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…
Death itself is a devastating and horrible thing. But God promises to work all things—including death—for good for those who love him and are called by him (Romans 8:28).
Isaiah 57:1-2 gives us one glimpse into how God views the death of his saints:
The righteous man perishes,
and no one lays it to heart;
devout men are taken away,
while no one understands.
For the righteous man is taken away from calamity;
he enters into peace;
they rest in their beds
who walk in their uprightness.
There are two ways this is true for Christians. First, “in this world [we] will have tribulation” (John 16:33). We will only stop having tribulation when God t…
Today we're beginning an ongoing series that will highlight key quotes from The "Miscellanies" of Jonathan Edwards. (Thank you to The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University for hosting all of them online for free!)
This week's quote is from Miscellanies #3:
Happiness is the end of the creation ... because the end of the creation is that the creation might glorify [the Creator]. Now what is glorifying God, but a rejoicing at that glory he has displayed? An understanding of the perfections of God, merely, cannot be the end of the creation; for he had as good not understand it, as see it and not be at all moved with joy at the sight. Neither can the highest end of the cr…