Whose Approval Do You Crave?

Joseph Scheumann

When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. (Matthew 6:16)

Perhaps Jesus’s words about prayer and fasting are more relevant than ever. Not that the human heart has changed. Quite the opposite — the heart has been, and always will be, apart from God, “desperately…

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When Scripture Is the Controversy

Jonathan Parnell

If we learned anything from last week, maybe it’s that the real controversy among evangelicals in the coming days will be about the Bible, not homosexuality.

Beneath the surface of the recent scuffle is the more vital issue of how disciples of Jesus posture themselves toward God’s word. It’s not simply about our grasp of what Scripture is, or our conviction of Scripture’s inerrancy, or even where we land with…

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Don’t Give Up on Joy

Jonathan Parnell

You don’t have to wallow in sadness.

Ben Stuart says this realization was one of the greatest gifts God gave him in his fight against sadness. He learned from the Psalms that we could push back against sad feelings with the truths of God’s word. We can fight back for joy in God.

In this three minute video, Ben talks about three weapons in the fight against sadness and encourages…

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Four Things to Teach Your Children This Easter

Christina Fox

Spring is upon us. Flowers are beginning to bud, leaves are reappearing on trees, and birds are building their nests. Signs and decorations herald the arrival of our favorite season when we walk into local stores. Bags of plastic eggs and bunny-shaped confections line the shelves.

While we Christians enjoy all the signs of spring, this season is special for us in another way. In a couple weeks, we’ll celebrate…

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Great Losses, Severe Mercies, Tearful Joy

John Piper

Do you have a view of God, and his severe mercy, that is robust and biblical enough to flourish with tearful joy, under heartbreaking losses, which he ordains as discipline?

What if you thought God took your child? Or what if you thought he cancelled a dream you had had for forty years?

Not until recently did I notice the difference between God’s response to the sin of Aaron’s sons…

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Missional Motherhood

Gloria Furman

The clarion call to repent and believe the gospel message reverberates all over the world. Evangelism is happening in remote jungles where missionary planes land on runways of grass, in coffee shops set in the shadows of medieval architecture, in high-end boutiques in shopping malls, and in rickety taxis inching forward on congested roads in overcrowded cities.

We hear “missionary hero” stories and our hearts soar with thankfulness for the…

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Don’t Be a Wedding Crasher

Johnathon Bowers

In Matthew 22:1–14, Jesus tells a parable about a wedding feast. Unlike most wedding feasts, however, this one involves a king and his son, some ornery invitees, cold-blooded murder, the destruction of cities, and a ragtag group of afterthought guests.

Most surprising of all is the end of the story. After all the guests have assembled, the king spots a man without a wedding garment and orders that he be…

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How Do You Prepare for Sunday?

Jordan Kauflin

A couple weeks ago, my wife and I went out to eat on a date. On a whim, we decided to go see a movie as well. Just like that. No preparation, we just decided and went. The lack of preparation had absolutely no bearing on how much we enjoyed the movie. After all, we just wanted to be entertained.

Unfortunately, we can often approach the Sunday meeting in a…

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Why God Loves People Who Hate Each Other

Marshall Segal

The church is filled with lots of dangerously different people.

There are rich and poor, old and young, male and female. We have families with fifteen children and fifty-year-old unmarrieds. There are Republicans and Democrats, executives and janitors, athletes, artists, and teachers. And the differences get even deeper — American, African, Asian, Latin, and Middle Eastern.

Not to mention our personalities — outgoing and shy, bold and meek, patient and…

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The Folly of What Noah Preached

Jon Bloom

Paul wrote, “the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). In Noah, we have an Old Testament illustration of this. Ponder how Noah’s warnings about fantastic “events as yet unseen” (Hebrews 11:7) must have sounded to his hearers (I’ve imagined two, Talmai and Bakbukiah).

“This is madness!” Talmai was alarmed…

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