Author: Nick Batzig

Nothing to Complain About

Of all the sins that are grievous to the Lord (and there are plenty of them in our hearts and lives), I have recently been sensitive to the fact that we are all quick to gloss over two of the most serious–namely, ingratitude and complaining. It was these sins in particular that marked Israel’s sojourning through the wilderness. Moses tells us, in Numbers 11:1, “The people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp.” Unthankfulness for all...

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A Spiritual Inheritance

When I was a teenager, I had a conversation with my mom about parents leaving their children an inheritance. At some point in that conversation, my mom said, “Nick, there are different kinds of inheritances that parents can leave their children. Most limit their understanding of an inheritance to the financial realm, while the Scriptures predominantly emphasize the importance of leaving your descendants a spiritual inheritance. The latter is far more important than the former.” I not only agree with what my mom (who is now with Christ) told me then, I recognize that she left my sister and me such...

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The Roller Coaster Effect of Ministry

I recently listened to one of the fathers of our denomination speak about the “ups and downs” that he was experiencing in ministry. This man had planted a church in the PCA (which he subsequently pastored for many decades), oversaw quite a number of church plants out of that congregation and is currently planting a new church. What he said triggered painful memories of what I had experienced in seeking to deal with–what I like to call–“the roller coaster effect” of ministry. At times it felt as though I was on the most turbulent roller coaster during the first five years of planting New...

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Picking Up Sticks in the Service of Jesus

One of the perennial problems of the fallen human condition is that men and women love to serve when there is respect, reputation and remuneration involved, and not serve when it involves what they perceive to be a menial task done out of the sight of the prying and praising eyes of others. This is no less true of members and leaders in the church as it is among the people of the world. It was for this reason that Jesus told the parable of the dinner guests: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do...

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When Christians Hurt You

As the culture war rages on, there is another battle raging to which we must turn our attention. When I was a boy, my dad would sometimes tell me, “No one will hurt you so much as others in the church.” In my lifetime, this has generally proven to be true. Believers sometimes experience the greatest hurt in their relationships with other professing believers in the church at large. When a professing believer hurts our feelings or reputation, how should we respond? Should we, in turn, demean that individual by telling others (whether privately or publicly), “I can’t stand him,” or “she’s such a mess” or “I’m...

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