On Helping Your Wife Become Like Christ by Identifying Her Every Fault

Christian husbands are given a particular responsibility—they are to love their wives in such a way that they help them become more like Christ. As Chad and Emily Van Dixhoorn express it in Gospel-Shaped Marriage, “husbands are to love their wives in a Christlike way and to help promote the purposes of Christ, in a Christlike fashion, for the good of their own wives. The love of Christ for his bride—a bride made up of sinful men and women—offers the model …

Death and its Twin

I had quite a number of opportunities this week to think and speak about death. And as I did so, I found myself drawn to these precious and poetic words from F.B. Meyer in which he reflects on the abolishment of death in the death of Christ. What hope we have in the gospel! Death is abolished! The wasp struck its sting into the cross of the dying Lord, and lost it there, and is now stingless forever. The poison …

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Vultures Are Always the First to Smell Carrion

Wherever there is Christian community there is bound to be scolds and critics. This is true today and this was true in days past. Here’s a great little excerpt from one of De Witt Talmage’s sermons from the late 1800s in which he expresses his concern about such individuals. There are in every community and in every church watch-dogs who feel called upon to keep their eyes on others and growl. They are full of suspicions. They wonder if this man …

Two Lives Blending Into One Life

I’ve got marriage on my mind today as we prepare to gather this evening to celebrate Abby and Nathan’s wedding. One little gift I have given them is a copy of J.R. Miller’s The Wedded Life, a sweet little book he wrote for just such an occasion. This particular copy was given to a couple in 1906 and contains the signatures of all those who attended their ceremony over a century ago. I love that it will be present in …

It Is No More Death, But A Sweet Departure

Those who have lost a child, or who have lost another loved one, inevitably face the pain of separation and the longing for reunification. In my own sorrows I have often been comforted by some sweet words written by Thomas Smyth, a man who on one day laid two precious children in the very same grave. Though he writes specifically to bereaved parents, his words will resonate with all of those who have loved and lost. Can we not with …

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 …

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 …