Recently in Devotional/Theology Category

Reflection on Genesis 40 & Mark 8 (June 6, 2014) - Genesis 40 ends with Joseph being forgotten by Pharaoh's cupbearer whom he helped in prison. But we learn in the next chapter that God had an awesome purpose for his delay in rescuing Joseph. Where are you in your own... (Keep Reading Reflection on Genesis 40 & Mark 8)
The Power of the Gospel (October 13, 2013) - "The power of the gospel comes in two movements. It first says, 'I am more sinful and flawed than I ever dared believe,' but then quickly follows with, 'I am more accepted and loved than I ever dared hope.'" -... (Keep Reading The Power of the Gospel)
When to Stop Reading the Bible (July 8, 2013) - "Do not expect always to get an emotional charge or a feeling of quiet peace when you read the Bible. By the grace of God you may expect that to be a frequent experience, but often you will get no... (Keep Reading When to Stop Reading the Bible)
The Deciding Factor in Salvation (March 3, 2013) - "Calvinism and Arminianism both affirm that God has chosen not to save everyone; the paths diverge over whether God's electing grace or our free will is the deciding factor in salvation. In the Calvinist account, though, God's love is finally... (Keep Reading The Deciding Factor in Salvation)
Justification is a Verdict (February 19, 2013) - "Justification is a verdict, a declaration, that one who is actually unrighteous in oneself is righteous before God solely on the basis of Christ's righteousness being credited through faith alone. Therefore, justifying righteousness is not infused into us but... (Keep Reading Justification is a Verdict)
Awakening a Hunger for God (September 23, 2012) - Studying and preaching on the spiritual discipline of fasting. I found this quote by Piper provoking: "If you don't feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are... (Keep Reading Awakening a Hunger for God)
The Secular Beatitudes (July 8, 2012) - Today I preached a message on the beatitudes called "The Good Life." As I studied Jesus' words I was reminded of how backwards the values of the kingdom of heaven are compared to the kingdom of this earth. They completely... (Keep Reading The Secular Beatitudes)
David by Walter Chantry (April 28, 2012) - The last book my mother gave me before she passed away was David: Man of Prayer, Man of War by Walter Chantry. It had been a great encouragement to her during a difficult season and she wanted me to read... (Keep Reading David by Walter Chantry)
Never Give Up (April 24, 2012) - For the last three Sundays in April at Covenant Life, our series title is "Never Give Up," drawn from Luke 18:1, where we find Jesus teaching his disciples that they "should always pray and never give up." We're looking... (Keep Reading Never Give Up)
Why We Need Doctrine (November 12, 2011) - For different reasons a lot of Christians in my generation and older generations are leery of too much emphasis on doctrine. They have come to equate doctrine with church splits, hate mail, arrogance, and angry diatribes. They have seen how... (Keep Reading Why We Need Doctrine)
Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart (November 5, 2011) - Spirit of God, descend upon my heart; Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move; Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art; And make me love Thee as I ought to love. I ask no dream, no prophet... (Keep Reading Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart)
He Washed My Eyes With Tears (September 22, 2011) - He washed my eyes with tears that I might see, The broken heart I had was good for me; He tore it all apart and looked inside, He found it full of fear and foolish pride. He swept away the... (Keep Reading He Washed My Eyes With Tears)
The Slavery of Performancism (September 5, 2011) - I've been enjoying Tullian Tchividjian's forthcoming book Jesus + Nothing = Everything. Here's a great quote from a chapter on the dangers of legalism, or what Tullian likes to call "performancism." "Legalism traps you in slavery and despair. To define... (Keep Reading The Slavery of Performancism)
For The Good by Shane & Shane (August 20, 2011) - I needed this song today. Grateful for the music of Shane & Shane.... (Keep Reading For The Good by Shane & Shane)
Only One Right Person (August 9, 2011) - It helps me to remember that one day in heaven there will be only one right person. I'm sorry, but it won't be you. Or me. It will be God. Everybody else in heaven will be wrong in a million... (Keep Reading Only One Right Person)
Less Like Scars by Sara Groves (July 30, 2011) - It's been a hard year But I'm climbing out of the rubble These lessons are hard Healing changes are subtle But every day it's Less like tearing, more like building Less like captive, more like willing Less like breakdown, more... (Keep Reading Less Like Scars by Sara Groves)
Too Great to Fail (July 25, 2011) - "The wrong inference from God's transcendence is that he is too great to care; the right one is that he is too great to fail." - Derek Kidner... (Keep Reading Too Great to Fail)
Spurgeon's Story of the Gardener (July 13, 2011) - A child had a little garden in which she planted many flowers, but they never grew. She put them in, as she thought tenderly and carefully, but they would not live. She sowed seeds and they sprang up; but very... (Keep Reading Spurgeon's Story of the Gardener)
Don't Skip That Part (July 1, 2011) - I mentioned this comic when I preached on "humble orthodoxy" last Sunday.... (Keep Reading Don't Skip That Part)
Smuggling Character Into Grace (May 26, 2011) - "The glory of the gospel is that God has declared Christians to be rightly related to him in spite of their sin. But our greatest temptation and mistake is to try to smuggle character into his work of grace.... (Keep Reading Smuggling Character Into Grace)
Christ the Mediator (May 26, 2011) - "In this ruin of mankind no one now experiences God either as Father or as Author of salvation, or favorable in any way, until Christ the Mediator comes forward to reconcile him to us. Nevertheless, it is one thing to... (Keep Reading Christ the Mediator)
Knowing Truth & Loving Jesus (May 26, 2011) - (Keep Reading Knowing Truth & Loving Jesus)
Personal Empires Will Fall (May 26, 2011) - "If you are in Christ, God will not allow you to enter his reign with a kingdom-grasping pride. You will be stripped of every haughty look, every personal empire, in order that you might enter as a little child, looking... (Keep Reading Personal Empires Will Fall)
Too Introspective (May 22, 2011) - My friend Tony Reinke, who is a big Jonathan Edwards fan, shared the following quote by Charles Hodge on his blog and encouraged others to tape it inside the front cover of Edwards' classic book Religious Affections. It's a good... (Keep Reading Too Introspective)
Speaking the Gospel (May 6, 2011) - "Prepackaged approaches to the gospel, though helpful to get us started being comfortable in sharing our faith, should not become our only means of sharing. The Bible is full of rich metaphors for the faith. We should appreciate the variety... (Keep Reading Speaking the Gospel)
The Quality of Faith is its Object (April 30, 2011) - "True faith takes its character and quality from its object and not from itself. Faith gets a man out of himself and into Christ. Its strength therefore depends on the character of Christ. Even those of us who have weak... (Keep Reading The Quality of Faith is its Object)
God Lives and He Has My Heart (April 25, 2011) - Spent an hour reading over letters and cards people sent us last year after my mom died. I wish I could have responded to each person. It was so kind of all those who reached out to us during that... (Keep Reading God Lives and He Has My Heart)
Josh Moody: No Other Gospel (March 30, 2011) - I wanted you to be aware of this new book by Josh Moody: No Other Gospel: 31 Reasons from Galatians Why Justification by Faith Alone Is the Only Gospel "These expositions are clear, well-organized, exegetically careful, and theologically faithful.... (Keep Reading Josh Moody: No Other Gospel)
Functional Universalism (March 28, 2011) - I am too often guilty of "functional universalism." I'm grateful for the challenging words and challenging personal example of David Platt.... (Keep Reading Functional Universalism)
Humility isn't Pretending to Be Worthless (March 15, 2011) - "Being humble is not a matter of pretending to be worthless, but is a form of realism, not only regarding the real badness of one's sins and stupidities and the real depth of one's dependence on God's grace, but also... (Keep Reading Humility isn't Pretending to Be Worthless)
Ray Ortlund on Revival (March 3, 2011) - "Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down..." Isaiah 64:1 "When God rends the heavens and comes down on his people, a divine power achieves what human effort at its best fails to do. God's people thirst for... (Keep Reading Ray Ortlund on Revival)
Acknowledging Dependence (January 1, 2011) - "I believe that one of the chief characteristics of our sinful nature, or 'flesh' as it is called in most Bible translations, is an attitude of independence toward God. Even when we know and agree that we are dependent... (Keep Reading Acknowledging Dependence)
Waiting on God (December 28, 2010) - "To wait is not merely to remain impassive. It is to expect--to look for with patience, and also with submission. It is to long for, but not impatiently; to look for, but not to fret at the delay; to watch... (Keep Reading Waiting on God)
God Uses Critics to Help Us (December 19, 2010) - "Christ uses critics to guard our souls from self-destructive tendencies. We gain ears to listen to others when we gain ears to listen to Him....Critics, like governing authorities, are servants of God to you for good (Rom. 13:4). He who... (Keep Reading God Uses Critics to Help Us)
Teaspoon Christianity (December 14, 2010) - "For those of us who have been Christians for a while, it becomes easy to think that we've pretty much exhausted the possibilities of the Christian life. We can settle into a routine of activities at church and in our... (Keep Reading Teaspoon Christianity)
Evangelical Hypocrite (November 29, 2010) - Of all hypocrites, grant that I may not be an evangelical hypocrite, who sins more safely because grace abounds, who tells his lusts that Christ's blood cleanseth them, who reasons that God cannot cast him into hell, for he is... (Keep Reading Evangelical Hypocrite)
Who Are Your Companions? (November 16, 2010) - "Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm." - Proverbs 13:20 ESV If you counted websites, television shows, and musical artists as companions, would you say you're walking with the wise or the... (Keep Reading Who Are Your Companions? )
Heartache or Happiness (November 11, 2010) - "The best thing is neither to seek nor avoid troubles but to follow Christ and take the bitter with the sweet as it may come. Whether we are happy or unhappy at any given time is not important. That... (Keep Reading Heartache or Happiness)
Abiding Isn't Complicated (November 6, 2010) - "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." - John 15:5 ESV When we think about what... (Keep Reading Abiding Isn't Complicated)
Ring the Bells of Heaven (November 1, 2010) - "'Good Prayers,' says an old divine, 'never come weeping home. I am sure I shall receive either what I ask, or what I should ask. Prayer pulls the rope below, and the great bell rings above in the ears of... (Keep Reading Ring the Bells of Heaven)
Sermons from 1 Peter (October 1, 2010) - These are the sermons from our church's study of 1 Peter. You can click on the titles of each sermon below to listen online or download the audio. I hope they encourage you. 1 Peter 1:1-2 | Joshua Harris | A Past, Present and Future... (Keep Reading Sermons from 1 Peter)
Lifted: Experiencing the Resurrection Life (October 1, 2010) - The pastors of Covenant Life Church are reading a small book by Sam Allberry called Lifted: Experiencing the Resurrection Life. Here are a few quotes: "The resurrection demonstrates who Jesus is. It is not meant to be just some mega-miracle,... (Keep Reading Lifted: Experiencing the Resurrection Life)
Amillennialism 101 by Dr. Kim Riddlebarger (September 1, 2010) - Thought much lately about how the world will end? I'm working my way through a series of lectures by Dr. Kim Riddlebarger on amillennialism. Monergism is giving away for free a CD of his lectures and sermons. The mp3 CD... (Keep Reading Amillennialism 101 by Dr. Kim Riddlebarger)
Fiery Trials (August 9, 2010) - This past Sunday I preached from 1 Peter 4:12-19, a passage that tells Christians not to be surprised by fiery trials that come upon us to test us. I asked five questions of the text: What are fiery trials? Why... (Keep Reading Fiery Trials)
Self-Control and Sober-Mindedness for the Sake of Prayer (August 5, 2010) - I preached a message last Sunday from 1 Peter 4:7-11 called "Pray Love Serve." God's Spirit is really hitting me hard with the priority of self-control for the sake of prayer. 1 Peter 4:7 says, "The end of all things... (Keep Reading Self-Control and Sober-Mindedness for the Sake of Prayer)
Thoughts From a Friend Who Has Suffered (July 26, 2010) - Grief over losing my mom hits me in unexpected moments. I can have stretches of time when I'm not weighed down by it, but then sadness surprises me. I'm learning that this is a normal part of the process. During... (Keep Reading Thoughts From a Friend Who Has Suffered)
The Long Goodnight by Matthew Smith (July 3, 2010) - When I was with my mom last week before I left Oregon she talked to me about how Christians don't say "goodbye" when one dies, but only "goodnight." Today a friend pointed me to this song by Matthew Smith featured... (Keep Reading The Long Goodnight by Matthew Smith)
Trust Requires Intimate Knowledge (June 11, 2010) - Jerry Bridges in his book Trusting God writes, "In order to trust God we must know Him in an intimate, personal way. David said in Psalm 9:10, 'Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never... (Keep Reading Trust Requires Intimate Knowledge)
What Are You Leaning On? (June 10, 2010) - God's word says in Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding." Trusting God wholeheartedly involves actively not trusting in yourself--not trusting in your own comprehension, your own experience,... (Keep Reading What Are You Leaning On?)
Dig Deeper: An Interview with Nigel Beynon (May 22, 2010) - I'm very excited about a new book written by Nigel Beynon and Andrew Sach called Dig Deeper: Tools for Understanding God's Word. Dig Deeper offers sixteen "tools" readers can use to get to the bottom of any Bible passage... (Keep Reading Dig Deeper: An Interview with Nigel Beynon)
Seven Habits of Highly Evangelistic Christians (April 28, 2010) - I'm reposting the following from Kevin DeYoung's blog. Good stuff...Thom Rainer, President and CEO of Lifeway, argues that the secret to being an evangelistic church "is really no secret at all. Ultimately evangelistic churches see more persons become Christians through... (Keep Reading Seven Habits of Highly Evangelistic Christians)
Judgment + Hypocrisy = Cynicism (April 19, 2010) - "While purporting to 'see through' others' facades, cynics lack purity of heart. A significant source of cynicism is the fracture between my heart and my behavior. It goes something like this: My heart gets out of tune with God, but... (Keep Reading Judgment + Hypocrisy = Cynicism)
1 Peter: Living Hope (April 11, 2010) - Covenant Life is launching a study of 1 Peter called "Living. Hope." The title is taken from the first chapter that tells us that God has caused us to be "born again to a living hope through the resurrection... (Keep Reading 1 Peter: Living Hope)
Awesome, Savage, Precious Day (April 2, 2010) - Tonight at our Good Friday service my friend Kevin Hartnett recited a poem he wrote entitled "How Awesome Is That Day To Me." He gave me permission to share it here for your encouragement. How awesome is that day to... (Keep Reading Awesome, Savage, Precious Day)
The True Words of Jesus' Enemies (April 2, 2010) - "So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 'He saved others; he cannot save himself.'" - Matthew 27:41-42Those who mocked Jesus could not understand how true their words of derision were. It was only by... (Keep Reading The True Words of Jesus' Enemies)
Revelation is for Relationship (April 1, 2010) - The Bible is the story of Jesus (see John 5:39-40, 46-47). And it's the truth of Jesus. All of Scripture is given to us so we can know him and love him. Revelation is for relationship. In his book... (Keep Reading Revelation is for Relationship)
Feelings Do Not Define Truth (March 24, 2010) - "My feelings are not God. God is God. My feelings do not define truth. God's word defines truth. My feelings are echoes and responses to what my mind perceives. And sometimes--many times--my feelings are out of sync with the truth.... (Keep Reading Feelings Do Not Define Truth)
Prayer Mirrors the Gospel (March 23, 2010) - "Prayer mirrors the gospel. In the gospel, the Father takes us as we are because of Jesus and gives us his gift of salvation. In prayer, the Father receives us as we are because of Jesus and gives us his... (Keep Reading Prayer Mirrors the Gospel)
The True Cause of Self-Righteousness (March 22, 2010) - "What is the true cause of self-righteousness? How is it that such a poor, weak, erring creature as man can ever dream of deserving anything at God's hands? It all arises from ignorance. The eyes of our understandings are naturally... (Keep Reading The True Cause of Self-Righteousness)
Content to Be Abased (March 17, 2010) - "There is in each of us an envy; O how hard a matter it is to rejoice in the gifts, graces, and labours of others, and be content in circumstances, when God casts us by as unworthy, and uses others... (Keep Reading Content to Be Abased)
Bad Idea: Minding Sin More Than the Savior (March 15, 2010) - "The first device that Satan has to keep souls in a sad, doubting, and questioning condition, and so making their life a hell, is by causing them to be still poring and musing upon sin, to mind their sins more... (Keep Reading Bad Idea: Minding Sin More Than the Savior)
Henry Scougal on Humility (March 12, 2010) - "Humility imports a deep sense of our own meaness, with a hearty and affectionate acknowledgment of our owing all that we are to the Divine bounty; which is always accompanied with a profound submission to the will of God, and... (Keep Reading Henry Scougal on Humility)
You Can't Get to Know God on the Fly (March 11, 2010) - "Jesus' example teaches us that prayer is about relationship. When he prays, he is not performing a duty; he is getting close to his Father. Any relationship, if it is going to grow, needs private space, time together without an... (Keep Reading You Can't Get to Know God on the Fly)
What You Can Do With the Gospel by Justin Taylor (March 7, 2010) - Justin Taylor shares a sample list of what you can do with the gospel drawn from just  two verses.You can (and should):preach ithear it preacheddeliver itreceive itbelieve itbe saved by itremember itremind others of itstand in ithold fast to it"Now... (Keep Reading What You Can Do With the Gospel by Justin Taylor)
Bible Reading for Busy Moms (March 4, 2010) - How does a mother of young kids find time to read the Bible? My friend Ryan Kelly shares a helpful quote from Don Whitney who writes, "you may be in a situation that curtails many of your spiritual activities. You... (Keep Reading Bible Reading for Busy Moms)
Think Globally, Love Locally (February 23, 2010) - Last week, a quote I shared by Rick Warren about the importance of commitment to a local church rubbed a few people the wrong way. I think some read his phrase "spiritual adultery" as a statement that you can never... (Keep Reading Think Globally, Love Locally)
Wrong Reasons to Love the Church (January 22, 2010) - Do you love the church? Romans 12:10 tells Christians to "Love one another with brotherly affection." The affection and love we're to have for fellow-Christians is to be based on the work of Jesus Christ for us. It's not about... (Keep Reading Wrong Reasons to Love the Church)
Psalm 90 - Teach Us To Number Our Days (December 27, 2009) - This coming Wednesday I will turn 35. When I was a kid I used to resent the timing of my birthday. December 30th is not the best day to be born if you're hoping for a truck-load of presents. I... (Keep Reading Psalm 90 - Teach Us To Number Our Days)
Dependent Creatures (December 26, 2009) - "Human beings have very little real power over their lives. Ninety-five percent of what sets the course of their lives is completely outside their control. This includes the century and place they are born in, who their parents and family... (Keep Reading Dependent Creatures)
The Righteousness of Christ - 2 Cor. 5:21 (November 12, 2009) - The Righteousness of Christ from Covenant Life Church on Vimeo.This sermon, by Joshua Harris, was preached Sunday, November 8, 2009, at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Md. The first message in the series, "Bookends of the Christian Life," Joshua considers... (Keep Reading The Righteousness of Christ - 2 Cor. 5:21)
The Gospel and a Heart for the Poor (October 24, 2009) - "Like nothing else could ever do, the gospel instills in me a heart for the downcast, the poverty-stricken, and those in need of physical mercies, especially when such persons are of the household of faith. When I see persons who... (Keep Reading The Gospel and a Heart for the Poor)
A Less Busy Heart (October 17, 2009) - "The quest for a contemplative life can actually be self-absorbed, focused on my quiet and me. If we love people and have the power to help, then we are going to be busy. Learning to pray doesn't offer us a... (Keep Reading A Less Busy Heart)
Jerry Bridges on Power in Prayer (September 8, 2009) - "[W]e must keep in mind that the Spirit of God is sovereign over when and how he works through the instruments of prayer. He certainly hears our requests and responds to them. But it's not for us to question the... (Keep Reading Jerry Bridges on Power in Prayer)
Gollum and Slavery to Sin (September 7, 2009) - I'm reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring to my two older kids. Last night we read the passage in which Gandalf explains the history of the pathetic Gollum as well as story of the One Ring to... (Keep Reading Gollum and Slavery to Sin)
Proverbs 3:5—Living Off Balance (August 18, 2009) - Listen to the audio of the whole message.... (Keep Reading Proverbs 3:5—Living Off Balance)
Francis Chan: Praying Proverbs 30:7-9 (August 1, 2009) - (Keep Reading Francis Chan: Praying Proverbs 30:7-9)
Job by John Piper-Illustrated Edition (April 22, 2009) - Watched this video for John Piper's book of poetry based on the Old Testament book of Job and my thoughts went to a number of dear saints I know who are grieving and suffering today. My prayers are with you.... (Keep Reading Job by John Piper-Illustrated Edition)
Tim Keller on Religious Idols (April 22, 2009) - Today in his message at The Gospel Coalition, Tim Keller talked about the importance of confronting idols in preaching the gospel. He taught that idolatry is anything I look at and say, "If I have that, my life has value."... (Keep Reading Tim Keller on Religious Idols)
J.C. Ryle: Cry to God for Mercy (April 18, 2009) - It is useless to say you cannot pray till you have faith and a new heart, and that you must sit still and wait for them. This is to add sin to sin. It is bad enough to be unconverted... (Keep Reading J.C. Ryle: Cry to God for Mercy)
A Bigger Problem Than Death (April 15, 2009) - Here's a portion of a sermon on John 11. Don't you love how weird I look in this freeze frame? It's my imitation of what Lazarus looked like when he came out of the tomb.... (Keep Reading A Bigger Problem Than Death)
Good Friday Meditation by Kevin DeYoung (April 10, 2009) - Kevin DeYoung wrote the following reflection as he prepared for his Good Friday service and I wanted to share it with you: Hebrews 2:14-17 "Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same... (Keep Reading Good Friday Meditation by Kevin DeYoung)
Charles Spurgeon on Manmade Gods (April 3, 2009) - "Earthly comforts are loaned. They are not gifts, for all that we possess is God's property. He has only lent them, and what he lends He has a right to take. We hold possessions and friends on a lease that... (Keep Reading Charles Spurgeon on Manmade Gods)
Power in Weakness, Vision in the Valley (March 27, 2009) - This morning I read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 in which Paul, after asking that his "thorn in the flesh" be removed, shares how God enabled him to boast in his weakness:But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you,... (Keep Reading Power in Weakness, Vision in the Valley)
D.A. Carson: The Gospel in the Storyline of Scripture (March 23, 2009) - "Thus the gospel is integrally tied to the Bible's story-line. Indeed, it is incomprehensible without understanding that story-line. God is the sovereign, transcendent and personal God who has made the universe, including us, his image-bearers. Our misery lies in our... (Keep Reading D.A. Carson: The Gospel in the Storyline of Scripture)
John Stott: The Double Influence of the Christian (March 23, 2009) - "You are the salt of the earth....You are the light of the world."—Jesus, Matthew 5:13-14 "So Jesus calls his disciples to exert a double influence on the secular community, a negative influence by arresting its decay and a positive influence... (Keep Reading John Stott: The Double Influence of the Christian)
Philip Graham Ryken on the Church (March 13, 2009) - I'm working on chapter eleven of my new book. (No, I don't want to tell you the title yet. No, it's not coming out soon. Lord willing, it will release in February 2010.) Anyway, this chapter is about God's purpose... (Keep Reading Philip Graham Ryken on the Church)
Love Your Enemies (February 26, 2009) - Jesus said, "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.... (Keep Reading Love Your Enemies)
Horses and Chariots of Fire All Around (February 5, 2009) - Here's a passage that has encouraged me. Take heart, Christian. Those who are with us are more... "When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots... (Keep Reading Horses and Chariots of Fire All Around)
Charles Bridges: Lie Low but Look High (February 2, 2009) - A quote I've been encouraged by recently... The main difficulty, therefore, is not in our work, but in ourselves; in the conflict with our own unbelief, in the form either of indolence or self-dependence. When faith is really brought into... (Keep Reading Charles Bridges: Lie Low but Look High)
The Day is at Hand (October 18, 2008) - Romans 13:11-14 says "...the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast... (Keep Reading The Day is at Hand)
I Will Yet Go Forward! (July 2, 2008) - "I must venture: to go back is nothing but death; to go forward is fear of death, and life everlasting beyond it! I will yet go forward!"—Christian in John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress... (Keep Reading I Will Yet Go Forward!)
Reflections on John 21: "You Follow Me!" (April 29, 2008) - After his three denials on the night of Jesus' betrayal, John 21 tells the story of Peter's restoration by Jesus. The Master asked him, "Do you love me?" And how was Peter to show his love? By feeding Jesus' sheep.... (Keep Reading Reflections on John 21: "You Follow Me!")
Week of Prayer (March 6, 2008) - Twice a year our church has what we call the Week of Prayer, a special time we set aside to focus on the priority of prayer. One of my favorite features of the week is our prayer room, open... (Keep Reading Week of Prayer)
Jonathan Edwards in Charity and Its Fruits (February 13, 2008) - "Do you think the injuries you have received from your fellow-man are more than you have offered to God? Has your enemy been more base, more unreasonable, more ungrateful, than you have to the High and Holy One? Have his... (Keep Reading Jonathan Edwards in Charity and Its Fruits)
Feeding on the Heidelberg Catechism (January 24, 2008) - As part of my daily time of communion with God I've been reading through the Heidelberg Catechism. Today questions 26 and 27 ministered to my soul. Q. What do you believe when you say: I believe in God the Father... (Keep Reading Feeding on the Heidelberg Catechism)
From "Why Me?" to "Why You?" (December 9, 2007) - From Suffering and the Sovereignty of God: "So often the initial reaction to painful suffering is Why me? Why this? Why now? Why?...[then] He comes for you, in the flesh, in Christ, into suffering, on your behalf. He does not... (Keep Reading From "Why Me?" to "Why You?")
Gift Idea: Journals (December 5, 2007) - Last night we had our annual Staff Christmas Party—always a wonderful time of fellowship and celebrating evidences of God's grace in those we work with. As a gift from the pastors, all the staff received leather PaperBlanks journals. These... (Keep Reading Gift Idea: Journals)
No Excuse (November 15, 2007) - "God did not teach us the reality of His rule in order to give us an excuse for neglecting His orders." - J. I. Packer, Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God, page 34... (Keep Reading No Excuse)
Momentous Knowledge (November 13, 2007) - Today I read this in J. I. Packer's book Knowing God: "What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it--the fact that he knows me. I... (Keep Reading Momentous Knowledge)
Daring to Be Holy (November 3, 2007) - Today I came across a quote I'd written in my journal. In his book Holiness, J.C. Ryle quotes puritan William Gurnall: "Say not that thou hast royal blood in thy veins and art born of God unless thou canst prove... (Keep Reading Daring to Be Holy)
This Isn't Complicated (November 2, 2007) - This week in my devotions I read the words of my Savior in John 14:15: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."How can I express my love to Jesus today? How can I show my love to one... (Keep Reading This Isn't Complicated)
Get to Love Him Best of All (September 29, 2007) - "If you make doctrine the main thing, you are very likely to grow narrow-minded. If you make your own experience the main thing, you will become gloomy and critical of others. If you make ordinances the main thing, you will... (Keep Reading Get to Love Him Best of All)
Simply Christ's Herald (May 19, 2007) - "Paul in his own estimation, was not a philosopher, not a moralist, not one of the world's wise men, but simply Christ's herald. His royal Master had given him a message to proclaim; his whole business, therefore, was to deliver... (Keep Reading Simply Christ's Herald)
Why Sacrifice? (May 16, 2007) - This month our church is asking the question, "Why sacrifice?" To sacrifice is to give up something valued to achieve a greater goal. Sacrifice isn't a concept most of us are naturally drawn to. Why give up anything that... (Keep Reading Why Sacrifice?)
God Wants Your Heart (May 12, 2007) - Today I'm preparing a sermon about sacrificial giving and living for the sake of advancing the gospel. Our church is focusing on sacrifice as we prepare to give to our "Go Forward Fund." This fund was created to accelerate... (Keep Reading God Wants Your Heart)
Are You Willing to Give Up Anything? (May 5, 2007) - J.C. Ryle's classic book Holiness is one of my personal favorites. The following quotation (from his powerful chapter on Moses, drawn from Hebrews 11:24-26) is a challenge I need to hear repeatedly:Are you making any sacrifices? Does your religion cost... (Keep Reading Are You Willing to Give Up Anything?)
I'm Not Indispensable. (April 21, 2007) - I have this quote from J.I. Packer's book Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, written on the first page of my personal journal:...the Christian must never for one moment imagine himself to be indispensable to God, or allow himself... (Keep Reading I'm Not Indispensable.)
Do Not Be Wise in Your Own Eyes (November 16, 2006) - We're working with our little girl on humbly receiving instruction. On Monday, I had a little special "breakfast time" with her in my office, and we worked on memorizing Proverbs 3:7, which says: "Do not be wise in your own... (Keep Reading Do Not Be Wise in Your Own Eyes)
Change Happens Because of the Gospel (October 25, 2006) - Today I'm working on a message I'll be giving to the small-group leaders of our church. The theme is "change." We're taking two days away to talk about sanctification, how God's Spirit works in us to change us and conform... (Keep Reading Change Happens Because of the Gospel)
Domesticating God (October 12, 2006) - My mentor, CJ Mahaney, frequently cites D.A. Carson's book The Cross and Christian Ministry as the most influential book in shaping his view of pastoral ministry. If that doesn't make you want to check it out, here's a compelling quotation... (Keep Reading Domesticating God)
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