Blog Posts by Marshall Segal
Don’t Tell God He Can’t Give You Good News
There is a hideous, God-belittling lie in believing we’ve sinned ourselves beyond his sovereign mercy. For many of us, it’s not hard to see how our sin has brought pain or conflict or heartache into our lives. How could God possibly rescue me when I am the problem?Continue Reading
A Booby Trap in the Christian Budget
The Bible is clear that we will put our money where our hearts are, so it is important that we regularly test our treasure. There are lots of ways to lose our life over a love for money. We want our money to serve our greatest lasting good and happiness, not kill it. So I proposed four questions to keep close to your wallet:
- Is my spending marked by Christian…
Four Questions to Keep Close to Your Wallet
It’s hard to imagine many things more maligned in Scripture than money.
After all, “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils” (1 Timothy 6:10). Paul didn’t just say that it can be a temptation for some, or that it’s easy to become attached to what money can buy. He says it’s the root of evil — lots and lots of evil. Paul goes on to…Continue Reading
Worship Where the Wild Things Are
One of the unavoidable realities of corporate worship in this world is distraction. Our minds are already prone to wander completely apart from anything happening around us in that room. But anyone who’s been in church for more than a few minutes knows there are always more things going on than we can ignore. Unruly children, unresolved conflict, uninhibited personalities, untalented singers, unsilenced technology, and an unending list of other…Continue Reading
No Book Like the Bible
We believe the most effective way to make everyone everywhere truly, deeply, lastingly happy is to teach them to meet God in his word.
This September, John Piper will be launching an initiative inspired by the legacy he wants to leave. Look at the Book is a new online method of teaching the Bible. It’s an ongoing series of 5–10 minute videos in which the camera is on the…Continue Reading
Dads, Date Your Daughter’s Boyfriend
One of the most terrifying moments of a not-yet-married man’s life is meeting his girlfriend’s father.
The much-anticipated introduction is an unending fountain of humor for friends and family, but it’s more often an occasion for horror for the young man. What will dad say? What will he ask? Will he be armed? The moment is a mountain to overcome in almost any relationship, but I believe it’s a mountain…Continue Reading
Don’t Give Up on Don
This weekend, in an interview with Anderson Cooper, Donald Sterling has asked for forgiveness.
Now, you won’t have to listen to the interview very long before you’ll be tempted to raise questions about the depth of his remorse and contrition. It certainly doesn’t help his cause that he’s immediately shoving blame onto his mistress. It will be easy to hurry to conclusions about his “confession,” but I want to…Continue Reading
Confessions of a Grown-Up Momma’s Boy
Mothers are mind-blowing people if you stop to look at them.
In their body, they can carry, feed, protect, and eventually deliver a child — a human being, like you or me. They often set aside personal gifts and aspirations for the sake of the family. They very often are the ones to confront and conquer the warzone of the home — a world of overwhelming, ever-changing, and ever-undone demands.…Continue Reading
Jack Is Back: Why We Want More
Our heroes — fictional or nonfictional — inevitably end up shaping our picture of God. Consciously or not we will project what we admire or praise in others onto the supremely admirable and praiseworthy one.
Not everyone watches television, but among those who do, lots and lots of us have followed Jack Bauer’s eight days of escalating terror, conflict, and rescue. There’s something captivating about vicariously experiencing and surviving twenty-four…Continue Reading
A Statement Stronger Than Silver
Today the NBA declared war on racism when commissioner Adam Silver banned franchise owner Donald Sterling from the league for life because of ten minutes of ignorant and offensive remarks recorded and recently released to the public. Silver’s historic decision exceeded what most experts had expected and said loudly to all who will hear, “We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views. They simply have no place in the…Continue Reading
What’s Wrong with Our Women
We don’t have a hard time thinking of men as depraved. After all, they are responsible for the vast majority of violent crime.
- 90% of murders
- 98% of sexual assaults
- 93% of armed burglaries
- 88% of simple assaults
That’s stunning. And it might reasonably lead you to think that men are more evil, and therefore more guilty and needy before God. But the trustworthy word of God teaches us otherwise.
Love the Single Chapter of Your Life
It’s just a fact, young people in America — even in the church — are getting married later and later. This means there are more men and women that are unhappily not-yet-married long into their twenties, even their thirties.
When so many are feeling unsatisfied and incomplete in their singleness, Ben Stuart encourages us to see this season with God's eyes and heart and purpose. In three minutes, Ben…Continue Reading
Let His Blood Be on Us (Holy Saturday)
Holy Week waits in relative silence on Saturday. The tomb has been sealed, the guards stand watch, the disciples likely hide in confusion, fear, and devastation. And the Savior lies lifeless, having surrendered all to save his people from their sins.
How would you process the horrors of the last couple of days in the quiet, disturbing shadow of the cross? The disciples had to have a thousand painful questions.…Continue Reading
It Is Well with My Soul
God has given us a merciful gift in music authored in the midst of great tragedy. A song often has the power to express and comfort pain when words alone feel empty. Again and again, “It Is Well” has met and carried saints through the worst kinds of suffering, reminding us of the deep, abiding, sovereign Well at the bottom of our joy and life.
Recently, we recorded Jimmy Needham…Continue Reading
Propaganda About God’s Purpose in Our Past
Sometimes it’s hard to sort out our lives before Christ. It all feels so bleak, so dark, so destructive, so wasted. Some of us have a hard time finding anything good, anything worth remembering in the stories of our old selves.
In his new single “Crimson Cord,” Propaganda pulls on the scarlet thread of God’s love in the past of the believer. In short, God had a purpose…Continue Reading
Why God Loves People Who Hate Each Other
The church is filled with lots of dangerously different people.
There are rich and poor, old and young, male and female. We have families with fifteen children and fifty-year-old unmarrieds. There are Republicans and Democrats, executives and janitors, athletes, artists, and teachers. And the differences get even deeper — American, African, Asian, Latin, and Middle Eastern.
Not to mention our personalities — outgoing and shy, bold and meek, patient and…Continue Reading
Can God Really Be Happy?
Do you think of God as mainly happy or mad?
How you think about God will effect how you relate to him. If he’s mainly disappointed, you’ll avoid him because of shame and insecurity. If he’s too busy, you won’t want to bother him. If he’s angry, you’ll stay away because of fear. But what would happen in your life if you knew, truly knew, that God is profoundly happy?
God Is Bigger Than Your Sin
We have all been evil and received evil. The shame of sin and the pain of being sinned against are universally felt in every human heart because we’re born into sin and into a world of sinners. Sin corrupts, and it hinders God’s purposes in our lives.
Or does it? In this 5-minute clip, John Piper asks, “What sins within you or against you are filling you with a…Continue Reading
The Danger in Our Daily Devotions
Do we really need to read our Bible every day?
Happy is the man who does (Psalm 1:1). “His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (1:2). God’s words revive the soul, grant wisdom, rejoice the heart, enlighten the eyes, and endure forever (Psalm 19:7–9). “More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than…Continue Reading
Worship That’s Out of This World
The gospel all at once puts us at home in every culture and at odds with every culture.
Christ wants to and will make his home in every culture on the planet. This faith is not restrained to Jews, and certainly not to Americans. No, our God intends to be worshipped and enjoyed among every ethnicity and in every language across the globe. So Christianity can be at home in…Continue Reading
The Greatest Victory in All of History
Why did Jesus die? You might have your favorite answer or verse.
He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
We live by and for Christ and him crucified. But have you ever thought about reasons he didn’t die? What are really bad answers to the question? The…Continue Reading
Believer, Become What You Are
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Believer, you died and…Continue Reading
How to Heal When the Church Hurts You
Churches really ought to be a refuge for the weary, a safe house for the broken, a rescue for the abused and mistreated. These local expressions of God’s gathered people are meant to offer the love, hope, and healing that God himself offers us in the gospel.
Sadly, some of the most serious and enduring pain is inflicted by the church, by people in these churches. Sin creeps into the…Continue Reading
Nine Lies in the Not-Yet-Married Life
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, perhaps one of the more polarizing holidays of our year. It’s very fun and exciting for the love birds, too commercial and insincere for the skeptics, and sometimes especially lonely for the single.
Singleness’s greatest sorrows are secretly reinforced every February in the souls of the not-yet-married still waiting for their wedding day. While many of our friends and family are inundated with dates, flowers, chocolate,…Continue Reading
Who Is the Church?
Many are asking, “What is the church?” Pastor Jeff Vanderstelt believes we're asking the wrong question, because the Bible uses that word to describe a group of people, not a gathering or event. So we really should be asking, “Who?” not what.
His answer? “The church is the regenerate people of God saved by the power of God for the purposes of God in this world.” This…Continue Reading