DANIEL EMERY PRICE
Daniel is the Director of Christ Hold Fast. He is also an author, church and conference speaker, and co-host of the podcasts 40 Minutes in the Old Testament and 30 Minutes in the New Testament. Daniel has served as a church planter, pastor and worship leader and currently lives in Bentonville, Arkansas, with his wife Jessica and daughter Anna.
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.
Did the Apostle Paul just say that “he fills up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ?" That seems a little at odds with Jesus statement "It is finished." Perhaps salvation isn't complete? Jesus suffered a lot, but maybe a little more suffering is required from each of us?
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.
BY DANIEL EMERY PRICE
Christmas is the celebration of God gifting His son to the world. A God we often view as harsh and hard giving us a gift, we never thought to ask Him for. Reconciliation and freedom. The gift of freedom comes with no strings attached. No caveats or warnings.
There is no shortage of blogs, books, and sermons that use the life of Joseph as a model for Christian living. From not giving up on your “God given dreams,” to fleeing sexual temptation, to being faithful in tribulation, Joseph is like proverbial “Swiss Army Knife” of godliness.
We don’t love little because we have little that requires forgiveness. We love little because we’ve confessed little and hidden much. Therefore we experience little forgiveness. This is what Jesus is teaching both Simon and us when he says, “I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much”
I’ve found that most people struggle to agree with God that we are fully forgiven, redeemed and justified by pure grace alone, for the sake of Jesus Christ alone. I know it’s difficult for me. That is why we need this gospel preached to us over and over. But wait. What about good works and loving my neighbor?
My Grandmother recently lost a long battle with cancer. Her name was Joy, and a name has never been more fitting. When our family was going through her belongings, they discovered a note stating that Psalm 139 was her favorite Psalm. I was then asked to write something about this Psalm to be read at her funeral.
What is your Goliath? What in your life seems so gigantic, you might never defeat it? Where is your Jericho? Where is the area in your life that you need to see the walls crumble? Who is your Pharaoh? Who is trying to chase you down and take away your freedom? Perhaps you’ve had a pastor or “Bible teacher” ask you these questions. I hate these questions.
Let’s be honest for a minute. The Bible has some strange stories in it. I’m not talking about just the miraculous nature of many of the stories but rather the seeming randomness of some of them. This story from 2 Kings 13 is both miraculous and really random. It’s only two verses long and recounts how a dead man was thrown into the grave of a deceased prophet and then came back to life.
When Peter says he will “lay down his life for Jesus” he thinks he is willing to die to save Him. Could anything be more backwards? Sadly our thinking is often just as twisted. Like Peter we make all kinds of bold promises to God. We talk about living for Jesus and even dying for Jesus.
Perhaps your Facebook and Twitter feeds have been full of depictions of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, or awkward pictures of pastors dressed in monk attire wielding a hammer and the like. What they probably haven’t been full of is pictures of a wild-eyed Jesus, flipping over tables, and driving people out of the temple with a whip.
Abraham didn’t understand God very well (at least not early on). I don’t say that as a dig against the Patriarch. I don’t think any of us understand God very well either. When Abraham discerns that God is going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah he is bold enough to attempt to talk God out of it.
BY DANIEL EMERY PRICE
Hanging on to our sin is a terrible business. When it goes unconfessed, we usually try to double and triple down on it to keep it off the radar. Then we end up with far more than just the initial transgression we try to hide.
Recently, I started preaching through the Psalms of David and came to Psalm 23. I have read these well-worn verses countless times but in preparation for my sermon, I was surprised at how the comforting words of David hit me as if I had never read them before…