The temptation to replace live church with online settles for a lesser-than version of God’s intention for the local body to gather.
Discover the purpose of church and what it could mean for you.
Have you ever sighed while setting your alarm clock on a Saturday night for church the next morning? After a week of waking up early for school, homework and extracurricular activities, sleeping in on Sunday can sound refreshing. There’s always the option to watch the sermon later online, right? So, why not hit the snooze button?Read More
In 2 Corinthians 1:8-9, Paul gives us a snapshot of one of the horrible events in his life. He is teaching us how to interpret and respond to what’s happening to us. It’s a call to stop relying on ourselves and learn how to depend on the one who raises the dead. Learning the lesson of God-reliance is one of the most crucial aspects of our relationship with Him.
There have been times in my life where the heat of the sun (suffering) was bearing down on me with such ferocity that the temptation to curse the sun was intense (Job 2:9). Figuratively cursing the sun for the scorching heat in your life is as nonsensical as a man standing in a field on a hot day, yelling at that ball of heat.Read More
When societies lose the directional parameters of purpose, they cast off all restraint. The 1960s sexual revolution ushered in a degrading of America’s young people. Now, the first generation of men who grew up with unlimited access to pornography are suffering unexpected collateral damage: porn-induced erectile dysfunction (PIED).
Put aside the spiritual and moral argument for a moment and simply look at the psychological and emotional effects. Young men are reporting an incredible disconnect with the women they are physically intimate with.Read More
When it comes to community in the church, many people feel like onlookers. For many, deep fellowship seems far off. Some feel excluded because they “do not fit in,” and others are unsure how to engage.
In the church of Jesus, this should not be. All believers should feel welcome and invited to be an active part of its fellowship. But in truth, we tend to herd together in groups based on similarities like being married or single, our children’s ages, our life stages, political preferences, or professional positions. We feel more comfortable around people like us. (What does your small group look like?)Read More
Our teens’ self-worth must come from their knowledge of who Jesus is and from the assurance of His love and care. Parents can emphasize these truths as they model acceptance, forgiveness and love.
Dennis Smith was rushing to class at a Christian school, when he met one of his students lingering in the hallway. The student turned away, staring out a window. The young man was crying as he explained to Dennis, “The other guys say I’m not cool. They tell me that constantly.” The student found his self-worth in the words of his peers.Read More
How do you pray when you feel like giving up? How do you pray when you feel weak and distressed? How do you pray when confronted with the multidimensional misery of fading life in a broken world?
The answer: we don’t pray. Sometimes it’s because we don’t know what to pray for. Other times we feel too tired and discouraged, overwhelmed and exhausted. So we don’t really pray. We try to cope by soldiering on—an utterly unsustainable plan from a Christian perspective.Read More
I love to search for the perfect gift. It does not need to be expensive. It simply gives me joy to find something that is uniquely fitting for someone. I get so excited to give the gift just to see their expression of surprise and delight. I often hope I’ll hear, “Oh my! How did you know?” or, “It’s so perfect, and I LOVE it!” These moments bring me a sense of happiness and I feel connected in a special way when a simple gesture is recognized and valued.
The concept of grace in the Bible is understood to be the unmerited favor of God. Truly, every breath is a gift we cannot earn. However, there are many times when we receive a special grace or gift—a complete upgrade in the unmerited favor of God.Read More
“You always prioritize work over me.”
“You never take my feelings into consideration.”
“Your only concern is your own comfort.”
Here is a universal rule for marriage counselors: don’t allow couples to speak to each other in absolutes. We know that when couples use words like always, never, and only to describe each other’s behavior or to express a complaint, it will not help to resolve their conflict. These words exaggerate and overgeneralize in a way that provokes a spouse to defensiveness. Instead of considering and talking about their spouse’s concern, an accused spouse will be tempted to prove that they are not always guilty of this or that behavior.Read More
Kindness is one of the few things that will gentle the response of others. Teach kids how to show kindness to others.
Were you ever bullied on the playground? Or called names by the neighbor kid? Do you have an annoying co-worker? A friend who pushes your buttons?
When I was a kid, my mom would admonish me, “Josh, kill them with kindness.”
The motive behind this advice may sound harsh, but I believe it tells us something about the power of kindness. In Romans 2:4, the apostle Paul puts it this way: “God’s kindness leads you toward repentance.”Read More
Through biblical counseling, we have the privilege to share the gospel with non-Christians and Christians. Why would a Christian need to hear the gospel? Once saved, always saved, right? It’s true that God’s power will guard the faith of believers and that believers will persevere in their faith (1 Pet. 1:4-5). This truth comforts us when we’re discouraged in our Christian life and are tempted to doubt our salvation. Scripture also reminds us that the good tree produces good fruit (Luke 6:43-45). God knows whether our religious acts are merely external.Read More