When our work and ministry is laid bare before the Lord we want it to withstand the fire.
In Acts, the disciples set the criteria for who would be chosen, and they land on two possible candidates: Joseph and Matthias. They cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias. This, of course, had to be a downer to Joseph.
“I heard your CD today,” she tells me. “You have a great voice. You could’ve been something!” I could’ve been something, yes, and by God’s grace I didn’t.
One of the most frustrating aspects of counseling students is the response of many parents. As I try to dig down to the heart issues, many parents want to rush to "relocate" their kids. The parents often think the solution is relocation: a new school, a "ranch" for extended counseling, or an extended trip to stay with family.
Child of God, do you hesitate to appropriate this title?
"What X marks the spot for me?"
You have a worship problem.
So according to Jesus things are going to continue to get worse but that shouldn’t be cause for concern for us.
When we are tempted to doubt the Father's faithfulness, we have no further to look than His provision of Christ.
Effective ministry is not simply saying, “Take this Bible verse and call me in the morning."
For most people, contentment doesn't come naturally. It's necessary for Christ-followers to put in the work of learning to be content with what God has given us, trusting that what He has allowed is what is best for us.
The question we must all answer is, are we willing to be thought a fool for the sake of Jesus?
To a great extent in spiritual things we get what we expect of the Lord.
I wonder if, in all our talk of discipleship and mentoring and "pouring into", we've created for ourselves a culture of entitlement.
It seems as though the designation “man of God” has gone the way of the bus ministry and the youth choir—a largely passé referent to a bygone era of church life.
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.
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.
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.
Coming face to face with the reality that maybe it’s actually not going to happen for you.
"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."
The person who is always partying knows not the reality of this broken world.
By God’s grace, hopefully we are moving in the direction where we know ourselves more and yet think of ourselves less.
There are times in our spiritual experience when human counsel or sympathy, or religious ordinances, fail to comfort or help us. Why does our gracious God permit this?
We all fall prey to stalking honor. But is there a bright side?
While it would be nice for all of us to get a sabbatical to sort through everything, we all still have responsibilities, jobs, families, and friends that we can’t block out for an extended season until we are motivated by the gospel again. In these things, we must learn dependence in our weakness and watch the truth of scripture come to real life around us.
Truths about God far transcend our fleeting emotions and distressing circumstances. So we choose to rehearse these truths when God seems far away, to praise Him even when we cannot feel Him.
Those who have faith in God should show it by a holy fear.
The work of the Lord through his church has never looked like a well-oiled machine.
We would never seek spiritual solutions to physical problems. So why do seek physical answers to spiritual problems?
Despite the harsh criticism often given of them, Job's friends show us how to demonstrate the power of the gospel in our listening.
No so-called "expert," when surveyed, associated the good life with being poor, mournful, and meek. But if you asked Jesus that very same question, that’s where he’d start.
God asks for our faithfulness, but we don't get to choose the shape our faithfulness takes.
If you are a Christian, but bored, maybe you need to lose something
What do you do when life feels like this? When weakness is the air you breathe?
What we do helps define who we are. As Christians, we must view our vocations as opportunities for worship and witness in the world. We must “work heartily, as for the Lord.”
Grace primarily means that we see one another as new creations in Christ, and we recognize the grace we received at salvation is continuing its work as a change agent in our lives.
We were created to have our hearts drawn after beauty through our senses.
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.
We’ve got to wake up.
As we let the idea of the Lord's Prayer soak deeper into our hearts, we are confronted sometimes by our individualistic excess.
Did our Lord chafe during these pre-ministry years? Did he long to get started preaching the kingdom?
The problem is not that we hold a few in high esteem, the problem is that we hold too few in high esteem.
Ever since I got hyper on Piper towards the end of my high school years, I've found myself growing into a deeper understanding of the doctrines of grace, to the point that now most of my mornings and evenings are happily spent reading men like Charles Spurgeon (see what I did there?).
No one obligates you to do what you delight in. You do it freely, without external compulsion or obligation. So it is to be with God’s people and God’s word.
Today is my first day back from two weeks of vacation. The time off was great, and because the vacation was a real success I'm eager to get back to the regular life God has called me to. This is the real end (goal) of all our recreation: to fit us to do what God has called us to. Richard Baxter says it well:
No doubt but…
Given the variety of difficult circumstances in our lives, recalling and trusting the promises of God can feel nearly impossible. Thankfully, our gracious God provides a model for trust through his gracious Son.
Unfortunately, we live in the very present world and waiting is hard. Joining David,
we cry out with the familiar refrain of ‘how long?’
He appeals to you this morning--"Have I been a wilderness unto you?" Has not Jesus proved himself all-sufficient?
These are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops; but God is the ocean.