Four Things NOT to Say to Those Who Are Suffering

As Christians, we are called to bear one another’s burdens, especially when we experience suffering. Yet we often do not prepare for these moments and get tongue tied, speak with general spiritual platitudes, or avoid speaking altogether. But we must learn to comfort and encourage each other in suffering, because it is a natural part of life and a supernatural part of God’s plan (see Philippians 1:29). As we help one another, we can be instruments used by God to comfort those in need.

As we seek to speak to those who are suffering, we must avoid saying these four things:

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The Certainty of God vs. The Uncertainty of Wealth

August 11, 2018

Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God who richly provides us with all things to enjoy.” – 1 Timothy 6:17

Have you ever read verses about money and felt that they were unreasonable? Perhaps you’ve thought that to serve God and not money really isn’t even doable. How can we do that when we need money to live, eat, and provide for ourselves and our families? You’ve probably heard the famous verse, “You cannot be slaves of both God and money” (Luke 16:13). If you’re like me, you’ve probably been frustrated with understanding how we apply verses like these.

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What Does It Mean to “Fear the Lord?”

August 10, 2018

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy one is understanding.”  –Proverbs 9:10

In the ninth chapter of Proverbs, Solomon compares wisdom with foolishness. In his description of wisdom, he writes that the “beginning” of wisdom is the “fear of the Lord”. In other words, fearing the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Today I want to ask the question: what does it mean to fear Him?

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Expositional Preaching, David Helm

expositionalpreachingbookcoverExpositional Preaching is short book by David Helm in the 9Marks of a Healthy Church series that seeks to define true biblical preaching. Helm makes a compelling argument that biblical preaching is “expositional preaching,” also commonly called “expository preaching.” Helm defines expository preaching as “empowered preaching that rightfully submits the shape and emphasis of the sermon to the shape and emphasis of a biblical text.” First published in 2014, Expositional Preaching aims to lay down the foundation in training preachers to herald the Word of God in this way, a way that is submitted to the Word of God.

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God’s Honor in Our Dependency

August 7, 2018

For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.” – Ezra 8:22-23

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Paradox in Cost Counting

August 6, 2018

Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple…For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?” -Luke 15:27-28

In the past, every time I came across one of Jesus’ statements like this, I trembled. Was I really bearing my own cross? Was I truly following Him? At the same time, I was afraid of the immensity of the call of giving up everything to follow Him. Is it really worth it?

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“In All Your Ways”

August 4, 2018

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:6

“Straight paths” are a result of acknowledging Him in all our ways. In the context of Solomon teaching his son wisdom, perhaps he had in mind going to war without consulting God as future kings would do. Maybe he had in mind the tough decisions of being a king, matters of judgment, taxes, or managing the finances of the kingdom. Whatever he had in mind, he included the possibility of everything: “in all your ways, acknowledge Him.” The wise person acknowledges the Lord in all their ways- because when they do, He makes their paths straight.

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Trust God, Not Yourself

August 3, 2018

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” –Proverbs 3:5-6

These often-quoted verses are very encouraging. However, there is a risk of them becoming too familiar that we fail to see the point and power in them. Continue reading “Trust God, Not Yourself”

God’s Faithfulness to Restore

August 2, 2018

Reading: Ezra 3

When the builders had laid the foundation of the Lord’s temple, the priests, dressed in their robes and holding trumpets, and the Levites descended from Asaph, holding cymbals, took their positions to praise the Lord…they sang with praise and thanksgiving to the Lord: “For He is good; His faithful love to Israel endures forever.”   -Ezra 3:8-11

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