Topic: Devotion to Christ

Last Day

If Today Was Your Last Day

We’ve all heard some version of the question, “If today was your last day on earth, what would you do?” The question is designed to get us thinking about what truly matters and what doesn’t. There is a helpfulness to this question, I suppose. I certainly don’t want to spend […]


My Yoke Is Easy, My Burden Is Light

During a recent visit to western New York, I laced up my running shoes and joyfully revisited its pastoral landscapes. I scanned the vast, piercing blue horizon to behold farm after farm of crops growing slowly under the attentive eye of the Almighty. I didn’t see any oxen on the […]

read bible

Do You Want to Read Your Bible More Consistently?

For many Christians, reading the Bible consistently is a challenge. In 2017, the American Bible Society reported that only 20% of Americans read their Bibles at least four times each week. This means that 80% of Americans read Scripture less frequently than that, if at all. But God says his […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (June 15, 2018)

What Are You Waiting For? (Jon Bloom, Desiring God) It might feel to us like the things we’re waiting on God for are the main things. But someday we might discover that the most important fruit ever produced in our lives came from faithfully doing good while we waited. Jen Wilkin […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (June 8, 2018)

Have You Left Your First Love? (Greg Morse, Desiring God) But the haunting question God asked his spiritually callous people shoots down all my excuses, “What wrong did you find in me that you went far from me?” (see Jeremiah 2:5). When we find ourselves far from God, he is never […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (June 1, 2018)

He Will Carry You Through the Fire (Marshall Segal, Desiring God) We can’t simply tell our hearts to be strong or courageous, but God can. If you want to find strength when you feel weak, or courage when you feel ashamed or afraid, meditate on what God has said — and […]

spirit soul

Bible Q&A: What’s the Difference Between the Spirit and the Soul?

Question: Can you give me some clarity about the spirit and the soul? Are they the same thing? Or are they different?   Answer: There’s a longstanding debate about the relationship between the soul and the spirit. Sometimes they seem to be the same. For example, in Mary’s song she […]


Three Signs That You’re a Lover of Money

Money is one of our top worries, often second to health or safety. Money divides families, breaks up marriages, and turns gentle dispositions into fits of rage. How we handle our money says more about our priorities than any words we could ever speak. A survey by the American Psychological […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (April 27, 2018)

The Wall Between You and God’s Will (Marshall Segal, Desiring God) And how do we behold the glory of the Lord? We listen to God’s voice (in his word) as he reveals to us the way things really are. We search the Scriptures, because they all bear witness to the glory of […]

book briefs

Book Briefs: Heaven, So Near – So Far

Editor’s Note: Today we’re beginning a new series, “Book Briefs,” to help you stock your reading pile with excellent, gospel-centered books. Tim Augustyn, our Pastor of Ministry Resources, reads a ton (you should see his bookshelves!) and will use this series to share a brief summary of titles he’s read, […]


Four Things People Often Miss About Judas (and What We Can Learn from Them)

James tells us that the “double-minded man [is] unstable in all of his ways” (James 1:8). That is a very good description of Judas. He was double-minded, and in the end, the faith that he once professed he abandoned completely. Here are four things that are commonly overlooked when it […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (March 16, 2018)

Amy Carmichael’s Secret to Fighting Discouragement (Eliza Thomas, International Mission Board) Much attention is given in Christian circles to the critical role Scripture and fellowship play in sustaining ministry, and Amy affirmed the importance of both those things. But it’s her deep and abiding appreciation for beauty that enlivens her work […]


The Ambition of Judas Iscariot

The following is an adaptation from Pastor Colin’s book Heaven, So Near—So Far: The Story of Judas Iscariot (Christian Focus Publications), from the perspective of Judas. Learn more about this story and purchase the book and audiobook! From my earliest days, I wanted people to know who I was. Thousands […]


Listen to Your Father’s Voice

I listen carefully to my dad. Of all the people I know, I respect him most. His character and trustworthiness have been clear to me since I was a little girl. In Proverbs 2, God’s Word addresses me as a “son.” This means I’m being spoken to by my Father […]


Change of Plan: To Change Every Day

With January 1st behind us, we’re still thinking about our New Year resolutions. People bought shiny new planners hoping that this will finally be the year they are punctual and organized. Vows were made never to touch “x” product again, whether it be chocolate, coffee, cigarettes, or the like. Daily […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (January 5, 2018)

Beyond Resolutions: Habits of Grace for a New Year (David Mathis, Radical Blog) Cultivating wise habits is not our attempt to work for God’s acceptance, but to work out our salvation (Philippians 2:12–13). In prayer, we re-consecrate ourselves again and again to pursue our resolves “by the strength that God supplies […]

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 […]

pray without ceasing

Three Practical Steps to Pray Without Ceasing

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17) To “pray without ceasing” means to have our minds always on the things of God, to be in constant communication with him, so that every […]


A Roadmap for Prayer

When I pray, I’m less distracted if I have a course to follow. There are several prayer plans out there. Such an aid is easy to remember and follow under various circumstances and pressures. Having a roadmap for your prayer time can help redirect misguided prayers and focus meandering prayers. […]

rich young ruler

When Christ Asks for Everything

Have you ever asked a question that you didn’t really want answered? Or have you ever asked for an opinion, while looking for validation of a decision you had already made? This seemed to be the case with the rich young ruler when he questioned Jesus: And behold, a man […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (September 22, 2017)

Nabeel Quereshi (1983-2017) (Justin Taylor, The Gospel Coalition) Jesus is the God of reversal and redemption. He redeemed sinners to life by his death, and he redeemed a symbol of execution by repurposing it for salvation. He redeemed my suffering by making me rely upon him for my every moment, bending […]


Three Keys to Fight Spiritual Wandering

Wanderlust = A strong desire or urge to wander or travel and explore the world I love to travel. My passport is full of stamps holding stories of far off places, magnificent lands, and beautiful people, each painting pictures of God’s creative genius. I’m a firm believer that some of […]

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 […]


An Open Letter to Parents of Students

Dear Parents, School is almost here, and your students likely have mixed emotions. There’s some anticipation for rhythm and routine, but beneath the surface are layers of fear and uncertainty. School is a precious privilege, but it can also be filled with struggles and pressures that weigh heavily on a […]


Are You Lukewarm?

As a young boy and an adolescent, the word lukewarm haunted me after I first came across it in Scripture. I wondered if my words, actions, and thoughts were betraying and squelching my faith. I lusted after girls at school and church; I cursed my mom under my breath for […]

sermon clip

Your Best Defense Against Sin

Video Notes: Christian business person, what will keep you faithful, as you move from city to city, from hotel to hotel, anonymous and often lonely? Common sense? Will power? Enlightened self-interest? Your best defense against sin is to give your heart to the Lord. Wounded Christian, what will keep you […]


Five Keys for Making Prayer a Habit

Prayer is hard work. It’s not something that comes naturally. We go about our days, engaged in the home or workplace, distracted by good things that would keep us from prayer if we let them. Our hearts are prone to wander from God in self-reliance toward temporary pleasures, rather than […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (July 13, 2017)

Evaluating Our Expectations: The American Dream vs. a Christian’s Hope (Melissa Kruger, Wit’s End) The American Dream might best be summed up as the possibility for a life of freedom, personal happiness, material comfort, and lasting fulfillment (all nicely enclosed in a white picket fence)… In contrast to our typical image […]


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 […]


Four Things That Happen When You Don’t Read Your Bible

The longest psalm, Psalm 119, is a masterpiece, and the subject of its artistry is God’s holy Word, the Bible. The Word of the Lord is like a tall tower—no part stands alone. All the prophets, all the books of wisdom, every book of the New Testament, and all the […]


The Right Question to Ask Yourself Today

Losing a loved one had really hit her hard. Christ had stood with her in her sorrow and entered into her tears, but then he did something completely unexpected. In a demonstration of the power by which, on that great day, he will raise the dead and usher his people […]


The Most Important Motivation for Spiritual Discipline

I used to run only when chased. When I finally started getting in shape, I began looking for an efficient cardiovascular exercise, and I was pulled to running. I’d never been even a mediocre runner, and never enjoyed it in any capacity. But running seemed the most time-effective calorie burner […]

people pleaser

Confessions of a People Pleaser

Two hundred. That’s the number of milk jugs I had lugged from the stage to the garbage dump. Even though I was almost out the door to my child’s basketball game, and I only had twenty minutes to get there, when my co-teacher asked me if I could help her […]

How to Experience More of the Love of God

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. (2 Thessalonians 3:5) Recently, a seminary professor asked 120 of her students this question: “Do you believe God loves you?” Out of 120 Christian students preparing for ministry, how many do you think said yes? Two! The rest gave answers […]


Five Resolutions Against Technological Distractions

This presidential election I made the regrettable decision to try and watch one of the debates via Facebook. I say “regrettable” because the medium of viewing on Facebook changed the entire experience of a debate for me. Instead of listening carefully to what the candidates were saying or not saying, my […]

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 […]

christmas preparations

Your Christmas Preparations Matter

Christmas is nearly here and we feel it—the humming of our homes with a last-minute hunt for a recipe; with the readying of each room for guests; with the setting aside of materials for a Christmas Day craft; with the selection of books to read whose covers shine, silver and […]

mary martha

The Gospel for Mary and Martha

Martha gets a bum rap. In Mark 10:38-42, Jesus visits the home of Martha, Mary, and their brother Lazarus. While Martha bustles around preparing food for their guest, Mary sits at Jesus’ feet, listening to him. When Martha complains that she’s doing all the work, Jesus says, “Martha, Martha, you […]


How to Make the Most of Advent

Today I sent out invitations for a Christmas pajama party, which I scheduled the week after the Christmas cookie exchange I’m attending, but three days before my church’s annual ladies’ Christmas function. We are entering Advent season, and I am busy. I don’t know about you, but parties, baking, decorating, […]

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 […]


Purity Is About More than Sexuality

What do you think of when you hear the word “pure”? I immediately think about sexual purity. No doubt, it is vital that we talk about and practice sexual purity in our current cultural climate. Or perhaps, instead of thinking about sexual purity, you think about moral purity: that when […]

turn my eyes from looking at worthless things

Turn My Eyes from Looking at Worthless Things

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things, and give me life in your ways. (Psalm 119:37) This verse stopped me in my tracks. How often am I looking to “worthless” things instead of looking to Christ? Unfortunately, a lot more often than I would like to admit. I am […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (September 14, 2016)

10 Things You Should Know about Persecution (Tim Keesee, Crossway) Suffering for the sake of the gospel is a way in which we identify with Christ’s sufferings—and he, in turn, identifies with the sufferings of His people. Why You Should Read Through the Entire Bible as Fast as Possible (Jordan Standridge, The […]

10 Things Christ Promises to Reward

Our lives are filled with many choices of how to spend our time, energy, and resources. Some live for money and possessions, amassing as much as they can, while some invest their time in education or entertainment, hoping to find long-lasting value and enjoyment. How do we make the best […]

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, […]

follow Jesus

10 Important Considerations Before You Follow Jesus

Nine years ago in my early twenties, I would have laughed at the person who’d predict that I’d be an unashamed, enthusiastic, passionate follower of Jesus Christ. Before placing saving faith in Christ as my Lord and Savior, I cherished independence, my sinful lifestyle and pleasures, and everything the world […]

misuse god's name

Two Common Misuses of God’s Name

When I was growing up, we were taught that to exclaim “Oh my God” was wrong, but that saying “Oh my gosh” instead was fine. At the time, this was my only notion of taking the Lord’s name in vain. I think, as a child, I remembered this commandment most […]

keep yourselves from idols

Little Children, Keep Yourselves from Idols

With the re-release of The 10 Greatest Struggles of Your Life next month, our writing team continues with a series of articles on each of the Ten Commandments in July and August! Helicopter parents are everywhere. Their children are never allowed to fail, make mistakes, or be anything less than perfect. That is, not […]

no other gods

No Other Gods Before Our God

With the re-release of The 10 Greatest Struggles of Your Life next month, our writing team continues with a series of articles on each of the Ten Commandments in July and August! “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You […]

wandering from the truth

Four Warning Signs You May Be Wandering from the Truth

Some have wandered away… (1 Timothy 1:6) It’s very rare that anyone ever decides to abandon the truth. What happens much more often is that people wander. It happens gradually. It happens when you do not have any particular goal. You lose your moorings and you drift. You don’t want […]

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 […]

sitting at Jesus' feet

12 Ways to Sit at Jesus’ Feet (When You Have Neither Quiet Nor Time)

Despite our best plans, there are times when life gets chaotic. Before the birth of my kids, I found that practicing the spiritual discipline of sitting at the Lord’s feet was simply a matter of time management and will power. I was even a bit judgmental towards those who didn’t […]

struggling with doubt

For the Person Struggling with Doubt

People struggle to believe. If this is you, it may help you to know that others shared the same struggle, even in the time of Jesus.    John tells us the marvelous story of Thomas. “Doubting” Thomas is the man in the inner-circle of the twelve who struggled to believe. […]


Choosing Between the Good and the Better

Our children were dressed like princesses and pretending to drive race cars while Matt and I sat catching up after lunch. Even after a several year separation, we fell quickly into a relaxed and honest conversation. Our families had always treasured the natural comfort we shared, but opportunities to catch […]


Don’t Mistake Slacktivism for Christianity

In the age of social media, political and social activism has taken on a whole new shape. While the old practices of picketing and marching still exist, a far milder form of activism has swept throughout the culture. In fact, it is such a large phenomenon that a whole new […]

quiet time

The Not-So-Quiet Quiet Time

Evangelical Christians have long talked about having a “quiet time.” A quiet time is an excellent thing, and I hope you have made a commitment to have a regular quiet time this year. But my question is: What are you going to do in that time? In the past, what […]

Don’t Just Follow Your Dreams

“I don’t really have any dreams.” My friend spilled this confession as we tried to piece together future possibilities and life directions one lazy Saturday. I had long been embarrassed that I was in the same place, hiding my cultural heresy of dreamlessness. “I don’t have dreams either!” I said. […]

foolish Christian

Three Telltale Signs of a Foolish Christian

When you read how Scripture defines a fool, who first comes to mind? For me, it’s always someone else. I don’t consider myself a fool, at least not very high up there on the “foolishness index” Scripture provides in the book of Proverbs. But reading Ephesians 5:15-21 tells me something different. Paul says, […]

Spiritual Growth

Don’t Wish for Spiritual Growth, Work for It

I am a working mother. I am a steady volunteer for my children’s respective schools and my church. I’m a carpool mom for various after-school programs, a wife of 15 years, a daughter of aging parents, and a mother trying to cook healthy homemade meals at least three times a […]

golden calf

If Only It Were a Golden Calf

Sometimes when I read the Old Testament, I scoff at the Israelites and the surrounding nations. I think to myself, “O silly Israelites, God just brought you out of Egypt, and you’re making a golden calf to bow down in worship?” Physical idol worship is one of those things that always makes me […]

Colliding Kingdoms in Kentucky

It was bound to happen. Kim Davis, county clerk in Kentucky, is in the news for appealing to her Christian beliefs as a defense for not signing marriage licenses of any sort. Davis has been in jail, was released, and the news is all over it. Davis feels that marriage was defined by God, and […]

Living coram deo is to live before the sight of God

Live Coram Deo

The term coram Deo (before the sight of God) has been used for millennia as a way to remind God’s people to live worthy of our calling. Unfortunately, instead of seeing the glory of the invisible God, our eyes tend to fall upon a thousand examples of sin and brokenness, […]

crazy train

Choose the Good Portion Before the Crazy Train

Summer has begun, our children are out of school, day camps are in full swing…and the majority of parents with elementary through high school-aged children have willingly morphed into professional chauffeurs. Parents today are so prone to jump on the “My-Child-Needs-to-Have-the-Leg-Up-on-Summer” Train, so much so that our lives quickly become […]


Three Characteristics of Idols

And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” (Exodus 32:4) Ask kids in Sunday school to name some idols, […]