12 Good Things to Remember When You Are Tempted to Indulge in Self-Loathing

Each one of us knows all too well our own mistakes and shortcomings.

When it comes to finding someone to blame, the easiest person with whom to find fault is usually oneself. Here are twelve good things for Christians to remember when they are tempted to indulge in self-loathing.   In the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), there is a scene where the main character (played by... Continue Reading

Trust the Bible Above Your Experience

The Bible is a book that was breathed out of the mouth of God.

As we head into a new year, let me ask you a question. Did you trust your experience above the Bible last year? You may say, I would never do that! I’m a discerner! I believe in expository preaching! Let me tell you that we are all in danger of trusting in ourselves rather than... Continue Reading

Why Should Christians Study the Bible?

The purpose of theology is not to tickle our intellects but to instruct us in the ways of God.

The Bible criticizes us. When we come to the Word of God, the Word of God exposes our sin. The biblical doctrine of man includes us, as does the biblical doctrine of sin, and we are reproved for our sinfulness when we come to the text of Scripture. We may not listen to the criticism... Continue Reading

How to Grieve as a Christian

The place our loved one has gone to seems vague, ethereal, shadowy, unreal—but the truth is the other way around!

It’s tempting to look down the long tunnel of the next twenty, thirty, forty years and think ‘How will I cope for all this time without my loved one?’ But Jesus explicitly tells us not to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has enough trouble of its own (Mt 6.34). He promises us grace sufficient for... Continue Reading

Seven Opportunities for Manifesting Mercy

If you have mercy in your heart, you will speak to Christ about lost people and you will speak to lost people about Christ.

There is a harshness in our culture (and too often it is creeping into the church) that is quick to believe the worst about a person, and slow to think the best. It is so easy to slide into making much of other people’s failings and little of their strengths and virtues. A merciful person goes... Continue Reading

Ezra, an Excellent Example of Resolution for the New Year

Ezra was uniquely born into the priesthood and commissioned to teach others to obey the Law.

There is no way Ezra could have asked for what Israel needed for the nation’s temple worship if he had not studied it and known it in advance (cf. Ezra 7:6). Having studied the Law of the Lord (cf. Ezra 7:10), Ezra was prepared to ask for what was necessary, deliver it, and even lead... Continue Reading

God Behind Me, God Before Me

Looking backward and forward by faith.

We should not be surprised if we sometimes struggle to see such wonders when we look behind us. Another psalmist would pray, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18). Only the Holy Spirit can reveal God’s wonders to us, whether in the pages of Scripture or the... Continue Reading

Karma Versus Sowing and Reaping — What’s the Difference?

“Sowing and reaping” occurs to some extent in this world, but not always or perfectly.

The Bible has a reasoned explanation for all this seeming lack of fairness: the world is filled with sin and misery due to humanity’s rebellion against God in the garden of Eden (Gen. 3). We all must live in a world that God originally made good but now suffers from the effects of Adam’s fall.... Continue Reading

Tried With Fire: Like Jesus, Part Three

Christ suffered this humiliation, not for any fault of His own, but for our sins.

When Jesus entered the human race He became subject to all of its natural weaknesses and liabilities, including mortality. His liability to death was essential to His mission. By fear of death, humans were slaves of the devil, who held the power of death (Heb 2:14-15). For the relatively brief period of His humiliation, Christ... Continue Reading

Justified for Good

Justification by faith and our growth in good works are inseparable from and rooted in our union with Christ.

Both Paul and James also demonstrate that justification by faith alone (and the transformed life that follows from it) is rooted in the Old Testament — specifically in Genesis 15:6. These apostles apply this text in different but complementary ways. Paul cites Genesis 15 from the perspective of the beginning of Abraham’s faith. When Abraham believed God,... Continue Reading