This year I’m partnering with 24 other women to create a gospel centered Advent Devotional designed specifically for moms and it's available at no cost to you! The devotional is designed to come straight to your email inbox. Each morning between December 1st and Christmas Day, you'll receive a short devotion on how the coming of Christ fulfills a specific longing common to motherhood along with questions for application/reflection. You don't have to remember anything, pay for anything, or print anything. Just visit this LINK to sign up!Read More
Filtering by Category: The Gospel
Is it biblical for a mother to work outside of the home?” The question was pitched at a small-group Bible study where I sat as the only mother working outside of the home. The women around me held strong opinions on the subject and my instinct was to defend myself. I didn’t want to be viewed as “unbiblical,” so I worked hard to justify my employment status. In the end, this question—offered as a “Bible discussion”—felt more like a test I had to pass.
Sadly, this scene is all too common. I’ve been in similar spaces before. Sometimes, I’ve played the part of the defendant, as seen above. Other times, I’ve been the plaintiff. I measure a sister by her position on some matter of secondary importance, and I’m tempted to define her by that one issue. Perhaps you’ve been there.Read More
Journeywomen is a podcast hosted by Hunter Beless. Each week, Hunter and a guest explore how believers can "gracefully navigate the seasons and challenges we face on our journeys to glorify God." It's an honor to appear on Episode 61 of her show. I enjoyed chatting with Hunter on the topic of sanctification and hope that you are encouraged by it.Read More
Many of us, regardless of our season of motherhood, are hard-pressed for time and energy. Our schedules are filled with homes, husbands, children, churches, jobs, friends, and the constant temptation to stay in-the-know of the hashtags, the trends, and the news. We are busy mothers with full hands. And somehow, amid the juggling of responsibilities, we are to nurture our children in the instruction of the Lord. The call to obey Ephesians 6:4 can feel like a tall order for the frazzled mom. A busy mom with full hands might “minimize” scripture for her children, teaching the Bible the way we teach our fairy tales—with a quick and simple “moral of the story” in view.Read More
Reading 2 Kings 14 brings to mind Jonah 4:2; there, Jonah calls God gracious and merciful, “slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.” The description captures God’s hesed or steadfast love. Jonah’s phrasing is seen throughout Scripture but first appears in Exodus 34:6 during God’s covenant renewal with Israel. The Northern Kingdom was called to belong to a patient God who relents from disaster. God’s far-reaching kindness elects to help a rebellious king and his people. In Jonah’s ministry, we can see God’s mercy extended to those who are far and near: wicked Nineveh and wayward Israel are helped. Who then is beyond His grace?Read More
The One for whom all things were created; the One who is the image of the invisible God and the firstborn of all creation; the One in whom all things hold together and is preeminent above all (Colossians 1:16); that Person condescended to be born as a poor carpenter! He made Himself nothing and suffered that He might make His enemies members of His own family. Jesus’ “hospitality” is out of this world!Read More
Often in our homes and children’s ministries, there is a temptation to “relax” Scripture for children. Perhaps we think that they are unable to understand “meaty” ideas and so we point them to quick moral applications and good behavior. This kind of Bible teaching however misses the intention of the Scriptures themselves, which is to bear witness of Christ (John 5:39).
The story of God’s redemption of sinners through the person and work of Christ Jesus is the best story we can tell our children. Let’s make sure that they hear it clearly in our Bible teaching. And may God, by His grace, make that narrative the framework from which they engage with all other stories.Read More
As I read the story of Christ’s birth, I wonder: what “looks” did Mary endure when “found” to be with child in Matthew 1:18? Did her cheeks burn under the gaze of Nazareth? Did she suffer shame at the eyes of a doubting Joseph (Matthew 1:19)?
It’s amazing to consider that “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law” and under the ignominy of a curious pregnancy (Galatians 4:4).Read More
To evangelize is to share the message of the gospel. Our acts of service and mercy glorify God and are encouraged by Scripture (see James 1:27). Yet simply serving another is not evangelism. Evangelism requires words. It necessitates a message. And in truth, many of us do not always know what to say. What is the gospel? How does the Bible define it? Let’s look now at the below four-point-summary; I hope the following proves helpful as we seek to faithfully share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others!Read More
As Israel uncovers herself to whore with Baal for the price children and rain, the God of heaven and earth looks and declares: “no birth, no pregnancy, no conception! Even if they bring up children, I will bereave them till none is left. Woe to them when I depart from them (Hosea 9:11-12)! Yet His burning anger in Hosea is graciously weaved with the hope of His salvation. And so He beckons: “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:12). Like a loving Husband longing for the contrition of His adulterous wife, God, through Hosea, calls His people to return (Hosea 14:1-4).Read More
Grateful for the chance to write for Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics blog. Paragraphs from the piece are below and the full article is found here. Thank you for reading!
My practice of faith, like most things in my life, is sustained by a propensity for difficult work. I’m a hard driver, often choosing the coarse road. As a mother, I give birth without epidural, nurse for fourteen-months, make my own baby food, homeschool my little ones—all the while working part-time and teaching small groups. It’s admirable—if not for the pesky tendency to pride myself by the praise of these efforts.Read More
Why is Elijah sent to this widow? There is no indication of her earning God’s election and favor. She was not among the people of Israel and she herself testifies of her sins. Clearly, she doesn’t choose God but He chooses her (John 15:16). He saves her just as He has and will redeem all those He has predestined for adoption as children through Jesus Christ; this is according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His own glorious grace (Ephesians 1:5-11)! Sisters, salvation is of the LORD. I will sing of the glorious grace that saves sinners like me!Read More
As a member of the Black church, it seems we have passed by to the other side of the road too often on this issue. Where is the outrage? And where is our heartbreak for the little faces missing from our own congregations? I’m sorry to say that, before today, I had never cried for the children aborted in my church. Who is missing today who may have stood next to my own daughter to declare: “God made me!”Read More
I'm thankful to the Reformed African American Network for their re-post of my 2014 article, Parental Failures and the Gospel. The beginning paragraphs follow and the full post can be found here. Always grateful for your read!
I could begin this post with countless descriptions of my parental failures. Moments when anger got the best of me; times when a little patience would have made all the difference; or just plain insecurities in making the right decisions for my children at every moment and at every stage of their development.
You might agree that feelings of inadequacy are common to parents; whether relatively new like me or seasoned with experience, we feel the weight of the responsibility and the immensity of the task. But in some ways, feelings of inadequacy can be a blessing!Read More
For some time, David appears perfectly indifferent to these shocking events (2 Samuel 12:1-23). What were Bathsheba's thoughts? How did she experience the stages of grief and change? Were there feelings of guilt and shame? Did she pray similar words as those prayed later by David in Psalm 51:1-2? “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love...Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!” A washing of the soul that no one but the LORD could see.Read More
In the days of the judges when everyone did what was right in his own eyes, a Moabite woman does what is right in God’s eyes (Ruth 1:1; Judges 21:25). Ruth reflects God’s own covenant love for His people in choosing to leave her familial home for the saving of another. She turns from father, mother, and country for a people she does not know and finds refuge under the wings of Israel’s God (Ruth 2:11-12).Read More
Somewhere in Jericho, a prostitute—with eyes as unseeing as her idols (Psalm 115:4-8)—is enabled to behold “the Lord, [the] God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath,” and she believes (Joshua 2:8-13). God elects to cover the naked breasts of a Canaanite prostitute with a garment of grace (Romans 9:15-18). And then—as though to display the gloriousness of His own mercy—He adopts Rahab, knitting her into the fabric of Israel as the mother of Boaz, and then Obed, then Jesse, then King David, and ultimately Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 1:5-6).Read More
I wonder as I read: how early did Jochebed rise to prepare her basket? Were her eyes blurry with tears as she worked? Did her lips quiver in whispered prayers as she nursed her child for what may have been the last time? Did her heart pace within her as she set her son in the river? A daubed basket in the Nile was more merciful than the fatal hands of Pharaoh so Jochebed released it, trusting her baby to the water and ultimately to God. In all, she simply didn't want her child to die. It was just that simple.Read More
In other words, atonement of sin is settled for those whose trust is in Christ alone. So then God doesn’t love you less when you sin today and more when you obey tomorrow. Instead He loves you because you are His—an adopted son/daughter, made clean through His Son and sealed and preserved by His Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14).
But what of your persistent sins? Here, we find that Christ still washes the feet of His disciples. What do I mean? “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean” (John 13:10). Those justified in Christ are Simul Justus et Peccator—at the same time just (or righteous) and sinner. We are positioned in Christ and are seen by God through His imputed righteousness yet inherently we sin. We are clean saints with dirty feet. But just as our justification is achieved by God alone, so is our sanctification enabled by Him alone.Read More
These childless women who assisted others in building up their families were themselves blessed with children. “For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly” (Psalm 138:6). And if we were to stretch our lenses even further, we would see the LORD Himself as the supreme figure in the drama. While Pharaoh scrambles about using enslavement, infanticide and the power of Egypt against the Hebrews, the LORD rescues His people through the simple obedience of two humble women—unlikely saviors! But isn't that how God works?Read More