Because I publicly shared my opinion about how Grace Community Church decided to gather on July 26th, I need to share a couple of follow-up thoughts. First, there is a colossal difference between carelessly disregarding recommended or mandated safety measures and developing a firm conviction in a clear conscience before God that gathering without adhering … Continue reading JMAC and GCC: Further Thoughts and an Apology
It’s right to ask God for relief from sickness, financial problems, loneliness, depression, and every other shape and shade of pain. We see people doing this throughout the Bible. Sometimes God grants relief (2 Corinthians 1:10), sometimes he doesn’t (2 Corinthians 12:9). But he never criticizes anyone for asking. I’d even argue that he’s pleased … Continue reading Might It Be Better To Suffer?
Last Friday the Washington Post ran an article entitled, “The ex-gay Christianity movement is making a quiet comeback. The effects on LGBTQ youth could be devastating.” A family member texted my fiancée and me to warn us that the article mentioned us—an already-stressed couple eight days out from our wedding. “Several lesser-known leaders are ostensibly … Continue reading A Gospel For Failures
People sometimes applaud my bravery in being transparent about some sensitive dimensions of my life. But in all honesty, sharing about things like my experience of same-sex attraction hasn’t been too scary. I was riddled with nerves the first time I posted about it back in 2011, a mere six months after becoming a Christian. … Continue reading Grace in Unexpected Places
Nothing gut-punches the soul of a Christian like a willful sin. I know all sins are willful to some degree. But there are those that are willful, and those that are really, really willful. The shame that comes rolling into your conscience after you cuss at a person who cuts you off in traffic doesn’t … Continue reading Get Back Up
I know God is able to do great things for people. He can shatter the chains that bind us to sin. He can hold us steady through every wave of heartache or adversity that comes crashing over our lives. He can empower us to subdue every licentious, legalistic, apathetic, or anxious attitude in our flesh … Continue reading It’s His Pleasure
When I think about God, I tend to think of him first and foremost as Master and King. I think about his right to command my obedience, and I think about my obligation to obey his commands. I know, of course, that Jesus obeyed God perfectly on my behalf and has clothed me with his … Continue reading Resolved to Believe
"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." - Isaiah 26:3 We all long and hope for peace. Some of us are single and hope that when we finally marry, we will feel whole. Some of us have wayward children and hope that when they finally turn to … Continue reading The Pathway to Peace
I know a lot of godless but sorta-kinda-spiritual people who are very happy with their lives. Many of them, especially those in my neck of the woods (the South), even consider themselves “blessed and highly favored.” These people do not seek God, cherish Christ, or walk in the faith and obedience of the gospel. Their … Continue reading Treacherous Happiness
I read through the book of Judges this past week and was freshly astonished by God’s faithfulness to his ever-erring people. Soon after Joshua’s generation passed away, “there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord . . . and the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the … Continue reading His Mercies Will Never Cease
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” – 1 Peter 1:14-16 I have often heard God’s holiness defined as his otherness. Though … Continue reading Where There Is True Holiness, There Will Be Love
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” – Romans 8:32 Life sometimes feels like an endless parade of problems, doesn’t it? It seems like as soon as we get through one sticky situation, another comes … Continue reading God Does Not Find It Difficult to Be Gracious to You
We Christians talk a lot about God’s good purposes in our suffering. And we do so necessarily. We need to be constantly reminded of his sovereign kindness toward us in all things because the brokenness of this world is constantly sinking its teeth into our lives! If our faith is to survive discomfort, sickness, loneliness, hunger, … Continue reading God Is at Work in Your Suffering (And Not Just in You)
“Let us . . . go on to maturity” (Hebrews 6:1) God expects every Christian to move toward spiritual maturity. The Bible urges us to “flee youthful passions” (2 Tim. 2:22), “leave the elementary doctrine of Christ” (Heb. 6:1), and “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord” (2 Pet. 3:18). There is certainly a … Continue reading Spiritual Maturity Is Not Stale
I have heard some say that Christians don't need to regularly confess their sins to God or seek his forgiveness. They argue that because we were cleansed from the guilt of all past, present, and future sins when we converted, it is unnecessary to ask for additional pardon. I understand these folks’ point. We received total absolution … Continue reading If God Has Already Forgiven Us, Why Should We Keep Asking for Forgiveness?
It is true that God deserves our obedience simply because of who he is. He is the Potter; we are the clay. He is the King; we are his subjects. A creature should comply with his creator’s every command. A servant should submit to his master with no questions asked. But even so, our Creator, King, and … Continue reading Genuine Love for God Desires More of God
Many of us are painfully familiar with the sorrow that follows sinful acts. Whenever the cheap thrill of a transgression wears off, our souls swell with regret, frustration, and maybe even despair. But this is a good response, isn’t it? Only regenerate hearts respond negatively to sin, right? Our grief certainly can be evidence that the … Continue reading Do You Grieve Sin in a Godly Way?