If Adam had a business card, it would have read “Gardener.” Nothing exciting there. And yet the words God used to describe his job are anything but ordinary.
Coming face to face with the reality that maybe it’s actually not going to happen for you.
By God’s grace, hopefully we are moving in the direction where we know ourselves more and yet think of ourselves less.
We live in the dual realities of what God has done and what He’s going to do; of the joy of salvation and the longing for redemption; of what is and what will be.
Unity is not an end in itself.
While self-condemnation might come off as holy in our churchified contexts, the truth is that self-condemnation is more than a bad character trait; it’s sin in and of itself.
I feel her scratch my itching ears with her words, saying just what I wish I heard from the people around me. And here’s what she sounds like . . .
Suffering is the gift that no one wants, and yet God chooses to give sometimes nonetheless.
Relationships are costly endeavors, and if you’re like me, it’s a battle many times to get passed that cost. But there is a phrase you can say to yourself that will help you embrace that cost, and it’s not as complicated as you might think.
Let me take you back to Narnia for a second . . .
Let us not think that we can inconvenience Jesus with our cares and needs.
When I feel small, there is the gospel that reminds me that my size and worth is determined by that which was sacrificed for me.
Comparison makes it difficult to truly rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. The gospel renews our minds and frees us up to truly love one another.
Sometimes the most courageous thing you can do is to stay right where you are.
We ask God for daily bread, always trusting that He knows what the bread for tomorrow will need to look like as well.
Every family devotion time isn’t a home run. Sometimes it’s a sacrifice bunt that you believe God will somehow use in the story of their lives. So we choose, by faith, not to be discouraged, but instead to believe in a God who is drawing our kids’ hearts to Himself.
When we come to pray, we can know we are not there alone.
Our worry isn’t about our circumstances; it’s about our hearts.
What is the one thing the local church needs to get right in the 21st century?
What is the one thing pastors who write ought to remember?
Why shouldn't we be afraid of mundane or boring things?
Why is marriage such a vital crucible for discipleship?
We sat down to ask Michael Kelley, "What did you learn about God while your son Joshua was battling cancer?"
Confidence in God's sovereignty doesn't always mean hesitancy in moving forward. We wait, we trust, and sometimes, we move.
Their mettle will be tested. Their faith will be challenged. They will be pressured to succumb on any number of fronts.
You know the feeling. It’s the one when you find yourself surrounded by people who work more interesting jobs, take more interesting vacations, and live generally more interesting lives. Suddenly, you find yourself shrinking into yourself, very conscious of your normality in light of what’s surrounding you.
Like a kindergartner learning his numbers, so do we practice the discipline of counting . . .
I am, if you’ll excuse the metaphor, an intellectually fat Christian. My mind is obese with knowledge and bloated with facts. And as I loosen the belt around my heavily churchified brain more and more day by day, I wonder what would happen if my obedience kept pace with that knowledge.
We can freely come again and again to a Father who delights in being the best kind of giver.
You know the feeling as well as I do. There is someone who brings something to us – it’s an accusation, it’s a criticism, it’s a rebuke – it’s a whatever. We. Must. Respond. Curious, though, that Jesus did not feel the same need.
Christian, no one might know what internal fear, insecurity, or idolatry the Holy Spirit is convicting you of and walking you through. And because it’s internal, you might be tempted to put it to the side in favor of something seemingly more flashy and exciting. But don’t neglect His work. Embrace it. Because the storm is coming.
“I’m a private person,” we might argue. “It’s no one else’s business,” we might say. “It’s my cross to bear,” we might conclude. And yet, we cannot weep with each other if we never see or know that we are weeping.
It was a crisis of faith, born under the lights of Friday night Texas football.
Beware the temptation of cleverness.
We know that we should value God more and above anything else, but we also know that we don’t always tell ourselves the truth. So how can we know what we truly value? I’d propose a simple exercise to find out . . .
Developing new tastes take time. Instead of being frustrated by the time it takes to grow and love spiritual disciplines, think of time as your ally.
In our failure, we actually find opportunity to be defined by Jesus, grow in gratitude, and look to others.
We are more superstitious than we’d like to admit if we find that God just can’t seem to live up to our expectations.
What does it look like to boast in the Lord? There is, of course, the most straight forward meaning – that boasting in the Lord is not being proud of your own accomplishments, but instead sharing freely and loudly what Jesus has done on the cross. But is that the only way to boast in the Lord?
There are those Sundays when you wake up with the resurrection on your mind. These are the days that you know – you know – that Jesus is alive, and because He lives, everything is different. There are those Sundays. And then there are the other ones.
Before you make that visit, before you give up and cash it in, think about it. Think about staying.
Pray the same thing you did yesterday. Here's why . . .
Our idols convince us that the best thing we can do in life is pursue that which will satisfy us at a given moment. But Jesus? Well, Jesus will tell us the truth. He loves us too much not to.
In short, these idols are just another version of my worst self.
We can look to Jesus and see a Savior who did it the good and right way, and we can be humbled under the weight of His sacrifice and emboldened to feel deeply for others in light of His compassion.
We are the rebellion against the rebellion. But this rebellion is fueled by love, grace, forgiveness, compassion and service. But there is another weapon we have at our disposal. It’s an unlikely one, something that we wouldn’t typically think of as being powerful.
I wish that I longed for the kingdom of God to come so much that its coming is a heartfelt and genuine request from the deepest recesses of my soul. But I don’t.