The Early Bird Gets The Link 

Some links for your Tuesday.

How to Binge Watch Like a Believer

This interview with Andy Crouch on technology is worth the read. “I think we have to be patient with this stuff. The whole promise of technology is this: If you want it, you got it. But what if waiting is an essential part of the goodness of the world? The only thing I can say to people is: Taste and see that the Lord is good. I don’t think I can prove to you in the abstract that these embodied things will be better. I can’t even promise that, in the moment, you will feel better. But I do think you will become a different kind of person who has access to more wisdom, more courage, and more joy than you had before.”

Stop Calling Hebrews 11 The “Hall of Faith”

God didn’t give us this section of the Bible for us to think, “Look at these great followers of God. I’ll never be like them.” Chapter 11 is filed for our imitation. The barrage of by faiths is there to weave us together, join us in the story of God’s glory—not bronze the heads of saints before our eyes.

Death, Be Not Proud

A great poem

Four Reasons Why Jesus Rose From the Dead

As we look back over the main point of each account of the resurrection, let’s do the hard work of application. I’ll pose some questions; let’s give ourselves to prayerful consideration, that we might be doers of the word and not merely hearers (James 1:22–25). Let’s pray that God would use the resurrection to change us, our churches, and our communities.

Marriage Is Not the Mission

And, as C.S. Lewis warned, marital love became a demon because I made her into a god. And because God denied me Eve, I, unlike Adam, declared things to be not good. For years I sat in my pious purgatory, feeling confused, alone, and guilty. Why wasn’t I more content in Christ alone?

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Hope you had a great weekend, here are some links to start your week.

How the resurrection changes your Monday

But let’s face it: as time passes, it is easy to let that fade. What was once mind-blowing and heart-burning becomes, well, just “nice.” What once sent you to your knees in thanks and opened your mouth in praise now just becomes a background fact, taken for granted. The demands of following Christ can feel like a burden and the sacrifices can seem to outweigh the benefits. The ongoing battle with indwelling sin is discouraging and painful at times. Life goes on, with all its difficulties and disappointments. No wonder the flame of our first love feels as if it is flickering sometimes!

The Weight of Shame

If we are honest with ourselves, and more importantly, honest with God, we cannot help but admit that we feel shame as a result of our sin. Whether we sin in private or in public—and whether we perhaps even pretend not to have it—shame is undeniably real. We feel shame because God in His grace created all human beings with the capacity to feel shame as a consequence of their sin. 

The Coasting Christian

Once, I was going too fast down a hill. I hit a bump, flipped over my handlebars and rode upside down for a few feet before crashing into a briar patch.

Attempting to coast spiritually, has put many Christians in a similar predicament without their even realizing it. Coasting is not an option for the Christian.
You can coast on a bicycle after you’ve put the work in to get up a hill, but as Christians we have not reached the top yet. That does not come until we reach our home—the new heavens and new Earth.
Ron Blue on Two Lies We Can Believe About Giving

Good reminders

5 Reflections on Forgiveness from the Life of Joseph

The life of Joseph as told in the book of Genesis is one of my favorite parts of Scripture. God used Joseph mightily, but as often is the case, that comes with great suffering. Joseph was mistreated, slandered, and betrayed by his own family. As a result, he had to learn how to forgive others.

Split Rocks, Open Tombs, Raised Bodies

What about that curious passage in Matthew 27:50? 

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Here are your weekend links.

God is visible to any with eyes to see

Atheists can be clever, but God won’t leave them with any excuse. As Psalm 19 explains the heavens declare His glory. Want to explain away fine-tuning by postulating a multiverse? Well, then answer this: why would the Sun just happen to be 400 times bigger than our moon and also 400 times further away?

The Happy Fruits of a Digital Diet

A testimony of digital detox.

3 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Good Friday Sermon

While preaching the cross can go wrong in many ways, here are three key mistakes to avoid. 

The Gospel in 3 Minutes 

Following Christ in the Age of Authenticity

So, here is the question we as Christians should ask: do we have a better story than this? What if Jesus’ counterintuitive call to lose our lives, to deny ourselves, to pick up our crosses, is actually the invitation to happiness that goes far beyond anything we could conjure up in our own hearts?

Why I Believe the Bible

As Christians, we are always to be ready to give a defense of the hope that is within us (1 Pet. 3:15). The basis of this hope is our confidence that the Bible is God’s Word. It is trustworthy and sufficient. I’ve put these five together as something of a quick reference notecard for why I believe the Bible. They can serve as a quick reference for personal evangelism or devotion.

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Been down for a few days but I am back with some links for your day.

The Miracle of Mercy

He saved us because of “his own mercy” toward us. God loved us and cared for us because of his own character and virtue, not because of ours.

Tips for Memorizing a Book of the Bible

Some helpful tips to memorizing your Bible.

Assorted Thoughts on #TGC17

I have no grand thesis or synthesis about it, but a few assorted thoughts now that I’m home and a somewhat recovered.

What Current Trend in American Life Should Concern Christians?

A video worth watching

5 Discipleship Don’ts

In the church, discipleship is key to an individual’s growth and to the way they are made more into the image of Christ. The way we do this is a matter of life in Christ or death with our flesh. How, then, should we take seriously the role of discipling others? We must remember that discipleship is not about us.

Your Pain Is Preaching a Gospel

Like many characters in the Old Testament, Saul’s life points to greater realities. And over the course of God’s unfolding redemption, those realities find their fullest expression in Jesus Christ.

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Here are some links to begin your week.

Husbands, Your Wife Is Your God-Given Assignment

If you are married, your wife is your God-given assignment. I have been married to Nanci for over 40 years, and I still am learning things about her. This is both a mystery and a delight. I seek not to dominate her, but to protect her, help her and honor her.

10 Things Sexual Assault Victims Want You to Know

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a good time to honor the many brave souls who shared their experiences with me. These are brothers and sisters in Christ who have suffered. By attending to their stories, listening to them and believing them, we honor them. Here’s what they wanted us to know:

Our Whole Salvation Comprehended in Christ

We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ. We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else.

The Gospel Coalition Conference 

Here is the opportunity to watch an exposition of Galatians TGC did at their conference.

Raising Expectations for Young Believers

These young believers are not exceptional. These are typical 18-21 year olds who came from typical youth groups and typical churches. Most of them are less than a year removed from high school graduation. But with only a semester of intensive training and life-on-life discipleship, these young believers are used by God to advance His glory in hard, unreached places in humbling ways.

A Guide to the Entire Cast of Characters During Jesus’s Final Week

Here is a worthwhile resource. 

Focus Friday: Navigating Life’s Unavoidable Difficulties 

This weeks focus Friday comes from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Chapel. Pastor Rick Holland points out 3 Christian distinctives when facing difficult circumstances from Romans 5.

  1. Joyful Sufferings
  2. Knowing God is Doing Something
  3. God Comforts Us

Pastor Rick also encourages us to ask 3 questions when going through trial;

  1. What do you feel? Many times we feel sad, angry, hurt, hopeless when in the midst of trials
  2. What do you think? Too often our feeling impacts our thinking; this is horrible, this is not going to go good.
  3. What do you know? “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Let what you know guide how you feel and think. I pray this impacts you like it has me.