wrong side of the bed or something—anything!—else.”
Is God a Good Father? – “Is God a good father? Can it be true? Can we allow our hearts for one solitary moment to bask in this kind of optimism? The answer is either yes or we simply have to reject the whole of the New Testament.”
I Was Denied Service Because of the Company’s Values, and I’m OK With That – This is an interesting story and lands on a strong application.
Sunday, January 14, 2018
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Moralism is Not the Gospel (But Many Christians Think It Is) – “This false gospel can take many forms and can emerge from any number of political and cultural impulses. Nevertheless, the basic structure of moralism comes down to this — the belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior.”
Good News for Modern Parents – “We’re desperately trying to keep up with the 10 Things Every Parent Must Know, the 12 Mistakes New Parents Make, and the 17 Habits of Highly Happy Families. But we end up feeling confused by conflicting advice, guilty about our imperfections, and afraid of damaging our children.”
How the Queen Has Made Faith Her Message – “To the royal household, it is known as the QXB – the Queen’s Christmas broadcast. To millions of people, it is still an essential feature of Christmas Day. To the Queen, her annual broadcast is the time when she speaks to the nation without the government scripting it. But in recent years, it has also become something else: a declaration of her Christian faith. As Britain has become more secular, the Queen’s messages have followed the opposite trajectory.”
The Seven Churches of Revelation – “The book of Revelation opens with seven letters to seven churches. Each of the seven letters is a prophetic word from Jesus, through the Spirit, who is inspiring John to write. Who were the recipients of these letters? How were they read and understood in the first century? And what are we to make of them today?”
9 Things You Should Know About the ‘Mississippi Burning’ Murders – This event was a dark day in American history and major event in the civil rights movement.
Friday, January 12, 2018
Warnings Against the “Re-Moralization” of Sex – “Only a recovery of a Judeo-Christian ethos or something like it can remoralize sex in a meaningful way–setting boundaries and promoting virtues–that will address the problems of uncontrolled sexual desires and work for the benefit of both women and men.”
Sanctification and God’s Rambunctious Children – “Spiritual adulthood cannot happen in our own strength. In our own understanding, we cannot begin to fathom how to get there. All we can do is realize and accept our childishness and pray for God to make us more like Him.”
What Do We Do with Dreams? – “As believers living today, we are well advised to, like the centuries of Christians who have come before us, to find out guidance chiefly from the Word of God, the Scriptures, rather than our dreams or even our intuitions.”
Thursday, January 11, 2018
4 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes – “Most people think the easiest way to stop being stressed about money is just to have more of it. But barring a lottery win or stumbling across Blackbeard’s treasure, we’ll have to settle for being smarter with the money we do have.”
The Countries Where It’s Most Dangerous to Be a Christian – Remember and pray for the persecuted church around the world.
6 Qualities of the Posture of Forgiveness – “The Holy Spirit was kind to include the very personal letter of Philemon in our Bible, as a case study in forgiveness practiced the way Jesus commanded.”
3 Spiritual Reasons to Do Something You're Not Good At – I found the spiritual applications here to be challenging and encouraging.
Hudson Taylor’s Remarkable Christian Conversion – “Hudson Taylor was the eminent nineteenth century pioneer missionary to inland China. The story of Hudson’s Christian conversion through the prayerful influence of his mother is somewhat well known and quite extraordinary.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
What’s Wrong with Dressing Immodestly for Attention? – “The principle here is this: find the streams that are feeding the river of sensual desire, and cut them off.”
Talk to the Children When Fencing the Table – “I wanted them to hear me explain why they were not invited to join with us in worship through the bread and cup. What follows are some basic reasons why you should talk to the children when fencing the table.”
We Are the Light of the (Cyber) World: Let’s Act Like It – Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly...online.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
The Life-Changing Benefit of Sticking Yourself in a Rut – “And at the end of our lives, when we look back across the paths we have traveled, may we be able to see how the small adjustments and mundane habits determined the destination where we arrived.”
How to Help Your Children Read the Bible – “There is no simple formula for success here. Each child is different, and the Holy Spirit works in different ways and at different times with each one. But I have found certain means of grace that generally prove effective.”
Does My Teenager Really Need Youth Group? – “Student ministry is not perfect. But, if structured properly, it can be a place that helps teenagers become what every Christian parent desires – mature followers of Jesus Christ.”
How To Evaluate Your Life for Fillers and Drainers – “Managing our energy consumption is as important as managing our money and our time.”
Monday, January 8, 2018
Fear the Lord, Not the New Year – “To fear the Lord is to approach Him with a reverent attitude of worship that regards Him as truly awesome! In short, to fear the Lord sets Him in His rightful place in our lives as not only being greater, but our source of hope, adoration and wisdom.”
20 Truths from Enter the Ring: Fighting Together for a Gospel-Saturated Marriage – Here are some good and mostly missed marriage principles.
Sabbath as a Sermon for the Ambitious – “It’s fascinating how many articles on Sabbath are appearing in both Christian and secular media. What’s also interesting is how many Christians are re-discovering Sabbath after years of rejecting it due to legalistic associations in their youth.”
Sunday, January 7, 2018
Saturday, January 6, 2018
What Is Addiction? – “The word addiction is now a regular part of our vocabulary. But what does it mean? How might we define it biblically? Most simply, addiction may be defined as voluntary enslavement to sin (Romans 6:12-13).”
Five Ways Satan Undermines Muslim Conversions – “Let me give you some encouraging news: despite some unsubstantiated stories and exaggerated statistics, it is true that history has never seen so many Muslims bowing the knee to the Lord Jesus!”
11 Reasons Church Membership Matters More than Ever – “Although church membership may not be moving the needle like it did in the second half of the 20th Century, I believe it is more important than ever. Carefully note these reasons why.”
Friday, January 5, 2018
4 Problems with Downplaying God’s Wrath – “Many Christians seem to want to tone down, or even excise completely from our creed, the doctrine of divine wrath. It is seen as an embarrassment—something to be ameliorated, qualified, explained, reconfigured.”
Knowing and Engaging the Mission of the Church – “When I meet a fellow believer, there is an instant connection and bond that’s formed. I immediately feel comfortable and connected with them. The reason we feel that connection is not only because we are brothers and sisters in the Lord, but because we share a common mission and devotion.”
Cultural Myths About Truth and Love – “So Satan--with an insatiable desire to reduce love into deeds that are void of truth or to communicate truth through self-righteous arrogance--today employs five deceptive myths.”
The FAQs: What You Should Know About the Iranian Protests – “Many of the current protestors are calling for a regime change. The government crackdown, which included sending Revolutionary Guards into at least three cities, has lead to 21 deaths and more than 1,000 arrests.”
Thursday, January 4, 2018
6 Cracks in a Secular Worldview – “When our friends hear the claims of Jesus, they wonder why we’d believe such fantastical things when there is a perfectly rational, coherent view of the world available to us. But if we look at the secular ground on which we supposedly all stand, we’ll realize it’s more like pack ice floating away from land. And there are cracks in the ice. Here are six of them.”
‘Do Not Be Discouraged’: YouVersion Bible App Tops 300 Million Downloads – “Nine years ago, YouVersion’s Bible app was one of the first 200 free apps in the brand-new Apple App Store. Within seven years, it had been downloaded 200 million times. In 2017, the Bible app reached 300 million installs.”
Your Fresh Start Begins Today – “I eventually realized all of us have two choices when it comes to healthy living. We can engage in a foolish, unhealthy lifestyle and pay the consequences, or we can wisely steward what God has given us as a sacred gift and seek to please Him with our health choices.”
The Staggering Consequences of Neglecting Your Bible – “Often when we read the first Psalm, we are struck by the qualities of a life characterized by delight in God’s Word. The life marinated in the Scriptures leads to a life that is faithful to God.”
They are Our Children, After All – “In a perfect world, Christian parents would teach their children the gospel, and it would be embraced quickly, and without incident. Children would go seamlessly from childhood to godly adulthood without a blip on the screen.”
I Couldn’t Call God ‘Father’ – “In Islam there are 99 names for Allah. Not one of them is “Father.” I am from a family of six children. My father never showed us love. Whenever I heard of people speak about the love and support of their fathers, I had no idea what they meant.”
Does Your Doubt Dishonor God? What No One Says About Weak Faith – “It’s hard writing words you suspect will be misunderstood. My heart goes out to struggling saints who are prone to find fresh reasons to feel discouraged...My aim is not to take wheelchairs away from those who really need them, but to admonish the idle to stand and become strong in the Lord.”
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Beginning of the Year Check-In Questions for Christians – “Don’t leave your spiritual growth up to spontaneity. Make a plan. Now that we’re in 2018, here are some questions to ask as you formulate ways to grow.”
My Spiritual Fitness Plan for 2018 – “If you want to grow more mature this year, you will need to get serious about reading your Bible consistently. LifeWay’s largest research project identified eight Biblical factors that consistently show up in the life of a maturing believer, the top being Bible engagement.”
Deep Bible Reading Strategies for the Tired and Busy – “Find a slot once a week where you do some serious digging in the word.”
How to Read Through the Bible in a Year With Kids – “One of the most important spheres of influence in which we can lead Scripture engagement is within our own families. But often this is the most difficult place to start! That’s why we asked J.R. Briggs, founder of Kairos Partnerships, to give us some tips.”
An Incredible Invitation From the Creator of the Universe – “God wants me to be asking him for things all the time? He’s not too busy running the universe to hear my petty requests? I mean, I’m dust. Does he really want me to keep coming to him all the time with my needs and desires?”
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
How To Be Happy This Year (Hint: It’s Not Complicated) – It’s simple and practical.
Bearing the Burdens of the Broken – “Most of us want to give to others without being burdened. We think we’ve earned our burden-free life, and we’re reluctant to step into any situation that puts weight back on our shoulders. But that’s not what people who have experienced the power of the gospel should look like.”
Christ’s Dependence on the Holy Spirit – Christ needed the Holy Spirit at his birth, in his growth, in his ministry, in his suffering, and in his exaltation. What was the role of the Holy Spirit in Christ’s life on earth?
Corporate America’s Strange New Gospel – “‘Mindfulness,’ a meditation practice that is in essence Buddhism without Buddha, is everywhere in corporate America and celebrity culture.” This interesting article looks at mindfulness as the latest trend in the vein of self empowerment and prosperity gospel.
Monday, January 1, 2018
The Turn of the Year – “The turn of the year is a good time to look back and to look ahead. In times past, many healthy Christians would use significant seasons – the new year, for example, or a birthday, or the anniversary of one’s conversion (if known) – to pause and to ponder the course of their lives. It was for them, and could be for us, a season of searching self-examination. It was a means of doing their souls much good.”
A New Year, A New Bible Reading Plan – “We need to read large sections of Scripture and stop to meditate on short passages. Here’s a reading plan that allows you to do both.” I’ve been blessed by it several times.
He Will Restore Your Soul – “In Psalm 22, David feels forsaken by an unresponsive God. In Psalm 23, David feels shepherded by an ever-attentive God. In Psalm 22, David’s soul is in restless agony. In Psalm 23, David’s soul is restored to a trust-fueled rest in the Good Shepherd’s care.”
The Micronutrient Bible Reading Plan – “If you can’t read, meditate, pray, sing, congregate, or serve as much as you would like to, don’t just give up. You can still survive spiritually with a steady dose of devotional micronutrients: Bible reading, prayer, and service.”