Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!
On parenting: 3 Priorities for Christian Parents by Tim Challies
I was recently reading through 1 Thessalonians and once again came to one of my favorite passages. In this letter Paul is addressing specific concerns raised by the congregation in Thessalonica. It seems that one of the matters they wanted him to address involved the simple question of Christian living: How do we live lives that are pleasing to God? How can we know that God is pleased with us? The most significant part of Paul’s response to the question comes in chapter 4.
It struck me as I read it: Isn’t this the question we ask for our children? How can they live lives that are pleasing to God? Isn’t that the dream and desire of every Christian parent, that their children will live lives that thrill God? In this section of his letter Paul provides three priorities. The priorities Paul offers to this first-century Christian church can be helpful to twenty-first century Christian parents. (click here to read more)
On seeking God in the face of grief: The Day I Dug My Daughter’s Grave by Tabor Laughlin
With the grave dug, and struggling through tears, I said some words about our small daughter, giving thanks to God for her life. Then we had some prayer time together. We lowered her casket into the grave. I filled her grave with dirt. We put a flower and rock on top of the gravesite. It’s a gravesite we could never find again, even if we wanted to. My repeated thought was, “Is this really happening to us?” (click here to read more)
On same-sex attraction and faithfulness to Christ: Born Again This Way by Anonymous
As one who the world could call bi-sexual but the word calls born-again, I offer this final plea: Never forget both the beauty and the power of the gospel. What is impossible with man is possible with God. Your temptations and sins might be different than those in the LGBTQ community, but without the grace of God your condition is the same. Jesus offers all of us a new life, new identity, new community, and new heart. He offers each of us that opportunity to be “born again this way,” if we will receive him. Don’t look upon a crowd marching with rainbow flags as your enemies. Don’t look in disgust as a man dressed as a woman walks past you and your family. They are people who need Jesus just like you, and you have the very Savior and Gospel who can give them life forever as your brother or your sister. (click here to read more)
On church: 3 Reasons to Stay in a Church that’s Not Cool Enough by Michael Kelley
It gets really disturbing, though, when that consumerism infiltrates our attitude toward our local churches. And it surely does. At some point, most any of us who grew up in a Christianized culture are going to look around at our church, the one we have supposedly given our lives to through membership, and see that some other church in town has better music. Or a trendier vibe. Or better coffee. Or a more polished preacher. Or whatever. Our church has suddenly become not cool enough, and that same righteous indignation boils up inside of us because we believe we deserve something more… we deserve the best!
So we leave…
I’d like to argue for three reasons to do the very counter-cultural thing of actually staying in the church that’s simply not cool enough: (click here to read more)
Also on church: 10 Reasons Why the Church Gathers by Casey Lewis
Each week on the Lord’s Day, we gather as a church in worship. As a pastor, I always look forward to Sundays. Not only do I get to preach, but I also have the opportunity to praise God alongside others, and to watch how the Lord is using our fellowship for His glory. As Christians, we should all desire to gather together with one another as often as possible. As motivation, here are ten reasons why gathering regularly with the church is important: (click here to read more)