- A Prayer for Slowing Down and Pondering the Grace-full Mystery of Jesus’ Birth. Here’s our prayer of the week from our friend Scotty Smith.
- Connect This Season by Putting Your Focus on Others. John Maxwell writes “One final thing to remember about good connection: It’s not about you. It’s about the other person. If you truly want to connect with family, friends and colleagues this season, you must put them first. You have to change your focus from inward to outward, off of yourself and onto others. And that’s the spirit of the season anyway.”
- Nine Consequences of Debt. Randy Alcorn writes “Scripture discourages debt. It condemns the misuse of debt and the failure to repay debts (Psalm 37:21; Proverbs 3:27-28). If we take God’s Word seriously, we should avoid debt. In those rare cases where we go into debt, we should make every effort to get out as soon as possible (2 Kings 4:1; Matthew 5:25-26; 18:23-24). The question isn’t, “Why not go into debt?” but why? Unless the answer is extraordinarily convincing, we shouldn’t do it.”
- Is Happiness Different From Joy? Randy Alcorn discusses this question with Tony Reinke on the podcast “Ask Pastor John”.
- The Paradox of Chronic Pain. Jeremy Linneman writes “About 40 percent of Americans suffer from chronic, persistent, and untreatable pain. Imagine this: in a congregation of 200 adults, about 80 of us are currently in pain. So how can pastors, churches, and ministries better understand and care for their suffering members?
- Lay Aside the Weight of Low Self-Image. Jon Bloom writes “If we find that we struggle with a low self-image, we need to look carefully at it, because it may not be low at all. It may in fact be a frustrated inflated self-image.”
- Modesty Lets Our Light Shine. Kim Cash Tate writes “Immodest clothing says, “Look at me. Focus on my body.” But as believers, we live to point people to something more. We are witnesses to a lost and dying world in need of a magnificent, all-satisfying Savior. We want them to know of the saving power of Christ, and his ability to transform from the core.”
- 2016 Moody’s Founder’s Week. Moody Bible Institute Founder’s 2016 Week will have a theme of “No One Like Him”, and be held in Chicago February 1-5. Notable speakers include Alistair Begg and Ravi Zacharias. Road trip anyone?
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones in 2015. Paul Levy writes about the new books and film about Martyn Lloyd-Jones released in 2015. I’ve enjoyed the Logic on Fire film project, and the books Spiritual Depression, Studies on the Sermon on the Mount and Walking with God Day by Day (devotional) from Lloyd-Jones this year.
- Woe to You When All Speak Well of You. This fourteen minute video from John Piper is part three of a six-part series through his book What Jesus Demands from the World. In the book, Piper looks at the demands of Jesus as found in the four Gospels. It’s an accessible introduction for thoughtful inquirers and new believers, as well as a refreshing reminder for more mature believers of God’s plan for his Son’s glory and our good.
- Relativity: Moral Relativism and the Modern Age. Albert Mohler writes “Moral relativism and the rejection of absolute truth now shape the modern post-Christian mind. Indeed, relativism is virtually taken for granted, at least as an excuse for overthrowing theistic truth claims and any restrictive morality.”
THE CHURCH AND THEOLOGY:
- You Need the Local Church to be Healthy. In this less than three minute video, Trip Lee explains why the local church is essential to every Christian’s health.
- What Was God’s Purpose in the Cross? R.C. Sproul writes “The doctrine of limited atonement (also known as “definite atonement” or “particular redemption”) says that the atonement of Christ was limited (in its scope and aim) to the elect; Jesus did not atone for the sins of everybody in the world.”
- A Crash Course on the Muslim Worldview and Islamic Theology. Justin Taylor shares four “Islam in America” videos from Dr. Adam Francisco, a professor of history at Concordia University in California. Dr. Francisco has who has a Ph.D. in Islamic-Christian relations from Oxford University.
IN THE NEWS:
- Colorado Springs Pastor Killed in Planned Parenthood Shooting. The shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs recently wounded nine people and killed three, including Garrett Swasey, an evangelical pastor working as a police officer.
- Sleigh Scooter Race. Did you see Chris Hemsworth and Jimmy Fallon race recently on The Tonight Show?
- The Newsboys will release a new album titled Love Riot on March 4.
- Top Trending YouTube Videos of 2015. USA Today shares the top trending YouTube videos of the year.
- Anxiety is a daily fax to God saying, ‘I don’t think you have my best interests in mind. Tim Keller
- When truth gets into a hymnbook, it becomes the confident possession of the whole church. Sinclair Ferguson
- The gospel is like a caged lion. It does not need to be defended, it simply needs to be let out of its cage. Charles Spurgeon
- A man who is little in his own eyes will account every affliction as little, and every mercy as great. Jeremiah Burroughs
- When affection turns to annoyance, delight to drudgery, grace to a grudge, rest to restlessness, we have forgotten about Jesus and grace. Scott Sauls
- We belittle God when we go through the outward motions of worship and take no pleasure in his person. John Piper
- Wilt thou leave thy sins and go to heaven, or have thy sins and go to hell? John Bunyan
- As Christians we never really need to fear that we will be ultimately forsaken because of the work that Jesus has done. Robert Godfrey
- Buying things to find contentment is like drinking water to satisfy hunger; it stops the ache briefly, but can’t solve the problem. Dan Doriani