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Blog of Ryan Christoffel

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Beholding the Glory of the Lord, Being Transformed into the Same Image
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When My Love Grows Cold

05/14/2014

Despite my introverted tendencies, I love being around people. It can exhaust me after an extended period of time, but I still love it. It does my heart good to spend time with others.

That said, there is one surefire way I can grow cold in my love toward other people: by isolating myself from them. I’ve noticed that if I spend too much consecutive time on administrative or academic work, without any face-to-face people interaction, my love for others grows dim. Rather than solitude leading me to yearn for the pleasure of social interaction, it often does just the opposite. I can get so caught up in my own world and the work I’m doing that I subconsciously think of relationships as more of a nuisance than a joy.

The cure for this is easy: I simply have to spend time around people once again. The self-centered walls of my heart come tumbling down when I’m confronted by the presence of others. And more specifically, when I’m confronted by the pain of others. My affection for others is stirred when I see the pain their lives are filled with.

In Matthew 9:36 we read that Jesus, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” He saw a group of people who had been fearfully and wonderfully made, yet were afflicted, weak, and helpless to save themselves. And He had compassion.

This account in Jesus’ life relates to an experience I had recently. It was one of those days when my heart had grown hard and self-focused. While driving to Starbucks for a meeting, weighed down by thoughts of schoolwork left unfinished, I wasn’t as joyful as I should have been. But before my meeting started, something changed within me.

Standing in the back of the coffee shop, looking out over all the people sitting there, I saw that some were busily typing away on their laptops, others were engaged in conversation, at least one was caught up in a book, and I was struck by the thought that all of them had something in common.

Every single one of them was suffering.

Maybe that’s a strange thing to think, but it was true. All the people there who didn’t know Jesus were afflicted by slavery to sin and separation from their Creator, while the Christians among them suffered from their still-present sinful flesh. Such problems manifest themselves in a variety of unique ways in each of our lives, but in every case the pain is real.

That moment at Starbucks, God used the suffering of others to soften my heart. He poured fuel on the weak flames of my love. He moved me to a place of deep compassion as I pondered the truth that many of these people were “sheep without a shepherd,” and even those who did have the Good Shepherd guiding them would still face the wolves of life.

Believers and unbelievers alike bear the burden of living in a fallen world. Each of us has our own sin, the sin of others, and the brokenness of creation working to feed us a daily portion of suffering. Suffering for which the gospel is the only sufficient answer.

Through the gospel we can bear the burdens of others, because we have a Good Shepherd who bears all our burdens. Through the gospel we can joyfully endure all suffering, because we know that every ounce of it equals future glory. Through the gospel the weak are made strong, sinners are made saints, and love endures.

Suffering is relentless, so our devotion to remembering the gospel must be also. In considering Jesus’ compassion on the “harassed and helpless,” we are reminded that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. 1 It’s His love, which never grows cold, that each of us must cling to in the face of suffering. And as we do so, we’ll find fire in our hearts that drives us to love like our Savior.

(Photo Credit)

  1. Romans 8:35-39

Worthy Reading

04/16/2014

My Shelves are Full of Mentors

Kyle Worley

The books on my shelf speak to me. I can hear them whispering. Some of these books have been speaking to me for more than a decade. Our conversations are scribbled in the margins, and we often meet for coffee as I sit in my chair underneath the lamplight. These books answer questions, lead me to prayer, make me laugh and speak truth into my life.

Screwtape on How to Ruin The Gospel Coalition

Josh Blount

You say your patient has gotten involved with something called “The Gospel Coalition.” Ugh. Even the name reeks of the Enemy. I have done some research, and I agree with you completely—you must act now. Your Patient is dallying with deadly stuff, and much harm can be done. But all is not yet lost.

Ten Thousand Things We Can’t See

Jonathan Parnell

In this moment of disarray, when everything is turned upside down, when everything we expected is dismantled, the psalmist stops and remembers. He remembers that even when the circumstances don’t add up, God is always at work. God is always doing 10,000 things we can’t see.

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Three Impressions from T4G

04/15/2014

Last week brought me the incredible blessing of spending several days in Louisville, Kentucky at the Together for the Gospel conference. These are not in-depth notes, but merely some first impressions in the aftermath of the conference. Once I’ve been able to re-watch the messages and better digest and apply the teaching from Scripture, I hope to write up some more practical takeaways and post them here. For now though, three impressions…

1. Our culture is changing

My first T4G was in 2012, and it is incredible how much the world seems to have changed since then. Society’s level of tolerance for Christianity has declined significantly in the last two years, and as a result this year’s conference exuded a different feel for me. It could be that I was less informed about cultural issues two years ago than I am now, but I recall that the last conference had more an air of peacetime while this one contained signs of warfare. Panels on the issue of homosexuality and future theological threats hinted at the changing tide, while Al Mohler’s sermon accentuated it. One leader in the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission remarked, full tongue-in-cheek, “It sure has been a slow last couple years for us. We’re hoping things pick up soon.” The conference’s focus on evangelism could not have been more fitting.

2. God is not unprepared for such change

There is something truly powerful about seeing 7,500+ men and women gather together with a joint yearning to be fed by the Word of God. It’s always good to be reminded that you and your church are not alone in the world, but that God is raising up, equipping, and strengthening the representatives of thousands of other churches to go out and be a force for the gospel. These servants of Christ, along with those from over 100 countries(!) who were able to join in online to receive the ministry of the Word are God’s chosen instruments to display His power and His glory, to shine His light in a darkening world. Everything is proceeding according to His perfect plan, and we get to be a part of that.

3. Conferences are fantastic, but they can’t replace the local church

It’s hard for a local church to match the singing at T4G. It’s nigh impossible for a local church to match the preaching at T4G. Yet for me, the joy of being at home worshiping with my local church family exceeded it all. It is a good and right thing to go away and be refreshed and strengthened by a conference, but to quote Al Mohler, “the more important work takes place at home.” God’s wisdom dictates where each of us lives, whom each of us knows, and how each of us is uniquely equipped to serve in those places and among those people. Let’s take joy in embracing the wisdom of God’s ways.

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Meekness and Social Media

04/02/2014

Recently my church has been walking through the Beatitudes from Matthew 5, and much has been said about the topic of meekness specifically. An uncommon word for us today, this word “meek” describes an easiness of spirit. To be meek is to live in humble, quiet, peaceful submission to the entirety of God’s will – both as revealed in Scripture and as revealed in the life circumstances He’s given us.

As the topic of meekness has been on my mind, I’ve noticed a particular area of life where most of us are guilty of not displaying meekness: our social media accounts.

With social media, it can be easy to gain an audience and make your voice heard. Most of the time though, what is that voice really being used for? If we’re honest, a sizable chunk of our tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram photos spring forth from narcissistic hearts, not meek ones.

Listen to these quotes describing meek people. Each is followed by some questions for us to consider…

“The meek don’t sit around and think about how anyone or everyone owes them something; they know they’re owed nothing.”

Ask yourself: “Do I use social media to complain, to share with the world how discontent I am with the lot that God and other people have given me today?”

“The meek are not into self-promotion, whether overtly or covertly.”

“Is my motive in posting to make myself look good, or to make God look good? Am I self-promoting, or God-promoting?”

“The meek have stopped grasping for privilege and recognition.”

“Are my selfies posted as cries for attention? Am I secretly hoping the world will affirm my external beauty, or even just my existence?”

I ask these questions not only to expose behavioral problems, but also to help us examine our hearts. If you’re thinking, “I had better start changing the way I use social media so people don’t think I lack meekness,” then you’re targeting the wrong thing. Meekness is an attitude of the heart. Putting on a mask of meekness is not pleasing to God, nor does it address the real issue.

As we consider our sinful tendencies in this area, let’s confess that the root of our sin is beneath the surface. Yes our behavior needs to change, but as we work to change it let us also yearn for and pray for the transforming grace of God where we need it most: in our hearts.

(Photo Credit)


Descriptions of meekness quoted from or inspired by the following sermons: Meekness Toward God, Meekness Toward Our Neighbors, Living Peaceably Together

Worthy Reading

02/19/2014

It All Began with the Young People: Edwards and Youth Ministry

Bijan Mirtolooi

In describing the first revival that Edwards led as a pastor in Northampton, Marsden writes, “It all began with the young people.” A little shocked, I immediately skimmed the pages to see if Marsden anywhere defined “young people.” He did: “young people” were those from their mid-teens into their twenties.

The Myself I Was Yesterday

Tim Challies

It is not difficult to see Satan’s hand in it, is it? He sees that if he can keep men from forming close friendships, he can keep men from forming close spiritual friendships. If Satan can keep men from acting like friends, he can keep them from acting like brothers.

When God Does the Miracle We Didn’t Ask For

Vaneetha Rendall Demski

Countless childhood surgeries. Yearlong stints in the hospital. Verbal and physical bullying from classmates. Multiple miscarriages as a young wife. The unexpected death of a child. A debilitating progressive disease. Riveting pain. Betrayal. A husband who leaves. If it were up to me, I would have written my story differently. Not one of those phrases would be included. Each line represents something hard. Gut wrenching. Life changing. But now, in retrospect, I wouldn’t erase a single line.

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Lingering in God’s Presence

02/13/2014

In the coming days my wife and I will get to celebrate our first Valentine’s weekend of marriage at the Linger Conference, and there is no place we would rather be. The conference seeks to “impart the fundamental importance of remaining or ‘lingering’ in the presence of the King…[and] spark a hunger for the presence of God and a lifelong pursuit of beholding His glory.” 1

As a way of preparing my heart for this time of worship and lingering, I’ve begun meditating on the following verses. Even for those who won’t be at the conference, I pray these verses will be a blessing to us all as we seek the Lord today, tomorrow, and every day He gives us breath.

    Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you. (Psalm 33:20-22)

    I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:13-14)

    The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. (Lamentations 3:25)

    I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. (Psalm 130:5-6)

    For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. (Psalm 62:5)

    They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

    “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)

  1. Quote taken from Linger Conference Vision Statement
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“Glorifying God by Bearing Fruit in Union with Christ”

02/04/2014

Last night the Desiring God Conference for Pastors kicked off with John Piper preaching from John 15:1-11. The message is available here. To help communicate how much his words blessed me, let me say this: despite taking over five pages of notes – which may be a new single-sermon record for me – I still feel like there is more treasure to be found in the sermon. Here is a high-level, condensed version of what I heard…


The best thing in the universe is to be united with Christ, to be “in Christ,” to enjoy union with Christ. When this is fully understood, nothing is greater experientially or theologically. If you grasp this fully, you will have no higher experiences than the enjoyment of this. The reason for focusing on this text is that for many, this place is where the reality of union with Christ moved from being a doctrine to being an experience.

In the paragraph preceding John 15, Jesus says, “I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.” In other words, as Jesus comes to the last hours of His life, He puts the last few hours of His ministry under the Father’s command. The Father is overseeing the whole thing, tending to it all, seeing that everything happens exactly according to plan. When Christ said right after this that He was the vine and His Father the vinedresser, He was using a metaphor to further explain what He had just said.

What is the point of the metaphor? Why did Jesus even give us verse 1 and introduce His Father as the vinedresser? Why didn’t He start with verse 5, if this metaphor is really all about us and Christ? Because the whole paragraph is not explained by, “I am the vine; you are the branches.

Our abiding in the vine is helped by knowing what the vinedresser is there to do. There are two very important works the vinedresser does that Christ wants us to know, and they are directly linked to defection and persecution. What does He do?

1. He takes away fruitless branches

The Father cuts away the lifeless, destroying them (v. 6). The first work of the vinedresser is judgment, and this raises a problem. Can a branch, a disciple of Jesus, have union with Jesus and still be lost and burned? Can we be “in Christ” and then accursed, cut off from Christ? Absolutely not.

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out…And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. (John 6:37, 39)

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (John 10:27-29)

These are the strongest possible statements of assurance for those whom the Father gives to the Son. But there is a kind of attachment to Jesus that is not saving. The difference between the true and false disciple is abiding. In the gospel of John there are “believers” and “disciples” who are not true believers and disciples.

As he was saying these things, many believed in him. So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples” (John 8:30-31)

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. (John 6:66)

The branches in John 15 who are broken off are not true sheep. They are fake Christians, those who defect from the truth.

2. He prunes fruitful branches

The vinedresser’s second task is to cultivate the living. Pruning is cutting, which makes it a sobering picture for a branch.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives…For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:6, 10-11)

This pruning is suffering, persecution.

‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. (John 15:20)

Jesus is saying that His ministry to us is like a vine to a branch – life is flowing, joy is flowing, the experience of His fellowship is flowing – and we may think that’s the sum total of growing in grace, but it is not. Outside of this is the work of the vinedresser. Union with Christ takes place on the inside, and the pruning of the Father is on the outside. Our Father rules the world to magnify and deepen our joy in Jesus. External circumstances serving our internal satisfaction in Jesus.

Don’t begrudge your Father’s pruning work on the outside. The Father is more jealous for our fruit-bearing and communion with Christ than we are. Vinedressers do way more than cut. They water, care for, and do whatever it takes to bring about fruit!

Verses 1-2 begin to set the stage for the imperatives beginning in verse 4, but they don’t do the whole job. Jesus makes it a point to say first in verse 3, “Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.” In the Greek, the word for “prune” is also the word for “clean;” it can be used both ways. The word in verse 3 is in the same Greek family. So we see that John has a play on words going here. This is paralleled a couple chapters back in Jesus and Peter’s conversation over the washing of feet (John 13:8-11).

The willingness in your life to be pruned is a sign that you’re cut, you’re clean, you’re whole, it’s done – already! Jesus has already cleaned His sheep, by the power of His word.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24)

Verse 3 comes before verse 4 because Jesus wanted us to view His commands with the right perspective. He doesn’t want us to think we’re earning salvation, but instead to remember that salvation is already ours. The pruning is done, the cleansing is done, so that we can now embrace the pruning and cleansing! “I will embrace God’s pruning as evidence that I am pruned.”

What is abiding? Verse 11 – “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” Sharing in the joy of Christ. It’s not just Jesus saying, “I want you to be happy, I want you to have joy.” It’s, “I want you to have my joy!” This is the Son of God, whose experience of joy is perfectly full, whose pleasure and delight exceeds all other beings in the universe, saying to us that He wants us to have His joy.

When Jesus says, “Abide in me,” He is saying, “Keep on enjoying with my joy. Don’t disconnect and start enjoying with your joy. You are in me, and I am in you as your all. Receive me and my joy as your joy, hunger and thirst for me and my joy as your joy.”

There are other ways to say what abiding is. Verses 9-10 – “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” What is the Father’s commandment? Keep on loving with His love. Verse 12 – “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” He’s saying, “Live in my love as the flow of your love. I am abiding in my Father’s love, and He is loving through me, so now you do the same with me.” Abiding is to keep on enjoying being loved by Jesus.

One more observation, in verses 6 and 16 – “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you…You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” Fruit is in the foreground, and that fruit is love and joy. Praying for people means praying they would enjoy Christ with the joy of Christ.

Piper has asked himself, “Is the fruit of this text love, joy, peace, or is it people?” And he’s said in response, “What kind of people? People who love with Jesus’ love, people who have the joy of Jesus, the peace of Jesus.” The point of verse 7: “My Father is not idle in His vinedresser duties, so you don’t be idle in praying for my love, joy, and peace to be given to others.”

This sharing in Christ’s love, His joy, His peace, it is not a sharing of essence, but a sharing of nature. God is by nature infinitely loving, infinitely happy, and infinitely calm. So when the branches are united to the vine, they do not become the vine, but they do have Christ’s love, joy, and peace.

To abide is to keep on enjoying Him and His joy as your joy, keep on enjoying Him and His peace as your peace, and keep on enjoying Him and His love as your love.

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Fantasy Worlds Fall Short

01/22/2014

Reading is fun. Since I was a youngling I’ve enjoyed ferociously consuming the works of imaginative authors, finding life within the endless fantasies of books. I have never been, however, the kind of person who would pick up just any book and read it. Many books make for boring reading. Empty words on a page mean nothing to me; stories and people are what I care about.

Until recent years, scarcely did the dreadful words “non-fiction” interest me. Why? Because I found the stories and people of fantasy worlds more interesting than reality. To some that may sound pathetic, while others shout an enthusiastic “Preach it!” If you’re one of the shouters, don’t get overly excited. As you may have gathered from the first three words of this paragraph, I’ve experienced a shift in my affections. Sure I still love fictitious tales, and hope to continue reading “fairy stories” as an old fogey, but the bulk of my reading these days is most accurately termed “non-fiction.”

Why the change? It’s not that all of the sudden I got boring (in fact I don’t ever recall being particularly exciting). Put simply, my vision and understanding of reality improved. While formerly I had seen through a veil of darkness, by grace my eyes opened wide to the glorious Light that filled all things.

A bigger view of reality comes through a bigger view of God. Apart from the Creator there is nothing – no reality, no fantasy. “For from him and through him and to him are all things.” 1 God alone is the greatest reality.

Since God is the epitome of reality, of non-fiction, it would follow that all books are utterly inferior to His Book. The emotions, thoughts, dreams sparked by worlds of fiction find their truest, fullest forms in the person of God as revealed in His Book, also known as Bible, Word, Truth.

Mental assent to Scripture’s supremacy can be made without truly tasting its sweetness. As long as I can remember I’ve worn the merit badge of mental assent. It didn’t stop me from wishing I belonged in worlds of fiction. But now? I rejoice at the inferiority of every fantasy world. Reality is infinitely better. Reality is God.

Idolizing fantasy equals cheating on your Creator. Who can create better than He? Who can write better than He? If you think the story of His Book is less interesting than the latest YA fiction fad, if that’s what your experience has been, you’re in for the most magnificent of surprises. Relinquish the idea that God is some distant, idle cloud-floater. Embrace the God of Scripture – His glory, love, authority, grace, holiness, sovereignty. Trust Him, and measure the reality of knowing Him against the most extravagant of fantasies. In time, by His grace, His Book will excite you, refresh you, guide you. Above all, it will give birth to the greatest joy in your life by plunging you into the amazing depths of intimacy with God.

Then maybe, just maybe, you’ll want to spend more time on non-fiction, just as long as it has to do with the Greatest Reality.

(Photo Credit)

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Reflections from CROSS Conference

12/31/2013

Last night brought to a close the first ever CROSS Conference, a global missions conference targeting college students and leaders. It consisted of four days of preaching, prayer, and music with a focus on bringing the gospel to unreached peoples in the world. I couldn’t make it there myself, but I was able to tune in to most of the conference via live-stream and have compiled some highlights from my notes here. Most of what follows are paraphrases of the speakers, but some also include my personal thoughts as inspired by the preached Word.


Motivation for Missions

The chief end of missions is the supremacy of God in the joy of all peoples. Zeal for the supremacy of God includes zeal for the joy of all peoples. You cannot biblically have one without the other. (Piper)

When Paul says, “to live is Christ,” he does so with a deep-seated conviction, because he knows that every other way of living is bankrupt. Every day we are being discipled. Every commercial, every movie, every sitcom seeking to deceive us, leading us to believe that things like comfort, toys, trinkets, and family are life. But Paul knows it is all worthless without Christ. He had seen wealth, he had seen worldly lifestyles, and he knew with all confidence that they were all bankrupt. “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.1 Nothing can compare with Christ. (Chandler)

Are we trying to use Jesus to get what we want, or is He what we want? Until Christ is our treasure, any other motivation to head out on mission makes it a fool’s errand. (Chandler)

The beginning of Romans 9 shows that Paul had such love for his Jewish brothers that he wished he could be sent to hell if it meant their salvation. These were Jews, many of whom were waiting to arrest and murder him. They had made themselves Paul’s enemies. Yet he loved them. How? Because of the glorious truths of the gospel. (Platt)

Fearlessly Proclaiming the Gospel

The eagerness of Paul found in Romans 1:15 has a reason behind it. How do you become eager to proclaim the gospel? Verse 16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel.” If we’re not ashamed of the gospel, we can be eager about proclaiming it! How then do you become unashamed? Paul answers that too – “for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” Paul has seen the power. He has seen that the Lord is faithful to transform the lives of lost, hopeless sinners. He knows the power of the gospel, so he is absolutely unashamed of it, and he is eager to proclaim it. (Anyabwile)

We must so believe this good news that we can say with Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” Death has been killed in the person of Christ. Do we really believe? Do we embrace the freedom of this truth? Or do we still live in fear of death? The unsaved peoples of the world are bound by fear. We have the answer to their freedom. We have the good news, the key to life. How can we still live in fear like them? (Mbewe)

To understand that death is gain is to find freedom from all kinds of fear. Realizing death is gain leads to the fullest of life. “You can kill us, but you can’t do us any real harm.” (Chandler)

Different Roles in Missions

In Romans 15, Paul has looked around and declares that there was no more work for him where he was, because he desired to preach the gospel in places it was not. Some believers stayed in places that had already been reached, like Timothy, but others like Paul stayed on the move, preaching the Word in new places among new peoples. There is a place for Paul-like missionaries and Timothy-like missionaries in the work of the Great Commission. (Platt)

The Beauty of Election in Missions

There is a chosen portion to whom God has granted salvation. This is amazing news because it guarantees the success of missions. Missionaries cannot save, but God does save, and He chooses to save through chosen missionaries. The doctrine of election means we can be humble when people are saved, and hopeful when people are not saved. (DeYoung)

Right now, at this moment, they’re out there. We sit here with our Bibles open, there’s an expectancy in our hearts. But right now, all over the world, there are men and women all over the world who know nothing of Jesus Christ, nothing of the gospel. But right now, God is working His plan to bring the good news to them as we listen, as we read, as we pray. In Iraq, Iran, and other places where we may think, “No way!” God is reaching down to deliver His children from among those peoples, out of those places. And in this cosmic case of “take-your-kids-to-work day,” we get to participate in this work with Him. (Chandler)

When we begin to think of the scary places, the hard places, the difficult ones, Paul loudly proclaims to us, “I was among them! I was a murderer! I was a terrorist! And the Lord reached me.” Note: “the Lord reached me.” Saul of Tarsus was not a seeker. And Jesus didn’t care. He kicks him off his horse, blinds his eyes, and saves him. Why? Because He was one of the elect. Galatians 1:15-16 – “But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me…” (Chandler)

  1. Philippians 3:8

Worthy Reading

12/06/2013

‘The Calvinist’: Verse, Video, Vision for All of Life

John Piper

I wrote this poem called “The Calvinist” to capture a glimpse of God’s sovereign intersection with the life of a sinful man. There is no part of life where the greatness of God does not penetrate deeply. I want to help you feel that.

Marriage and One-Way Love

Tullian Tchividjian

A marriage flavored by one-way love eschews score-keeping at all costs. It is not a fifty-fifty proposition, where I scratch your back and then you scratch mine. A grace-centered marriage is one in which both partners give 100 percent of themselves. They give up their right to talk about rights.

Piper, Platt, and Chandler on God’s Goodness in Your Pain

Matt Smethurst

So long as this broken world endures, suffering will remain a painfully relevant subject. It’s not far from any of us. As Christians we know we’re supposed to lean on God, but what kind of God is he? In light of all the heartache and sadness that plague our lives, is he really worth our trust?

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