Check out

Raising a pure son in a sex-crazed world
“Here are 10 things I’m doing as a mother to a boy to fight against the triple threat of porn, aggressive girls, and ultimately premarital sex.” 

Call your people to marketable skills and degrees
“Pastors, we need to be equipping our parents and their teenagers to make wise Kingdom advancing decisions when it comes to selecting a college major or obtaining a marketable skill.  They need to make such decisions in light of what would best position them in the global market for making disciples and planting churches across North America and the world.”

Sanctification: Take it for granted?
An ex-Muslim’s testimony about the difference between Christian and Muslim sanctification.

Powlison on whether sanctification is only by remembering our justification
David Powlison: “Those who have had their Christian life revolutionized by awakening to the significance of justification by faith dare not extrapolate that to everyone else. One pattern of Christ’s working (even a pattern common to many people) should not overshadow all the other patterns.”

The resurrection of Christ in the Old Testament
Matthew Barrett with an excellent brief survey of Old Testament teaching.

Women Under Stress
Trillia Newbell interviews Randy Alcorn and his wife Nanci about their new book.


6 Possible Responses to the Gospel Call

Yesterday we looked at the Gospel call from God’s side. Today let’s look at it from our side and consider six possible responses to God’s Gospel invitation we find in Matthew 22:

1. Apathy: Some “were not willing to come” (v. 2). No big deal, no furore, no emotion. They just simply decided not to come. It put them neither up nor down. Just, “No thanks!”

2. Amusement: Some “made light of it” (v. 5). Bit of a laugh, really. Snigger, snigger. “You’ve got to be kidding me, right?”

3. Activity: “They went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business” (v. 5). Sloth has killed its thousands; but busyness has killed its tens of millions.

4. Aggression: “The rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them” (v. 6). We can’t kill the message, but we can kill the messengers. And that can be done by razor-sharp tongues as well as by double-edged swords.

5. Act: One man came but rejected the wedding garment provided by the king (v. 11). He wanted to be there on his own terms, felt he was fine just as he was. But the king could see through the act, the pretended love. He unmasked him, and threw him out.

6. Acceptance: “The wedding hall was filled with guests” (v. 10). Both “good” and “bad” were there. These are relative terms for two kinds of sinners – the outwardly upright and the outwardly evil. As someone said, it reminds us “that the good still need the Gospel, and the bad can still have the Gospel.

R.S.V.P.


Check out

Why we need character over charisma in our Christian leaders
“At 20schemes we want recruit men and women who must understand that they need to have Godly character if they are to succeed long term in ministry.”

Your Phone vs. Your Heart
An extremely important article explaining how our cellphones are actually changing our brains.

The Truth of the Cross
Free eBook by R.C. Sproul.

How to write six important papers a year without breaking sweat
I’ve been beating the drum for deep immersion for a long time.  Although everything in our culture and churches militate against it, yet it’s the key to long-term quality work.

Grace and legalism: two misunderstood terms
“Obedience to God’s law is not legalism. Obedience to God’s law in an effort to earn favor from God is legalism.”

10 Practical tools when visiting new parents in hospital
As someone who’s “expecting” to be on the receiving end in six weeks time, I’d add: If possible, phone ahead first and ask if it’s OK.


12 Characteristics of the Gospel Call

The parable of the royal wedding invitation in Matthew 22 illustrates twelve characteristics of the Gospel Call:

1. A Divine Call: Although the Gospel comes to us through the mouths of His servants, it is the Sovereign God who ultimately issues the invitation (v. 2)

2. A Well-timed Call: Just as wedding invitations are issued when everything is in place, so the Gospel invitation comes when God has everything in place, ready, and waiting (4).

3. A Personal Call: A person (God), calls people (us), to a person (His Son). It’s not a call to a system, or a philosophy, or an experience, but to a person, the Son of God (2).

4. A Doctrinal Call: Although it’s a call to a person and not just to some facts, the person is defined by facts, by propositional truth. You need to know something about the Son to want to come to His wedding (2)

5. A Generous Call: Look at what God has prepared in His Son – Rich food for the hungry, cool water for the thirsty, deep joy for the sad, warm company for the lonely, full forgiveness for the guilty (4).

6. A Gracious Call: Look at who God invites. He sends his servants out to the highways and byways, to call as many as they can find, “both good and bad,” implying that the “good” still need the Gospel and the “bad” can still have the Gospel (9-10)

7. A Wide Call: God does not just call the elect, but as many as His servants can find. The question, therefore, is not, “Am I one of the elect?” but, “Am I one of the human race?” If so, I’m invited (9).

8. A Sincere Call: God does not send out invited hoping people do not come. Look at the repetition, the passion, and the persuasion in His invites (2,4,10).

9. A Patient Call: He invites again, and again, and again.

10. A Simple Call: “Come to my Son’s wedding (4).” What’s so complicated about that? Why do we complicate it so much then?

11. A Solemn Call: Unlike most invitations where a refusal does not carry too many consequences, continued rejection of God’s invite eventually results in divine punishment (7).

12. A Successful Call: Although many refuse and reject, many do accept. The wedding is furnished with guests and there are no empty seats (10).

Are you coming?


Check out

6 Reasons we wrote “Raised”
Also download Jonathan Dodson and Brad Watson’s free eBook on the resurrection.

Let us not be cruel to ourselves
The bold sentences in this Richard Sibbes piece are some of the most soul-encouraging words I’ve read in a long time.

Sorry seems to be the hardest word
Thought provoking piece on when preachers should apologize.

Robot helps teach kids with autism
Now that’s a great use of technology.

Depression and the business owner
Rarely discussed connection.

Despite America’s consumerist pace, leaders must rest
Works well in conjunction with previous link.