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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.
Monday, April 25, 2016
God doesn’t change (Malachi 3:6). But man’s view of Him frequently does—driven by man’s own fluid emotions and flexible morality. And as the world around us becomes increasingly permissive, it expects God to adjust with that moral shift.
Friday, April 22, 2016
What does biblical assurance look like? Can we spot the evidence of true faith and the Spirit’s sanctifying work in our lives? And how do we know what to look for? The apostle John’s first epistle is devoted to answering those very questions. Surely no other passage of Scripture confronts the false promises of no-lordship theology with more force than this brief but potent letter.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Saying “I love you” to your spouse would ring hollow if you never showed your affection through actions. In the same way, when a person professes faith in Christ yet doesn’t evidence his profession by good works, that faith is rightly suspect. Anyone can say they believe in Christ. But Scripture—and in particular, James’s epistle—is clear that true faith is always proven by good works.