Thursday marks one year since Iran imprisoned my husband, Pastor Saeed Abedini, for his Christian faith. When the Iranian Revolutionary Guard arrested Saeed without warning and took him to the notorious Evin Prison, I could not have imagined the journey God had planned for us — a journey still without a finish line in sight.
The Empty Seat in Our Home
All I can remember about those first days are tear-soaked eyes and indescribable anxiety and grief. Evenings consisted of me holding my seven-year-old daughter and five-year-old son as they cried themselves to sleep asking for their daddy. Saeed’s seat in our family was painfully empty at Christmas, Easter, our wedding anniversary, and each o…
After my message to the Liberty University student body last week, a perceptive student asked this clarifying question: So you don’t believe that altruistic acts are possible or desirable?
I asked for his definition of altruism so that I could answer what he was really asking. He said, “Doing a good deed for others with no view to any reward.” I answered: that’s right, whether or not it’s possible, I don’t think it’s desirable, because it’s not what the Bible teaches us to do; and it’s not what people experience as genuine love. Because it isn’t genuine love.
When God Is Glorified
I had said in the convocation message: Doing right for right’s sake is atheistic. Christians should do what’s…
I first read C.S. Lewis just after I arrived in the United States as a nine-year-old girl. Born in Iraq, I was still learning English when I first read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and it captured my attention and my imagination.
Life moved on, I settled into this country, I became an adult, and I later read other non-fiction and philosophical books by Lewis. But what breaks me — even to this day — are a few pages in his fiction book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
A Rotten Boy
In those pages, C.S. Lewis offers us a powerfully personal image of regeneration.
The scene starts with Eustace, a rotten boy, who has found himself in possession of a large fortune. He imagines the life…
When climbing from lowlands to mountaintops, one must often pass through clouds. That’s the way it has been for me all my life as I have tried to get the best views of the glory of God.
When you enter a layer of clouds, it helps to have a guide to keep you away from the precipices and on the path to the other side of the murkiness. That’s one way to view this book. I hope it will serve as a guide upward through the haze and confusion about God’s electing and saving will.
Steep Paths and Thick Clouds
I admit that som…
God gave me you to be my miracle.
That’s the banner over our relationships in the church. God performs the miracle of our growth in godliness through people — Holy-Spirit-filled people in our lives and churches.
These are the people sitting next to you in corporate worship this morning. Maybe another morning with the same people at the same building on the same day of the week begins feeling ordinary or natural. But there’s power in that room. What happens when God’s word sounds, his Spirit falls, and our prayers rise shakes whatever hold sin continues to have in our lives.
More Like Jesus
You receive the word with these people. You sing with these people. You give and serve and plan wit…
In about a week, Crossway releases the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.
Created and edited by Bryan Chapell and Dane Ortlund, the new study Bible is filled with valuable notes from fifty contributors with the overall aim of helping students of Scripture read the Bible under the glorious light of Christ’s death and resurrection.
As the title indicates, the aim is personal transformation through gospel-centered motivation. And to give you a taste of what to expect, I read the notes and pulled my twenty favorite excerpts.
From the introduction —
Since God’s love for us is the soil in which love for God grows, identifying his grace in all the Scriptures is not simply an interpretive…
Private devotions aren’t magic. We know that (for the most part).
But still, we can be tempted to think that if we just figure out the secret formula — the right mixture of Bible meditation and prayer — we will experience euphoric moments of rapturous communion with the Lord. And if that doesn’t happen, our formula must be wrong.
The danger of this misconception is that it can produce chronic disappointment and discouragement. Cynicism sets in and we give up or whip through them to alleviate guilt because devotions don’t seem to work for us.
Our longing for intimate communion with God is God-given. It’s a good thing to desire, ask for, and pursue. The Spirit does give us wonderful occasio…
Relentless. That is pastor Leonce Crump’s one word for the love of God for sinners.
He has met this relentless Savior again and again on his journey from part-time Catholic to gospel-loving pastor. In this three-minute video, he tells us why God loves his children no matter what. “I am rescued by God. Restored by God. Renewed by God,” Crump says. “He is absolutely relentless in his pursuit of those who are his.”
Before you read another email or change another diaper or watch another show, let Leonce remind you of the basic, but infinite truth that your primary identity is saved son or daughter of God. Because of his grace, you will never have to earn your place at his table.
Grace is on the loose.
Contrary to our expectations, counter to our assumptions, frustrating our judicial sentiments, mocking our craving for control, the grace of God is turning the world upside down. He is shamelessly pouring out his lavish favor on undeserving sinners of all stripes, and thoroughly stripping away our self-sufficiency.
Primeval and Unbridled
Grace has been on the move since before creation, roaming wild and free. Even before the foundation of the world, it was the untamed grace of God that jumped the bounds of time and space and considered a yet-to-be-created people in connection with his Son, and chose them in him (Ephesians 1:4). It was in love — and to the praise of …
Adoption is greater than the universe.
So says John Piper, and as sweeping as the statement may sound, it is absolutely true. Because the eternal communion of our triune God is behind, beneath, beside, and above the universe and is the ultimate reason and cause for our adoption.
The Love Story of the Universe
The eternal story of the infinite reciprocal love that the three Persons of the Trinity share with each other sheds the light of the Son on the immense size of our adoption. Pastor and author Gerrit Dawson captures just how this adoption envelops the universe and empowers its inhabitants.
The universe came to be as part of the eternal love story of the Father and the Son. Before the…