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Month: December 2017

Key Connections

Key Connections (December 29, 2017)

Find a Friend to Wound You (Greg Morse, Desiring God) True friends are not mobsters who club us with their words to prove points or settle scores. But godly friends are not less than EMTs (emergency medical technicians) who will rip open our carefully crafted excuses and stun us back to […]

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For the Discontent and Frustrated

There are many instances when we are tempted to grumble or even cry out in complaint over the frustrations in our life, when things aren’t going our way. You’re on your daily commute to school and realize a traffic jam up ahead is stopping the flow of traffic. During the […]

fear of the lord

Let the Fear of the Lord Deliver You

The Bible speaks about two different kinds of fear. There is a fear that God commands and a fear that God forbids, a fear that builds you up and a fear that tears you down, a fear to gain and a fear to lose. There is a fear that Christ […]

Why is Godliness with Contentment Great Gain?

Godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6) Godliness is a God-centered life. It grows, not through the pursuit of a process, but through the presence of a person. Jesus Christ is the mystery of godliness (1 Timothy 3:16). His presence in your life is your hope of becoming […]

Let’s Be Like the Shepherds

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night…And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (December 22, 2017)

How to Share Your Story This Christmas: Counsel from Charles Spurgeon (Tony Reinke, Desiring God) “Go home, young man, and tell the poor sinner’s story; go home, young woman, and open your diary, and give your friends stories of grace. Tell them of the mighty works of God’s hand which he […]

Clang! The Harsh Notes of Discipline

Dissonance is a musical term that means “lack of harmony among musical notes; a tension or clash resulting from the combination of two disharmonious or unsuitable elements.” The dissonance in my life right now is excruciating. In this season I’m battling darkness, despair, and depression. I ache for the relief […]

Eat! To the Glory of God

Before completing my first marathon in 2008, food was exclusively framed from a fitness standpoint. We eat food for a myriad of motivations—for fitness, for how it affects our physical appearance, for pleasure, for comfort, for nourishment, for weight loss, and more. What did Paul mean when he wrote, “So, […]

Where Are You Hiding?

I once had a sweet picture of my grandchildren dressed in costumes as my screen saver. Sitting side by side, 18-month-old Riley was dressed as a tennis ball, tiny baby Hannah was a flower, and two-year-old Benjamin was Spiderman! It’s a sweet picture, but at the same time it troubled […]

A Neglected Discipline

I like eating. It’s enjoyable to taste things; it feels good to feel full. But we are called as Christians to be filled first with Jesus and his Word, the love of the Father, and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 8:3, Ephesians 3:19, Romans 15:13). It’s too […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (December 15, 2017)

Do You Pray Like the Devil? (John Piper, Desiring God) What Paul means is that without the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, no one can say “Jesus is Lord” with a joyful and glad embrace of the Lord Jesus as one’s supreme treasure. The devil admits his power and final victory, […]

What If God Takes It All Away? Trusting Him Through Financial Struggles

Recently we drove past our old house for the first time since downsizing. Immediately, our four children began rehearsing memories, noting every part of the house that they missed. Once again, they struggled to understand why we had to give it all up. As hard as I tried to respond […]

A Lesson from Paul on Transformation

I’ve always enjoyed stories of rapid spiritual transformation, because they remind me that no one is beyond the gracious work of God. The Apostle Paul experienced a dramatic story of radical transformation. He was actively persecuting Christians until Jesus met him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). Paul’s life […]

10 Ways to Keep Christ the Center of Christmas

While things like gift-giving, cookie-baking (and eating!), and spending time with loved ones can be great and memorable things, Christians should seek to make Christ the focal point of Christmas. It is after all, Christmas! How can we keep our focus on the Savior? Here are 10 ways to keep […]

Five Ways to Celebrate God’s Deliberate Design

Last night, my brother Travis and I flipped through old baby and toddler pictures of ourselves. We laughed at the way the shots reflected our personalities. Travis was constantly moving, destroying, and building. I, on the other hand, was always talking, reading, or imagining. My mom often reminds us what […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (December 8, 2017)

6 Things Christ Accomplished by His Death (Servants of Grace, Matt Perman) The reality of substitution is at the heart of the atonement. Christ accomplished all of the above benefits for us by dying in our place – that is, by dying instead of us. We deserved to die, instead, He […]

Deserving or Delighting in God’s Generosity?

Being last in anything often brings shame and embarrassment. I feel like I failed if I get last—my reputation ruined. Thus, I often succeed in not being the very last. Yet, whenever I see Jesus’s words about the “last”, I wonder if the mentality not to be last whatever the […]

Need Wisdom? Number Your Days

Friends, in order to gain the wisdom that we long for, we must pray. See, prayer is the fountain of wisdom. Wisdom is tightly tied to prayer in the Scriptures. Wisdom is asked for in prayer, often received during prayer, and wisdom is the result of prayer. We see this […]

10 Steps of Inductive Bible Study

Psalm 119:130 says “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” One of the ways God unfolds his Word to us is through personal Bible study. One method that I have found particularly helpful is inductive Bible study, which the ministry of InterVarsity introduced to […]

Three Ways Your Faith is Tested When God Says “No”

Today we are going to look at the story of a godly man with a good heart and a great idea. This story from God’s Word speaks directly to something all of us will experience. It’s one of the toughest challenges a Christian can face—when God closes the door on […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (December 1, 2017)

How to Find Joy in Your Work (Jon Bloom, Desiring God) This is why we often resent or even hate work: our sin and the curse make it so hard. So we avoid work, or we turn it into a pragmatic, mercenary enterprise to buy something or to give us […]