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 . . .
The commands of Christ feel crushing without a new heart to help us obey.
Jesus is commanding a life of faithfulness, of loyalty, and yes, in many cases, sacrifice. But He is not unaware of what He’s asking. He understands.
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.
If salvation is by faith alone, then every person we come in contact with is within a single moment of faith of being made a child of God.
God uses questions to force us to confront our own hearts.
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.
There is a blessed kind of simplicity for the Christian who is convinced of the providential love of God in Christ.
We can leave the edges of our lives unreaped because we are confident in the generous provision of God.
This is the lesson for us who want to do good, but don’t want to get our hands dirty.
“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.
If we are to follow Jesus, then we must have a growing understanding that the Christian does not operate in the realm of desperation.
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 . . .
Leadership is about embracing responsibility. It’s about understanding our role as stewards and being content with where He has placed us.
His Word is full of commands that reveal the way in which we should live and how we should pray.
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.
By and large, the Bible is a book written for a community.
The Bible tells us over and over again that the way we treat others is a reflection of what’s going on inside us.
The gospel redefines everything. No part of our lives is untouched by God’s redemptive power, including our relationships.
So confident is the Son of God. So self-assured. So much so that He holds Himself out so us, day after day, with the same invitation: "Come and you'll see."
Our anxiety is tempered by remembering that we have a Father who gives good gifts.
All of us, when the work slips into tedium and routine, are prone to ask the question of whether or not what we are doing really matters.
Praise the Lord that our eternity hinges not on our ability to live out a “therefore,” but on Jesus’ righteous life on our behalf.
In our failure, we actually find opportunity to be defined by Jesus, grow in gratitude, and look to others.
Christians, of all people in the world, should be the best apologizers.
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.
Suffering creates an avenue for ministry as it makes us able to extend the comfort we receive from the Lord to others.
Christians, proclaming the gospel is an urgent matter. Let us look at our lives to see what’s keeping us from allowing it to be so.
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?
Perhaps, though, taking control of your calendar isn’t just an issue of time management. Maybe it is actually a spiritual discipline or even an act of discipleship.
One active way we can remind ourselves of our comparative insignificance is to do something we’re probably going to be bad at.
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.
God is committed not to our behavior but our hearts; not just in what we do but to what we are becoming.
The fact that we are singing to and about God ought to make us pause and breathe a little deeply and at least consider the words coming out of our mouths.
Three reasons to do the very countercultural thing of actually staying in the church that’s simply not cool enough.
Pray the same thing you did yesterday. Here's why . . .
You may or may not have reason for self-pity today. If you do, there is good reason to fight that impulse.
Friends, none of us feels exactly what we ought to feel. But thank God we have a Bible that tells us the truth even if we can’t do the same thing for ourselves.
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.
All of us... are communicators of the gospel.
Let’s remember the people we are sharing with are not just “targets” or “hot prospects.” These are human beings, made in God’s image, who have not formed their beliefs in a vacuum.
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.
God has not left us wondering about His character. He has not left us without the validation of who He is and what He is like.