Blog Posts on Sanctification & Growth

You Can’t Buy Happiness

Jonathan Parnell

Restlessness isn’t the real problem.

Cultures that crack the whip for more bricks, like the ancient Egypt who held Israel captive, are in it for more than the work. The ceaseless labor — the lack of rest — is only the picture of something deeper, something that has characterized every civilization from then until now: the quest for pleasure.

Pleasure is the goal behind the toiling. All those hours and…

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Rest Because You Can

Jonathan Parnell

At night when we go to bed, on a whole day when we pause our projects, in a season of vacation or Sabbatical, our stopping work is our saying “Enough!” to the merry-go-round. We don’t have to ride this thing. There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God (Hebrews 4:9–10).

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Jesus Wants You to Be You

Jon Bloom

God had you specifically in mind when he created you and called you to follow him. You are custom-designed for your calling. But when you face the difficulty of your calling, you may look at others and be tempted to wonder why they don’t seem to bear the same burdens you do. Don’t be discouraged; in John 21, the Apostle Peter faced the same temptation.

“What About this Man?”

After…

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Learning to Abide in Christ

Trillia Newbell

I hear the words “abide in Christ” mentioned a lot by women as a way to express rest. At least I think that’s what they mean. The truth is, I’ve never had it defined for me clearly, even though I’ve heard it shared often. In order to gain more understanding, I started digging into God’s word to see what he says about abiding in Christ.

The True Vine

Beginning in…

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Why Was Judas Carrying the Moneybag?

Jon Bloom

Jesus put a thief in charge of his moneybag. Has that ever struck you as odd?

Last week we focused on Mary, who poured a year’s wages on Jesus’s feet, and Judas, who saw Mary’s worshipful act as huge waste, because “he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it” (John 12:6).

But this fact raises the…

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Remember

Jon Bloom

Memorial Day, as Americans have come to know it, began in the years immediately following the Civil War. But until World War II, most people knew it as “Decoration Day.” It was a day to decorate with flowers and flags the graves of fallen soldiers and remember those who had given, as Lincoln beautifully said, “the last full measure of devotion” to defend their nation. It was a day to…

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Speak the Truth to Yourself

Christina Fox

I woke up sick that morning. “I’ll never make it to the end of the day,” I muttered to myself.

My husband was due to leave town for work. “How am I going to manage the kids while feeling like this?” These thoughts traveled with me throughout the day, spawning new ones. “This is too much, I just can’t do it.” “Can’t they see that I am sick? Why can’t…

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One Shining Moment — And Everyone Else a Loser

Ed Uszynski

What does every athletic team in the world have in common with every reality-TV-show contestant at the end of each season? All, except one, go home with a loss on their mind.

While watching our premier American sports and music combatants this spring, it seems that everyone expects to be the last one standing, and everyone seems shocked when they are sent home with that final loss, as though winning…

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Why God Gives Us More Than We Can Handle

Jon Bloom

The next time someone says that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, point them to Judges chapter seven. God instructing Gideon to take on over 100,000 enemy soldiers with just 300 fits in the “more than you can handle” category. Imagine how Gideon and his servant, Purah, must have felt trying to come to grips with a humanly impossible assignment.

Standing on the side of Mount Gilboa,…

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Three Tips on Being a Friend of Sinners

Jonathan Parnell

Jesus was accused of being a friend of sinners. That was the word on the street in first-century Palestine.

The precise phrase — “friend of sinners” — is mentioned twice in the Gospels, in Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:34. The naysayers of the day, the religious aristocracy, criticized Jesus as a “glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.”

They called him this because it was true.…

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