Author: Brian Hedges

Three Critical Truths about the Sovereignty of God and Prayer

The Sovereignty of God: How Suffering and Justice Meet There is no theological issue more complicated than the relationship between divine sovereignty and human responsibility. And this is no mere academic question, for our understanding here (or lack thereof) significantly affects such practical areas as evangelism and prayer. Prompted by an ongoing correspondence regarding predestination and free will, a friend asked me these thought-provoking questions: If God already knows what will happen (and what choices will be made, etc.), can He change the outcome? What is the purpose of prayer? Can our prayers for someone’s salvation actually make a...

Read More

Five Motivations to Pray

For years, when I thought about prayer, I mostly felt guilty for my lack of a robust prayer life. Reading stories of great saints praying for two hours a day or more left me with a gnawing sense of defeat. I would often resolve to pray more. But the resolves didn’t last. One day I realized that something had changed. While not exactly satisfied with my prayer life, I knew that I had one. I’m sure that I still don’t pray as much as I should. But I pray a lot more than I used to. And I’ve tried to think...

Read More

Three Ways to be Spiritually Minded

Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.” Not many of us could be accused of this today. And, in any case, the statement is wrong-headed, for as C. S. Lewis observed, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.” Being “spiritually minded” has always been a high priority among the masters of the spiritual life. In his devotional classic The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a’ Kempis said, “Set aside the things of...

Read More

Walking in the Way of Jesus

A few summers ago, my three oldest kids and I discovered a great hiking trail just a few miles from where we live. It’s a trail through the woods that winds in and out of several parks just on the east side of the St. Joseph River, complete with a river shelter and several picnic areas and playgrounds just off the trail. The kids were enthralled, and our little hike led into a natural conversation about walking the right path or way in life. The word walk is one of the main biblical metaphors for living the Christian life....

Read More

Three Tests of Balanced Preaching

In his classic book Preaching and Preachers, Martyn Lloyd-Jones described three different kinds of sermons that every pastor needs to preach: Sermons that teach or instruct. These are messages for the church with a more doctrinal or theological focus. Sermons that edify. These are also messages for the church, but with a more “experimental” focus. (By “experimental” preaching, Lloyd-Jones meant preaching that related to Christian experience.) Sermon that evangelize. These are messages that declare the essential message of salvation – the message of the gospel.[1] Lloyd-Jones wrote in an era when it wasn’t unusual for churches to have three services,...

Read More