Have you ever found yourself in a similar circumstance, thinking to yourself, “If only I had [fill in the blank], then I could obey God better”? If only I had more time, friends who were more present, family members who weren’t so trying, a pet that wasn’t so needy, improved health, more resources, a good marriage, a church I agreed with on more theological matters, a mentor who had more time for me, this book that claims to change people’s lives, a seminary degree—then I could be a better Christ-follower. Have you ever heard that thought float through your head? I’ve heard it resound many times in my own, with a variety of things to fill the blank with.Read More
What we see outlined in Ephesians 4:22-24 is not a one-time instruction manual with promises of immediate success. Instead, it is a place we will return to often, probably with the same struggles, and the order may change. But God is faithful, and he will bring us to completion in his timing and lead us as we put off sin, renew our minds, and put on the new self.Read More
Frustration coiled in my heart like a snake ready to lunge. It felt like I could never find a moment to myself since Levi was born. I couldn’t help but envy all the people around me who I imagined sitting in their homes, showered and clean with nicely styled hair, who didn’t have this problem. The often repeated words of this culture made the snake in my heart rattled it’s tail: You need more time for yourself—how can you love others if you aren’t loving yourself first? Is this true, even for us Christians? Where does self-care fit in the biblical worldview?Read More
As well as we know the sting of the unfaithfulness of others to us, we also know of our own unfaithfulness. Hurtful words we have spoken to others we were supposed to love. Promises we made that we never fulfilled. Times when we were supposed to stand strong to hold another up but ran away and let them fall. Just as others have left their marks of unfaithfulness on us, we have likewise left our own wounds of unfaithfulness. Who can be trusted? Can we rely on anyone? If even those who love us most will still be unfaithful due to their sin, and we ourselves cannot be trusted because of our sin, is there anyone who we can look to that will be steadfast?Read More
It takes us by surprise—the cringe-worthy memory of a past sin we wish we could forget. Maybe you were picking out clothing to wear the next day, packing a lunch, doing housework, watching TV, or playing with your children. One thought quickly connected to another, and suddenly a horrible memory was resurfaced. The pain, the regret, the shame, and disgusting feelings all returned as if you had just committed the sin again. The memories are so vivid you could shutter. Each of us will battle the memories of sin. Not one person can say they have no memory of sins they have committed. So what do we do with these memories that make us cringe? How do we face the memories in Christ?Read More
A year of living in on-going house renovations, seeing rooms completed one piece at a time, I have learned not only patience but a lot about sanctification. In many ways this little house is much like my heart, and yours too.Read More
In this midst of this struggle, we can feel like failures as believers. We become ashamed to bring our struggle to God in prayer because we know we are going to fail yet again. Some days it may even feel like God has turned away from us and left us to struggle alone.
Friend, I know these feelings well. And I want to offer you hope in the midst of this struggle, reminding you of sanctification and the gospel.Read More
But there is something special about you, if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus. You have the Holy Spirit living inside you, who gives you the ability to change daily (Romans 8:1-17).
Christians, we don’t need to wait for a new year in order to grow in our obedience to God. Instead of getting stuck in New Year Resolutions this year, let’s seek to change daily.
But first we must recognize why we need to change daily, how to change, and finally how to persevere in daily change.Read More
None of these pieces of advice is inherently wrong. Most Christians probably do need to work on each of those areas of their life. But therein lies the problem: This advice applies to anyone and everyone. You could struggle with anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, rebellious children, or any kind of spiritual problem and I could respond with this advice and be “right” in a sense. You probably do need to trust God more, you probably could dwell on the gospel more, you could probably think on heavenly things more. But sanctification doesn’t always work that way.Read More