Category: The Gospel and the Christian Life

How Sin Does Its Work

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:12-13 ESV) Nothing is more critical to our ongoing progress in holiness than maintaining genuine communion with God in our souls. We enjoy this fellowship with God as our hearts exercise faith upon the person and work of Christ and experience the enlivening influences of the grace and power of...

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God Hears Us

Life is full of both hills and valleys. And when we’re in the valley, it can often feel dark and lonely. We wonder if anyone sees our sorrow. Does anyone notice our sadness? Does anyone care? There is something in human nature that longs to be noticed, cared about, loved. This is one reason social media has become such a phenomenon. Anyone can post their terrible day or their epic accomplishment to a world of virtual viewers who can then provide encouraging words within seconds. It can be a quick fix to lift our spirits, at least for a...

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Two Truths and a Lie

When I was a child, the devil felt like an evil character in a fairy tale, complete with horns and a pitchfork. When I was a teenager, he seemed like someone whose name you never mentioned – almost as if speaking his name would serve as a summons. As a younger woman, I rarely gave the devil any thought at all as I was too consumed with raising a whole brood of little people. But as I mature into a wiser, older woman, I think of the devil for what he is – a liar, my accuser, and the...

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The Exaltation of Humility

Are we who we portray ourselves to be? And does it matter? In Hamlet: The Tragedy of the Prince of Denmark, the chief counsel to the murderous king, Claudius, tells us his son, Laertes: This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”[1] “To thine own self be true,” is a rebuke to Laertes who is in disastrous contest for Ophelia. It could be a reproof to all of us. We know ourselves as we think of ourselves. Others see us...

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Living with Hurt

From my perspective as a pastor, it seems like churches go through seasons of crises. One year it’s marital problems, and it seems like every marriage is falling apart. The next year its illness and death, and it seems like every family is suffering loss. Other times its just people who are struggling with emotional, spiritual, and relational hurt. This hurt comes from a number of places. Sometimes it comes directly from our sin. Sin always promises joy, but always leads to pain. Other times it comes indirectly from the consequences of our sin or the effects of another...

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