Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!
On the Old Testament: Seven Ways the Old Testament Deepens Our Love for Jesus by David Murray
One of the ways that children sometimes try to deepen their relationship with their parents is to travel back to where their father or mother grew up. They might visit historical societies, read archives, and gather newspaper stories and artifacts from old friends. Doing so, they build a bigger and better picture of their father or mother and experience a deeper sense of connection with them and love for them.
In a similar way, Christians go back to the Old Testament to build a bigger and better picture of Jesus Christ. By connecting with his past, we connect better with him and deepen our love for him. The Old Testament connects us with Jesus’ past in the following ways: (click here to read more)
On dealing with personal darkness and depression: What Do You Do When You’re in the Pit? by Godwin Sathianathan
Well, that’s all very true. But last I checked we are all still human! The Bible never calls us to be anything other than human. And in our humanity, we hurt. To express this hurt to God isn’t necessarily sinful communication; it can come from a very deep place of trust in our Father’s tender care. Kids who scrape a knee and then bury their tearful faces in mamma’s lap communicate profound trust in mamma. Likewise, God’s children run to their Father when they hurt too. This is child-like trust, not godless defiance. (click here to read more)
On loving your church: Love the One You’re With by Jon Bloom
The earthly church has always been a motley crew. It’s never been ideal. The New Testament exists because churches, to differing degrees, have always been a mess — a glorious mess of saints still polluted by remaining sin, affected by defective genes, brains, and bodies, and influenced by life-shaping pasts.
This mess rarely looks glorious to us up close. It looks like a lot of sin and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears invested into a lot of futility. It often looks like something we’d rather escape than join.
But this is the way it’s supposed to be. Because the mess is what draws out the one thing that advances the church’s mission more than anything else. And this one thing is why we must not, for selfish reasons, leave the church. (click here to read more)
On Spiritual gifts: The Only Spiritual Gifts Test You’ll Ever Need by Stephen Altrogge
As I skimmed it, I thought, Is this spiritual gifts test really necessary? Is figuring out my God-given gifts really this complex?
Thankfully, I don’t think things need to be so difficult. In fact, I think determining your spiritual gifts is incredibly simple.
God wants you to know your gifts. He’s not hiding them from you. You don’t have to embark on a lengthy, soul-searching journey culminating in transcendent mystical revelation.
Figuring out your spiritual gifts requires only two questions… (click here to read more)