How I Gleaned Hope from the Darkest Psalm
Despite the dark tone, however, there is hope to be found in Psalm 88. Here are four reasons.
Psalm 88 is brutally honest about life in a fallen world. While many of us come out of depressive fogs and spiritually dark seasons, there are others who perpetually struggle. Some preach a false theology that says if you just pray hard enough, believe hard enough, and do all the right things, God will make your life all that you’ve wanted it to be. But real life indicates otherwise. And so does this psalm.
What Remembering the Poor Really Means
In the Bible, to remember means something much more than bringing to mind a matter.
The sense given here is that remembering the poor is not an occasional activity but wrapped up in what it means to be a Christian. Clearly the Apostle Paul saw it this way, as the record of his ministry indicates an ongoing commitment to caring for the needy (see 1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 8-9; 1 Tim. 5; Phil, for examples.). As I reflect on this commandment, it makes me thankful that I am involved in a church where I regularly observe this duty fulfilled in practical ways. Let me share a few of those with you by way of both encouragement and example.
How Do You Obey God When He Asks You To Do the Impossible?
In short, the “impossible” can only be accomplished by faith.
In all such instances, God calls his people to radical obedience. He calls us to trust Him. But do we? The issue isn’t just whether we obey. The issue is how we obey. Do we do the impossible thing God is calling us to do with hope and confidence that all things works for good? Or do we obey God with a sense of resignation and despair? Put differently, do we obey according to faith, or do we obey out of sheer duty?
Caring for Widows
Widows and their care figure prominently in the agenda that God has set for His church
While Christ was on the cross, He looked in the direction of His mother, who was an eyewitness to His passion, and He said to her, “Woman, behold your son!” He was not asking His mother to look at Him. Obviously, she already was looking at Him. Then, Jesus said to John, “Behold your mother!”... Continue Reading
Christianity Without An Adjective
We shape society when we remember who we are first and foremost
“A Christianity qualified by any adjective now feels restrictive. Many are turning anew to the Christ of Scripture, under whom our secondary identities are subsumed. He is not the god of ethnic nationalism or the god of the oppressed but the sovereign God of all nations, King over all.” We shape society when we... Continue Reading
What the Gospel Means for the Transgender Debate
As Christians, the first thing we ought to affirm in talking about gender identity is that all people, regardless of how they identify, are created in the image of God
“Those who believe in the Fall ought not be shocked when we experience its effects, such as disharmony between our actual bodies and our mental perception of ourselves. Our deepest desires and our most fundamental notions of self-identity don’t need blanket affirmation; they need resurrection.” “This is who I really am.” In those six... Continue Reading
Praying with the “Holy Apostles”
As an individual Christian wanting to pray more effectively, and as one who must lead others in prayer, I’ve benefited from many of the forms and patterns handed down by our fathers in the faith.
The Constitutions of the Holy Apostles (or Apostolic Constitutions) is a collection of materials on church life, order, and liturgy. The Apostolic Constitutions comprises eight books, from different times and places, put together in one volume in the fourth century. Books 7 and 8 contain a number of prayers, including a “bidding prayer for the faithful” (what Christians ought to pray for) and a “form of prayer for the faithful” (a liturgical example to be read by one of the church officers). I’ve taken the “bidding prayer” and divided it into 18 categories.
Catch the Foxes: The Things that Are Hurting Your Marriage
Just like a little pebble in your shoe can become a great irritation for your foot, small problems in marriage can do great damage over time.
We all have little foxes in our marriage that threaten to spoil the vineyard. These little things might hurt the marriage outright or might prevent our marriage from flourishing. They could be sins we commit against our spouse or simple failures to nourish and protect our marriage. These foxes could be anything. They could be stinging sarcastic comments thrown at our spouse when we are irritated. They might be failures to be considerate of their needs. They could be complaints made to our friends about our spouse that nurses a growing discontentment. Other foxes might include bitter thoughts, failing to encourage or listen to one another, speaking in a sharp tone of voice, giving them the silent treatment, and putting all our energy into our work or childrearing and having nothing left to give our spouse.
What Does “World” Mean in John 3:16?
“World” refers to the quality of God’s love. It is not here a term of extension so much as a term of intensity.
The world represents sinful humanity and is not worthy of God’s saving love. Apart from the love of God, the world stands under God’s condemnation. But in Christ, believers experience God’s surprising, redeeming, and never-ending love. John 3:16 is not about the greatness of the world but about the greatness of God. One of the most... Continue Reading
When Mockers Marvel
God overcomes our petulance with his patience. His faithfulness overrules our faithlessness. He takes mockers like you and me and makes us marvel at him.
I remember as an unbeliever making sport among the Christians whom God put around me. On one particular occasion I was doing my best to tempt a believer into acting out and losing it. With self-control, he calmly said, “Raymond, God is not mocked.” Within a year I was arrested by the sovereign grace of God... Continue Reading