7 ways Satan will seek to attack your church this weekend (Chuck Lawless): Satan is an enemy who seeks to attack your church at every opportunity you give him. As you gather this weekend, be aware of these strategies – and keep your focus on God and His Word! Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
You are not the author of your story (Paul Tripp): Remind yourself again today that you have a story, but it is not an autobiography. There is an author of your story, but the author is not you. You have been welcomed into an epic drama, but you will never be the hero. You have been given a kingdom, but you will never be its monarch. The price of your admission into this story was the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. But he conquered death so that by grace he could establish his story in your life. Today he reigns on your behalf and will continue to do so until the last enemy of your soul and of his kingdom has been defeated. Read more at Desiring God.
How not to fall away (William Boekstein): The surest way to fall away from the faith is to assume you are immune to falling away (1 Cor. 10:12). “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:12-13). Jesus charged his closest friends: “Abide in Me… If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned (John 15:6).”We have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” (Heb. 3:14). Read more at Reformation 21.
Why niceness weakens our witness (Sharon Hodde Miller): God did not call you to be nice. This statement has been rattling around in my head for well over a year now, and I haven’t been able to shake it. It has reemerged at crucial moments, not as an excuse to be snarky, angry, or rude, but because I have noticed something going on in my heart, and in the church, for a while now: A competing allegiance. A warm and inviting idolatry that has managed to wedge itself between us and true obedience to Christ. Read more at Christianity Today.
Not with lofty speech (John Piper): There is a way to preach — a way of eloquence or cleverness or human wisdom — that nullifies the cross. We should dread nullifying the cross. We need to know what this eloquence-cleverness-wisdom of words is — and avoid it. Read more at Desiring God.
Pastors, don’t avoid uncomfortable sermon topics (Brett McCracken): The college students I disciple these days aren’t looking for a Christianity that positions itself as nice, inoffensive, easy, and comfortable. This feels false and inauthentic to them. Why? Because it is false and inauthentic. Christianity is unavoidably costly and uncomfortable. It’s a faith built around a guy who was brutally crucified on a cross and told his followers, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). Those aren’t the words of a man who worried about offending the masses. Read more at For the Church.
What does born of water and the Spirit mean in John 3:15? (Don Carson): D.A. Carson gives his take on this question and well worth reading. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.