rush toward repentance

“Carson, you shouldn’t mess with the blinds when you are in bed,” I said to my four-year-old as I straightened the wildly askew blinds above his window.

Through his tears, he said, “I know, but I wanted to see outside.”

It was late, yet some of the neighborhood kids were playing in the yard outside his room. Always inquisitive, Carson wanted to see who was still awake at this late hour – and especially what game they were playing.

“I realize you wanted to see outside, Bud, but its late and you need to be asleep.”

The whole conversation started with his tearful admission to me that he had “broken” his window. Fortunately, tangled and twisted window blinds are easy enough to fix. My heart warmed to my little guy, clearly affected as he was by his misbehavior. Carson knows that he shouldn’t touch the blinds above his window, especially at night when he should be sleeping.

I pressed just a bit, wanting to clarify the rules. “I know you wanted to see outside, but remember that the blinds are fragile. When you are in bed, you need to sleep. And don’t touch the blinds, okay?” (more…)

the “wrong” side of history

“You’re on the wrong side of history.” This rhetorical jab, often thrown at those attempting to maintain a biblical view of marriage and human sexuality even as the surrounding culture moves further from that view, is a handy way to say, “Hurry up. You’re going to lose the debate eventually, so why not give up now?” When the tide of culture is turning, and when the new moral “normal” seems inevitable, this can feel like a foreceful argument, indeed.

But there is one problem: What makes us think that today is the day we should judge the right side or the wrong side of history? Yes, what we view as true and right and good today is different than it was even 100 years ago. But what if our view changes once again? And it will change once again. (more…)

everything we need, nothing we don’t

When we pray, as Jesus taught us to, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt 6:11), we are trusting that the Lord will provide for our daily needs. Most clearly, Jesus has our physical and material needs in view. He wants his disciples to walk in daily dependence on the Lord for the material things we truly need in this life. God is the sovereign ruler of the world, and therefore, in his perfect love and wisdom, he provides his children with all that we need.

This abundant provision is not limited to material needs, however. (more…)

it was fitting to celebrate and be glad

The joy in Luke 15 is striking.

A man loses his sheep, only one of one hundred. But he goes searching for it. “And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing” (15:5). Then he calls to all his friends: “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost” (15:6). Then they celebrate, and Jesus says, “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (15:7). A sheep is lost and then found. The shepherd parties. Sinners are lost and then, through the gospel, found. All the angels party. (more…)

the journey to jerusalem

Jesus never wavered.

I know that some take his prayer from the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26:39) as a sign that he desired some outcome other than the cross, but the idea doesn’t pass muster. In Gethsemane Jesus revealed the deep anguish to his soul that the cross represented, however he was relentless in his perfect obedience and submission to the Father: “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done” (Matt 26:42). Jesus was utterly committed to going to the cross. He never wavered.

The Gospel of Luke makes this beautifully clear, beginning in Luke 9:51-53: (more…)

five things my kids (and yours) need to know about gender, sex, and marriage

Our culture is shaping my children. At least, it is trying to. Actively. Nowhere is that effort more evident than it is in the area of sexual ethics. The vision of gender, sexuality, and marriage the world hopes to form in my kids is formidable. Certainly it departs from the biblical vision for those things in profound and irreconcilable ways.

As parents, my wife and I are chiefly responsible (on the human level) for shaping a biblical view of these realities in our kids. What does that look like? How does that work? Well, there are countless ways this plays out in our everyday lives. However, we intentionally look for ways to speak to these five truths in our day-to-day rhythms and routines. (more…)

the blessing of reproof

At Capitol City on Sunday morning, we considered the ways God uses both encouragement and rebuke, within the context of his covenant community, to grow his people. Before departing from the topic completely, I wanted to sprinkle in the wisdom of Proverbs as we consider the profound (though unpopular) blessing of receiving rebuke from a Christian brother or sister.

Consider how Proverbs connects wisdom and prosperity to reproof and rebuke: (more…)