“So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12 Some may consider it a morbid thing to think regularly about death. But the Bible constantly directs our minds to the reality of our mortality. Why? Because thinking about our departure from this world leads to thinking about our entrance … Continue reading Teach Us to Number Our Days
“ . . . As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” – Colossians 3:13 God commands Christians to be compulsive forgivers. When Peter asked Jesus how many times a repeat-offender should be pardoned, he basically said every time (Matthew 18:21-22). In fact, he went so far as to say that if … Continue reading Three Things to Consider When You Are Struggling to Forgive
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” – Galatians 5:16 I have yet to meet a person who genuinely loves Jesus and does not also despise and seek to mortify his or her sin. No Christian does this sin-killing thing perfectly. We all stumble in … Continue reading You Won’t Stop Sinning Until You Start Walking by the Spirit
God desires for his people to live in subjection to the individual and institutional authorities he places over them. He commands us to yield to the governing bodies (Rom. 13:1-7), our parents (Eph. 6:1), our employers (1 Pet. 2:13-25), and our spiritual leaders (1 Pet. 5:5). Sure, there are circumstances in which we must disobey … Continue reading Let Your Pastors Lead You With Joy
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” - Romans 8:13-14 Someone recently asked me if I believe in “once saved, … Continue reading Once Saved, Always Saved?
I saw The Shack the week after it premiered. Though I did not read the book beforehand, I had read multiple articles describing how it portrays the Trinitarian God of Christianity. So I entered the theatre with some sense of what to expect. There were parts of the film that troubled me, and there were … Continue reading A Father, Friend, and Helper to be Honored, Feared, and Worshipped
In his short but powerful book All of Grace, Charles Spurgeon wrote that weak faith, as long as it is true faith, saves a person no less effectively than strong faith: “A trembling hand may receive a golden gift.” Similarly, D.A. Carson set forth a parable in one of his sermons about two Hebrew men on … Continue reading Lord, Deliver Me From Weak Faith
I once believed that my primary mission field was the LGBT community. God had not revealed this to me, nor had he especially burdened my heart for this particular group of people. But because I had been a member of this community before my conversion, it seemed logical to me that God would want me to direct the most of my … Continue reading Your History Doesn’t Decide Your Ministry
One of God’s first acts in his newly instituted church was killing two of its members. As Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, observed the praise other Christians were receiving for selling their properties and donating the proceeds to the church, they decided to join the ranks of these generous givers. The couple likewise sold one of their properties, laid some of the proceeds at … Continue reading God Sometimes Terrifies Those He Loves
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” – John 10:27 My friend Ben recently told me he fears he may not be saved. When I asked him to share with me the reason for his lack of assurance, I expected him to divulge that he was being mastered by some secret, … Continue reading Do You Hear Jesus’ Voice?
God calls Christians to an odd kind of life—one that is lived in the present, transient world but lived for the future, eternal world. Though some sects of Christianity take the “this is not our home” concept to an extreme and totally withdraw from the secular culture, God doesn’t desire for his people to detach … Continue reading Hold Loosely
Do you ever worry your faith might fail before you finish the race (2 Timothy 4:7)? On days when avoiding irreparable spiritual shipwreck seems to require every bit of strength your weak soul possesses, do you fear you won’t be able to keep this up long-term? I think all Christians wonder at one time or another … Continue reading He Will Sustain You to the End
One of the biggest challenges in my sanctification thus far has been coming to terms with how fallible my conceptions of goodness, love, righteousness, and justice actually are. I am so prone to approach the Bible in an arrogant, critical posture and measure God’s revelation of himself against my predetermined notions of what he should … Continue reading Trusting God’s Character When We Don’t Understand His Actions
Jesus doesn't hand out Get Out Of Hell Free passes—he hands out crosses. With his typical candidness, he said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and pick up his cross daily and follow me” (Matthew 16:24), and, in another turn of phrase, “Whoever does not hate his life is not worthy to be my … Continue reading Self-Denial is not Self-Hatred
If you are like me, you probably did not feel like you were at war with God prior to your conversion. You may have felt like you were disinterested in him or distant from him, but you most likely didn’t feel like you were opposed to him or he to you. That is an unpopular idea … Continue reading God’s Love and Hatred: A Mysterious Coexistence, A Glorious Convergence
Many people believe the Old and New Testaments stand in stark contrast to one another—that the nature and purposes of God revealed in the OT Scriptures are totally different than the nature and purposes of God revealed in the NT Scriptures. In most cases, such people either do not own a Bible or do not read the one they have. … Continue reading The New Covenant Always Produces New People
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 I … Continue reading Is Jesus’ Yoke Really Easy? Is His Burden Actually Light?
I don’t know about you guys, but my time seeking the Lord every morning is often a less than electrifying experience. In fact, that hour of Bible reading and prayer is sometimes the most difficult part of my day. My heart often feels cold, my focus is frequently hard to maintain, and I am always … Continue reading The Kind of Seeking God Rewards
“But [the Lord] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – the … Continue reading Weak That We Might Be Strong
The unbelieving world has always looked upon the church with a contemptuous glare, harshly criticizing, ridiculing, and even vilifying her. In his farewell discourse, Jesus predicted this animosity that the devil’s offspring (John 6:32) would have toward God’s sojourning children (John 15:18-25). Therefore, though we do not enjoy being on the receiving end of never-ending … Continue reading Love Conquers Cynicism