Joy Is for the Generous

https://www.challies.com/articles/joy-is-for-the-generous/

The Joy of Walking with God

Christians enjoy the inestimable privilege of walking with God. As we proceed through life, we do so in fellowship with the Creator and Sustainer of all that is. We enjoy a relationship of true familiarity and intimacy. God pleads with us to tell him our cares and to make known to him our concerns, and he carries those burdens on our behalf. We, in turn, plead for his wisdom and guidance and he graciously gives it to us. There is no better way to live.

The Christian’s walk is one of close fellowship with God and earnest obedience to God. Here are some of the joys we receive in this walk.

Walking with God pleases God. The person who walks with God declares to the world whose company he loves most. His fellowship with the Father brings glory to the Father. He, like Enoch, will be “commended as having pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5).

Walking with God has evangelistic appeal. Peter tells wives to walk closely with God so their ungodly husbands may be “won without a word” (1 Peter 3:1). Many Christians can attest that the first appeal of the Christian faith was not the message of the gospel but another Christian’s fellowship with God through the gospel.

Read more of Tim’s blog: https://www.challies.com/articles/the-joy-of-walking-with-god/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_campaign=Nightly_%272017-07-06_08%3a30%3a00%27&utm_content=5575

5 Ways To Minister To Other Christians This Sunday

Every Christian is a minister. According to the book of Romans, every Christian is called upon by God to minister the Word of God to other believers (see Romans 15:14 and the words “able to instruct one another”). But what does that actually look like? How can normal people like you and me fulfill this responsibility? Truthfully, there are as many ways as there are Christians and congregations. Still, let me offer a few common ways you can minister God’s truth to others, even this week as you gather with your church.

First, minister truth in resolving conflict. Because we are sinful people, we will at times behave sinfully toward one another. There will always be some measure of interpersonal conflict within a church, and in Matthew 18 Jesus clearly addresses how such disputes are to be handled. It is interesting and important to note that the elders are not mentioned until the very end of the process. Conflict resolution begins with an individual approaching another individual and showing from the Bible how that person has sinned. If he does not repent, then two church members approach that individual and demonstrate from the Bible how that person has sinned. First alone and then together, they minister truth and trust that this ministry of the Word will confront the person and cause him to repent.

Continue Tim’s blog at: https://www.challies.com/5-ways-to-minister-to-other-christians-today/

You Don’t Really Know Who Your Friends Are Until…

You don’t really know who your friends are until their relationship with you becomes a liability instead of a benefit. Many celebrities, and even Christian celebrities, have learned this lesson the hard way. In the blink of an eye, or the release of a news story, they went from fêted to ignored, from celebrated to invisible. They learned quickly that many of their so-called friends had actually not been friends at all, but people thriving on a kind of symbiotic relationship where each benefited the other. When the relationship become a liability, their friends were suddenly nowhere to be found.

This happened to Jesus. When he was performing miracles and laying verbal beatings on the Pharisees and healing men who had been born blind, his friends were only too happy to ally themselves with him. They were proud to know him, to be known in relation to him, and to be in his inner circle. But when he became a hated criminal, when he was dragged before the courts and accused of crimes, his friends quickly made themselves scarce. They disappeared into the night, leaving him to fend for himself.

Continue: https://www.challies.com/you-dont-really-know-who-your-friends-are-until/

How To Identify Your Pet Sin

Every Christian can think of a sin he has identified and attacked with all the brutality he can muster. One of the great joys of the Christian life is seeing God be true to his Word as he motivates and empowers us to wage war against indwelling sin. Yet every one of us probably also has a sin we rather enjoy, a sin we refuse to put to death. In fact, we may even protect and promote it. We might refer to it as a pet sin. Here are some tips on identifying your pet sin.

Your pet sin is the one you hate to have challenged.

Hmmm. Better read the rest: https://www.challies.com/how-to-identify-your-pet-sin/

How Does Sanctification Work?

Some great books hit your life like a sledgehammer. They wreck your preconceptions and disrupt what you were sure you knew. We need these books from time to time. Other books come like a cool drink of water on a hot afternoon. They reaffirm what you thought you knew, and shore up your pre-existing convictions. We need these ones, too.

David Powlison’s new How Does Sanctification Work? was decidedly in the second group for me. It is a book about one of my favorite topics and written by an author whose work has been important in my life. It was just the book I wanted and needed to read in the moment I picked it up.

Sanctification is a topic that has received a lot of attention over the past few years. We have grown accustomed to hearing of the centrality of the gospel in sanctification. And, of course, it is exactly the case that the gospel goes far beyond our justification, and is, indeed, essential to our sanctification. Yet, as is so often the case, people may have taken this a bit too far. Suddenly the cure for every ill was “look to the gospel” or “be gospel-centered.” Some went so far as to promote a kind of “hypergrace” that insists sanctification can be had in no other way than meditating upon the gospel and applying its promises. It said something like, “You are sanctified by remembering and believing afresh that you are justified by what Jesus did on the cross for you.” Everything else was given the ugly label of “legalism.” And it is in just this context that Powlison prepared his book.

Continue Tim’s blog: https://www.challies.com/how-does-sanctification-work/

The Joy of Not Sinning

There is always a good bit of debate in the Christian world about exactly how God sanctifies us and how human effort relates to divine work. Whatever we believe about sanctification, we know it is a lifelong battle and we know it is a difficult one. The difficulty is related to the extent of our depravity, the fact that the effects of sin extend to our every part, to our minds, our hearts, our wills, even our bodies. We could give every moment of every day to the battle against sin and still die as deeply sinful people. Every Christian will die much more holy than he was when he first put his faith in Jesus Christ, but a lot less holy than he would like and probably a lot less holy than he would have imagined.

Continue at: https://www.challies.com/the-joy-of-not-sinning/