Blog Posts on Sanctification & Growth

Speak the Truth to Yourself

Christina Fox
Speak the Truth to Yourself

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 they listen for once?” Before I knew it, I was overwhelmed, stressed, irritable, distraught.

Talking to Ourselves

I remember teasing... Continue Reading

One Shining Moment — And Everyone Else a Loser

Ed Uszynski
One Shining Moment — And Everyone Else a Loser

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 were an entitlement and losing should be reserved for, well,... Continue Reading

Why God Gives Us More Than We Can Handle

Jon Bloom
Why God Gives Us More Than We Can Handle

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, Gideon gazed over the Plain of Jezreel, which sprawled beneath him... Continue Reading

Three Tips on Being a Friend of Sinners

Jonathan Parnell
Three Tips on Being a Friend of Sinners

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. He was a friend of sinners. Jesus himself said that he didn’t come for... Continue Reading

How to Get Your Mind Back on Track

Jon Bloom
How to Get Your Mind Back on Track

How are you feeling? What’s on your mind?

These are very important questions, not just polite conversation starters. They’re questions we should ask ourselves (and others) frequently because they tell us what direction our train is heading.

Our Train of Thought

The train of the mind is linked together like this: the car of our thoughts is hitched to the car of our emotions, which is hitched to the car of our hope, which is hitched to the engine of our trust.

Here’s how the... Continue Reading

15 Prayers for God’s Power

John Piper
15 Prayers for God’s Power

I love strength. I love the word “mighty,” as in “Mighty Woman of God,” and “Mighty Man of God.” I love to hear that “Moses was mighty in his words and deeds” (Acts 7:22), and that Apollos was “mighty in the scriptures” (Acts 18:24).

I love it when Paul says, “Act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13), or, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10), or, “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1).

But make no mistake, the... Continue Reading

The Insanity of Leaning on Our Own Understanding

Jon Bloom
The Insanity of Leaning on Our Own Understanding

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5–6)

When the Bible tells us in this verse not to lean on our own understanding, it is not encouraging us to be irrational. The Bible puts up no wall of separation between our intellect and faith. In fact, the book of Proverbs speaks very highly of understanding:

Believer, Become What You Are

Marshall Segal

Romans 12:1–2,

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Believer, you died and the new you is alive, and you are God’s. The whole of our Christian life is learning to become —... Continue Reading

Put Yourself in the Path of God’s Grace

David Mathis
Put Yourself in the Path of God’s Grace

I can flip a switch, but I don’t provide the electricity. I can turn on a faucet, but I can’t make the water flow. There will be no light and no liquid refreshment without someone else providing it.

And so it is, in a limited sense, for the Christian with the ongoing grace of God. His grace is essential for our spiritual lives, but we don’t control the supply. We can’t make the grace flow, but God has given us circuits to connect and pipes to open in case it’s there.

... Continue Reading

Three Questions to Ask Before Watching a Movie

Jonathan Parnell
Three Questions to Ask Before Watching a Movie

It’s never been easier to watch movies, and lots of them.

Netflix, which leads the race as the top online streaming service, provides more than 10,000 movie options for its 40 million subscribers — and it’s flanked by formidable competitors like Hulu Plus, Redbox, and Amazon Prime. Considering the sheer crowd on this track, and each one’s continued efforts to specialize its features, the movie industry doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

Add to this online surge... Continue Reading