Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

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Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More interesting article links
  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • Why is it Good to be Poor in Spirit? In this article adapted from his book Journey to the Cross: A 40-Day Lenten Devotional, Paul Tripp writes “Here is the whole gospel story in one verse: “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). The infinitely rich one was willing to become sacrificially poor, so that we might be rescued from our bankruptcy and become rich.”
  • Forgiveness is a Rhythm. Daniel Darling writes “God can give us the strength to make forgiveness a habit and a rhythm. And over time, the pain can lessen, the hurt fade a bit more into the rearview mirror — if, and only if, forgiveness becomes a practice.”
  • Sin is Like Cancer. Courtney Reissig writes “Cancer doesn’t play by the rules, but neither does sin. We miss that to our peril, but when we see it and take steps to destroy it, we are on the path towards life.”
  • The Christian Life Is J-Shaped. On this edition of The Gospel Coalition Podcast, listen to Paul Miller’s message at Bethlehem College & Seminary’s 2020 Pastors’ Conference titled “J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life.” Read my review of his book J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life here. (Note: about midway through this article, read about my brief meeting with Paul Miller in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland a few years ago).
  • Six Considerations Before You Share on Social Media. Randy Alcorn writes “In today’s social media world, which allows us to publish comments to the world with the mere push of a button, more than ever we as God’s people need to read and meditate on Scripture, and examine our heart and habits. We need to be slower to anger and slower to speak, and quicker to hear and think biblically.”

  • 6 Questions about Christ’s Heart for Sinners. In this article, adapted from his book Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers, Dane Ortlund addresses six questions about Christ’s heart for sinners. Related to this, listen to Dane Ortlund answer questions about the Heart of Christ for Sinners on this edition of the Crossway Podcast.
  • What is Hell? R.C. Sproul writes “There is no biblical concept more grim or terror-invoking than the idea of hell. It is so unpopular with us that few would give credence to it at all except that it comes to us from the teaching of Christ Himself.”
  • Sin is Cosmic Treason. R.C. Sproul writes “Not until we take God seriously will we ever take sin seriously. But if we acknowledge the righteous character of God, then we, like the saints of old, will cover our mouths with our hands and repent in dust and ashes before Him.”
  • What a World Ours Will Be: Why the Universe Longs to Be New. John Piper writes “God did not create the material universe, including our physical bodies, to be thrown away at the end of this age. That is not what we see in the Bible.”
  • 3 Ingredients for a God-Exalting Worship Service. Matt Merker asks “What ought to characterize a corporate service focused on exalting God?”

  • How Can I Cultivate a Consistently Biblical Prayer Life? What does it look like to have a biblical prayer life, and what should we do to cultivate one? From one of the Ask Ligonier events, Steven Lawson points us to several places in Scripture that direct the prayers of God’s people.
  • What Did James Mean By, ‘You Do Not Have, Because You Do Not Ask’? On this episode of The Gospel Coalition Q&A, Paul Tripp and J. D. Greear discuss the question, “What did James mean by, ‘You do not have, because you do not ask?’”
  • Should I Ever Pursue My Dreams? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “Is there a difference between pursuing our dreams and being obedient with the gifts and passions God has given us? Or are those the same thing?”
  • What Are the Signs, or Marks, of the True Church? How can we identify a local congregation as a true church? From one of the Ask Ligonier events, Sinclair Ferguson outlines several signs we should look for in the life and worship of the churches we encounter.
  • How Do I Know I Am Truly Christian When I Constantly Struggle With Sin? As we struggle daily with sin, our assurance of salvation can waver, and we might even question if we truly belong to the Lord. From an online youth conference hosted by Reformation Bible College, Stephen Nichols reminds us where to find true assurance in the fight for faith.
  • Why Did Jesus Choose Judas? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question I have been studying through the book of John lately, and I began to wonder why Jesus chose Judas to be one of his disciples in the first place. And what does Jesus have to teach us by choosing someone to be his disciple, knowing full well he would betray him? Are there any takeaways for us in this?”

  • The Bible is not ultimately about me or you. It is about Him. Tim Keller
  • True gospel-humility means I stop connecting every experience, every conversation, with myself. Tim Keller
  • If you have Christ, you have everything. If you don’t have Christ, you have nothing. Steven Lawson
  • We are not reborn because we believe. We believe because we are reborn. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • It’s not the pastor’s job directly to lead a church that changes culture but to create culture-changing people. Tim Keller
  • Without adoration and submission, prayer is reduced to a set of demands that make us look as if we are gods, and God’s job is to submit his almighty power to our lordship. Paul Tripp
  • Let us be more bothered by our sin than our suffering. Burk Parsons
  • It is a loss of pride and self-will that leads a person to humbly serve others. Tim Keller
  • Are you devoting time to developing wisdom? Begin by assessing how much planned time you give to, first, Bible study and, second, personal accountability with Christian friends. Tim Keller

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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