One of the most important experiences of my life was when my wife and I attended a dedication ceremony for a Wanca Quechua translation of the New Testament in Peru. Rick and Melanie Floyd, workers from our church, devoted decades of their lives so that these people would have the Bible in their own language. People at the ceremony were weeping because they were able to rea...Keep Reading
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One of the most important experiences of my life was when my wife and I attended a dedication ceremony for a Wanca Quechua translation of the New Testament in Peru. Rick and Melanie Floyd, workers from our church, devoted decades of their lives so that these people would have the Bible in their own language. People at the ceremony were weeping because they were able to read a Bible in their own language for the first time. ...
Most Christians I know are pretty intimidated by the communal approach to life displayed by the early church in Acts 2. We read of selling possessions and distributing the proceeds, and console ourselves with the idea that modern superannuation and social security make these verses irrelevant. John taking Mary into his home, his family tending to her in her old age? Gosh, thank goodness for nursing homes, am I right?...
The words of Scripture are trustworthy words. To hear scripture is to hear God. And His words are spirit and life (John 6:63). To walk away or neglect the regular meditation of the Word and the fellowship of the Word-speaking community is to cut yourself off from your very life-source and identity in Christ. It is a faithless abandonment of what a Christian is called to do and a reckless, self-destructive path with devastating consequences....
What if church members began their own form of sermon preparation? For countless decades, we have heard about the role of pastors in sermon preparation. The number of hours they need to prepare. The priority of preparation. The role of prayer in sermon preparation. But what if church members prepared for each sermon they heard? What if they believed their roles as recipients of the Word are also crucially important?...
"We just don't feel connected." Both of them felt the same way. Somewhere in the timeline of their relationship they had begun to drift apart and now they felt as if they were living lives that were running on a parallel track rather than living lives intimately connected. But how do you solve the problem of "connectedness"?...
This month we will be inducting new members into the most honored body the world has ever known: the church of Jesus Christ. The initiation fee for this club is so high that no human could have ever paid it; God himself had to pick up the tab. The benefits of the club never expire. The fellowship of the club is unmatched; you receive intimate access to the Lord himself (John 17:23). With such benefits, you'd think church membership would be held in infinitely high esteem. But for many reasons, Christians seem to think less of it than ever before. If you're one who looks upon church membership lightly, then I invite you to reconsider....
We are not as strong in the faith as we think we are. Peter had to find out the hard way when he denied Jesus three times (John 18:15-27). Peter the 'rock' crumbled like a cookie before a slave girl on the night that Jesus was betrayed. And yet we are told that he repented of his failure and was restored by Jesus himself in John 21:15-19. He repented because Jesus prayed for him in John 17:9 and in Luke 22:31-32....
A word of wisdom from Charles Spurgeon - "Is the truth that which I imagine to be revealed to me by some private communication? Am I to fancy that I enjoy some special Revelation and am I to order my life by voices, dreams and impressions? Brothers and Sisters, fall not into this common delusion!"...
This article by Heidi Carlson first appeared at thegospelcoalition.org called "The Benefits of Going to Church on Vacation". Airline tickets? Check. Rental car? Check. Hotel? Check. Church for Sunday? Uh, no. This is vacation. There are many reasons we don't attend church while on vacation or traveling abroad. We wouldn't know anyone at the church, so we might be unco...Keep Reading
Most Christians I know are pretty intimidated by the communal approach to life displayed by the early church in Acts 2. We read of selling possessions and distributing the proceeds, and console ourselves with the idea that modern superannuation and social security make these verses irrelevant. John taking Mary into his home, his family tending to her in her old age? Gosh, ...Keep Reading
Every generation has philosophical winds that blow across the landscape of a nation or even an entire continent. These winds often begin from an epicenter of suffering and bring about a different way of looking at life. Africa has had its fair share of these winds, and as a result missionary efforts here have had to deal with them. One question that combines the philosophi...Keep Reading
I’ll never forget Andrew. He joined the church several years ago. He came from the UK and didn’t plan to be in the States very long. Andrew was young, single, and lived in a small apartment. He had every excuse under the sun to not be a good neighbor. And yet, he is one of the most hospitable men I’ve ever met. He regularly welcomed co-workers, next-door-neighbors, a...Keep Reading
When my church gathers, it appears we have little in common. Our skin colors vary. Our political tastes differ. Cultural backgrounds have ingrained us with diverse identities. We have distinct preferences and convictions....Keep Reading
Listening to sermons online is generally a good thing but when it takes the place of gathering with God's people to hear God's word in person much of what God intended for our growth as followers of Jesus gets lost....Keep Reading
"Scripture is full of exhortations to God’s people to sing and make music to the Lord. Our God has been gracious to give us this means to worship Him. But it is important to understand that music in our worship is for two specific purposes: to honor God and to edify our fellow believers. Unfortunately, many Christians tend to grant music a sacramental power which Scriptu...Keep Reading
Most people don't enjoy conflict. We tend to avoid it if we can. I suppose there is something healthy about this fact. We certainly don't want to enjoy conflict. However, there is something that is lost, particularly for Christians, when we avoid biblically handling necessary conflict. We could rightly say that in this case there is an unhealthy avoidance of conflict....Keep Reading
If you are single today, the portion assigned to you for today is singleness. It is God's gift. Singleness ought not to be viewed as a problem, nor marriage as a right. God in his wisdom and love grants either as a gift....Keep Reading
The Christian that knows only to bemoan the state of society is the Christian that will succumb to silence. Love for God and love for others must conquer our fear. We must not assume that our unchurched friends and neighbors are hostile to our faith. When we believe the myth that everyone hates us, we tend to retreat to our closets where we hide our lamp under a bowl. W...Keep Reading
Kindness, rightly understood, is a Christian virtue, a manner of being that is shaped by love. We are kind when we treat one another the way we want to be treated. We are kind when we lend a sympathetic ear, when we bear with others despite their faults, when we respond to conflict with empathy and gentleness. But kindness and love are not the same thing, and whenever w...Keep Reading
The Old Testament can be disorienting. God reveals himself in clouds of fire, in a whirlwind, even in person. He brings people to mountaintops and speaks to them. He wrestles with Jacob. Isaiah sees him high and lifted up on the throne. It was so in the beginning when Adam and Eve walked with their Maker in the garden. God appeared to Abram (Gen. 17:1), Jacob saw him fa...Keep Reading
The passion narrative is a familiar story with familiar elements: chief priests, Golgotha, two thieves, Pilate, the crowd, the cross, the tomb, and of course, Jesus. But there is a central piece we tend to overlook. According to Matthew, the temple is an essential part of that fateful week. Matthew mentions the temple 16 times over the final eight chapters. It's no a...Keep Reading
What if church members began their own form of sermon preparation? For countless decades, we have heard about the role of pastors in sermon preparation. The number of hours they need to prepare. The priority of preparation. The role of prayer in sermon preparation. But what if church members prepared for each sermon they heard? What if they believed their roles as re...Keep Reading
At the heart of habit is the brilliance of our Creator. Making decisions takes time and energy, and habits keep us from having to make the same decisions over and over again....Keep Reading
"We just don't feel connected." Both of them felt the same way. Somewhere in the timeline of their relationship they had begun to drift apart and now they felt as if they were living lives that were running on a parallel track rather than living lives intimately connected. But how do you solve the problem of "connectedness"?...Keep Reading
The pursuit of porn has bad consequences. We need no special insight to see it erodes relationships and never satisfies. But bad consequences aren't enough to stop us. We must be ready with persuasive reasons to put up a fight....Keep Reading
The Article by Erik Raymond first appreared in The Gospel Coalition Website. After purchasing something during the Christmas season the salesperson handed me the receipt and said, "Here you go. You will be contacted in a few days to complete a brief survey. You could win a gift-certificate." I smiled politely and said, "OK. Thanks." It's not that I was going to avoid the ...Keep Reading
When we trade out sola scriptura for sola experienca we not only lose the power to sanctify but the essence of what it means to live as a Christian. On the other hand, the Christian worldview drives us to an external word...Keep Reading
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15) Jesus felt the full force of all temptations. The ones that we feel and cave upon he felt to the highest level...Keep Reading
We often hear that those who don't affirm modern feminism are "anti-woman." Christians are no exception. We sometimes get tagged with this epithet, and once the label sticks we're either total sellouts (the women) or knuckle-dragging Neanderthals (the men). In light of this claim, it's remarkable to consider how the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus Christ, inte...Keep Reading
This month we will be inducting new members into the most honored body the world has ever known: the church of Jesus Christ. The initiation fee for this club is so high that no human could have ever paid it; God himself had to pick up the tab. The benefits of the club never expire. The fellowship of the club is unmatched; you receive intimate access to the Lord himself (Jo...Keep Reading
In the midst of struggle, the Christian does well to remind themselves of the gospel comforts of Scripture. There is peace to be had and love to enjoy. Our Heavenly Father ever extends His grace to us. The Christian also does well to take to heart gospel encouragements. We desire to pursue Christ and work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). As we ...Keep Reading
In his book The Forgotten Fear, Albert Martin lists eight "specific directives for maintaining and increasing the fear of God in our hearts." What follows are his eight directives along with summaries of each point in his own words (lightly tweaked). ...Keep Reading
Most of our resolutions are aimed at changing certain things about ourselves. Here are 10 questions to ask of resolutions (whatever time of year they're made) to ensure we're being gospel-centered in our approach to change....Keep Reading
There's been a lot of talk in the blogosphere this year about the rise of "celebrity pastors" with "rock-star status" and the larger-than-life influence of popular conference speakers whose sermons are downloaded by the thousands. Some have openly decried this development; others are glad that at least pastors are being celebrated. Most of us are somewhere in the middle....Keep Reading
What is doctrine? In its basic sense, doctrine is any sort of teaching. The Bible, for example, talks about the teachings of men (Mark 7:7...Keep Reading
One of the greatest needs of our dark times is for the Christian church to regain her true identity and character. To understand what the church is designed to be, the best place to inquire is at its founding in the time of the apostles. "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers" (Acts 2:42)....Keep Reading
Scripture teaches us to love our neighbor (Leviticus 19:18), and Jesus in his famous story makes the point that our neighbor is whatever person God has placed right in front of us (Luke 10:29...Keep Reading
When the heat of our neighbor's sin singes our conscience and our own creeps in on us, we often respond in fear, cynicism, and hopelessness. This is why we can sing lines like "prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love" with great ease, yet still find it hard to believe God can actually take "my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above....Keep Reading
The answer is that the Bible presents a person as a substance that can do personal and relational things (such as speaking, thinking, feeling, acting). Something that does these personal things in relationship...Keep Reading
All Christians are made differently, but we're also made to work together. As an individual believer you may be a foot or a finger or a follicle, but you are part of a body, the church, and it is as part of that body that you're most yourself...Keep Reading
The Reformation principle of sola Scriptura has to do with the sufficiency of Scripture as our supreme authority in all spiritual matters. Sola Scriptura simply means that all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life is taught either explicitly or implicitly in Scripture....Keep Reading
Faithful evangelism is so crucial to the health of a church. The gospel that is grasped is given away. Most Christians agree and even want to see this happen but often struggle with implementing it in their lives. In this post I want to provide a few practical, immediate things that you can do to foster more evangelistic faithfulness....Keep Reading
Evangelism rises or falls based upon the reality of the resurrection. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, there is no good news to share: sin and death still reign, we worship a dead and decomposing deity, and Christians should be pitied because we are deceived and pathetic. On the other hand, if the resurrection is true, every Christian should be compelled to share this ...Keep Reading
Lamentations is basically a series of poems expressing the funeral dirge for the nation of Israel following their destruction by Babylon. It is graphic and in several places it is quite disturbing....Keep Reading
For Christians, there is no excuse to be grinchy and scroogeish this Christmas. Here are ten ways we can remember to be Christians this Christmas...Keep Reading
Tis' the most wonderful time of the year ... and it's a unique opportunity to give the good news of Jesus to your unbelieving family....Keep Reading
Can we be sure that we actually have the words of Scripture? Michael Kruger helps us to have confidence in our bibles....Keep Reading
At any given time just about every church has some people who are in danger of drifting away, and no longer participating in the life of the church. To do so is to directly disobey Hebrews 10:24-25 which says, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and al...Keep Reading
What is true saving faith according to the Bible? And how does this differ from the popular view that "faith" is a blind leap into the unknown. Some great instruction and correction here in this article....Keep Reading
When encouragement is absent from the life of a church people will feel unloved, unimportant, useless, and forgotten. God knows His people are in need of grace-filled reminders, which is why He calls us to encourage each other every day until His Son returns (Hebrews 3:13)....Keep Reading
New Testament scholar Don Carson, in his essay "What is the Gospel?" notes that the good news of Jesus Christ is grounded in historical facts....Keep Reading
No matter what name is used, the essence of this new gospel is the same. Simply put, this egocentric "prosperity gospel" teaches that God wants believers to be physically healthy, materially wealthy, and personally happy....Keep Reading