Category: Featured

Teach Us To Want: Longing, Ambition & The Life of Faith (Jen Pollock Michel)

The word “desire” has become a misnomer of sorts. In the Christian life, we too often equate desire with sinfulness, like jealousy or sexual temptation. At best, we view desire as something that should be merely suppressed or given up in the pursuit of holiness. It’s wanting, and there’s no room for that in our dogma. And yet, Jesus says to us, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mk. 10:51) Katelyn Beaty, in the foreword to Jen Pollock Michel’s Teach Us To Want, pointedly asks the question. “What if, despite all the ways desire has been...

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Before the Evil Days Come

Before the Evil Days Come Ecclesiastes 11:1-12:8 Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:1, “9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain[a] from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity. Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will...

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The Blessing of Humility by Jerry Bridges

When we think of being blessed thoughts of financial abundance and success naturally fill our minds. Job promotions, smart children, luxurious vacations, and material possessions make us feel blessed. But what if this isn’t what Scripture means when it talks about being blessed? Vaneetha Rendall Risner says, “What is blessing, then? Scripture shows that blessing is anything God gives that makes us fully satisfied in him. Anything that draws us closer to Jesus. Anything that helps us relinquish the temporal and hold on more tightly to the eternal.” What if blessing has more to do with our spiritual growth...

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Good News for the Unwanted

Good News for the Unwanted  Exclusion, expulsion, alienation, and forsakenness—these were major themes in the ancient Jewish world.[1] The “impure” could be expelled from the community. The carcasses of sacrificed animals had to be burned outside the camp. The scapegoat was sent out “to a remote area.”[2] To be “inside” was to be pure, wanted, loved, at home, and alive. To be “outside” was to be dirty, unwanted, despised, outcast, and left to die. Unwanted babies of the ancient Near East were often left outside the city to die. Ezekiel picks up on this travesty to describe the Jews like...

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Resetting Ministry Priorities with a Laser-Like Focus on Faithfulness to the Gospel

Recently I was in ministry leadership meeting at my local church. During this meeting, it struck me how many of the words out of the participant’s mouths, including my own, focused on how many people were coming to our events. There’s nothing wrong with trying to reach more people in one’s local church especially when it’s from a desire to help them grow in God’s grace. The problem becomes as I realized in the course of this conversation how we were so focused on numbers that the expectations of our ministry were completely wrong. Furthermore, not only were our...

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