What some aging Christians need from the younger generation is an invitation to lean into the local church, and not retreat or retire.
But others from the older generation need a different challenge — a summons to lay aside suspicion of everyone young enough to be your child, a charge to dispose of a derogatory view of the real-live specimen of the next generation. And, in particular, some older leaders need to hear a plea not to get off the bus, but to aggressively make room for young leaders at the front.
Do Not Despise the Young
It was a two-part charge the aging apostle gave to his younger-generation protégé in 1 Timothy 4:12: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believ…
God created you in his own image to dream, and work, and laugh, and love, and labor, and hope, and eat, and enjoy the good gifts in this world.
“A man is such a noble work of God,” said nineteenth century preacher Charles Spurgeon, “he cannot have been intended merely to measure off yards of silk, or to weigh pounds of sugar, or to sweep street crossings, or to put on crowns, and robes, and diamonds. There is something grander than that for man to do.”
Yes, and most grand of all: God created you to worship, praise, and sing.
The beauty of Christ is the cause of our songs. His glory draws worship from our hearts to our lips (Revelation 5:6–14, 7:9–12).
This Christ-centered, thank-filled w…
The castle was mangled. With just a glance, you could tell it was bad.
The main gate was completely exposed. The chains that once lowered the intimidating drawbridge were now severed. The drum tower, which had weathered the most obvious destruction, had its battlements crushed — so crushed that you could almost recreate in your head the sound it must have made the moment the blow came.
This thing must have been thrown down the stairs, I thought to myself. It was too obvious. Aside from its appearance, the wooden castle I held in my hands had been lying just a few feet from the last step leading down to the basement — the basement which functions as the kids’ main play area.
Yeah, for sure…
When reading Paul’s letter to Philemon this week I saw a theme I hadn’t really seen before. This letter is an instruction on how to refresh the saints.
Philemon was a refreshing person. When Paul thought about Philemon he thought about the joy and comfort Philemon had given him and others:
I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. (Philemon 1:7)
Doesn’t that make you want to be like Philemon? Don’t you want to be a joy and a comfort to others? In this “dry and weary land” (Psalm 63:1) don’t you want to be an oasis of living water (John 7:38) for parched saints?
That’s what Jesus wants us to be. He say…
Jesus means everything to me. My life is worship.
Often we Christians throw around phrases like these, once full of meaning, but now uttered with too much flippancy and routine. But Rodger Frournoy, Jr. talks like this because he means it with all of his body and soul.
When I hear Rodger talk about what it’s like to live with cerebral palsy, and what Jesus means to him in the midst of his disability, I am brought to worship. It’s a wonderful thing for the church to tell stories like these. May God strengthen your faith as you meet Rodger.
Rodger’s story is produced by the Austin Stone Story Team and featured at the Storyframes Collective — a collaborative effort between The Gospel Coal…
He’s a squirmy one, he is. If I don’t watch him, he’ll wriggle off the bed. But he doesn’t want to. He’s enjoying the tickle fight too much. I can’t blame him. Those giggles make this father’s heart want to leap out of my chest. I wonder how long this laugh will last.
Reflect on the tickle fight with me. See the layers of reality at work.
Triune Joy in Our Little Home
On the surface: an adult male and a one-year-old of the species, smiles, laughter, darting fingers, kicking legs, squeals, deep breaths, rapid kisses on the neck, raspberries on the belly, and did I mention the laughter?
Beneath the surface: emotional bonding, fatherly affection, wide-eyed childhood delight. A contribution …
All Christians suffer. Either you have, you are, or you will — “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).
This reality is a stark reminder that we have not reached the new heavens and new earth. The new Jerusalem of no tears and no pain, of no mourning and no death, hasn’t arrived yet (Revelation 21:1, 4).
But just because we experience suffering as we await the redemption of our bodies, it doesn’t mean that our suffering is random or without purpose. And neither does it mean that Scripture doesn’t tell us how to think about our suffering now.
Here are five important biblical truths about suffering every Christian should have ready:
1. Suffering is multifa…
Paul said that the old covenant mediated by Moses bore a “ministry of condemnation” (2 Corinthians 3:9). What does this mean, and would Moses have agreed?
The Book of Deuteronomy clarifies three things: 1) Moses’s old covenant plea, 2) the people’s old covenant problem, and 3) God’s new covenant promise.
1. The Old Covenant Plea
Moses called for the right things: “Love the Lᴏʀᴅ your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5), and “love the sojourner” (Deuteronomy 10:19; see Leviticus 18:5). Jesus said that these are the first and second most important commands (Mark 12:29–31). Moses even urged, “These words that I command you today shall be on your hea…
When you are upset because you can’t do something you’ve wanted to do, it might be because that thing has become an idol in your heart.
I said these words one afternoon in response to one of my kids who was frustrated because I had taken away his highly valued time on the computer. We then talked about how idols are not always easy to recognize and that our emotional responses can sometimes be an indicator of what’s going on in our heart.
Idols Specific to Motherhood
John Piper says that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” We were made to love and worship God. When he isn’t the longing of our heart and the source of our satisfaction, we seek to fill our bellie…
God created the world so that he would receive glad-hearted worship from the entire panorama of peoples that he himself brought into being for this purpose.
Therefore, for the glory of God, and for the gladness of the peoples, we should join him in the aggressive missionary enterprise of reaching all the peoples of the world.
Summoning the Peoples
That is what the Cross Conference this December is about. Over 3,000 students are registered so far. I am praying for twice that. It is only one small part of God’s movement in the world today to reach the nations. But it is an important part. I am thrilled to be a part of it. I hope the students of your church will come.
If it’s true that God …