How to see yourself as God sees you

Photo by Inga Gezalian on Unsplash

Mirrors have the capacity to bless or curse.

On one hand, they help us see things about ourselves we otherwise could not see. Going to a job interview, you’d like to know that your tie is knotted correctly or that your eye makeup is applied properly. In these cases, a mirror helps.

On the other hand, a mirror may expose blemishes and imperfections. For those suffering from eating or body image disorders, mirrors are a curse. Rather than help, they condemn.1

Whether for good or ill, mirrors reveal.

A Two-Sided Mirror

In the children’s version of John Bunyan’s classic, Pilgrim’s Progress, the travelers…

Sanctification is not primarily a duty. It is a gift.

Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash

Today’s post is an excerpt from a newly released, short book (just 45 pages) called Facets: Beholding the Beauty of God’s Grace in Jesus.

To download Facets at no cost, simply enter the code FREE2021 at checkout or use 👉🏼 this link to download any resource on the site at no cost. Each download includes eight files:

  • one PDF version for printing or reading on any electronic device,
  • one high-resolution color cover,
  • and six ebook formats (Kindle, Apple, Google, etc.).

Spiritual revival takes place when believers come alive to the wonder, beauty, and transforming power of the gospel.

In Facets, you will be taken on a tour exploring the cosmic dimensions of God’s grace in Jesus from before…

For Jack Miller, it was the fear-inducing, soul-killing idol of human approval. Thankfully, there is hope for those of us who can identify.

Photo by Calvin Mano on Unsplash

He Couldn’t Deny It

I first heard the phrase used by Jack Miller in one of his Sonship lectures. After observing his people-pleasing ways, a friend confronted him with a dose of truth in love. “Jack, you are an approval suck.”

He couldn’t deny it. Like a mosquito feeds on human blood, he fed on human approval for a sense of value and self-worth. Essentially, the praise and affirmation of peers became Jack’s righteousness. His identity had become tied to and dependent upon human approval.

I can relate to Jack’s condition. I, too, am an approval suck. So was the apostle Paul. When he…

In his book, The Jesus I Never Knew, Author Philip Yancey shares a heartbreaking story about a woman living on the streets of Chicago who was “renting” her two-year-old daughter to sexually perverted men in order to support her drug addiction. More than heartbreaking, it is sickening. A friend of Yancey’s who worked with the down and out in the inner city related the story, saying,

I could hardly bear hearing her sordid story. For one thing, it made me liable — I’m required to report child abuse. Further, I had no idea what to say to this woman. At…

Taking Up the Challenge to Live by the Counterintuitive Nature of Grace

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought during the first week of July in 1863. If you are familiar with Michael Shaara’s historical novel, The Killer Angels, or have seen the 1993 film Gettysburg, you know that the struggle for Little Round Top was the turning point, which many historians consider the most pivotal battle in the entire Civil War.

Little Round Top was a hill that became recognized by both armies as a critically strategic high ground in the conflict. If the Confederates had secured the hill, they would have been able to cut off the Union’s left flank, win…

This is where change begins.

Image design: McKay Caston

I didn’t suffer allergies until I moved to Georgia. Along with the beauty of the mountains, there is something in the air — a strain of pollen or grass perhaps — that triggers a river to flow within my sinuses. My throat gets sore. My eyes itch. My head aches.

Eventually, when I just couldn’t take it anymore, I went to a physician and pleaded for help. Upon arrival at the doctor’s office, I discovered I wasn’t alone. Just one in a long line of patients with the same condition. Thankfully, he knew exactly what I needed and prescribed Flonase…

What “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill” revealed about my own idolatrous longing to be a big deal

The recent Christianity Today podcast series by Mike Cosper, The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, kicked me in the gut.

But not in the way you might expect.

In the final episode, Mark Driscoll has just spoken to a large crowd in London. When his cab is surrounded by fans wanting his autograph, one of the guys in the car with him speaks with unbelief, as if Mark is some kind of international celebrity, saying, “You’re just a pastor.”

Mark is alleged to have responded, “In case you haven’t noticed, I am a pretty big deal.”

My initial reaction…

Exploring the question that gave me permission to dream.

Photo by Denys Nevozhai

The Dreamer In Me Came Alive

Kristy and I just finished season 9 of Death in Paradise, a British TV series about an English police inspector working on a Caribbean island with a team of lovable characters who share work, life, highs, and low with stories that blend mystery, drama, and humor. Even if a bit quirky, it is a great show.

In the final episode, Inspector Parker is about to return home to England, where life is safe and predictable. And, to his admission, boring. …

Practical and profound wisdom from a Chinese parable

Photo by Nadine Shaabana

Only God Knows

There is a story about an old man in a Chinese village who, while very poor, was the envy of wealthy kings jealous of his beautiful white horse. These kings offered fabulous prices, but the old man loved the horse as a friend and refused to sell.

One morning, the old man discovered that the horse was not in the stable. The village gathered and called the man a fool for not selling the horse when he could have. They called the loss of his horse a terrible misfortune and lost opportunity.

But the old man said, “Who knows. It…

To focus on the fruit of faith is to put the cart before the horse. If there is a lack of fruit, the problem usually is with the root.

Photo by Yente Van Eynde

Am I really saved by grace alone through faith alone?

Or is there something I must do to secure my good standing with God as a forgiven, accepted, and loved son or daughter?

And if I am saved by grace alone, then what role do works play in the Christian life? If they don’t save me or sustain me, then why should I be at all concerned with whether or not there is any practical change in my life as a result of being a disciple of Jesus?

What about works?

This is the question James answers in James 2:14–26.

If you missed Part 1, catch up here. …

The Mustard Seed

Helping Disciples Grow in Grace.

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