Can God Really Be Happy?

Marshall Segal
Can God Really Be Happy?

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?

John Piper believes God must be happy. In Desiring God, he writes,

If God is not a happy God, Christian Hedonism has no... Continue Reading

Women, Work, and Our Crisis of Identity

Carolyn McCulley
Women, Work, and Our Crisis of Identity

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 harder than she anticipated.

“As much as I love being married and a mom after all these years... Continue Reading

Lesbian Sex, HIV, Esau, and Christ

John Piper
Lesbian Sex, HIV, Esau, and Christ

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 — and vex and stir — in reverse order.

The Insanity of Sin

Esau... Continue Reading

Extraordinary Help for Gospel Productivity

Jon Bloom
Extraordinary Help for Gospel Productivity

Does God care about how productive we are? He does. Deeply. Consider:

  • Our fruitfulness reflects on Jesus: “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (John 15:8).

  • We are to live purposefully and manage our time: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15–16).

  • We are not to let the less important tasks crowd out the more... Continue Reading

Remember Saint Patrick

David Mathis
Remember Saint Patrick

Saint Patty’s Day is for the pagans.

You might say it that way, and then carefully wash your Christian hands of all the carousing and empty revelry that makes all things Irish into an excuse for a godless spring party. But you might say the same thing, and mean it not as a call to circle the wagons, but to charge the hill.

Deep beneath much of what the day has become is the inspiring mission of Patrick pioneering the gospel among an unreached people, despite the frowning face of the... Continue Reading

Idolatry in Corporate Worship

Bob Kauflin
Idolatry in Corporate Worship

What’s your greatest hindrance to worshiping God as you gather with the church for corporate worship?

I can think of a number of possible answers: Our song leader isn’t very experienced. The liturgy is too stifling. The band sounds bad. The preacher is uninspiring. Our church is too small. Or, Our church is too big.

While I don’t want to minimize the importance of faithful planning, musical skill, and wise leadership, our greatest problem when it comes to worshiping God doesn’t... Continue Reading

God Is with You in Depression

David Mathis
God Is with You in Depression

Depression is often illusive. Some dark cloud gathers and hangs overhead. You feel constantly ill at ease. Whether triggered by negative events, or some undefined cause, you know despondency when you experience it, even if you find it hard to describe.

Sometimes it’s circumstantial, but often you’re left scratching your head, wondering, Where did all the joy go?

God Is There with You

Author Randy Alcorn is no foreigner to depression. He has journeyed through dark seasons — once... Continue Reading

Nine Practical Pointers for Plodders

Jon Bloom
Nine Practical Pointers for Plodders

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)

Today is going to be a challenge.

You will not make perfect plans. You will not work your plans perfectly. You’ll find a bog of ambiguity that you’ll need to step through carefully. There will be detours and delays. There will be equipment failures. You will spin your wheels. There will be unexpected phone calls and undesired emails. Social media will keep poking you for... Continue Reading

Once Confused, Now Complementarian

Brittany Lind
Once Confused, Now Complementarian

I sat wide-eyed across the table from my new friend Courtney in our college cafeteria. I had just told her I was interested in a guy who sat near me in my freshman biology class. My plan was to go to him and inform him about my interest in dating. Courtney was convincing me to think otherwise — I was confused and didn’t understand why it mattered.

She said that while I should be friendly and get to know him, I should let him take the initiative and pursue me, instead of... Continue Reading

See Through the Sour Wine

Jonathan Parnell
See Through the Sour Wine

It was an act of cruelty, not comfort. That is what we see in the last minutes of Jesus’s life, as described in the Gospel of Mark.

Customary of Mark, he gets straight to the point in Mark 15:33. The sixth hour had come and brought darkness. Now it was the ninth hour, three in the afternoon, darkness still smothering the landscape. And Jesus cries out with a loud voice,

Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?

Mark tells us the Aramaic because that is exactly what Jesus said. The details are... Continue Reading