God’s boundary lines are an authoritative gift of his grace. In fact, the giving of the Law itself to the Israelites in the book of Exodus is a loving act of God’s favor extended to his people.
Photo: Sylwia Bartyzel, Unsplash
Now, authoritative law-giving and grace aren’t often closely associated with one another in the minds of many, because Mount Sinai generally correlates in our thoughts with thunder, lightning, thick clouds, fire, trembling, and rules. We see the giving of the Law as pretty scary, but all of the jarring noise and breathtaking visuals were more likely akin to a school teacher in front of an unruly room of students, calling for their attention and shouting, “Class! Class! Listen up! I’m going to speak now about something that’s extremely important.”
If there’s anything the term “social distancing” has taught us, it’s that most people don’t like social distancing. Humans are hardwired to live in deep need of community, despite what all the introvert memes might joke about.
Photo: Unsplash, Helena Lopes
The Christian life is always meant to be experienced in the context of community and association with fellow believers. There is a great deal of relational health in godly community, and I’ve seen its benefits up close. People grow when they’re rubbing shoulders with like-minded followers of Christ who share their resources, keep one another accountable for godly living, put their phones down, and talk with each other.
Going without physical food will yield pretty terrible results in your life, including malnourishment, extreme fatigue, organ failure, and eventually death. We as living human beings need food in order to function, let alone thrive.
Photo: Unsplash, Hayden Scott
Similarly, as Christians, we need the spiritual food of God’s Word to function and thrive. Without regular intake of reading and absorbing the Scriptures, we will become spiritually malnourished and thus susceptible to all kinds of attacks and injuries to take us out of the race in pursuit of God.
I’m reminded here of the section in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair when the evil Witch-Queen of Underland is attempting to bewitch the story’s four heroes, Jill, Eustace, Prince Rilian, and Puddleglum. She has them cornered in a room and Prince Rilian is demanding they be set free from Underland and return to Narnia.
Before you vote on Tuesday, listen to this important conversation I had with Keith Simon and Patrick Miller—the guys from Truth Over Tribe.
Where do you pledge your allegiance? Is it to a specific political party or is it to Jesus? These kinds of conversations are INCREDIBLY important as we examine what it means to be loyal to Jesus over all else. I loved talking with Patrick and Keith, and I think you’ll really benefit from listening to this episode of Real Life Loading… wherever you get your podcasts.
I’m thrilled to say that the very first episode of Real Life Loading… is now available wherever you get your podcasts. And to kick it off with the best of the best of guests, we’ve got the one and only Heather Holleman helping us wade through Taylor Swift opinions, contentment in Christ, TikTok jealousy, and how to view yourself as a sent believer in Christ (amongst other important topics).
I loved my conversation with Heather, and I think you will too. Search for Real Life Loading… on any podcast platform and you’ll find us. New episodes every Friday!
As much as we despise authority in our lives, human beings are in dire need of God’s authoritative rule.
Photo: Daria Volkova, Unsplash
And as culture tries to manufacture the utopian society it craves without the reign and rule of God, it must quickly recognize that it’s entirely impossible to fabricate what one pastor and author calls, “The kingdom without the King.”1
I don’t know who you think you are. That’s what Chris said to me, followed by some unsavory name-calling that genuinely hurt my feelings.
Photo: Luis Quintero, Unsplash
His reaction was strong—much stronger than I anticipated when I decided to hold him accountable to making more godly choices than he had in his recent past before he knew Jesus.
Chris was a sophomore in college, and I hadn’t seen him since he left Ocean City, Maryland seven months previous. I heard through another student that he had started drinking again and was back in the thick of the hard-partying lifestyle he committed to leaving only a few months before he arrived in Ocean City for the ten-week long summer mission I run each year.
I have been a full-time missionary working with college students for over twenty years, so I’ve seen students make the kind of choices Chris was making plenty of times before. But that didn’t make what he said to me any less painful.
Rechab Gray, Paul Tripp, Me
In this month’s episode of The Connecting Podcast, Rechab Gray joins Paul Tripp and me to answer some important questions about the beauty of God’s grace, and the wonder of the gospel.
Rechab is a dear friend of Paul’s and a new friend of mine! He’s a gifted preacher, currently planting New Creation Fellowship in Orlando, Florida. He has been married to his wife Brittany since 2009 and they have four amazing children.
You can listen to the episode HERE or click the image above to watch it on YouTube.
In this month’s episode, Paul and I are excited to introduce you to someone special – Lois Kehlenbrink.
Lois is a biblical counselor and a licensed marriage and family therapist. She worked at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City for several years, and she also happens to be the sister of Paul’s wife, Luella.
Lois trains and counselors pastors, their wives, and ministry leaders all around the world. In this interview, you’ll experience how the gospel truly connects to and transforms everyday life.