It seems some Calvinists get so concerned about John 3:16 being used as a “gotcha” against the Doctrines of Grace that they can go too far in overcorrecting. Some work so hard to show what all the verse does not mean that they fail to eagerly embrace all that it does mean. Certainly, John 3:16 […]
One of the reasons we make resolutions is that we are people who do better with some type of regimen or schedule. We rarely naturally drift into a variety of positive habits for our lives, so we need a plan. Think about it, do you need to commit to eating poorly, or does that just […]
There are truckloads of webpages about how to officiate a marriage ceremony. And for the most part, what the couple wants may dictate the majority of those details. But I believe there are three essential parts of a marriage ceremony where I encourage every Bride and Groom, and Officiant, to focus the majority of their […]
Do you know that feeling when you start to tell someone about the Lord and you realize they do not already know Him? Do you get a pit in your stomach sometimes—a warning not to go there? Our natural response to difficulty is sometimes “flight.” Telling your neighbor that God will not only judge him or her but that God is right to do so can be frightening! It is no wonder we fail so many times in our evangelism—it is truly counter to our flesh’s desires for comfort!
Jesus Reigns! Psalm 96 is like a lot of passages of the Bible—this chapter isn’t simply written about a single topic. Psalm 96 references our need to sing to the Lord Jesus Christ (Psalm 96:1-2), evangelize the nations (Psalm 96:2-3), fear the Lord (Psalm 96:4), recognize Him as Creator and everything else as an idol […]
Last week, new neighbors moved into the house across the street from us. I wrote them a note and I thought other people may benefit from it. If you are not actively trying to reach your neighbors with the gospel, why not? What is holding you back? Here is the letter. Feel free to copy […]
George Alvarado, Michael Coughlin, and Chuck Ivey discuss what it means to submit to the government or practice civil disobedience. Is there a balance? Does submission to the government mean you’re a statist? If you call out the injustices and practice civil disobedience, does that mean you are not practicing Romans 13? How do we […]
Here I am, a Baptist writing a post against baptism. That might be like Michael writing a post dogging the Big 10 or something. But actually, this post isn’t actually against baptism. Rather, it’s because I love baptism so much that I write today’s post. Now originally, this post was a response to J.D. Greear […]
Jesus, the lamb of God, became sin for His people that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus was the lamb who never strayed from the pasture, yet he took on the penalty deserved by foolish and rebellious sheep. Jesus is the lost sheep when he is suffering the penalty for our sins. Jesus is the one who cries to God to be sought after in this state. And Jesus is the one who never forgot God’s commands.
In God’s kind providence, it was a biblical understanding of the great doctrine of regeneration that birthed (I’m not sure if I’m intending the pun or not) the evangelical movement of the 18th century. Sadly, it is also a misunderstanding and underemphasis of this doctrine that has contributed to the unraveling of evangelicalism in the […]
Men, mean, and misogyny all start with the same letter. Obviously, guys are jerks and need to calm down. And women need to be filling the pulpit because the resurrection of Jesus was first announced to women. Believe it or not, that’s the sort of argumentation you get in the Twitterverse when you say anything […]
Pray Like Jesus Psalms 119:169 Taw Let my cry come before you, O Yahweh; give me understanding according to your word! As we begin to close the longest chapter of the Bible, we might be tempted to think that God has already said everything that can be said. We must put away any thought that […]
It has been said that there are two religions in the world: the religion of grace and the religion of works. A distinguishing characteristic of the religion of works is that somehow the good deeds a man does are what pleases his deity. This is true whether that religion sees man as inherently good or as innately sinful. Since this is an affront to the gospel of grace, our Scriptures go to great lengths to destroy any hope men can have to save themselves by proclaiming the gospel of grace (Romans 3:24,25; Ephesians 2:8, 9). But wicked men will always twist good religion to their own ends and many a man has proclaimed the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ apart from works as a license to sin.
One of the ways God helps us to walk in his ways while we strive to imitate Christ is by granting us awareness of His immanence. Nothing can be hidden from the anthropomorphic eyes of God. For the heathen, this truth is blatantly denied as they fancy themselves into thinking they will escape judgment. It’s not always because men think they are good that they shall escape judgment, but sometimes it is that they think no one knows of their crimes. The child of God whose heart has been quickened earnestly desires obedience to God’s precepts and adherence to God’s testimonies, yet he or she still finds it difficult to obey. The spirit and flesh are opposed to each other and the battle rages, and sometimes the flesh wins.
Christianity is thought of by many as the “religion of niceness.” Whoever came up with that idea knows very little of the scripture. Yes, Christians are called to be kind and should be known by their kindness and meekness. But too often we mistake kindness for fake-virtues like “never disagreeing with anyone,” and “never hating anything or anyone.” But as David speaks here, so does the Christ, “I hate and abhor falsehood.” Jesus Christ is the Truth and falsehood is a lie. Thus it is fitting that we should hate the opposite (falsehood) of that which we love (Christ). God chooses more than one word here to denote His holy hatred for lying. God personally hates lying and morally detests it.
We vomit spoiled food almost instantaneously, not because we think about it and decide we should expel it, but because our bodies are naturally designed to protect us. We have a *”gag reflex” for a reason, and it prevents things from getting deep inside us before we have time to realize all the effects. Similarly, our Christian conscience and convictions, bathed in the Word and Law of God, are capable of causing a natural aversion to sin and evil before we’ve even had time to consider it. We are disgusted by the ideas of lying, stealing, vandalism, gossip, slander, sexual immorality, rape, orgies, homosexual acts and desires, drunkness, hypocrisy, envy, sorcery, and faithlessness. A Christian who is growing in holiness and separation from worldly lusts will find themselves more quickly disgusted when they encounter rampant wickedness and filth as they walk their path in this world (James 1:21).
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the entire Bible. It’s longer than several entire books. I imagine that due to our propensity to read to the end of the chapter, a good number of people read Psalm 119 in one sitting when they get to it in their Bible reading plan. While there is […]
It is easy to be anxious in this world. We are surrounded by difficulty even when we are not being chased down by evildoers. A Christian’s comfort must begin with God. And the only way we can find comfort is with a God who is near to us. Other religions brag of completely transcendent gods. Some religions have gods who are so much like us that it’s impossible to discern what makes them gods in the first place. But our God, the God of Heaven and Earth, is near to us. He is omnipresent so we always have access to Him through Jesus Christ who shed his blood for us then rose again and ascended into Heaven. There is no place we can go to avoid His presence (as if we’d want to!).
The promise we have received is no different, but we have received more revelation. We meditate on the aspects of that promise which are already fulfilled: that Jesus Christ has come into the world. He was born of the virgin, conceived without the stain of sin by the Holy Spirit, and was perfectly righteous before the Father in every respect, although He was tempted by Satan (Hebrew 4:15). He was delivered to death and suffered the wrath of almighty God for sinners, (Isaiah 53:11), was buried, and on the third day rose from the grave (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). THIS is what we meditate upon, and all its implications: that we are wretched sinners, that Christ is a kind and gracious and all-sufficient savior, and that only by grace through faith can salvation be accomplished (among others)!
But the month of December is still a special month for most. The secular and religious alike buy trees and presents and send greeting cards to one another. This is your chance! Buy (or design) a Christmas card with a gospel message and give it to everyone you can. Even if you give people a card with only a Bible verse printed on it like Luke 2:11 or Matthew 1:21, that’s a good start.
Whether or not the liturgical calendar is even on your radar, we hope these devotions give you an opportunity to think about the incarnation, the reason Jesus came, and afford you the opportunity to dialogue with your family and others about the glory and greatness of Christ our treasure and King. This is week 3 […]