Author: Nick Batzig

Diagnostic Decision Making

Not being sure how to decide between two or more legitimate life options is a common human experience. It is part of what it means to be a finite creature in a finite world mysteriously governed by the infinite God. Whether it is a student trying to discern what college to attend, a young man trying to know which girl to pursue for marriage, an adult who has been presented with a variety of employment opportunities or a seminarian wishing to know how to discern his calling, most of us find decision making to be a platform for anxiety...

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Faithfulness and Fruitfulness

Richard Greenham, one of the renowned Puritan theologians of the sixteenth century, was well loved in his day for the spiritual help he was to many believers in England, as well to his fellow Puritan ministers. Quite a number of Puritan pastors would send their congregants to Greenham for what they considered to be the more difficult “cases of conscience.” Nevertheless, Greenham expressed regret over not seeing much fruit in his own congregation in Dry Drayton—the exceedingly small rural town in which he pastored—during his almost twenty-one-year ministry there. Reflecting on the spiritual state of his congregation, Greenham spoke...

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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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