Reveling in Wrath

It was one of the darkest chapters in Jewish history. Zedekiah had chosen to rebel against his Babylonian overlords, and King Nebuchadnezzar’s retribution was swift and sure. He besieged Jerusalem and captured it. He burned the temple, he burned the king’s palace, he burned all the mighty houses. He broke down the walls and left the city bereft and defenseless. He didn’t stop there. He also drove off 10,000 of the city’s most prominent citizens, leaving behind only the lowest, …

4 Times In Life You Should Expect To Face Temptation

Temptation is a mysterious thing. There must be method to the madness, there must be patterns of how and when we are tempted by specific sins. If there are, I’ve never quite been able to hack or solve the system. But at the very least we can observe this: There are some times in life when you should be especially wary, when temptation is especially likely. Here are four times you should expect to face temptation. During Times of Prosperity …

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Letters to the Editor (Leonard Cohen, Cashless Giving, Prayer, Sinning Against Others)

It has been a few weeks since I last shared a collection of letters to the editor. But I’m making up for lost time today by posting quite a few. I hope you enjoy them! Comments on Seems So Long Ago, Nancy I read your recent flashback article, “Seems So Long Ago, Nancy” with keen interest. Not because I know this song; in fact, I am not very familiar with much of Cohen’s music. I read with interest though because …

As Innocent as a Snake

There is something deep within the human heart, even the regenerate human heart, that enjoys evil. There is something within us that is drawn, almost magnetized at times, toward those things that are improper or even outright vile. At times each of us wants to see, taste, touch, or experience what God forbids. We want to watch things that glorify evil, to participate in what is off-limits, to experience what God says is unfitting. One of the responsibilities of every …

What the Wayward Wants

Few things bring sorrow and break hearts like dealing with wayward people—people who have determined they will pursue their sin, that they will reject their roles, forsake their promises, ignore their counsellors. When dealing with such people we need to ask, what is the mindset, the worldview, the value system of a wayward man or woman? Dave Harvey and Paul Gilbert look deep into the wayward heart in their book Letting Go. They offer three answers for what the wayward …

Four Key Principles of Repentance

In our family devotions we have been sharpening some big beliefs, learning some big truths. We have been doing this with help from David Helm as he has led us through the Westminster Confession of Faith. This was a confession that played an important role in my younger years, but one I had neglected until recently. It has been a joy to return to it and learn from it again. Lately we have been learning about salvation and, more specifically, …

Things Christians Just Don’t Get To Do

This one began with a conversation, with a statement within that conversation: “Christians don’t get to hold a grudge!” It’s just not an option, not a vice we can allow ourselves. But it’s not the only thing Christians don’t get to do. There are other kinds of behavior that God rules out, that God describes as being nothing less than sinful rebellion. Sadly, this doesn’t always stop us. Some of these behaviors continue despite God’s insistence that they are unfittinng …

Gospel Weariness

Gospel weariness. It’s a little phrase I picked up from a friend when he preached at our church not too long ago. His text was James 1, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” As he began to preach he told of some of the difficulties his church had encountered in recent days. Most recently and most painfully, dear friends who had only one opportunity to have a child had experienced stillbirth at eight …

The Provocative People of Proverbs

The perverse person. “A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends” (16:28). Just like a computer hacker writes a virus and releases it to spread across the internet, this perverse person creates strife—bitter disagreement—and seeds it into his relationships. He may do this through slander, through gossip, and through backbiting, always with the design of turning other people against his victim. His perversity is aimed at harming others. The lover of transgression. “He who loves transgression loves …

Are You Going to Hurt Me?

Autumn has descended at last. The heat of summer has slowly, stubbornly given way to the cool of autumn. The long summer days have surrendered to evenings that come too early, nights that linger lazily before yielding to dawn. Most days I find myself outside long before the sun has shown its face, running through darkened streets—my morning ritual. My mind works better when my body has been pushed. Three vignettes, three glimpses through my early-morning eyes. As dawn breaks …