Here and There (July 20)

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After Domestic Violence, Why Should a Christian Wife Call the Police, Not a Pastor, First?  – “Abused women who are Christians may try to understand their suffering by believing it is “God’s will” or “part of God’s plan for my life.” Yet we believe this runs contrary to the biblical image of a kind, merciful, and loving God who promises to be present to us in our suffering.”

Too “Busy” for God’s Word?  – “There is never an excuse for neglecting your time in prayer, reading of the Word, and personal worship of God. You may not have time for intense academic study, but just as you make time to nourish yourself with physical food, you must take time to nourish your soul as well.”

God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle  – “Suffering doesn’t ask if you’re ready. It may come slowly or with a vengeance, but it doesn’t ask permission, and it doesn’t care about convenience. There’s never a good time for your life to be wrecked. But the saying “God will never give you more than you can handle” tells me Ihave what it takes. It tells me I can bear whatever comes my way. It tells me God permits trials according to my ability to endure. Think about what this conventional wisdom does: it points people inward.  Yet the Bible points us Godward.”

Here is Truth  – “Genuine change is more than stopping wrong behavior; there must be repentance which includes an understanding that the actions are not glorifying to God; there must be a change in the manner of life that we live. Genuine repentance is accompanied by a desire to obey. We cannot separate thinking from obedience-they are inseparable. ”

4 Really Good Money Questions  – These are 4 great questions that bring biblical wisdom to bear on the way we use our money.

7 Questions Leaders Should Use Often  – “Questions are a powerful tool for every leader. The greatest leaders I know ask lots of questions.”

And 7 Statements Every Leader Needs To Use Often  – “One of the goals of a leader should be to encourage, strengthen and challenge a team to continually improve. Almost as a cheerleader rousing the crowd at a game, the leader uses his or her influence to bring out the best in others.”

7 Areas of Unbiblical Conscience Binding  – “God alone is Lord of the conscience, and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in anything, contrary to his Word; or beside it, if matters of faith, or worship”

One Reason Children Rebel Against Their Parents  – “If we are not modeling the life of Christ to our children (1 Corinthians 11:1), then the chances of them rejecting Christ by the time they become teenagers is exponentially higher than parents who humbly present Christ to their children while they are young.”

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Here and There (July 16)

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Marriage, Infidelity, and Ministry  – “No minister of the gospel ever committed adultery without being involved inappropriately with another person, and without having lustful desires precede that involvement. Adultery is the last stop on a long line of faithlessness. This sobering and painful reality points us to a very helpful strategy in our fight for purity. If we want to maximize our effectiveness in this battle we must be committed to waging the war as early as possible. An effective fight against adultery requires a fight against the kind of impurity that leads to it, and that requires a fight against the covetous desires of our hearts that lead to that. We are on the winning side of the struggle when we are depending on God’s grace to squash every covetous sexual desire long before it manifests in impurity and sexual immorality.”

To The Wife Who’s Husband Works Long Hours  – “Most importantly, pray together. Put God first so neither of you end up putting yourselves first.”

3 Truths to Move from Discontentment to Contentment  – “How do we fight to put on contentment and put off discontentment? We fight to grow in contentment, and kill discontent, by knowing and trusting that God is sovereignly working what is best, right, and good in our life because He is perfect in wisdom, knowledge, goodness, and love.”

Ten Tips to Kill Your Marriage  – “If you can’t embrace losing, as in being second in your marriage, then you will be the biggest loser of all (Ephesians 5:21). Not only will you go down swinging, but you will take your marriage down with you.”

What to do with-after a Stupid Promise to God?  – “God would rather forgive an empty promise in a maturing child than the offensive action of a wayward child still embracing their folly. God is more glorified through forgiving us for making-breaking stupid promises than he is through us keeping stupid promises and misrepresenting what it means to have “great faith” to the world.”

Four Characteristics of Legalism  – “Legalism is something we all lean toward in one way or another. Humanity has been plagued by this from the very beginning as we see in Job’s friends. Why is this? Well, we like to have everything under control. We don’t like risk. We don’t like it when things get uncomfortable. And showing grace, to ourselves and others, takes the ball out of our court. Rule, laws, and lists of requirements are so much easier than grace and freedom.”

Pascal’s Wager: Misleading, But Challenging  – “According to the Scriptures, that kind of choice is not saving faith. It is a purely natural thing, not a supernatural thing. We are drawn to something we do not know, assuming an extension of the happiness we have here. But saving faith is not like that. It is rooted in the sight and foretaste of happiness in supernatural things — God himself. According to the Scriptures, living faith is created in the dead soul by the miracle of new birth. “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God” (1 John 5:1). That’s how the faith happens.”

Lessons for Young Men  – “Our world desperately needs men. Real men. Manly men. Godly men. Holy men. Courageous men. Men who fear no one because they fear their God more. Our culture despises true, biblical manhood. What our young people today who grow up in American society will not learn on their own, from their friends, from Hollywood, or simply by observing the way of culture is how to be a real, godly, courageous, man of God.”

Letter to Teens Unboxing Their First Smartphone  – “The way you use your technology reveals your heart.”

Guidance On How To Be A Man  – “My answer, and maybe yours as well, is that I so often forget who I am in Christ. Thousands of time a day, the world says to me “Be like this! Be like that!”, but never “Live out your life in Christ!”

Gospel-Centered Husbandship: Changing the Game by Changing Our Home  – “The opposite of a gospel-centered husband, I think, is a comfortable husband.”

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Here and There (July 9)

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What a Bikini Taught Me About Modesty  –  “Suddenly I realized that my bikini was not advertising my God-given value, but advertising the beauty of my body to a world that would never appreciate it the way God intended…Modesty is humility in action…In every decision we make, we shouldn’t be asking “How far can I go?” or “How much can I get away with?” but “How holy can I be?” 

Dear Girl, You Can’t Shed Shame by Shedding Clothes  – “They say women who cover themselves do so because they lack self confidence; that if they were really free, they would shed those standards and their “modest” clothes along with it.  But the dichotomy they propose is a false one.  Our world sees no shame in nakedness, so they seek to glorify it.  Our God sees glory in nakedness, so He shields it from shame…Shame did not come from modesty. Modesty – the covering – came to deflect shame. God Himself clothed man and woman to shield their beauty from the evil of this world.”

The Gospel Coalition has 20 Quotes from Rosaria Butterfield’s New Book on Sexual Identity  – “The image of me and everyone I love suffering in hell crashed over me like shark-infested waves of a raging sea. Suffering in hell not because we were gay, but because we were proud. We wanted to be autonomous. . . . I counted the costs and I did not like the math.” (23)  “Jesus met sinners at the table, but he did not join them in their choice sins. He sat with them, but he did not sin with them. And we ought not expect Jesus to sin with us today.” (31)

Identity in Relationships  – “Finding identity in your spouse will never work. No sinner can be your mighty fortress; only God can, as the classic hymn reminds us. Perhaps even more importantly: when you look to another person for identity, you’re not loving them; you’re using them to love yourself...Human relationships are unable to provide us with life, contentment, happiness, and joy, so when we ask them to be our source of identity, it’s only a matter of time before they fail us. We can never be reminded of this enough: our identity is only safe in one Person – Jesus Christ!

On Mt. Moriah You Can See the Whole Bible  – “Jesus wrote the last chapter of Moriah. He made this mountain his own. He climbed Mt. Moriah, to enter his Father’s house, time and again. He taught on this mountain. He turned over the tables of the money-changers like a madman on this mountain. On Moriah, he declared, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will rebuild it.” He spend the last week of his life on this mountain. And he brought this mountain’s story to its peak.  Jesus was not killed in Bethlehem as a baby, or in Galilee or Samaria as an adult. He couldn’t be, for it was necessary for him to die in Jerusalem, where Moriah is. He is the promised Seed of Abraham, the new and better Isaac. He is the promised Son of David, the new and better Solomon. He is the tabernacle and temple of God. And he is the Son who is not spared, but given up for us all. At his death, the angels outside Eden sheathe their swords and welcome us back into the paradise of God. He is the lamb of God, upon the altar of the cross, who transforms Golgotha into Moriah. He is the substitute, by whose sacrifice we are not just spared, but welcomed into the life and family of the Father.”

How and Why to Talk to Your Children About LGBT  – “Our attitude toward gays should be loving because, as we say, “There I would be too if it were not for the grace of God.” Your children should not hear hate or anger from you when you talk about the gay community.  If you do hate them, then your children will either (1) emulate your anger or (2) embrace the gays version of love—a love devoid of biblical conviction. Therefore, your starting point should be a level playing field: there are no righteous people, no not one (Romans 3:10-12).”

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