In the Old Testament, they only had prophets and miraculous events. They only had the parting of the Red Sea, they only had a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud, they only had food falling from the sky (Ex 13). But we have Jesus—the full revelation of who God is, a final form of communication (Jn 1:1).
I choose easy, quick gratification because I don’t actually believe that at God’s right hand there are pleasures forevermore (Ps 16:11). When I spend time alone, I’m confronted with my fears. When I don’t want to feel afraid, I run to distractions.
If we aren't asking God to transform our leaders’ hearts, who are we to complain about their ungodly leadership? We are called to make our requests known to God (Phil 4:6), and that includes desires for transformation in the hearts of our leaders.
More than anything, early mornings have the tendency to heap condemnation upon me. I never feel my inadequacies and sin as acutely as I do at this time of day. It's a burden of weighty proportions. But in it, is God.
When we face grief, the faith of Jesus is ready and waiting to help us through the Holy Spirit that dwells within us, providing the strength and comfort we need in God’s character, promises and gospel. So to understand how to grieve by faith, we should seek to grieve in the same way Jesus grieved while on earth.
When we are faced with the question of “What should I do?” or “What’s Next?” we can often turn to Scripture as though it’s a magic 8 ball. We pray as if, in return, we will get a Siri-like voice telling us where to turn next.
How unfortunate that we, the Millennial generation, whose great desire is to believe that our lives can make a significant impact, could be rendered largely impotent by the technologies we believe make us effective.
Our most vital task as parents is to know God so well that what pleases and impresses and disappoints Him affects us, and our parenting daily. We want to know Him so well that what He has done and is capable of doing is obvious to little watching eyes; so well that what He says to us in all of our circumstances sounds loudly to tiny listening ears.
This summer, the brothers and sisters of my congregation have gone through an unusual amount of physical suffering. Cancer, heart attack, strokes, sickle cell and death aggressively reared their truculent heads. One Sunday burdened by these ailments, the congregation joined hands across the aisle and bombarded heaven with desperate pleas of healing for particular individuals who were in digressing situations. Within two weeks, two people had died and a third was declared to be unrecoverable. It wasn’t long after that when a member asked me a sincere and relevant question: Should we have prayed for healing with so much boldness?
With only an hour or so to catch up, a few friends and I were at a table outside waiting for our lunch. A stranger had stumbled up, taken a prolonged stare at the counseling book on our table, said (aloud) to himself, “RICHARD! Here’s your chance,” and pulled out the fourth chair.
Spiritual Warfare. It’s creepy. It could be potentially dangerous to think about too much, but it’s also dangerous to not think about at all. If there is a war against us, we must be aware of it so we can fight. More than that, if Scripture tells us about this battle and how to fight it, then it’s helpful to consider these things.
I had my first child last December and we have been living in the Polar Vortex ever since. I expected exhaustion, hormone swings, for it to be hard in ways I couldn’t imagine, and perhaps even to face the dreaded “baby blues.” What I did not expect was how much that squirmy little babe with the bright black eyes would threaten to rock everything I “knew” about my temperament and way of looking at and responding to life. Enter “Baby Blues”: the mysterious and taboo phenomenon of depression and anxiety following childbirth.