We Are Made for Praise

Jason DeRouchie

At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the Lᴏʀᴅ. (Zephaniah 3:20)

Zephaniah was one of Yahweh’s prophets of judgment, who foretold the day of the Lᴏʀᴅ — both the near day of judgment against Judah (Zephaniah 1:4–13;…

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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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‘Divergent’ Lesson in Human Depravity

David Mathis

It’s rare to find a major motion picture that paints humanity, as a whole, to be this bad.

Not only was it human evil that nearly destroyed the world in some great war, but now it is human depravity that threatens to undo it all again. They sought to guard against this very thing when they divided society into five factions: Abnegation to counter selfishness, Erudite to stand against ignorance,…

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How to Get Your Mind Back on Track

Jon Bloom

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…

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The Wintry Soul: Four Lessons from Suffering

Jason DeRouchie

Seasons of suffering in life are as sure as March snow flurries in Minnesota. And such climate shifts test trust, materialize maturity, and make us long for spring.

In the not so distant past, God let a blizzard of pain hit my home that drained our fuel and tried our faith. While the season of deep sorrow covered months, not years, the grief was real and the scars permanent. The…

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Ten Thousand Things We Can’t See

Jonathan Parnell

“The nearness of God is my good,” says the psalmist.

Though the wicked prosper, though evil carries on, though the circumstances of God’s people are bleak, everything makes sense in God’s presence (Psalm 73:17). There the embittered soul is revived. The beastly attitude is tamed. “Nevertheless,” the psalm goes, “I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive…

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Can God Really Be Happy?

Marshall Segal

Do you think of God as mainly happy or mad?

How you think about God will effect how you relate to him. If he’s mainly disappointed, you’ll avoid him because of shame and insecurity. If he’s too busy, you won’t want to bother him. If he’s angry, you’ll stay away because of fear. But what would happen in your life if you knew, truly knew, that God is profoundly happy?

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Women, Work, and Our Crisis of Identity

Carolyn McCulley

Several years ago, I spoke to a friend at a church event who had been influential as a lawyer for the cause and practice of religious freedom. She had been single for many years, but now was recently married and a first-time mother. As we caught up with each other, she confessed that her transition from being a lawyer to being a stay-at-home mother with an infant was a lot…

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Lesbian Sex, HIV, Esau, and Christ

John Piper

It was a vexing, soul-stirring, Sunday morning.

First came my devotions, flaming with the words of Jesus on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Second was a New York Times article about the transmission of HIV through lesbian sexual relations. Third came a powerful sermon, from the pastor at the church we’ve been attending, about Esau from Hebrews 12:12–17.

Here’s how they relate…

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