SUFFERING / TRIALS
Before your suffering comes: 5 rocks to put under your feet (John Piper): Before the storms of suffering blow against a person’s soul, we should try to put five foundation stones under their faith. Read more at Desiring God.
The refiner’s fire (Paul Tautges): The teaching of Scripture is clear: In order to produce a godly, mature Christian, God increases the temperature of life, in order to bring to the surface the sin that is already in our hearts, which we may be blinded from seeing, or just too stubborn to address. To use a similar metaphor, like the boiling hot water that steeps the tea out of the bag, trials draw out the issues of life that reside in our heart. The trial is not the problem, nor does it create the issues of the heart. They are already “in the tea bag,” so to speak. Read more at Counseling One Another.
True spirituality is physical (Sam Storms): There is no such thing as “virtual church.” There are sermons and announcements that we can provide for you by means of modern technology. But these are no substitute for “church” in the truly biblical sense of the term. Here is why. Read more at SamStorms.org.
10 ways to jump start your evangelism (Thom Rainer): Some good advice from a professor of evangelism. Read more at ThomRainer.com.
5 insights into feelings under lockdown (Peter Mead): Feelings are like the lights on the dashboard of your car. They indicate that something is going on, and they prompt you to connect. I don’t drive my car better by covering over and ignoring all the lights on the dashboard. Nor do I drive my car with my head through the steering wheel looking only at those lights. But when a light comes on, I take that as a prompt to action, a prompt to connect. With my car I call the mechanic who can figure out the issue and fix it. With my life, I need to seek out other believers and I need to seek out God. He created us with an incredible set of emotions to help drive us through the challenges of life, but he never intended us to travel that path alone. Read more at Biblical Preaching.
8 ways temptation actually works for you (Tim Challies): Temptation is a universal experience. If Jesus himself did not escape it, we can be certain that we will not either. It can be difficult to see any good in temptation, yet we know that God has promised to work all things for our good—even temptation. Thomas Watson addresses this in his book All Things for Good, and offers nine ways that temptation works for our good. Read more at Challies.
What’s in your soul that the gospel needs to run a sword through? (Jared C. Wilson): What’s in your soul that the gospel ought to run a sword through? Are you searching for pleasure and meaning in ways contrary to God’s plan? Are you trying to write the story of your own glory with your life? Are there areas of stubborn sin you have yet to attack with the power of Christ’s grace? Read more at For the Church.
Are we on the cusp of revival? (Jared C. Wilson): The emptiness of our false gods is being revealed. Even as we rely on technology more intensely than ever before to get us through these days of social distancing and stay at home orders, we suffer screen fatigue. What we once used for mindless distraction has become a dissatisfying focal point of our days. Our idols are failing us. We cannot engage in most of them. Others are out of our hands. Money cannot be our security now, for instance. The same goes for our health. Read more at LifeWay Voices.
Keep him from his knees: Five way Satan silences prayer (Greg Morse): In the vein of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, a letter from a senior demon to a junior, revealing the simple ways Satan keeps us from praying. Read more at Desiring God.
5 marks of spiritual fruit to guide your prayer life (Brandon Levering): Five metrics (drawn from Jonathan Edwards), along with some explanatory quotes. Let them be an occasion for personal reflection, and a prayer for God to bring the finished work of Christ to bear on our lives and ministries. Read more at In the Meantime.