The Great Stores of God’s Provision

I recently read an account of one of the world’s most dangerous and demanding races. Over the course of a week, participants must run nearly 300 kilometers over scorching desert terrain. Once they set out, they are expected to remain mostly independent and to follow a track that has been staked across flatlands and dunes, dry river beds and infrequent oases. To ensure participants have the provisions they need, the race organizers leave stores of food, water, and medical supplies …

We Must, We Can, Bloom for Him

Far down a desert road, far from the swarms of people crowding Bryce and Zion and the other big attractions, far from just about anything and anyone else, we pulled over and got out. Beneath us was parched ground, above us a vicious sky, before us a towering cactus. And there, under the dark clouds, there against the stark desert, there before the sharp thorns, we gazed at the bright beauty of gentle, precious flowers. We saw flowers in the …

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Making the Christian Life More Complicated Than It Needs To Be

We sometimes make the Christian life more complicated than it needs to be and more complicated than it ought to be. For when it comes right down to it, God calls us to nothing more, and nothing less, than to obey. The only thing that really matters in any context or any circumstance is obedience to God’s will as it is revealed in God’s Word. Thus it is always necessary, and never superfluous, to search the Bible to know the …

A Master at Identifying Sin

I am a master at identifying sin. I might be tempted to brag about that fact, except for this: While I’m a master at identifying the sin in other people, I’m a mere novice at identifying the sin in myself. And I don’t think I’m the only one. There seems to be something deeply embedded in sinful humanity that gives us the ability to spot the sin in others but to ignore it in ourselves. We can provide a thorough …

My Great Daily Challenge As a Christian

The great daily challenge I face in Christian living is not a challenge of knowledge—I know what I need to know in order to live in a way that pleases God. It is not a challenge of discernment—there is rarely any great difficulty in distinguishing truth from error and right from wrong. It is not a challenge of ability—there is no temptation I cannot resist and no sin I cannot turn away from when I am indwelled by the Holy …

The Sofa Salesperson Who Did Everything Wrong

What I wanted was a sofa. What I got was a tale of woe. As I stood in awkward silence, listening to her talk about everything but sofas, I realized she was illustrating a lesson I need to learn as much as she does. I mentioned a couple of days ago that I have been struggling with this ongoing medical issue and the pain that comes along with it. I do not intend to make this a regular theme on …

When Grumbling Meets Gossip

It’s for good reason that the Apostle Paul is considered one of the greatest leaders among the first generation of Christians. He was the early church’s foremost theologian, pastor, missionary, and church planter. He was also the Christian faith’s chief exemplar. Through the descriptions of his life in the book of Acts and the biographical details contained in the various epistles, we see him setting an example of how a Christian is to live. In fact, he lived such a …

On Living in a Post-Christian Context

The West is becoming increasingly post-Christian. Many of the more progressive nations are not merely overlooking or ignoring their Judeo-Christian heritage, but actively destroying it. They are making their way through their laws and constitutions, their definitions and traditions, to divest it all of any remnants of the biblical principles and assumptions upon which these nations were built. There is nothing that is sacred, nothing that can’t or won’t be touched in this great scouring. Those of us who live …

How Can I Leave My Church Well? (Video)

This is a question that I get from time to time (in different variations): “I have come to differ theologically with my church in some significant ways, so should I leave, and if so, how?” This was asked at an Ask Me Anything event in the Philippines, and here’s my stab at an answer. (Context: This specific question involved leaving a non-Reformed charismatic church for a non-charismatic Reformed one.) Transcript I have come to differ with my church theologically – …

Please Do & Please Don’t Assume Motives

Though we boast of great things and take confidence in our knowledge, we are actually finite little creatures bound by a million limitations. In fact, our knowledge is so limited we don’t even really know ourselves. We often lack clarity about the motivations behind even our best or worst actions. We can do great things for the Lord while still harboring sinful motives; we can do terrible things that dishonor the Lord while still harboring noble motives. Our hearts are …