What Is Grace?
The essence of theology is grace; the essence of Christian ethics is gratitude.
When we truly understand grace—when we see that God only owes us wrath but has provided Christ’s merit to cover our demerit—then everything changes. The Christian motivation for ethics is not merely to obey some abstract law or a list of rules; rather, our response is provoked by gratitude. Jesus understood that when He said,... Continue Reading
It really is an art to be able to write a 300-400 word devotion that expounds Scripture appropriately, brings Christ and the gospel to bear on the reader, is theologically sound, and at the same time easy and pleasant to read.
The Valley of Vision – Various authors, edited by Arthur Bennett. This has long been one of my favourites. This is a collection of prayers from Puritans and Puritan-minded folks. Prayers are here from Thomas Watson, John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon and many others. My only complaint about this volume is that it doesn’t tell you where... Continue Reading
Refreshed In Chains
Our liberty as children of God is secured not by our circumstances but by our standing in Christ.
Long after Onesimus took the letter, Paul sat in chains knowing that Philemon’s response could refresh his weary spirit. Yes, I know that we look to Christ for comfort and strength—Paul was no stranger to knowing the Lord’s presence to embolden him for the hard road ahead. But isn’t this wonderful? When Paul saw the... Continue Reading
Set Loose in a Mud Pit
God asks us to live in a chaotic and tumultuous world, but to have hearts that are peaceful and calm.
Every day we encounter situations that threaten to rob us of our peace, contexts in which the uproar around us threatens to cause an uproar within. We see people behaving badly and long to respond in kind. We have people turn on us and feel the longing to retaliate. We grieve, we suffer, we face... Continue Reading
God’s Commands are Filtered Through God’s Love
We tend to think of prohibitions as exceptions to love, but all of God’s commands are filtered through His love.
Today, and every day, we will come up against the hard commands of Jesus. And the temptation will be for us to regard Him as ungenerous. As uncaring. As persnickety. Anything but loving. But here is where we come back not to what we think in the moment, but what we know to be true.... Continue Reading
Jordan Peterson: The Last Professor
Quite simply, Peterson refused to use these pronouns—“ze,” “zhe,” “zir,” and so forth.
Jordan Peterson is a professor, a pretty decent professor. He may not be the greatest thinker currently alive in western civilization, but he doesn’t need to be. No professor does. He does what a professor should do: he interrogates assumptions, presents his ideas in a clear and cogent manner, and is a respectful and courteous... Continue Reading
A Reflection on Kindness from Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See
By Christ’s ultimate act of kindness in laying down his life for us on the cross, we are given new life.
Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See promises a story that “illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.” This intricate work of historical fiction delivers on that promise and provides a compelling journey for any reader; but for the Christian, I believe it offers enduring lessons... Continue Reading
The Life We Cannot Live
“I’m so thankful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it.”
How good it is to know that when God looks at you in Christ, he doesn’t see your shabby catalogue of sins and failures—he sees the pristine life of his beloved Son. He doesn’t see your bad temper, but Christ’s perfect patience and love. He doesn’t see your lusts and fantasies but Christ’s perfect purity... Continue Reading
Helpful Things You Can Say to Grieving Parents
It can be awkward to reach out to those who are deep in grief. Here are some helpful phrases.
I recently consulted with a few other parents who have experienced the loss of a child and want to offer a few things you can say to grieving parents that may prove an encouragement to them—a flicker of light in their time of deep darkness. These phrases may be helpful to people experiencing other forms... Continue Reading
What Did the Cross Achieve? Seven Truths and Sixteen Quotes from John Murray
For those who have asked questions about why the cross was needful and what the cross accomplished, Murray provides a great start.
For Christians, knowing what God did in the cross of Christ is vital for understanding our faith. Moreover, if we intend to share the gospel, make disciples, or defend the faith, we need to understand these truths as well, starting with the necessity and the nature of the cross. Therefore, learning why and what the... Continue Reading