Resources by Theme: Devotional

Apr 26, 2015

Not All the Answers Are in the Back by N. Blake Hearson

How much are you missing because you assume all the answers are in the back?

Apr 26, 2015

We Need More Worship Wars, Not Fewer by Staff

Self-denying humility ought to show up in the way we worship together.

Apr 26, 2015

Our Adorable Conquering Redeemer by Staff

Adorable Redeemer,
Thou who wast lifted up upon a cross
art ascended to highest heaven . . .

Apr 26, 2015

The Gospel of Genesis 13 by Jared C. Wilson

We need the Jesus who loves us in our Genesis 13 moments and our Genesis 12 moments.

Apr 25, 2015

Love Covers Shame by Jared C. Wilson

We should note that in all the Bible's words about reproof and rebuke and discipline, the Bible never says to "confess one another's sins."

Apr 25, 2015

Grace is as Awesome as Its Source by Staff

Jonathan Edwards saw God's grace as a tide of goodness.

Apr 25, 2015

Serving in Obscurity by Steve Bezner

I believe obscurity is good for Kingdom laborers, particularly pastors, and most especially newly up and coming pastors.

Apr 24, 2015

Theology is a Challenge to Faith by Staff

Every theological idea which makes an impression upon you must be regarded as a challenge to your faith.

Apr 24, 2015

Will God Provide For Your Needs? by Garrett Kell

When we are tempted to doubt the Father's faithfulness, we have no further to look than His provision of Christ.

Apr 24, 2015

When the Truth of God Enters a Soul by Staff

"If any Christians are in earnest and full of love to God and man, they are those who know what Grace has done for them."

Apr 24, 2015

The Transformation the Church Needs by Staff

"If there is to be a renewal, it will be a renewal that grows out of the blazing center that is the glory of God in the face of Christ."

Apr 24, 2015

Lip Service Theology by Lore Ferguson Wilbert

When I fret about life, time, finances, relationships, I'm tempted to control them for my preferred outcome. When I rest in the giver of good and perfect gifts, I see every allowance as unmerited favor and can walk in the confidence as one who is held by the God of the universe—the perfection of every attribute. 

Apr 24, 2015

Sing Like Men by Griffin Gulledge

Christ died to redeem men and women from every tongue, tribe, people, and nation. When those men and women gather together, we ought to sing as only redeemed men and women can.

Apr 24, 2015

But We See Jesus by Glenn Lucke

Why so much grief? Why waves upon waves upon waves of sorrows? If the Lord desired to deprive atheists and agnostics of ammunition for their powerful theodicy argument we would welcome the cessation of pain. Even for those of us committed to the Lord’s sovereignty have existential reasons to doubt when the miseries pile up.

Apr 24, 2015

The Gospel for Ministry Quitters by Jared C. Wilson

In the pastoral ministry world, we sometimes get the impression from the Bright Minds Among Us that only losers quit. Well, maybe so. But Jesus came for losers.

Apr 23, 2015

The Gospel, Fathoms Deep by Jared C. Wilson

Two sweet words start the reversal of our will and fate.

Apr 23, 2015

The Danger of Comparison by Spencer Plumlee

Are there areas of your life that you find yourself comparing to others?  If we constantly find ourselves in “comparison mode,” we may have placed our identity in the accomplishments and status of this world.

Apr 23, 2015

God Embraces the Embarrassed by Paul Maxwell

Whether it’s a laughable underwear-on-stage experience (laughable later), or a deeply unsettling loss of integrity, embarrassment is a besetting quality of human life. It lurks and stalks beneath the surface of our circumstances, waiting to sink its teeth into our every failing and loss — intentional or naive, serious or jovial, public or private, embarrassment is a trained hunter of human failure.

Apr 23, 2015

A Colossians 3:16 Kind of Singing by Dustin Rouse

When we dwell on the gospel, it should stir within the depths of our soul an uncontainable joy.

Apr 23, 2015

Pastors, Pursue Jesus in His Word by Jeremy Rose

Pastors, your sermon prep is not sufficient for personal nourishment in the word of God. We must be chasing after Jesus constantly in the Scriptures in order to feed our hungry souls and, consequently, to feed our churches.

Apr 23, 2015

When You Didn't Bring the Bread by Mike Leake

In these moments our humanity lies bare. Our greatest fears are realized—we are exposed for the weak and woefully inadequate people we are. We failed to meet even the lowest expectations. Things that are so seemingly obvious nobody should mess them up.

Apr 23, 2015

Gospel-Centrality Beyond the Buzzword by Elyse Fitzpatrick

Elyse Fitzpatrick is a popular conference speaker and author and one of the leading voices in helping the evangelical church apply the gospel to all of life. She was recently kind enough to answer a few questions for For The Church on the importance of gospel-centrality and some of the alleged perils of it too.

Apr 23, 2015

Meditating on the 9th Commandment with Martin Luther by Jason G. Duesing

In 1535 Martin Luther wrote a little book on prayer for his barber, which included a helpful recommendation that believers pray through the Ten Commandments as a means to warm one’s heart to God. What can following Luther's example show us about living honestly before our neighbors?

Apr 22, 2015

The Messy Christian Life by Matt Redmond

When we feel like our lives are a mess and hope seems to be just beyond arm’s length, we know that God has sent Jesus into the mess of this world and then became a mess for us. And it helps us see the need to extend the hope of the gospel to those whose lives seem hopelessly a mess.

Apr 22, 2015

Angry Enough to Die by Russell L. Meek

As a young man, just converted to the faith and boiling over with anger toward my stepfather, I spent a lot of time praying imprecatory psalms. It wasn’t hard to cast myself in the image of the unjust sufferer, echoing David’s cries for vengeance on my enemies. But at some point during all that vitriol I read the book of Jonah . . .

Apr 22, 2015

The Glorious Freedom of Not Mattering by Michael Kelley

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.

Apr 22, 2015

An Invitation to Expectation by Brandon D. Smith

Acts 2:42-47. A bunch of normal folks, like you and me, praying, eating, and worshiping together. It’s not much different than my church’s community groups that meet around the Dallas/Fort Worth area together. It’s a relief, a needed calm. And yet it isn’t calm at all . . .

Mar 31, 2015

Genuine Repentance by Jared C. Wilson

I have sinned against you. I have apologized. But how do you know if I mean it?

How do you know when someone is repentant? In his helpful little book Church Discipline, Jonathan Leeman offers some guidance:

A few verses before Jesus' instruction in Matthew 18 about church discipline, he provides us with help for determining whether an individual is characteristically repentant: would the…

Mar 30, 2015

Repentance Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow by Jared C. Wilson

Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you."
- Luke 17:20-21

In Jesus' day, the Jewish world was fractured into factions, each of which sought to…

Dec 30, 2014

Our Sanctuary is No Afterthought by Jared C. Wilson

A glorious throne set on high from the beginning
is the place of our sanctuary.
—Jeremiah 15:12

As overwhelming as our trials can be, as enveloping as the darkness appears, as deep as the floodwaters grow, we can find solace of heart in knowing our souls are safe in a place bigger, broader, deeper than any distress. Our place of safety is no refugee tent thrown together…

Dec 16, 2014

A Hymn by Jared C. Wilson

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…

Dec 14, 2014

The Dumbest Thing I Ever Said by Erik Raymond

What is the dumbest thing you have ever said? You probably don't want to repeat it. Since, I think it is edifying, I'll reset my moment. I was a new Christian and was talking to my wife one Sunday afternoon when I dropped this gem on her: “Christianity is so easy. I don't see what the big deal is.” But, I wasn't finished “I read my Bible, pray and talk…

Nov 30, 2014

Gospel Theology by J.A. Medders

There are millions of pages of truth, facts, opinions, epics, myths, fairy tales and short stories available to us. But there is a truth that can be summed up in a sentence or two and it has more value than everything thing.

Theology Springs from the Gospel

There are also stacks of wonderful theology books available. Some incredible and some terrible. But what is fundamental to…

Nov 12, 2014

Love When's by Jared C. Wilson

When is God love?

When you are in tribulation, Love will bring you back to himself (Deut. 4:30).

When you are surrounded by the enemy, Love will keep you from evil (Deut. 23:9).

When you are invited to honor, Love will keep you humble (Matt. 14:8).

When you are judged, Love will justify you (Rom. 3:4).

When you are slandered…

Oct 31, 2014

The Five M's of a Gospel Life by J.A. Medders

What in the world does it mean to be gospel-centered? What does it look like to have a gospel life?

A Gospel Life will have these 5 M's as it's lens that it sees and does everything through. These become a way of thinking, living, responding and reacting to life. You'll find that there is a gospel wakefulness that oozes in everything. Gospel growth can occur by applying…

Oct 31, 2014

The Toughest Conversation I'm Glad I Had by Garrett Kell

We weren't sure when Grandpa woke up, but we knew it was long before the sun did. My earliest memories of him revolve around a small kitchen table where he sat each morning drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. The walls of his basement were decorated with World War II honors and pictures of his hunting victories. Locked gun cases held treasures we were only allowed to behold when Grandpa…

Sep 30, 2014

Jesus Buys Clunkers by J.A. Medders

We are all in repair. We forget that about ourselves and others far too much (at least I do). We are not allowed to wallow in the muck of guilt after we sin . Godly sorrow yes (Romans 7:21-8:1)! But we need to get over ourselves and our stupid thoughts of how “great of a Christian” we thought we were. And please don't be shocked when another Christian sins and…

Sep 30, 2014

The Purpose and Privileges of Marriage by Garrett Kell

"Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”—1 Corinthians 10:31

The Purpose of Marriage

1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us that getting married and staying married is to be done to the glory of God. To glorify God means we do things in such a way that we put His greatness on display for all to see. In…

Sep 25, 2014

Gentleness is Not an Option by Jared C. Wilson

"[G]entleness is essential to Christian living. It is not an add-on. It is… one of the few indisputable evidences of the Holy Spirit alive and well within someone. Gentleness is not just for some Christians, those wired in a certain way. It cannot merely be an inherent character trait, a result of personality or genetic predisposition, because it is listed as part of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians…

Sep 2, 2014

Walk With God For Joy by Jared C. Wilson

George-WhitefieldNo, Victoria Osteen is not exactly right when she says we ought to do good for ourselves instead of for God, but neither is she totally wrong. She's derailed and in the ditch, but the right track is in eyesight.

Osteen is not totally wrong, because walking with God is a—let the reader understand—happy thing. It's a different kind of happy, to be sure. But it's…

Aug 19, 2014

Jesus Never Ends by Jared C. Wilson

Jesus is patient and kind; he is not envious or boastful; he's not arrogant or rude. He did not insist on his own way but following his Father's will, left the glory of heaven to empty himself and serve us and sacrifice himself for us.

Jesus isn't irritable or resentful. And Jesus keeps no record of wrongs that he might rejoice over us in our sins and failings…

Aug 13, 2014

Depression and Common Grace by Jared C. Wilson

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…

Aug 6, 2014

Building and Destroying, Transforming and Terrifying -- All with a Word by Jared C. Wilson

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…

Jul 31, 2014

How Salvation is Ultimately About God by Jared C. Wilson

Salvation is for us, of course—God doesn't need it—but it's not mainly about us. It is mainly about God. How so?

Turning to the deep well of Ephesians 2, we read:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—- by grace you…

Jul 30, 2014

The Life of Sons and Daughters by Jared C. Wilson

John_Stott"The Christian life is the life of sons and daughters; it is not the life of slaves. It is freedom, not bondage. Of course, we are slaves of God, of Christ, and of one another. We belong to God, to Christ, to one another, and we love to serve those to whom we belong. But this kind of service is freedom.

"What the Christian life is not, is…

Jul 28, 2014

Luther's Prayer Written on the Eve of the Diet of Worms by Jared C. Wilson

In The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul calls this "Luther's own private Gethsemane."

O God, Almighty God everlasting! how dreadful is the world! behold how its mouth opens to swallow me up, and how small is my faith in Thee!… Oh! the weakness of the flesh, and the power of Satan! If I am to depend upon any strength of this world - all is over……