James isn’t crazy in his talk of joy in trials. On the contrary, he’s a faithful pastor.
What is the most important “voice” in your life? Who do you listen to most intently? What words have the most influence over choices you make throughout the day?
Few things, by God’s grace, capture the mind and the heart like an oncology waiting room. And we need to be captured by God—pulled away from the numbing effects of the world.
Convinced he and his generation were living in the Last Days, Luther saw himself as a prophet proclaiming the “Reformation-to-come”—the second coming of Christ when God would consummate His kingdom.
We live in a world of people who are trying to justify themselves — whether they know it or not, they are trying to make themselves right before God by saying the right things, doing the right things, feeling the appropriate shame, virtue-signaling enough so that they are declared righteous.
Does the gospel, with its promise of forgiveness of sins and fellowship with God in a kingdom not of this world, promote the abandonment of this world and the gross neglect of hurting people?
In 1666 the English Puritan Thomas Brooks wrote, “The soul being so precious, and salvation so glorious, it is the highest point of prudence to make preparations for another world.” In our pandemic age, as in every age, it is essential to ask, are we preparing?
Some time ago I began a new sermon series in the book of Acts. In the introductory sermon, my goal was to ask and answer the question, “What is true of a life lived in the light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ?”
In thinking about the new year and what resolutions I want to make, I see God’s grace in the close of one year and the dawn of another. This yearly cycle gives us the opportunity to take inventory of where we stand in relation to our Creator: are we seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Cf., Matthew 6:33)? The New Year is an ideal time for “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” — to recommit ourselves to “setting our minds on things above” (Philippians 3:13; Colossians 3:1-4).
At the recent Expositors Summit at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, I had the daunting task of lecturing on “The Mortification of the Pastor.” I chose this topic given the theme of the conference, namely, the pastor and purity. And I can think of no better way to promote purity than by killing sin.