Bible & Theology

The Shape Of Gospel Astonishment

BY JARED C WILSON

Sigh. I would love to enjoy fellowship with God, to receive his blessing and his righteousness. But I don’t have clean hands and a pure heart, and I have often lifted up my soul to falsehood and have sworn deceitfully. If that’s the standard for acceptance unto God’s favor, I can only hang my head in shame and sorrow.

The Shape Of Gospel Astonishment

We Preach Christ Crucified

BY BRANDON HANSON

You will not read articles about how Jesus is a “life coach” that just wants to help you get ahead in life. You will not hear teaching that leaves you with the impression that God is stuck in heaven fretting over the world as he looks down in anxiety, just hoping someone will do enough to get the blessing…

We Preach Christ Crucified

When The Law Must Yield

BY MARTIN LUTHER

We will look at the command to love, in the Law of God. Innumerable, endless, are the books and doctrines produced for the direction of man's conduct. And there is still no limit to the making of books and laws. Note the ecclesiastical and civil regulations, the spiritual orders and stations.

When The Law Must Yield

The Gospel According To Noah

BY CHAD BIRD

Many children’s Bible Story books put it this way: “People everywhere were bad, but Noah was good.” But Noah was “good” not because he wasn’t “bad,” but because he believed in the good One whom his father had mistaken him for—the promised seed.

The Gospel According To Noah

You’re In Good Hands

BY JAKE ALLSTAEDT

I'm firing on all cylinders when my head hits the pillow. Does that happen to you? I’ll replay my failures from the day, especially the embarrassing ones. I shouldn’t have said that. What was I thinking? Was I too rude to that person? Was that the right response? I hope they didn’t take what I said the wrong way.

You’re In Good Hands

Forgive Me... If You Can

BY BRANDON HANSON

Forgiveness. Reconciliation. They are beautiful notions until we have some reconciling and forgiving to do. It is easy to say we believe in forgiveness. Quick is the silver tongue that speaks the, “I forgive you.” Slow are the feet of clay which shamble ever so slowly and cautiously toward the behavior that follows forgiveness.

Forgive Me... If You Can

The Giver God

BY NORMAN NAGEL

When the scriptures say "firstfruits" it means there are more gifts to follow. With every gift, God pushes our hands wider open to receive a still larger gift. The bother with us is that we often hold our hands open just enough for little gifts in fear that if the gifts get too big they may overwhelm us.

The Giver God

Joy Is Coming

BY JESSICA THOMPSON

Seasons of prolonged suffering have a way of beating your spirit down into the dust. Relational suffering. Physical suffering. Emotional suffering. Financial suffering. All of it can leave you feeling hopeless. We find ourselves looking up at the sky and wondering where He went or if He was ever there to begin with.

Joy Is Coming

The Christian Polytheist

BY CHAD BIRD

God doesn’t believe in atheists. As they reject his existence, so he rejects their rejection. They may not believe in the true God, but they do fear, love, and trust in Some Thing. And that Some Thing is the deity enthroned within their hearts. All atheists are closet theists.

The Christian Polytheist

Fearless Thomas Apart From Christ

MARTIN LUTHER

Thomas was the most fearless and courageous of all the disciples, in that he said when Christ wished to go again into Judea to Lazarus who was dead: “Let us also go, that we may die with him,” Such fine characters were the disciples of Christ and especially St. Thomas…

Fearless Thomas Apart From Christ

Not Today

BY BROR ERICKSON

One of the great themes of the Game of Thrones is the personification of Death, most concretely in the form of the Night King, supreme commander of the blue-eyed nightwalkers. Arya Stark, Eddard Stark's third child, is catechized early in the cult of Death by her fencing instructor, Syrio Forel, the First Sword of Braavos.

Not Today

The Clever Trap Of Jesus

BY SCOTT DAVIS

Luke tells us that Jesus told the parable to “some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and treated others with contempt.” It is important to remember that that isn’t two groups of people- such as: Over here are the people who are self-righteous and over here are the ones who treat others with contempt.

The Clever Trap Of Jesus

What's An Anchor Doing In The Holy Of Holies?

BY CHAD BIRD

Some of the last words our Lord spoke were addressed to a man who stood on the precipice of eternity. “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” It was no time to blabber some sentimental nonsense. No occasion for chitchat. The words to a dying man must be words pregnant with life.

What's An Anchor Doing In The Holy Of Holies?

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.”

A Table For The Broken

Is It I, Lord?

BY ERICK SORENSEN

I suppose it's natural not to want to take the blame or admit it when we have a problem. Even us adults never really grow out of it, we just learn to paper over our issues with euphemisms or more reasonable sounding excuses: "No, not me. I'm not abrasive and rude; I'm just honest and tell it like it is."

Is It I, Lord?

You Can’t Always Outrun The Pain. That’s OK.

BY BRUCE HILLMAN

Have you ever read the Old Testament book of Lamentations? It’s not one of those Bible books that tend to make it too often onto devotional lists, sermon schedules or motivational posters. That's too bad. At first glance, the book seems deeply depressing.

You Can’t Always Outrun The Pain. That’s OK.

Hunger And Thirsting

BY SCOTT DAVIS

I always thought that people who hunger and thirst for righteousness are those who are so zealous to do good deeds that they are constantly gobbling up righteousness at every turn. They sort of sounded like a religious Pac-Man- a compulsive eater of good deeds.

Hunger And Thirsting

Christ Is Still Holding Fast

BY DANIEL EMERY PRICE

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.

Christ Is Still Holding Fast

The Truly Good Shepherd

BY MARTIN LUTHER

You have heard that after his sufferings and death Christ our Lord arose from the dead and entered upon, and was enthroned in, an immortal existence. Not that he might sit up there in heaven idly and find pleasure in himself, but that he might take charge of the kingdom

The Truly Good Shepherd

Where Do We Go When We Fall Asleep For the Last Time?

BY BRANDON HANSON

I just visited a dying woman. When I arrived, she was sleeping so deeply that she had to be gently shaken awake. It took some persistence. She was quite exhausted. Dying must be hard work. As soon as she had shaken off her sleep she was bright, alert, and clear.

Where Do We Go When We Fall Asleep For the Last Time?

Faith Is Not What Some People Think

BY MARTIN LUTHER

Faith is not what some people think it is. Their human dream is a delusion. Because they observe that faith is not followed by good works or a better life, they fall into error, even though they speak and hear much about faith. “Faith is not enough,” they say, “You must do good works, you must be pious to be saved.

Faith Is Not What Some People Think

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?

Fear & Fruit Bearing

Jesus Only Gives

BY DONAVON RILEY

When we're under stress, when we're weighed down by responsibilities, and when we feel like nobody cares and no one can help us, we run to God. We ask God to send us a preacher to remind us of his promises. We ask God, like a child asks his father, that he focus our attention on his baptismal grace…

Jesus Only Gives