Shepherds peered down at a baby. The God of the universe had donned flesh and finally arrived. This was no parade of boisterous glory or overwhelming riches. There was no miraculous scene of sparkly pomp or flashy circumstance. Instead, a tiny human displayed God himself in the unlikeliest of places.
Friendships can be like those leaves. Sometimes they end just when we begin to believe they might really last forever. An ended friendship can be a deeply painful loss causing real grief.
The beautiful result is the incalculable possibilities for how to spend my time narrows into a list that Jesus pens. He strengthens me for the work and becomes the bridge to an intentionality capable of producing fruit beyond what I could ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20).
Jesus, the one who overcame death, who conquered it, now resides in heaven. This is why heaven holds our hope; Jesus is there. God gives parents what we need in order to grieve miscarriage with hope. He gives us Jesus.
When these words shoot through my brain or mumble out of someone’s mouth I immediately think, “Don’t say that.” I cringe because my theology of depravity only grows. When violence is common, abuse is normal and conflicts are abounding, our self-righteousness quietly slithers itself toward center stage of our broken world.
Chauvinistic evangelicalism is a demented, sinful expression of complementarianism; a misogynistic strain of a disease that sickens the church.
Clinging to the comfort and hope of the gospel, I’m free from demanding that my friends love me perfectly. I don’t need their perfect ministry because I have the perfect ministry of Christ. And as I humbly receive from him, I’m able to humbly receive the imperfect love of others as tangible instruments of God’s grace to me.
Submission has become an ugly word; a synonym for domestic violence; a moniker for smothering women in the church. It’s become a hated word because the relationship between authority and submitter has been portrayed as superior to inferior.
It’s hard to listen when I realize the world can look so different from another point of view. I feel in over my head. Conversations about race can make white people uncomfortable, but love for our neighbor requires us to listen.
Selfish ambition is demonic. Let that sink in. Eventually we all find places where self-promotion has seeped into our hearts and minds and perverted the things we are doing—even things we’re doing “for the glory of God.” From parenting to working to driving down the road to the friendships in our neighborhoods, bitter jealousy and selfish ambition are rampant.
In marriage, we are to enjoy the sexual relationship that God has created but it doesn’t mean anything goes.
When the biblical authors talk about peace, they’re far less concerned with our circumstances than our hearts.
During my high school years, I struggled with an eating disorder. Any weight gain was unacceptable to me–even that which was part of normal growth and development.
Stop allowing the narrative of a hurting world to be the foremost voice when your life has been radically changed by good news. The good news of which I’m speaking —the gospel— is, in fact, beautiful on a cosmic level. This weary world needs beauty.
. . . the noble desire that longs to help, to fix, and to rescue is the same desire that Satan can use in ministry to weaken us. He uses it to halt our prayers to the true savior; to bring instability to our faithfulness by making our faithfulness seem to rest on us, not Jesus.
We serve because God tells us to worship him this way, not because we want people to know how awesome our gifts are. We serve because Jesus first served, not because it’s easy.
Our need for others is clear in scripture (Gen 2:18, 1 Cor 1:9, Eph 4:15-16). If you would rather not be in need of others, you’re missing the gospel’s central message: you stand before God as one in need, and what you need above all is Jesus.
And as redeemed image bearers, we reflect our father’s heart to the world. His heart is for the orphan.
No matter who you are or what stage of life you’re in, there are people in your life who are just difficult. People who take more than they give. People who endlessly repeat the same poor decisions that affect your life negatively. People whose personalities are drastically different than your own.
Navigating a finite world of finite resources with self-serving hearts is what makes wealth such a source of temptation for us.