Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Padkos – November 2015

40 Thoughts For 40th Birthday –  Jared C Wilson

7 Subtle Symptoms of Pride –  Fabienne Harford   ( 7 points from Jonathan Edwards)

You Can’t Serve God and EntertainmentPhilip Holmes

My Spouse Is My Best Friend?Mark Jones

Miscarriage And The Confusion of Sinful GriefJamie Carlson

What is Holding You Back?Laura Elliot  “So reader, where does that leave you? What is "your thing," and why aren't you doing it?”

6 Assassins of Man’s ContentmentDarrin Patrick   “Contentment is the fuel for a life well-lived. “

The Songs of Jesus  - Tim Keller

Protect Your MarriageJim Newheiser

You Are Meant To Move MountainsJon Bloom 

How would you live differently if you really believed that nothing would be impossible for you?

Don’t let cynicism squelch that question. Our lightning quick and loud unbelief is not commendable. It is perverse, twisted. It robs us of more than we know. When contemplating such a question, it can be tempting for some of us to quickly point to the errors of the word-of-faith movement and reaffirm that we aren’t going to fall in that ditch. Good. We should not. But that does not excuse us to live at peace with little faith and impotence in kingdom ministry.”

Hardwired For AwePaul Tripp 

An Identity That Can Handle Either Success of FailureTimothy Keller (video)

Bad Doctrine Versus Heresy

Timothy Keller on the Psalms

7 Sentimental Lies You Might Believe

Monday, November 2, 2015

Padkos–October 2015

The Battle Larger Than A Culture War  –  Trevin Wax  “The character of God’s kingdom people in a secular age must be holy. For this reason, the battle against fleshly desires is always bigger than any cultural battle.”

Speck Removing  –  John Piper  “ So when Danny asks, “How can we ever know with certainty that we see clearly enough to take the specks out of another person’s eyes?” my answer is, “Certainty is not the issue here, Danny. Humility, Scripture, prayer, and love are the issue. God has set up the church so that imperfect, fallible, even uncertain people are called upon to rescue each other. Don’t let uncertainty excuse you from obedience. If someone is drowning and you can swim, but you are not certain you would have enough strength to pull them all the way back to the land, and there is no other way to save them, what does love do? Don’t make a god out of certainty. It may prove to be a cloak for fear of drowning.”

Consistent Spiritual Discipline – Not Legalism  - John Piper  Excerpt from a 1991 sermon…might as well have been last weekend!

Frequently Abused Verses – God’s Goodness Leads to RepentanceGrace To You blog   “It is impossible to preach the goodness of God without talking about sin and judgment because its very meaning is bound up in those terms. When we see our sinfulness and rebellion against God, and when we see our hypocrisy in condemning others for committing the same wrath-deserving sins, then we can also marvel at God’s goodness in patiently and tolerantly withholding the wrath that we deserve.”

Is The Social Gospel The Whole Gospel?Grace To You Blog  “So where does that leave works of social justice such as feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, and caring for the oppressed? No one would argue that they are bad things to do. Indeed James defines them as integral to pure religion (James 1:27). But do those acts of mercy have any role to play in a person’s salvation?”

The TrinityRC Sproul  I’ve never heard the Trinity explained like this…

Christian Art – Why?Mark Altrogge

Early Warning Signs of AOCStephen Altrogge

Maturing Well, Not AgingBarnabas Piper

GK Chesterton Engaging With Culture  - Trevin Wax  “Chesterton was a big man (in more ways than one) who made a big splash. How did he engage his culture and why does he still matter? I offer four reasons:”

Book Review – Stop Your ComplainingTim Challis  “If you read a book like this one and come away with two simple things—a deeper disgust of complaining and a heightened desire for gratitude—your time has been well-spent. And I think that is what you will find if you read it.Stop Your Complaining is short but not trite, light but still significant. It’s exactly the book I needed today.” [reminded me of Jerry Benjamin’s book on ‘Murmuring’]

Kevin DeYoung on PG Wodehouse

When Depression DescendsJohn Piper Audio (full message HERE)

Memorizing an Entire BookAndy Naselli  (includes Vimeo link to video)

Sermon Audio

Don’t Coddle Your FearsJon Bloom

7 Ways to Grow Without SeminaryNancy Guthrie

19 Turning PointsJustin Taylor

Glorify God in Grey AreasGrace To You blog

Mysticism – FAQJustin Taylor

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September 2015 Padkos

From a series on ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ on The Grace To You blog




A Basketful of Encouragement  –  Linda Green 

DependenceRandy Alcorn  “Charles Hummel wrote that “the root of all sin is self-sufficiency—independence from God.” God has taught me that whether we write or build or draw or fix things or make a home for our families, He wants us to yield our gifts to Him, and depend on Him for the next step, even the next breath.”


Age of AuthenticityKevin DeYoung

“In a day where people disdain hypocrisy more than any other vice and prize transparency more than any other virtue, you can be as obnoxious as you want to be, fail spectacularly, and sin repeatedly, as long as you never pretend to be any better than you really are. It makes no difference what errors you say, think, or do, if only you are true to yourself. This is life in the Age of Authenticity.”

“Perhaps the biggest danger of all in the Age of Authenticity is that our authentic self gets misplaced. For those who have been joined to Christ through the miracle of faith and the power of the Holy Spirit, being true to ourselves means being true to Christ in us.  Remember, it was the Gnostics who peddled the false gospel of salvation-through-self-awareness, while the authentic gospel promised something better than authenticity. The New Testament says little about getting in touch with the real you and a lot about walking in step with the real Him. If you follow the logic of Matthew 23 it becomes clear that hypocrisy is essentially saying one thing and doing another. Let’s not make the mistake of thinking that what we do or think or feel matters less than whether we admit to doing and thinking and feeling those things. To act in a way that is right and proper, even when you feel something different, is not hypocrisy. It’s called maturity.”

“Authenticity is not to be confused with repentance.”

“To act in a way that is right and proper, even when you feel something different, is not hypocrisy. It’s called maturity.”


Making Time For BooksHugh McGuire  “I started to wonder: could training myself to read books again help me manage the digital information stress in the rest of my life? Could the cure for too much information be slower information? In the same way that snake venom can be used to produce curative antivenom, I wondered whether that old, slower form of information delivery—books—could act as a kind of antidote to the stress caused by the constant flow of new digital information. Whether my inability to sustain my focus—at work, home, and on reading books—could be cured by finding ways to once again sustain my focus…on a book.”


  Samson & GideonGrace To You Blog– (see the whole series )

``Spiritual victory and usefulness begin with genuine humility, brokenness, and self-distrust—turning to God as the only true power.``

3 Types of FoolTim Challis

 Legalism or Discipline?   - Sarah Walton  “Godly disciplines are not legalistic. Rather, they are the appropriate and wise response of a chosen, forgiven, and redeemed child of God.”

“For that reason, it is beneficial for us all to seek wisdom in prayer, counsel, and the Word to see if there are areas in our lives that may require us to put new habits and disciplines in place for the purpose of laying aside anything that does not help us run well. For each of us, this will look different, but with the same goal in mind. May we spur each other on to this! Not in a guilt-ridden, legalistic way, but as fellow racers, encouraging one another towards the upward call we have in Christ Jesus.”

3 Objections to the Doctrine of Election  - Tim Keller

Reading Better, Retaining MoreTrevin Wax    “Most good books are good precisely because there is one main thought you walk away with. If you are unable to summarize a book in a couple sentences, or easily assess the contribution it makes to the topic it covers, either you are a muddled reader or the book came from a muddled thinker.”

Partially Hydrogenated Bible Studies  - Jen Wilkin

Don’t Be A Sucker John Piper – video

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Padkos - August 2015

What to Do While You’re Waiting On God   - Linda Green  (the listed items look good, have yet to read the whole article)
Thin Is A Western Cult  -  Sam Kee  “As I listened, I noticed that a huge assumption was driving their defense: thin is beautiful.  I thought to myself, “You’ve bought into the lie!”  I was hoping they’d refuse to acknowledge the premise of “thin,” which has become a Western cult.”
Gentle Selfishness  - “But a gentle selfishness, because of its very gentleness, is subtle, deceptive, and far more difficult to detect than the blatant kind.”
“Gentle selfishness is dangerous exactly because others can’t always see it and it seems harmless, so it hardens us in our sinful inward focus. It is the subtlety of this selfishness that is the problem, and we all have it. Godly gentleness will actually help us kill selfishness, because it is not weakness, but controlled strength. Christ displayed this perfectly; selflessness that was gentle even in the face of crucifixion, so that He could pray, “Father, forgive them.” His saving selflessness is not only the source of our forgiveness, but also the power to break even the gentle selfishness in our own lives.”
Loving Without Hypocrisy  - John MacArthur  “The authenticating mark of our Christianity, before an unbelieving world, is our love for other believers. Jesus affirmed this when He said; “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another””
But what does this kind of love look like? A brief survey of the one anothers in the New Testament gives an excellent picture. We are commanded to: Build up one another (Romans 14:19); serve one another (Galatians 5:13); bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2); be subject to one another (Ephesians 5:21); forgive one another (Colossians 3:13); teach one another (Colossians 3:16); comfort one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18); rebuke one another (Titus 1:13); encourage one another to do good (Hebrews 10:24-25); confess our sins to one another (James 5:16); pray for one another (James 5:16); and be hospitable to one another (1 Peter 4:9-10).
Be Careful of Nice PeopleTim Challis  “As human beings, it seems that we are drawn to niceness. We like nice people and encourage people to behave in nice ways. We dislike people who aren’t nice or who don’t behave in nice ways. We teach our children to be nice and juxtapose niceness with a host of vices: grumpiness, cruelty, mean-spiritedness.”
“Why isn’t niceness a fruit of the Spirit? Because niceness is a hollow trait that a human can generate even without the inner working of the Holy Spirit. Niceness may require some force of will in the face of disagreement or controversy. It may require restraint. But it does not require an inward transformation.”
How to Repent Without Really RepentingJim Elliff
Vintage KindnessBryan Loritts   “Kindness has often been confused with niceness, and this is unfortunate.”
2 Ways a Christian Can Defeat HimselfTrevin Wax quotes Francis Schaeffer
A Christian can defeat himself in two ways: one is to forget the holiness of God and the fact that sin is sin. The Bible calls us to an ever deeper commitment in giving ourselves to Christ for him to produce his fruit through us.
The other is to allow himself to be worn out by Christians who turn Christianity into a romanticism. The realism of the Bible is that God does not excuse sin, but neither is he finished with us when he finds sin in us. And for this we should be thankful.
– Francis Schaeffer, No Little People
Jesus is Praying For YouJohn Piper  - Great video! “In five minutes, John Piper talks about the daily warfare for your faith. With Satan against you, and temptation around every corner, how do you know you will be a believer tomorrow morning? Piper reminds us about the seriousness of Satan’s desire for you and the absolute security we have in Christ.”
Jesus And The Journey To Joy  - John Piper  - “If it’s true that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him, as we saw in Philippians 1:20–21, then joy or satisfaction in God is a mandate. It’s not optional. If we say joy in God is icing on the cake or a caboose on the train, then we’re saying glorifying God fully is icing on the cake. It isn’t.” Read more at

Watershed Differences Between Calvinists and ArminiansJohn Piper (audio and transcript)  “Or I might say it like this: You can tell if someone is an Arminian or a Calvinist by how they answer the question, “What was the decisive cause of your faith in Christ?” So you go up to somebody and you ask, “What was the decisive cause of your faith in Christ? Was it God or was it yourself?” And the Calvinist says, “The decisive cause of my faith was God” and the Arminian says, “The decisive cause of my faith in Christ is myself.”

The Way Is Hard But He Is Strong –  Jon Bloom  “Hell’s one primary objective is to destroy faith in God. All of its elaborate strategies and all of its diabolical energies are focused on one thing: breaking the power of the word of the Lord by undermining our trust in it. The universe was created and is upheld by the Word of God (John 1:3, Hebrews 1:3), so hell must break the power of the Word of the God, if it wants to win.”
3 Things To Remember Before You Criticize –  Justin Taylor  “Critique done poorly—whether through overstatement, misunderstanding, caricature—is a losing proposition for all. It undermines the credibility of the critic and deprives the one being criticized from the opportunity to improve his or her position.”
Inhabiting The Psalms  –  Heather Walker Peterson  “The Psalms were the hymnbook of Jesus’ time, and the Scripture most quoted by him in the Gospels.”
The Armour of God - Doug Batchelor
Finding Truth, by Nancy Pearcy - Book Review by Tim Challis. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A Christian can defeat himself in two ways: one is to forget the holiness of God and the fact that sin is sin. The Bible calls us to an ever deeper commitment in giving ourselves to Christ for him to produce his fruit through us.
The other is to allow himself to be worn out by Christians who turn Christianity into a romanticism. The realism of the Bible is that God does not excuse sin, but neither is he finished with us when he finds sin in us. And for this we should be thankful.
– Francis Schaeffer, No Little People

Friday, July 31, 2015

Padkos July 2015

Why God Makes You Wait – Tim Challis. The articles from this series has been very good. Well worth looking back at.

4 Tips For Dealing With ProcrastinationTim Challis . “…we can masquerade as efficient people by doing many things, but still neglect the most important things.” “I need to use the best of my day to do the single most important thing. It is a hard discipline, but a very important one.” “First, I had to see this: Procrastination is a problem of spirituality before it is a problem of productivity.” “Second, I had to learn a very important lesson: Not all procrastination is bad.””The first is to do the hardest thing on your list first.””My second tip is to break big tasks into small ones.”

Controversy or ComplacencyTim Challis  “As I thought about controversy and complacency, I realized that in my own way and in different contexts I am prone to both of them.”

Suffering – For Others’ Sake  - Dave Zuleger  “

God means for us to not let our suffering become an excuse to keep our weakness hidden or to just focus on ourselves. Rather, we show a beautiful display of the gospel and of the very comfort of Christ as we let others in to see our weakness in order to say Christ’s strength is strong enough for them — theirweakness, their pain, their suffering. We beautifully display the goodness of the gospel as we turn our eyes upward to God and then outward to others to be hismeans of comfort for them. Then, we will redeem our suffering — or better, we will realize one of God’s good purposes for it.

We must be ready to share our comfort in the midst of suffering, because God’s glory is at stake and because the sufferers are many.”


20 Quotes From Rosaria Butterfield’s New Book   -  Matt Smethurst   “The image of me and everyone I love suffering in hell crashed over me like shark-infested waves of a raging sea. Suffering in hell not because we were gay, but because we were proud. We wanted to be autonomous. . . . I counted the costs and I did not like the math.”

“I want you to know from what country I emigrated, and in which country my citizenship permanently and eternally resides. I’m not a native speaker of this country. No real convert is. I will always speak in broken godliness, as new paradigms reread old feelings.”

“God is calling us to so greatly love others that we do not desire for them anything that might separate them from God.”

When to Cover When to ConfrontRay Ortlund      “An impulsive rebuke, when covering is called for, scars the Body of Christ.  A cowardly covering, when a rebuke is called for, weakens the Body of Christ.  But our gentle covering of a multitude of shortcomings, with rare but brave rebukes for betrayals of the gospel, strengthens the Body of Christ.”   [A brief summary for a difficult subject to put in practise…]

Do Not Underestimate Your AdversaryJon Bloom  “Scripture teaches us that what we see happening in the world is only part of the story. There’s a whole dimension to reality that wields a direct and very powerful influence in our experience and yet is largely outside of our perception.”

Instead of WorryingTim Witmer

Eternal Perspectives  –   Randy Alcorn     “After all, what will last forever? God. God’s Word. People. Spending time in God’s Word and investing in people will pay off in eternity and bring me happiness and perspective now. This life need not be wasted. In small and often unnoticed acts of service to Christ, we can invest this life in eternity, where today’s faithfulness will forever pay rich dividends.”

7 Subtle Symptoms of Pride  - Fabienne Harford

Undetected Spiritual PrideJonathan Edwards

Online Theological Sources –  Nathan Busenitz   (for study help)

Bible Meditation For Beginners - Kari

5x5x5 Bible ReadingNavigators

The Bible Project (You Tube)  Books of the Bible & Bible themes

The Bible Project (website)

Are You a Superstitious Calvinist?  - Stephen Witmer   “But isn’t this how we often think, feel, and act — even those of us who are Calvinists? We live as though the people who hurt and harm us are writing their own damaging scripts rather than fulfilling the sovereign plan of God.”

Look At The Book –  John Piper  scroll past the first bit for a 14 part listing

How To Explain Sin – useful to an extent….

Look At The Book – Romans 9John Piper

Questions & Answers – Ligonier 2000 Conference

Exceptionally Ordinary  - Nick Horton  “ God did not call us to impact the world. He called us to faith and repentance.”

Sunday, July 19, 2015

"Faith in the biblical sense is substantive, based on the knowledge that the One in whom that faith is placed has proven that He is worthy of that trust.
In its essence, faith is a confidence in the person of Jesus Christ and in His power, so that even when His power does not serve my end, my confidence in Him remains because of who He is." 
                                                                                                                            Ravi Zacharias

Thursday, July 2, 2015

“Panic and pessimism are out of order for a worldview anchored in belief in an omnipotent God, irresistible grace, and an eternal heaven.” - Gavin Ortlund

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Padkos–June 2015

  Whatever Happened To Sin?Jeremiah Johnson   “those who refuse to acknowledge their sinfulness actually place themselves in bondage to their own guilt” Although I hear what he says about issues such as depression, I’m sorry John MacArthur did not explain himself better in the quoted passage. All in all an excellent article.

Who Decides What Sin Is?  - Jeremiah Johnson  “Whenever Christians fail to take sin as seriously as God does, we’re effectively saying His Word doesn’t apply to us. It’s a practical stiff arm to everything Scripture teaches about holiness, sin, and God’s righteous wrath.”

3 Reasons to Encourage OthersPaula Hendricks  “How could the truth that Jesus is returning soon encourage your friend in what they’re facing right now?”

Encouraging Without Even TryingPaula Hendricks

10 Steps To Writing An Encouraging Letter  -  Paula Hendricks  “The main thing is: Are you available to share God’s encouragement with others who desperately need it?”

Christlike Versus Like Christ –  Peter Mead  “This means that Christlikeness will not flow primarily from Christlikeness explained and demanded.  Christlikeness will come  from liking Christ, from loving Him, from knowing and worshipping Him.” “Christlikeness isn’t the goal of preaching for sanctification, it is the fruit.”

Reasons We Don’t Read Our Bibles  –  Erik Raymond “Let’s be honest: if you don’t read your Bible it is because you don’t want to read your Bible. And to bottom line this further, this is indicative or your relationship with God. We cannot separate a love for the Word of God and the God of the Word.”

When God Bids Farewell  Part 1 – Ravi Zacharias

When God Bids Farewell  Part 2– Ravi Zacharias  The whole series HERE

Self Pity RefresherEric Davis   “Self-pity: a self-absorbed, feeling sorry for oneself fuelled by a high view of self, a low view of God, and an attitude of entitlement.”

You Can’t Serve God And Entertainment  –  Phillip Holmes “If we devote inordinate amounts of time, money, and affection to anything, including entertainment, we will despise whatever draws us away. We’ve all been faced with the choice between spending time in prayer and God’s word or spending time with entertainment. At the crux of these crossroads, the all-satisfying gift of Jesus is pit against the temporal promises of entertainment. Whichever road is chosen increases hatred for the path denied.”

“Entertainment over-promises but under-delivers. It is unable to satisfy what our hearts truly long for. We want rest. We want comfort. But entertainment can only offer a temporary fix. As soon as we wake up from hours of binging on Netflix or scrolling through social media, our problems remain, still waiting to be confronted. And we’re faced with the truth that all we’ve done is put off the inevitable.”

“Addiction to entertainment is similar. The physical and health effects may not be as striking as heroin, but the spiritual effects are costly. We chase mindless entertainment hoping for relief for our souls, but instead all it really can promise is death. It distracts us from the highest and ultimate good with a mirage of happiness and comfort.”

“I have never walked away disappointed when I’ve pursued my joy in God through prayer and Bible reading, reminded myself of his promises in the gospel, repented of my sin, and cried out to God for comfort. Were all of my problems solved? No. But my joy was restored, and my soul had feasted on his promises. Likewise, every time I’ve used entertainment as a means of relief for my soul, I was left wanting and unsatisfied.”

“Here we uncover the beauty of our wonderful master and realize that Jesus is better. In communion with him, we experience lasting joy that entertainment can only promise but never provide.”

Our Culture Of Reading   –  Matthew Lee Anderson  “The false hurry that so many of us (this author included) are dominated by is not a recognition of the importance of this life, but a denial of eternity. For as George MacDonald once put it, “Of all things, time is the cheapest.”

12 Questions For a 6 Month Spiritual CheckupThom Rainer 

Proverbs 31 ManJA Medders

Worship In A Selfie World  - Stephen Miller   “If we are going to learn to worship in a selfie world, we must continually look beyond our musical preferences, sentimental nostalgia, and contextual idealism, in order to gaze with wonder and awe at the character and acts of our mighty King and Saviour.”

Prayers From The Bible  - Colin Smith “How do you pray? Prayers that are rooted in Scripture are guaranteed to be aligned with the heart of God. Here is a list of 15 powerful prayers from the Bible that you can use word-for-word or to spur on your own prayers:”

Conquer The GrumblesMichael Herrington  “But what comes out of my mouth when things don’t go my way indicates whose kingdom I serve.”

5 Questions to Ask The Text HB Charles  “To get the right answers in your study of scripture, you must ask the right questions. This is called inductive Bible study.”

Why Would God Choose Me?John Piper (also links to ‘Look At The Book’ studies on election)

Calvinism & Arminiasm  - John Piper

Complaining Without Grumbling  - Jon Bloom   “So go ahead and complain to God, but don’t grumble. Learn from the lamenting psalmists how to be a faithful complainer.”

Suffering Is Not For NothingElisabeth Elliot series of talks

Accountability QuestionsBrad Hambrick   ( I too much prefer to talk about friendship rather than use words such as ‘accountability’ ‘authentic’ etc UGH!!!)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Elisabeth Elliot

"This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness. "

"Trust in God, obey him, and do the next thing."

―Elisabeth Elliot     

Friday, June 5, 2015

Remedy For Idolatry

From this article - Remedy Our Idolatry

"France’s foremost preacher of the nineteenth century, Adolphe Monod, explained the mystery of this truth in a most profound way: “I strive to live in the communion of Jesus Christ—praying to Him, waiting for Him, speaking to Him, hearing Him, and, in a word, constantly bearing witness to Him day and night; all which would be idolatry if He were not God, and God in the highest sense of the word, the highest that the human mind is capable of giving to that sublime name.”"

Monday, June 1, 2015

Padkos May 2015

Christian Apps Jeffrey Kranz “This map pulls together Christian apps of all kinds: from native iOS and Android, Web-based, desktop software, and even a PowerPoint plugin. It’s not a comprehensive list, but it should give you an idea of what’s out there. And of course, remember that this is an observation, not a recommendation.”
I have cursed you Tim Challis “The notes in the MacArthur Study Bible say it well: “Since you have many offensive words to be forgiven, don’t keep strict accounts of other’s offensive words against you.” “Even though I know how many idle words I speak, I assume that other people mean every word. I allow myself far greater leeway than I allow others. I excuse myself while condemning them.”
Don’t Let Pride Steal Your JoyJon Bloom “This is why everything about the gospel is designed to expose our pride and force us to put it to death. God doesn’t humble us because, like some conceited tyrant, he takes pleasure in our grovelling. He humbles us because he wants us to be happy and free — he wants us to reflect his image! God is perfectly humble; he sees all things — himself and everything else — exactly as they are. And he is the happiest being alive.”
4 Ways to Know hat You Are Pursuing - Jeremy Writebol “Once we identify our core pursuits, we can address how to navigate those pursuits in a way that will free us from the ensnaring power of sin and death. To help us further diagnose our motivational drives and ambitions, we need to take a walk into the darkness. We need to step into our nightmares and look at our fears in the face. By moving the things that bring us the deepest fear and anxiety into the light, we can clearly see the pursuits that drive our daily lives.”
I Went All The Way BackRay Ortlund “I came to see that these two problems are interrelated. There is a reason why people who believe God is love (1 John 4:7-8) treat one another with unlove. The reason is not a lack of biblical orthodoxy about God. The reason is a lack of personal reality with God. A theoretical God of love can be defended as a doctrinal concept, even while being denied as a practical reality. But unreality with God inevitably shows: “And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against their king and their God” (Isaiah 8:21).”
Worse Trend Ever
Has Authenticity Trumped Holiness?
Failure Is Not a Virtue
On Writing Well – I’m sure this applies to more than writing books…
The Importance of Friendship -
Conflict is an Opportunity For GraceDavid Mathis “For the Christian, conflict is not something to avoid or ignore. It is an opportunity for the triumph of grace.”
5 Signs of a Strong Friendship - Rosilind Jukic
4 Purposes of Godly FriendshipsKelly Needham
I Want A Friend Like That!Kimberly Wagner
5 Things to do With God’s WordMichael J Kruger “Indeed, Jesus embodies all five of these characteristics. He trusted, studied, used, delighted in, and obeyed God’s Word. In fact, he did all these things even more than the first David. While David certainly serves as an example of what to do with God’s word, Jesus is the ultimate example. One greater than David has come. And he loved God’s Word.”
6 Counterfeits That Lead Away From The Biblical GospelTrevin Wax “When it comes to the gospel, the best way to spot a counterfeit gospel is to know the biblical gospel – not only to master it in a cerebral, objective sense, but to be captured by the beauty of what God has done for us in Christ.”
YOLO (You Only Live Once)Ryan Shelton “But YOLO is a mask worn by an ancient despot. Who doesn’t remember his previous disguises? He has had other aliases. You may remember him as carpe diem, or more recently, “the bucket list.” He has gone incarnate in figures like Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray or Robin Williams’s portrayal of professor John Keating in Dead Poets Society. He ensnares would-be servants of the true King by holding out fleeting satisfaction and vaporous rewards.”
Quotes From Les MiserablesTrevin Wax

When God Does The Miracle We Did Not Ask ForVaneetha Rendall “With every heartache I wanted a Red Sea miracle. A miracle that would astonish the world, reward me for my faithfulness, make my life glorious. I didn’t want manna.”

Saturday, May 30, 2015

He Cares For Me

“At first, I just want the agony to go away. I don’t rejoice in the moment. I don’t rejoice at all. But as I cling to God and his promises, he sustains me. Yet over time, I realize I have an inexplicable joy. Not in my circumstances but in the God who cares so fiercely for me.”

From : When God Does The Miracle I Didn't Ask For' (Vaneetha Rendall)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Padkos - April 2015

Parable of Sin – CancerJohn Piper   “All human suffering, especially the suffering of the Son of God, is meant to portray to dull souls the unimaginable moral ugliness of sin and the unimaginable offensiveness of sin to God.”

‘The Dead End Of Sexual Sin’ by Rosaria Butterfield.


Help Me Face Today  Amanda Knoke     “When our fear of man seems louder than our trust in him, or our fear for the future overwhelms our thoughts, or our fear and comparison strips us of our joy, the Lord proclaims to us, fear not, I am with you. . . .”


The Secret You Need To Know About Inconveniences - Ann Voskamp   “Inconvenience is the DNA of healthy love.” “The only way to live a remarkable life, is not to get everyone to notice you, but to leave noticeable marks of love everywhere you go.”


Steward the Gifts God Has Assigned to You  Jon Bloom  -“God gifts all of us in such a way that our gifts channel blessings to others by meeting various needs, and they channel the blessing of humility to us by exposing our pride and pushing us to receive God’s grace to live by God-pleasing faith (Hebrews 11:6). When this happens it produces gratitude in everyone. It’s perfect! Our gifts work to bless others and sanctify us. It’s exactly what recovering selfaholics need.”

Messy CommunityChristina Fox  “But when life gets hard and there is no laughter to share, that’s when friendship is seen for what it truly is. When life gets messy, that’s where the rubber meets the road.”

When Fear Seizes You  - Stacy Reaoch  “Don’t allow the enemy of fear to seize you and take you captive. Fight him off with the promises of God’s word and his unchanging character.”

3 Ways To Remember God’s Grace  - Steven Lee  “Remembering who God is and who we are is the antidote to grumbling. If we see our world, our lives, and our circumstances through the lens of Jesus’s cross, everything will come into focus. And that clarity of sight will awaken joy in us. It is looking through this lens that we find a deep sense of what it means to be loved by a good and kind heavenly Father.”

Arguments Against AnxietyJohn Piper (Look at the Book)


You Have Just Enough TimeJon Bloom  “Busyness is moral laziness [because it is often a statement of our self-importance and our excuse to be inattentive to people] . . . But God has given us just enough time to do what we need to do moment by moment to respond to him. And his grace is there; it is eternally present. Every moment is a sacrament where time touches eternity and there is exactly enough time to do what God has called us to do.” Prof. Bruce Hindmarsh

Practises We Need Back in Our LivesPaul Perkins  “Perhaps you can relate, whether with technology, children, marriage or simply getting older. Life is in a constant state of flux. While change is good, the unintended consequences of change aren’t always to our benefit. Unless we take a minute to assess what we’ve lost in the process of gaining, we might end up without what we would do best to keep. “

God Owes Me Nothing Darryl Dash  “Why do I live like God owes me something? Could it be that I’m really serving myself when I think I’m serving God?”

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Spot of Wisdom

When people praise you, don’t let it go to your head. When they criticize you, don’t let it go to your heart. —C.J. Rhodes

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dealing With Indwelling Sin

Excerpt from  ‘The Dead End Of Sexual Sin’ by Rosaria Butterfield.


“ Eventually, the concept of indwelling sin provided a window to see how God intended to replace my shame with hope. Indeed, John Owen’s understanding of indwelling sin is the missing link in our current cultural confusion about what sexual sin is — and what to do about it.

As believers, we lament with the apostle Paul, “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me” (Romans 7:19–20). But after we lament, what should we do? How should we think about sin that has become a daily part of our identity?

Owen explained with four responses.

1. Starve It

Indwelling sin is a parasite, and it eats what you do. God’s word is poison to sin when embraced by a heart made new by the Holy Spirit. You starve indwelling sin by feeding yourself deeply on his word. Sin cannot abide in his word. So, fill your hearts and minds with Scripture.

One way that I do that is singing the Psalms. Psalm-singing, for me, is a powerful devotional practice as it helps me to melt my will into God’s and memorize his word in the process. We starve our indwelling sin by reading Scripture comprehensively, in big chunks, and by whole books at a time. This allows us to see God’s providence at work in big-picture ways.

2. Call Sin What It Is

Now that it is in the house, don’t buy it a collar and a leash and give it a sweet name. Don’t “admit” sin as a harmless (but un-housebroken) pet. Instead, confess it as an evil offense and put it out! Even if you love it! You can’t domesticate sin by welcoming it into your home.

Don’t make a false peace. Don’t make excuses. Don’t get sentimental about sin. Don’t play the victim. Don’t live by excuse-righteousness. If you bring the baby tiger into your house and name it Fluffy, don’t be surprised if you wake up one day and Fluffy is eating you alive. That is how sin works, and Fluffy knows her job. Sometimes sin lurks and festers for decades, deceiving the sinner that he really has it all under control, until it unleashes itself on everything you built, cherished, and loved.

Be wise about your choice sins and don’t coddle them. And remember that sin is not ever “who you are” if you are in Christ. In Christ, you are a son or daughter of the King; you are royalty. You do battle with sin because it distorts your real identity; you do not define yourself by these sins that are original with your consciousness and daily present in your life.

3. Extinguish Indwelling Sin by Killing It

Sin is not only an enemy, says Owen. Sin is at enmity with God. Enemies can be reconciled, but there is no hope for reconciliation for anything at enmity with God. Anything at enmity with God must be put to death. Our battles with sin draw us closer in union with Christ. Repentance is a new doorway into God’s presence and joy.

Indeed, our identity comes from being crucified and resurrected with Christ:

We have been buried with him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin. (Romans 6:4–6)

Satan will use our indwelling sin as blackmail, declaring that we cannot be in Christ and sin in heart or body like this. In those moments, we remind him that he is right about one thing only: our sin is indeed sin. It is indeed transgression against God and nothing else.

But Satan is dead wrong about the most important matter. In repentance, we stand in the risen Christ. And the sin that we have committed (and will commit) is covered by his righteousness. But fight we must. To leave sin alone, says Owen, is to let sin grow — “not to conquer it is to be conquered by it.”

4. Daily Cultivate Your New Life in Christ

God does not leave us alone to fight the battle in shame and isolation. Instead, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the soul of each believer is “vivified.” “To vivicate” means to animate, or to give life to. Vivification complements mortification (to put to death), and by so doing, it allows us to see the wide angle of sanctification, which includes two aspects:

1) Deliverance from the desire of those choice sins, experienced when the grace of obedience gives us the “expulsive power of a new affection” (to quote Thomas Chalmers).

2) Humility over the fact that we daily need God’s constant flow of grace from heaven, and that no matter how sin tries to delude us, hiding our sin is never the answer. Indeed, the desire to be strong enough in ourselves, so that we can live independently of God, is the first sin, the essence of sin, and the mother of all sin.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

I Cannot Do Much

Quoting from Tim Challis’ blog post :


“Sometimes you stop reading just a little bit too soon. That may be your temptation as you read this quote from Charles Spurgeon. But you’ll be missing out if you don’t read right to the end…

Heaven will be full of the ceaseless praises of Jesus. Eternity! thine unnumbered years shall speed their everlasting course, but forever and for ever, “to him be glory.” Is he not a “Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek”? “To him be glory.” Is he not king for ever?—King of kings and Lord of lords, the everlasting Father? “To him be glory for ever.” Never shall his praises cease. That which was bought with blood deserves to last while immortality endures. The glory of the cross must never be eclipsed; the lustre of the grave and of the resurrection must never be dimmed. O Jesus! thou shalt be praised for ever. Long as immortal spirits live—long as the Father’s throne endures—for ever, for ever, unto thee shall be glory. Believer, you are anticipating the time when you shall join the saints above in ascribing all glory to Jesus; but are you glorifying him now? The apostle’s words are, “To him be glory both now and for ever.” Will you not this day make it your prayer? “Lord, help me to glorify thee; I am poor, help me to glorify thee by contentment; I am sick, help me to give thee honour by patience; I have talents, help me to extol thee by spending them for thee; I have time, Lord, help me to redeem it, that I may serve thee; I have a heart to feel, Lord, let that heart feel no love but thine, and glow with no flame but affection for thee; I have a head to think, Lord, help me to think of thee and for thee; thou hast put me in this world for something, Lord, show me what that is, and help me to work out my life-purpose: I cannot do much, but as the widow put in her two mites, which were all her living, so, Lord, I cast my time and eternity too into thy treasury; I am all thine; take me, and enable me to glorify thee now, in all that I say, in all that I do, and with all that I have.”

Pray it, and allow yourself to imagine what your life would look like if you lived it…”

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Padkos–March 2015

11 Best Books on Cultural EngagementBruce Ashford   “First, “cultural engagement” is a very broad term, encompassing many things, and a short list like I am providing only scrapes the surface. Second, I’ve tried to include a mixture of beginning, intermediate, and advanced books in order to provide recommendations for every type of reader. Third, although I don’t agree with everything that is said in any of the books I recommend, I do think each of the books I recommend provide helpful guidance in how to engage our 21st century Western context.”

Lazy Busy Tony Reinke

This is sloth at its deadly best: trying to preserve personal comforts through the candy of endless amusements. Sloth is a chronic quest for worldly comfort that compounds boredom — boredom with God, boredom with people, boredom with life.

The most common species of slothfulness is “lazy busy” — a full schedule endured in a spiritual haze, begrudging interruptions, resenting needy people, driven by a craving for the next comfort. It is epidemic in our day.”

Your Job is God’s Assignment John Piper 


A Plea For Gospel Sanity in Missions (Part 2) - Aubrey Sequeira  “Westerners get so googly-eyed with sensational stories from the East that they don’t even notice the non-existence of any form of the gospel message.”

A Plea For Gospel Sanity in Missions – From East to West (Part 3). -Aubrey Sequeira  “In previous posts, I addressed two major issues plaguing missions work in India: the craze for numbers and the West’s fascination with “supernatural” testimonies. Here, I wish to address another issue that is quickly gaining traction and causing problems in India, much like it has in the Muslim world: extreme forms of “contextualization.”

“We must proclaim the transcultural lordship and glory of Jesus, rather than hyper-orienting our message and praxis around specific cultural groups.”

“Scripture forms the people of God, not vice versa. I have often wondered if a connection exists between contextualization movements and the influence of post-modernism. The authority is shifted from the revealed Word to the community of readers.” “The notion that communities should read and come to their own conclusions is actually rooted in the post-modern mindset that places authority in the community rather than in the text. “

“Make a distinction between those forms of culture that are religious and those that are not. Do not shrink back from teaching the “whole counsel of God”—which means teaching people to embrace Christianity as an entire worldview. Teach them to reject cultural practices where the Scripture demands it, and be certain that all your “contextualization” is biblically warranted.”


Don’t Follow Your Heart  - Jon Bloom  “Therefore, don’t believe your heart; direct your heart to believe in God. Don’t follow your heart; follow Jesus.”

Living Well in a Digital WorldTim Challis  “When the Bible tells us how to live as Christians, it so often tells us that we need to put on and put off. It tells us that there are habits, patterns, and behaviors we need to stop, and new habits, patterns, and behaviors we need to begin.”

Is Your Heart Spiritually Numb?Christel Humfrey    “In communing with Christ, we move toward becoming our most authentic self, namely, "dead to sin and alive to God" (Rom. 6:11). So let me encourage you to make just one change that will promote your spiritual health. If you are spiritually alive in Christ, then live. Reshuffle your priorities and become who you were meant to be.”


3 Reasons Women Need Good TheologyAlyssa Poblete  “Therefore, the only way to prevent a distortion of womanhood is by encouraging women to behold their God—to taste and see that he is good—and to search out his Word to learn of reason after reason after reason to give him praise. We ought to tremble at the thought of encouraging women to do anything else.”

Work With Your Hands Not Your Worship

How To Read The Bible For Yourself  - John Piper “The aim of our Bible reading is not just the response of the mind, but of the heart. The whole range of human emotions are possible responses to the meaning of the Bible. God gave us the Bible not just to inform our minds, but also to transform our hearts — our affections. God’s word is honored not just by being understood rightly, but also by being felt rightly.”

Millennial Adulthood DelusionChris Martin 

I’ve always been fascinated with the two primary Millennial stereotypes: 1) Millennials are self-centered and 2) Millennials aren’t growing up. I never understood where those come from. Now I get it: they’re intertwined and they’re deep within the Millennial understanding of what it means to flourish.

Three of the 34 “ways you change as you become an adult” are focused on others. Sounds more like these may be ways to become parasites of happiness, not productive, caring adults.

Millennials won’t grow up because we won’t care about anyone but ourselves.

It’s hard to grow up and be an adult when you can’t get out from in front of the mirror.”

Everyday Obedience – Our Best Witness  JD Greear

You Never Marry The Right PersonTimothy Keller

Why Sing Sad Songs When I Don’t Feel Sad?Matthew Westerholm  “Because of the sin and brokenness of our hearts we have reason to lament. And because of the sin and brokenness in our church and world, we have reason to lament. Most of all, because of the love of our rescuing God, we have an invitation to bring our mournful sadness as protest and appeal to our God. The God who invites our laments can rescue us. And he most certainly will.”

Answering  Post-Christian QuestionsNancy Pearcey  Finding Truth offers a 5-part strategy that equips us to penetrate to the core of any worldview and weigh its claims. As one of my students said, “Your book is different from any other book I’ve read on apologetics. Other books are informational; they tell us about various worldviews. Your book teaches us how to actually do apologetics.””

Apologetics, Cultural Liturgies, and our Post Modern AgeNancy Pearcey

Emotional BlackmailJohn Piper “Not feeling loved and not being loved are not the same. Jesus loved all people well. And many did not like the way he loved them.”

4 Reasons Why God Wills WorkJohn Piper  “The curse under which we live today is not that we must work. The curse is that in our work we struggle with weariness and frustration and calamities.”

Think of Yourself Less – video and transcript – Jason Meyer “As C.S. Lewis said, true humility is “not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less.””

We Complain Because We Forget  - Steven Lee  “The antidote to spiritual amnesia is making every effort to recall and remember God’s gracious deliverance. The fact that you — a sinner who was an enemy of God — are now a beloved child is a miracle. Don’t let that wonder ever fade.Remember.”

Fight Like A GirlJen Wilkins  (The Like A Girl Ad is here)  “This is a message given by a female to a female audience, so it covers some ground you might never hear preached from a pulpit. But that's exactly why women teaching women is such a needed layer of discipleship. If you're a guy, don't let that scare you from listening along. If the church is to embrace a strong vision of womanhood, both men and women will need to value it.”

The Spiritual Stages of the Believer’s Life - Nicholas T. Batzig “God’s children who pursue the true purpose of the Christian life belong in one of three categories. The apostle tells us they are little children, young men, or fathers in spiritual life (1 John 2:12–14).”

Does The Devil Have Your Ear?  William Farley – “How do we know we have been listening to the Devil’s lies? The fruits are ominous and varied. We become discouraged when life doesn’t go as we had planned. We wallow in guilt after a careless comment hurts someone we love. We compare ourselves to others and then feel worthless. We give into hopelessness or fear as we observe cultural change. Some even yield to the despair that this life is all there is. The Devil knows how to “preach it,” and we are often the victims.” “ “Maturing believers cultivate the discipline of preaching to themselves. In fact, they turn this into an art form. They read Scripture, internalize it, and then continually preach its truths back to themselves. When fears of death and dying arise, they speak to themselves about the world to come. When guilt grips their heart, they remind themselves that they have been united with Christ and that Christ’s righteousness is theirs. They don’t listen to self. They preach to self!””

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Make Me...

Let no riches make me ever forget myself,
no poverty make me to forget You:
Let no hope or fear,
no pleasure or pain,
no accident without,
no weakness within,
hinder or discompose my duty,
or turn me from the ways of Your commandments.
O let Your Spirit dwell with me forever,
and make my soul just and charitable,
full of honesty,
full of devotion to You.
- Jeremy Taylor, 1613-67

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Humble Soul

The humble soul endeavors more how to glorify God in afflictions, than how to get out of them. —Thomas Brooks

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Padkos – February 2015

Getting The Gospel RightRC Sproul “To answer the question “What is the gospel?” is rather simple. The gospel is Jesus, the person and work of Christ—who Jesus is and what He did. The gospel also describes how the benefits of His ministry are subjectively appropriated. That’s why the doctrine of justification by faith alone was so pivotal at the time of the Reformation, because it wasn’t a secondary matter but rather had to do with the gospel. Essentially, the pressing question that the gospel answers is, “How can an unjust person become just in the sight of God?””
Marriage as a Picture of The GospelHershael W York “If marriage is a picture of Christ and his love for his church, then much more is at stake than my happiness.”
23 Thing That Love IsPaul Tripp
An Extra-ordinary Skill For Ordinary ChristiansTim Challis “ John Stott says it so well as he comments on Galatians 6:2: “To love one another as Christ loved us may lead us not to some heroic, spectacular deed of self-sacrifice, but to the much more mundane and unspectacular ministry of burden-bearing.””
Are You Too Sensitive? –    Elisha Galotti  “There really is a choice when we are hurt or offended. And there is such power and freedom in absorbing the offense and making the choice to pursue love instead of sinking into sadness or bitterness.”
To Speak Words That Bring LifeTim Challis  “Simple words, but well-timed words. Simple words, but words that carried divine power and authority. I took her words not as advice from a friend, but as instruction and assurance from God. They are, after all, a direct quote from Galatians 6. To me they said, “Yes, it has been a long and trying day. But don’t stop now, because there is still good to be done. You can do it.” Just like that, the words gave me a second wind.”
Women Stop Submitting To MenRussell Moore “Indeed, a primary problem in our culture and in our churches isn’t that women aren’t submissive enough to men, but instead that they are far too submissive.”
3 Terrible Ways To Measure Your MinistryErin Davis “I've learned the hard way that when it comes to ministry, too often we use the wrong ruler to gauge our success.”
The Subtlety of Self-JustificationLeslie Ludy  “When you hear a message of that brings conviction to your soul—even if it stings a bit—don't immediately try to justify yourself or start criticizing the person who is speaking truth into your life. Rather, come before God with a humble spirit, and ask Him to gently refine you, correct you, and make you more like Him.”
A Plea For Gospel Sanity in Missions - Aubrey Sequeira  “In this first post, I will discuss one of the primary problems in missions in India—the Western drive for numerical efficiency. That is, the idea that large numbers are a validation of God’s blessing and ministry success.  “
Are You Fighting The Sin of Comparison Courtney  Reissig “ There is much to celebrate regarding the gifts of the women around us. As Christian women who long to see God glorified in our lives, let us take the words of our Christ to heart when we feel the sting of jealousy rise up in our hearts over the giftings of another: "What is that to you [sister]? You follow me."”
When  Glory in my ShameTim Challis  “The thing that validates me is the thing I worship, the thing that momentarily takes the place of God in my life.”
Facebook Obsession And the Anguish of Boredom - Tony Reinke   “For creatures like us, created to adore glory, we must find an object worthy of our worship. The cure for boredom is not diversion or distraction, but substantive enthrallment, says John Piper. We must encounter God, “to be intellectually and emotionally staggered by the infinite, everlasting, unchanging supremacy of Christ in all things.”” (this is an excellent article on boredom, not only as to where FB fits into that)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Padkos–January 2015

God Is at Work in Your Unremarkable Days   “Let the unremarkable years of Genesis speak to you. A few days of your life are remarkable, containing events and experiences where you see God’s providence with startling clarity and when your faith and life course are indelibly and memorably shaped. But the vast majority of your days — likely a day like today — will pass into obscurity unrecorded and irretrievable to your memory. But though today may be unremarkable, it is not unimportant. It is unique, priceless, and irreplaceable.”


Don’t Worry, Be Joyful – RC Sproul, Joy is not a choice, but a command. A fruit of the Spirit in our lives and directly linked to our maturity in Christ!

Count It All Joy – RC Sproul, continuing along the theme of ‘joy’ No matter what, my trust must be in the Lord.

How Do You Spell ‘JOY’ ? – RC Sproul  - Jesus Others Yourself

The Greatest Joy – RC Sproul – The joy of our salvation.

The Source of Joy – RC Sproul John 15, ‘I am the Vine, abide in Me that your joy may be full’.


How Involved is God in the Details of Your Life?   Jon Bloom -“ The detailed narrative of Joseph’s life, among many other things, is a loving letter from your Good Shepherd (John 10:11) — the same Good Shepherd who guided Joseph through green pastures and the valley of the shadow of death, pursuing him with good all the days of his life (Psalm 23) — to remind you that no matter what you are experiencing, sweet or bitter, good or evil, no matter how long it’s lasting, he has not left you alone (John 14:18). He is with you (Psalm 23:4), he is working all things together for good (Romans 8:28), and he will be with you to the end (Matthew 28:20).”


20 Things I Want My Daughter to Understand About Being a Woman –  Melissa Edgington  “ Everyone you know is working hard and doing things that they don’t want to do on a regular basis. It’s part of being a grown up human.”

When Another’s Words Sting – Paula Hendricks. Quoting from Nance Leigh Demoss “ Rather, the Psalmist asked God to post a sentinel at his own mouth knowing that the greatest danger he faced was not what others might do to him, but rather, what he might say that would harm others.”

The Power of Cause and Effect – Mary Kassain speaking on the ‘Revive Our Hearts’ blog


Only Two Religions – Interview with Peter Jones  Ligonier .org

Explaining Modern Culture – Peter Jones

Thinking With a Discerning Mind – Peter Jones

Righteousness Revealed – RC Sproul. Audio

The Eighth Decade of Life and the Ultimate Purpose of God – John Piper


How to Combat the Demonic – JD Greear  “Is Satan filling your mind with discouraging thoughts? “You’re a failure; you’ll never be used by God." "You think with your past God still cares about you?” Don't listen. Instead, hear the gospel that says, “I have ransomed you, I have made you my own, I have given you a future and a hope.””