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Friday, December 19, 2014
That first Christmas, earth was oblivious to the significance of a simple birth in a quiet town. But heaven wasn’t. The holy angels waited in anticipation to break forth in praise and worship and adoration at the birth of the newborn Christ. This Child’s birth meant deliverance for mankind. The angel told Joseph: “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The world’s Christmas celebration is bound up in a disturbing incongruity. On the one hand, people go to great lengths to support and sustain the legend of Santa Claus, using his mystical benevolence to leverage good behavior from their children. On the other hand, they systematically minimize the Person and work of Christ—the holiday’s rightful celebrity—to the point that the Lord is nothing more than a plastic infant, frozen for all time in the familiar nativity scene. They exchange the singular Christ for a cheap hoax.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Many people gladly celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas, only to ignore, shun, and reject Him the rest of the year. They don’t mind celebrating the birth of a baby, but they don’t want to hear about the Lord of lords.
Friday, December 12, 2014
You may be wondering why the virgin birth—of all the miracles in Scripture—is so frequently attacked. After all, if one can believe, say, that Moses parted the Red Sea, what’s the big deal about a virgin birth? It certainly isn’t as spectacular a miracle. And Scripture devotes relatively little space to describing it. Can it really be that important?
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Years ago I read an interview with the pastor of one of our nation’s largest churches. Asked specifically what he believed about the virgin birth, he said, “I could not in print or in public deny or affirm the virgin birth of Christ. When I have something I can’t comprehend, I just don’t deal with it.” He was subtle about it, but that pastor was challenging the virgin birth. His statement implied that the virgin birth is somehow optional or irrelevant truth. It isn’t. Satan knows that, even if we don’t. Perhaps that is why he has worked so hard to discredit the virgin birth.
Monday, December 08, 2014
We cannot expect the world to accept the fact of Christ’s virgin birth. As with all essential doctrines of the Christian faith, sinful humanity resists embracing the truth of His unique birth. Tragically though, it’s no longer just the unbelieving world that fails to accept the biblical account of Christ’s parentage.
Friday, December 05, 2014
Imagine how Mary must have felt when she was told by an angel that she would be the parent of the long-awaited Messiah—that she’d be responsible for raising and nurturing her Savior. How do you think you’d respond? You’d no doubt find the responsibility overwhelming and intimidating. You might be instantly overcome with worry. You might even attempt to respectfully decline the position altogether.
Wednesday, December 03, 2014
When we first meet Mary in Luke’s gospel, it is on the occasion when an archangel appeared to her suddenly and without fanfare to disclose to her God’s wonderful plan. Scripture says, simply, “The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary” (Luke 1:26–27).
Monday, December 01, 2014
Of all the extraordinary women in Scripture, one stands out above all others as the most blessed, most highly favored by God, and most universally admired. Indeed, no woman is more truly remarkable than Mary. She was sovereignly chosen by God—from among all the women ever born—to be the singular instrument through which He would at last bring the Messiah into the world.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
The New Testament church faced persecution from its inception. As the church grew and its influence spread from Jerusalem throughout Israel and to the rest of the Roman Empire, persecution grew more intense. But at no time was any of it out of God’s control. In fact, He used the persecution to scatter believers—and with them, the gospel—across the known world.
Monday, November 24, 2014
The endgame for most persecutors is silence. Whether they attempt to silence you through intimidation, violence, or death, the point is to stamp out your message and your influence. In recent months we’ve seen that scenario play out repeatedly in the Middle East.
Friday, November 21, 2014
By God’s grace, not all believers face harsh legal or physical persecution for their faith. Many of us don’t live under the threat of being beaten or hauled into court for preaching the gospel. But there are many places around the globe right now where that is the daily reality for believers. And as the world grows more hostile to the truth of Scripture, we can expect those kinds of persecution to become more commonplace.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Is persecution good for the church? We’ve seen the blessings and fruit of persecution for individual believers—that it proves the quality of our faith and directs our focus to eternity. But what about the church?
Monday, November 17, 2014
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18). With those words Jesus comforted His disciples. His followers would not be alone in their suffering; they would partake in what He had already endured. It’s a comfort that points to the certainty of persecution for everyone who follows Christ.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Christians are not to be “carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). And yet the church has never been more fad-driven than it is today. How do conscientious believers develop and maintain deep, biblical convictions? John MacArthur answers that question in today’s video blog.
Monday, November 10, 2014
The word meditate can evoke thoughts of empty minds and eastern religions. But it is more likely that Hindus and Buddhists borrowed the term from the Bible and twisted its meaning to conform with their false religions. From the time of Joshua’s military conquest of Canaan, we hear the Lord instructing His people to meditate on God’s Word (Joshua 1:8). So what does meditate mean? Biblically, it means to focus your mind on one subject.