What we do helps define who we are. As Christians, we must view our vocations as opportunities for worship and witness in the world. We must “work heartily, as for the Lord.”
We are to see the good things we have not as hindrances to salvation or growth in Christ but as gifts God has given us.
Grace primarily means that we see one another as new creations in Christ, and we recognize the grace we received at salvation is continuing its work as a change agent in our lives.
We are children of God adopted and cherished in Jesus Christ.
We were created to have our hearts drawn after beauty through our senses.
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.
We’ve got to wake up.
As we let the idea of the Lord's Prayer soak deeper into our hearts, we are confronted sometimes by our individualistic excess.
Faith that always looks at self and surroundings, rather than Jesus, has no power over the tsunamis of your life.
O Jesus, if thou come not in person to thy waiting Church this day, yet come in Spirit to my sighing heart, and make it sing for joy.
Did our Lord chafe during these pre-ministry years? Did he long to get started preaching the kingdom?
The problem is not that we hold a few in high esteem, the problem is that we hold too few in high esteem.
When the reality that your true address is on high in heaven with Christ, then you will think, live and talk as such here on earth.
For the Christian, Christ’s honor and name are at stake with each and every word that piles out of our mouth.
Until the heart is transformed, we are no more than broken people breaking people—the wounded inflicting more wounds on the already wounded.
Jesus is saying that on judgment day, your words will be like a traceable cookie crumb trail leading to an unarguable conclusion - you’re either dead in sin or alive in Christ.
God has entrusted each of us with an almost immeasurable quantity of words, a gargantuan gift to be stewarded and wielded for His glory.
I'm afraid if I go further down the path, the next spot won't be as comfortable.
Ever since I got hyper on Piper towards the end of my high school years, I've found myself growing into a deeper understanding of the doctrines of grace, to the point that now most of my mornings and evenings are happily spent reading men like Charles Spurgeon (see what I did there?).
No one obligates you to do what you delight in. You do it freely, without external compulsion or obligation. So it is to be with God’s people and God’s word.
Today is my first day back from two weeks of vacation. The time off was great, and because the vacation was a real success I'm eager to get back to the regular life God has called me to. This is the real end (goal) of all our recreation: to fit us to do what God has called us to. Richard Baxter says it well:
No doubt but…
A large-hearted Christian has other springs from which to supply himself with comfort beside those which lie within.
Given the variety of difficult circumstances in our lives, recalling and trusting the promises of God can feel nearly impossible. Thankfully, our gracious God provides a model for trust through his gracious Son.
Unfortunately, we live in the very present world and waiting is hard. Joining David,
we cry out with the familiar refrain of ‘how long?’
We need the Holy Spirit to awaken us to God and to real freedom—the freedom found in God himself.
He appeals to you this morning--"Have I been a wilderness unto you?" Has not Jesus proved himself all-sufficient?
These are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops; but God is the ocean.
The lessons that Charles Spurgeon offered his friends in the Hôtel Beau Rivage on the coast of the French Riviera in 1891 are as applicable to our own day as they were to those living in the late-Victorian era.
This is something that I never could have orchestrated on my own.
Believers love Jesus with a deeper affection than they dare to give to any other being.
To take up the cross is to take up joy—painful joy, but real joy.
Don’t despise the walls that law built, they serve a significant purpose. The prison was built in order for us to open our eyes and long for freedom.
The first step to our nation's renewal is going to be the repentance of every individual man, woman and child who names the name of Jesus.
Most people tend to have foes and fans but very few people have friends. Too few people enjoy true relationships with other people.
One enters into eternal peace and joy. The other? “Depart from me. I never knew you.”
While self-condemnation might come off as holy in our churchified contexts, the truth is that self-condemnation is more than a bad character trait; it’s sin in and of itself.
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.
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 . . .
How do you inspire fellow believers to take up the call to make disciples?
There is a kind of shame that is both redeeming and sanctifying and it may bring us to gospel heights otherwise unknown.
Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God . . .
I wonder how the resolutions of us donut-eaters might stack up to these from Jonathan Edwards.
His pleasure was rooted in the harvest he hoped for.
Blood, always precious, is priceless when it streams from Immanuel's side.
I have a sneaking suspicion that people like this, the ones that serve quietly and without fanfare, but with great faithfulness, are the true heroes in the kingdom of heaven.
“Holiness is nothing but the implanting, writing and realizing of the gospel in our souls.”
The power of God flows through the Christian community and it also flows through our lives as we live alongside non-believers.
Give it up. Allow yourself to be nobody. Have a seat at the end of the table and you might just find Jesus sitting there too.
If God is calling you to experience the painful paradox of Christian friendship, know this brothers and sisters, he is good.
Our righteouness goes beyond legalism when we obey the true intent of the law.