Given the neediness of the church, the cultural pressures we face, and the general social upheaval of our times, how we preach has never been more important.
This must humble us. In many parts of the world, believers have shed their blood for the cause of Christ or suffer for their faith in ways we never will.
Prayers for people we don't even know around the world to be brought to Christ engages us in the great purpose of the Christian life.
The best news of all is that Christ fighting for us. In fact, he already fought for us. And he won.
God uses most effectively preachers who are given over to the task of proclaiming the word of God with their whole person—holding nothing back.
FTC.co asks Jeff Dodge, Teaching Pastor at Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa, "What’s something about being a pastor the average churchgoer doesn’t understand?"
The healing of the deaf and the mute is just the beginning.
This week's links include resources on depression, Ecclesiastes, global missions and autonomy, scripture before phone, and non-epic church services.
It was our iniquities and transgressions that He suffered for, shedding light on the fact that it was not His own sins that He was carrying.
May we soon reach the city of the great King!
We believe in and confess that his death has absorbed the Father’s just wrath and washed our sin away.
The standard of beauty is God—the interplay of his own unity, diversity, and harmony.
What kind of books should pastors read that they normally don’t?
Don’t let the whisperer's harmless appearance, smooth talk, and flattering words fool you; he’s capable of much destruction.
Jonah, David, and Paul saw the value of sometimes putting their worst foot forward as a way to show a watching world how long, high, wide and deep is the love of God.
What a joy to sing that Jesus sought us out while we were strangers to the fold of God!
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson talks about about how a church should respond when a pastor, under normal circumstances, resigns from his ministry.
Sacrifice is the first act of true love for the church because this is how Christ loved the church.
As evangelicals, we would be better served to look at the child and embrace our insignificance rather than clamor for the significance, power, and fame that comes from another kingdom.
The world is a barren wilderness without love. You really do need each other.
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.
FTC.co asks Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, "What encourages you about the future of the church?"
I know the reasons we don’t live transparently with each other.
This week's links include resources on mental illness, the visible church, discipleship and pastoral burnout, warning signs of a bad pastor, and the ministry hill to die on.
The body of Christ should be a refuge for the wounded.
The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, "Send me what thou wilt, my God."
Why don't more churches take discipleship seriously?
The good news the Lord Jesus Christ is God’s response to the bad news of eternal punishment for personal sin.
Being more and more aware of my own depravity simply leads me more and more to the cross.
Three thoughts on leading gospel-enriched change in any local church.
God calls us to die to self. Often that means we will be doing things that don't feel great.
The cross of Jesus Christ is the central theme of Christian worship, for without it, there is no worship.
Theological study, communion with God, and godly living comprehend one another.
Their souls also yearn for what is most glorious, and it is our privilege and solemn duty faithfully to display that glory as it is revealed in God’s Word.
I forever abandoned the idea of using the Bible to preach what I wanted. I had to actually preach the Bible.
We are limited in our ability, but Jesus makes sure we know our limitations are not a liability to Him.
When we don’t feel productive, the work we should look to and be comforted by is the work done by Jesus.
FTC.co asks Jonathan Leeman, Editorial Director for 9Marks Ministries, "Why is everyone so angry today?"
This week's links include resources on loneliness, the book of Acts, 15 reminders about hell, and pain knocking at your door.
What's the difference between the moralist and the Christian?
Here is comfort for the tried and afflicted soul.
Once we were grafted in, there was not, is not, and can never be any possibility that we do anything but remain in Him.
In my experience of counseling pastors, the single greatest cause of pastoral burnout is not taking a full day off every week.
Why should pastors care about writing?
Youth ministry might not need a total makeover. Instead, we need to think strategically about how to incorporate students into the life of the church.
Real ministry doesn’t start with a title, a salary, or a blog. Real ministry begins the moment a man is born again
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson visits with Noah Oldham about pastors pursuing physical fitness.
The Lord has preserved the integrity of the Gospel over many years.
God revealed himself wonderfully in history through the ugly and violent picture of the cross.
The humility of Christ calls us to let His loaned power rest in our hands, but never to close our fists around it.
FTC.co asks Nathan Rose, pastor at Liberty Baptist Church in Liberty, MO, "What traits should a pastor have who is leading church revitalization?"
When they dropped their nets, the disciples broke with the past and fully embraced the future with Jesus.
I’m not talking about having a bad day. I’m talking more about having a bad life.
Only knowing I am nothing can I see that He upholds my spirit when I fall—preserving me to the end
This week's links include resources on student ministry, making social media more Christian, Ecclesiastes and our secular age, and pausing in pressure.
Passing all human union is that mystical cleaving unto the Church, for which Christ left his Father, and became one flesh with her.
What does discipleship driven by the gospel look like?
God’s love for the world and desire to provide salvation is why God became man.
The progress I’ve made in Augustine is minimal, but I would like to offer my current thoughts on reading this intellectual giant.
Scene by scene, God is crafting our lives into stories that reflect his beauty and bend it toward others.
What if we all opened our heart to the kindness of Jesus Christ? Maybe he could transform your city into a modern-day Geneva.
The key to prayer is a heart of dependence. Pray with the holy urgency of one who has a need that only Jesus can meet.
If you would hesitate to tell a fellow Christian that you are a fan of a certain show – or would hesitate to tell a fellow fan that you are a Christian – you need to rethink your entertainment choices.
Each and every person who names the name of Christ has, by necessity, come to a place when they have seen their sin.
While on vacation, I reflect on my life in every dimension, seek to identify personal weaknesses, and strive to strengthen them.
FTC.co asks Don Whitney, "What are some misconceptions people have about the spiritual disciplines?"
Beloved, you have a Wonderful Counselor. Heed his instruction about what is better.
The Lord provides the strength needed for the obedience he requires.
The idea that the holy God of the universe, the only one who has the absolute right to condemn us and dismiss us, declares his approval over us because of Jesus’ taking our sin and shame is so wonderful, so hope-giving, so steadying.
We think that we are standing up for the truth, but maybe we are just meeting someone’s sin with more sin of our own.
This week's links include resources on aspiring theologians, grief, teaching kids theology, Instagram and the Christian, and genealogies.
God loves to see the hearts of his people glowing towards himself.
Has social media changed the way we think?
Christians who are building personal libraries should be utilizing these resources for the purpose of being conformed to the image of Christ and helping others to follow suit.
Every woman has something dynamic to bring to a local body.
It is not nostalgia that prompts me to read the Bible on paper; it is the expectation of encountering on every page the God who wrote it.
Ron Prach, who served for over 45 years in the same church, reflects on the things learned in a long-term pastorate.
Let’s face it: being nominal is a breeze, but standing strong as a true believer can be very costly.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson discusses some ways the seeker service approach to church gatherings may be "upside down."
Let us not be deceived by the false sense of security that comes with mere religious activity.
How do you respond when someone you know has sinned against you, or maybe people you love?
FTC.co asks Trillia Newbell, Director of Community Outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, "What are some important things to remember in talking to our children about ethnic diversity?"
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.
My sinful heart might crave omniscience, but a good and loving God will never give it to me.
We may not be able to keep our pastor from falling, but we can invest in his personal, marital, and ministerial health in such a way that the temptations are lessened.
If a pastor doesn’t feel like the sermon he delivers is that important, why on earth would his congregation feel different?
This week's links include resources on leading leaders, Bonhoeffer and spiritual disciplines, when God isn't there, and spiritual gifts.
Our faith will be tried faith, and if it be of the true kind, it will bear continued trial without yielding.
Pray to bravely and boldly expose the lies in your own church body and step confidently into the truth.
What’s something about being a pastor the average churchgoer doesn’t understand?
When we live in the way in which we have been made to live, we will find satisfaction, meaning, and joy.
Sometimes, the ‘No’ we hear as an answer to prayer tells us more than any ‘Yes’ could have.
One day, Christian, “getting out of your comfort zone” will no longer be required. It won’t even be a possibility!
Over time, our increasing conformity to the image of Christ makes us more human in all the ways we are meant to be human, not less.
Exercise thy right, O believer, and live up to thy privilege.
Every day, entrepreneurial Christians are planting parachurch seeds producing ministries that populate the West.
If Jesus truly is the best thing in this world, we are free to be nobodies.
FTC.co asks Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, "What’s the problem with unhitching the Old Testament from our theology?"
You could completely bomb this change challenge that’s before you. I mean fall-on-your-face fail. And God’s love for you will not change.
For many, “joy” and “reading plan” don’t jive. How many of us have set out January 1 with Genesis 1 only to fail somewhere around Leviticus 10?
If everything is exciting, nothing is.
We need no other mediator between God and Man; Jesus is enough.
This week's links include resources on how to be a burden, planting seeds with kids, essentials for new team members, and fauxnerability in the church.
I am only asking what he delights to give.
I want to tell you what God sees when he looks at you, why I love you, and how I hope to encourage you in the midst of our cynical culture.
This call is not merely a nudge toward a more polished homiletical delivery; rather it comes with the weighty knowledge that the message of a crucified and risen Christ alone saves.
For elder and younger brother types alike, the Father in heaven extends a generous and affectionate ‘welcome home.’
Sometimes for all of our learnedness, experience, and ministry strategizing— we forget that the battle is Jesus’ to win.
We are in desperate need of Christian wisdom, but not barbaric untamed and undignified rhetoric. It's doing us no good.
The supremacy of Christ over all things is what makes preaching him valuable, whether it is to 30 or 3,000.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson talks with Won Kwak, Lead Pastor of Maranatha Grace Church in Fort Lee, New Jersey, about growing up a pastor's kid, raising up leaders in the church, and the challenges and opportunities of doing ministry in New York City metro.
He is working all things for our good while we are being conformed to the image of his Son.
We’re not called to model perfection for our churches, our sole responsibility is to shine the spotlight on the only One who ever was perfect.
The solution is to realize that political power must always begin with the gospel. It alone possesses the ability to change a heart, produce true justice, and permanently unite enemies.
My church won’t remember everything I say but they will remember what I repeatedly talk about.
He makes the Samaritan the hero. Why?
Having my fears become my reality hasn’t changed my belief in this truth. Now, more than ever, I affirm that, despite our fears, we can trust and obey God.
This week's links include resources on singles in the church, prayerful people, loving wisdom, and the brevity of life.
An ounce of heart's-ease is worth a ton of gold.
The funeral is not your Sunday morning exposition. It is a unique situation in which you have been given a special assignment.
This is what you preach, seek to understand, adore, and center your life on – the gospel.
What difficult thing in your life taught you the most?
We read Ephesians 5:22-26 and there is no avoiding it: God has called men to be spiritual leaders in the home.
No matter what you are going through you have to know that you can keep going because God keeps his word.
The church must spot the lie. The church must preach and teach the truth. The church must celebrate God-made order.
Jesus Christ is the hope of all nations and from the nations he will gather his people.
There are few things more dangerous to a church than a pastor who is extraordinarily endowed on the gifting side and extraordinarily deficient on the character side.
There are great opportunities for thought and care for the little things in how your sanctuary is set up.
Is there a certain test - designed by you, administered by you, and graded by you - that one must pass to be included in God’s kingdom?
There is no substitute for being present. There is no greater gift than helping another understand the Bible.
We insist we have “good news” for the world. But not for a moment can we think the news is good because it has somehow done away with notions of an angry, wrathful God.
Discipleship to Christ is very difficult. But it is incomparably joyful.
We must be willing to be sent if that is God’s will for us, and if not, to give our lives to sending those whom God has called to go.
This week's links include resources on long-distance friendships, warning signs of moral failure, beauty in hard times, habits of great Bible teachers, and living intentional lives.
The Lord's character assures us that he will not leave his people.
Just like in our salvation when we know we contribute nothing and God has done it all, so I know that He chose me to fulfill his mission and He is the one doing the work.
God has indeed made us, by gifting and by calling, for certain tasks.
Is it more comfortable to stay in a tent of doctrinal ease at basecamp or to trek up the mountain to a summit where I can experience the very person of Jesus?
Our personality type never gives us license to continue to disobey God's clear direction.
While challenging, Edwards will greatly benefit those who persevere in reading his works.
Church planter, your calling is to dynamically love your family as you lead your church family.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson discusses how the good news of the finished work of Jesus Christ applies to the ongoing work of the pastor -- his life, heart, and shepherding.
But what if your name has already been given to you, and your legacy has already been achieved?
The wallets that remain empty force us to find our joy in things that cannot be valued by Wall Street and Instagram.
What is the key to unlock the deep mysteries of eternal life? A humble recognition that we don’t have it all together.
Three reasons to do the very countercultural thing of actually staying in the church that’s simply not cool enough.
FTC.co asks Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, "What difficult thing in life has taught you the most?"
Christians want to be channels of the Holy Spirit at work in the world. We can’t do that, however, if we’re constantly worried about having others meet our needs.
The water tastes different in Oak Ridge. The sounds outside are harsh. Shouting matches and profanities are common. These are daily realities in urban, government-subsidized housing developments like Oak Ridge. On most nights, however, a different tune resounds amid the discord. Two men, with large chests and thick mustaches, cheerfully discuss the latest Premier League soccer match...in Arabic. One used to be a police officer in…
This week's links include resources on youth groups, substitutionary atonement, leaving your first love, advice for new parents, and how to wait well.
We are here as the "salt of the earth," to be a blessing to the world.
God became a man to save mankind, a lowly vile creature stained with sin and marked by rebellion.
In the midst of trying to decrease debt, do not allow the Enemy to make you indifferent, scared, or stagnant.
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
There is a lot of necessity in the rural church. There is less money and fewer bells and whistles. But the Spirit is there. And the gospel is universally applicable.
As modern life runs ever faster on fiber optics and high-speed internet, redemptive history continues to load thoughtfully, pensively, and slowly.
The priority of the church should be seen in the things we do and say.
More than merely what we can know, the hope that dwells within us is grounded in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ.
Transfer growth is an inevitable part of church life. But sheep stealing jeopardizes church health.
I don’t deserve mercy; I deserve judgment. I deserve quick, exacting, unrelenting, justice.
Approval flows from heaven and floods this earth in Christ. Let’s advance the tide in our day.
The elder who shies away from exercising oversight does the church a disservice just like the authoritarian elder who rules with an ungodly dominance.
FTC.co asks Trevin Wax, Bible and Reference Publisher at Lifeway Christian Resources, "What kind of books should pastors read that they may not normally be drawn to?"
I want to finish strong. Don't you?
This week's links include resources on the gift of singleness, women in Scripture, special needs ministry in the church, when your boss isn't a Christian, and moms who have needs.
Man’s supreme function through all eternity is to reflect God’s highest glory…that God might look into the mirror called man and see His own glory shining there.
Jesus is the great teacher of lowliness of heart.
In disregarding the total authority of the Word of God, people seek to take the throne of authority themselves
Our pursuit of unity in the body does not relax our love of theology, and our desire to handle the Word with care.
"What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?"
Consider the fact that God is shaping you and growing you as a person through your occupation.
According to the Bible, we experience loneliness not because there is something wrong with us, but because there is something right with us.
The fact that God calls and gifts some in extra measure does not absolve every Christian, and especially every minister, from doing the work of an evangelist.
When we go to ourselves for our confidence or encouragement we will end up finding more doubt.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson talks with Charles Smith, Vice President for Institutional Relations at Midwestern Seminary, about the ins and outs of gospel-centered leadership.
Praise the Lord that our eternity hinges not on our ability to live out a “therefore,” but on Jesus’ righteous life on our behalf.
There is a madness in missions driven by one ultimate question: “Does it work?”
FTC.co asks Clint Pressley, Senior Pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church (Charlotte, NC): "If a staff member disagrees with the pastor on an important issue, what should they do?"
When the way of Jesus clashes with "street smarts."
The diligent pursuit of wisdom will train us to act wisely and prepare us for difficulties in life.
This week's links include resources on detecting prosperity gospel churches, love according to the Puritans, seeking man's approval, and pastoring anxious people.
Dust and ashes though we be, we must and will "magnify the exceeding greatness of his grace."
Being spoon fed the truth doesn’t result always result in an abiding faith.
Has God called you to stay behind? Be faithful in the so-called mundane
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
We are nothing on our own. But in Christ, we are something beyond imagination.
My fears are real. They can’t be ignored, denied, or spiritualized into something they’re not. But for me, they can camouflage a deeper reality.
Our lives are meant to be utterly and unapologetically gospel-centered. This is true balance.
Jesus was trampled by the wrath of God on our behalf.
Believing the finished work of Jesus means believing that the gospel is all the approval and compliment we need.
The point in Scripture is never the location or size of the gathering, but the purpose and activity of the gather.
We are hopeless in our Christian lives if we have not the charter of Christ held fast against our hearts.
When you and I encounter trials, we need the ability to see what God is doing, to see that our trials are not wasted.
5 errors that masquerade as biblical confession of sin.
We should compare our calendars to God’s commands and see where our lives are out of alignment, then make adjustments where necessary.
This week's links include resources on walking by faith, a pastor's schedule, corporate confession, foolish creativity, selfies, and how men can encourage women in ministry.
What golden sentences drop from his gracious lips!
I would not have been called to my current church if I had abandoned the convictions that caused that first church to reject me.
Dream about the future together and celebrate your diversity as you do.
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
Christian leaders, consider this: you have been given stewardship, not ownership
David’s sin didn’t start with Bathsheba in his bed; it started with Bathsheba in his mind.
May we be content to fulfill what God has called us unto—nothing less, but nothing more— and then rest in his goodness.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson visits with Dr. J.D. Greear, Pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, and author of the new book Not God Enough.
As ashamed as I am for doubting, I am so grateful to the Lord for this gracious reminder and confirmation.
We needed to hold up the honor of Christ and the standard of repentant holiness while also showing love and patience to the wayward members.
How amazing it is that Jesus takes the cup of wrath once and for all!
Jesus Christ is the fountain from whom all blessings flow, and biblical theology is the scriptural map that helps guide us to this ever-flowing fountain.
An upright life is a grace to others.
Church members are told to read their Bibles but are seldom instructed how to do so.
This week's links include resources on gratitude and gratefulness, leadership, how to be nicer, God's gentleness and strength, and the god of busyness.
It may be all dark now, but it will soon be light; it may be all trial now, but it will soon be all happiness.
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
The fact that people are willing to open up their lives to you in their most vulnerable and intimate moments is the true gift of pastoral ministry, and it is also the true burden.
Because of who He is, in light of who we are, and because we are received by Him, we worship this infinitely other God with hearts full of gratitude and praise!
When key words are missing in our gospel vocabulary, the ministry of “sound words” is lacking.
Many churches are pursuing a bit more "simple church." We’ve gotten the memo that activity does not equal godliness.
God have mercy on us if we consider any possession to be so precious that we would prefer it over Him.
True happiness is obedience to the word of God and our dependency on it.
The fact that “Christ came to get us out of hell” isn’t a small thing, but is a truth so wondrous we’ll proclaim it for all eternity.
Show the kids in your ministry the gospel in your actions. Show that it isn’t just a message of empty words, but a message of power from a holy and gracious God.
Transitions in ministry are never going to be easy. Therefore, we have a responsibility to minister even more diligently today.
FTC.co asks Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor of The Village Church, "How can a church know its on the right track? What are some signs of faithfulness?"
Take a look, book by book, at the many things God's word says about God's words.
This week's links include resources on being a dad, missionaries in a secular land, video games, kids and racial reconciliation, the church and natural disasters, and your dispensability.
We need a script, a revelatory rehearsal for the crushing inevitability of life and death.
Will you take my Master's house on a lease for all eternity, with nothing to pay for it, nothing but the ground-rent of loving and serving him forever?
Godly people who are about the gospel say goodbye often, confident in our union together as the family of God and confident that we will celebrate again.
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
While the world has distorted the purpose of sex, the Bible, and specifically the Song of Solomon teaches us that sex serves a greater purpose.
Jesus' work on the cross was empirically a failure, but invisibly, it was redemption's greatest success.
Your sin can’t kick you out of God’s love because your righteousness never put you in it.
Pastor, as you seek to shepherd your congregation, don’t wait until suffering comes. Don’t start preparing people for death in the ICU.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson offers some practical ways to craft sermons that inspire and empower congregations live on mission in their communities.
The beauty of each one’s service flowed from a humble love for the truth.
Ask for God’s wisdom and strength and do your part in the lives of those you might influence.
Precisely because saying "sorry" is a counter to the sin of pride, we need to be able to do it when necessary.
If we are not willing to suffer for our convictions, then they are not convictions at all, they are conveniences.
FTC.co asks Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, "How do you write sermons? Describe your sermon preperation process."
Jesus is our moral example, of course, but the power for enduring, joyful obedience comes not from trying to be like him, but in first believing that he has become like us . . .
This week's links include resources on pastors getting things done, spiritual gifts, teaching kids to love God, Christian hospitality, and racial reconciliation in the SBC.
The pastor stands behind the Word as if he is simply a server delivering food.
The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.
We need a better reckoning of what is inevitable and what is fleeting, of what is emerging and what is retreating.
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
The listening, loving, inclined ear of God is a gift that flows from the gospel.
The key to finishing well for anyone is to fix our gaze on Christ and relentlessly pursue a vital relationship with Him.
The goal for all pastors, and all Christians really, is the pursuit of knowing and worshiping God as He really is and not as we have merely imagined Him to be.
The promises of God are not just promises to visit us with favor and blessings.
We’ve placed extra-Gospel demands on ourselves, and as such, have sought extra-Gospel means of reconciling ourselves to God.
Our souls are glory-vacuums, fearfully and wonderfully made for an Esteem greater than self.
What if the autonomy you seemingly operate under really casts something of an illusion?
Leadership is about embracing responsibility. It’s about understanding our role as stewards and being content with where He has placed us.
The good news in all this is that we are gloriously whole and are being made to feel that way also. But God is not content that we fill up on vainglory.
FTC.co asks J.D. Greear, Pastor of Summit Church (Raleigh-Durham, NC), "How can a church know it is on the right track? What are some signs of faithfulness?"
“Do you know why there are a thousand fresh self-help books every year? It’s because they don’t work.”
This week's links include resources on disciple-making shift, single women in the church, lessons from a bad sermon, how to lose a pastor, sin's allure, and church planting pipelines.
It is clear that men and women need each other if they are to accomplish the task God gave humanity to fill and subdue the earth, bringing glory to God in the process.
It is delightful to reflect how close is Christ's union with his people.
Brokenness is our condition; wholeness is our goal.
The church must always bear witness to the risen Christ.
What advice would you give a young couple struggling with family worship?
In his temptation, Jesus understood that not even a legitimate need should be met in illegitimate ways.
We may not understand what God is doing or even agree with it, but we know that while things are hopelessly beyond our control, they are not beyond His.
It’s the strangest thing: the heretic is actually the fundamentalist.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared C. Wilson talks with Nathan Rose, lead pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Liberty, Missouri about the ins and outs of church revitalization, as well as the difficulty with altar calls and public invitations.
It has been revealed to God’s prophets already, they have written it for you, and that is enough.
While God’s will in particular circumstances may seem very unclear, God has already stated clearly in his word his desire to use us to glorify his name and spread his gospel to the nations.
The work-life God set forth is a life of purposeful work of imaging God in our shepherding of his creation.
Whether a fly is in your face or a dove is on your shoulder, keep preaching and keep praying.
FTC.co asks Dan Darling, Vice President for Communications, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, "Should pastors write? Why or why not?"
My left knee sends out a regular signal in Morse code that death is creeping up on me.
The truth of God’s love is weaved through the Scriptures and culminated at the cross and it is unignorable.
This week's links include resources on the purpose of marriage, worry, when Christianity doesn't work, caricatured biblical womanhood, and habits of false teachers.
God's people need lifting up.
If I want to soothe that deep, empty ache in my heart, am I ready to chase down the right things, even when it costs me dearly?
How can a church know it is on the right track? What are some signs of faithfulness?
The amazing and good news about this upside-down kingdom of our God is that you can be the most effective, the most faithful, and leave the greatest legacy simply by being faithful in your quiet life.
Only when the heart is addressed do people find Christ more glorious, satisfying, and beautiful than whatever else they are grasping onto.
One mark of a truly gospel-centered pastor is the willingness to be seen as a complete fool, so long as Christ is honored.
A man with self-control is not governed by his emotions, but is governed by God and his gospel.
Preaching the gospel with creativity and novelty is nothing to celebrate when it comes at the expense of the truth.
A Christian’s confidence in fear is that God does exist as One who, of his own incomprehensible decision and grace, rewards those who seek him
The Bible itself describes our lives as vapors that vanish quickly. We must recognize today that we are not promised tomorrow.
From one point of view, the natural result of being a new creation, regenerated by the Spirit, is that we have the fruit of that new life being produced in our lives.
The pastor doesn’t take a poll to see what people want to hear. He reads the Word and gives people what they need to hear.
FTC.co asks Jeff Medders, Pastor of Redeemer Church (Tomball, TX): "What is the one thing you wish you’d done different as a church planter?"
The problem and the promise for those who fail morally is that Jesus will only deal with us on the playing field of reality.
This week's links include resources on a balanced gospel, hype church services, Christian hospitality, and prayer in 1 Timothy 2.
Why do we seek contentment in things that will never satisfy, long to make much of ourselves, and compare our lives with others?
Fear not; the divine Spirit can give you, in your want, a greater plenty than the rich have in their abundance.
If you live in pursuit of the things of this world in an attempt to satisfy the longing of your soul, then you will die empty.
When you join a local church, you’re committing to helping other covenant members faithfully follow Jesus.
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
For us to be able to respect our husbands as our pastors, we must first respect them as the spiritual leaders of our families. These two actions are irrefutably linked.
God shows his love for us not by affirming our brokenness, but by receiving us while still in such a state, and then slapping an expiration date on it.
Pastors, let your church know they should listen to your sermons with one ear to the pulpit and one ear to the heavens.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared C. Wilson helps you evaluate how welcoming your church really is for visitors.
In the midst of it all, brothers and sisters, do not forget to follow up with those the Lord has providentially guided to your church on any given Sunday.
Discipline can be exercised in unloving ways, but Hebrews reminds us that discipline is, in fact, a mark of God’s love
If your trust is anchored in Jesus, you never need to fear his frown. God has no anger left for you.
Victory in Jesus is not equivalent to an exemption from trouble. Nor does it mean that you look like a champion in the eyes of the world.
FTC.co asks Keith Getty, Christian songwriter and author, "What is your favorite worship song, and why?"
Until pastors discover and embrace their identity in Christ they will keep trying to find their identity in their position, their preaching, their persona, and their programs.
This week's links include resources on the sacraments and art, sharing the gospel, the language of "calling," and spitfire women.
Singing at church should be passionate but never devoid of Biblical truth and teaching.
This proves the futility of all opposition to Christ
The cross is an exposure of human evil and at the same time a revelation of the divine purpose to overcome human evil.
What are some key components to discipling young men?
As my Father takes me down life’s uncertain roads, I pray he will help me to respond by trusting him.
In addition to giving us specific instructions, the biblical passages that mention the Lord's Supper are vivid reminders of the “togetherness” of it all.
There are a myriad of things the Lord is calling us to do as a body and a myriad more he is calling you to do as an individual. And most of them are uncomfortable.
Living in a fallen world means living in perpetual winter, at least in the morning. With each frosty morning, we must grab our tools and get to work.
It isn’t wrong to have strong opinions. It is wrong to hold so tightly to these beliefs that we dismiss and destroy our neighbors.
When you see Jesus correctly, the right response is fear.
But this thing is far too hard without the Father’s love coursing through me. The truth is that I don’t love like he does.
The starting point of a redeemed worldview is knowing the greatest danger to any man exists inside of him, not outside.
FTC.co asks Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, "How can a Christian do wise political engagement while maintaining faithfulness first to God’s kingdom?"
When people are lazy (or restless), they do have a sin problem, but the sin problem is just a symptom of the deeper worship problem.
This week's links include resources on celebrity power, the gospel in all seasons of life, grieving childlessness, and pastors teaching kids to love the church.
Since God created and cares for our natural world, His people should be marked by an appreciation for and care of that world.
Let me be on my guard when the world puts on a loving face, for it will, if possible, betray me as it did my Master, with a kiss.
As pastors, we are vulnerable to paint ourselves as victims on the one hand or to become bullies or crooks or adulterers on the other.
What leadership qualities are needed in transitioning a church to greater gospel-centrality?
The commitments the Bible illustrates for us are for our good. They are not to shackle us to burdens or to place weight.
God is the only one that can truly give us comfort and this is a comfort that doesn’t just look to the past and the good ol’ days. It is a comfort that holds the future in its hands.
It can be a monumental challenge to stomach the obscurity that comes from consistent “decrease,” but it’s part of every pastor’s journey.
Jesus did not come for those who presume they are innocent before God, but for sinners who know they are guilty.
The Enemy of our souls and our sinful flesh has a way of adding terrible fuel to the raging fires of shame.
Jacob failed his daughter, his wives, his sons, himself, and God; but God did not fail Jacob
Three questions to help parents begin evaluating the way they talk to and around their kids in more relaxed settings.
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."
FTC.co asks Don Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Associate Dean at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, "What should the average Christian's devotional time look like?"
The parables Jesus tells in the four Gospels are peculiar kinds of stories that too many readers read very wrongly.
The human spirit, to be healthy as God intended it to be, cannot veg-out inside our bodies with its feet kicked up.
This week's links include resources on advocating for others, unmarried Christians, parenting and pastoring, and staying long in a church.
As the Father loves the Son, in the same manner Jesus loves his people.
True expository preaching strives to be faithful to the text and clear in the presentation.
There is a certain quality Christians should strive for as we represent God to the world.
Meditation doesn't mean humming in a monotone tone in an effort to completely clear your mind so the universe can come rushing in. It means filling your mind with Scripture and turning it over in your mind again and again.
Trials can be surprising ministers, serving us by showing our insufficiency and escorting us to our all-sufficient God.
Men today are often drowning is superficial relationships, but do not possesses any genuinely accountable gut-level friendships.
Principles of interpretation are what stand behind your approach to a text.
If you opt out of being vulnerable with your sin and prefer instead to convey a sense of perfection with your life, there’s likely a legalistic spirit that needs to be killed.
No, the answer, if there is one, isn’t to heap another burden onto the weary. It is, instead, to look to Jesus for our rest.
We should feel “at home” with people who share our faith but not our politics even more than we do with people who share our politics but not our faith.
There is no price we can pay to remove the stain of our sin and guilt. Favor with God is something that is only given.
Jesus doesn’t lord his inheritance over you. He serves you with it, giving you a portion along with him.
FTC.co asks Nathan Finn, Dean of The School of Theology and Missions at Union University, "What kind of books should pastors read?"
Join the hashtag. Join the movement.
This is how the Christian life is designed to work . . .
This week's links include resources on faith in dry seasons, grace to you, how to welcome people with disabilities, former atheists, and paying your pastor.
Jesus Christ is the eternal Word that perfectly communicates and reveals God to His people.
The surpassing grace of God is seen very clearly in that we were not only sought, but sought out.
God disciplines his people so that they learn not to rely on themselves and run after other gods, but to seek all and find all in him.
What are some key things churches can do to influence the culture for Christ?
Our minds are complex, intricate, sometimes confusing, and always in need of guarding.
When we trust that God is in control, we are freed to take responsibility for our own actions.
Pastor, give yourself to sound doctrine and make much of it from now on. If you cannot do this, resign.
Often, we are left wondering what it actually means to come alongside those who are experiencing great loss. But exactly how do we do it?
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared C. Wilson discusses the contemporary church methodology of "video preaching."
Jesus has come and he is ushering in Eden day-by-day.
Our culture is not only opposed at present to the gospel. It is opposed to the very concept of reality itself.
We must be careful what we call beautiful. We must be careful not to attribute words to the Word that he never said.
FTC.co asks Matt Chandler, Pastor at The Village Church, "How do you cultivate a healthy marriage?"
Our anxiety is tempered by remembering that we have a Father who gives good gifts.
One fear we must put aside in our quest for greater gospel-centrality is that it will not preach week to week.
Let your academic study and writing become a spiritual discipline through which you are able to behold the wonders of our God.
This week's links include resources on assisted suicide, getting the most out of books, 9Marxism, friends pastors need, how to live a whole life, and rest.
This patience of the saints proves the power of divine grace.
One sin deserves God’s wrath for all eternity, but the shed blood of Christ, our Eternal Priest, removes the punishment for our sins forever.
Why do the books Christians buy the most tend to not be the best for them?
While God’s Word does condemn all sexual sin, it also offers healing and forgiveness from all sexual sin.
Where does the wayward mind truly go when it comes time to pray? It’s hard to say.
God's providence is always good, beyond improvement. Thus, he crafted your story, including your past, for his own, optimum glory.
Before I am anything else, I am a man who has been saved and sustained by the God of the gospel.
His identity was not connected with those to whom he was commissioned; rather, his identity was connected to the one who commissioned him.
Jesus kills our sin so that He can fill us up and give us life.
Scripture is not about you; it is about Jesus. Scripture is, however, for you through the work of Jesus.
We live in a world relentlessly focused on keeping up appearances. But, there is a better way, one in which our sight can be resurrected.
FTC.co asks Dean Inserra, Pastor of City Church - Tallahassee, FL: "How can a church know it’s on the right track? What are some signs of faithfulness?"
If you have experienced the Spirit’s conviction, you have been primed to experience the Spirit’s power.
There is something powerful about having the profound glories of almighty God brought to bear in a palpable way.
This week's links include resources on painful callings, conversion therapy, singles and gifts, meeting Christ, temptation, adoption, and quiet lives.
You will find in the long run that it is far harder to shun the work and will of God than to at once yield yourself to it.
Our brothers and sisters in Christ are God’s gifts to steady us, to laugh with us, to remind us of the mission we are on together for Christ’s fame.
What people need the most is a renewed perspective that hinges on a kingdom that is not of this world.
What does Gospel-Centered teaching sound like?
A banquet of Christ awaits us. Let’s not starve, but enjoy the feast!
We have a message that needs to be spread and we have the largest communication platform the world has ever known.
The Bible is preoccupied with the Messiah and we must be as well.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared C. Wilson interviews Dr. Jason K. Allen, President of Midwestern Seminary and College on his new book Being a Christian: How Jesus Redeems All of Life
We take the things that are good for the Christian life, some of which God even requires of us, and give them unhealthy focus.
If you want to consider theological education, you must first consider if you are in Christ at all.
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.
Whatever else we do as Christian leaders must stem from seeing Jesus first.
FTC.co asks Jeff Medders, Pastor of Redeemer Church in Tomball, TX: "What should a pastor do when his church is tired of hearing the Gospel?"
Laypeople have no biblical warrant to leave the duty of doctrine up to pastors and professors alone.
Death and dying are never easy, but both in physical death and spiritual death we have the hope of God’s promises to come.
This week's links include resources on boys respecting women, gathering seashells, celebrating women, Christians and death, and the phrase "I am enough."
We have been cleansed once for all, but our feet still need to be washed from the defilement of our daily walk as children of God.
He died to live, and to live so that other dead people could come alive.
God himself is the true fountain from which we find all wisdom.
What can a young pastor do to start cultivating a healthy legacy?
One thing I know I can do in the midst of the complexities and difficulties of the parenting task: I can pray.
Sometimes God answers age-old questions while engaging in magnificent acts, the purpose for which is anything but answering said questions.
Writing about the difficulty of pastoral ministry probably won’t ease the difficulty of pastoral ministry, but it will remind us that God has matured us more than we have measured.
The call of pastoral ministry is completed only when the body of Christ affirm that call as a pastor.
Instead of allowing our inadequacies to keep us from evangelism, we should allow them to propel us into it.
The basis for biblical interpretation begins with Jesus.
When pastors major on the urgent, we can inadvertently lead people to forget that “the word of our God will stand forever.”
The reason your scarlet sins can be made white as snow is because Jesus' scarlet blood covers them.
Three tactical steps to do battle against this pernicious sin.
Archaeology does not, has not and will never prove Christianity as a system of faith—nor can it disprove the textual evidence of the New Testament.
This week's links include resources on embryo adoption, gratitude, the gospel in a cold place, cynicism, and small-groups and singles.
O quicken us that we may return to our first love, and do our first works!
Because the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead, we must not waste our lives.
When our plans go awry it can be easy to spiral into complaining and self-pity.
We asked Barnabas Piper: "What should pastors and their wives know about raising pastors’ kids?
Confession isn’t solely so the confessor can feel better because someone else knows. No, it is confession for the sake of change and accountability.
We may not follow all of Augustine’s interpretations of Scripture, but his humility before the word continues to teach us.
Your feeble efforts can add nothing to the finished work of Christ. When Jesus cried “It is finished!” he meant it.
On this episode, Jared C. Wilson visits with Costi Hinn, Executive Pastor of Mission Bible Church in Tustin, California, co-author of the book Defining Deception, and redeemed refugee from the world of faith healing.
This is joy uplifts all that I do so that I can now find joy in the most mundane task or everyday circumstance.
What we need is a trust in God that can endure seasons of discomfort by denying ourselves.
Matthew 18 is about winning your brother. That’s the goal. We want to see him turn and repent. We pursue the process to win our brother.
If Christ hasn’t experienced the bitter taste of sin, how does he know the sweetness he must apply?
We asked J.D. Greear, Pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, to describe his process for preparing sermons.
Godly pastoral care is the overflow of love, an act of nurture, and an act of self-giving.
When I’m fearful of a broken and hostile world, the presence of a King who dwells among His people emboldens my faltering hopes.
This week's links include resources on safety for the same-sex attracted, leaders and yes-men, children and the Bible, and Black History Month.
Does not this make thee love Jesus?
We must realize that a proper appreciation of one’s guilt before God is a gift that can lead us to the truth, and without which we are lost.
Measuring the success of one’s service based primarily on what we can see is deceptive because most of the fruit in our ministry is in things that are unseen.
Six lessons missionary John Stam learned while trusting God provide for all his needs.
How can I know God is pleased with me? The crushing answer: be perfect. The good news: Jesus has given the answer for us.
Is complementarity–male leadership in the home and church, especially–a matter of gifting, or a matter of essence?
I can’t help but wonder how different this might be if we made it a point to treat everyone like they are invited to the party.
Whatever our station in life, the Lord’s Table announces the Good News that we must neither wait for our victory, nor wane in our defeats.
Missionaries feel their inadequacies daily and need reminded that the Lord they serve is omnipotent.
The new release from Jason K. Allen is a guide to living as a Christian every day.
We must not become earth-rich and God-poor.
You are undersized in the fight, but the Holy Spirit that indwells you is anything but.
This week's links include resources on old books for young Christians, busyness, social media, life purpose, and unknown false gospels.
In God's sight, you are "complete in him."
A person who fears God more than anything is less likely to abuse God’s subjects.
Since we are commanded to gather together for the purposes of helping one another grow in love and good works, we shouldn't neglect that activity.
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
It is not enough just to be spiritually needy; we must recognize it, also.
The gospel redefines everything. No part of our lives is untouched by God’s redemptive power, including our relationships.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared C. Wilson discusses the importance -- and unimportance -- of preaching illustrations.
Marriage is not sufficient for life and godliness. Jesus is.
This new book shows readers how to rely more fully on the power of the Holy Spirit for growth and satisfaction in their lives.
The ones we stand in the midst of on a Sunday morning are the flesh and blood set around us as a perpetual help in remembering the flesh torn and the blood shed for us.
FTC.co asks Noah Oldham, Lead Pastor of August Gate Church in St. Louis, to describe his sermon-writing process.
Not what. Who.
Words, even truth, not carefully spoken can damage relationships and cause division among brothers and sisters.
This week's links include resources on death, accountability, fostering, and what to say to the grieving.
You must expect to feel weakest when you are enjoying your greatest triumph.
Ordinary things in the hands of an extraordinary God become the miraculous means by which He brings about His kingdom.
Teach people to be students of God’s Word, not students of your opinion.
What are some common mistakes worship leaders make?
One can be a godly man without being a pastor, but one cannot be a faithful pastor without being a godly man.
Preacher, be thankful: Jesus doesn’t love you to the degree you gain the nod of the masses.
You are not who you were and, therefore, you don’t belong where you used to. You are different, so walk that way.
We are not running to Christ-likeness, we are running to Christ.
Following Jesus will often lead us directly toward what we do not understand.
The only way God could speak a word of welcoming mercy to sinners like me and you is to speak a word of judgment to Christ in our place.
Teenage believers, you can contribute right away in significant and helpful ways when the church gathers.
We will experience Jesus for all eternity. Praise God! But even if we only experienced him for a day, we would be fully satisfied.
FTC.co asks H.B. Charles Jr., Lead Pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, "How important is preaching to a local church?"
However great the trouble I’ve been through in the past, I know God will compensate me much more greatly in the future, which gives me tremendous joy in the present.
By reading what God has done, we gain insights into the character of God.
This week's links include resources on leaving your church, diversity and God's kingdom, repentant pastors, discipling children, and waiting.
Our extremities are the Lord's opportunities.
We are, like my children, desperately needy and utterly dependent upon God, not only to meet our needs but to sustain our faith and grow us into spiritual adulthood.
As pastors, we need to remind our elderly members that they’re not only loved by their Good Shepherd and Savior—they’re also loved and needed by his people.
How can a Christian do wise political engagement while maintaining faithfulness first to God’s kingdom?
In his self-sacrifice, Jesus shows us the greatest expression of great love by laying down not only his life, but his reputation also.
This is the reality about all who are in Christ: from the mightiest to the weakest, all who love the holiness of God rise, redeemed and renewed, in heaven.
One active way we can remind ourselves of our comparative insignificance is to do something we’re probably going to be bad at.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared C. Wilson interviews Dr. Jason K. Allen, president of Midwestern Seminary, about his first five years in leadership at the school and the dramatic resurgence resulting.
The church is not simply a man-made tool that we use to advance the cause of Christ; the church itself is central to the cause.
The more I dig into the Word, the more I see with glaring clarity that the Bible is like a collection of big neon signs pointing to the cross.
The truly humble person will take the low position and will not be shocked, dismayed, or depressed if he stays there.
FTC.co asks Clint Pressley, Senior Pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC: "What are some key components to discipling young men?"
Student ministries can give students something the world cannot – a greater purpose for their soul, and guidance in how to live for that purpose.
"Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war?" Yes. We do.
Where we may run amok is forgetting that our confession and receiving of forgiveness should be effecting something significant in us.
This week's links include biblical womanhood and Genesis, reading more books, truth and love, and well-behaved women.
He professes to live for Christ; how can he live for another object without committing a spiritual adultery?
Making disciples involves much more. It involves us teaching others what it means and how to follow Jesus.
The irony of growing on our faith is that we have to be childlike to mature.
FTC.co asks Don Whitney, "What should the average Christian's devotional time look like?"
To be in the covenant of grace is to be secure in the love of God; it is to be tied to Christ - unchanging, unfading, never failing.
I was the kid who always kept his nose clean, had his act together, and tried to do the right thing. Why wasn’t I prospering?
It’s entirely possible to be absolutely unwavering on convictional truth matters and still give people the expectation to receive love and compassion from you.
Historically, great things happen when churches link arms.
When the pulpit isn’t held in high regard, sheep become malnourished by fast-food style preaching that contains little nutritional value.
I have a God who cares about me, and who loves me enough to orchestrate everything so that my soul is fed the right thing for the day I need it.
A grace that turns inward is no grace at all.
Today’s youth thirst for discipleship, not gimmicks. In eternity past, God ordained the local church as the chosen vessel to quench that thirst.
FTC.co asks Nathan Finn, Dean of The School of Theology and Missions at Union University, "Why should Christians consider theological education?"
Maybe we’re in the same boat when it comes to our spiritual lives. Maybe you've been wanting to start fresh with your relationship with God, but you keep putting it off for whatever reason. Might your apprehension have less to do with the right timing and more with the right approach?
This week's links include resources on infertility, how to be generous, leading when you aren't the leader, and the gift of cancer.