The Lord grant the sweet showers of his grace to water his garden this day.
When our work and ministry is laid bare before the Lord we want it to withstand the fire.
In Acts, the disciples set the criteria for who would be chosen, and they land on two possible candidates: Joseph and Matthias. They cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias. This, of course, had to be a downer to Joseph.
Maybe he’s not the fool; maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s my eyesight. Is it possible that I’m conversing with the One who can draw water without a bucket?
“I heard your CD today,” she tells me. “You have a great voice. You could’ve been something!” I could’ve been something, yes, and by God’s grace I didn’t.
One of the most frustrating aspects of counseling students is the response of many parents. As I try to dig down to the heart issues, many parents want to rush to "relocate" their kids. The parents often think the solution is relocation: a new school, a "ranch" for extended counseling, or an extended trip to stay with family.
As the Father loves the Son, in the same manner Jesus loves his people.
Child of God, do you hesitate to appropriate this title?
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.
"What X marks the spot for me?"
You have a worship problem.
So according to Jesus things are going to continue to get worse but that shouldn’t be cause for concern for us.
When we are tempted to doubt the Father's faithfulness, we have no further to look than His provision of Christ.
Effective ministry is not simply saying, “Take this Bible verse and call me in the morning."
For most people, contentment doesn't come naturally. It's necessary for Christ-followers to put in the work of learning to be content with what God has given us, trusting that what He has allowed is what is best for us.
How dare we question the faithfulness, the grace, the mercy, and the love of God because he has not orchestrated circumstances to attend to our every desire?
The church flourishing in spite of persecution is not the stuff of American church culture; it's the stuff of the New Testatment and we should not be surprised by it.
The question we must all answer is, are we willing to be thought a fool for the sake of Jesus?
To a great extent in spiritual things we get what we expect of the Lord.
We want a 12 step program that takes us from sinner to saint with black and white rules to get there.
I wonder if, in all our talk of discipleship and mentoring and "pouring into", we've created for ourselves a culture of entitlement.
But what will his second advent be? What sinner can endure to think of it?
The reason your scarlet sins can be made white as snow is because Jesus' scarlet blood covers them.
What we do thus will be well done, and will not fail in its effect.
It seems as though the designation “man of God” has gone the way of the bus ministry and the youth choir—a largely passé referent to a bygone era of church life.
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.
“Come, get under my shade,” the bramble calls. “I will take care of you.”
When our plans go awry it can be easy to spiral into complaining and self-pity.
Sometimes we don't went to do what we are created for. And in that moment we make a common mistake. We think since our heart isn't in it we shouldn't do it.
This does not make pain painless, of course, but it doesn’t make it purposeless either.
In these moments our humanity lies bare. Our greatest fears are realized—we are exposed for the weak and woefully inadequate people we are. We failed to meet even the lowest expectations. Things that are so seemingly obvious nobody should mess them up.
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.
Coming face to face with the reality that maybe it’s actually not going to happen for you.
"If any Christians are in earnest and full of love to God and man, they are those who know what Grace has done for them."
The person who is always partying knows not the reality of this broken world.
The problem and the promise for those who fail morally is that Jesus will only deal with us on the playing field of reality.
Six lessons missionary John Stam learned while trusting God provide for all his needs.
By God’s grace, hopefully we are moving in the direction where we know ourselves more and yet think of ourselves less.
There are times in our spiritual experience when human counsel or sympathy, or religious ordinances, fail to comfort or help us. Why does our gracious God permit this?
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.
We all fall prey to stalking honor. But is there a bright side?
While it would be nice for all of us to get a sabbatical to sort through everything, we all still have responsibilities, jobs, families, and friends that we can’t block out for an extended season until we are motivated by the gospel again. In these things, we must learn dependence in our weakness and watch the truth of scripture come to real life around us.
God exposed my misplaced allegiance by closing doors that, if opened, would’ve led down a path of continual self-destruction and false worship.
Truths about God far transcend our fleeting emotions and distressing circumstances. So we choose to rehearse these truths when God seems far away, to praise Him even when we cannot feel Him.
Those who have faith in God should show it by a holy fear.
Our business is neither to ask nor answer foolish questions, but to avoid them altogether.
Don’t stop showing up, Christian. In fact, if you are doubting today, it’s the best time to show up again.
It’s not that God doesn’t want good things for us; he certainly does. But what God defines as good is himself. Everything else just gets in the way.
The work of the Lord through his church has never looked like a well-oiled machine.