Ian Stamps – The Final Countdown: The 7 Seals, 7 Trumpets, and 7 Bowls
Dave Jenkins – The Safest Place in the Whole World (John 14:1-3)
Sinclair Ferguson – The Puritans
We need daily pardon and daily protection as well as daily provision. So after Jesus taught us to pray, “give us today our daily bread,” He also taught us to pray, “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:12–13).
These petitions are for fallen sinners — for people who are often tempted to sin, and sometimes give in. Even before we face these temptations, we should ask God to keep us safe from what John Calvin called in his Institutes “the violent assaults of Satan.” In asking not to be led into temptation, we are not requesting that we will never be tempted at all, but that when we are tempted God will deliver us from Satan’s deadly attacks.
To continue reading Philip Ryken’s article, click here.
Whenever speakers or expositors read the passage in Judges 19:1-30, they invariably take great care to caution their listeners about the horrific events contained therein. Such is the depth of the concubine’s suffering, degradation, and circumstances of depravity. At the end of the chapter, even the author declares:
All who saw it said, “Nothing like this has ever happened or been seen from the day when the sons of Israel came up from the land of Egypt to this day. Consider it, take counsel and speak up!” (Judges 19:30, New American Standard Bible).
Placing the Judges 19 account within the larger context of the book of Judges brings out the doctrine of the depravity of man and the wretched state of the culture in those days, whereby everyone did what was right in his or her own eyes, because there was no king to rule (Judges 17:6, 19-1, 21-25).
To continue reading Deb Welch’s article, click here.
After great convictions of sin, and great denunciations of judgments against Israel, in the preceding part of the chapter, the Lord here, in the close, remembers mercy in the midst of wrath, and ends all his sad and heavy words with a sweet nevertheless, (v 60). And, indeed, mercy must begin on God’s side: “Nevertheless, I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth; and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.” And what will be the effect of this, we see in verse 61, “Then shalt thou remember thy ways and be ashamed.” It is worthy our observation, that when God says, “I will remember my covenant,” then he adds, “Thou shalt remember thy sins.” Hence it is evident, that never a good thought, never a penitent thought would have come into our hearts, had not some thoughts of peace and good-will come into God’s heart. When he remembers his covenant of mercy for us, so as not to remember our sins against us, then we remember our sins against ourselves with shame.
To continue reading Ralph Erskine’s article, click here.
H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel, The War of the Worlds opens with these words:
“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied… With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs … Yet across the gulf of space… intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.”
This is an apt description of the threat faced by many Christians in the 21st century, especially concerning the area of sexual morality and sin. We are busying ourselves, serene in the assurance we are masters over ourselves, without giving too much thought to the fact that another world is examining us, drawing its plans against us, seeking to overcome us and ultimately destroy us.
To continue reading Matthew Holst’s article, click here.
When was the last time someone sat you down to tell you that you were wrong?
These have been some of the most memorable and important conversations in my life, the conversations when someone I loved — father, mother, mentor, pastor, roommate, friend, wife — had the compassion and courage to tell me when I was out of line. However I felt in those difficult (and often painful) moments, I now treasure those memories — the kind confrontations, the caring corrections, the loving rebukes.
We all need a steady diet of friendly course correction, because our hearts — even our new hearts in Christ — are still susceptible to sin (Hebrews 3:13; Jeremiah 17:9). Do you value the hard conversations that keep you from making more mistakes, and guard you against slowly wandering away from Jesus?
To continue reading the rest of Marshall Segal’s article, click here.
Four friends of mine have recently deleted their social media accounts. No more Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. They’re done. Of course, they continue to read and write blogs, answer email, and engage online here and there. But they’ve come to believe their use of social media hinders their spiritual growth.
Whenever someone tells me they’re cutting out social media for spiritual reasons, I applaud. The cultivation of personal virtue matters far more than the cultivation of a public platform.
Still, we recognize that the people leaving the world of social media are far fewer in number than the people joining every week. Our generation and the next will be increasingly formed — for good or for ill — by this constant connectivity.
To continue reading the rest of Trevin Wax’s article, click here.
It’s the time of year when my Bible-reading plan takes me through the book of Proverbs. There’s something almost absurd about reading this book at a pace of three chapters per day. That’s like quickly crunching through a whole bag of peppermints rather than slowly savoring each one. Yet reading the proverbs in great swaths does make it easier to identify its themes. Just as we can miss the forest for the trees, we can miss the themes for the maxims. But what might be difficult to see at a meditative pace has a way of standing out when read quickly.
As I work my way through the proverbs, I see anger everywhere. I see the folly of anger, the danger of anger, the sinfulness of anger. I see that the godly learn to control their anger while the fools let it rage. The godly allow themselves to be offended while the fools demand satisfaction for every little slight. The godly draw people into close relationship while the fools destroy friendship. There’s a high cost to all this anger.
To continue reading Tim Challies’ article, click here.
There is hope. Right now. Since you are reading this, chances are you are looking for supernatural help and power over porn.
But I also know the odds are high that you are hobbled by doubt-inducing shame. I know because I’ve been there. The swell of temptation — the clicks, the views, the web-history cleaning — and the shame, disgust, confession, resolve, and the backsliding are all old bullies of mine.
They can be your old enemies, too. How? Even in the midst of shame, don’t be ashamed of the power of the gospel (Romans 1:16).
To read the rest of J. A. Medders’ post, click here.
Sexual perversion is firmly entrenched in our cultural mainstream, so it takes a lot these days to astonish me. But I am astonished today. In the span of twenty-four hours, I have come across not one but two separate unrelated articles about teenage girls who agree to be brutalized during sexual encounters with teenage boys. Both articles indicate that this is a growing trend among adolescent children who becoming sexualized at younger and younger ages.
Last week, Teen Vogue published an article instructing teenage girls how to enjoy being sodomized by their boyfriends. The article is so vile that I am not even going to link to it. But among other things, it tells these minor children that such activity is normal. It gives detailed instructions on how they can learn to enjoy it.
To continue reading Denny Burk’s article, click here.