In disputable matters, it is not right for us as a Body to divide over such disagreements. We can discuss these and should discuss them. But to nurture bitterness over these things is not the way of Jesus. The Bible has much to say regarding the cultivation of Christian unity over disputable matters. We can lean on this wisdom to help us reflect the character of Christ to one another, even when we disagree on things. God will use the friction of our differences to fortify our unity–if we lean into the Spirit of His wisdom and not our understanding.
Read more "Coronavirus, the Conscience, and the Unity of the Church"
Reading the Bible in a year is no easy task. But if we make the time to get alone with the Word we will taste its goodness. If we lean on our friends to hold us accountable and teach us what they are seeing we will experience its value. If we slow down and take the story of the Bible in we will be blown away by its uniqueness. If we examine the text thoughtfully we will catch glimpses of God’s magnitude and be drawn to worship. If we read patiently we will grow. As we grow we will begin to grasp the depth of God’s love for His people and be compelled to love others well. It’s a marathon. Run steady and run hard. Most of all, run with your eyes on the goal…Christ and your unity with Him.
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The educated have been an immense blessing in my life. I’m not talking about the formally educated with the diplomas. I’m talking about the Scripturally educated and those who use their diplomas for the purposes of God. I’m grateful for these people. People more mature in their faith have poured hours of investment into me and by God’s grace and power, I stand on their backs.
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A while ago, I went through a pretty consistent period of depression. It was the lowest my life had been since I was in drug and alcohol treatment in 2012. It was difficult for me to reconcile the goodness of God and the gospel as I felt miserable on a consistent basis.
A good friend of mine really challenged me during this time. One, he helped me to realize that much of my suffering was self-inflicted. Depression isn’t always this way, but in this case, it was. Second, he told me to quit beating myself up and focusing on “what was wrong with me” and begin thinking about “what is right about God”. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was a turning point for me in coming out of depression. So with pen in hand, I popped open my journal, and here’s what hit the pages.
Read more "God’s Character Doesn’t Change in Your Suffering"
If we boast about our ability to uphold a great way of life in Jesus what are we communicating? We are communicating that we understand the implications of the glorious gospel to the degree that it completely transforms the way we live. Throughout the entire letter, Paul uses the implications of the gospel and presses them to the consciences of the Corinthian believers. Why?
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We cannot seek an understanding of Christ and the effect of his redeeming love on our lives apart from understanding that without Christ we are desperately sick. The universal sickness tainting all of mankind confronts us with the truth of who we are apart from the transforming work of God’s grace. Our eyes are opened by our Redeemer to our own sinfulness. Simultaneously working alongside this fresh view of ourselves, we start seeing God and his ways with greater clarity.
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God isn’t shaking his head in disappointment at our resistance. He is patiently and graciously working in us a desire to tighten our grip on him so that we might experience the eternal riches and fruit of reliance. I need the Spirit desperately, so do you. May we trust in the Lord to accomplish through the Spirit far greater things in us and through us than we could ask or imagine.
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The construction of homes, advances in modern medicine, the publishing of books, the crafting of a delicious meal, the beautiful canvas masterpiece, and the skillfully composed song all scream of this reordering labeled as technology. Making man in God’s image has given humanity the intelligence to take the surplus of creation before our eyes and mold it in ways that reflect his character. The fall of man and sin has taken this joy and twisted it so the things we touch are used for both redemptive and corrupt purposes. This is where the phone comes in…
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I love thinking of Bible study as digging for treasure. When I do, it causes me to think through three things: proper tools, the act of digging, and reflecting on the value of the treasure I find. My hope is to give you a place to start when it comes to reading your Bible and how you can begin exposing yourself to God’s Word regularly.
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We should approach Sundays to gain all God has for us while giving away ourselves to complete worship along with our brothers and sisters. The reality is, many of us approach Sundays with a light hearted attitude summed up in one word, routine. Not routine in the good sense. Instead, we are routine in the sense of growing numb toward all God is doing through the Body of Christ gathering together for worship. As we seek to approach Sundays well, for the glory of God, I want to look at 3 ways we can engage greater on Sunday mornings.
Read more "Approaching Sundays: Before"