- A Prayer for a Fresh Work of Grace in Our Hearts. Here’s our prayer of the week from our friend Scotty Smith. Don’t forget to sign up to receive these daily prayers. You will be blessed by them. You’ll also enjoy his book Everyday Prayers.
- Born Again to a Living Hope. What does the new birth mean for our lives today? The glorious effects do not wait for heaven, but bring light back into everything we experience here on earth, even the hardest trials. In twenty-five minutes, John Piper reminds us of all that is promised to those who hope in Jesus Christ.
- A Marriage Leaning on Jesus and Longing for Heaven. Phillip Holmes writes about the story of Ian & Larissa Murphy, authors of the book Eight Twenty Eight: When Love Didn’t Give Up.
- Joyless Christianity is Dangerous. Jim Johnston writes “Joy is one of the vital gauges on the dashboard of the Christian life. When the needle dips — when you lose your joy — you should take note. To stay safe, you need to pay attention to your joy.”
- Two Underused Strategies for Addiction. Ed Welch shares “two of many hopeful teachings that emanate from the death and resurrection of Jesus and can attract someone caught in addiction. But they are both powerful, and underused.”
- How to Find the Will of God. In this sermon, John Piper looks at the first two verses in Romans 12 and talks about the will of God, what it means, how to find it, and what it means to have your mind renewed to find it.” Watch the video or read the text.
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO ‘HMMM’…
- Tattoos and Skin Deep Hermeneutics. Clint Archer writes “If examining the heart doesn’t work just have your arty teen turn to Leviticus. By the time they have matured enough to know they’ve been hoodwinked by skin deep hermeneutics, they’ll have outgrown the impulse for a tattoo.”
- Are There Degrees of Sin? R.C. Sproul writes “It’s clear that we have different degrees of sin when we consider the warnings of Scripture.”
- Take a Quiz on Christ. Tim Challies writes “How well do you know what the Bible teaches us about Jesus? I teamed up with Mark Jones, author of the new book Knowing Christ, to prepare a quiz that asks thirty questions about Jesus.”
- What is Love? Kevin DeYoung writes that we will not know what love is like unless we know Jesus.
- Tim Keller’s 9 Questions for Sleepy and Nominal Christians. Our friend Kevin Halloran shares nine questions that Tim Keller asks designed to wake up sleepy Christians and convert nominal Christians. Watch Keller ask the questions in the 2-minute video.
CHURCH LIFE AND THEOLOGY:
- A Theology of Worship. Kevin DeYoung writes “There is nothing more important in life than worship. We all worship something or someone. The only question is whether we will worship the right One in the right way.”
- The Five Fruits of Calvinism. David Murray continues his series on Calvinism. He writes “The doctrines of grace are not just rooted in the grace of God, and demonstrate the grace of God; they should also produce grace in those who believe these truths. Here are five fruits that result from a full embrace of the doctrines of grace.”
- Exploring Evangelicalism: Presbyterian Church in America. Ed Stetzer interviews Bryan Chapell, senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria and former president of Covenant Seminary in St. Louis.
- Ben Carson wouldn’t vote for Muslim president because he takes religion seriously. Trevin Wax writes “What the Carson controversy shows us is that many people in a secular society are OK with religion, whatever religion, as long as it doesn’t really impinge upon one’s view of the world or how one votes or what platforms one endorses.”
- How Should Christians Think About Socialism? Listen to John Piper’s answer on this edition of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast.
- New Star Wars Trailer. Denny Burk writes that the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens “continues to dribble out a bit more of the storyline of Episode VII, and it is fanning the flame of speculation. Someone has arisen to “finish” what Darth Vader started. Who will it be?”
- Daniel Murphy is a Christian on the New York Mets, and won the MVP in the NLCS because, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark “Murphy spent his first eight seasons in the big leagues being one player — and then spent October as a whole other player: Namely, the greatest postseason hitter who ever lived.”
- Faith is believing that Christ is what he is said to be, and that he will do what he has promised to do, and then to expect this of him. Charles Spurgeon
- The one condition for spiritual progress is that we remain sincere and humble. John Calvin
- The essence of God’s action in wrath is to give people what they choose, in all its implications. J.I. Packer
- Confession of sin shuts the mouth of hell and opens the gates of paradise. Thomas Watson
STILL ALIVE AND KICKIN’:
- Unless you point to the good news of God’s grace people will not be able to bear the bad news of God’s judgement.
- Jesus asks for far more than you ever thought, but offers more than you ever dreamed.
- If Christianity is actually true it will be offending and correcting you and your society somewhere. It has throughout time.
- The God of perfect patience is continually ready to start fresh with you. Totally fresh. Christ died for this.
- God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.
- Every Christian is a theologian. The issue for Christians is not whether we are going to be theologians, but whether we are going to be good theologians or bad theologians.
- The holiness of God is traumatic to unholy people.
- Even the slightest sin is an act of cosmic treason.
- We do not determine right or wrong based on what everybody else is doing.
- The only reason why I’m a Christian is because I’m a gift of the Father to the Son, not because of anything I’ve ever done.
- The only cure for anxiety is to get down on our knees.
- The real test that I believe that God is love is that tragedies don’t separate me from the conviction that God is love. Sinclair Ferguson
- If you want to be anxious today, pretend you’re in control. Michael Reeves
- Whenever you try to break God’s moral law, you end up breaking yourself and hurting others — all while proving His law in the process. Ravi Zacharias
- God is not counting our sins against us because He is counting our sins against Christ. Alistair Begg
- Only the Holy Spirit can give you the power to not think about yourself, to set you free from yourself. Francis Chan
- Preaching and sacraments do not save, but God saves through preaching and sacraments. Michael Horton
- When you feel exposed in prayer & it starts getting uncomfortable, don’t pull back from God. He is just starting to work. Paul Miller
- If you are only born once, you will die twice. But if you are born twice, you will only die once. Steven Lawson
- If we always want grace for ourselves and judgment for others, we barely understand grace. Burk Parsons
- There is more grace in Christ than sin in you. Burk Parsons
- Spiritual maturity is marked by being comfortable with the unpredictability of God. Erwin Lutzer
- The more we get to know God, the more we want to know him better. D.A. Carson