As it pertains to having the living God draw near to us, fear and trembling assume it is truly God and the glorious Christ we have encountered and not some pitiful caricature.
Our frail earthly faith and our tender heavenly hope will meet their match in the Love that strengthens them, and we will enjoy this Love forever.
Richard saw the sheer eternal value in getting Christ's everything for his nothing.
"Just give me the ball. I will run out of gas ten yards in, pull up with a muscle cramp, and collapse with two high ankle sprains."
I hope you will work through this 5-step checklist with eyes open to the impression your church may be leaving visitors.
Don't turn Christmas into a warm fuzzy.
There is a great danger this Christmas season of missing the point. And I'm not referring simply to idolatrous consumption and materialism. I'm talking about Christmas religiosity. It is very easy around this time to set up our Nativity scenes, host our Christmas pageants and cantatas, read the Christmas story with our families, attend church every time the door is open, and insist to ourselves and others that Jesus is…
So this is the story of how J.I. Packer made me cry.
"When I was a young man, I heard D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones comment that he would not go across the street to hear himself preach. Now that I am close to the age he was when I heard him, I am beginning to understand. It is rare for me to finish a sermon without feeling somewhere between slightly discouraged and moderately depressed that I have not preached with more unction, that…
Jesus Christ makes all the difference in the world.
It isn't those who believe the Bible when it says sin is sin that are being divisive; it is those who are introducing the idea that some sins aren't.
A few years ago I had a book published called Gospel Wakefulness. It is a very important book to me, as it came out of the second most important event of my life, second only to my conversion—the moment when the gospel became realer than real. And this happened out of a great personal disaster. I won't rehash my testimony here; many of my readers are familiar with it. But…
It is Jesus who is available to you 24/7, and I'm not him.
A message of grace may attract people, but a culture of grace will keep them.
Crucifying the defensive impulse is so difficult because it essentially means choosing to allow others to misunderstand you, misjudge you, and even malign you.
The Lord loves a straight shooter
So the great irony of prosperity gospelism is that it actually cultivates its own need for itself. It is built on discontentment and greed and desire and accumulating (whether stuff or "spirituality"), and therefore it turns in on itself, self perpetuating, continuing to create the needs it promises to fill.
5 errors that masquerade as biblical confession of sin.
Ultimately we want to honor God with the resources we've been given. These premises are God's before they are ours.
All men face similar sexual temptations, but the Christian man is to think actual thoughts—clear, articulate, intentional thoughts. The Christian man doesn't just feel things in his mind; he says things to his mind.
Be filled with the Spirit? How can I be something the Spirit does?
Here is a series of tweets about my very best friend.
We need all that Christ is, and in becoming his disciples, we actually receive all that Christ is!
Has Jesus become our mascot, our projection? When you look at him, what do you see?
It shouldn't work. It makes no sense. It is not lofty wisdom and it is not a miraculous sign, as far as signs expected go. It's really just a message, an announcement. When you break it down—you know, information-wise—it's really simply an historical anecdote.
But it's really all we've got.
See, while some seek to persuade by barbarism or bribery, by marauding or manipulation, we've…
The gospel explodes niceness.
Maybe Jesus is sifting out his churches that his Church might rise up.
Jesus is supremely radiant.
When we lose the centrality of the gospel, we lose the ability to think straight.
Cheer up. The worst thing they can do is kill us
How would you know if your Christian life has become hijacked by confirmation bias? Here are some possible diagnostic signs . . .
If you preach the gospel, you wield the most powerful word in the universe. It's not the gnosis of the apostles. It's the resurrecting word entrusted to us all.
That we don’t open this divine revelation with eyes wide, mouths gaping, hearts leaping out of our chest is an astonishment of its own.
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.—John 1:16
Not a bit of Christ is held back from those who trust him. He does not mete himself out according to measures of faith but according to the veracity of it. And for those with a weak faith, if it be true, he gives enough himself for all eternity. A weak faith may hinder us…
I would say that the chief thing I learned during my relatively short ministry time in Vermont was how to pastor a suffering church. But we learned that God is sweet and gracious and what it actually means for the death of his saints to be precious to him.
When his dog was suffering a particularly noisome barking fit, Martin supposedly preached this gospel implication to him, exhorting the pooch this way: “Never mind, little Hans . . . Thou too, in the Resurrection, shalt have a little golden tail.”
The LORD our God is Lord of Hosts.
He holds all time within his hand.
The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
From all eternity will stand.
From deepest deep, before the start
God has declared the sweetest end
He's loved and purposed in his heart
The brokenness of man to mend.
Brother Jesus his siblings saves
And conquers sin…
You cannot grow in holiness and holier-than-thou-ness at the same time.
Let them come with their words, then. Let the devil come with his barrage of lies, even his truths-turned-lies.
Every preacher ought to endeavor to feed his flock this way. And here are eight reasons why . . .
If you really want to kill thanksgiving, act like God owes you.
To mention the idea of a church disciplining its members strikes tenderhearted and naive Christians as weird, mean, and legalistic. So how do we work at keeping the biblical admonition to church discipline from seeming weird?
In the spirit of charity, seeking to identify some good gifts the seeker church of yesteryear has given contemporary evangelicalism
The ascension is an integral part of gospel doctrine and has many implications. Here are just five . . .
I took my first vocational ministry position the summer I graduated high school (1994), becoming the youth minister for Zion Chinese Baptist Church. (You read that right.) In the twenty years since, I've heard a lot of good words on ministry and ministry life, and while a lot has been good, a few choice bits of wisdom have stuck with me since I heard them and have proven truer and…
If a church appears to exist only for the sake of its own survival, only for the sake of its own enterprise, only for the sake of its own internal experiences, no matter how big it gets, it is not likely fruitful but more likely swollen.
There's actually nothing more prone to stirring up mess than the grace of God that has arrived to create order.
People mean well; they really do.
Don't preach as an employee of the church.