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

Friday, 10 April 2020 06:00

Good Friday, the Virus, and the Curse

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Today is Good Friday, the darkest day of Holy Week, a day Christians around the world remember the death of Jesus Christ. In the Christian calendar, the temporary thrill of Palm Sunday has passed and the crescendo of Easter is still to come. Today, only death and darkness. The Christian faith is...

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Sunday, 05 April 2020 20:00

Is the Church an “Essential Service”?

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imageIt’s now been several weeks since most churches have gathered in person. The last Sunday our church met was March 8, almost a full month ago. Like many states and cities around the country, our local “Stay Home” regulations distinguish between “essential” and...

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Sunday, 29 March 2020 03:00

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

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imageOur Father in heaven, We come to you this morning weighed down. Our hearts are so heavy and so full. We can’t begin to carry all that you’ve laid upon us. We have too much to be grateful for. We are too rich, too loved, too protected. You are too good, too kind, too near. … More A...

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Thursday, 26 March 2020 03:08

100 Things I’m Thankful For

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imageDo not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6–7). I’m...

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Sunday, 22 March 2020 20:00

Lord, Have Mercy: A Prayer for Our Time

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Our Father in heaven, We do not come to you lightly today. Our world is on its knees before you. You are holy, and the nations are like a drop in a bucket. We recognize anew the frailty of our bodies, our lungs, our governments, our economies. We confess that we need you. Father, we … More Lo...

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Friday, 20 March 2020 08:00

The Sweetening of All Our Songs

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imageHave you stopped and listened to a Christian hymn or worship song recently? Did it sound any different? Richer? Fuller? Sweeter? As we all look into an uncertain future together, wise Christians will keep turning to truth-filled music to vent our fears and strengthen our faith and renew our hearts...

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Wednesday, 18 March 2020 19:00

Sprinting into a Marathon: Leaders, Pace Yourselves

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imageI still remember when it caught me. Hurricane Harvey had devastated our city in August 2017, it was now October, and I’d been working around the clock for six weeks. Exhaustion just ran me down. I had sprinted into a marathon. Many leaders are doing the same thing right now as a worldwide...

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Wednesday, 18 March 2020 01:00

Our Church's Coronavirus Decision

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imageWe're all trying to make timely decisions and communicate clearly during the COVID-19 disruption. Here's what our church is doing. … More Our Church's Coronavirus Decision

Authors: Gunner...

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Sunday, 15 March 2020 19:00

Christian Reflections on the COVID-19 Crisis

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imageYesterday our church’s worship service was cancelled due to COVID-19 precautions. We’ve also cancelled all activities this week except our in-home small groups. We want to honor our leading authorities and join our society in minimizing health risks for the most vulnerable among us. If...

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Tuesday, 03 March 2020 18:00

5 Reasons Pastors Need the Psalms

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Sometimes a gift grows on you. Several years ago, after I completed a dissertation on the Psalms, a friend gave me a small hardback copy of the Psalter. It wasn’t fancy or expensive. But over the years, it’s become one of the best gifts I’ve ever received—a book for...

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Tuesday, 25 February 2020 18:00

A Prayer for the Nations

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I offered this prayer on Sunday during our church’s annual Missions Week. Our Father in heaven, We come to you this morning in the name of Jesus. Our hearts are bowed because you are Lord. You rose from the dead, and even now, you reign over your church. So, we’re coming to ask you to...

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Wednesday, 19 February 2020 08:22

Open Church

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imageThe church of Jesus Christ hosts the only repository of pure truth that exists in our world. God’s Word is ours, the Spirit of Christ resides in us, and the knowledge of God illumines our hearts and minds. We know the truth, and the truth has set us free. Why then is the church the … Mo...

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Thursday, 30 January 2020 18:00

Never Enough

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Pride, greed, and lust never have enough. This is one of many lessons we learn from Adam and Eve’s fall into sin. In Genesis 2:9, God creates “every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” The Creator gifts Adam and Eve a garden filled with beautiful fruit-bearing...

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Wednesday, 22 January 2020 21:26

Decide

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Decide. The perpetual maybe, the angst and anxiety, the push-it-off, the come-back-later—these are not life. History is won, yes, in many ways, but never by those who won’t decide. “Can’t decide,” you say? No, ability isn’t the issue. You can. Decide. Weigh the...

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Sunday, 12 January 2020 18:00

Sometimes Success Isn't

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Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen… 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen… the king made made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone (1 Kings 10:26–27). You’d think the narrator is describing a successful king. But he’s not. He’s describing a failure. How do...

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Friday, 10 January 2020 18:00

Thank You, John Piper: 70 Reasons

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Today John Piper turns 74 years old. Four years ago, when I realized he was about to turn 70, I reflected on his influence in my life and shared 70 reasons I thank God for him. •   •   •   •   • Today—January 11, 2016—John...

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Wednesday, 08 January 2020 18:00

Crawling to Sunday

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Every day, we’re crawling toward Sunday. Because every seven days, the world over, the Christian church gathers to celebrate the life, death, resurrection, and soon return of Jesus Christ our Lord. Through Scripture and prayer, songs and sermons, confession and supplication, joy and...

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Sunday, 05 January 2020 18:00

22 Marks of a Judgmental Church

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Jesus warns Christians about sinfully judging each other (Matthew 7:1–5). But what happens when a spirit of judgment—whether silent or explicit—overtakes us? Here are twenty-two marks of a judgmental church. A judgmental church will be infected with pride. A judgmental church will...

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Thursday, 02 January 2020 18:00

For All the Wise

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The year is new; the last is done. Again it flew; the course is run. We start again; we set our gaze. As mortal men we plot our days. The pages pass; the story flies. The clock a class for all the wise.

Authors: Gunner...

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We sure do want a lot out of life. By now your social media feeds have been filled with articles about New Year’s resolutions and 2020 goals—mind, body, and spirit; work, rest, and play; personal, professional, and relational. There are the optimists aiming high, and the pessimists...

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Tuesday, 17 December 2019 01:00

Six Reasons to Listen to Sermons That Aren't About You

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How do you listen to a sermon that’s not about you? How can I benefit from a talk on anxiety if I’m not worried, marriage if I’m not married, or depression if I’m not down? I’m currently preaching through 1 Peter, and coming across some passages with specific target...

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Thursday, 12 December 2019 01:53

Why We Love Christmas

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Our best loves are those we can’t fully explain: a flavor that grabs us, a partner who gets us, a place with roots in our heart. The Christmas season is obviously here, and while some feel more darkness than light during these days, many moments are filled with a warmth that can’t be...

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