Post Category: Gospel Living

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Your Best Resolution

Jesus said: "Man must not live on bread alone, but on every word, that comes from the mouth of God" (Mat. 4:4). If we don't eat food, our bodies become weak and sickly. It works the same way in the spiritual realm. But digesting the Bible doesn't only make us strong, we also need it to fight temptation (Ps. 119:105) and to be wise (Ps. 19:7-11). God hasn't told us when or ...

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Nothing Is Impossible With God

Nothing would ever be the same. Gabriel's announcement would turn Mary's existence upside down, for the rest of her life."You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus" (Lk. 1:31). The sudden appearance of the angel left her perplexed. But his message even more. Mary would conceive a child, but as a virgin. She would give birth to a son, but He wo...

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Simplify Christmas, Magnify Christ

Christmas is a time of great excitement and good cheer. But it also presents Christians with a sizable challenge. How do we keep the birth of Jesus front and center when we live a world that has turned Christmas into a commercial and sentimental circus? How can we enjoy this time of year but not join the merry-go-round the world offers us? It is no small challenge, at lea...

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Is There Still Hope For Me?

She was in shock. The slippery slope of sin had brought her to a place where she thought she would never be. She knew her heart was capable of evil, but now the wickedness of her soul stared at her point-blank, dark and deep. It felt like the fingers of sin had grabbed her by the throat, squeezing out every breath of faith and future. Who hasn't been at the end of this ro...

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Why We Don't Witness

Research shows that most Christians believe that God calls them to have Gospel conversations with unbelievers. But there is a pretty large gap between theory and practice. Lifestyle evangelism, showing Jesus by the way we live and the choices we make, is one thing. The verbal articulation of the Gospel to someone else is quite another. What is behind our hesitancy? And wha...

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A Daily Dose of the Gospel

We never outgrow the need for the Gospel. Jesus' death and resurrection is not the ABC of the Christian life but the A-Z. God strengthens us through the Gospel until the day we die. Our calling and identity are rooted in Him.Therefore, we must daily preach the Gospel to ourselves. But what does this look like? How does the Gospel make a difference on let's say, Monday mor...

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Care for Your Conscience

Our conscience is a wonderful gift from God. Every person comes equipped with one (Rom. 2:15). Conscience is "God's watchman and spokesman in the soul" (J.I. Packer), generally reliable but not perfect. It can misfire, excusing our actions when they should be accused and accuse us when nothing is the matter. When shaped and ruled by God it will help us live worthy of the G...

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Black, White and Gray

Many decisions we make as Christians involve areas or activities that are not explicitly addressed in the Bible. They are often referred to as the "gray" areas. How do we discern right from wrong when the Bible doesn't take a stand or never even addresses the issue? Let's not muddy the waters here. In many cases there should be no question to begin with. Lots of things a...

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Suffering: Why Does God Allow It?

Why does an all-powerful and loving God permit evil? This question has challenged the hearts and minds of Christians throughout the centuries. When adversity strikes every one of us will come face to face with this inevitable mystery. God is not offended when our "why" questions flow candidly from our broken hearts. In fact, He welcomes them. The writers of the Psalms fre...

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The Greener Grass

The Greener Grass Conspiracy by Stephen Altrogge is a helpful little book. It hits a nerve with almost everyone who reads it, including myself. The subtitle says it all: Finding Contentment on Your side of the Fence. The author helps us to do battle with discontentment by steering us back to the truths of the Gospel. You can find the first chapter online. The habit of dis...

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The Way of the Transgressor

King Saul is a prime example in Scripture of someone who started well, but finished poorly. His first actions as ruler of the nation were spot on. But after his flagrant disobedience of the Lord's command (1 Sam. 13:13) he soon spiraled down and landed in a deep pit of insanity and evil. In 1 Samuel 28 Saul is about to do battle against the Philistines. It will prove to b...

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Fighting the Fight of Faith for Purity

Sexual sin stains us like no other sin (1 Cor. 6:18). It kills our relationship with God and robs usof the ability to love our spouse, children and our Christian brothers and sisters well. May these Bible truths serve as ammunition in fighting the fight for purity in the power of the Holy Spirit. Let's believe them, ponder them, memorize them, take hold of them and apply ...

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Foolishness 101

Foolishness abounds in our world. Even common sense has gone out the window. Watch the evening news or scroll down your Facebook News Feed and inevitably you will ask yourself: am I crazy or what? Scripture has a lot to say about foolishness. But the biblical definition of a fool goes beyond our modern day usage. It adds a dimension that is foundational to every deed of f...

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Living by Faith

George Mller lived two centuries ago, but his life and ministry have deeply affected me. Mller founded orphanages and schools in Bristol, England. His primary purpose was not the physical and spiritual wellbeing of the children, though this was certainly included. His main goal was to prove to both believers and unbelievers that God is able to meet the needs of His childre...

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Relationship and Rules

God made us and redeemed us. He knows how the Christian life functions best. We should therefore not be surprised that the Bible tells us how we should live. When you read Scripture carefully however, you discover that God's statutes don't exist in a vacuum. They are imbedded in God's gracious redemption. He first establishes the relationship, then He gives the rules. Wh...

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Dreams and Unintentional Sin

Experts tell us that we dream at least two hours every night. Most of us don't recall the mental escapades the next day. But when we do, we usually dismiss them quickly. But how should we think about a dream in which we sin? The content of these dreams can startle, even shock us. Would God want us to view these actions as real sin? It is a good question. Are we answerable...

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A Gratitude Boost

The most recent World Happiness Report ranked The Netherlands in sixth place of happiest countries in the world, trailing Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, and Finland. Being Dutch myself, I chuckled at these statistics because the Dutch are notorious complainers. Tourists often mention how friendly we are. Yes, ask the Dutch for directions and nine out of ten times ...

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When It Is Wrong To Wait

Resolutions are not limited to the beginning of a New Year. Most of us have a running list of goals and desires. From spending more time with our kids, to taking a course, to inviting our neighbors over for coffee; we have our ambitions. And as Christians we can add spiritual objectives to the list: attend prayer meeting, memorize Scripture or help out with the children's ...

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About Movies

A friend asked me a question yesterday. He wanted to know my thoughts on a new movie that is coming out, Beauty and the Beast, a remake of the 1991 Disney Classic. According to its director, the movie will break ground as Disney features an openly gay character. The movie also includes a "nice, exclusively gay moment". Did I think this was a movie Christians could watch or...

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Abundant Fruit or a Clean Stable?

Change, some love it and others dread it. Regardless your personal preference, change is inevitable. We know that at times a wind of change is necessary or unavoidable. But this doesn't mean it's easy. In one of his proverbs, Solomon captures the reality that moving ahead can be rough and even unpleasant: "Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops c...

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Signs of Spiritual Growth

You will find the pencil marks on pantry door frames or kitchen walls in many houses. Measuring your children's height is fun, encouraging and shocking at the same time. Wow, you've grown that much?! Over time these height marks turn into little treasures. Some parents even refuse to paint over them. We mark growth because we expect growth. It is part of a child's normal ...

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When You Feel You Can't Go On

How long? How long? This is the recurring question asked by a person who doesn't know where to turn. He feels paralyzed, exhausted. He is tired of seeing one dead end sign after another. We've all been there, most of us more than once. The Psalms remind us that when we do, we shouldn't think that something strange is happening to us. In the Psalms we see that God fearing...

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To Fear or Not to Fear

How do you harmonize the wonderful "fear nots" in the Bible (Gen. 15:1; Is. 41:10; Heb. 13:6) with the repeated admonition to "fear the Lord" (Deut. 6:3; Acts 9:31; Col. 3:22)? Did you ever think about that? How can we fear God while He drives out our fear? The answer is found in a proper understanding of the fear of the Lord. The English word "fear" is rarely seen as so...

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The Yo-Yo Factor

One of the best illustrations of the Christian life I've ever heard is about a yo-yo. I know this doesn't sound very good, but read on. First the bad news. Our spiritual lives can indeed resemble a yo-yo. Progress and failure alternate easily and sometimes quickly. Up and down we go. This yo-yo dynamic can be quite depressing. But looking through the lens of the Gospel, t...

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About Your Job

Why do people work? The answer seems obvious. Folks work in order to meet their financial and material needs and those of their family. This goes for Christians as well. Didn't God say that "if anyone is not willing to work, he is not to eat either" (2 Thes. 3:10)? There are other reasons as well why people have jobs. Some simply find fulfillment in what they do. Working ...

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Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices

Thomas Brooks was an ordained minister of the Gospel in England during the 17th century, where the Church of Christ experienced major upheaval. He was also an avid writer. His books combine deep theological insight with helpful practical application. One of his more well-known books is Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices. It is still in print. A free PDF is availabl...

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