It is better to die before you die.
Jesus does not deny those he has called, no matter how grievous their denial of him has been in the darkest moments of life.
The world’s picture of the sexually liberated woman isn’t empowered at all; rather, she’s enslaved by the deception that becoming a commitment-free object of lust was all her idea.
The wrestle of wealth, of making enough and having enough, is a dark space in my soul—the struggle for contentment against a sliding scale in a world that rejects less as more and sees more as a means to happiness. It’s where I have to preach to myself the truth I know when the lie is in front of me.
By God’s design, my family keeps growing and spreading. Certainly aspects of that are incredibly difficult. But when I think of the treasured people in my life that I never would have met had I not moved around as much as I did, and when I anticipate the hope of that happening again, that tastes pretty sweet to me.
In the beginning, God created my body and mind.
But my heart was without form and void . . .
"There every tear shall be dried, every saint who has fallen asleep in Christ shall meet us once more, and every hard thing in our life-journey shall be made clear and plain as the sun at noon-day."
We all have that sin. The one we thought was long conquered, long forgotten, and long paid for by Christ's precious blood. Then one day it emerges, reminding us that we are not yet perfected, and riddling us with guilt.
By God’s grace, hopefully we are moving in the direction where we know ourselves more and yet think of ourselves less.
God in Christ certainly does make much of us. But not because we are lovely. Because Christ is.
Each week, when we move from the text of the Bible to the table of the Lord, we remember our Israelite heritage and the way in which God has yet again set the table for us. And just like Israel, when we gather together to worship the risen Christ, reminding ourselves of the gospel by taking the Lord’s Supper, we shall see the glory of the LORD.
Christians are people who live on promises. We grow by promises. We are sustained by promises. We please God by trusting His promises.
In this missionary context where daily they see a lost world, the pursuit of sin and error, it is easy to forget that we who are in Christ, were once just as lost.
The Word of God shapes both how we wish to be treated and how we would treat others. The Golden Rule both engages the moral imagination in specific circumstances and is grounded firmly in the Word of God.
After reading several dozen church planting manuals over the past few years, I’ve yet to see one with a chapter entitled, “Don’t freak out, they’re just gonna hate you.”
A toast toward the pastor embracing a Christward self-disregard and a godly un-self-conciousness.
ISIS thinks they are destroying and ending Christianity by killing Christians, but what they do not understand is that their evil acts are causing people to look not at them, but at these who are dying with the peace of Jesus.
Every sacred truth that reveals something of the glory of Christ to our souls, is a pearl or precious stone which enriches us.
The prayer of a Christian is not an attempt to force God's hand, but a humble acknowledgment of helplessness and dependence.
The message from God’s Word is meant to be the centerpiece of a worship gathering. If there is more emphasis placed on creating an exciting environment or attractive event than on hearing from God, we’ve missed the mark.
"Where are the men with a moral vision?"
The gospel explodes niceness.
"He who loves may be sure he was loved first."
Have you ever found yourself, in the midst of failure and frustration in the Christian life, saying, “I hate myself”?
Those who want to find the true Jesus through relics will come up shorthanded.
He's not sighing or sulking. He is more eager to forgive than we are to sin.
"It is incredible that the world should have believed so incredible a thing."
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.
A faithful minister cares little what people think of him, as long as his conscience approves of him. The approval of his own good conscience is the best praise a minister can have.
Our Christ's preciousness is more than deserving to be adorned with the drink offering of our very lives. And it is our willingness to adore him in and through our breaking open that shows we believe this.
Coming face to face with the reality that maybe it’s actually not going to happen for you.
Considering the speck and log illustration, notice that Jesus does not finish his example by telling us that we are just sinners and to not help one another change. The way forward isn't simply picking each other apart, it's by being a brother, a loving member of the family.
I don’t want to ultimately hope in motherhood, or comfort, or health, or man’s acclaim, or even my beloved husband. I want to hope in Glory.
I had loved God. I had served God. I had preached about God. I had studied God. But I had never enjoyed Him.
If the gospel is an ocean, then a trip to the beach does not suffice.
"I am but an unprofitable servant. I gladly go to the foot of the cross and own myself the least of Thy people."
I feel her scratch my itching ears with her words, saying just what I wish I heard from the people around me. And here’s what she sounds like . . .
A weak hand may lay hold of a strong Christ.
In seeking righteousness through following a list of rules or focusing on our performance, we may feel superior or clean for a moment but that doesn’t make us a Christian any more than wearing a Joe Montana jersey makes us a good football player.
"There are three ways whereby the glory of Christ is represented unto us in the Scripture."
I’m awestruck by a metaphor used by 17th-century pastor and poet George Herbert to describe prayer: “reversed thunder.”
In the middle of winter, Boston was low on fuel and a man came to the governor complaining that a "needy person" was stealing from his woodpile . . .
When you are stuck, deep, despondent, or in despair, think back to what God has delivered you from in difficult times past.
A prayer that the pastor's wife will be eternally fascinated and astonished by the gospel and that it will transform every aspect of her life.
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.
Turning prayers for material provision inside out.
You never know how the Lord may use you to love and encourage the people He has given you the opportunity to serve.
The fight for love is sometimes not letting go.
The Pharisee brought all his religious currency to the market and found that his money was no good there.
Seeking to leverage ministry for comfort goes against the grain of the ministry picture in the New Testament.