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Post Category: CHRISTIAN LIVING

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Disordered Lives and the Death of Sunday Evening Ministry

  We have witnessed the gradual demise of Sunday evening ministry. The questions for this article are why has this happened and what should the church’s response be. Before getting to the heart of this article, I want to clear away some circumstantial realities in the lives of churches and people. We need to touch on these here so that they don’t clutter...

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Is Endurance and Assurance Incompatible?

  Several weeks ago our church was looking at a verse of Scripture which seems to unsettle, if not all out destroy, the concept of assurance. Jesus says in Matthew 10:22 “but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” The question of incompatibility goes like this: “How could assurance of eternal life ever be possible if endurance...

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Why do you obey?

  One of the realities of raising young children is that you begin to be asked a lot of “why” questions. Why do we brush our teeth? Why do we pray before we eat? Why do we have to go to bed? The benefit to this is you find yourself having to justify things you perhaps have not thought through in a long time. That is a good thing. Useless your response is ...

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An Ironic Pursuit of God’s Will

  Irony has a special place in my heart. I think it has to do with the way truth gets displayed in spite of people’s deceptive or idiotic ways. For example, the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown hand-wrote a letter of condolence to a mother whose son had died in Afghanistan, but unfortunately he misspelled the deceased’s surname. A newspaper published a...

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Worry, Fear, And Stepping Back Into The Grave

  Cemeteries are creepy. I lived across from one growing up and much of the time it was just a normal part of our scenery. This cemetery was a part of the church we went to so we often walked to church using the road that went through the cemetery. That wasn’t a problem, most of the time. But we also went to church Sunday evenings. When fall rolled around, and ...

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Boredom, Familiarity, and a Spectacular Creation

  I am regularly amazed, and that amazes me. One thing that regularly amazes me is the seemingly limitless variety of animals and plants. Now, I am not special in my appreciation of animals and plants. But I really do relish the stunning abilities, habits, organization, colors, shapes, and intricacies of both animals and plants. And I, amazingly so, find myself regul...

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Give Your Brain A Chance

  There is a short story called Harrison Bergeron that I remember reading in high school. The plot is set in future America where there is total equality in every area of existence. Beautiful people must wear ugly masks, strong people must be weighed down by weights, and intelligent people must wear ear pieces that blast sounds in order to break their concentration. ...

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When Anger is Right and Needful

  This post is a portion from an “Ask Pastor John” podcast where John Piper speaks to the issue of righteous, godly anger. In a previous blog that you can read here, I tried to think through the dangers of anger and how to manage it. To bring in more balance, this list from Piper is exceptionally insightful about the place that godly anger should have in ...

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In Praise Of Humble Men

  Pride is a disease. It is another name for idolatry. Wherever it is, destruction is not far behind. Humility, on the other hand, is glorious. It is a grace-created attribute that is bold, joyous, and life-giving. Many things can and should be said about both pride and humility. But for the sake of brevity and for punch, here are quick thoughts on the contrasts betw...

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Why Is Weakness Such An Asset?

  It is so counter-intuitive to think that weakness is an asset. Weakness is supposed to be a liability. But that is just one of many reversals that we find in Scripture. The poor become rich. He who loses his life finds it. The first will be last. On and on it goes. At some point each of these reversals have to be explained because, as already mentioned, it just doe...

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4 Ways to Boldness

  The apostle Paul was promised a life of suffering, and God delivered on that promise. Few have ever lived such a hard life. Much of what made it so hard was the uncertainty of what would hit him around the next corner. It was like being blindfolded at the receiving end of a dodgeball game where anything was allowed to be thrown. Would the next thing be a rotten tom...

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News Sources and the Informed Christian

  I was pleased the other day when Albert Mohler finished his summer break and returned to his daily podcast called The Briefing. The Briefing is an analysis of news and culture from a biblical worldview. At the end of this blog I will list a few other great sources for news that you might consider. But first, let’s think about news and how we are informed. Yo...

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How Do You Prepare For Holy Living?

  If you fail to plan, plan to fail. Statements like that are cliché for a reason. They are so true and so observable in everyday life they cement themselves into our consciousness. We have all seen the need for preparation, even if we are not good at doing it. Regardless, the need for preparation is ubiquitous. Every different activity has its own unique prep...

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Sorrow Rides On The Shoulders Of Joy

  Some things are capable of carrying tremendous loads. I have seen pictures of a massive ship called the Blue Marlin that is designed to carry disabled ships and other large ocean machines. Not rowboats, mind you, but huge ships like Navy Destroyers as well as oil rig platforms. Google it and be amazed. When it comes to sorrows of the deepest kind, what is it that ...

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A Test For Self-Deception

  “Yesterday in Baltimore, something didn’t happen, despite convincing accounts that it did.” This is the opening line of a NPR story about a non-shooting in Baltimore. There was an incident where multiple people described police shooting a man who was running away from them. While their testimony was passionate and spoken with a degree of certainty...

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Busyness is Moral Laziness

  We have all said it, and we have probably meant it when it came out of our mouth. “I don’t have enough time” is a repeated refrain for many. I was once again challenged about this mindset after hearing a podcast in which a seminary professor named Bruce Hindmarsh made the following statement: “Busyness is moral laziness [because it is often...

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26 Helps for Suffering: A Primer For Suffering From 2 Timothy

  In one way or another, suffering for the gospel is coming. You might as well get ready. To do so, there is no better place to go than the letter of 2 Timothy. Over and over again, Paul is preparing Timothy to suffer. We can get ready too, if we pay attention and take heed to this letter. Buckle down, open your Bible, and let these instructions sink in. Read the ver...

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A Financial Theodicy

  What is theodicy? Theodicy is the term given to what is otherwise called the problem of evil. That problem has been outlined in three statements that many say cannot all be true. Those statements are: God is all-good. God is all-powerful. Evil exists. The Christian realizes that to abandon any one of those statements would be a direct denial of scripture. Many say ...

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CAN CHRISTIANS LET THEIR BIBLICAL CONVICTIONS SHAPE PUBLIC POLICY FOR THE NATION AS A WHOLE

  This week’s blog post is a transcript of Albert Mohler’s weekend edition of The Briefing, a daily analysis of current news and events from a Christian worldview. This particular question and answer is very pressing and very insightful. The Briefing Ask Anything Weekend 4-4-2015 Albert Mohler Question: As Christians we affirm the Bible is our standa...

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How to Leave a church

  Leaving a church should be a difficult undertaking for multiple reasons. First, it should be difficult because of the questions one needs to answer before leaving. Second, it should be difficult because of the relationships you built within the church. If your leaving is not a very difficult thing, it is because one or both of the above has not been adequately cons...

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When Not To Leave A Church

  1. When there are church problems Ironically, this is one of the most common reasons people leave a church. When you think about it, however, this is crazy. Satan is hell-bent on destroying the church. With such a powerful being opposing us, do we really think any good church will avoid problems? I would say you have something to worry about if there are never pro...

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When To Leave A Church

  1) When there is false teaching. Doctrine is the engine of decision making. What we really truly believe drives our behavior. Therefore, there is nothing more important in a church than continuous, faithful teaching of Scripture; especially in matters of essential doctrine. If our beliefs are not constantly challenged and corrected by Scripture, then we might be i...

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A Surprising Mark of Godly Love

  Are you a loving person? Your answer can help you determine your level of spiritual maturity. Christians are to be known by our love (John 13:35), and only those who love abide in the light (1 John 2:10). The attributes of biblical love listed in 1 Corinthians 13 are helpful. However, love is like an ocean with various currents constantly moving the waters. Some cu...

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I Am the Worst Sinner I Know

  In last week’s sermon, while we were looking at the reasons behind the reality that new covenant people still sin, I said that I am the worst sinner I know. I just dropped that statement like a landmine and left it sitting there. While no one mentioned it, I can imagine someone pondering what is behind such a statement. Is there a landmine of sin in Pastor Ja...

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Your Christmas Needs More Easter

  If you have been to any birthday parties for 4 year olds lately, you know what I am about to tell you. When the piñata comes out, there are two dominate mindsets. First is the parent’s. This mindset is driven by visions of some boy swinging for the fences only to connect with the pigtails of some sweet, unsuspecting party-goer. The main thing the paren...

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Reflections Following My Conversation With An Abortion Provider

  Below is a blog by Pastor Scott Sauls. This is one of the best articles that I have read on the pro-life/pro-choice controversy. This article will leave you no place to hide. Whatever side you take, you will find that your own sin has warped what kingdom living calls for. May the gospel transform our approach so that we can have the “true religion” of J...

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Thankfulness: Getting It Through Your Thick Skull

  In God’s word, one verse is all you need to hear an authoritative word. If God spoke it, it is true and God doesn’t need to repeat Himself. But, the more you read God’s word, the more you appreciate that God is gracious and compassionate, willing to condescend to those of us who are slow, oblivious, misdirected, stubborn, and, well…like you...

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Betrayal and Pride: The Contradiction Within Us

  We always like to bash on those silly Israelites and those bone-headed Apostles. Their mistakes and failings are legendary. One of these moments of breathtaking contradiction happened during the last supper. Two verses stand side-by-side, shocking everybody – except those involved. Read both of these verses again, and stand amazed that they are next to one an...

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26 Ways to “Provoke the 1 Peter 3:15 Question” at Work

  This blog post was too good to pass up. If you are not doing several of these at work, you need to do some heart probing to find out why. Posted by Pastor J.D. Greer on August 10, 2014 I mentioned in this weekend’s sermon that the Apostle Paul lived in such a way that he provoked a question. Peter said it this way: “In your hearts honor Christ the Lor...

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After the Barbeque

  People. Oh, the complexities that come with people. There are so many personalities, so many backgrounds, so many ways we sin against one another. Challenges and perils aside, God calls us to love people and pour out our lives for them. So let’s say you want to do better at loving people. You know this is the second greatest commandment, so it isn’t ef...

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Faking the Fruits

  A couple of weeks ago I preached through the first half of Matthew chapter 3. It was there that John the Baptist launched a stinging rebuke at the Pharisees and Sadducees who had come to be baptized. This led us to think about hypocrisy. These religious leaders were coming to be baptized with a baptism of repentance which seemed to be exactly what they needed. Any ...

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The Power That Creates Godliness

  There is a sober warning that comes in Paul’s last letter. In 2 Timothy, Paul warns that difficult days will come and they will be difficult because they will be filled with godless, evil men manifesting every form of corruption. He says in 3:5 that one of their defining features is they will be “holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied...

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Don’t Grow Weary of Growing Weary

  There is a famous quote that says, “never say never.” It is one of those fun little quotes that endures because there is a glaring contradiction that still conveys an important reality that we do well not to forget. That dynamic is very similar to the simple admonition of this blog post, “don’t grow weary of growing weary.” The main di...

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The Hypocrite: A Better Definition

  We have all heard it from someone at some time. They don’t want to go to church because of all the hypocrites. But who exactly are they talking about and what church are they talking about. Let’s deal with the church first. If the person you are talking to doesn’t want to go to your church because of all the hypocrites, he might have a very good ...

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God’s Anger Management Tool

  Anger is a difficult thing. The reason it is difficult is because there are two things that are clear from scripture about it. First, anger is not necessarily a sin. Second, most anger is sin. To illustrate the first point, we read of God’s anger in the Old Testament, we see Jesus’ anger in the temple, and we are instructed in Ephesians 4:26 that we can...

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Why Every Christian Is Called to Evangelize

  Evangelism is something we are always trying to grow in. Sometimes it is good to review the reality that God really does call each and every one of His children to verbally bring the gospel to spiritually dead people. Below are 8 key biblical reasons why you are called to evangelize. The first and second great commandments are the main heartbeat for evangelism. A ...

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REAL HOPE AND REAL DISASTER

  People are really good at making the Bible say what they want it to say. There are lots of factors that contribute to this. Not the least of which is a widespread and growing ignorance of what is actually in the Bible. People simply haven’t read enough of the Bible to know that what they think it says is absent from and/or refuted by scripture. One area that...

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Self-esteem Will Dismantle Your Love

  The right tool for the right job; that’s the professional’s mode of operation. Even in the area of demolition, If you are going to do it effectively, you need the right tools. So today I am asking, what would be a good tool for dismantling someone’s effectiveness for Christ. There are plenty of options, but one less noticed is self-esteem. Your se...

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Cue A New View

  There are few things more helpful than learning something new and then getting to see it in action. To see it allows your learning to go from theoretical to concrete. But how is that going to happen when you are talking about something that involves amounts of time, money, and effort that you simply cannot create out of thin air? The “Sounds Good” Theo...

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