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Topic: Sanctification

Tests

Three Tests God Ordains for His People

Tests are not for the sake of the teacher, but for the benefit of the student. As a teacher, I don’t ask test questions because I need to know the answers. I ask questions because my students need to know the answers. Likewise, God ordains tests for us, not for […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (September 8, 2017)

Rosaria Butterfield: “Why I Signed the Nashville Statement” (Rosaria Butterfield, Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) Conversion to Christ did not initially change my sexual attraction for women. What conversion did change immediately was my heart and mind….The gospel gave me a light that was ruinous. It ruined me for […]

waiting on God

What to Do While You’re Waiting on God

My five-year-old granddaughter asked me how long it would be before her family moved into their new house. Since six weeks is hard for a five-year-old to grasp, I took her to a wall calendar and showed her how long until moving day. Now, each day, as she marks off calendar […]

psalm 119

Are You Teachable? 10 Questions From Psalm 119

School is starting soon. Students are preparing to hit the books again. Some will study to earn a diploma, but no disciple of Jesus Christ graduates from the school of Christian growth. We are all called to learn from Jesus, so now is a good time to ask ourselves: Am […]

apply Scripture

15 Questions to Apply Scripture to Your Life

A good question in Bible study helps uncover riches in the text that we may not see. This is true for observation, interpretation, and application stages of Bible study. The following questions¹ will help you apply a passage of Scripture to your life and rely on God for transformation. It may […]

discontent

The Three Sins Behind Your Discontent

Hell is a place of perpetual discontent. People in hell are always angry and never at peace, always frustrated and never satisfied. That is surely the significance of our Lord’s words about “gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30). There are three sins that lie behind discontent—pride, […]

devotionals

Six Great Devotionals to Read This Summer

Summer often feels like an emotional reset. We slow down and collectively catch our breaths, snatching a respite from the rat race. We pause from the frenetic pace of our daily lives in the seasonal shift, moving from the hurried speed of spring to the lazier, longer days of summer. […]

hunger thirst righteousness

What Does It Mean to Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness?

Hunger and thirst are frequent human urges. It’s immensely satisfying to eat a meal when starving or to drink of water when parched. Hunger is often used to convey a consuming desire, like a young and inexperienced sports team hungry for a win, or an individual who, after a string of failures, is hungry for success. The […]

embrace

Joyfully Embrace What God Is Doing

The conversation is seared into my brain. We were at the kitchen table eating breakfast with my dad, studying Scripture, and processing how we often see suffering as an inconvenience rather than what it is, love from God, when one of our best friends said, [Suffering] actually produces gold and then you level […]

The Fruit of the Spirit

The Fruit of the Spirit or the Flesh?

I hope to be a gardener someday, with a patch of land filled with rich fruits and vegetables to feed my family and others—but at this moment I have little experience as a green thumb. However, the Holy Spirit is the Master Gardener. He makes our hearts grow to glorify […]

new year

10 Worthwhile Things to Pursue This New Year

Christians view time and opportunities in an utterly unique way: Rather than simply doing what they want, they “no longer live for themselves, but for Jesus, who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:15). Rather than living like there’s no tomorrow, Christians have an eternal future with […]

put away childish things

Should Christians Be Like Children, or Put Away Childish Things?

Jesus said the kingdom of God belongs to those who are like children, but Paul stated that grown-ups must put away childish things. So in what ways are believers to be like children? In what ways are we not? Infantile Believers When I was a child, I spoke and thought […]

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 […]

practice spiritual disciplines

Four Keys to Practice Spiritual Disciplines

While walking to a seminary class several years ago, I stopped by the café to purchase some coffee. After filling my cup, I observed a married couple holding hands and praying at a nearby bench. I thought, “That is really neat!” Then, I thought, in a moment of my flesh, […]

summer activities

10 Summer Activities for Christian Students

I have been serving in Christian higher education for over a decade now. Each year, at least one college student asks me this question: “What should I do during my summer break?” Or the parents will ask, “My son or daughter is coming home for the summer, so what should […]

failure

What Jesus Says About Our Failures

Perhaps the greatest discouragement in my Christian life is my own weakness before God. It’s at the beginning of a well-worn path to doubt. How could the Holy Spirit possibly be working in me if I’m still struggling with this? For me this comes up frequently in my struggle to […]

The Twin Tracks of the Christian Life

The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20, NIV) The apostle Paul describes the Christian life as “the life I live in the body,” but Paul says that he lives this life […]

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

How strong is your vocabulary? (Click here to find out.) A robust vocabulary can be an advantage in life, or at least it is in Scrabble or Words with Friends. Some people enrich their words by doing crossword puzzles, others by learning a word a day, or by reading (my preferred choice). I know the definitions of the […]

resolutions

Three Reasons to Renew Your Resolutions Today

If you’re anything like me, you’ve already failed on your New Year’s resolution. It’s my usual practice, either before I go to bed on New Year’s Eve or when I wake up on New Year’s morning, to get on my knees for a time of reflection, repentance, and resolution before […]

Seven Virtues to Pursue for Spiritual Growth

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love (2 Peter 1:5-7, NIV). Picture in your mind a Volkswagen and […]

new year's resolutions

A Guide to Biblical New Year’s Resolutions

Confession: I used to roll my eyes at the thought of making New Year’s resolutions. After all, how many people actually keep them? I wondered. But when Pastor Colin preached a sermon a while back, called “Resolved! Life Commitments for a New Year,” it became clear to me that resolutions […]

Let’s regard the Lord’s discipline, not lightly, but with humbly submissive attitudes and searching thoughts, with the desire to bear the peaceful fruit of righteousness

Do Not Regard God’s Discipline Lightly

I’ve never met a person who said that discipline was pleasant. Parents battle their kid’s temper tantrums with heavy hearts and tears, athletes break their bodies in order to build strength and train for victory, and reckless drivers receive expensive tickets so the roads are kept safe. Discipline is often […]

I Would Be Like Jesus

In 1991, Gatorade ran its first “Be Like Mike” commercial. At that time, Michael Jordan was the most recognizable athlete in the world. Sports announcers could not say enough about the magic he created on the basketball court. And kids worldwide dreamed of becoming the next Michael Jordan. The commercial […]

the Bible

How the Bible Changes Christians

There are over 100 million copies of the Bible purchased each year, meaning that people are buying Bibles almost as fast as the number of children that are being born. Yet, despite the number of Bibles there are, I’m sure that many of us would agree that the world doesn’t […]

the Bible

Seven Reasons the Bible Is Always Beneficial

Our country changed this month. The Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage should not have surprised us, but it should sadden us. As a nation we have now institutionalized a rebellion against God’s design for the family, and no rebellion against God ends well. This is worth lamenting. Yet, so […]

faith

Faith Is Like a Muscle and Needs to Be Exercised

Faith is like a muscle – if it is not used, it will atrophy. Some of us spend time every day exercising certain muscles that we want to develop. You say, “I haven’t run for a week, and I feel the difference.” Similarly, if a week goes by without exercising […]

spiritual dry spells

Spiritual Dry Spells: Causes and Cures

I’m willing to bet that most of us have experienced a spiritual dry spell—a time when we felt far from the Lord, unfruitful, unmotivated, and maybe a little lost. Feelings of closeness and communion with the Lord faded. That fiery desire to love and serve Christ dwindled. Maybe that’s you, […]