Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!
On following Jesus and the difficulties of life: The Hard Road Is Where You’ll Find the Lord by Kole Farney
Here is something worth review: following Christ doesn’t result in a life without difficulty. Trials are normative, and pain is God’s chosen way to work out holiness and dependence in our lives. He is a vinedresser who carefully prunes every branch. He is a loving Father who disciplines all his children.
Therefore, because of his careful love for you, he will direct you down hard roads of suffering.
But, take heart; the hard road is where you’ll find the Lord. As strange as is sounds, this is a reality for every believer—God is working in and through the most painful circumstances in our lives. And he is there, right beside you, leading you, helping you. (click here to read more)
On “feeling” God’s presence: Don’t Freak Out if You’re Not Feeling God’s Presence by Stephen Altrogge
For much of my life, I’ve relied on my experience of God’s presence to determine how close I am to God. If I have an emotional experience in corporate singing, then I tend to think I’m closer to God. On the other hand, if my Bible reading feels drier than a college accounting lecture (I sat through some terrible ones), I conclude that I didn’t experience God.
If this dryness goes on for any length of time, I can begin to despair, believing that I’m in some sort of metaphorical/spiritual Valley of Dry Bones. But I’ve come to conclude that, for the most part, this thinking is unbiblical. Here’s why. (click here to read more)
On relationships and conflict: How To Resolve Most Relational Conflict by Jon Bloom
Pride is the enemy inside us that speaks to us like a friend. Its counsel sounds so much like self-protection, preservation, and promotion that we’re often blinded to the fact that it’s destroying us and others. It rises in great indignation as a prosecuting attorney when others’ pride damages us, but it minimizes, qualifies, excuses, rationalizes, and blame-shifts our behavior when we damage others. We can be easily deceived into believing that our pride wants to save us, when really, it’s our internal Judas betraying us with a kiss.
We must, to use an old term, mortify it — put pride to death. And there is only one way to do this: we must humble ourselves. (click here to read more)
On fighting sin: A Three-Step Strategy for Fighting Sin by Colin Smith
Our flesh is drawn to sin. Christian writers sometimes refer to this as “indwelling sin,” the impulse to sin that remains active in your flesh throughout your Christian life. Indwelling sin means you have a battle on your hands. But if you are going to engage effectively in the battle against sin, you have to know where to fight.
How does God reveal your indwelling sins, so you can battle against them? Through his Word: “The entrance of your Word gives light” (Psalm 119:130). Use the Bible as a tool for self examination. When you read the Bible one question to ask is, “Is there a sin to avoid?”
Try to see if there if what you are reading points to a sin that could be lurking in your life.
The first priority in turning from sin is that you should know it. The entrance of God’s Word gives light. Once you know what you are up against, you will be able to make progress. (click here to read more)