So you—yes, even and especially you, reader—are not alone when you trust in Jesus. You are not on your own when you trust in Jesus. No temptation was too great for him to bear, and through faith in him and in community with others—who like you, need him—you have already received victory over all sin.
Yes, even over your porn addiction.
It makes logical sense that we would be terrified to confess and repent of our sin.
What will people think? Can I bear the consequences? What will happen if I do? What will my confession destroy? What will I lose? Will it kill me?
But Jesus threw a kind wrench into the sense of our flesh.
I may not comprehend your suffering or the hardships around me, but this I know to be true: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end (Lam 3:22). I can’t see everything like he can. But one day, for the rest of eternity, everything will be made right.
If our “Christianese” doesn’t align with the words of God himself, what language are we really speaking?
This year will mark the first Father’s Day I have ever spent without being able to see or speak to my dad. For 35 years, even after moving away from home 14 years ago, I have spent almost every Father's Day with him. But this year, I remember him.
While we often talk about motherhood being a high calling, it's not the highest. Being made more into the image of Jesus is the highest calling for us all.
The kind of thinking that attempts to bear the burdens of others as Christ instead of with Christ makes a ministry with foundations not in Jesus, but in the one who has put himself/herself in Jesus’ place. Such a ministry is thinking far too highly of itself (Rom 12:3).
We see in Matthew’s gospel account that Jesus’ ministry is bookended with disciple-making initiatives: “Come and be disciples. . .Go and make disciples” (Matt 4:19, 28:18-20). The refusal to focus on the baton pass is to reject your identity as a disciple of Jesus.
Books that can skillfully apply the Word to practical life can teach us how to live with one another and love one another better. Well-written books can help us connect the eternal wisdom of God to the daily rhythms of life, and that’s a great thing, because that’s where he works (Ps 139:1-6)!
We can easily chat about total depravity, but the moment a pastor addresses only men on a Sunday morning to confront “their” porn problem, he’s unintentionally left women in the dark . . . with their sin.
I often feel like a fish out of water among women. I’m the woman who cringes when she gets an invite to a women’s retreat, especially if it has teacups on the cover. I was never the girl who daily dreamed of marriage or motherhood. And even now as a wife and mother, I’d rather do push-ups than craft at your kitchen table. I used to feel ashamed in the church because I didn’t fit the mold of the Christian woman I often felt was modeled and taught.
But here I am, a women’s ministry leader.
Most Christian parents are afraid to talk to their kids about this subject. We are afraid that we might awaken some desire in them that wasn’t there before. We are afraid that they will be curious if we are too descriptive. We are afraid they will be curious if we are not descriptive enough. We are overwhelmed with the goal of preserving their purity. Our own past experiences cause shame or fear.
As a disciple-maker I am pointing women to something and someone greater than myself. In return, I get the distinct privilege of watching people become greater than me. Not only that, I get to become greater than me. As I experience God's redemption in beautiful and shocking ways, I become more like Christ as I strive with my disciples towards holiness. This is Christian discipleship.
Whether we realize it or not, most efforts that appear to be merciful are, in fact, anything but merciful; they use the poor for our own gratification to give our people ministry opportunities or some other short-sighted end. Do the people we minister to really need this type of ministry?
“Your marriage is not your own. Stop treating it like it is. You WILL destroy it if you continue to act as if it belongs only to you. Not because you necessarily want to, but you can’t help yourself apart from me. If you aren’t living for Me, you are only living for yourself. At any moment in your given life, if you aren’t living to glorify Me---you are striving for your own glory. Stop. Or you will destroy everything I have given you.”
We have confused glorifying God in all things with being the best at all things at all times. When we succeed at doing something we think is great, we feel good about ourselves. However, when we are striving to be like Jesus, we’ll never be perfect at friendship till heaven. If there is a genuine try towards godliness, arrogance won’t even be an option because we’ll be incredibly aware of our desperate state of being. As we disciple and teach, we shouldn’t be pushing women towards being the better wife, we should be teaching women to be a better Jesus-imitator. The result will, in fact, be a better wife.
The last place a woman should feel oppressed is in the local church. When we think of women being oppressed in the local church we automatically assume it’s coming from the top down. It must be the pastor or the male ministry leader, but it’s not the men causing the oppression. More often it’s women oppressing other women.