In Tuesday’s post, I argued from Matthew 25:14-30 (the Parable of the Talents) that diligence is an assurance of salvation issue. I also suggested that some of us may be struggling in our Christian lives because we have neglected to exercise our gifts and use our God-given resources for the glory of Christ and the benefit of our neighbor. Continue reading “Diligence and the Gospel of Grace”
A few weeks ago I took our college group—and later in the week, our young professionals—through a study on what the Proverbs say about diligence. The week prior we had all been laid low by the many Proverbs that condemn laziness.
I began the lesson my noting that diligence is an “all of life” issue. That is, rather than talking about work ethic—a metric that is typically used in relation to how we approach our job or career—we should speak in terms of diligence and how Scripture calls us to apply diligence to every facet of our lives: our walk with Christ, our jobs, our relationships, our responsibilities at home, our ministries, and even our recreation (see Prov 12:27; 19:24)! Continue reading “The Connection Between Assurance, Depression, and Diligence”
Becoming a skilled interpreter of Scripture is not a complicated task. It is hard, but it isn’t complicated. God does not hide the riches of his Word from the simple; he hides them from the proud and ungodly. Right interpretation, then, is first a matter of personal character and piety, and then a matter of methodology. Here are ten basic tips. There is much more to say, of course, but you must start here. Continue reading “10 Quick Tips for Becoming an Excellent Bible Interpreter”
(1) Every Christian Should Teach the Bible
If you are a Christian, you are called to teach the truth of God’s Word to others through your personal ministry. You may not be called to or gifted for a public ministry of the Word; you are, however, called to a private ministry of the Word that will require you to teach others. The author of Hebrews warned his readers that their inability to teach others actually revealed a serious spiritual immaturity (see Heb 5:11-14). The expectation implied in this warning is that every Christian should possess some capacity for teaching God’s Word to others. Paul wrote to the Romans: “I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another” (Rom 15:14). Every true Christian is a teacher. Continue reading “Three Simple Thoughts on Teaching the Bible”
Male handsomeness and female beauty are good gifts from God. Scripture is unashamed to speak of men who had attractive physical appearances (Gen 39:6; 1 Sam 9:2; 16:12; 17:42; 2 Sam 14:25; 21:21; 1 Kings 1:6; Ps 45:2; Songs 5:10-16) and of women who had beautiful faces and—get this—beautiful bodies (Gen 12:11; 14; 26:7; 29:17; 1 Sam 25:3; 2 Sam 11:2; 13:1; 14:27; 1 Kings 1:4; Job 42:15; Songs 4:1-5).
Yet, I am regularly asked if it is important for a Christian man or woman to be physically attracted to the person they are dating. As I’ve asked this question in the past, I’ve found that counsel usually comes in one of two basic answers. One answer is that no, physical attraction isn’t important and shouldn’t be part of one’s initial consideration; rather, a person’s godly character should be the paramount factor. Another answer suggests that while godly character should be the primary factor, physical attraction is important and should also be part of the equation. Continue reading “Christian Dating and Courtship, Part 3: The Question of Physical Attraction”
Much is made these days about compatibility when it comes to romantic relationships. Indeed, the entire online dating industry is built upon the idea of compatibility, and a simple Google search will provide you a dizzying array of romance gurus ready to share their wisdom on how to find the person with whom you are the most compatible.
One popular Christian dating website offers seven types of compatibility, including the nebulous “Personality Compatibility.” One social-psychologist, states that when we’ve found another person with whom we share the “traits that really matter” we are most likely to experience the greatest happiness and avoid divorce. That’s quite a promise. Continue reading “Christian Dating and Courtship, Part 2: Compatibility”
Ever since Joshua Harris kissed dating goodbye in 1997, the dating vs. courting debate has raged within the evangelical community. While not as controversial as it once was (as far as I can tell), the question of whether Christians should “date” or “court” is still a hot topic within the larger Church.
I do not intend to enter that debate directly here. Rather, I want to lay down a few vital biblical principles to help you to think carefully about romantic relationships, regardless of whether you think dating or courting best facilitates the implementation of these principles. I will discuss these principles in a series of posts. Continue reading “Christian Dating and Courtship, Part 1: Leadership”