I'm finding these days that tucking my children in to bed has much more to do with securing the edges of life than the edges of blankets.
The better the ending the less necessary the tension. When I know something will end well, I don’t have to fret as much in the middle.
Evangelism is often a slow process; sometimes it’s enough to stick a rock in someone’s shoe, and see what God does with it.
Pastor, you primary calling is to the people God has you with now, not who you think you deserve.
Basically I was being told, “Evangelism won’t work for us. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) is for everyone else."
We sing because we love God, not because we are the next Whitney Houston. Making a joyful noise is more about the One who makes us joyful than the squeaky noise coming from our vocal chords.
Is skipping church whenever we feel like really no big deal?
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.
Sometimes we don't went to do what we are created for. And in that moment we make a common mistake. We think since our heart isn't in it we shouldn't do it.
My instinct was to hide and to zone out and to stay inside my head. But God wasn’t having that. Sometimes He leads us, kicking and screaming, beside still waters.
Maturity for Jonathan Edwards, and for us, is greater dependence upon the person and work of Christ. Grace takes a believer and gives them eyes to see themselves in light of who Christ is. And incremental holiness takes time.
Mom-judging is inevitable. It will always happen, even in the best of scenarios and the best of friends and the best of hearts. But it doesn’t mean we need to get stuck in a quagmire of doubt.
We cannot stop worshippers from worshipping. But we can redirect their gaze to the One who is truly worthy of worship.
"Sooner might fire be without heat, and a solid body be without weight, than a true faith of the gospel be without evangelical holiness."
The Father orchestrated the plan of salvation, the Son accomplished it, and the Spirit applies it. So it is in corporate worship.
There is an initial act of faith and repentance at the moment of conversion, but, after that, the process of faith and repentance constitutes a daily discipline—the Christian’s lifestyle—and a path to joy thereafter according to Psalm 32.
All who have accepted the call to salvation in Christ can offer Him the gifts He gave us, however and wherever He calls us to use them.
We must allow God’s promises to establish an unshakeable trust in him, which forges the way for peace.
It is better to die before you die.
Jesus does not deny those he has called, no matter how grievous their denial of him has been in the darkest moments of life.
The world’s picture of the sexually liberated woman isn’t empowered at all; rather, she’s enslaved by the deception that becoming a commitment-free object of lust was all her idea.
The wrestle of wealth, of making enough and having enough, is a dark space in my soul—the struggle for contentment against a sliding scale in a world that rejects less as more and sees more as a means to happiness. It’s where I have to preach to myself the truth I know when the lie is in front of me.
By God’s design, my family keeps growing and spreading. Certainly aspects of that are incredibly difficult. But when I think of the treasured people in my life that I never would have met had I not moved around as much as I did, and when I anticipate the hope of that happening again, that tastes pretty sweet to me.
In the beginning, God created my body and mind.
But my heart was without form and void . . .
"There every tear shall be dried, every saint who has fallen asleep in Christ shall meet us once more, and every hard thing in our life-journey shall be made clear and plain as the sun at noon-day."
We all have that sin. The one we thought was long conquered, long forgotten, and long paid for by Christ's precious blood. Then one day it emerges, reminding us that we are not yet perfected, and riddling us with guilt.
By God’s grace, hopefully we are moving in the direction where we know ourselves more and yet think of ourselves less.
God in Christ certainly does make much of us. But not because we are lovely. Because Christ is.
Each week, when we move from the text of the Bible to the table of the Lord, we remember our Israelite heritage and the way in which God has yet again set the table for us. And just like Israel, when we gather together to worship the risen Christ, reminding ourselves of the gospel by taking the Lord’s Supper, we shall see the glory of the LORD.
Christians are people who live on promises. We grow by promises. We are sustained by promises. We please God by trusting His promises.
In this missionary context where daily they see a lost world, the pursuit of sin and error, it is easy to forget that we who are in Christ, were once just as lost.
The Word of God shapes both how we wish to be treated and how we would treat others. The Golden Rule both engages the moral imagination in specific circumstances and is grounded firmly in the Word of God.
After reading several dozen church planting manuals over the past few years, I’ve yet to see one with a chapter entitled, “Don’t freak out, they’re just gonna hate you.”
A toast toward the pastor embracing a Christward self-disregard and a godly un-self-conciousness.
ISIS thinks they are destroying and ending Christianity by killing Christians, but what they do not understand is that their evil acts are causing people to look not at them, but at these who are dying with the peace of Jesus.
Every sacred truth that reveals something of the glory of Christ to our souls, is a pearl or precious stone which enriches us.
The prayer of a Christian is not an attempt to force God's hand, but a humble acknowledgment of helplessness and dependence.
The message from God’s Word is meant to be the centerpiece of a worship gathering. If there is more emphasis placed on creating an exciting environment or attractive event than on hearing from God, we’ve missed the mark.
"Where are the men with a moral vision?"
The gospel explodes niceness.
"He who loves may be sure he was loved first."
Have you ever found yourself, in the midst of failure and frustration in the Christian life, saying, “I hate myself”?
Those who want to find the true Jesus through relics will come up shorthanded.
He's not sighing or sulking. He is more eager to forgive than we are to sin.
"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.