Month: June 2017


Do You Need to Recharge Your Soul?

I’m not techy. Even though I work for a digital magazine and am grateful for the ability to get the gospel to more people because of it, I don’t love technology. I prefer paper and pen to computer and screens. I like the feel and smell (especially the smell) of “real” books, […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (June 29, 2017)

Why Didn’t God Send Jesus Right After Adam and Eve Sinned? (Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries) It’s an amazing and wonderful thing to realize that God devised His plan, created us, and is perfectly executing the plan, so that we could enjoy Him. He was infinitely satisfied within Himself, the Godhead, before […]

Brett McCracken

“Readers and Writers” Episode 2 with Courtney Reissig

We are made to create beauty, and we image God by doing that in our homes. (Courtney Reissig) Unlocking the Bible is thrilled to announce the launch of a new podcast: Readers and Writers with Colin Smith. We’ve started releasing weekly episodes, recorded live at The Gospel Coalition’s 2017 National Conference. Our […]


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, […]


Eight Reasons to Cling to Scripture in Suffering

Recently, a friend and I were interviewed on a radio show about the book we’d written on suffering. One of the host’s questions struck me: In the midst of the refiner’s fire, how do we keep from going through the motions? How do we have a sense of the abundance […]

talk to yourself

Don’t Listen to Yourself – Talk to Yourself

We are deeply influenced by the world around us. Daily we’re bombarded with a thousand images – from the news we watch, to the sermons we hear, to the people we meet. Our affections, attitudes, moods, beliefs, and, ultimately, our actions are swayed, cemented, and interpreted by the voices we […]


15 Marks of a Disciple of Jesus

Christianity is not a club. Jesus does not want cheerleaders or groupies. Following Christ is not about T-shirts, slogans, or hashtags. Jesus calls us to be children of his Father. He calls us to be his disciples. Because Jesus has a unique role in God’s plan of salvation, he is […]

Brett McCracken

“Readers and Writers” Episode 1 with Jen Wilkin

Most of us have an underdeveloped vocabulary around what’s true about God. (Jen Wilkin) Unlocking the Bible is thrilled to announce the launch of a new podcast: Readers and Writers with Colin Smith. We’ve started releasing weekly episodes, recorded live at The Gospel Coalition’s 2017 National Conference. Our first guest is Jen Wilkin, […]


Bible Q&A: Is Jesus the Messiah, or the Misleader of Millions?

Question: In the Old Testament the devil already exists, and God says that he will send others to test his faith. This person will be of good spirits and have the ability to perform miracles to stray the weak-minded. In the New Testament, Jesus arrives, a man who has the ability […]

When a Friend’s Joy Is Your Sorrow

Romans 12:15 tells us to “rejoice with those who rejoice” and “weep with those who weep.” Obeying this command is listed as a mark of true faith, one that demonstrates care for Christian brothers and sisters. Indeed, the ability to empathize in each other’s joys and sorrows is key to […]

heart of faith

How to Cultivate a Heart of Faith

Sooner or later, the unexpected—even the unthinkable—will rip through our lives like a Category 5 hurricane. Will our faith survive the gale-force winds? That depends on whether we are sound of heart or slow of heart—whether we have cultivated a robust faith or merely scattered seeds of belief across the […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (June 15, 2017)

Ecclesiastes And The Postmodern Teenager: 4 Ways To Resist Casual Faith (Mike McGarry, Rooted Ministry) As Christians, we intellectually know that we do need God to make sense of our world and our daily life, but so often in day-to-day living we lose sight of the miraculous. Take Up Thy Swords: A […]


10 Things Your Children and Grandchildren Need To Know About You

What do your children and grandchildren know about you? I don’t mean where you were born, and what school you went to, interesting though that might be. What do they know about what God has been doing in your life and what he is doing right now? Some years ago, […]

bread of life

Be Nourished by the Bread of Life

About four years ago, I experienced my first full-blown panic attack. Those experiences accumulated, and I grew to have increasing difficulty with leaving my home. I remember willfully dumping myself into the passenger seat to be driven to my parents’ nearby home—only to feel an urgent pull two minutes later […]

truth will set you free

The Truth Will Set You Free

The question what is truth? is more relevant today than ever. You would think that with all our easy access to information and expert opinions, we would know the truth— Yet the opposite is true. We have trouble recognizing real news from fake, trusted sources from clickbait. No one has time to investigate […]

God promises

Do You Expect More Than God Promises?

We sat in amazement, shocked by the unexpected blessing the Lord provided for our family right before Christmas. After going into this season with the hard reality of no income and the heavy weight of trials, we had accepted the fact that this Christmas would contain few gifts and activities, […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (June 8, 2017)

Morning Bible Reading and Manna for Today (Lore Ferguson Wilbert, Sayable) My daily routine (right now) looks like this…Take what helps you, leave what doesn’t. Why Do We Lie? (Ryan Reeves, The Gospel Coalition) We are all familiar with lying. Each of us has told a lie. But what is the […]

prophetic scripture

The Prophetic Tapestry of Scripture

The Hebrew Scriptures contain prophecies about Jesus beyond counting. If you do a Google search, you will get a number of at least 300, a figure I deem conservative. But many of these individual prophecies also intertwine, creating a still richer tapestry, that I would consider the Hebrew Scriptures in […]

hurting people

Three Untruths You’ve Probably Said to Hurting People

Christians like to encourage people. This is a great thing. When someone we care about is hurting or enduring trials, we are quick to give words of encouragement and comfort. When we are suffering, others are generous to do the same for us. But an important question regarding this is, […]

get your work done

Four Steps to Get Your Work Done Well

Thousands of books offer advice on how to prioritize, simplify, and get work done. And yet, long before the experts hit the scene with their Rolodex, DayTimers, and Gantt Charts was our God. He modeled how to complete the work, and once the work is completed, how to rest. If […]

sermon clip

Where Grieving People Can Find Hope Today

Video Notes: What in the world could a person call to mind – when their soul has no peace, when they have forgotten what happiness is, when their endurance has perished, and their hope is gone – that would make it possible to say, “This I call to mind and […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (June 1, 2017)

Do You Resent the Life God Gave You? (Sarah Walton, Desiring God) If we try to make sense of our circumstances, or compare our circumstances to others’, we will inevitably feel like we drew the short straw. 4 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor (Trevor Forbis, Chuck Lawless) I have found four easy ways […]