sanctification

Thou Shalt Not Steal

Here are some of my thoughts on the eighth commandment from my final sermon on Exodus 20:15. Stealing is the taking of something that isn’t yours or the using of something that isn’t yours without the owner’s consent and approval. Giving Remember that the opposite of...

Why You Should be a Baptist – Part 5

This is the fifth and final post in a series of posts on why you should be a baptist. In the last few posts, we've been looking at what Baptism signifies. We conclude with today's post. Baptism signifies, Resurrection, Regeneration, Renewal, Relocation, Resolve,...

When the Gospel takes Root

The following is an excerpt from my book, From Death to Life: How Salvation Works (you can order this at our shop here at ThingsAbove): Affections, Actions, and Attitudes Here’s a helpful alliteration to assist in discerning whether or not the gospel has actually...
You Ask Me How I Know He Lives?

You Ask Me How I Know He Lives?

A Presbyterian minister named Alfred H. Ackley wrote hundreds of hymns. One of the most well-known of these is "He Lives." I found this article that gives some history and even an explanation of the song if you are interested. But my goal in this post is simply to...

On Vacay? Out of Town? Go to Church!

On Vacay? Out of Town? Go to Church!

Whether they hold to the doctrine of the Christian Sabbath or not, Christians should universally believe in the significance and importance of attending church. Yet folks skip miss church for all sorts of reasons—and most of them are bad reasons. One of the worst reasons Christians miss weekly worship is due to a vacation or travel schedule.

I believe that Christians should make every effort to schedule their lives around the Lord’s Day. Worshipping Christ in communion with the saints should be the focal point of your week…and everything else should fit in around that. If you follow that principle, you will never find yourself traveling all day Sunday and missing church or lounging on the beach when you should be gathering corporately. A mind set on being ready to meet with God on Sunday with the saints will take the necessary steps on Saturday to not be too tired for church, for example.

How to Obey God

How to Obey God

True believers are actually being made holy by the power of God. The work of Christ didn’t just purchase a legal declaration but also a practical application of holiness. This is another blessing the believer possesses in Christ. J.C. Ryle elaborates: The Lord Jesus...

The Immeasurable Greatness of His Power

The Immeasurable Greatness of His Power

We are working through the book of Ephesians at Perryville Second Baptist Church. Recently, we came upon Ephesians 1:19 where Paul prays that the Ephesians would know what is the immeasurable greatness of God's power toward believers. It's a really great prayer. And...

Is Gambling Okay?

Is Gambling Okay?

The Question After we published our second playoff roundtable episode for the year, I received a question via email from a listener. Would you consider friendly wagers of $5–10 sinful? I think this is a question worth answering, and I'll attempt to do it with brevity...

Reflections on a World Without Sports

Reflections on a World Without Sports

It's over. America's sportsless drought is over. We've gone months without professional team sports and it's finally over. Sports are back. As an avid sports fan, I am thrilled. When 2020 did its thing and canceled sports I was devastated. In the month of March alone,...

Psalm 119:173-176 — Seek Your Servant Like a Lost Sheep

Psalm 119:173-176 — Seek Your Servant Like a Lost Sheep

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.

Psalm 119:169-172 — Eruption of Praise

Psalm 119:169-172 — Eruption of Praise

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...

Psalm 119:165-168 — Cause → Effect

Psalm 119:165-168 — Cause → Effect

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.

Psalm 119:161-164— Do You Hate Falsehood?

Psalm 119:161-164— Do You Hate Falsehood?

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.

Psalm 119:157-160 — We Are In A Battle

Psalm 119:157-160 — We Are In A Battle

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).

Living Things Grow

Living Things Grow

The following is an excerpt from my book, From Death to Life: How Salvation Works. You can check out ordering information at our store. Living Things Grow When the gospel penetrates our hearts and changes our affections for Christ it will show in our outward behavior....

Psalm 119:153-156— Christ Alone Delivers

Psalm 119:153-156— Christ Alone Delivers

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....

Psalm 119:149-152 — Be Comforted For God Is Near

Psalm 119:149-152 — Be Comforted For God Is Near

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!).

Psalm 119:145-148— Meditate on the PROMISE

Psalm 119:145-148— Meditate on the PROMISE

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)!

Abounding Love

Abounding Love

The Apostle Paul told the Phillippians that his prayer for them was that their love would abound more and more with knowledge and all discernment. If the Lord inspired Paul to pray for these saints this way and record it for us, I think we ought to know what it means...

Psalm 119:141-144 — Assurance of Perseverance

Psalm 119:141-144 — Assurance of Perseverance

First, we note the extent and duration of God’s righteousness. It is righteous forever. There is no other being of whom that can be said. God is eternal and unchanging. Thus, His righteousness is forever righteous. What a comfort to know that our God will not change and will forever be righteous. Secondly, we note the quality of God’s righteousness. His righteousness is righteous. While this seems obvious, it bears remarking that God describes our righteousness in very different terms. Isaiah 64:6 reminds us that “all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” God’s righteousness is contrasted with ours in that His righteousness is eternal and unblemished righteousness. There is no stain on God’s righteousness and it isn’t pushed about by winds of change. Praise Him!

Psalm 119:137-140 — Zeal + Ignorance = Worthless Religion

Psalm 119:137-140 — Zeal + Ignorance = Worthless Religion

In Romans 10:2-4, Paul criticizes the Israelites for having a zeal for God but not according to knowledge. It is not that they didn’t know who God is or that they worshipped the wrong God. No, Paul’s admonition is that the Israelites knew God, but didn’t comprehend His righteousness. Thus, they didn’t submit to it, nor were they grasping their need for Christ’s righteousness to cover them. But the Israelites could not blame the psalmist. For centuries before the incarnation, Psalm 119 was telling the people of God’s righteousness and His faithful promise. Thus, the psalmist is consumed with his own zeal for God’s righteous testimonies. He is consumed with zeal for God’s faithful promise as a contrast to the ignorance of his enemies.

Psalm 119:133-136 — Does Your Love Bring You To Tears?

Psalm 119:133-136 — Does Your Love Bring You To Tears?

God justifies us by grace through faith alone, and that faith is followed by good works (Ephesians 2:10). God doesn’t just forgive sinners and leave them in their sin; He promises them help along the way (Proverbs 3:6). That is his promise to us. God provides us with new affections and desires. But in our unredeemed flesh, we still must wage war with sin. Confessing our weakness, we ought to pray with the psalmist “let no iniquity get dominion over me!” It is good and right to plan on not sinning, but we humbly request God to be the power that enables us to walk in newness of life. A healthy fear of the power of sin is essential to avoid it. It is those who think they stand who are in most danger of falling (1 Corinthians 10:12). Humbly acknowledge your need for His grace today.

Ep. 029 | Brad Weber Interview — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 029 | Brad Weber Interview — TAU Roundtable

Michael interviews Brad Weber of Theology Nights @ http://theologynights.com/ Theology Nights offers Reformed theology, articles, teaching, videos, and podcasts. In this episode, Brad gives us insight into his former life of addiction and what drives him to do what he...

Psalm 119:129-132 — Into The Light

Psalm 119:129-132 — Into The Light

God is glorified by His giving of more and more grace. It magnifies God’s benevolence and kindness in the eyes of creatures when He expresses pity on them and blesses them with still more grace. Oh, how many Christians will go to Heaven and only realize there that there was more grace available in this life had they only asked. God will never run out and you can never exhaust His grace! Too often we don’t ask for more grace because we don’t feel we deserve it.

We never deserve it. That’s why we call it grace. It is not earned. It’s granted by a good and merciful Savior.

Ep. 027 | Dustin Benge Interview — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 027 | Dustin Benge Interview — TAU Roundtable

Michael interviews Dr. Dustin Benge of Southern Seminary about the two sermons he gave at the 2019 Cruciform Conference concerning the cruciform gospel. Dustin preached from Titus 3 and posed 4 questions to consider: Where does a cruciform gospel start? What does a...

Ep. 026 | Michelle Lesley Interview — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 026 | Michelle Lesley Interview — TAU Roundtable

Michael interviews Michelle Lesley of michellelesley.com and A Word Fitly Spoken podcast about Feminism, femininity, biblical womanhood, and Moore. Michelle is a wife, mother, and blogger. You won't want to miss this hard-hitting interview! 🙂 [content type=page...

Psalm 119:125-128— God’s Law > Everything on Earth

Psalm 119:125-128— God’s Law > Everything on Earth

Thus, David begins the end of this octet with the proclamation that God’s precepts are right. All of them! And thus it follows that every other way is false and therefore worthy of disposal. It is not enough for the Christian to say “I believe what I believe but I won’t judge someone else for their beliefs.” This is as hateful as letting a child play with a fork near an outlet or walk through a parking lot with his or her hand unheld. When you love someone, you do what you can to protect them while they are weak, teach them how to protect themselves so they’ll grow, and warn them of the very real dangers they are ignorant of.

Ep. 025 | Various Interviews — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 025 | Various Interviews — TAU Roundtable

Michael interviews a few more interesting people from the Cruciform Conference. Micah Hasty of Micah Hasty Music https://twitter.com/themicahandrew Josh Hamon of https://theministryofwar.com/ Bryan Lamb of https://www.garageministries.com/ [content type=page...

Ep. 024 | Kofi Interview — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 024 | Kofi Interview — TAU Roundtable

Michael interviews Kofi regarding his sermon, Hebrews 12: Cross Purchased Discipline. This discussion will edify saints as you get the benefit of the hours of study which was put in before the Cruciform Conference in Indianapolis. Also, we hear about Kofi's church's...

From the Mailbag: “Judge Not”

From the Mailbag: “Judge Not”

A woman contacted us through our contact us form and expressed some concerns with an article Justin wrote about The Send. I believe her assertions and my responses could be helpful to you, so here they are. For the sake of the post, I'll call her Holly. Hi, Hope...

All The More They Were Eager

All The More They Were Eager

It is the law of God, held before a sinner, that exposes and even entices the indwelling sin. Remember Romans 7? Consider verse 8: “But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead.” There is something about God’s correction which actually livens up the sin that at times lays dormant in our flesh.

The picture that Zephaniah provides to us is a picture of sinners who purposed in their hearts to make all their deeds corrupt. It wasn’t enough that they had fallen short of God’s commands, broken His covenant, and lived in rebellion. Upon hearing of their own deserved judgment, their response is eagerness to make all their deeds corrupt.

Psalm 119:121-124— Deliverance

Psalm 119:121-124— Deliverance

ot only are we promised deliverance from our own cursed flesh, but we are promised freedom from the evil of this world. We long to see the day when all of God’s enemies are finally made a footstool (Hebrews 1:13) so that we might be delivered from them! Our suffering and oppression, although ordained by God and granted by God (Philippians 1:29) is nevertheless something we naturally want to avoid. We long for the time and place where God will wipe away every tear (Revelation 21:4), where there will be no more pain and no more death. Suffering and pain are results of the curse, and all creation groans to be delivered—ourselves included (Romans 8:22-23). It is this meaningful focus on future deliverance that strengthens the child of God for every circumstance in this world. We are not promised health and wealth now, but when we inherit all the rewards earned by the Christ, we will be glad we traded none of them for temporary comfort!

Psalm 119:117-120 — God Discards the Dross

Psalm 119:117-120 — God Discards the Dross

God’s holy hatred for sinners is pure and so much more terrifying than we tend to want to think about. The KJV says, “Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes,” and the sense is truly terrible. There is no mercy for the wicked when God’s judgment comes. Therefore, we must all the more earnestly tell sinners of the mercy of God which can be found today. And we must never diminish the terror of the Lord. The heathen will rage (Psalm 2:1) and the weak of heart will accuse us of fear-mongering, but there can be no compromise when we preach the wrath of God because to tone down God’s hatred for sinners has the practical effect of diminishing Christ’s love for sinners, as well.

Psalm 119:113-116 — My Hiding Place and My Shield

Psalm 119:113-116 — My Hiding Place and My Shield

Not only is God our hiding place, but He is our shield. He is our defense against everything hurled toward us by the enemy. There is no condemnation from God for those who are in Christ Jesus, the hiding place, but the condemnation of men is in ample supply. God does not promise that his people will avoid attacks from evildoers. But He acts as our shield. It is God who takes the brunt of the punishment when we are accosted for our faith (Acts 9:5). With a shield, we will still feel the impact of the blows and experience the heat of the battle, but we will not receive a fatal blow until the shield determines it is time.

Psalm 119:109-112 — Sorrows, Snares, Sons, and a Savior

Psalm 119:109-112 — Sorrows, Snares, Sons, and a Savior

The Antidote to Sorrows Psalms 119:109  I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law. David was no stranger to danger. He was constantly threatened, yet refused to forget God's law. He wrote, "I hold my life in my hand continually..." and this...

Psalm 119:105-108 — Freewill, Oaths, and More Affliction

Psalm 119:105-108 — Freewill, Oaths, and More Affliction

God's Word Lights The Way Psalms 119:105 ESV  Nun Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. The 14th octet of this great psalm begins with this oft memorized declaration about God's illuminating Word. The psalmist notes that God's word is a lamp to his...

Psalm 119:101-104 — Sweeter Than Honey

Psalm 119:101-104 — Sweeter Than Honey

Honey is never bitter or sour, and neither is the Bible to the adopted child of God. We taste it, take it within ourselves, and then come back for more. But like honey, it has to be searched for and found, then extracted from its comb. Honey doesn’t come from Heaven in jars. There is danger and even peril in taking the fruit of the bee, and we also must be willing to endure trial when we dig into God’s Word. You may even get stung!

Polyamory and a Jealous God

Polyamory and a Jealous God

One of the ways we proclaim our great Savior to the world is through the institution of marriage. Marriage is a picture of Christ and His Bride, the Church (Ephesians 5:32). We reflect God's faithfulness, mercy, and love when we love our spouse the way He has...

Psalm 119:97-100 — Elevated Wisdom

Psalm 119:97-100 — Elevated Wisdom

What's Your Meditation? Psalms 119:97 ESV  Mem Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. The book of psalms starts out with Blessed is the man who delights in God's law and meditates on it day and night (Psalm 1:1-2). That recurring theme is not lost on...

Psalm 119:93-96 — Limited Perfection

Psalm 119:93-96 — Limited Perfection

We Remember Psalms 119:93 ESV I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life. One of the most depressing themes of scripture is the frequency and ease with which the people of God tend to forget what He has said. The Scripture is replete with...

Ep. 022 | Getting Apostasy Right — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 022 | Getting Apostasy Right — TAU Roundtable

Michael, Tim, and George discuss the New Covenant promise of the perseverance of the saints and Tim’s article “Choked Out by Thorns.” How are we to think about folks who fall away like Joshua Harris or Marty Sampson? What assurance can a Christian have in this life that they will truly be preserved to the end?

What steps can someone take to make their calling and election sure and watch out for their brethren?

Psalm 119:89-92 — Established

Psalm 119:89-92 — Established

Firmly Fixed Psalms 119:89 ESV  Lamedh Forever, O Yahweh, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. It is hard to believe we are starting the second half of Psalm 119. It has taken over 6 months and anyone involved in this devotion or memorizing this psalm has...

Psalm 119:85-88 — They Have Dug Pitfalls

Psalm 119:85-88 — They Have Dug Pitfalls

Insolent Pitfalls! Psalms 119:85  The insolent have dug pitfalls for me; they do not live according to your law. There is a principle which plays out in the life of every true Christian. And that is the world will hate you because they hated your master, Jesus. The...

Psalm 119:81-84 — Our Whole Being Longs for God

Psalm 119:81-84 — Our Whole Being Longs for God

We Have No Other Hope Psalms 119:81  Kaph My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word. The Kaph octave begins with a description of deep longing. The word for long in verses 81 and 82 is the same word used in verse 87 where the psalmist laments that the...

Psalm 119:77-80 — May God Supply!

Psalm 119:77-80 — May God Supply!

In the second half of the Yodh octave, we continue the series of supplications that David is making of the Lord. In Psalm 119:76, he refers to God's promise of salvation and his desire for the comfort of God's. The last four verses of that section build on that theme....

Ep. 021 | Getting the New Covenant Right — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 021 | Getting the New Covenant Right — TAU Roundtable

Michael and George discuss the New Covenant. This covenant is unmixed, unbreakable and unconditional. This is the first in a series where we will define the New Covenant, discuss its implications, apply it to the Christian life, and then contrast it to errors that...

Psalm 119:73-76 — Sovereign Creator

Psalm 119:73-76 — Sovereign Creator

The most fondly looked upon saints in history were built up in the faith (Jude 1:20) through their own suffering which led to earnest prayer. And they, like the faithful ones of Hebrews 11, looked forward to God’s promise to his servant to endure. It is the hope of Heaven that allows weak vessels to remain faithful during suffering. It is the promise that God will not lose any of His sheep that provides the strength to do good in the midst of evil. And it is the comfort we find in God’s steadfast love toward us that motivates us to be still and know that He is God when the only hope we have is that he will do all that He has promised, even when all earthly evidence appears to the contrary.

Psalm 119:69-72 — More Affliction?

Psalm 119:69-72 — More Affliction?

Smearing With Lies Psalms 119:69  The insolent smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts; We’ve seen throughout Psalm 119 that the psalmist is no stranger to affliction. He is humble, honest, and strives to serve the Lord with all his heart. He...

Psalm 119:65-68 — Afflicted by God

Psalm 119:65-68 — Afflicted by God

Here is where we arrive at meat and potatoes of Psalm 119: the Teth octave. Why do God's people suffer affliction? Are they not to be rewarded for their love and devotion to Him? What message does it portray to the unbelieving world when God cannot even protect His...

Psalm 119:61-64 — Companionship

Psalm 119:61-64 — Companionship

The Cords of the Wicked Psalms 119:61 Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me, I do not forget your law. We have seen the psalmist proclaim the excellencies of loving God's law even in the midst of trouble (Psalm 119:23). Now we find language reminiscent of Psalm...

Psalm 119:57-60 — What’s Your Portion?

Psalm 119:57-60 — What’s Your Portion?

ou would spit out foul tasting food the moment it touched your tongue. You’d remove your hand from a fire before you could feel the heat. Without planning, we rarely go more than a few hours without a meal. We naturally recoil from things we dislike and naturally crave that which will nourish us when we need it. So why is it that you are able to go so long without feasting on God’s Word? Why do you linger so long with sin and temptations to sin? Why does your mind not recoil from wicked thoughts as your hand from a hot flame? The answer is that a part of us still likes the sin, still finds enjoyment there rather than in Jesus.

Psalm 119:53-56 — Righteous Anger?

Psalm 119:53-56 — Righteous Anger?

The goal of growing in godliness is to become more like Christ and think His thoughts after Him (2 Corinthians 10:5). But what many of us do is to become so committed to “never getting angry anymore” that instead of avoiding anger because it’s sinful and we hate it, we simply avoid the thoughts or emotions that ever even evoke anger from us. We become stoics out of strict pragmatism. We have traded sinful anger for sinful legalism. When what we ought to do is follow the man, Jesus Christ, who experienced all the temptations we do, yet exercised perfect anger, never sinning as the result. Avoiding anger altogether because you indulged too deeply in that sin before conversion is akin to avoiding church because you were a religious zealot before Christ. Put away the old—but put on the new.

Serving Two Masters: STTA!

Serving Two Masters: STTA!

Something To Think About! I believe most Christians understand Christ's teaching about serving two masters. Jesus says "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot...

God Hears Your Prayers: STTA!

God Hears Your Prayers: STTA!

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The first verse of the Bible as well as basic reasoning each point to God as the creator of the world. Nothing exists without Him. He is all-powerful. There is no being greater than He is. No being...

Psalm 119:49-52 — Comfort Amidst Affliction

Psalm 119:49-52 — Comfort Amidst Affliction

when we are confronted with the temptation to be ashamed of God or His law, our only hope is to continue to trust in God and His Word! Christian, have you ever felt the need to apologize for God? How about when nonbelievers accuse God of evil because He judges His own creation? Or when God has provisions for slave owners in His Word? What about severe penalties for seemingly minor sins in Israel’s civil law? It is precisely because God’s ways are so different from ours that the wicked scoff at Him and His ways. Flee the temptation to apologize for God and to present Him as more palatable to the unregenerate heart—do not turn away from His law and His Word!

Psalm 119:45-48 — A Wide Place

Psalm 119:45-48 — A Wide Place

In verse 48, notice the repetition of the psalmist’s love for God’s commandments with is a little detail added. For what we find our delight in we will soon find ourselves giving our lives to. Is it not so with you, dear saint, that you dedicate the most time, effort, and energy toward that which you love the most? You want to know what a man loves? Direct your attention to where he spends his money, his time, and his gaze, and you will quickly know!

Careful With Your Mocking: STTA!

Careful With Your Mocking: STTA!

Something To Think About! There is no excuse for mocking someone's God-given looks, disabilities or impediments, or incidental things like the name their parents' gave them. It is not only ungodly behavior, but it is ineffective even from a pragmatic point of view. It...

Psalm 119:41-44 — Answering the Taunter

Psalm 119:41-44 — Answering the Taunter

Secondly, we are reminded that the God of the Old Testament is the same God as the God of the New Testament and that He is a God of love. But not only is God love, what is striking is that He loves me. It is God’s love that is on display at the cross, and David well knows that he has no hope of delighting in the path of God’s commandments (Psalm 119:35) or keeping God’s law (Psalm 119:34) unless God “makes the first move.” We love because He first loved us! In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and gave His Son to be a propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:19,10)!

Should You Attend a Catholic Wedding or Funeral?

Should You Attend a Catholic Wedding or Funeral?

It's a question which many Christians face: Should I attend my friend or family member's Catholic wedding or funeral? Is that the same as being unequally yoked with non-believers? What if someone there gets the wrong idea about what I believe? Does my presence there...

Psalm 119:37-40 — Behold God’s Promise

Psalm 119:37-40 — Behold God’s Promise

Turn My Eyes Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. David has prayed throughout this Psalm, and particularly in the first half of the He octave, for a heart that truly delights in God's ways (Psalm...

Psalm 119:33-36 — Seeking The Way

Psalm 119:33-36 — Seeking The Way

Seek Him Psalm 119:33 He Teach me, O Yahweh, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. As we begin the fifth octave, we find the psalmist repeating the desire to be taught by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Knowing that we have no hope apart from the...

When God Turns His Back On You…

When God Turns His Back On You…

Here is a sincere question from a person who is struggling with her faith: "Why does it seem like when people need God the most he turns his back on them?" Here is my answer to that question: When God Turned Away Let me preface it by saying it’s gonna seem like a...

Psalm 119:29-32 — Shame Shifting

Psalm 119:29-32 — Shame Shifting

Lying Lips Psalms 119:29 ESV Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law! In the first half of the “Daleth” octet, we saw the psalmist confess to God and ask the Lord to guide him to greater understanding, so that he might not continue to sin against...

Hey, About Your Prodigal…

Hey, About Your Prodigal…

The Scene John (in regard to "spiritual children") said that he has no greater joy than to hear that his children walk in the truth (3 John 1:4). Inversely, how great is the despair experienced by the parents of a son or daughter who follows the wide road? I have...

Psalm 119:25-28 — Thirst and Life

Psalm 119:25-28 — Thirst and Life

Thirsty For Life? Psalms 119:25 ESV Daleth. My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! What is brought to your mind when you read this verse? What does it mean for a soul to "cling to the dust?" I think a good clue is in the second clause: "give...

Psalm 34:15-22 – A Moment of Reflection

Psalm 34:15-22 – A Moment of Reflection

Before we begin the final third of Psalm 34, it seems right and good to take a step back and soak in the passage before we dissect it. The first third, verses 1-7, is about simple truths.  The second third, verses 8-14, is about instructions for godliness. Now, in the...

Unintended Consequences

Unintended Consequences

In one of the early releases of iOS 11.0.1, Apple introduced a feature to iPhones called Do Not Disturb While Driving. The reason for this feature is obvious: allow people to drive without the distraction of phone notifications, but give the folks who text the driver...

How to Change Your Spouse

How to Change Your Spouse

I participated in a Q&A recently where a woman anonymously submitted this question: The Word instructs wives to submit to their husband's and RESPECT them. How can I respect a man who is not respectable in my eyes? Bigger Picture Advice First, my big picture...

Do People Who Commit Suicide Go To Hell?

Do People Who Commit Suicide Go To Hell?

"What is the Reformed Baptist view regarding those who commit suicide?" This question was posted on Facebook. The answers vary between "never saved to begin with," to "Jesus' blood covers it." This is one of those questions that is likely to evoke an emotional...

Quick Thoughts on Greetings

Quick Thoughts on Greetings

Why does the Holy Spirit tell us to greet one another throughout the New Testament? I believe that the Lord wants us to greet one another, and, like all Christian virtue, we are apt to forget his command or disobey it, as long as we are on this side of glory. I'll let...

Everyone is an Evangelist

Everyone is an Evangelist

Christianity seems to be marked by a divide between people who actively evangelize and those who do not. Clearly, some folks are particularly burdened about and gifted concerning the dissemination of the Christian gospel. But it is also generally understood that ALL...

Christian, Stop Saying You’re Sorry

Christian, Stop Saying You’re Sorry

One of the core tenets of Christianity is the forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47; Colossians 1:14). To put it another way, without the forgiveness of sins, the gospel of Jesus Christ ceases to make any sense at all. In that respect, the forgiveness of sins is an...

Finding the Gospel in the NBA Finals

Finding the Gospel in the NBA Finals

Start Here The NBA Finals are upon us again. For the 8th straight year Lebron James leads a team from the Eastern Conference while the Goliath of the West, the Warriors, are looking to solidify themselves as maybe the greatest team ever to play. Here at Things Above...

A Guide to Family Worship

A Guide to Family Worship

I did not grow up in a Christian family, so family worship was not something that was modeled for me when I was growing up. Additionally, my first decade as a Christian didn't include a lot of teaching or discussion on the topic of family worship. So a few years ago...

Making the Best Use of the Time

Making the Best Use of the Time

The Will of the Lord In Ephesians 5:16, Paul instructs the church to make the best use of the time (commonly known as redeeming the time). The Apostle reminds his readers that the days we are living in are evil, and that only a fool would live in such a way that he is...

Recent Racist Rhetoric Reflections

Recent Racist Rhetoric Reflections

Hot Take My take on the recent rhetoric about race. There really is evil in the world in the form of racism. Like abortion, some Christians are on the front lines fighting that evil as the outworking of their faith in Christ. This is a good thing. Some Christians are...

Distorting the Gospel by Who You Eat With?

Distorting the Gospel by Who You Eat With?

We recently finished a Bible Intensive Retreat with the brothers from Christian Communicators Worldwide. This was my 5th Intensive and one of the best I’ve attended. We spent 2 days pouring over Galatians 1–2. There was much we learned, much we sharpened one another...

From Death to Life – Book Update

From Death to Life – Book Update

(Photo Credit: Stephen J. Melniszyn) I've had several people asking me about where I am on my current book project, so I thought I'd have a place where I could point folks to give them the latest on how things are progressing. I'm pretty new to this book...

Do ALL Things Without Complaining?

Do ALL Things Without Complaining?

My wife posted the quote below on Facebook in regard to complaining: If you are a sovereigntist, or one who believes in the absolute sovereignty of our God, and you gripe or complain about your circumstances, you're being a hypocrite; for you demonstrate, with your...

Things Above Us?

Things Above Us?

Colossians 3:1-2 is, in essence, the theme of this blog. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of...

It Hurts Right Here

It Hurts Right Here

The Problem A few months ago I developed a tightness in my right Achilles tendon when squatting. When I would hit the bottom of a squat, I would feel a burning sensation where the tendon attaches to my heel. Realizing it was not correct, I stopped achieving full range...