Beyond the Bulletin

Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul

The Christian life is one of great contrasts - paradoxes, to be more specific. Skim the pages of the New Testament and you'll find this to be true: Find your life, you'll lose it; lose it, you'll find it (Matt. 10:39) Find your rest under a yoke (Matt. 11:29) The last will be first, and the first last »

The Motivation of Good Works

Philippians 2:5-12 I like to break up my devotional readings by paragraphs. I try and assign a paragraph each day to read, study and meditate on. A paragraph can be as short as one verse and other times it can cover as many as 10 verses or more. I do this so that I can follow the specific argument »

Welcome Center Ministry

It’s hard to be new. I once joined a gym (yes, it's true!) and I remember walking around and looking at all the equipment and having no real idea of where to begin or what to do. There were others there who appeared to know what they were doing and they appeared to know each other too for they »

Books About God: My Utmost For His Highest

Suppose that, after Jacob had worked 14 hard years for Rachel’s hand (Gen. 29), Rachel told him, “Okay, Jake, you get fifteen minutes of my attention each day, as long as you don’t wake me up too early.” Or suppose that, after Jesus died for us, we said, “Thanks, Lord. You can have Sunday mornings, plus the time »

In Everything Give Thanks

It was April 1993. Thirty days earlier my daughter, Jana, had been critically injured in a car crash on the Pacific Coast Highway outside of Malibu and was hospitalized at the UCLA Medical Center. My wife and I had returned to the United States from Africa where we had been serving as missionaries in Jos Nigeria. Because our home was »

A Thousand Generations

One of the great joys of worshipping with God's people each Lord's Day is seeing men, women and children lifting their voices to "sing praises to the Lord." The practice of praise is a reverberation of what has taken place throughout the history of God's people, and every generation brings with them a song, as it were, to offer on »

The Faith of Heroes

“…of whom the world was not worthy…” In these few brief words found in Hebrews 11:38 we find one of the most surprising and encouraging descriptions given of individuals who are remembered for their faith. In this eleventh chapter of Hebrews one finds one of the longest discussions on the concept of faith. From the beginning, we understand that »

Trusting God

“Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the LORD.” (Psalm 4:5) When I was a freshman in college, I was assigned a book to read for my 'Foundations of Biblical Living' class. The book was entitled Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges. Little did I know at the time that this book would not only »

The Infinite Blessing of Adoption

In addition to Eva’s December birthday, our family observes May 21 as Eva’s “gotcha day.” On May 21, 1997, two years of frustrating paperwork and waiting ended, and our family of three finally became four. That’s also when I began paying much more attention to what the Bible says about God adopting us. Theologians write whole books »

Books About God: Systematic Theology

During a Bible study several years ago, I heard a phrase I dislike. Struggling to explain a difficult verse, a friend said, “I like to think of God as...” ARRRGH! No—I wouldn’t say it was actually evil to say this; still, this common expression is galling (and often misleading), because what we ‘like to think’ about God is »