On Eagles’ Wings
Time and time again, with great patience, the Lord has caught his plummeting people on his mighty wings and borne them up and carried them to safety.
The Lord is teaching you to fly. To trust him. And if you fail, there is a gracious safety net. Look back and remember “what you yourselves have seen”—how the Lord has borne you up on eagles’ wings so many times before. Remember how he did it for Israel, not just here in the wilderness... Continue Reading
The Pastor as Steward
This stewardship language of “entrust” is used multiple times in Pauls’ epistles.
The same word is used in Titus 1:3, “And at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior.” Paul’s emphasis on this metaphor shows its importance for understanding the nature of ministry as a stewardship. Modern readers have a grasp on... Continue Reading
And God Blessed Them
God looked at our first parents, and he blessed them.
All Satan’s craft and all sin’s deceit fail to undo the goodness of the blessing that God spoke in the beginning. The signs of the blessing are all around us, whether in fields of wheat ripe for harvest, in school playgrounds packed with screaming kids, in seeing-eye dogs serving with loyal zeal – all these... Continue Reading
Worship is the Fuel for Helping
How in the world did Isaiah remain faithful to the message?
Isaiah remained a faithful prophet of God for a very lengthy ministry. And he wasn’t just really good at one thing. He wasn’t only one of those preachers that was amazing at beating you up and bringing a flood of conviction. He was also one of those preachers who helped you heal. Likewise, he wasn’t... Continue Reading
Editorial: Delusion & Judgment
Delusion and judgment are just part of what we have to endure before we get home.
There are rough seas ahead for those who desire to remain faithful. Some have not realised this yet and are surprised such days are upon the Church. They will learn and hopefully adapt. Their souls will survive unscathed even if their minds and bodies do not. What should we do in the meantime? By the grace of God, remain faithful. ... Continue Reading
Let the Word of Christ Dwell Richly Among You!
God seeks to shape godly behavior in us by getting to our hearts.
As we learn to meditate on the meaning and application of the Word, every believer ought to grow in the grace of actually applying it to life. You see, it’s one thing to prayerfully discern how to put a passage of the Bible into action, but it’s another thing to do it. And we must press... Continue Reading
How do We Encourage and Build Up the Church?
Hearing people singing the songs heartily, praying earnestly, sharing testimony of how the Lord has been at work in them, these will all encourage other believers. Nothing encourages your elders more than seeing you grow in maturity and Christ-likeness. This is the ultimate fruit of engaging with the Word, engaging with the church, engaging with... Continue Reading
The Spirit’s Work of Conviction through the Conscience of a Sinner
Conviction of Sin
Conscience is the territory or dominion of God in man, which he has so reserved unto himself that no human power can possibly enter into it or dispose of it in any wise. But in this work of conviction of sin, the word of God, the Scripture, enters into the conscience of the sinner, takes... Continue Reading
Preserved by God
Unfortunately, many Christians have become practical deists. They have been duped by the notion that after having begun the work of salvation in our lives, God leaves us to our own devices.
God sustains us that we are able to endure faithfully to the end. By His loving hand, He blesses us with discipline. By His kindness, He leads us to repentance, and by His sacrifice, He has conquered the Enemy and defeated death. For this reason, we will endure because we are more than conquerors through... Continue Reading
A Faith Which Believes
Resting in the Assurance Offered in Christ
If we know ourselves at all we are fully aware that our sentiments can change like a chameleon’s skin. It is not a good barometer of things. If faith is a tangible reality it cannot be shaken or disturbed either by the winds and rains on the lake or by whatever circumstances may be around... Continue Reading
Our Greatest Ally in Loving the Sovereignty of God
There are no limitations to God’s sovereignty.
Time passes, and we look back, and from the benefit of a future vantage point, we can see things we were blind to in the moment. We get a slight glimpse of what possible good could come from something that felt, at the time, so bad. And from that vantage point, we would never look... Continue Reading
God’s Sovereignty Should Fuel Prayer, Not Hinder It
God has determined to sovereignly use our prayers for His purposes.
God is “mighty to do much more abundantly than we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Do you pray as if this were true? No, God is not always going to answer us in the way we want or at the time we want. But when we pray in faith, everything is possible, not because we are... Continue Reading
Witnessing in an Age of Apathy
How can we witness to a person who doesn’t care about God?
As children of God, the Lord has entrusted to us a great treasure—something to rejoice over and find delight in. When we demonstrate this joy to others, we can leave the results of each encounter to the Lord. God alone is the one who ignites true love and right passion. He just calls us to... Continue Reading
The Saviour’s Jerusalem Playlist
Psalms of Ascent
He sings of himself and his mission. He is on his way to the feast, to the Passover, but he is the Passover Lamb, and these are his songs. He sings of his trials, his trust, and his anticipation of triumph. Along with 113-118 these are especially “Anthems of the Dying Lamb”(as Phillip Ross titled... Continue Reading
Responsibility for True Widows: Focus on Older Saints, Part 2
Why is this matter so important to God?
Care for our parents and grandparents is a fundamental life responsibility. Part of our worship of God is also to sacrificially care for widows in our close family. It should be a well-known fact around the globe that Christian families care for their own. This pleases Christ. 1 Timothy 5:3-16 is packed with implications for... Continue Reading
Following Jesus Means Trusting the Father’s Provision
In Luke 12:15, Jesus lays down a foundational principle regarding worldly goods.
If we’re going to seek the kingdom of God, it will mean ceding control over every aspect of our life to God. He is not interested in becoming second-in-command in our little armies. He is King and Lord, and He seeks the throne of our heart. When He sits on that throne, wealth and possessions... Continue Reading
Love and Truth: Do We Sacrifice One for the Other? (2 John)
Commitment to truth will bear fruit in commitment to love, and devotion to love will bear fruit in devotion to truth.
Let those entrusted with the “ministry of the keys” in Christ’s church (cf. Matt 16:19) be careful to protect those in their charge. Just as they examine prospective members and officers of a congregation, so let them also examine itinerants such as missionaries and guest speakers. Let them also carefully counsel individual families on their... Continue Reading
Does God Play Favorites?
God’s Favor Versus Favoritism
The Bible clearly shows that God favors some and not all. But God’s “favor” is not sin, where “favoritism” is indeed sin, as James rightly points out. Favoritism is when someone chooses a person or thing because of some perceived merit, worth, or bias; but, as Paul declares in Romans 3:23, all people have sinned... Continue Reading
Jesus in John 11: He Says No to Good Requests
Jesus explains the Father for us, he makes him understandable.
We must have a category for God saying no, even when our requests are good, faith-filled, and according to his character. We see Jesus doing this very thing with Mary and Martha. When this happens, the reason is not some flaw in our asking. No, when God says no in these situations – like John... Continue Reading
The Way, Truth, and Life: Jesus is the Answer to All Our Questions
The answer to Thomas’s logical and honest inquiry was standing in front of Him.
There are still questions. Questions about life. Questions about trials. Questions about direction. Questions about the future. And with each and every one, Jesus can say, “You know the answer, for I am He.” Christians have the amazing privilege of knowing He who knows the answers for He Himself embodies them. John 13 is... Continue Reading
Three Warnings for Those Who Preach the Word
Preaching is a high calling.
Brothers, don’t be afraid that you will fail to impress your hearers. Be afraid of preparing a feast for your members while you go home, week after week, famished. Pray for the humility and faith that you need as a preacher to be first a partaker of the fruit of your study. There are... Continue Reading
Lovers of Good
Eyes of Hope in a World Gone Bad
Pastors — and increasingly their churches with them — are to be doers of good, not mere self-proclaimed lovers, deceiving themselves. Genuinely loving the good leads them to dream up ideas, take fresh initiatives, and do good that benefits all, especially those of like faith. An overseer, as God’s steward, must be . . . a lover... Continue Reading
Three "road rules of wisdom" I seek to practice to make sure I am in the proper communication lane.
Recognize that the more sensitive the communication, the more to the right you should travel. Obviously, you would never communicate a confidential matter to a friend via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., as other eyes would be upon it. Likewise, every time we send a digital message we need to remember that it has the potential of... Continue Reading
Douglas MacArthur, Christianity and Japan
What General MacArthur managed to do in Japan after the war was nothing short of remarkable.
Supreme Commander: MacArthur’s Triumph in Japan by Seymour Morris, Jr. (Harper, 2014). What a huge task MacArthur had. This was a militaristic society that had engaged in some of the worst wartime atrocities ever (recall the Rape of Nanking, the Rape of Manilla, their pursuit of biological warfare, and so on), and here was an American general tasked with... Continue Reading
Misreading Providence for Personal Gain
Putting self first always leads to discontentment.
Jesus told us to seek first the Kingdom of God, and the rest would be added (Matthew 6:33). There are no exemptions to this. Even if life has you busy with your job, family, school, or other pressures, these things never exempt us from our duty (and pleasure) to seek God first. Instead of seeing... Continue Reading
Our Culture Needs Less Beth Moore and more Jonathan Edwards
Our society does not suffer from too much awareness of its own depravity and need for God.
It’s unsurprising that someone like Moore, who emphasizes the elements of the Gospel that are less offensive to unrepentant sinners, such as Christ’s love and companionship, is uncomfortable with Edwards’ harsh message. But the love and grace of Christ can only properly be understood in the context of the grossly offensive nature of our own... Continue Reading
No Such Thing as “Little Sins”
We all want to reduce the gravity of our sin to the point where it no longer stings the soul.
Sins must not be minimized or trivialized. Sin caused our world to fall into the depths of depravity and violence. Sin caused our precious and spotless savior to undergo the wrath of God. And sin, while promising pleasure, becomes the bane of intimacy between us and God. Knowing this, let us be vigilant in fighting,... Continue Reading
Prayer as God Intended
Just as we need to breathe to live physically, we need to pray to live spiritually.
How can we define prayer as children of God? In this way: Prayer is a relational expression that vocalizes our trust in our Heavenly Father. At the same time, just as a son speaking with his father learns to think, speak, and act like him, so speaking with our Heavenly Father will conform us into... Continue Reading
Being Angry and Doing Angry
How can I tell which kind of anger I have?
Much of what we call righteous anger isn’t really righteous. It’s about righteous things, maybe. But it’s not actually righteous. It’s often mere words and not acting upon behalf of another. What is my anger leading me to do? That’s how we can tell if it’s coming from Jesus or our own messed up hearts. Do you... Continue Reading
So, Seriously, What is Biblical Theology?
Building a Definition and Getting Some Input
We are doing biblical theology when we attentively read and understand a biblical passage or theme in light of the progressive revelation, redemptive-historical trajectory, and canonical context of Holy Scripture. Each of these phrases could be unpacked and defended, but that description will suffice for our purposes. In a cyclical way, keeping the Big Story in... Continue Reading