Now Why This Fear?

“Of the making of many Christian congregational songs there is no end” (a “take-off” of Ecclesiastes 12:12). And in many cases, I wish there was an end! Why? Because so many are either doctrinally weak or just plain “off.” Along with that, many are man-centered—lacking a focus on God and what He’s done in and through the glorious gospel of His Son Jesus Christ.

Then along comes a song like we sang this past Sunday, and I totally change my mind. Continue Reading

A Hunger For God More Than Food

“The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth.” These two sentences, from John Piper’s book, A Hunger For God, are jolting. I don’t know about you, but I had to reread it several times to first see if I agreed with it, then a couple more times to realize and come to grips with the implications of its truth.

As you perhaps still contemplate whether or not you agree with him, let me add something clarifying to what he wrote; Continue Reading

Fighting Temptation With a Superior Satisfaction

I want to pick up from last week on how we fight sin in our lives. I emphasized then that it is so important for us to see sin for what it is: that which steals joy, not gives it. It lies to us, telling us that if we choose its pleasures we’ll be happy; but of course we won’t—at least not in any true, deep or lasting way. Like an ox that may be able to taste some good oats while being lured to its slaughter, so too sin may have its pleasures, but those will quickly be forgotten as the consequences of its siren song take effect.

We must keep this truth in front of us. We must tell ourselves that the sin calling to us is seeking to trick us and lure us to our death. It will not—it cannot—be able to deliver what it’s promising.

However, as important as it is to fight sin by recognizing its ill-effects, this is not enough. Continue Reading

Fighting Temptation by Understanding Its Lie

There is a lie that is circulating around (and always has been) that says pursuing sin is where we’ll find joy. Have you experienced this? Are you ever tempted to believe that laziness, gluttony, lust, or idolatry (these are but a sampling of sins we could list) will satisfy your desires? Sin comes to us and entices with bold and alluring temptations which appear to offer happiness and satisfaction.

Or will they? Is joy really to be found in pursuing sin? (And to be clear, I’m not talking about a short-term thrill—there may be plenty of that. Rather, I’m thinking of a long-term, soul-satisfying joy.) Is that kind of joy to be found with choosing to listen to temptation?

Clearly, the answer is no. The path of sin is the path of futility, shame, and death. Try as you may, Continue Reading