One night a rock sunk slowly. And when he did, Jesus had some profound things to teach us.1
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The day had been another mind-blower for the disciples. As they rowed toward Capernaum it was hard to stop talking about what they had seen. 5,000 men, plus women and children, and Jesus had fed them all! With one boy’s lunch! The power Jesus seemed to command both thrilled and unnerved them.
But it had all ended strangely. They had felt excited when the massive picnic turned into a “Jesus for king” rally. The people were beginning to understand! But Jesus had been visibly disturbed by this enthusiasm and moved quickly to douse it. That was confusing.
And why ha…
Though their stories in Luke 1 are strikingly similar, Zechariah and Mary have two significant differences that Luke highlights to teach an amusingly ironic and encouraging lesson about grace and faith.
Here are their similarities:
- Both are visited by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:19; 1:26-27)
- Both are promised the miraculous birth of a son (Luke 1:13; 1:31)
- Both are equally unfit to have a child: Zechariah's wife is barren, and Mary is a virgin (Luke 1:7; Luke 1:27)
- Both respond with equal perplexity—"How?" (Luke 1:18; 1:34)
One indication that Luke is intentionally trying to compare Zechariah and Mary is that he has bothered to list these parallels at all. He didn't have to mention t…
Today is Lukas Naugle's last day at DG. And we’re feeling a mixture of sadness, deep gratitude, and excitement about what the Lord has in store.
Lukas joined the DG staff in 2004 as our Customer Service Manager (CSM). He didn't remain in that position very long. Not because he wasn't good at it, but because he was good at many other things too.
I discovered quickly that Lukas is not one to color inside the lines. I have come to love that about him. The fact that his job description didn't say anything about creating new resources mattered little. He just started doing things. Sometimes he'd come to me with a new idea and sometimes he would just go ahead and do it and tell me about it l…
If you've never before heard about the existence of two wills in God, I recommend reading John Piper's article, "Are There Two Wills in God?" (which is also an appendix in the book The Pleasures of God).
In essence, what the doctrine states is that there are... well... two wills in God. The first will is his will of command (or as Edwards says below, "law"). This is expressed through God's revealed desires for people, desires such as "Thou shalt not kill," or "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
The second will is his will of decree, which is the will by which God brings to pass all that actually happens, whether it accords with his will of command or not. This is also known a…
As Bible-believing Christians, we are known for our convictions against sexual immorality. But are we known equally as well for our contempt for religious arrogance?
Scripture clearly states that sexual immorality is sin (Matthew 15:19; Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 5:19, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, etc.). We must also remember, however, that this is only one bad fruit of our rebellion against God, one among a list of many others, including idolatry, theft, greed, drunkenness, reviling and swindling (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). And all of these, God says, are just spin-offs of a more deep-seated trouble.
Speaking to a disobedient Israel, the prophet Ezekiel declares,
An excerpt from Jonathan Edwards' Miscellanies #6 (paragraphing added):
There is a strange and unaccountable kind of enchantment, if I may so speak, in Scripture history; which, notwithstanding it is destitute of all rhetorical ornaments, makes it vastly more pleasant, agreeable, easy and natural, than any other history whatever. It shines brighter with the amiable simplicity of truth. There is something in the relation that at the same time very much pleases and engages the reader, and evidences the truth of the fact.
Notwithstanding the minute circumstances that are mentioned, which other historians leave over, it leads along one's idea…
God is worthy of our highest, purest, and strongest emotions
– Bob Kauflin*
Disability, at least for me, easily draws out the strongest emotions. For a season, my emotions were ugly, bitter, self-righteous and angry—certainly not the "highest and purest" that God is worthy to receive.
But when God opened up my spiritually blind eyes to let me see the beauty of Jesus Christ, he turned those overpowering emotions completely around.
Recently, God encouraged me to worship through a new song Bob Kauflin created and performed specifically about disability. It is simply called, "Song for Those with Disabilities."
The first time I heard it, I wept at the goodn…
Psalm 110 is one of the great messianic psalms, and one of the most quoted OT texts in the New Testament. On this side of the cross, we understand that it prophesies of Jesus’ second-coming.
It’s also quite offensive to postmodern cultural sensibilities. Especially the parts like, "He will fill [the nations] with corpses" (Psalm 110:6). Yikes! That’s violent. All this talk about thrones and conquerors and war sounds like Islamic fundamentalism. We much prefer a Prince of peace.
Which is ironic. Because when Jesus came the first time the “people of God” were not looking for a prince of peace or suffering servant. They were looking for a conquering king who would shatter the Roman E…
We saw last week in Jonathan Edwards' Miscellanies #3 that God created the universe so that it would be happy in him. Today, in this excerpt from Miscellanies #5, he explains how the experience of higher levels of happiness by some in heaven will not dampen the joy of others.
We are very apt to conceive that those that are more holy and more happy than others in heaven will be elated and lifted up above them, whereas their being superior in holiness implies their being superior in humility, or having the greatest humility.
And besides, those that are highest in holiness, and so necessarily highest in happiness (for holiness and happiness ar…
In 2 Samuel 10 the Ammonites and Syrians are closing in on Israel. Joab divides up the men of Israel between himself and his brother, Abishai. He tells his strategy in v. 11, paraphrased, “You take those guys, I’ll take these guys, and let’s help one another if we need it.” That sounds simple enough. It’s the next line in v. 12 that is astounding. Joab declares:
Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the LORD do what seems good to him.
Now we can read this and just chalk it up as another indication of Joab's super-manliness. We can picture him on the battlefield arrayed in armor and emanating more fiercenes…