One Way To Know You’re Being Persecuted

One of the most intimidating things Jesus taught was that, as his followers, we should expect to be persecuted. And one of the most surprising things he taught was that, when we encounter such persecution, we should face it with joy. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12). In Dustin Benge’s book The Loveliest Place, I read a brief explanation of what Jesus means …

Deconstruction, Exvangelicals, and Jumping Overboard from an Ocean Liner

We hear a lot about “deconstruction” these days and a lot about “exvangelicals.” And though the terms may be new, the reality is as old as the church itself—some will profess faith for a time and then fall away. There was a time when Christians referred to such people as “infidels,” those who had come to reject the faith they once professed. In my ongoing reading of the sermons of De Witt Talmage, I came across some of his writings …

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Why Should We Try To Add One Stitch To a Finished Garment?

Easter is a day of acceptance, a day of completion, for on Easter God validated Christ’s atoning sacrifice by raising him from the dead. Yet despite the sufficiency of Christ’s work, we can so easily slip back into an old mindset in which we become convinced there is still something left for us to do. F.B. Meyer addresses this temptation in a wonderful bit of prose: We must accept the finished work of Christ. He has ceased from the work …

To Plumb Depths that Have No Bottom

Today most of us will join with other Christians to worship our God together. As we do so, it is fitting that we consider just how much Christ loves his church. Dustin Benge does that well in this brief excerpt from The Loveliest Place. To grasp Christ’s love for his church is to plumb depths that have no bottom, find a treasure with no bounds, and climb heights that have no peak. As believers, we never move past the love …

We Are Very Anxious About Our Character

Earlier in the week I posted an article about being willing to suffer wrong in the face of those who wish to do us harm. After sharing it I came across a wonderful quote from F.B. Meyer that is at least parenthetically related. He counsels us on what to do when others attack our character and seek to harm our name. In short: wait on the Lord. We are very anxious about our character, but if we live close to …

Immediate Gain, Great Gain, Everlasting Gain

I heard from a friend this week who is on his way to heaven. He has days left, the doctors say, or maybe even a few weeks. But either way, his body has endured almost as much as it can take and his time is now short. Thankfully, he is ready to depart. And as I consider his departure, I recall this reflection from the old devotional writer James Smith which speaks of the great gain that comes to those …

The Snows, The Deep Snows, the Awful Snows

You do not need to read extensively in Christian history or Christian biography to spot the connection between sorrow and sanctification. Though it is certainly not always the case, very often the people who are particularly used by the Lord are the same people who endure suffering. De Witt Talmage makes this point well in a quote from one of his sermons. Call the roll of all the eminently pious of all the ages and you will find them the …

Do You Ever Wonder Whether You’re a Christian at All?

Have you ever had one of those moments where you’ve read how the Bible describes the habits, character, or disposition of a Christian and wondered, “Am I even a Christian?” I expect we all have from time-to-time. Alistair Begg considers the question in this little devotional on Luke 6:27 that is drawn from his book Truth for Life. When you read the Bible and it describes Christianity, and then you look at yourself, do you ever wonder whether you’re a …

Cheer Up, Men and Women of Unappreciated Services

Many people feel unappreciated or underappreciated at times. Many feel as if they serve more than they are served, give more than they are given. And often that is exactly the case. De Witt Talmage once pondered this fact in a reflection on 1 Samuel 30:24, a passage quoted below. I hope you find it encouraging! Cheer up, men and women of unappreciated services, you will get your reward, if not here, hereafter. When Charles Wesley comes up to Judgment …

Great God, Is Life Such an Uncertain Thing?

In the late 1800s, there were few American preachers who were better-known than De Witt Talmage (who spend most of his ministry at Central Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, New York). He was known as an orator and was perhaps second only to Henry Ward Beecher when it came to his ability to hold a crowd at rapt attention. Logos recently released a collection of 500 of his sermons and I’ve been enjoying reading my way through them. This excerpt, one …