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

Until Death Do We Part — For Real

Sam Crabtree
Until Death Do We Part — For Real

If anything but death is an option for ending a marriage, then don’t say “until death” in your wedding vows. Tell the truth. Promise what is meant. Say something like “until adultery, abandonment, or abuse.” Say what you mean. God never lies (Titus 1:2) and delights in truth-telling and oath-keeping.

Whether speaking of marriage or any other subject, it comes as no surprise that God expects people to say what they mean. The immediate context of Jesus’s teaching about adultery... Continue Reading

When Evil Dug Its Own Grave

Joseph Scheumann
When Evil Dug Its Own Grave

When you’re in the middle of intense suffering, it’s easy to lose your bearings.

Questions arise reflexively: Is God really in control? How can a good God allow so much pain? Is God good?

The pain that we feel can make it hard to even think straight. We need anchors that keep us tethered to the truth so we do not drift when we encounter suffering.

God Controls All Things, Including Evil

When you are experiencing pain, one might be tempted to let God off the hook by saying he is not... Continue Reading

Ten Lessons from a Hospital Bed

John Piper
Ten Lessons from a Hospital Bed

Recently I spent 30 hours in the hospital. I won’t tantalize you with details, but you can tell by this blog, I’m still alive. In fact, I feel good. I received good care, a clear diagnosis, some new medication, and permission to go on with my life as usual.

Not wanting to waste this experience, I’ve been thinking about lessons learned and benefits received. Maybe, if I list some of them, you will be helped when your own time comes.

All of these are things I needed God’s help... Continue Reading

The Cup Consumed for Us

Steven Lee
The Cup Consumed for Us

Matthew shows us an odd exchange between Jesus and his disciples.

In Matthew 20:20–28, the mother of James and John, in typical motherly fashion, asks Jesus whether her nice, upstanding sons can sit beside Jesus in his kingdom. James and John, through their mother, are seeking prominence. They want to be great.

Jesus answers, in atypical fashion, with a question: “Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” (Matthew 20:22). This is not a rebuke as we might expect. It’s a simple... Continue Reading

The Joy of Getting Unstuck

Brandon Smith
The Joy of Getting Unstuck

I’m busy.

Like you, I’ve got a hundred things going on between family and church and work and all the in between. Let me be the first to say that all of these things are absolute gifts from God. He has been amazingly kind to me and I’m genuinely thankful.

But I get tired.

Plain and simple, sometimes I just get tired. In the fast-paced world we live in, I think we can all get over-extended and under-rested at times. Technology allows us to get things done quicker but also gives us... Continue Reading

Serving Appetizers: Worship Services That Keep Their Promises

Matthew Westerholm
Serving Appetizers: Worship Services That Keep Their Promises

As a worship pastor, I am saddened to read polls reporting young people leaving our churches. True, this happens in each generation (remember the Boomer-angs who returned to church in the 1990s?), but how can service planners encourage the continued participation of young people within our churches?

One of the regular ways churches respond is to adopt a more contemporary style of music. But if you know two different teenagers, you recognize the... Continue Reading

Preach the Gospel to Yourself

David Mathis
Preach the Gospel to Yourself

No one is more influential in your life than you are. Because no one talks to you more than you do.

So observes Paul Tripp — and in doing so, he accents our need to daily preach the gospel to ourselves.

In our sin, we constantly find our responses to life in our fallen world to be disconnected from the theology that we confess. Anger, fear, panic, discouragement stalk our hearts and whisper in our ears a false gospel that will lure our lives away from what we say we believe.

The... 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