Category: The Gospel and the Christian Life

An Open Letter to Those Apathetic about Their Sanctification

Dear friend, How can I light a fire and get you engaged and active in wanting to grow when you don’t really seem that interested? You’re “eh,” “meh,” and “whatever.” What could shake you out of apathy and indifference? What could shake you out of plodding along through life, going through the motions in your Christianity? There’s no magic answer of course. But let me share a couple of things that I’ve found that have affected my own lethargy and apathy. First of all, I often look at myself in light of the seven deadly sins. (These are actually...

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God’s Self Sufficiency: Embracing the Reality that God Doesn’t Need You

In 2009, my wife and I purchased a home in Atlanta, Georgia. Despite being a larger house in a nice neighborhood, it was what our realtor called “a handy man special.” It needed some serious TLC. The fact that dogs had used the walls to “mark” their territory and cigarette smoke seemed to hang around like an unwanted guest, made my wife initially refuse the deal. But I assured her of my (never-before-seen) carpentry skills and off we went—paint brush and all! Trips to the local Home Depot soon began to drain my bank account. The items that needed...

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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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An Open Letter to Those Frustrated by Their Progress in Sanctification

Dear friend, We all love it when life leaps into forward gear and we make all kinds of progress. Problems just seem to fall away. Perhaps in your life you’ve had a season like that, a season when your life seemed to shine and flourish. Maybe it was when you first became a believer or during some period when you were very well nurtured by good community and wise input. Then there are those seasons where things go very slowly. You wonder, “Is this all there is? Why do I keep struggling with the same old things? I keep...

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Ministering to Those Who Perpetually Struggle

I grew up listening to stories my grandfather told of his childhood during the Great Depression and his time in the army during World War II. The experiences he had of childhood poverty, family brokenness and the horrifying images of war were forever etched in his mind and heart. They changed him in profound ways, leaving lasting scars, both inside and out. Believers who walk with a limp There are many people whom we sit next to in church on Sunday mornings who live with their own stories of brokenness. Their life has been darkened by trauma, violence, deep sins (theirs...

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