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Month: November 2016

Key Connections

Key Connections (November 30, 2016)

How Can Expository Sermons Avoid Being Wooden and Uncreative? (Colin Smith, The Gospel Coalition) There is a kind of preaching that reflects the disciples’ spirit: dutiful, disciplined, and faithful, but also wooden, joyless, and predictable. What we need is more preaching that reflects the spirit of Mary. Walking with our children […]

holiness

10 Needed Mind-Shifts for Your Fight for Holiness

I’m sure your battle against sin is similar to mine: You’ve had ups and downs, with different struggles in different seasons. Sometimes you feel powerless to change your deeply ingrained sinful thoughts and habits. Other times encountering a truth from Scripture can prove a real game-changer in your outlook toward […]

minor prophets

Why Modern-Day Christians Need the Minor Prophets

For some reason, many Christians today are scared of the Minor Prophets. Maybe it’s the complex prophecies, or the chaotic violence, or perhaps the puzzling historical context. Whatever it is, we have a cultural tendency to camp in the cozy familiarity of the Psalms and the Gospels—and leave the doom-and-gloom […]

Eight Free Ways You Can Support Unlocking the Bible

Unlocking the Bible runs on God’s faithfulness showcased through your generosity, prayers, and support. Perhaps you’re unable to financially support the ministry, but you’d like to help us in another way. If that’s the case, we thank you and would love to stir your creativity with eight ways you can […]

Thanksgiving feast

Thanksgiving: A Gospel Guide

The Bible frequently uses the metaphor of food to stir our senses and move us to a deeper understanding of the all-satisfying nature of the glory of our Lord Jesus. Consider these verses: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). “My soul will be satisfied as […]

I Desire Mercy, Not Sacrifice

I Desire Mercy, Not Sacrifice

Tax collectors and other outcasts had gathered in Matthew’s house for a feast. In the center of the hubbub, Jesus and his followers reclined at the dinner table. Noticing Jesus’s presence among such riffraff, the Pharisees scoffed. How could Jesus consider himself a rabbi and party with such a disreputable […]

unforgivable sin

Bible Q&A: Have I Committed the Unforgivable Sin?

Question: Have I committed the unforgivable sin? Answer: Hi, this is Pastor Tim from Unlocking the Bible. Pastor Colin asked me to thank you for your good question and respond to you. I want you to know that we’ve received this question a number of times over the years. It’s clearly […]

figs

A Tale of Two Figs

Once upon a time, there were two baskets of figs. One basket was full of ripe, plump figs. The other basket had rotten ones. The first basket of figs looked so good that it promised a whole summer of fresh fruit, more than you could eat, bursting with sweetness and […]

God's knowledge

Four Responses You Should Have to God’s Knowledge of You

The deep desire of the human soul is to be known and loved. As I’ve interacted with students over the years, and as I’ve looked into my heart, I’ve found that the search for “the one” is often propelled by a desire to know and be known in an intimate […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (November 16, 2016)

Walking with Our Children through Suffering (Sarah Walton, Set Apart) What do we do when suffering strikes in our kid’s lives? How do we prepare our children for a world that involves disappointment, pain, and loss? 3 Motivations to Hate Sin (Erik Raymond, The Gospel Coalition) Until sin is actually hated […]

Bible reading

22 Prayers for Your Bible Reading

Reading the Bible before praying is like putting the cart before the horse. The proverbial horse is the Holy Spirit of God, who empowers and enlightens our Bible reading as we mine the depths of his Word. The proverbial cart makes up our willing eyes and hungry hearts, the Spirit-led […]

the heart is deceitful above all things

The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9) Being born this sort of person, it’s no wonder my natural motivations are all wrong. In college, I led worship for our Christian fellowship group. One night, a guest speaker was sitting next to […]

we do not wrestle against flesh and blood

We Do Not Wrestle Against Flesh and Blood

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12) Daniel faced tremendous political pressure from the members of the king’s court. Brought to […]

conflict

Three Questions to Ask in Conflict

Conflict is one of the more unpleasant symptoms of sinful people living in a sinful world. Its effects range from uncomfortable but momentary interactions to total relational devastation. And if you’ve been part of a local church for any length of time, you know that the bride of Christ isn’t immune […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (November 9, 2016)

10+ Predictions for the New President (Kevin Halloran, Anchored in Christ) While fear may continue for some, it shouldn’t paralyze the children of God—we have too many glorious promises and facts to hold on to… Do You Have What It Takes to Live in This World? (Colin Smith, Unlocking the Bible) Do […]

live in this world

Do You Have What It Takes to Live in This World?

Here’s the question: Do you have what it takes to live in this world? Do you have a hope in which you can rejoice? Do you have a patience with which you can endure? Do you know the help of God on whom you can call? Because all of this […]

election

#AnyGivenSunday: A Video Encouragement for the Election Season

Our team recently put together a video to encourage Christians around the country during the election season, and we compiled sermon clips from each of the 50 states on September 18, 2016. The video is called “Any Given Sunday.” The video is not political in nature, but encourages people to […]

Satan

Four Lies Satan Speaks in Darkness

Have you ever experienced a time when, the more you prayed, the more your troubles seemed to grow? This has been one of those seasons, one that’s lasted nearly decade. Many days it’s a fight, a constant battle, to keep my eyes fixed on God’s truth rather than my trials. […]

confrontation

Four Steps to Consider in Confrontation

Confrontation is never easy. It always comes at a cost. We are humans who live on a created planet full of other humans, and when we encounter each other, there will be opportunity for confrontation. Relational heartaches come in varying degrees. Some heartaches are low-level tension and can be tolerated […]

memorize Scripture

Ten Biblical Reasons to Memorize Scripture

Imagine while on a hike with friends you stumble across a vast and ancient treasure, filled with acres and acres of gold and diamonds worth many millions of dollars. Knowing it was yours for the taking, would you pass it by? Chances are you’d fill up your pockets and backpack […]