Trusting God in trying times

Trusting God in trying times

The Apostles Peter and Paul both spent time in the hoosegow. While both were jailed for the sake of the Gospel, I find it interesting that they passed their time in different ways. Peter slept. Paul sang.In the first instance, as Luke records in Acts 12, Herod "laid violent hands" upon the Christians. He killed James, the brother of John, and then jailed Peter. … [Read more...]

Love and bear it

Love and bear it

To grin and bear something means to tolerate it, put on a happy face and ride out the discomfort. After all, it'll be over soon enough. That's a perfectly practical way to deal with half the difficulties in life. But what if you could manage to respond with love instead of mere tolerance or reluctant acquiescence? What areas of life might improve with the switch -- work, family, everything maybe? … [Read more...]

Hope that does not disappoint

Hope that does not disappoint

Our days are marked by trouble. Illness in the family, perhaps dire, a child struggling with unbelief, a bad job situation, turmoil in a close relationship -- the list is as long and varied as you want to make it. We're all facing something, a unique trial, a particular pain. And it's not surprising."Beloved," says Peter in his first letter, "do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you...." … [Read more...]

Our true identity in Christ and the momentum of holiness

Our true identity and the momentum of holiness

What can Paul Gauguin and Paul the Apostle teach us about our identity in Christ?Born in France and raised partially in Peru, Paul Gauguin's early years were marked by the death of his father, domestic upheaval, and sweeping cultural shifts. After returning to France to live with his grandfather, he joined the merchant marines, served a stint in the navy, took work as a stockbroker, married, and had several kids. His tumultuous life could have settled into middle-class ease, but then Gauguin … [Read more...]

How to wreck your life

How to wreck your life

If you’re looking to get off on the wrong foot this week, start with ingratitude. It’s easy, really. Everything we have is a gift from God. The trick to ingratitude is to be unthankful for it. The job, the spouse, the bills, the house, the kids, the coworkers, the car—all you have to do is grumble and complain about them.If you’re new to this little trick, don’t overdo it. Start with little gripes about small disturbances. But if you’re well practiced, you might as well jump into one of the m … [Read more...]

The gospel of radical submission

The gospel of radical submission

The Scripture commands husbands to love their wives, wives to respect their husbands, children to honor their parents, citizens to obey the authorities, employees to follow their employers, and believers to subject themselves to the elders of the Church.None of this has anything to do with how much or well the other party deserves it. There are plenty of unlovable wives, disreputable husbands, dishonorable parents, unworthy governments, ill-willed employers, and untrustworthy church leaders … [Read more...]

Are you making progress?

Are you making progress?

What does the perfect Christian life look like? When asked the question by a friend, Gregory of Nyssa said it looked like perpetual progress toward God, a thought stemming from Christ's statement that Christians are to be perfect like God is perfect.This is tricky business. Perfection is easy if we're talking about the length of a yard or the number ten, things that have attainable, comprehensible limits. But what if there is no spatial or conceptual boundary? Exactly how long is virtue, … [Read more...]


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