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.
Once He has helped us to step across the threshold of our straining circumstances, we will see that God is the wise and trustworthy Savior of His people.
Crucifying the defensive impulse is so difficult because it essentially means choosing to allow others to misunderstand you, misjudge you, and even malign you.
The Church exists for no other purpose but to draw men into Christ . . .
Sometimes the most courageous thing you can do is to stay right where you are.
Everything rides on the reality of resurrection.
We don’t follow Christ’s commands because we should or because we will be “blessed” when we do. We follow Christ’s commands because we have a deep and profound admiration and a growing love for Him and we want nothing more than to please Him.
Do not despair if you feel the flesh battling against the Spirit or if you cannot make it behave. For you to follow the guidance of the Spirit in all things without interference on the part of the flesh is impossible.
There is a gospel spring beneath the deathly depravity of Judges 19.
When will the Spirit gust in revival power? We don't know. But maybe today.
The God who governs all things can be trusted, even when He can’t be understood.
Join me as I try to think about heaven more often, even dwelling upon the reality of it, the ceaseless praise that is going on right now to the blessed Savior for his wrath drinking death upon the wood of Calvary.
If you preach the gospel, you wield the most powerful word in the universe. It's not the gnosis of the apostles. It's the resurrecting word entrusted to us all.
The beauty of identifying with Christ is that He doesn’t need defending.
Receiving is difficult. Being given something affects us differently than being the giver. Receiving something is harder than earning it, especially for driven people.
Jesus is no talisman. Crucify "Jesus as key to your personal achievement" and he will stay dead. But the real Jesus achieves a victory greater and far superior to any wish-dream of any man.
Union with Christ is an abiding reality.
Moses would not make a good postmodern. The notion of “things that are revealed” is so certain, so objective, so confident sounding. Yet, Moses doesn’t shy away from the idea that God has given His people revealed things—truths about Himself, truths about man, truths about the world. And all these belong to God’s people.
“No,” she pulls a blanket up over her head. I know you want to hide, I want to say. Confession makes us feel naked even with all of the weight of hiding on top of us. I know where she is, but I ask for her to show herself anyway. Coming face to face with the one you’re confessing to is important. I know it from the garden. I…
If nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, what then?
It is not uncommon to hear people say things like: “Aren’t we all sinners? What gives you the right to make moral judgments about someone else? Isn’t that God’s job?”
During the last few years we have been putting a mild label on sin.
"Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I was born blind?" said the poet.
"What X marks the spot for me?"
"As long as Christ hath it, believers shall not want."
The deal is all of Christ for all your nothing.
"Would I know the fullness and completeness of the salvation God has provided for sinners? Where shall I see it most distinctly?"
"If you will not let me live, then I will die."
While God certainly asks missionaries to pick up their life, leave everything, and go wherever, His call on His disciple's lives doesn't end there.
"The brother dismissed my view as impossible on the grounds that the Holy Spirit, who does not lie, had told him the truth on this matter. Being young and bold, I pressed on with my explanation of grammar, context, and translation, but was brushed off by a reference to 1 Corinthians 2:10b-15: spiritual things must be spiritually discerned -- which left little doubt about my status."
When we believe that the things we possess are actually ours or exist because of us, they begin to control and define us rather than the other way around.
You can't just decide to change your heart, Thomas Chalmers says.
We have been racing from God, and yet in Christ, we find ourselves racing home.
How much are you missing because you assume all the answers are in the back?