Resources from 2014

December

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…

November

Nov 30, 2014

Everyday Evangelism by Casey Lewis

Every other year I try to go to a conference hosted by Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY Together for the Gospel. Not only is a great time to hear the Word preached and fellowship with folks I haven't seen in years, but it is a great opportunity to pick up a lot of books. Every year I go, I come back with at least 40-50 books. Most of those are…

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 19, 2014

Having Trouble in Ministry? Just Face It by Erik Raymond

It is a fact of life along with taxes, mismatched socks, traffic when you are in a hurry, that in this world we are going to have trouble.

In fact Jesus, who himself encountered more trouble in this world then all of us combined, said, “…in this world you will have tribulation…” (John 16.33). Furthermore, for believers who have been saved by divine grace, given a new nature…

Nov 14, 2014

The 21st Century Missionary by Robin D. Hadaway

What is it really like on the mission field? What is it that a missionary actually does (or should do) on the mission field? Sometimes we have a mistaken idea of missionary life. We might think missionary families are surrounded by wild animals or are in danger from hostile tribes. This is not usually the case but… We were in language school in Kenya in preparation to go to Tanzania…

Nov 13, 2014

Simplified Evangelism by Erik Raymond

“It's not that complicated.” How many times have you said this to someone? How many times has someone said it to you? If we're honesttoo many to count (on both accounts). Our ability to overthink and over-complicate our tasks is like spam for our productivity. Consider how free you feel when a task is simplified, steps are outlined, and a plan is in place.

Let's remember that our…

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…

Nov 5, 2014

God's Lion of London

Charles Spurgeon and the Challenge of the Early Age

Series: 2014 Spurgeon Lectures

October

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…

Oct 31, 2014

Growth in Christ Takes Effort by Casey Lewis


When I was in seminary, I had to take two language classes Greek and Hebrew. The first language class I took was turbo Greek. They call it turbo Greek because they squished two semesters worth of Greek into two months. I took these two classes over the summer and they were the only classes I took.

One thing I realized quickly was that if I was going…

Oct 29, 2014

Do You Think Some People Are Unsavable? by Erik Raymond

Go ahead and think about the person whom you think is the most unlikely to become a Christian. Now, ask yourself why you think this. Odds are you are looking at the way they order their life and in particular their blatant distaste and disregard for God. But you need to correct this thinking. It's unbiblical to look at what you have to work with and think, “I could see…

Oct 6, 2014

I Love the Church, and That's Why I Resigned by Jared C. Wilson

Yesterday morning I undertook the difficult task of resigning the pastorate of Middletown Springs Community Church. The last five years have been a tremendous joy to me and my family, and making that announcement was one of the most difficult things I've ever done.

I shared with my congregation that the sense of discontent I'd been feeling for more than a year had become gradually clearer and…

September

Sep 30, 2014

We Need Christian Community by Casey Lewis

When I was in high school and college, I used to work out all the time. I went to the gym four times a week and I would work out for a couple of hours each time I went. To help with my workouts, I read books and magazines. I took supplements. I charted my workouts writing down how much weight I was lifting and how many reps I was…

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 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 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

The Purpose of Work You're Missing by Darrin Patrick

We rarely say this out loud, but functionally, most of us believe that our responsibility is to just take of ourselves and our family. And if we do that, it's all good. If we do that, we've responded rightly to God's plan for our work and resources. So, it doesn't really matter what's happening in our neighborhood. It doesn't really matter what's happening in our city. Unless, of course, the…

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…

August

Aug 31, 2014

Eldership Principles - Abilities and Actions by J.A. Medders

Eldership in the local church is a big deal. Every local church needs a plurality of elders/pastors who lead the church.

Being in the church planting world, eldership in a new church is huge. Church planter this needs to be on your radar. And what I have seen, some planters are not sure how to look for elders, define their roles and/or develop them. They are near paralyzed…

Aug 26, 2014

FTC14 - Panel Discussion

Jason Allen, Jared Wilson, Alex Himaya, Darrin Patrick, Ronnie Floyd

Series: 2014 For The Church Conference

Aug 21, 2014

Young(ish), Settled, and Reformed by Jared C. Wilson

… for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God… —from Acts 5:38-39

It has been asked in a variety of ways from the outside and the inside since the so-called "young, restless, and Reformed" tribe hit the threshold of unignorable visibility: Can this movement be sustained? Is it just a fad? What are your concerns, fears, and…

Aug 20, 2014

Do Not Let Your Sense of Failure Blind You to the Glory of Gospel Freedom by Jared C. Wilson

Memoirs-of-an-Ordinary-Pastor"When I was a young man, I heard D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones comment that he would not go across the street to hear himself preach. Now that I am close to the age he was when I heard him, I am beginning to understand. It is rare for me to finish a sermon without feeling somewhere between slightly discouraged and moderately depressed that I have not preached with more unction, that…

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…

Aug 5, 2014

Might As Well Call Jesus the "Daughter of God" by Jared C. Wilson

This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.—John 5:18

Okay, so the biggest problem with the quasi-evangelicals justifying their referring to God as "Mother" is not necessarily their feminist ideology or their misapplying actual biblical metaphors (like Matthew 23:37, for…

July

Jul 31, 2014

A Pattern Among Fallen Pastors by Garrett Kell

During my time in seminary I took a leadership course taught by the late-great Dr. Howard Hendricks. As we studied the life of David, Prof shared a study he conducted with a group of men in full-time ministry who had fallen into a morally disqualifying sin.

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……

June

Jun 30, 2014

The Pastor's Second Most Important Book by Garrett Kell

For Christians, the Bible is the most precious and important book we possess. In its pages are the divinely inspired words that guide us to know and love our God.

After the Bible there are a few books that every believer should probably read, reread, and apply. On this short list would be works like Foxe's Book of Martyrs, Pilgrim's Progress, Augustine's Confessions, Mere Christianity, Knowing God

Jun 30, 2014

Things Jesus Will Never Say to You by Jared C. Wilson

To those who trust in him for salvation, Jesus will never say:

"Go play somewhere; I'm busy."

"Fake it til you make it."

"I just don't think it's gonna work out between us."

"I knew you were a screw-up, but this one really surprised me."

"It's too late."

"I don't care."

"My assistant will get back…

Jun 24, 2014

1 Corinthians 13 Reversed Reveals Much by Jared C. Wilson

What if we looked at 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 from the reverse angle? I think it helps us put so much of our pettiness and self-interest in stark perspective and shows love as that much more beautiful.

Impatience and unkindness is hatred.
Hate is envious and ego-centric.
Hate is arrogant and rude.
Hatred is insisting on one's own way;
hatred is irritable or resentful;

Jun 24, 2014

What a Boundless, Fathomless Ocean! by Jared C. Wilson

Eternal love moved the heart of Jesus to relinquish… heaven for earth;
a diadem for a cross;
the robe of divine majesty for the garment of our nature;
by taking upon Himself the leprosy of our sin.
Oh, the infinite love of Christ!
What a boundless, fathomless ocean!

Ask the ransomed of the Lord, whose chains He has dissolved, whose dungeon He…

Jun 19, 2014

Saved to the Uttermost by Jared C. Wilson

(35) Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (36) But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. (37) All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (38) For I have come down…

Jun 18, 2014

Sometimes Leaders Need to be Carried by Jared C. Wilson

440px-VictoryOLordBut Moses' hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.—Exodus 17:12

Yesterday I sat with Natalie and read to her from 2 Corinthians (at her request)…

Jun 17, 2014

Good News for the Weakest Ministers by Jared C. Wilson

Like the apostle Paul, it is every minister's business to glory in his infirmities. The world says, "Pshaw! upon your oratory; it is rough, and rude, and eccentric." Yet, 'tis even so, but we are content, for God blesses it. Then so much the better that it has infirmities in it; for now shall it be plainly seen that it is not of man or by man, but the…

Jun 11, 2014

On Leadership and Revival by Jared C. Wilson

It is not a miracle, or dependent on a miracle, in any sense. It is a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means—-as much so as any other effect produced by the application of means. There may be a miracle among its antecedent causes, or there may not. The apostles employed miracles, simply as a means by which they arrested attention to their message, and…

Jun 10, 2014

Remembering the God Who Remembers You by Jared C. Wilson

noah-620x420But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.—Genesis 8:1

The chapter and verse numbers in the Scriptures are not inspired, of course, but there is something about Genesis 8:1—specifically in the phrase "But God remembered Noah"—which is a nice correlation to Romans 8:1…

Jun 5, 2014

The Heart of the True Father by Jared C. Wilson

There is this really magical thing that happens in homes all over the world. When you first have a child, you want your child to crawl. And then you want your kid to walk. My first child, Audrey, pulled herself to the coffee table. When she got to the coffee table, she began to bounce on her knees, and then she began to coast along. From there she started…

Jun 2, 2014

Whenever God Does a Mighty Work, It Has Been By Some Very Insignifcant Instrument by Jared C. Wilson

What kind of "stuff" does God use for his extraordinary work?

I relished this bit from Charles Spurgeon's revival sermon, "The Story of God's Mighty Acts":

A friend who called to see me yesterday, tells me that the lowest and vilest men, the most depraved females in Belfast, have been visited with this extraordinary epilepsy, as the world calls it; but with this strange…

Jun 2, 2014

When Our Sons Ask For Stones, Let's Give them Bread by Jared C. Wilson

In the religion news headlines this week is the story of a pastor who has decided the Bible condones homosexuality. His church, it seems, has determined to see how they might live in a tension between those who agree and disagree. Dr. Mohler has a reflective piece on the situation. It is likely not a coincidence that the pastor in question has a son who has recently come out…

May

May 29, 2014

Never Forget the Gospel is Power by Jared C. Wilson

"It happens over and over again that the gospel 'comes alive' in a way that the evangelist had never dreamed of, and has effects which he never anticipated. The gospel is addressed to the human person as a human person in all the uncountable varieties of predicaments in which human beings find themselves.

The gospel has a sovereignty of its own and is never an instrument in…

May 29, 2014

The Gospel Kind of Christ-Centeredness by Jared C. Wilson

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—- unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance…
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-3

To be gospel-centered is to be Christ-centered. But as it pertains…

May 21, 2014

Sanctifying Success is the Lord's by Jared C. Wilson

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.—1 Thessalonians 5:23

Not a single one of us is a perfect repenter. And not a single one of us ever will be. I do believe we cooperate in the work of our sanctification, working out what God…

May 20, 2014

When We Get Small and God Gets Big by Jared C. Wilson

The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms… —Deuteronomy 33:27

Natalie was one of my deaconesses. I say "was" because she passed away in January. One of my first memories of Natalie was at a funeral, actually, one of the first of the many I have officiated in my five years in Middletown. I don't even remember who it was for—it was not…

April

Apr 20, 2014

The Proper Response to Easter by Jared C. Wilson

"So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples." - Matthew 28:8

"And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid." - Mark 16:18

"But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen…

Apr 4, 2014

What's Wrong With Producing a "Worship Experience"? by Jared C. Wilson

"The only thing of value the church has to offer is the gospel."

Apr 3, 2014

What Evangelism Isn't by Jared C. Wilson

From Reaching the Lost: Evangelism, the Bible study guide from 9Marks.

Evangelism is not:

Personal testimony. Talking about what God has done in your life may encourage Christians and intrigue non-Christians. And there's certainly a place for this in evangelism. But simply sharing about what God has done in your life isn't necessarily evangelism. Evangelism is telling others about what Jesus Christ has done to…

Apr 2, 2014

10 Reasons Big Easter Giveaways are Unwise by Jared C. Wilson

We are nearing the day many Christians look forward to all year. Yes, there's the somber reflection and penitence of the Passion week, culminating in the resurrection of Jesus to celebrate on Easter Sunday, but there's also some fabulous cash and prizes. Every year some churches seek to outdo themselves—and their local competition—by luring unbelievers (and I suppose interested believers) to their Easter service(s) with the promise of big shows…

March

Mar 31, 2014

Please God, Send Us No Small Disturbance by Jared C. Wilson

About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way.—Acts 19:23

That is what we long for, deep down. That the Spirit of God would move afresh in our day with wonderful, healing disruptive force—that he would upend our self-regard and self-sovereignty, that he would come into our temples where we trade the currency of excuses for our sins and present such tidiness in our self-righteousness…

Mar 27, 2014

The Fountain by Jared C. Wilson

"To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives or children or the company of earthly friends are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but the scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but the streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops; but God is…

Mar 26, 2014

All of Christ for All of Life by Jared C. Wilson

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.—John 1:16

Not a bit of Christ is held back from those who trust him. He does not mete himself out according to measures of faith but according to the veracity of it. And for those with a weak faith, if it be true, he gives enough himself for all eternity. A weak faith may hinder us

Mar 23, 2014

3 Steps to Overcoming Mistakes by Darrin Patrick

A good leader is… 1. Humble enough to admit his mistakes
Surrender your self-righteousness. Refuse to shift blame onto people and circumstances.

2. Wise enough to profit from them
Surrender your self-protection. Open yourself to the correction and insight of others.

3. Courageous enough to correct them
Surrender your comfort. Pour yourself into the mission.

The experience of failing does not…

February

Feb 25, 2014

Overcoming Anger by Joe Thorn

In my assessment for church planting with the SBC back in 2000 I was told by one of the assessors that I had an anger problem. I argued that I did not. A lot. Half way through the conversation let's just say my anger decided to join the conversation. I spent many years being angry—from my youth to well into adulthood. Before my conversion it could be violent. After my…

Feb 16, 2014

Sabbath Texts by Joe Thorn

I am fairly tech-savvy, but I'll be honest. I'm not a fan of texting. I do it, of course. It's become a common means to communicate for certain things, so I'm on it. But I don't have to like it. However, texting began to look different to me as my good friend, Matthew Molesky, started sending me what I call "sabbath texts."

Matthew is the Sr. Pastor of…

Feb 3, 2014

The Promise in Pastoral Weakness by Jared C. Wilson

For The Church managing editor Jared C. Wilson preaches on the inevitability of weakness in pastoral minstry and the necessity of the gospel for pastoral ministry at the 2014 Desiring God Pastors Conference pre-conference event.

January

Jan 26, 2014

Redeeming Practice by Darrin Patrick

Unless you're Allen Iverson (the 90s version), you can't just flip a switch. You're not going to be dominant in the game if you're not deliberate in practice. You're not going to be able to sit on your hands for weeks and months and still manage to accomplish your goals.

Time is not going to be your friend, but it doesn't have to be your constant enemy.

Jan 23, 2014

The Kryptonite Within by Darrin Patrick

The newest addition to my family is a Patterdale Terrier named Django. With a name like that, it's no surprise that I'm fascinated by Quentin Tarantino's art. He's a master at his craft. His movies are some of the most violent and gritty that have ever been made, but also some of the most provocative.

Tarantino's films show us the genius of how mundane conversation can lead to…