"It is incredible that the world should have believed so incredible a thing."
After we take our places, we wait for the bride to make her entrance. As the congregation stands and the doors open, I look at the bride—but then I always take a peek at the groom.
A faithful minister cares little what people think of him, as long as his conscience approves of him. The approval of his own good conscience is the best praise a minister can have.
Our Christ's preciousness is more than deserving to be adorned with the drink offering of our very lives. And it is our willingness to adore him in and through our breaking open that shows we believe this.
Coming face to face with the reality that maybe it’s actually not going to happen for you.
Considering the speck and log illustration, notice that Jesus does not finish his example by telling us that we are just sinners and to not help one another change. The way forward isn't simply picking each other apart, it's by being a brother, a loving member of the family.
I don’t want to ultimately hope in motherhood, or comfort, or health, or man’s acclaim, or even my beloved husband. I want to hope in Glory.
I had loved God. I had served God. I had preached about God. I had studied God. But I had never enjoyed Him.
If the gospel is an ocean, then a trip to the beach does not suffice.
"I am but an unprofitable servant. I gladly go to the foot of the cross and own myself the least of Thy people."
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 . . .
A weak hand may lay hold of a strong Christ.
In seeking righteousness through following a list of rules or focusing on our performance, we may feel superior or clean for a moment but that doesn’t make us a Christian any more than wearing a Joe Montana jersey makes us a good football player.
"There are three ways whereby the glory of Christ is represented unto us in the Scripture."
I’m awestruck by a metaphor used by 17th-century pastor and poet George Herbert to describe prayer: “reversed thunder.”
In the middle of winter, Boston was low on fuel and a man came to the governor complaining that a "needy person" was stealing from his woodpile . . .
When you are stuck, deep, despondent, or in despair, think back to what God has delivered you from in difficult times past.
A prayer that the pastor's wife will be eternally fascinated and astonished by the gospel and that it will transform every aspect of her life.
Too many of us look for the out so we can step away from the need, rather than looking for any way in to show the tenderness of Jesus and the love of God.
Turning prayers for material provision inside out.
You never know how the Lord may use you to love and encourage the people He has given you the opportunity to serve.
The fight for love is sometimes not letting go.
The Pharisee brought all his religious currency to the market and found that his money was no good there.
Seeking to leverage ministry for comfort goes against the grain of the ministry picture in the New Testament.
Once He has helped us to step across the threshold of our straining circumstances, we will see that God is the wise and trustworthy Savior of His people.
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 Church exists for no other purpose but to draw men into Christ . . .
Sometimes the most courageous thing you can do is to stay right where you are.
Everything rides on the reality of resurrection.
We don’t follow Christ’s commands because we should or because we will be “blessed” when we do. We follow Christ’s commands because we have a deep and profound admiration and a growing love for Him and we want nothing more than to please Him.
Do not despair if you feel the flesh battling against the Spirit or if you cannot make it behave. For you to follow the guidance of the Spirit in all things without interference on the part of the flesh is impossible.
There is a gospel spring beneath the deathly depravity of Judges 19.
When will the Spirit gust in revival power? We don't know. But maybe today.
The God who governs all things can be trusted, even when He can’t be understood.
Join me as I try to think about heaven more often, even dwelling upon the reality of it, the ceaseless praise that is going on right now to the blessed Savior for his wrath drinking death upon the wood of Calvary.
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.
The beauty of identifying with Christ is that He doesn’t need defending.
Receiving is difficult. Being given something affects us differently than being the giver. Receiving something is harder than earning it, especially for driven people.
Jesus is no talisman. Crucify "Jesus as key to your personal achievement" and he will stay dead. But the real Jesus achieves a victory greater and far superior to any wish-dream of any man.
Union with Christ is an abiding reality.
Moses would not make a good postmodern. The notion of “things that are revealed” is so certain, so objective, so confident sounding. Yet, Moses doesn’t shy away from the idea that God has given His people revealed things—truths about Himself, truths about man, truths about the world. And all these belong to God’s people.
“No,” she pulls a blanket up over her head. I know you want to hide, I want to say. Confession makes us feel naked even with all of the weight of hiding on top of us. I know where she is, but I ask for her to show herself anyway. Coming face to face with the one you’re confessing to is important. I know it from the garden. I…
If nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, what then?
It is not uncommon to hear people say things like: “Aren’t we all sinners? What gives you the right to make moral judgments about someone else? Isn’t that God’s job?”
During the last few years we have been putting a mild label on sin.
Every word of Scripture from Genesis 1:1's "In" to Revelation 22:21's "Amen" is le mot juste.
"Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I was born blind?" said the poet.
"What X marks the spot for me?"
"As long as Christ hath it, believers shall not want."
The deal is all of Christ for all your nothing.