Day 1 of Joy the World: Daily Reading for Advent from Charles Spurgeon speaks of the “first act of grace” after Man’s first act of rebellion. God speaks both words of judgment (assuring the serpent his doom is sure) and words of mercy (letting Adam and Eve know they’ll not be put to death immediately and that not all is hope is lot). God’s persistent mercy and gracious promises swiftly show up. Though Adam and Eve rebelled and lead humanity into darkness, a second Adam and son of Eve will one day come to bring about our restoration and freedom.Continue reading Advent as Warfare
Resources on Mark’s Gospel
As our church begins going through Mark’s Gospel, I wanted to recommend a few resources to either read alongside of Mark or to help provide overview and background. Here’s a short list of some books, articles, and videos to go along with a study of the book.Continue reading Resources on Mark’s Gospel
Your Children Are Arrows
Children are a gift from God. We love and treasure them. Children are also sheep needing shepherded. Parents must know, feed, protect, lead, and care for their kids.
But did you know the Bible also describes children as arrows? “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth” (Psalm 127:4). This metaphor gets at the missional aspect of raising a child. God wants us to love and enjoy them but also to train them so they can be missionaries wherever they go. God doesn’t want us to hoard them or shelter them but to release them. Parents think about their kids in terms of what they mean to us or what we want from them and for them, but we often neglect what God intends to do in them and through them.
10 Ways to Battle Worry
This isn’t a definitive list by any means, but here are ten ways to fight worry.
Resources for Parents on Creation
Next Sunday, our Children’s Ministry kicks off week 1 of The Gospel Project. The first session is on “God Created the World” and Genesis 1. While all of Scripture is inspired and profitable (2 Tim. 3:16), not every section is equally significant to the Story. Genesis 1-2 summarizes Creation. It reveals God as the Maker of all things, and how all things point to Him. It provides conceptual seeds for truths and themes that bloom throughout the Bible.
Books for Sale
I’m looking to reduce the amount of books I own and move more toward ebooks (I know, I know). Below is a list of books I”m selling. It includes some great deals on sets, and then $10 for hardback and $5 for paperback. If you’re local, we can maybe find a way to connect, or if you’d like to cover shipping and handling, I can ship books as well. Some books will have penciling or notes insideContinue reading Books for Sale
Three Identity Markers in Colossians 1:1-2
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” (Colossians 1:1–2)
Imagine you meet someone tomorrow and they ask you to describe yourself. What would you say? Who are you? Try summarizing who you are in ten words or fewer (really, try it).
Holy Week Reading Plan & Resources
Today begins what the Church has called Holy Week or Passion Week. The time from Palm Sunday to Easter (Resurrection) Sunday has provided Christians with a week to give special attention to the person and work of Christ. It interrupts our normal rhythms and intentionally puts Jesus before us so we can reflect on the events leading up to and including his sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection. Below is a reading plan for the week, as well as activities and resources to help you leverage this significant week in the Church Calendar.
What is Lent?
“Each year the season of Lent asks us to embrace a spiritual gravity, a downward movement of soul, a turning from our soul-sufficiency and sinfulness. In such quiet turning, we are humbled and thus made ready to receive from God a fresh and joyous grace.” Bobby Gross
Lent, not to be confused with lint (that fluffy stuff in your dryer vent or jean pockets), is a season within the Church calendar preparing our hearts for Easter. Similar to how Advent each December allows us to meditate on the incarnation leading up to Christmas Day, Lent gives us six weeks to consider Christ’s humility in the wilderness temptation and his human trials as we move towards Good Friday and Easter. During this season, the Christian follows Jesus by pursuing humility in our own life, believing he must come before us. As John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Darkness. Then Light.
The first words of Holy Scripture describe the story’s opening drama of creation, creation by God speaking forth light into the dark abyss. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…and darkness was over the face of the deep…And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light’” (Gen 1:1, 3). Bruce Waltke recognizes the Bible’s theme here and expresses it as “God irrupting into chaos to establish his rule over everything.” The creation account emphasizes the God who speaks light into darkness and breaks the silence with the power of his voice.