But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

For the Church - Apologetic Report
Monday, 03 September 2018 15:15

Paul's Strange Reason for Why We Should Be Generous

Written by
image

Our doorbell rang. As rare an occasion as it was, I got up from the dinner table and walked toward the door. My step hitched halfway to the door as I realized it was likely a child selling something. Too late. I opened the door and a high schooler stood in front of me, fundraising for his...

Read more

Monday, 03 September 2018 15:05

Being Aware of God's Presence in Worship

Written by
image

There’s an abundance of worship songs about being in the presence of God and I have a deep appreciation for many of them.

I grew up being taught to stiff-arm the Holy Spirit a bit in worship gatherings, but I now have a great desire to walk deeper down the path of having an...

Read more

Sunday, 02 September 2018 15:05

Links For The Church (9/3)

Written by
image

Covenant Vows

Wendy Alsup writes about the cost and reward of covenant vows. She explains the occasions that warrant a vow and shares the promises of God in vows.

3 Barriers Keeping The Disabled From Church

There may be obvious barriers that keep someone who is disabled from being involved in a...

Read more

Saturday, 01 September 2018 15:15

The Gospel is a Miracle

Written by
image

"Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe."-- John 4:48

A craving after marvels was a symptom of the sickly state of men's minds in our Lord's day; they refused solid nourishment, and pined after mere wonder. The gospel which they so greatly needed they would not have; the miracles which...

Read more

Thursday, 30 August 2018 15:15

Beauty Brings Rest

Written by
image

I long to rest, and yet I look for it where it can’t be found. I seek damning pleasures to give me rest. Glamorous and glory-seeking idols trap my attention and promise me a good night’s sleep if I only kiss their feet. Success, strength, intelligence, and a thousand other things...

Read more

Thursday, 30 August 2018 15:10

Checklist Christianity

Written by
image

Checklists are nice things. They help me stay focused. They help me feel accomplished. They can motive me and drive me. I love to use checklists in my day to day life because they assure me I am staying on task and making progress.

But checklists don’t work for everything. I can’t...

Read more

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 15:15

3 Key Beliefs That Fuel Contentment

Written by
image

Find the source.

It’s a good practice in most areas of life. If you have water in your basement, don’t just clean up the water. Find the source of where it’s coming in. If you have ants in your kitchen, don’t just spray the ants. Find the source of where they’re gaining...

Read more

image

The Scripture is the Word of God (Luke 11:28, Heb 4:12). This simple declaration implies the Bible is not only a collection of sixty-six distinct books but also is, in a very real sense, one book, the Word of God. God superintended the human authors so that they wrote just what he...

Read more

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 15:05

4 Rules for the Shepherd’s Staff

Written by
image

Much of my adult life has been spent as a staff member in various ministry contexts. I’ve served with and under leaders who I’ve not known very well and others who I consider a part of my own family. In both scenarios, the greatest challenge I’ve faced is how to rightly frame...

Read more

Tuesday, 28 August 2018 15:15

Making Wise Investments in Our Spiritual Life

Written by
image

Years ago I discovered a website that allows you to set goals and stake a sum of money on them. If you fail to keep the commitment, your money will go to a charity you don't support.

This unusual style of motivation illustrates an important truth about human behavior: the more we invest in...

Read more

Tuesday, 28 August 2018 15:10

Praying Like Jesus

Written by
image

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I pray and this prompted two questions.

First, “How did I learn to pray?” I mostly learned how to pray from listening to people I respected in church, at home, or over a meal at a restaurant. The reason I found this question important...

Read more

image

I was a fresh graduate from seminary, with a number of years of ministry already under my belt. I also had an extremely high view of myself.

I approached the senior pastor of the church where I’d been hired recently and asked to be ordained. He was excited and put together a council of pastors...

Read more

Monday, 27 August 2018 15:15

Enter by the Narrow Gate

Written by
image

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” – Matthew 7:13-14

There are many today who believe that...

Read more

Monday, 27 August 2018 15:10

Saying Yes to Christ is Saying Yes to Joy

Written by
image

True grace gives us the backbone to stand up for God’s purpose in the world. We become willing to suffer for the cause of Christ because Christ is the center of all human history. He’s the only thing ultimately worth living for. Spreading his gospel of freedom is worth all the bondage...

Read more

Monday, 27 August 2018 01:00

Don't Preach a Heterosexual Gospel

Written by
image

God isn't calling gay people to be straight.
You’d think He was by listening to the ways Christians try to encourage same-sex-attracted people within, or outside, their local churches. They dangle the possibility of heterosexual marriage above their heads, point to it like...

Read more

Sunday, 26 August 2018 15:15

5 Reasons Not to Plant a Church

Written by
image

We need more churches. To be more specific: we need more gospel-centered churches in more areas of missional need. In general, church planting is the most effective form of evangelism and more churches reach more people.

What we don't need, however, are more churches planted for wrong reasons. What...

Read more

Sunday, 26 August 2018 15:10

Links For The Church (8/27)

Written by
image

Wrestling the Giant: Why I Deleted Instagram

Andrew Peterson provides some helpful wisdom on the woes of social media, and why he is choosing to step back from it. 

When the Thinker Decides to Kneel

Rebecca Reynolds writes to those who analyze and think through every angle of Scripture. She...

Read more

Sunday, 26 August 2018 15:05

Fellowship at the Lord’s Table

Written by
image

Growing up my family had a tradition of making traditions. On April 15th, a certain twelve-year-old girl was desperately craving cheesecake, and I begged my dad to pick some up on the way home from work. Like the dutiful father he is, he brought the delicacy home, and we gorged ourselves. From that...

Read more

Saturday, 25 August 2018 15:15

He Hath Commanded His Covenant Forever

Written by
image

"He hath commanded his covenant forever."-- Psalms 111:9

The Lord's people delight in the covenant itself. It is an unfailing source of consolation to them so often as the Holy Spirit leads them into its banqueting house and waves its banner of love. They delight to contemplate the antiquity of that...

Read more

Thursday, 23 August 2018 15:10

How Do I Live for God’s Glory Alone?

Written by
image

Last year was the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which heralded The five solaes (sola, meaning “alone” in Latin), as the core foundation for the Christian Faith. It is vital to understand these five truths because they separate Christianity from every other...

Read more

Thursday, 23 August 2018 15:10

Pursue Growth Together: Our Call to Disciple Others

Written by
image

There’s no secret to being a disciple-maker. Paul gave us clear instruction on how to do this, and it couldn’t be simpler:

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men,...

Read more

Wednesday, 22 August 2018 15:15

Christ, the Delight of God and the Godly

Written by
image

If we spent some time together, it’s likely we’d soon learn what each other is passionate about. We make it known by what we say and how we say it. Imagine you were able to run all of your words spoken in a month through a concordance software. What would be the most common word you...

Read more

Wednesday, 22 August 2018 15:10

Reader, If You Seek A Monument, Look Around

Written by
image

Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice  — Epitaph of Christopher Wren, 1723, St. Paul’s Cathedral

Twelve years after the completion of the beautiful and historic St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, it’s architect, Christopher Wren, died. Following the destruction of...

Read more

Wednesday, 22 August 2018 15:05

Reflections on Parenting as Gospel Ministry

Written by
image

Recently, the church I pastor, Sycamore Baptist Church, began a small group specifically devoted to parenting. The group is designed to encourage and equip parents to parent from a gospel-centered perspective rather than from a man-centered perspective. To that end, we are studying Christ-Centered...

Read more

Tuesday, 21 August 2018 15:10

Pastor, Point Like John the Baptist

Written by
image

The Pointer, Not the Point

What is the function of a signpost? They are designed not to be the point, but to point to the point. They declare to you the purpose, the objective of why they exist; why they are planted on the side of the road is written on them. Now some of us have pictures...

Read more