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  • Do Not Envy the Wicked

    Do You Envy the Wicked?

    It takes a long time for sinful instincts to become pure, for tendencies toward what is evil to be transformed into tendencies toward what is good, lovely, and pleasing to God. The man who quits drugs will still react when he catches a whiff and the woman who gave up alcoholism will still struggle when…

  • Do You Practice

    Do You Practice?

    There is little we are called to in life that is purely intuitive. There is little that truly matters to our lives, yet comes to us innately. To the contrary, almost everything that is important and almost everything that matters requires practice. What matters most in life is love. We are called to love the…

  • As He Reaches Toward Us

    As He Reaches Toward Us, We Reach Toward Him

    When it comes to our growth as Christians, there are two related truths we need to understand and keep constantly in mind: Advance in the Christian life, which is to say advance in our relationship with God and advance in being like God, comes by a combination of God’s work and our work.

  • Does God Care How You Cook Your Goat?

    Does God Care How You Cook Your Goat?

    It is one of those biblical commands that has always perplexed me. If it appeared just one time in Scripture I might be tempted to pass it by. But it appears no less than three times, in Exodus 23:19, Exodus 34:26, and Deuteronomy 14:21. The repetition tells me that God is quite concerned that his…

  • A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    We are probably so accustomed to seeing bonsai trees that we don’t think much about them. But have you ever paused to consider how strange and freakish they really are?

  • The Soundtrack of Heaven

    The Soundtrack of Heaven

    I once heard of a ship that was crossing the Atlantic from Europe to South America, and as it neared the end of its crossing, it escaped a close call that would have sent it to the depths and would have taken the lives of many of its passengers. After departing Dover, the ship had…

  • As the Outer Is Peeled Away

    As the Outer Is Peeled Away

    There are many different ways to chart the journey through life. We can do it in life stages, like childhood to adulthood to middle age to old age. We can do it in decades, like teens to twenties to thirties and so on. But lately I’ve been pondering the passing of the generations, how when…

  • You Will Never Regret The Sins You Do Not Commit

    You Will Never Regret The Sins You Do Not Commit

    There are a few little phrases I think about and repeat to myself on a regular basis. One of the simplest but most frequent is this: You will never regret the sins you do not commit. It’s basic. It’s easy. It’s obvious. But I need to hear it again and again. Like you, I know…

  • Yeah

    Are You a “Yeah, But…” Christian?

    I have long observed a fascinating but concerning tendency when I read one of the Bible’s clear commands. I have observed it in myself and I have observed it in others. It’s the tendency to turn quickly from what the Bible does command to what it does not, from the plainest sense of one of…

  • How To Cheapen a Marriage

    Have you ever seen someone get married and you are absolutely certain that it’s not out of love for the other person? Maybe the woman wants access to her husband’s wealth or lifestyle and marriage is the way she can get it. Or maybe the man wants access to his wife’s fame or reputation and…

  • A Day in the Life of an Ordinary Christian

    Let’s suppose that for just one day the Lord chose to make a documentary about you—“A Day in the Life of an Ordinary Christian.” For a single day your every move was recorded and your every word transcribed. For a single day even your thoughts were externalized and written down. A camera crew was beside…

  • Never Be Discouraged and Never Be a Discourager

    Never Be Discouraged and Never Be a Discourager

    “I offer two pieces of wisdom,” he told me, “two commitments you can make: Never be discouraged and never be a discourager.” I have thought deeply about this counsel and have decided it is good—mostly good. I say “mostly good” because there are times when we cannot help but be discouraged, times when we are…

  • In a Distant Land

    In a Distant Land

    The young woman entered her parent’s home for what she understood would be the final time. The funeral had been solemn but still sweet, for she knew that her father had at last joined her mother. It had been a good many years since death had parted them, but now they were together in the…

  • Most To Jesus I Surrender

    Most To Jesus I Surrender (or Maybe Just Some)

    My annual journey through Scripture has once again taken me to the early books of the Old Testament and those long passages in which God lays out the laws that are meant to govern his covenant people as they come into their promised land. Among the laws are a whole host that describe the system…

  • Not a Lack of Food But a Lack of Hunger

    Not a Lack of Food, But a Lack of Hunger

    I was once told of a woman who lived in a cold-weather climate. She suffered from poor health and this in a part of the world where she could not easily get the nutrition she needed. Doctors suggested she travel to the tropics where the setting might be more conducive to a recovery. A few…

  • The Beauty of Duty

    The Beauty of Duty

    In former days Christians spoke often of duty. Though they most certainly delighted in God and were eager to foster and increase that delight, they tended to do so by way of duty. They examined their lives to determine what duties God was calling them to and audited their lives to determine if they were…

  • Another Week in a Difficult and Hostile World

    Another Week in a Difficult and Hostile World

    Bounded by a lake on its southern side, the city of Toronto and the suburbs that surround it are being steadily pushed to the east, west, and north. In these regions, developers are buying great stretches of farmland and converting them into dense neighborhoods. With hundreds of thousands of people arriving in Canada each year…

  • Measuring Spiritual Progress

    How Can We Measure Spiritual Progress?

    Every book contract—at least, every book contract I’ve ever seen—includes a word count. When the author finally submits a manuscript, it cannot be a discretionary number of words but must be within the range the publisher has set. This is good and helpful for an author because it makes it simple to set goals and…

  • Keys To Knowing God's Will for your Life

    Keys To Knowing God’s Will for Your Life

    Of all the issues related to Christian living, few receive greater attention than knowing God’s will for our lives. Many believers, and especially younger ones, agonize over knowing what God means for them to do and how he means for them to live out their days. Many end up leaning toward a low-grade form of…

  • Don't Waste the Days When You Feel Little Need for God

    Don’t Waste the Days When You Feel Little Need for God

    It would be a strange man who would meet a woman, pursue her, marry her, and then immediately establish a pattern of ignoring her. It would make little sense for him to marry someone he has little intention of continuing to get to know, of continuing to build relationship with. It would make for many…