Do You Excuse Your Own Sin?

We all know the deadly nature of sin, but we are often unaware of its subtle sidekick — the excuse. Excuses convert the seriousness of sin into a simple shoulder shrug. “It was just a mistake on a tired night.” No big deal. Not my fault. And just like that, we downgrade our greatest offenses…

Where Is God When I Need Him Most?

 When I learned my dear friend was killed in a car accident this summer, I was stunned. She was my second mom, and a faithful wife, mother, and friend. She was unforgettable. And her life was snapped so abruptly that I couldn’t process it. Immediately I turned to the Lord. In this sick confusion, this…

What If My Worst Fears Come True?

What does it mean that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” so much so that “we will not fear” (Psalm 46:1–2)? More poignantly, what do you believe it means? That’s where the rubber of your faith meets the road of your real life. Crises of faith occur where the rubber of…

Saved from a Sinking Distraction

When Peter saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me”(Matthew 14:30, ESV). Picture the scene. A raging storm, giant waves crashing against a first-century fishing boat, and the disciples on the Sea of Galilee. Imagine their terror-filled eyes as water poured over the sides, negating their efforts to bail. Then God…

The Making of a Modern Pharisee

We are all born legalists, but we are made into Pharisees. Spurgeon once preached, “Beloved, the legalist [in us] is a great deal older than the Christian. If I were a legalist today, I should be some fifteen or sixteen years older than I am as a Christian; for we are all born legalists.” We are…

Is Life Harder Than You Expected?

Soldiers don’t learn to fight in the classroom. They learn about fighting in the classroom. Learning about fighting is crucial to successful fighting, which is why soldiers’ training always includes class time. But learning about fighting is not the same thing as fighting. Soldiers never really learn to fight until they are forced to actually do it. And when…

Pray Them Home: Prayers for Prodigal Children

I once was that prodigal child — lost, angry, and struggling to find my identity. Hardened on the outside, but deeply hurting within. The pain of my choices was not only destroying me, but creating heartache within our family and severing my relationships with the people who loved me most. By God’s grace, my parents did…