2018 was a scary year for many in the United States and around the world. And apparently, some were looking to Scripture to help them get through it all.
Pray without ceasing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Never abandon prayer. Never for any cause or reason cease to pray. Imagine not that you must pray until you are saved, and may then leave off. For those whose sins are pardoned prayer is quite as needful as for those mourning under a sense of sin. “Pray without ceasing,” for in order that you may persevere in grace you must persevere in prayer. Should you become experienced in grace and enriched with much spiritual knowledge, you must not dream of restraining prayer because of your gifts and graces. “Pray without ceasing,” or else your flower will fade and your spiritual fruit will never ripen. Continue in prayer until the last moment of your life.
“Long as they live must Christians pray,
For only while they pray they live.”
As we breathe without ceasing, so must we pray without ceasing. As there…
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Fifteen years ago, I was a senior in college. I hadn’t wandered far from home after high school (just 45 minutes away). I was born and raised, and lived all 22 of my years of life so far, in a small region of a small state. But now as a senior, an exciting and scary prospect stood on the horizon: leaving the motherland.
As I entered that final collegiate fall, I had narrowed the field to four postgrad options, and all four would require me to move hours from home, if not overseas. In some sense, I would be “setting out on my own.” I felt an unusual anxiety about it.
The worries I battled that senior year of college had much excitement in them; the great opportunities just came with fear of the unknown — of not messing up, not taking a wrong step, not making a false start…
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“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” (7:18)
There are at least two characteristics of every false teacher and would-be messiah. First, he speaks from himself; that is, on his own authority, not God’s (cf. Jer. 14:14; 23:16, 21, 26, 32; 27:15; 28:15; 29:9, 31; Neh. 6:10–12; Ezek. 13:2, 6). And second, he seeks his own glory, not God’s. False prophets invariably proclaim their own musings to attract followers and secure personal gain. Their goal is not to feed the flock, but to fleece it. The prophet Micah graphically depicted the greedy false prophets of his day: “Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray; when they have something to bite with their teeth, they cry, ‘Peace,’ but against…
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Nearly a month deep into a new year, there are some pastoral promises we need to make to ourselves, our families, and our churches.