- The Origin and Function of Government Under God. R.C. Sproul writes “If you don’t like the president of the United States, remember that the One who cast the deciding ballot in his election was almighty God.”
- How to Live Under an Unqualified President. John Piper writes “Today we will inaugurate a man to the presidency of the United States who is morally unqualified to be there. This is important to say just now because not to see it and feel it will add to the collapsing vision of leadership that enabled him to be nominated and elected.”
- Mike Pence Did Not Sign a Law Allowing Businesses to Refuse Service to Gay People. Denny Burk writes “I can hardly believe that these religious freedom stories are so inaccurately portrayed in the press. It’s no wonder activists are showing up in Pence’s neighborhood protesting his “anti-gay” views. But I wonder if these protestors really understand what his views are. If they are reading inaccurate reports like the one in The Washington Post, they may not know very much.”
- Did President Trump Just Eliminate the Contraceptive Mandate on the First Day? Denny Burk writes “President Trump signed an executive order that effectively overturns the contraceptive mandate. The order authorizes the HHS Secretary to eliminate administrative rules related to Obamacare.”
- 10 Reasons Taxpayers Should Defund Planned Parenthood. Joe Carter writes “On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that as part of the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republican congressional leaders would include a provision that would prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funding. Here are ten reasons why every taxpayer should support congressional efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.” Sadly, not all people of faith agree. Here’s a story in which “faith leaders” got together to “bless” a new Planned Parenthood facility in Washington D.C. Shameful.
- 9 Myths About Abortion Rights and Roe v. Wade. Kevin DeYoung shares these myths from Clark Forsythe’s book Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade that led to the ruling in Roe—myths that, unfortunately, continue to be believed today.
- Why I Pray for an End to Sanctity of Life Day. Russell Moore writes “We’ll always need Christmas. We’ll always need Easter. But pray that someday soon, we won’t need Sanctity of Life Sunday.”
- Not So Golden Globes. Of the recent Golden Globe awards program, Cal Thomas writes “The arrogance, superiority and hypocrisy of these overrated people is astounding.”
- Convict’s Release Raises Questions of Pro-LGBT Bias. David Roach writes “The commutation of a former U.S. soldier’s espionage sentence has caused some to ask whether the reduced prison term is related to the inmate’s transgender identity.”
CHRIST AND CULTURE:
- Let’s Stay: A Prayer for Suicidal Young Men. Paul Maxwell, noting that 78% of Americans who kill themselves are male, writes “Let’s hold on to the only promise we can hold to: Life happens in seasons, and no matter what they look like or how long they last, God is fighting for us in the muck. He is fighting with us in the ugliness. He has passed through into the darkness with us. He will deliver us.”
- 7 Ways Smartphones Can Enhance Your Spiritual Life. Ten years after Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone, Joe Carter writes “Yet in watching out for the pitfalls of technology we should not overlook the ways that smartphones can be useful for spiritual formation.”
- Digital Detox Round-Up. David Murray shares links and resources to help us in our battle to make digital technology a servant rather than a master.
- John MacArthur on Ministry Longevity. Eric Davis writes “This February, Dr. MacArthur will have been faithfully shepherding Grace Community Church for 48 years. That’s about 576 months or 2,496 Sundays.”
- Right Now Counts Forever: A Facebook Live Event with R.C. Sproul. Recently, R.C. Sproul addressed the Ligonier team for the first staff devotions of 2017. He reminded them that “right now counts forever.” You can watch it here.
- ‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian. Jeremy Weber writes “For the third year in a row, the modern persecution of Christians worldwide has hit another record high.”
- Trembling Before the Holiness of God. Watch this short video from R.C. Sproul’s teaching series The Holiness of God, in which he explains how every human being that is exposed to the holiness of God trembles before His presence.
- The Truth about Evil. In this article adapted from his new book None Other, John MacArthur writes “We must conclude then that God does have some sovereign purpose in mind for the evil we experience daily in this world.”
- Teach Them: About Hell. Joel Beeke writes “Children are not too young to die, and therefore they are not too young to think about what will happen to them when they die. They need to hear about the Father’s house with its many mansions and the place that Jesus is preparing there for all who love Him and put their trust in Him for salvation. But our children also need to hear about the wages of sin, the state of eternal death and eternal separation from the love of God that is called hell.”
- What is Grace? Watch this short video from Bryan Chapell, in which he states that grace is God providing for people who can’t provide for themselves.
- God’s Work in Your Bible Reading. John Piper writes about Douglas Sweeney’s new book on Jonathan Edwards titled Edwards the Exegete: Biblical Interpretation and Anglo-Protestant Culture on the Edge of the Enlightenment.
- Secularism, Preaching, and the Challenges of Modernity. In this first in a series on Preaching in a Secular Age, Albert Mohler writes “The meaning of words like morality, personhood, marriage, or virtually any other moral term has radically shifted for many postmodern Americans, making our job as preachers that much more difficult. These challenges are demanding but Scripture is sufficient for the task. Our job as preachers is not to make the message of the gospel palatable to the postmodern mind but to preach in a way that is compelling, clear, and authoritative. The times may have changed, but the task of preaching has not.”
- The Myth of Influence. Robert Godfrey writes “The only way to dispel the myth of influence is to commit ourselves anew to the importance of biblical theology as the foundation for Christian action. We must allow the Bible in its fullness to direct our thinking and our doing. We must remember that Paul did not preach an abbreviated gospel, but declared the whole counsel of God. When he said that he became all things to all men, he was speaking of things indifferent, not matters of basic Christian truth or ethics. He did not become a prostitute to win prostitutes, nor did he become an Arminian to win those addicted to the doctrines of the goodness of man or the freedom of the will. We need to follow the path of the Apostles and the Reformers who accomplished great things for God, not by ungodly compromise, but by faithful declaration of the truth of God’s Word.”
- Help! My Teen is Abandoning Christ. In this episode of “Ask Pastor John”, John Piper addresses a question from a parent about her 14-year old daughter who has says she is no longer a Christian. Listen or read his response.
- Set an Example: The Booklet. Tim Challies recently wrote a whole series of articles on 1 Timothy 4:12, and its implications for young Christians. He has now collected those articles, had them edited, and compiled them into a booklet that is free to download.
- Divine Words for Desperate Parents. Nancy Guthrie writes “I’m not exactly sure how it happens, but almost as soon as we visit the doctor to confirm we’re pregnant we start getting coupons for formula and diapers and magazines that include all kinds of articles about how to raise healthy, well-adjusted children. All of these “five steps to . . .” and “ten ways to get your child to . . . ” articles can fool us into thinking if we try hard enough and do everything right, our child will become and do what we want.”
- The New Corded Phone. Tony Reinke writes “Winning this battle in the digital world is not found in the right rules; it is found in the security of Christ. Abiding with Christ is essential to thriving online. Our union with Christ, by faith and through the Holy Spirit, feeds us with the life and vibrancy we need to succeed even inside the digital worlds that can so easily feed our personal insecurities.”
- When Busyness Wars Against a Quiet Heart. Scotty Smith prays “Father, you are my “portion”—that is, my joy, peace, and inheritance; so I will hope in you today, not in people’s approval, a demand free life, or pride of accomplishment. I have a good plan for the day, but I trust you to order my steps ( 16:9). Give me all the power I need to do what must be done, and grace to end this day with a quiet and kind heart.”
- Four Reasons to Slow Down. Jon Bloom shares four reasons why we need to slow down and cultivate the spiritual fruit of patience, especially in the twenty-first century.
- When God’s Sovereignty and Your Bad Day Meet. Courtney Reissig writes “Whatever kind of day God has planned for you today, it’s his day. He intends to achieve his purposes in you and those around you. Even when you feel like nothing is going your way, he is worthy of your praise. This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
- Get a Basic Overview of the Bible. R.C. Sproul writes “Virtually every Christian at some point has resolved to read the entire Bible. If we believe the Bible is the Word of God, it’s natural not to want to miss a word of it. If God delivered a letter to your mailbox, I am sure you would read it. But the Bible is a pretty big letter, and its sheer bulk is somewhat daunting, even to the person with the best of intentions. Therefore, few Christians actually keep a resolution to read through the Bible.”
- Being Sensitive in Sharing Scripture with the Suffering. Watch this short video in which Randy Alcorn addresses the question of whether we should use Romans 8:28 to comfort others.
- Grace-Fueled Obedience Is Absolutely Necessary for Christlikeness. Steven Lawson writes “For all true followers of Christ, obedience is never peripheral. At the heart of what it means to be a disciple of our Lord is living in loving devotion to God. But if such love is real, the acid test is obedience.”
- Confident Christians. How can we as Christians live with confidence amid competing truth claims? Listen to this episode of Renewing Your Mind, in which R.C. Sproul, Stephen Nichols join Lee Webb in the studio to remind us to be confident Christians. Our trust should always be in the almighty God, the One whose kingdom is unshakable. Stephen Nichols’ new book is A Time for Confidence: Trusting God in a Post-Christian Society.
TO MAKE YOU SMILE:
- Satan Claims Responsibility for Kale. The Babylon Bee reports “Amid claims that the ungodly, disgusting substance could not have possibly been conceived of by a benevolent creator, the great adversary, Satan, published a video claiming he alone was responsible for the violent attack upon humanity known as “kale.”
- Paula White Shatters Glass Ceiling by Becoming First Female False Teacher to Pray At Presidential Inauguration. The Babylon Bee reports ““It’s an exciting day for female charlatans everywhere,” a CNN correspondent said after the ceremony. “At long last, all fake peddlers of the gospel are equally welcome to preside over one of our nation’s most prominent traditional public invocations, no matter their gender.”
- How To Get Along With Christians From Other Denominations. The Babylon Bee reports “While we may all come from various denominational backgrounds, God wants us to be united together in Christ. Unfortunately, that can be hard to accomplish, especially when everyone else’s denomination is so clearly wrong about everything. So we at have decided to do something to help Christians get along. Here are a few simple ways that you can agree to disagree with Christians from outside your theological tradition or denomination.”
- One day America and all its presidents will be a footnote in history, but the kingdom of Jesus will never end. John Piper
- If we pick out which parts of the Bible we dislike, we actually have a god we’ve created. How can that god ever call you out on anything? Tim Keller
- There is no greater state than to get up from your knees knowing that God has forgiven every sin you’ve ever committed. C. Sproul
- People don’t have to be good to deserve our compassion; it’s our compassion that serves good to all people. Ann Voskamp
- Beware of pride that keeps you performing, shame that keeps you hiding, and fear that keeps you from trusting. The gospel claims all three. Scotty Smith
- Men generally don’t have the same thoughts of things when they come to die as when they were in health. Jonathan Edwards
- The reason God seeks our praise isn’t because he won’t be fully God until he gets it but that we won’t be happy until we give it. John Piper
- The fact is, we sometimes read Scripture, thinking of what it ought to say, rather than what it does say. Charles Spurgeon
- It is misleading to say that God accepts us the way we are. Rather he accepts us despite the way we are. Sinclair Ferguson