When sinful men and women seek their own glory, we call it narcissism; when they seek God’s glory, the Bible calls it right. John 7:18 states: “The one who speaks for himself seeks his own glory. But He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” God’s passion to spread His name is grace, not narcissism.
God is glorified in His mercy. He is also glorified in His judgement of sin. In Jerusalem’s captivity, God reveals Himself as a God who keeps His word (Deuteronomy 28:58-68) and displays justice, holiness, and infinite power.But how can God be both merciful and just? Doesn’t His justice nullify His mercy, and vice versa? When we look at Christmas, we have to say “no.”
Imagine the anxiety when Sennacherib of Assyra shows up in Judah, 8 years after the North's exile, with these words: “Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?... Have they rescued Samaria from my hand?” (2 Kings 18:33-34). It was true. Samaria had been crushed by Assyria...would that same hand now wreckJudah?
This passage is a staggering display of God’s sovereignty! The triumphs that wicked Sennacherib rested in had been enabled by the Lord God Himself. God had planned his rising and his falling from the days of old. Indeed, what is outside of our God’s control? Trust today that your own times are in His hands--and that hand is immeasurably kind to those in Christ (Psalm 31:15; Ephesians 2:7)!
The floods have lifted up their voice. But the LORD on high is mightier than the thunders of many waters (Psalm 93:3-4). And He hears prayer.
I listen to teachers who tend to stress (and rightfully so, I believe) our inability to please God on the basis of our own righteousness. Christians are not justified by their works but by faith in the work of Christ on their behalf (Galatians 2:16). But does this mean that God is only pleased with Christ and never pleased with us? Are the works of believers always and only filthy rags in His sight (Isaiah 64:6)?
If you are in Christ today and, like me, are tempted by unexpected and difficult circumstances, please receive this good news: Jesus Christ is "the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and by him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:15-17). Sister, remember that your Redeemer is the God of the whole earth, the Lord of Armies, what is too difficult for Him?
My husband and I are the thankful parents of two precious daughters. We would be grateful for a third child and have prayed for over two years for this gift without conception.
I’m technically infertile with what is known as secondary infertility. Here, a couple that has already produced, at least one child, will suddenly face difficulty conceiving another. In most cases, couples are considered infertile after a year of trying without conception.
Both motherhood and the desire for more children have proved useful instruments in God’s hands, dissecting and revealing my heart. As I kneel today to pray for a third child, here are three truths that resound:
The cross of Jesus stands unmoved today and will not be shaken on January 20th. That cross is my confidence. Whatever a Trump presidency might bring, God still works all things according to the council of His own will (Ephesians 1:11). And if God ordered the affairs of cunning leaders in the first century for the sake of our salvation than He is able to order the events of any government to fulfill His good and ultimate purposes.
My first day watching porn was also my last. I was nine when an adult neighbor took me to a house where several of her friends were gathered. The men and women came knowing the agenda—to watch hours of pornographic videos. I was placed on a man’s lap, and the tapes were played. At one point, my neighbor asked if I “felt” anything. I said no, and the group laughed.
I remember the day now as the end of something immeasurably precious—the gift of being innocent and unashamed. I’ve often mourned for my nine-year-old self, her soul plundered and her naiveté stripped. I grieve for her and fear for my two small daughters. What images (and God forbid, touches) might be lurking, waiting to take their innocence? God help us.
Read the full article at Christianity Today.
For nine months, Zechariah must employ the use of a writing tablet for communication (Luke 1:63). He must have scribbled these amazing words for Elizabeth’s reading for in Luke 1:59-60, she insists on the name John for her son. Here, I wonder if Elizabeth longed for her husband’s voice in these months. Her first and second trimesters are spent in hiding (Luke 1:24). These must have been quiet months for the expectant mother. A picture, perhaps, of Israel’s own 400 years of waiting in silence for the fulfillment of God’s promise.
The widow had nothing but a single jar of oil. Elisha tells her to borrow many vessels from her neighbors. Her jar of oil would miraculously multiply as she poured it into each vessel. God’s means of provision for this woman sends her to many doors on that day—the more she knocked on, the more vessels she would receive. The more vessels she borrowed, the more oil she would have for her son’s freedom and for their livelihood (2 Kings 4: 2-7).
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!
On August 2, 2008, I stood before God and witnesses and made a vow of love, honor and fidelity to Eric J. Dolce. I was certain of the LORD’s hand in the union. My husband and I marveled as a rainbow appeared over our reception. Indeed, God's promises for us in Christ have been “Yes and Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20)!
Today marks seven years since that day. The years have passed quickly but my love for my husband has not. In truth, I adore him now more than ever…and here’s why:
Apollyon, Beelzebub, the Great Dragon, that Ancient Serpent, Satan, his names are many but his purpose remains, to wage war against the Holy One (Revelation 12:7-8). Deceit is among his weapons and—because they beloved of the LORD—he makes the church his target (John 15:18). In Revelation 2:20, Satan employs yet another “Jezebel.” This one, a supposed prophetess of the church in Thyatira. Her demonic prophesies lull and seduce the saints into sexual immorality. Sisters, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
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!
Surely, the LORD is good and strong! In His sovereignty, God works through Hannah’s prayers to establish His will for her and Israel. This same God has given us His own Son. What more then will He withhold from us, His children? Our Father in heaven gives good things to those who ask of him (Matthew 7:7-11). So pray Christian, for the sake of His glory and the praise of His grace, pray!
If common experience makes for good friendship, Naomi and Job would have gotten along well. Speaking of the loss of his own health, property and children, Job states: “For the arrows of the Almighty are in me; my spirit drinks their poison; the terrors of God are arrayed against me” (Job 6:4). Naomi and Job knew pain well. And they knew God well, for they attribute their suffering to Him. In short, the two never deny God the honor of His sovereignty amid their pain.
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).
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).