Do you remember fairy tales? Tales of magical creatures and far away fantasy lands? They were legends of lore that included dragons, magic, a moral to the story or a hero saving the day. I am a history nut and love the old stuff. I am willing to bet that when you reflect on what are considered to be a fairy tale classics…
Discarding All Merit
BY MARTIN LUTHER
We should steadfastly maintain our teaching so that we never let any work take credit for gaining the favor and grace of God, for liberating us from sin, and for bringing us to heaven. My merit is worthless for this. And if someone should want to use it for this, I must trample it underfoot and damn it to the devil himself…
A Table For The Broken
BY RJ GRUNEWALD
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, he invited a rag-tag group of sinners to have a seat at the table. The table was so important that while Mark described, “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost,” Luke suggested, “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking.”
Easter Revival Burnout
Every year they began the revival with the Easter service. Often with the: “I'm-not-going-to-tell-you-once-a-year-church-goers-the-Gospel-because-you-don't-come-often-enough-to-deserve-to-hear-it-and-instead-I'll-tell-you-how-worldly-you-are” sermon.
Pastor Of Disaster
BY MATT JOHNSON
How are things at your church? Are people getting saved in droves, are there mass baptisms every Sunday, is giving at an all-time high, and are your members model citizens and pillars of the community? If so, praise God. Keep working hard. Ride the wave and enjoy it.
Christ Is Still Holding Fast
Most Christians are no strangers to pleading with God to change their circumstances or relieve their suffering. Whether its physical pain/sickness or the despair we feel when we lose another battle with that same old sin we've been fighting as long as we can remember, we are desperate for God to intervene.
God Shows Up When The Chips Are Down
BY MATT JOHNSON
If everyone would just live by the rules, the world would be a better place, wouldn’t it? Wisdom. Justice. Goodness. Any reasonable person can see God’s good creation and recognize He has ordered the universe in a certain way. Sounds reasonable, right?
Fear & Fruit Bearing
BY JAY SAWRIE
Growing up in the Bible Belt religiosity that I did, there was always an emphasis on fruit bearing. I can remember countless youth rallies where the evangelist would ask sugar high teenagers, "What are you doing for God? Are you a missionary to your school or in the locker room? Is God calling you to the mission field somewhere?
I Am A Fake Christian
BY RYAN COUCH
What is a fake Christian? I think the answer depends upon how you define “Christian”…the Bible says that a Christian is one who has faith in the person and work of Christ as his/her only means of salvation; that is that they’ve been put to death and raised into new life with Christ.
Grace In The Wilderness
God’s children spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. Imagine the hopelessness. Imagine the frustration. Imagine the seeds of distrust that were blooming into outright trees of anger and pain. “He brought us out of Egypt for this?” Some of us don’t need to imagine this anger, this pain, this sense that maybe God has forgotten or betrayed you.
How Long, O Lord? Climbing 109 Mountains
BY CHAD BIRD
I finally climbed all 109 mountains. My journey began out of desperation, fueled by anger, fear, resentment. I didn't how long it would take, nor the toll it would take from me. I simply climbed, some days only an inch, other days a few feet. And sometimes I plummeted backwards.
Grace and Peace for Stubborn Sins
The terms of grace and peace are common terms with Paul and are now pretty well understood. But since we are explaining this epistle, you will not mind if we repeat what we have so often explained elsewhere.
Grace & The Umbrella Academy
Netflix just recently released a series called The Umbrella Academy, another comic book series adapted for screen. The first season is all about warding off the impending apocalypse. If you haven’t seen the show, I’ll do my best not to spoil it for you.
Examples Of Grace
BY KYLE G JONES
I was once asked why I thought young people were leaving the church in droves after they graduated high school. As a director of youth and family ministry, I’m well positioned to answer. My response: Sunday school. We’re losing young people as children in Sunday school because we’re teaching Bible stories to modify behavior…
What Did Jesus Look Like?
When I was growing up, I remember that my pastor, before the closing prayer of his children's sermons, would ask us to close our eyes and imagine the most beautiful, most loving picture of Jesus that we could. We were to believe that He was right there with us as we prayed.
God’s Not Looking For Spiritual Gurus
BY MATT JOHNSON
An honest faith recognizes that bad news always precedes Good News in the Christian life. Only by abandoning our own efforts to please God and throwing ourselves on God’s mercy will we begin to legitimately thirst for God’s kindness and grace.
The Grace Pirate
You may be thinking to yourself, “What is a Grace Pirate? I have never heard of such a thing.” But I am willing to bet you have heard of some fictional person that functions like him. There is almost always one in the religious crowd that will suggest that the message of free grace will create “Grace Pirates.”
The Dung-Slinging God
The prophet Jonah longed for one thing: to see the Assyrian city of Nineveh utterly destroyed by the wrath of God. His wish eventually came true. The later prophet, Nahum, describes in terrible and graphic detail the fall of the city. Nahum is a book almost entirely devoted to the horrors of the wrath of God.
Can Jesus Save A Christian?
You’ve likely seen it yourself or at least heard of it happening. I recall hearing testimony after testimony from Christians who had been convicts, gang members, drug addicts, alcoholics, perverts, deviants, anarchists, extortioners, and scam artists. And Jesus saved all of them.
The God Who Sees Me
There have been so many times in my life where I have thought to myself; God isn't paying any attention to me. He doesn't care what I do down here on this inconsequential planet in the middle of the huge universe He controls. He might be able to see me, but He doesn't really care to look down on me.
The Law Cannot Enter The Promised Land
There was a time when I struggled to understand why God didn’t allow Moses to enter the Promised Land. Moses didn't ask to lead Israel. Moses didn't ask to deal with God's rebellious and idolatrous people. He was perfectly happy tending sheep and being a husband and father.
Sin Like Coffee Cups
I have this really terrible habit. A habit that involves my car and days-old coffee and a willpower so weak that nine out of ten coffee cups get left behind. A habit whose repercussions aren’t so awful when you consider the fact that most days my car smells like classic vanilla Coffee Mate...
Anxiety And The Christian
There is a brief passage in Psalm 55:22 which reads: “Cast your burden upon Jehovah, and he will sustain you: he will never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Follow this advice. Let not your burden rest upon yourselves; for you cannot bear it, and must finally perish beneath its weight. But, confident and full of joy, cast it from you and throw it on God.