Jerusalem

Jerusalem

Monday, December 31, 2018

How Do I Make the Most of Daily Bible Reading?


How Do I Make the Most of Daily Bible Reading?“Few things are more helpful in grasping the totality of Scripture than a steady, week-in and week-out feeding on the preached word of God.”

Make Habits, Not Resolutions


Make Habits, Not Resolutions – “Unlike resolutions, we actually become our habits. There are no changed lives outside of changed habits. And if we want to actually change, we need to take a sober look at where our habits are leading us.”

Read the Bible More This Year: Four Great Motivations from God


Read the Bible More This Year: Four Great Motivations from God – “If you have really struggled to read the Bible more than you do, take some time alone with God at the beginning of this year. Ask him to strengthen your faith in what he says about his word. And then think and pray over promises like these.”

4 Gospel Truths You Must Believe and Teach to Your Kids


4 Gospel Truths You Must Believe and Teach to Your Kids – “When thinking and speaking of the good news, always keep the following four truths in mind: God is holy and righteous; we are sinful and rebellious; Jesus is the answer; but we must respond.”

Jesus: The Perfect Burnt, Sin, and Guilt Offering


Jesus: The Perfect Burnt, Sin, and Guilt Offering“In the New Testament, Jesus fulfills these three types of sin-sacrifices in a way that highlights the different facets of Christ’s redemptive work on our behalf.”

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Why Modern Christians Should Obey the 10 Commandments


Why Modern Christians Should Obey the 10 Commandments – “Each of the Ten Commandments now finds a fuller fulfillment in Christ. They don’t become less than what they were, but now with the advent of Christ, they become much more in how we fulfill them and how we obey them.”

Biblical Archaeology’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2018


Biblical Archaeology’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2018 “Each year, on an almost daily basis, archaeological discoveries help us better understand the Bible and affirm its details about people, events, and culture. Below are the top excavation findings reported in 2018 which have increased our knowledge of the biblical world and the early history of Christianity.”

5 Things Failed New Year’s Resolutions Teach Us


5 Things Failed New Year’s Resolutions Teach Us – “Here are five things our failed resolutions tell us.”

The Most Important Voice in 2019


The Most Important Voice in 2019“When we come to the Bible this year and every year, we come to an utterly unique Book. We come to the living words of the living God made alive for us by his living Spirit.”

How NOT to Read Your Bible in the New Year


How NOT to Read Your Bible in the New Year – “What’s going to make 2019 different? What, under God, will keep you plodding along in April this year when staying power has generally vanished in Aprils of yore?”

Giving Up Our Rights


Giving Up Our Rights “Consider the formula: Giving up rights = Gospel advancement. Rights are those preferences and freedoms we enjoy as Christians related to what we eat, drink, and enjoy and even some things that we are owed or deserve.”

Your Child’s Greatest Need


Your Child’s Greatest Need – “Your child’s greatest need is the one you are powerless to meet. The sooner you come to grips with this reality the better.” 

Friday, December 28, 2018

4 Mistakes That Will Sabotage Your New Year’s Resolutions


4 Mistakes That Will Sabotage Your New Year’s Resolutions – “By February 80 percent of us have stopped jogging, started sleeping in, or jumped headfirst back into whatever bad habits we promised to break.”

How Parents Affect Their Children’s Faith (the Latest Findings)


How Parents Affect Their Children’s Faith (the Latest Findings) – “The biggest influence on children’s faith is parents. And this includes spiritual influence as well. Whether positive or negative, parents, by their words and actions, heavily weigh in on the trajectory of their child’s spiritual life.”

8 Life Reminders From 2018


8 Life Reminders From 2018 – Chuck Lawless shares some meaningful personal reflections.

Spiritual Disciplines for the New Year


Spiritual Disciplines for the New Year – “Our resolutions for the New Year should certainly include needed spiritual disciplines that will enable us be more faithful and fruitful in our service of the Lord Jesus.”

You Need Not Worry About Next Year


You Need Not Worry About Next Year – “There is not one moment we need to fear. Every second of it, God will be working to make us more like Christ. What could be better than that?”

Count the Cost of Raising True Disciples


Count the Cost of Raising True Disciples – Know That It’s Worth It.

10 Critical Religious Liberty Cases Coming in 2019


10 Critical Religious Liberty Cases Coming in 2019“Although the new year is still a few days away, ADF is already preparing to defend a number of important legal challenges to freedom of religion. Here are ten cases coming in 2019 you should know about.”

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Bible Reading Plans and Guides


Bible Reading Plans and GuidesHere are a variety of Bible reading plans for your 2019 reading. I’ve found the use of a plan to be a key to daily reading of my Bible and to reading through the whole Bible annually.

Skip Resolutions in 2019—Make a Rule of Life


Skip Resolutions in 2019—Make a Rule of Life - A Rule of Life is “an intentional, conscious plan to keep God at the center of everything we do...The starting point and foundation of any Rule is a desire to be with God and to love him.”

The Manger and the Cross: Unlikely Bookends


The Manger and the Cross: Unlikely Bookends – “Like bookends facing opposite directions, yet an undeniable pair, consider the relationship between the manger and the cross.”

Is Everyone Awesome?


Is Everyone Awesome? – “Instead of helping kids to become confident, stable, and secure—because of humble dependency upon God and His wisdom—messages like these feed the inborn, natural elevation of self.”

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Choose Faith

Choose Faith – “Rather than living in a world of constant questions, we allow this tiny babe in a manger to give us the answer.”

Year End Reflections and Marriage Resolutions


Year End Reflections and Marriage Resolutions – “We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. But maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.”

Can You Really Measure Spiritual Growth?


Can You Really Measure Spiritual Growth? – Here are some diagnostic questions to consider as you move into the new year.

5 Ways to Get Closer to God


5 Ways to Get Closer to God – Here are some good reminders and a couple of things you might have never considered.

Beware the Idol of Parenting Success


Beware the Idol of Parenting Success – “How do we know if our desire to be good parents has morphed into an idol that has gripped our heart? And where should we turn for hope instead?”

Sex on The Silver Screen — Outsourcing Depravity


Sex on The Silver Screen — Outsourcing Depravity – “When we watch sex on the silver screen, we are asking unbelievers to behave in ways we would never tolerate among ourselves. Yet we tolerate it so we can enjoy entertainment we otherwise couldn’t enjoy. We outsource our depravity so we can live within the letter of the law, even while violating the spirit.”

Did We Finish Any Good Work This Year?


Did We Finish Any Good Work This Year? – For the moms out there: “So, this year was a fruitful one filled with good work, because God is faithful to his people and his glory. Hair combing, dish washing, tear wiping, homework helping, and, yes, floor mopping may be what made up most of our days, but it was all work we finished to the glory of God.”

What We Lose if We Ditch the Virgin Birth


What We Lose if We Ditch the Virgin Birth – “There are a number of problems that arise when we insist the virgin birth didn’t really take place. Here are a few of the big problems with dispensing with it.”

How Should We Respond to Those Who Reject Jesus Because Some Christians Are Hypocrites?


How Should We Respond to Those Who Reject Jesus Because Some Christians Are Hypocrites? – “Jesus himself is the main argument for why we should believe Christianity.”

Seeking the Peace of Christ this Christmastime


Seeking the Peace of Christ this Christmastime – “Most of us have an idea of what peace looks like. But is that the peace that Christ promises?”

Parents What Message Are You Preaching to Your Kids?


Parents What Message Are You Preaching to Your Kids? – “One of the more sobering realities in the life of a parent is that your life is preaching a message to your kids. They will leave your house with the message that your life preached ringing in their ears.”

The Forgotten Part of the Christmas Story


The Forgotten Part of the Christmas Story“Behind the familiar scenes of shepherds and wise men so common at this time of year is one so horrific it often gets overlooked and under preached. Many would not even consider reading it or telling their children that this was also part of the story that went on during the time of Jesus’ infancy.”

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

What Child is This?


What Child is This? – “Verse two of the Christmas Hymn, “What Child is This?” provides much to ponder this Christmas.”

Christmas Day Wonder, Gratitude, and Joy


Christmas Day Wonder, Gratitude, and JoyA Christmas Day prayer.

Christmas Reminds Us That Jesus is God


Christmas Reminds Us That Jesus is God – “We believe...in Jesus Christ, [God's] only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary...”

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room!


Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room! – “How could there possibly be anything more mysterious and wonderful than the incarnation of Jesus Christ?”

He Dwells Not Far Off: Reflections on Christmastime


He Dwells Not Far Off: Reflections on Christmastime – “The peace on earth and good will to men we so desperately long for are only possible because of that lowly manger scene.”

The Wisdom of God Lay in a Manger


The Wisdom of God Lay in a Manger“Christmas was the decisive inbreaking of God’s plan into history. Nothing has been the same since.”

Monday, December 24, 2018

All Was Bright That Awful Night: The Christmas Truce of 1914


All Was Bright That Awful Night: The Christmas Truce of 1914 – “Amidst humankind’s greatest parody of hell on earth to date, a song broke into the darkness of World War I. The war had not ended, but light had dawned for a night.”

The Advent Willingness of Jesus


The Advent Willingness of Jesus – “So here’s what the Christmas story is all about: a willing Savior is born to rescue unwilling people from themselves because there is no other way.”

Remembering the Righteousness of Joseph


Remembering the Righteousness of Joseph – I am blessed by Joseph. I am encouraged by Joseph. And I am challenged by Joseph. It’s no wonder that God picked him to be the father of Jesus.”

The “Mega Joy” of Christmas


The “Mega Joy” of Christmas – The joy of Christmas is no ordinary joy, but the “mega joy” of redemptive history.

Why We Know So Little About Jesus’ Birth


Why We Know So Little About Jesus’ Birth – “When it comes to the birth of Jesus, we get all the details we need to understand one thing with the utmost clarity: Jesus comes as the least.”

A Christmas Carol for the Weak


A Christmas Carol for the Weak – “We would do well this Christmas, and any time of year, to listen carefully to Mary’s strange song — strange to humans attuned to the music of the world, but deeply thrilling to those who have been given an ear for the God who is, not the God of our imaginations.”

Two Purposes for Christmas


Two Purposes for Christmas – Here are two key purposes from 1 John.

What Makes Christmas So Controversial?


What Makes Christmas So Controversial?The three main needs that the gospel meets are felt by almost nobody.”

His Heart Is Broad as Heaven: Why God Delights to Forgive


His Heart Is Broad as Heaven: Why God Delights to Forgive “All Christians believe that God forgives sins. But how many of us feel, deep down in our bones, that God delights to forgive?”

Saturday, December 22, 2018

That You May Believe


That You May Believe – “God, I am sorry that the stories men have made up stir my emotions, my awe and wonder and admiration and joy, more than your own true story.”

No Low Too Low


No Low Too Low – “Through his birth, his life, and his death, he shows that the way to be great in God’s eyes is to go low, to love others, to serve others, to give up comfort, to give up privilege, and to do it all for God’s glory.”

Unwrapping the Gift of Reconciliation this Christmas


Unwrapping the Gift of Reconciliation this Christmas – “Like Christmas itself, we can become nostalgic about reconciliation rather than embrace the messy grace and humility that it requires.”

The Birth of the Ancient of Days


The Birth of the Ancient of Days – Here is a Christmas text you may not have considered – Jesus on trial before Pilate.

Christmas for the Weary


Christmas for the Weary – “A season of presumed celebration makes the hardships even more apparent. So Isaiah 9 is for us.”

His Heart Is Broad as Heaven: Why God Delights to Forgive


His Heart Is Broad as Heaven: Why God Delights to Forgive – “All Christians believe that God forgives sins. But how many of us feel, deep down in our bones, that God delights to forgive?”

3 Reasons to Preach Through Daniel


3 Reasons to Preach Through Daniel (or read Daniel) – “Daniel speaks to God’s exiled people today (1 Peter 1:1) who still wait for a better king and better kingdom.”

Top 10 News Stories of 2018


Top 10 News Stories of 2018Facts and Trends: “What were the top headlines for evangelicals this year? Here are the 10 our team thinks were the biggest stories of 2018.”

Friday, December 21, 2018

What the Bible Says to the Jaded, Discouraged, and Worn Out


What the Bible Says to the Jaded, Discouraged, and Worn Out“Christmas season is the season of joy, but it is also a time when the cumulative weight of all that has happened in the course of the year catches up with you.”

10 Suggestions For Your Personal Devotions in 2019


10 Suggestions For Your Personal Devotions in 2019 – The list contains Bible reading and devotional plans.

13 Characteristics of the Holy Spirit


13 Characteristics of the Holy Spirit – “The Scripture provides a number of phrases that describe the characteristics of the Holy Spirit.”

3 Keys to Living a More Meaningful Life in the New Year


3 Keys to Living a More Meaningful Life in the New Year“Every year, as we enter a New Year, we have high hopes for living a more meaningful, purposeful life. Here are three ideas, that can be applied by anyone from any walk of life, that will help you move on your desire to lead a more meaningful life in the New Year.”

2 Things to Remember When Setting Resolutions


2 Things to Remember When Setting Resolutions – “With some accountability and guidance from Scripture, I think you can find success when it comes to fulfilling your resolutions this coming year.”

If I Could Choose 3 New Year’s Resolutions for You


If I Could Choose 3 New Year’s Resolutions for You – “I think if every Christian focused on these three areas in the coming year, we might see some drastic changes taking place in our churches.”

“That’s What Christmas Is All About, Charlie Brown”


“That’s What Christmas Is All About, Charlie Brown” – “And at one time, most of the country would have agreed with Linus regarding what Christmas is all about…but times have changed.”

A Bittersweet Christmas Gift


A Bittersweet Christmas Gift “The sweet, but poignant moment clicking their picture brought into focus how quickly it all passes: the young girl, beside the elderly woman who no longer remembers me, but who, not too long ago, was a vibrant young girl herself.”

Legalism Is Easier, the Gospel Is Better


Legalism Is Easier, the Gospel Is Better – ” Legalism allows us many of the benefits of Christianity like community, acceptance, and even grace, but it stops short of true salvation. It doesn’t truly penetrate your heart and change your life.”

There Is No Such Thing as Worldly Security


There Is No Such Thing as Worldly Security “When I look at all God has provided for me, I ought to give him thanks and credit…but I should not expect it as my due. When I am lacking something, be it food or peace or health, I must take the approach that the world sees as foolish—to refuse to lay up treasure for myself, but instead marvel at and await my beautiful future with Christ, who has made me rich in him.”

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Even as a Secular Holiday, Christmas Makes the Gospel Accessible


Even as a Secular Holiday, Christmas Makes the Gospel Accessible – “Christmas, like God himself, is both more wondrous and more threatening than we imagine.”

All Is Calm: The Soul-Soothing Significance of 200 Years of ‘Silent Night’


All Is Calm: The Soul-Soothing Significance of 200 Years of ‘Silent Night’ – “As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of this carol, we remember that we’re not the first ones to experience the calming effect it brings into moments of stress.”

When Your Sin Finds You Out


When Your Sin Finds You Out – “There’s a deep truth running through the world—evil exists and evil is exposed. It’s really hard to deny that; it’s just so obvious.”

Where Is Jesus in the Old Testament? How to Find Him on Every Last Page

Where Is Jesus in the Old Testament? How to Find Him on Every Last Page – “Perhaps we’d be helped by a simple framework for how Christ is at the heart of the Scriptures: he is patterned, promised, and present from Genesis onward.”

Here Are Five Signs of Maturity in Christ


Here Are Five Signs of Maturity in Christ – “The Bible makes it clear that we can grow in our faith and in holiness. It is not a linear path, where we are continually helpless and have no part to play. God tells us we can make steps forward toward him, and is always calling us closer, deeper into His ways.”

An Open Letter to the Depressed Christian at Christmas


An Open Letter to the Depressed Christian at Christmas“Let me propose a better way that will enable you to carefully navigate this holiday season while also contributing to your long-term healing.”

Gunpowder Stored Up in Your Heart


Gunpowder Stored Up in Your Heart – “The source of harsh speech is a harsh heart.”

Does An Eternal Hell Call Into Question God’s Love


Does An Eternal Hell Call Into Question God’s Love – This brief video addresses the question well.

Sin Is Immaturity


Sin Is Immaturity – “Sin is a failure to grow up.”

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Missing the Christmas Message


Missing the Christmas Message – “Above all, don’t miss the REAL Christmas Message: JESUS.”

10 Ideas and 10 Tips for Family Devotions in 2019


10 Ideas and 10 Tips for Family Devotions in 2019 – This will be helpful as you plan for the new year as a family.

10 Ways to Process the Emotions of Christmas Loss


10 Ways to Process the Emotions of Christmas Loss“Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. But, for some people, Christmas can be a miserable time.”

How to Love a Prodigal Son or Daughter


How to Love a Prodigal Son or Daughter – “Some know all too well the challenges of loving a child who leaves not just the home, but the faith as well.”

Joy to the World


Joy to the World – “The best gift you can give to each other and your children is a heart filled with Christ-inspired joy.”

God So Loved the World, He Sent You


God So Loved the World, He Sent You“As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:18)

Will We Meet Jesus as Soon as We Die?


Will We Meet Jesus as Soon as We Die? – “Paul did not conceive of a time when the body dies and we are not at home with the Lord.”

The Stark Difference Between John MacArthur and Bishop Robert Barron


The Stark Difference Between John MacArthur and Bishop Robert Barron “John MacArthur had a simple, clear goal throughout the interview: to present the Gospel faithfully. You could see throughout the interview that he had great compassion for Ben Shapiro, and desperately wanted Ben to hear the truth. Barron on the other hand encouraged Shapiro in his quest to salvation through his works.” You can read the summary or watch the video interviews.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Breakthrough Moments in the Christian Life


Breakthrough Moments in the Christian Life – “Keep persevering Christian. You may be just one degree away from a life-changing breakthrough in growth, in sanctification, and in usefulness.”

The Greatest Salvation Imaginable


The Greatest Salvation Imaginable – “God is just and holy and separated from sinners like us. This is our main problem at Christmas — and every other season. How shall we get right with a just and holy God?”

Don't Reap to the Edge of Your Field


Don't Reap to the Edge of Your Field – “We live in a margin-less world. Everything from our time to our money is pretty much spoken for. We are reaping to the end of the fields.”

The Apostle Paul’s Account of Jesus’ Birth


The Apostle Paul’s Account of Jesus’ Birth – We’ll look at this passage on Sunday.

The Number 1 Reason for the Decline in Church Attendance


The Number 1 Reason for the Decline in Church Attendance – “The number one reason for the decline in church attendance is that members attend with less frequency than they did just a few years ago.”

Dying Well This Christmas


Dying Well This ChristmasIt was John Wesley who said, “Our people die well.”

The Child Who Won the War Against Children: How Christmas Kills Infanticide


The Child Who Won the War Against Children: How Christmas Kills Infanticide – “Of course, infanticide wasn’t instantly wiped out when the Son of God became the son of Mary. But Jesus’s incarnation forever dignified the infant form, and his teachings promoted babies from possessions to persons.”

Christian, You Are Not the Center of the Universe


Christian, You Are Not the Center of the Universe – “Next time you feel anxious after watching a cable news broadcast or reading a tweet, remember we worship the same God Daniel did.”

Why Our Spiritual Gifts Might Not Be All That Spiritual


Why Our Spiritual Gifts Might Not Be All That Spiritual – “Spiritual gifts have little to do with innate personal strengths and far more to do with a yielded weakness.”

Monday, December 17, 2018

Where First-Time Bible Readers Should Start


Where First-Time Bible Readers Should Start – “To know what to read in the Bible, it helps to know what’s in it and how it’s organized. It also helps to use your own interests and curiosities.”

God Is Your Open Door


God Is Your Open Door – “God is the one person you can talk to 24 hours a day, every day. He's always available — always welcoming humble hearts that truly desire his company, and even messy hearts willing to change.”

When the Holiday Season Is Difficult


When the Holiday Season Is Difficult – “We pray for friends facing their first Christmas having committed a loved one to eternity. Death is a thief whose robbery is most profoundly felt during holidays.”

5 Reasons I Hate the Prosperity Gospel


5 Reasons I Hate the Prosperity Gospel – It’s the most common false teaching in the world today and it creeps into our thinking more than we realize.

10 Really Big Questions About the Future of Church Attendance (and 10 Hunches)


10 Really Big Questions About the Future of Church Attendance (and 10 Hunches) – The issues are big and the consequences generational and eternal.

Rethinking New Year’s Resolutions


Rethinking New Year’s Resolutions – “We don’t simply aim to make ourselves better; we strive to develop disciplines that will help us glorify God, steward what He’s given us, and grow in Christlikeness.”

Sunday, December 16, 2018

He Held the Stars in Place


He Held the Stars in Place – “No Christmas story will ever surpass the original.”

Life and Death at Christmas


Life and Death at Christmas – “Jesus came at Christmas that we might have eternal life.”

God’s Most Successful Setback


God’s Most Successful Setback – “Christmas marked the beginning of God’s most successful setback. He has always delighted to show his power through apparent defeat. He makes tactical retreats in order to win strategic victories.”

Saturday, December 15, 2018

This Christmas, What is Your Good?


This Christmas, What is Your Good? – “What is good cannot be found by looking at our culture. Christians have a different standard for goodness.”

John Crist’s New Video Pokes Fun at Consumer-Focused Churches



The (Hidden) Theology and History of “O Come O Come Emmanuel”


The (Hidden) Theology and History of “O Come O Come Emmanuel” – “When we sing the lyrics of this song, we’re not only celebrating the birth of our savior, Jesus, but we’re also preparing our hearts and growing in excitement for Jesus’ return, which we may actually witness during our lifetime.”

The 7 Most Significant Religious Freedom Victories of 2018


The 7 Most Significant Religious Freedom Victories of 2018 – “The Constitution and other federal and state laws protect this right to determine both what we believe and, in a more limited sense, how we act on those beliefs.”

The Visionary Worrywart


The Visionary WorrywartWorriers are always looking to the future—a future that is tragic and brutal.

Misguided Proposal From Christian Leaders and LGBT Activists Is Anything but ‘Fairness for All’


Misguided Proposal From Christian Leaders and LGBT Activists Is Anything but ‘Fairness for All’ – Biblical Christian ethics must be biblical above all things.

Not Everything Needs a Gospel Talk


Not Everything Needs a Gospel Talk “I am a firm believer that, at some point, you actually have to share the gospel and that if all you’re doing is mercy ministry, or acts of service without words, you are not doing gospel ministry. But that doesn’t mean those sorts of things have absolutely no evangelistic value whatsoever.”

Friday, December 14, 2018

“Does God See Me?” An Advent Devotional


“Does God See Me?” An Advent Devotional – “To be seen is to be known. It is to be understood. It is to have our circumstances measured, our burdens weighed, our situations assessed and appreciated. But motherhood is often hidden...And we wonder if God sees us in our secret settings. Does he know? Does he understand what we’re walking through?”

My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience


My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience“Over 100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, were arrested beginning Sunday, December 9. At the time of publication of this translation, arrests are still being made. Among those taken away were Pastor Wang Yi, senior pastor of Early Rain, and his wife, Jiang Rong, who have not been heard from since Sunday. Foreseeing this circumstance, Pastor Wang Yi wrote the declaration below to be published by his church should he be detained for more than 48 hours.”

The Incarnation Began Before Christmas


The Incarnation Began Before Christmas – “God didn’t enter into humanity on Christmas morning as a newborn baby. He entered it nine months earlier inside of Mary’s womb.God didn’t enter into humanity on Christmas morning as a newborn baby. He entered it nine months earlier inside of Mary’s womb.”

Your Top Ten Questions About Christmas


Your Top Ten Questions About Christmas – Here are several common Christmas questions and answers.

Why Do We Give Christmas Gifts?


Why Do We Give Christmas Gifts?“It’s good to ask which aspects of our giving and getting are merely cultural and which are shaped by Christ to magnify Christ.”

There is No Such Thing as Worldly Security


There is No Such Thing as Worldly Security“When I look at all God has provided for me, I ought to give him thanks and credit… but I should not expect it as my due. When I am lacking something, be it food or peace or health, I must take the approach that the world sees as foolish—to refuse to lay up treasure for myself, but instead marvel at and await my beautiful future with Christ, who has made me rich in him (2 Cor 8:9).”

Focus on What God Has Revealed, Not Concealed


Focus on What God Has Revealed, Not Concealed“God is kind to open minds to understand the Word of God, and as he does, he enflames hearts to rejoice in the God of the Word. Like Mary, I treasure these things up in my heart.”

Busy is a Four-Letter Word


Busy is a Four-Letter Word – “When you stop and think about it, busy is a four-letter word because it’s a seductive way to keep us from being accountable for accomplishing the things we want and need to do.”

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Thirty Three Years


Thirty Three Years – “Tell your children the awesome story of those thirty-three years. Tell them the story from the manger to the cross.” 

Is There a Loneliness Epidemic?


Is There a Loneliness Epidemic? – “We have drifted from seeing the biblical picture of the gospel, which balances for us the personal and the communal, the one and the many, the individual and the community.”

Singing From Mary’s Sheet


Singing From Mary’s Sheet – “This familiar Christmas passage is often called Mary’s Song or the Magnificat, which is Latin for magnify.”

How to Love Hard People at Christmas


How to Love Hard People at Christmas – “As we head into the relational trials and opportunities of the season, I’m reminding myself of three important texts for how real Christmas joy produces, rather than compromises, love for others.”

Why X-mas Actually Keeps Christ in Christmas


Why X-mas Actually Keeps Christ in Christmas – “When properly understood, it’s more like using “JFK” to refer to John F. Kennedy than removing a reference to Jesus from the celebration of His birthday.” That can be good or bad.

Christmas Teaches Us That Virtual Reality Church is No Gift


Christmas Teaches Us That Virtual Reality Church is No Gift – “The Gospel is incarnational, hence the church is meant to carry and live the message of the Gospel incarnationally. Any substitution is less than the complete Gospel.”

Why Regrets Are a Waste of Time


Why Regrets Are a Waste of Time – “It’s that time of year where we may feel regret because we didn’t do what we had planned to do, because we tried but didn’t even come close, because well, we failed. Big time.”

The Error of Prosperity Theology


The Error of Prosperity Theology – “The error of prosperity theology comes down to one question: Does the Christian receive all the benefits of the cross now, or are some benefits of salvation kept for us until Christ returns? That's it. How you answer that question determines if you embrace prosperity theology or not.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Far as the Curse Is Found


Far as the Curse Is Found – “Our songs at Christmas serve to remind us that this season isn’t merely about looking back at that holy night when Christ was born. Rather, our celebration of his first coming is meant to nurture in us a greater longing for his second coming.”

Bible Readers Searched Most for a Plan in 2018


Bible Readers Searched Most for a Plan in 2018 – Bible Gateway reveals what people searched for most often in the Bible.

Why Jesus Came


Why Jesus Came – “This, I think, is my favorite Advent text because I don’t know any other that expresses so clearly the connection between the beginning and the end of Jesus’s earthly life — between the incarnation and crucifixion.”

Know Who You Are Not


Know Who You Are Not – “Many of the problems that plague us as Christians begin with misplaced identity.”

Are Screens Affecting Our Children’s Brains?


Are Screens Affecting Our Children’s Brains? – “The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been studying the effect of screen time for children. The preliminary results are in and they’re not good.”

Why the North American Church Is Unlikely to Experience Revival


Why the North American Church Is Unlikely to Experience Revival – “Our church culture doesn’t exhibit some of the characteristics that have preceded God’s great movements.”

What a Friend We Have in Jesus


What a Friend We Have in Jesus – “How do we cultivate this relationship?”

Should Christians Demand That People Say ‘Merry Christmas’?


Should Christians Demand That People Say ‘Merry Christmas’? – “In our increasingly hostile environment, we need to find a way of speaking the good news without being caustic, a way of being conciliatory without surrendering our voice.”


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A Lesson Heard in Longfellow’s Home


A Lesson Heard in Longfellow’s Home – Here is the inspiring story behind the song “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”.

Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh


Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh – “Whatever opposition I may find, I joyfully ascribe authority and dignity to you, and bring my gifts to say that you alone can satisfy my heart, not holding on to these gifts.”

Making Music to Jesus in Our Hearts


Making Music to Jesus in Our Hearts – We don’t want a “merry little Christmas,” we want one as big as the gospel is beautiful. 

Every Sin / Every Temptation Not Taken


Every Sin / Every Temptation Not Taken“You should thank God that he is working out his salvation in you, for his good pleasure and your good.”

Most Americans Find Fulfillment in Family, Not Faith


Most Americans Find Fulfillment in Family, Not Faith – “Almost 7 in 10 Americans (69 percent) mentioned family when describing where they find a sense of meaning in the open-ended survey, with similar results emerging in the close-ended survey. In both surveys, Americans’ dependence on faith trailed significantly behind.”

5 Simple Ways to Share Christ This Christmas


5 Simple Ways to Share Christ This Christmas – “Christmas is one of the holidays where engaging others in a Gospel conversation can be easier and more natural.”

How Hollywood Hijacked Your Mind


How Hollywood Hijacked Your Mind – “Today, we are simply peer pressured into accepting every sexy wind of heresy and affirming every possible sexual orientation our sideways imaginations can conjure up. More often than not, though, this peer pressure takes the form of appealing sitcoms and catchy lyrics. It’s taken time, but media has so influenced our culture that to frown upon such media or behavior doesn’t make you pious, it makes you a prude.”

Look Forward to a Better Christmas


Look Forward to a Better Christmas – “If you accept this gift, you have everything to look forward to. You can always know your best days are ahead. Whatever else is going on in life, you can look at Jesus with a kind of giddy ‘I can’t wait for him to come back’ feeling.”

The Gospel According to the Fellowship Hall


The Gospel According to the Fellowship Hall “See, you cannot grow in holiness and holier-than-thou-ness at the same time. So a church that makes its main thing the gospel, and when faced with sin in its ranks doesn’t simply crack the whip of the law but says “remember the gospel,” should gradually be seeing grace coming to bear.”

Monday, December 10, 2018

Dealing With Christmas Stress: How to Avoid a “Bah, Humbug!” Christmas


Dealing With Christmas Stress: How to Avoid a “Bah, Humbug!” Christmas – “So what can you do to ease the hectic feeling of an overloaded schedule?”

It’s Never ‘Just Business’ at Work


It’s Never ‘Just Business’ at Work – “The light of Christ in us might be the only flicker our coworkers and clients ever see.”

Two Kinds of Opposition to Jesus


Two Kinds of Opposition to Jesus – “So today, these two kinds of opposition will come against Christ and his worshipers: indifference and hostility. I surely hope that you are not in one of those groups.”

Bethlehem’s Supernatural Star


Bethlehem’s Supernatural Star – We risk a “mentality for the marginal” when we bog down in the details and miss the message.

How to Care for Those Who Are Suffering and Grieving at Christmastime


How to Care for Those Who Are Suffering and Grieving at Christmastime – “While each person and each loss is unique, from my experience, here are five suggestions for caring for those who are suffering at Christmas.”

What If I Never Get Better? How Not to Comfort Suffering People


What If I Never Get Better? How Not to Comfort Suffering People – “Why do we offer whitewashed comfort anyway?”

Are You Raising a Narcissist?


Are You Raising a Narcissist?“The parent who always insists on being right or knowing more than others, should not be surprised if his or her children display the same behaviors.”

Joni and Suffering Well


Joni and Suffering Well “Still what continually stuns me, and convicts me, is how Joni understands—even now, even after fifty years in a wheelchair and even in the midst of a second battle with cancer—that her suffering is not about her. It has eternal potential.”

5 Ways Grown Children Can Love Their Parents


5 Ways Grown Children Can Love Their Parents – “As a Christian, your ministry to your parents should be distinctly Christian—done in the love of Christ, speaking about the gospel of Christ, aiming for the glory of Christ.”

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Why Christians Should Think More About Heaven


Why Christians Should Think More About Heaven“We focus a ton on what’s right in front of us—politics, movies, our social-media feeds—but give little thought to what lies ahead in eternity. Small wonder so many believers today are discouraged.”

Sharing Mary’s Awe and Hope


Sharing Mary’s Awe and Hope – “Heavenly Father, with Mary, we are in awe of the mind-boggling, heart-encouraging promises you’ve made about the coming(s) of Jesus. We’re thankful everything you’ve promised will come to pass.”

We Fall for the Feeling of Christmas: The Subtle War in Our Celebrations


We Fall for the Feeling of Christmas: The Subtle War in Our Celebrations – “Our battle is to get underneath all the commercialism and consumerism, to actually experience Christ Jesus, our Savior, who has come — and who will come again.”

Porn Stars Bear God’s Image


Porn Stars Bear God’s ImageRussell Meek: “Next time you find yourself staring at people having sex, stop and think for a moment about who those people are—image bearers of the almighty God.”

Friday, December 7, 2018

God Uses Damaged Goods


God Uses Damaged Goods – “When life hits us hard, we feel like something is broken and unfixable inside of us. We consider ourselves to be flawed and no longer valuable or desirable because of something we have done or something that was done to us. 

Prostitutes, Mistresses, and the Messiah: Seven Great Women of Ill Repute


Prostitutes, Mistresses, and the Messiah: Seven Great Women of Ill Repute – “God has thousands of reasons for everything he does. One great reason he founded this gracious sorority was to remind us of his lavish, unmerited grace to the undeserved and unlikely and despised.”

The Wonder of Christmas


The Wonder of Christmas – “Enjoy the journey. There’s going to be traffic, lines, and surly shoppers and sales clerks. You know this–but don’t let it affect the joy of the season; wait with joyful expectation.”

Messiah for the Magi


Messiah for the MagiMatthew portrays Jesus at the beginning and ending of his Gospel as a universal Messiah for all the nations, not just for Jews.”

7 Staggering Things That Happen When We Pray for One Another


7 Staggering Things That Happen When We Pray for One Another – “Paul’s example demonstrates how incredibly important it is for us to pray for one another.”

How to Forge a Friendship


How to Forge a Friendship“Friendships are an amazing discovery in life. But strong friendships don’t just spring from nothing. Friendships require wise effort. They require forging. And in his grace, God has given us wisdom in the book of Proverbs to understand this forging process.”