Author: Jeff Medders

Yes, Jesus Loves Me!

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us” (1 John 4:16). One of the most well known children’s songs is also one of the greatest truths in the universe. The Bible tells us so. There is nothing in me—that I can see—that would cause the love of Christ to flood upon me. Only grace. A gracious Christ is the explanation for a sinner’s salvation (Eph. 2:1-8). Yes! Jesus loves me. Jesus loves the messed up and failing me. Jesus loves the faithless me. Jesus loves the ridiculous me. Jesus loves me...

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4 Steps to Discern What is Pleasing to God

Ephesians 5:10 “And try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” This may be one of the most important questions we can ask about our actions, decisions, plans, thoughts & dreams…. “Is this pleasing to the Lord?”   This perspective can change everything.  There are some things that we don’t need to wonder about, because the Bible has made it abundantly clear.  We don’t need to speculate about lying. We know God hates it. But what about things that we can’t easily pin a “chapter and verse” on? A few examples: Should we buy this _______? Should we take that vacation? Should we be a part of that ministry? Is this movie or show ok to watch? Should we get satellite TV? Is this kind of music wrong? Should we let our child do this? Is this a good job/industry for me? Note: None of these things are inherently sinful — but they might help us sin. God, in all His wisdom, gave us a great overarching principle: “Would this be pleasing to the Lord?” Paul’s instruction is to “try and discern” if God would be pleased by our decisions.  This is much more than a quick thought.  This implies that we put some real effort into figuring out if God would be honored by what we are about to do. When we are unsure, it is wise...

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The Vaporizing Venue of Gospel Joy

“For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.” (Psalm 33:21 ESV) Everyone wants to be happy—and we all chase it differently. Binge netflixing, model plane building, craft coffee drinking, the list goes on. How do Christians chase down gladness in a distinctly Christian way? The world has their modes of happiness transportation. Money, technology, sex, media, food, etc.—these aren’t evil things, they are meant to bring joy. God has given us a universe-load of joy. The entire created order is built with a mechanism to produce soul-thrills. Stars. Steak. Sunsets. Shall I go on? “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer” (1 Tim. 4:4–5). We can enjoy this world, not in a shy awkwardness but in a bold, pure, heir-of-all-that-is-ness in Christ. The Lord Jesus lived on this planet for thirty-three years. He didn’t monk himself. He ate, drank, went to weddings, fished, read, and more. We learn from Jesus. He lived a faithful life, a fun life—a life that honored God. And he made all of that possible for us. The Venue of Joy When it comes to wrangling joy from the herd of the earth, there is a tension we must watch. The created things aren’t the...

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Hope for Those Captive to Lust

“…the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.” (Proverbs 11:6 ESV) The struggles of pornography aren’t new. Lust has been around since Genesis. And it will be a fight till the New Heavens and New Earth—but it is one that you can win, because it has already been won for you. Many men feel addicted to lust. I think, according to the Scriptures, we can call ‘addiction’ a kind of captivity. It holds you captive. Rethinking Lust In the Old Testament, the word for ‘captive’ means to be overthrown or to have another assume control of you. For many,...

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Biblically Salty Speech

“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3) Some people are known for speaking their mind. They like to say it like it is. No hemming, no strings. They are known for not having a filter. The Bible has a category for this kind of lifestyle. Foolishness. It is detrimental to other people—and it is a roundabout way to hitting the self-destruct button. Wisdom puts a filter over our mouths. Some things just don’t need to be said. But if we are known for being the kind of people who “say what we think,” we will not be the kind of people that commend the wisdom of God. We are to always be honest. We are to always be truthful. And we are to always seek after God’s wisdom for our lives. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11) Rather than blurting out our words, the Scriptures call for a craftsmanship to our speech. Prov. 25:11 is giving is a wonderful image. Imagine a hunk of gold crafted into a beautiful cluster of apples. And now imagine those pristine apples of gold, set, not in hay, or on a nice black cloth, but in silver. It’s impressive craftsmanship. It’s valuable. It’s desirable. The message, the medium, and the manner all matter....

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