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Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Is God honored by our worship when we don’t mean it? Is he glorified when we go through the motions of devotion to Him simply because we know others are watching and we don’t want to be embarrassed? The obvious answer is No. Scripture does not mince words when it comes to God’s hatred of hypocritical worship.
Monday, May 30, 2016
Failure is inevitable. No believer can always live up to the standard of Scripture—our remaining flesh and the habits of our former sinful selves inhibit our holiness in this life. But that doesn’t mean we give up—it doesn’t mean we surrender to temptation and impurity.
Friday, May 27, 2016
The opposite of wrong isn’t always right. Sometimes it’s simply a different kind of wrong. There are two dominant errors Christians fall into that can damage and destroy their integrity. You can think of them as two equally treacherous ditches on either side of the narrow way (Matthew 7:14).
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
It’s easy—even natural—to be a hypocrite. People are enamored with outward appearances, and it’s not difficult to construct a convincing façade. At some point, most people realize there’s no need to develop character and establish integrity when it’s far easier to fake it.
Monday, May 23, 2016
The greatest threat to the church is not persecution. It’s not the rise of atheism, Islam, or liberal politics. It’s not the Pope. And it’s not the rampaging immorality of the world around us. No, the greatest threat to the church—and to individual believers—is compromise.
Friday, May 20, 2016
The apostle James was part of Christ’s inner circle and one of His closest confidants. But unlike Peter and John, we read very little about this “Son of Thunder” as an individual. The majority of what we know about James—and his passionate, zealous character—comes from two key incidents recorded in the gospels.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
You’re probably familiar with the concept of a “no-go zone”—that part of town one would be wise to avoid, especially at night. Often they are areas dominated by gang activity, racial and religious tensions, and crime syndicates. Ancient Israel had its own no-go zone—Samaria.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Of the three disciples in Jesus’ closest inner circle, James is the least familiar to us. The biblical account is practically devoid of any explicit details about his life and character. He never appears as a stand-alone character in the gospel accounts, but he is always paired with his younger and better-known brother, John.
Friday, May 13, 2016
Most people assume they are generally agreeable and easy-going. Few people would proudly say they were hard to get along with or difficult to be around. But if you added up every argumentative, complaining, and frustrated word you spoke this week, along with all your eye rolls, disappointed sighs, and grumbling grunts, you would likely be shocked by how much of your time is bound up in expressing your discontent and dissatisfaction. In fact, some people talk about little else!
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
What would you say is the defining characteristic of our society? Maybe pride, selfishness, lust, vengeance, materialism—all dominant features of twenty-first century life. But here’s one you might not have guessed—discontentment.
Monday, May 9, 2016
“Unqualified.” That was John MacArthur’s one-word assessment of Steven Furtick during a Q&A session at the 2012 Shepherds’ Conference. It’s also the title of Furtick’s latest book. And it's not a coincidence.
Friday, May 6, 2016
Extending forgiveness to others also brings with it great blessings upon the Christian life. Let’s conclude this series by considering some of those tremendous blessings.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
It has always saddened me over the years as I’ve watched church leaders bring reproach on the church of Jesus Christ. What’s perhaps most shocking to me is how frequently Christian leaders sin grossly, then step back into leadership almost as soon as the publicity dies away.
Monday, May 2, 2016
Forgiveness can be very hard to grant—even Christians commonly wrestle with it. I am convinced that many, if not most, Christian counseling sessions are related to struggles with forgiveness. It is a subject that does pose difficult questions. Today, we’ll consider some of the major ones.
Friday, April 29, 2016
God commands us to forgive others—it reflects His character. Unforgivingness is therefore ungodly. That means unforgivingness is no less an offense to God than fornication or drunkenness, even though we don’t often think of those sins as equally onerous. Certainly unforgivingness is more frequently found in the open among the people of God than the sins we typically regard as heinous. But Scripture is clear that God despises an unforgiving spirit (Matthew 18:21­–35).
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
If anyone ever had good reason to withhold forgiveness from his enemies, it was the Lord Jesus. He was the only true victim—totally innocent of any wrongdoing. He never broke the law of God. He never sinned in His actions, words, or thoughts. He never yielded to any temptation whatsoever.