Training to… Suffer?

–Originally published on FWB21 August 17, 2012– World-class athletes train for intense competition by pushing themselves on a daily basis, denying themselves the indulgences that make them sluggish and weak, and focusing on the prize that motivates them to win. In the same way, if we believers are following Christ in obedience, our daily walk will prepare us for… suffering. Jesus warned us that we would suffer if we follow Him. The first epistle of Peter is in itself a theology of suffering. But how does our daily walk with Christ train us to suffer? The one who willingly fasts on a regular basis is prepared to face hunger or poverty with a spirit of grace when it is forced […]

What if…?

–Originally published on FWB21 April 19, 2012– The Holy Spirit has been teaching me so many things lately, I hardly have time to process them all. Right now, it’s 3:00 in the morning and my mind is racing with questions. Here they are, with some of the scriptures that prompted them. What if we really took God at His Word, face value? What if we lived every waking moment conscious of the fact that we live and move on this earth as God’s ambassadors to the people around us–a kingdom of priests sent to minister for Him? As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like […]

Just DO it!

–Originally posted on FWB21 April 7, 2011– Part 2 on obedience: Having seen numerous biblical accounts of great faith leading to giant steps of obedience in spite of serious risk, I am challenged to examine my own faith and see if it really measures up: Will I begin moving, even if I don’t know yet which way to go? Am I willing to let go of the ones I love, painful though that may be? Can I lay aside the comforts and securities of my nationality? Do I act upon the Spirit’s leading as He guides me into truth, even though my actions may be misunderstood or criticized by those around me? Could I walk boldly to a painful death […]

The Faith-Obedience Connection

–Originally posted on FWB21 April 7, 2011– This is the first in a series of posts containing a few thoughts on obedience–first as it is exemplified in the Bible, second as we should practice it, and third as we should teach it to our children. As I make my way through the Old Testament chronologically (thank you, Bible app!), one recurring thought is that there is a constant correlation between faith and obedience. Let me illustrate by sharing a few excerpts from Hebrews 11: By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. vs 7 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go […]

Discipline, or Judgment?

–Originally published on FWB21 March 16, 2012– Is there any difference between the judgment of God and His discipline? How can we tell? (You may want to get your Bible out for this one.) These questions were sparked by a sermon from Matthew 18 a while back on forgiveness and the parable of the unforgiving servant. The last two verses in that parable are sobering ones, as they reveal a side of God we don’t like to talk about very often: And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart. […]

Justified by Faith Alone, by R.C. Sproul

Justified by Faith Alone by R.C. Sproul is a short little book, but packed with great insight and tight logic. It is written on a pretty high level of vocabulary, so I wouldn’t recommend it to the person who is only casually interested in the subject. It is more like a college professor lecture than a devotional book written about faith. If you are looking for an academic look at the subject, you will not be disappointed. The book is written as a recap of the struggle the reformers faced with the Roman Catholic Church. Although much of the book is rooted in historical arguments, Dr. Sproul mentions many contemporary issues that stem from the distinction evangelicals have in sola […]