Scott Slayton – When You Lose Your Temper With Your Children

Every parent knows the experience. You’re tired and your children ignore your every word. You told them over and over, but they persevere in their obstinacy. Then you do what seems like the only option – you lose your temper. You lose control and give full vent to everything you have been thinking.

A lot of times, this makes them get back in line, so it feels like you have accomplished your mission. They got the message that you had enough and they are now scared enough to stop what they were doing, for a while. Over the long haul, this tactic loses its effectiveness and carries drastic consequences.

When we think about the goal of parenting – to discipline, teach, and train our children for the glory of God and the good of their own souls – we realize that anger, frustration, venting, and temper tantrums are not effective tools in our arsenal. In fact, they are Satan’s tools. Even when we speak true words in anger, our foolish behavior betrays the words coming from our mouths.

To continue reading Scott Slayton’s article, click here.

Please follow and like us:

Jared Wilson – The Danger of Gossip

The Lord loves a straight shooter. How do I know this? Because this is the embodiment of the wisdom imparted in Proverbs, including this helpful little gem: “Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you” (4:24).

Crooked speech is talk that isn’t straight. It is bowed, off-kilter, circuitous, meandering. There are a few examples we could name, including outright lying and even hypocritical living, but one of the most glaring examples of crooked speech that is practically epidemic in the church is the sin of gossip. But what is gossip?

One reason gossip can be so difficult to define is that it so often masquerades as something more mundane, perhaps even beneficent. I’m sure you have witnessed plenty of prayer requests shared on someone’s behalf that seemed to include unnecessary details or salacious information. You’ve probably heard your share of “words of concern” that bordered on insinuation or improper speculation. Maybe you’ve offered such words yourself. I know I have.

To continue reading Jared Wilson’s article, click here.

Please follow and like us:

Tim Challies – 4 Grave Dangers in Every Sin

I have preached the truth a hundred times to others and a thousand times to myself: You can’t sin without consequence. That’s not the way God has structured his world. It’s not the way God has structured his people. For Christians, the ultimate consequences have been fully paid by Jesus Christ, but this does not mean there is no reason to fear immediate consequences. Here, with an assist from a favorite writer, are four grave dangers in every sin.

The Danger of Becoming Hardened

The first danger is the danger of becoming hardened. The fact is, sin means to harden you against the love and mercy of God. In fact, the ultimate aim of each and every sin, no matter how small it seems, is to fully harden you against God. John Owen warns you must, “Take heed, use all means, consider your temptations, watch diligently; there is a treachery, a deceit in sin, that tends to the hardening of your hearts from the fear of God.” Every sin nudges you toward a complete and utter hardness of heart. The fact is, your sin is always several steps ahead of you. “Is it not enough to make any heart tremble, to think of being brought into that estate wherein he should have slight thoughts of sin? Slight thoughts of grace, of mercy, of the blood of Christ, of the law, heaven, and hell, come all in at the same season. Take heed, this is that [which you sin] is working toward — the hardening of the heart, searing of the conscience, blinding of the mind, stupifying of the affections, and deceiving of the whole soul.”

To continue reading Tim Challies’ article, click here.

Please follow and like us:

Amy Mantravadi – John Bunyan on Prayer (Part 2)

“There is no man nor church in the world that can come to God in prayer, but by the assistance of the Holy Spirit.”

“Prayer, without the heart be in it, is like a sound without life; and a heart, without it be lifted up of the Spirit, will never pray to God.”

These two quotes are very typical of Bunyan’s argument in A Discourse Touching Prayer. Working off of Paul’s declaration that “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also” (1 Corinthians 14:15 KJV), Bunyan emphasized the need for the Spirit in all aspects of a Christian’s prayer life, beginning with our initial union with Christ. “And because this poor creature is thus a member of the Lord Jesus, and under this consideration hath admittance to come to God; therefore, by virtue of this union also, is the Holy Spirit conveyed into him, whereby he is able to pour out himself, to wit, his soul, before God, with his audience.”

To continue reading Amy Mantravadi’s article, click here.

Please follow and like us:

T. Desmond Alexander – What Is God’s Holy Mountain?

God’s Holy Mountain

The concept of God living on a holy mountain is a significant theme in the Old Testament. However, this same theme frames the entire Bible. It begins with the garden of Eden in Genesis and ends with New Jerusalem in Revelation. In Genesis the elevated location of the garden of Eden is indicated by the fact that a single river flows out of Eden, before dividing to become four rivers. Genesis 2:10–14 provides a short and enigmatic description of these rivers.

While there is some uncertainty about the identity of all four rivers, the description implies that the garden of Eden occupies a raised position in the middle of the world. In keeping with this picture, the prophet Ezekiel designates Eden as both “the garden of God” and “the holy mountain of God” (Ezek. 28:13–16).

A New City

Leaping to the New Testament, the concept of a holy mountain city is linked to New Jerusalem. The author of Hebrews passionately exhorts his readers to remain faithful to the new covenant inaugurated by Jesus Christ, rather than returning to the older covenant associated with Mount Sinai. In doing so he makes a brief but noteworthy comment: “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22).

To continue reading T. Desmond Alexander’s article, click here.

Please follow and like us:

Pierce Hibbs – Writing to Strangers for the Savior

Why do we write? Perhaps more precisely, For whom do we write? This question might be easier to answer for preachers putting pen to paper on a weekly basis: they write for God himself, to proclaim the truth, to expand the kingdom by delivering God’s Word unvarnished to a world in the throes of deception. But for those of us outside of the pulpit, the answer isn’t always so obvious. If it is, it doesn’t stay long at the forefront of our mind.

This is a reminder: If you are a Christian writer, you write for the Son of God. Jesus is your boss. What does that mean? At first glance, it might pose a problem to the writing industry: Jesus never put quill to parchment. The Word never inscribed his words on a physical surface, save his tracings in the dirt before an angry mob (John 8) — right?

In one sense, this may be true. But in another sense, it’s misleading. What is writing, after all? Writing, in a broad sense, is merely marking the world with your presence. It is a system of symbolized communication that externalizes our thoughts and emotions, inscribing them on a service, or pixelating them on a computer screen. Writing draws the inside to the outside; it places thought, sentiment, and argument on a canvas to be viewed by the wider world. And it tells the world that we are here.

To continue reaading Pierce Hibbs’ article, click here.

Please follow and like us:

Amy Mantravadi – John Bunyan on Prayer (Part 1)

Reading John Bunyan’s A Discourse Touching Prayer is a real pleasure, and not only because it is the first such work I have ever read that includes the phrase, “Therefore give me leave a little to reason with thee, thou poor, blind, ignorant sot.” This treatise, also known as I Will Pray with the Spirit, was composed while Bunyan was imprisoned in 1663. It is an exposition of the Apostle Paul’s statement that “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also”. (1 Corinthians 14:15 KJV) It contains some of Bunyan’s clearest teachings on prayer, which he defined in the following manner.

Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God hath promised, or according to the Word, for the good of the church, with submission, in faith, to the will of God.”

Bunyan argued, “Thou then art not a Christian that art not a praying person.” He declared that prayer “is the opener of the heart of God, and a means by which the soul, though empty, is filled. By prayer the Christian can open his heart to God, as to a friend, and obtain fresh testimony of God’s friendship to him.” This type of prayer is much more than a stiff, formal activity. It is an action of both the head and the heart, even as Paul taught.

To continue reading Amy Mantravadi’s article, click here.

Please follow and like us:

Lee Roy Shelton, Jr. – The True Gospel of Christ versus the False Gospel of Carnal Christianity

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7

A False Gospel

There is rampant in this age a false gospel of carnal Christianity, which has deceived many souls. The vast majority of Christendom today have not bowed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. These are on sinking sand and are an easy prey to such a teaching that has permeated our land and our pulpits. So our purpose is to bring out the true gospel and the false, showing clearly the warnings from God’s Word that we should not sow to the flesh, but rather to the Spirit. May you have an open heart and an open Bible, as we pray that God will deal with us all by His Spirit.

We are warned concerning this false gospel of carnal Christianity in Galatians 6:7-8:

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

This to me is a most solemn warning to all of our hearts, and especially in this day of “freebelievism” and carnal Christianity, which is preached on such a large scale. You see, the vast majority of Christendom today is deceived1 as to the state of their never-dying souls before God. What is happening is justification in Christ is preached alone, at the expense of holy living; and the hearers of this one-sided gospel are left in the dark as to God’s requirement of the necessity of a holy life. God’s grace has been turned into lasciviousness; the attitude of most has been: “A little sin won’t hurt—I’m just a ‘carnal Christian’ you know, and besides, doesn’t grace cover it all?”

To continue reading Lee Roy Shelton’s e-book, click here.

Please follow and like us:

Crossway – 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Studying the Bible

1. We don’t let the Bible speak for itself.

It is a common mistake to ask the wrong questions when reading the Bible. Rather than asking “Who am I?” and “What should I do?,” Jen Wilkin, author of Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds, suggests asking “Who is God?” and “What has he done?”

The Bible is a book that boldly and clearly reveals who God is on every page. In Genesis, it does this by placing God as the subject of the creation narrative. In Exodus, it places him in comparison to Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt. In the Psalms, David extols the Lord’s power and majesty. The prophets proclaim his wrath and justice. The Gospels and Epistles unfold his character in the person and work of Christ. The book of Revelation displays his dominion over all things. From beginning to end, the Bible is a book about God.

The Bible certainly has something to say about who we are and what we should do, but it is important to remember that it is much less a book about us and much more a book about him.

To continue reading Crossway’s article, click here.

Please follow and like us:

David Prince – The Battle for a Man’s Mind

Paul concludes his majestic treatise on the gospel of Jesus Christ in the book of Romans with a call for a renewed mind that is transformed by the gospel. He writes, “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (Rom 12:2). In other words, the believer has an entirely different worldview because his thinking is liberated from the mold of this age (fallen world) by the lens of the gospel. This worldview transformation is the only way the believer can live out the will of God in daily life.

A worldview is how we frame the world and make sense out of everything we experience. God has not given Christians a set of detailed instructions for us to mindlessly follow. Rather, he has given us his word, gospel and Spirit to transform us. Taking “every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor 5:10) involves redefining every category in life, including manhood. A Christian man must rethink the very meaning of his existence in the world as a man. Manhood is to be radically reoriented and framed according to the gospel deeply within a man’s heart. This gospel reorientation involves the most fundamental categories of a man’s life.

To continue reading David Prince’s article, click here.

Please follow and like us: