It’s funny how the Lord works.
When people ask me how the Lord brought me to Reformed Theology, I’m often tempted to answer simply, “Yoga.” Undoubtedly, this temptation comes from my early adolescent days when I liked shocking people. But as an adult, I realize that doing things for shock value isn’t always helpful.
Researching Holy Yoga actually did play a role in leading me to Reformed Theology, I must admit. Of course, the Lord used a number of other factors, so I would be dishonest to attribute my change solely to yoga.
That said, I’ve always seen yoga (“holy” or otherwise) as a serious problem ensnaring far too many evangelicals. Sadly, I know several people who see no conflict between Read More »
We’ve all had those days. We grudgingly open our Bibles because we know we should, but we’d really rather finish that crafts project or read another chapter in that novel.
If I can publicly admit to having days that I simply don’t want to spend time with the Lord, the least you could do is privately confess it to Him. After all, He already knows your secret thoughts.
Of course we feel guilty about approaching our devotions as if they were a chore like cleaning the oven. And I have no intention of alleviating our guilt. We need to come to terms with the fact that we fail to Read More »
As a young Christian, I would get impatient when Bible Study teachers would spend time talking about the background to whatever book they taught. I just wanted to grab verses here and there that I could shoehorn into my immediate circumstances. Textual context only mildly interested me; I had absolutely no use for historical or cultural background, thank you very much!
So if you’re groaning at the title of this post, anticipating a boring history lesson about First Century Colossae, I understand. It’s not what you expected from a study on discernment.
Don’t close this article yet, ladies! You need to know that I’m writing a little about the background to this epistle precisely because it will enable us to see how Paul taught discernment without once naming the false teachers that he Read More »
Wouldn’t it be terrible if obtaining and maintaining our salvation depended on our efforts? I would have lost mine decades ago! Actually, I never would have had it with the first place.
Praise God, Jesus Christ took pity on my helplessness, fully aware that nothing I could do would make me right with Him. In His mercy, He shed His innocent blood on the cross, declaring me righteous! What amazing grace!
Sometimes, however, I forget my absolute dependence on Him for my salvation. I’ll believe that He responded to my initial act of faith, or that He keeps me because of my obedience and service to Him. I’ll congratulate myself on how well I understand doctrine, how consistent I am in praying and how earnestly I praise Him in church.
In those times, I must remember that my righteousness is completely in Christ. What a wonderful reason to rejoice!
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Reading Martin Luther’s The Bondage of the Will requires determination. I regret to say that I gave up after reading 60% of it. Yes, my degree in English Literature involved reading things from centuries past, so the book shouldn’t have been so daunting to me. I’ve gotten lazy in my 43 years since graduation.
That said, I did actually read over half of it, and learned a lot from his argument against the concept of free will. Luther wrote this treatise in response to On Free Will by Desiderius Erasmus, a Catholic humanist who was the first to translate the New Testament directly from the Greek. I appreciated Luther’s ability to reason from God’s Word consistently in making his case. I stopped reading partly because he successfully convinced me that Scripture supports his position.
So why am I writing about a book that I haven’t opened in four years and didn’t Read More »
The 16th Century Reformer Martin Luther said that whenever accused him of being a sinner, he would agree: “You’re right, Devil — but God has given me Christ’s righteousness.” Okay, that’s a paraphrase; I’m too tired to look up the exact quote. But I’m familiar enough with the story to know I’ve represented it with a fair amount of accuracy.
Luther’s point was twofold. Christians must not forget who we are apart from Christ and we must not forget what He has given us. I like the way R.C. Sproul explained it in Read More »
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, John has been hospitalized since Sunday night with intestinal issues, and I have been occupied with writing emails to keep people informed of his condition and my practical needs. All that activity, combined with a lack of sleep, kept me from blogging much. It also diminished my desire to read other blogs.
Praise the Lord, John is being discharged from the hospital today. Yes, I’m thrilled! As much as I’ve enjoyed the company of the women who helped me in John’s absence, it will be absolutely wonderful to have my husband home! Did I mention that I’m thrilled to pieces?
I’m thrilled to pieces!
Since my life has been so chaotic, however, I’ve decided to take this week off from Saturday Sampler. I know that’s a favorite feature to many of my readers, but I’m just not up for it. I’ll resume it next week.
Ladies, I expect to have a Colossians Bible Study post next Monday, so you might want to prepare by reading Colossians once or twice between now and then. I think we’ll learn a lot from this epistle.
Hey — did I mention that John’s coming home?
Many Christians desire to have discernment, which is good. Many, however, maintain a narrow understanding of Biblical discernment, limiting its scope to simply calling out false teachers and/or identifying erroneous practices within the Church.
Biblical discernment most assuredly includes those activities, and we must never ignore the importance of exposing deception (Romans 16:17, Ephesians 5:11). But in order to identify false teaching, we must first have a grasp of sound theology. Going after Beth Moore or Joel Osteen takes more than Read More »
When Christ convicted my 17-year-old heart of sin and then sent somebody to tell me that He paid for my sin, I knew that I owed him my very life. Like most teenagers, I was absolutely convinced that I understood both the magnitude of His atoning work on the cross and the depths of my sin.
I knew neither.
In my prayer time lately I’ve been pondering the fact that I really don’t understand how truly wretched I am. The Lord occasionally gives me glimpses of how horrendous my sin actually is, but much of a time I struggle to see how profoundly sinful I am. I know it intellectually, but my emotions resist that knowledge. And thus I confess that I have no idea how great a debt I owe the Lord.
Praise the Lord for erasing that debt, even as He shields me from the devastating realization of it. In heaven, once He frees me from the effects of sin that continue to cling to me, He will show me the extent of His mercy. Then I’ll understand how much I owe.
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Reprising an article written by the late R.C. Sproul, the Ligonier blog publishes A Practical Help for Bible Study to help us start the New Year. I love his connection between studying God’s Word and letting it transform our lives.
Denny Burk writes A postscript on a Twitter thread about choosing a college that challenges some of my ideas on the matter. I’m not sure I agree with every single point he makes, but his overall message is on target! Parents, please be alert as you guide your children in selecting the college they will attend.
I appreciate Erin Benziger for many reasons. Her post, Devotionals for the New Year, enhances that appreciation because she reminds us not to let devotionals substitute for the Bible itself. Erin blogs at Do Not Be Surprised as well as hosting the Equipping Eve podcast.
Please heed Jordan Standridge’s admonition to Trust the Bible Above Your Experience in The Cripplegate this week. If you don’t read anything else in this edition of Saturday Sampler, I beg you to read this one!
Have I managed to turn any of you on to Growing 4 Life, the blog that Leslie A writes? If you’ve never read this it, Twelve Things I’d Change if I Could Live my Life Over would be a splendid introduction to her writing! Leslie has a dedication to God’s Word that serves as a marvelous example to Christian women, and therefore her blog is essential in showing us how to grow in Christ.
For a practical lesson on What to listen for in a (false) teacher, go to The End Time to glean some wisdom from Elizabeth Prata. You’ll find several helpful tips in her essay.
I’d never heard of having a word for the year, but I’m not very surprised at this evangelical fad. Michelle Lesley addresses the practice in The Mailbag: My word for the year is… with her usual dependence on Scripture and her ability to reason from it. If you’ve had any interest in having a word for the year, I dearly hope you’ll seriously consider what Michelle has to say.
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