"True friendship is first inkindled by a spark from Heaven, and heaven will never suffer it to go out, but it will burn to all Eternity." –Esther Edwards Burr
Living in the Light
Filtering by Tag: grace
Here we have a marvelously simple and straightforward explanation of what it means to become a Christian: you must call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For belief in Jesus is not a work, it is a recognition of need.
There is an interesting story in the book of Numbers that Jesus uses to illustrate the simplicity of saving faith. It is a story of the ungrateful, complaining, and quarrelsome Israel, just brought out from their slavery in Egypt, just saved from the sword of Pharaoh, and just released from their chains of torment.
But they were not happy with their gracious and loving God who had so recently walked them through the Red Sea on dry ground. Their new life didn't suit their suddenly high standards. Apparently, freedom was not all that they had hoped it would be. Yes, God miraculously provided food for them from heaven - food meant to perfectly sustain them on their journey to the promised land, but it was not good enough. They would have preferred the food they ate as slaves. Or so they complained.Read More
Over the past several years there has been a growing awareness of a quiet sickness plaguing the church. It is quiet because it has the outward appearance of godliness and spiritual growth, and it is a sickness because it leads to spiritual exhaustion at its best and spiritual death at its very worst. It’s an extremely cruel enemy because it deceives people into feel good about their spiritual walks at one moment, and causes them to feel completely defeated by their indwelling sin and failures when they are inevitably revealed in the next.
What great foe am I referring to? The temptation toward legalism and moralism in the Christian life. Christine Hoover refers to it as the “goodness gospel,” and says that when she lived under it, she “appeared to be a good Christian,” on the outside, but on the inside, “felt unlovable and was riddled with guilt about [her] inability to please God.” As an adherent to this false gospel, Christine “sought joy, peace, and love through being good, and instead found [herself] miserably enslaved to [her] own unattainable standards.” Perhaps you can relate?
To be sure, many of us have found ourselves in a similar spiritual maze. We know that in and of ourselves, it is impossible to please God, and yet we so often faultily feel as though pleasing God is all up to us. This type of do-it-yourself Christianity has been the subject of many blog articles and books in recent years as the church seeks to reorient itself to the concept of grace-empowered Christianity. That is to say, enjoying the powerful work of God’s grace in a believer’s sanctification, and not just in their initial salvation. We have been inundated with calls to rest in the indicative realities of the Bible (what Christ has done for us), and to allow that sweet, gospel knowledge to produce the sanctification and holiness that we all so desperately desire.Read More
The stack of books on my nightstand inches higher everyday. Some were recommended and loaned by friends, some borrowed from the library, and some sit caked in dust because I’ve put off reading them for so long. The majority of the stack, however, have scraps of paper jutting out from their pages–evidence that I’ve started reading them but never quite finished. They remain on my nightstand because I have this thing about finishing books: I want to give each book a fair shake, and reading just the first few chapters isn’t a fair shake in my opinion. The first few chapters don’t tell the whole story.
I suppose I have this thing about whole stories, because although I became a Christian when I was eight, for the 20 years that followed I only knew the first half of the gospel story. I knew that I was a sinner, and I knew that Jesus Christ died on the cross to forgive me of that sin when I confessed Him as my Savior, but I didn’t know how this act of death and resurrection affected my life after my initial salvation. I hated that I continued to sin, that I failed God, that I couldn’t be good enough to prove my worth for what He’d done for me. I knew He loved me at the cross, but I felt certain He couldn’t love me in my ever-present state of failure and weakness. So I repeatedly cycled around to the first half of the story–the part that told me I was a sinner–and then, wallowing in that truth, tried desperately to make up for my imperfections with good behavior.
I thought that was the whole story: saved by grace, sanctified by self-effort. But one day God began showing me through His Word that there is a second half to the gospel story–the part about life after salvation–and what He showed me changed everything.Read More
About this time last year, I began a very special project with Cruciform Press that I have yet to make public. In fact, aside from some close friends and family, there are few people who know that I've spent every free moment I could muster over the past year writing a book. The time has come, however, to reveal my little secret and I couldn't be more excited to share it with you!
In the first week of March, a book I've written on the topic of miscarriage called Inheritance of Tears: Trusting the Lord of Life When Death Visits the Womb will be published!
As many of you know, I have experienced two heartbreaking miscarriages. The first was at eight weeks into a pregnancy and the second was a late miscarriage at seventeen weeks. As I walked through these horrific trials, two things became increasingly clear to me:Read More
It’s been three years since we lost our baby girl, Anastasia—three years of making peace with the sovereignty of God. This year the anniversary of her death will come as we find ourselves rejoicing in the midst of a great and marvelous blessing: the birth of our daughter, Roseveare Marie.Read More
“Just as submission to one’s husband is a difficult concept for a modern woman to assent to, so too, the modern man finds this type of leadership, responsibility, and dedication difficult to practice. Not many young Christian men have had this kind of sacrificial leadership modeled for them in the home. They haven’t had the privilege of seeing the tender, yet strong headship of a godly man lived out before them and thus find themselves learning by trial and error what it means to lead their wives.Read More
According to Merriam-Webster, a buzzword is defined as “a word or phrase that becomes very popular for a period of time.” There are lots of buzzwords within the Christian community that fill books and blog posts: gospel-centered, grace-based, and missional are just a few.
Today, I want to draw our attention to a particular buzzword within Christian women’s circles: one that I see used over and over again, and wonder at times if it is being misused or misunderstood. The word I’m referring to? “Messy...”Read More
I don’t know about you, but I have a long list of things I would like to improve upon in the year 2014. When I think about the many areas of my life that need “fixing up” it can be, shall we say, a bit overwhelming. Indeed I am hopelessly imperfect—prone to sin and slow to learn—and thus I am overwhelmingly grateful for the unwavering, gracious, and completely undeserved love of the Lord.
Perhaps you too can relate to this profound sense of gratitude. By the grace of God we are beckoned to take our focus from our own imperfections and instead, be consumed by the beauty of the sinless Son of God—whose righteousness has been credited to us. Undoubtedly, gratitude should be the defining mark of every sinner who’s been washed clean in the blood of Christ...Read More
I’m beginning to realize that I’m not a very good wife!”
I let the honest confession gush out of my mouth as my friend listened intently over a cup of coffee. Soon we were commiserating over the incredibly imperfect, flawed women we were and how surprising of a revelation this was to us. Somehow we had been under the impression that reading the right books, having a foundational understanding of what the Bible says about marriage, and marrying godly men would provide an environment where we would simply flourish into the perfectly godly, helpful, submissive, and encouraging wives God desired for us to be...Read More