Category Archives: Sanctification

Disappointment and Boring Bible Study

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In the course of my ministry discipling other men, I’ve found no habit more difficult to pass along than Bible study. For some, sharing the gospel comes naturally. The extroverts dig right in. For others, confession becomes a habit of life that is a constant life-giving source. I can name off many that have become selfless servants, gifted encouragers, worship leaders, self-styled theologians or even the near-mythological oft-spoken-of “prayer warriors”.

Perhaps no habit of Christian discipline has left them all more frustrated than regular Bible study. Maybe you have been a part of a mentoring relationship or accountability group before where conversations enter the shame spiral when the question comes up: “How’s your time in the Word?” or “Have you been reading your Bible?” I sure have been.

There’s a lot of reasons that regular Bible reading is hard. Sin. Lack of proper past teaching. Laziness. Distractions.

But I think there’s an even bigger factor holding many people back from vibrant Bible study.

Disappointment.

Do you remember the first time you really got the gospel of grace? When you heard it like you had new ears and saw it like you never had eyes until just that very moment. When the gospel was so real and tangible that you felt like it was wrapping you up in a hug.

And they told you then that to meet with this God every day — the way to hear from God himself — was to open up your Bible. And so you did. At first it was ok, then really great and then it was a legal manual. Then it was chronologies. Then it was Tiglath-Pileser (who?) and exiles. Then it was prophecies in metaphors you didn’t understand, with backgrounds you didn’t know. Then your Study Bible made it less “hearing from God” and more “you better have that homework done before school.”

And you felt disappointment. I get it. You heard the famous preachers and teachers talk about their rich, deep times in the Word. You heard about tears and joy and being filled with the Spirit, and you thought that if you ever cried over those pages it was because of frustration and not filling, shame and not surprising joy.

Our disappointment tells us that when Beth Moore or Rick Warren, Billy Graham or John Piper, J.D. Greear or Kay Arthur open up their Bibles in the morning, the pages glow. A cloud of understanding—the shekina glory itself—descends upon them. They meet over those pages with God like Moses met with him in the tabernacle: face to face. They’re special and for them it’s always been that way. And what’s more: it is not and never will be for you.

Let me tell you something important: that’s not true. Bible reading isn’t a spiritual gift. It’s a spiritual discipline. These men and women, as well as every believer from the widow’s Sunday School class to the church fathers, have learned to love and revere the Bible through discipline. Paul knew this. He did not tell Timothy  “one day it will just come to you,” but “Train yourself for godliness.

Meet Disappointment with Discipline

In our Bible study, we will all have days where we feel as if we are hearing nothing and understanding little. We will all have days we are tempted to read Philippians again for the 32,413th time. Some days, we should give in to that urge. Above all, however, we need to press into the whole Word of God. Seek intimacy over newness. We need to refuse to come to the Word expecting something new, shocking, or entertaining. Instead, we need to come to the Word of God for God. Intimacy with God is the prize.

In those difficult times of Bible study, we need to follow the instructions of Jesus in Matthew 7:7-8:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Ask. Seek. Knock.

There is no promise that the moment we ask, the instant we set our hearts to seek Him, or that when our hand is still upon the knocker that He will reply. But He will reply. Everyone who loves their Bible and loves time with the Lord in Bible study has gotten there through struggling, praying, seeking. There is no other way. Days where it seems the heavens are shut up are sowing for us a bounty of glory in ordinary, boring Bible study. We need to wrestle with the Word like Jacob wrestled with God: “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” We must train ourselves for godliness.

It’s hard. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. There’s a reason attack of the yawns happens when we sit down in front of the Word. There’s a reason everything else suddenly seems pressing and interesting. But if we will discipline ourselves to be in the word, what awaits us on the other side is glory. In 2 Corinthians, we read that when the covenant words (The Scriptures) are read that, “we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” 

That’s why we press in. Intimacy with God in His Word changes us. When we discipline ourselves to look into His Word to see Jesus, the Word itself changes us more and more into his image. Jesus is on every page. It will take countless days, failed attempts, successes, frustrations, and joys. Over time, you will see the beauty of Bible study, because of your prolonged exposure to the beauty of Christ. That’s what we ask for, seek for, knock for: that by the Spirit we would see Jesus and become like him.

The pages won’t glow. But you might.

 

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?” 2 Corinthians 3:7-8

 

Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash

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Valentine’s Day: A Reminder You’re Single

The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
(1 Corinthians 7:32-35 ESV)

Tonight as I drove home from picking up my dinner, I heard a Valentine’s Day advertisement on the radio. This is a pretty typical night for me. If I’m not working, I get up from whatever school work I’m doing, drive to get dinner or make myself dinner at home, and then go back to what I’m doing.

These days I don’t have any dates to plan. I don’t have anyone special I’m coming home to, or I’m trying to find time to sneak away and see. So tonight as I drove home, alone, to an empty house I found myself jarred by this radio advertisement. Making your big plans?! Come on out to ____________ and have some drinks with your special someone! Sometimes it takes a stupid ad to remind you that there isn’t a special someone.


I remember hearing of people who had entered into their mid-20s as singles without any prospects of changing that and thinking, “Man, that life must be terrible.” Though I’ve known for a while that I’m living that life, it was just tonight that it hit me. It’s not that I haven’t been on dates—I have! It’s not even that I’m anti-social or that I’m some sort of recluse. If you ask anyone I know, they’d tell you that I’m one of the most social people that they know. Now that “terrible life” is my life.

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What single doesn’t hate this at least a little bit?

I remember in year’s past not having dates on Valentine’s Day and being frustrated or angry. As I drove down the road, I heard that radio ad and the thoughts flooded into my mind. You’re still single. You’ll always be single. Everyone else has someone. You’ve failed at this part of your life. You haven’t had a date in months—something must be wrong with you.

A lot of singles take on hobbies, give themselves over to endless Netflix watching, become exercise fanatics, or any number of things to distract them from their singleness. It’s as if the moment we realize that we are single, we realize that this means that we are alone. Sometimes, one is the loneliest number. And so we push it deep down, and even though we congratulate our friends after every new engagement (seriously, do these things ever end? Can I at least ban them from my Facebook feed? Do you even remember what it feels like to change that status to In A Relationship?), we silently begrudge our friends. We become jealous of their happiness and angry at how our singleness has become a passing joke to them or, even worse, like the leper of conversation topics (Do Not Touch!). We quietly hate ourselves for failing to—to what? be attractive enough? find someone? fall in love?—do whatever we had to do to not be alone. And for many of us, if we are honest, have quietly fostered a nest egg of resentment towards God, who seems to be the parent who gives us everything we want except the thing we want the most. And when we begrudge our friends, hate ourselves and resent God, that is when we truly feel the weight of loneliness.


As the radio ad played and the frustrated thoughts flooded in, something else happened. Years of no Valentine’s Day dates, month after month of seeing friends find their match, and thousands of prayers prayed for God to send me someone came to mind. As they came to mind, they transformed. I found myself not caring that I don’t have a Valentine. For far too long in my life and the life of many other singles, Valentine’s Day has been a reminder of our singleness. Single’s Awareness Day. Not any more.

When it comes to an awareness of my singleness, you know what days stand out? Not Valentine’s Day. Not Christmas and its mistletoe. Not July 4 weekends when couples go to the lake, or New Years when lovers kiss as the ball drops, and not Halloween when the matching costumed couples come to the party.

It’s the small days that remind me I’m single.

I’m reminded I’m single when I plan out my week of 30+ hours of work and 15 hours of master’s degree classes.

I’m reminded I’m single when I have time to meet with a high school student only hours after he and his serious girlfriend broke up and he’s devastated.

I’m reminded I’m single when I meet with other single guys for times of confession, prayer, and then hanging out without a time limit or anyone I need to run back to.

I’m reminded I’m single on the weeks when every single night or every single lunch is booked with some sort of discipleship, counseling, or venting session.

I’m reminded I’m single when big opportunities come up and I consider uprooting my life on a moment’s notice.

I’m reminded I’m single, and have been single for some time, when I am able to walk with newly out of college guys through their struggles in singleness.

I’m reminded I’m single when I get to read on my night’s off for hours with little to no other distractions.

I’m reminded I’m single when I make decisions for others without much more than a second thought as to how it will require sacrifice from me.


The Apostle Paul calls this the undivided life. Too many of us have spent an unreasonable amount of time suppressing our devastation at the fact that we are still single. Our time would have been far better spent investing in others, and not creating a cycle of self-misery.

Dating is fun. Having someone is nice; it’s nice to have someone.

Marriage is a great and sacred thing. It is a picture of the gospel itself—a picture of self-sacrifice, servitude, and submission. We can not speak highly enough of marriage.

When I read the words of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, I can’t help but come away with the idea that singleness is not just an acceptable alternative to marriage for people who aren’t adequate marriage material. Instead, it seems that there is something about singleness that is better in some way. It’s the undivided life.

Sure, you may not have Valentine’s Day dates. But 24 years without a Valentine’s Day date is not a referendum on the quality of your life, nor a judgment of your likeability. It’s not a condemnation to a lifetime with Valentine’s Day dates, or a promise to remain single forever. No, singleness today is just a reminder that today and every other day that you are single is another day that you are able to live an undivided life.

If you’re single this Valentine’s Day, eat a whole pint of ice cream in your pajamas while marathoning Parks and Recreation.

Who’s to impress? You’re single.

More importantly, take Valentine’s Day and every other day and live it with your interests undividedly focused on the Lord.

After all, you’re single.

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Scripture Memory For Everyone: The Verse Box

This is my second post on Scripture Memory. In my last post on Scripture memory (over a year ago!), I gave you 8 reasons why you should work hard at Scripture Memory. It would be instructive to you to read that post first by clicking here. At the end of that post, there is a video made by my college pastor, Trace Hamiter, explaining how to do Scripture memory through a verse box. What I want to do in this post is not restate what I’ve already said but instead to explain to to you how to build a verse box. This method of Scripture memory has completely change how I think of Scripture memory. It’s no longer intimidating. It makes sense. I have a mission. I have a plan. It’s easy.

So, without further ado, here’s how you get started on a ‘Verse Box’ and begin memorizing the Word of God.

**Note: this method can also be used for catechesis. I have friends who are moms that have found this very helpful in teaching their kids Scripture and catechism.
***Some preacher friends of mine have used separate boxes for illustrations, quotes, etc. I have done so myself.

Supplies for the Box

All of the following can be bought at Target or Wal-Mart (cheaper Bibles and pens, too!) or whatever fair-trade, Gluten-free local store you shop at.

1. BIBLE

First thing’s first. If you’re going to memorize the Scriptures, you’re going to need a Bible. Here’s an important rule here: Memorize the translation you use! Do not memorize everything in the NASB if you never read anything but the NIV. I would recommend you memorize in either the ESV or HCSB if you aren’t committed to a translation, but it’s up to you. I do not recommend you use the KJV (archaic language) or the NASB (though an excellent translation, the language can be a bit wooden in many cases which makes memorization harder).

 

2. NOTECARDS 

For this method of Scripture memorization, you’re going to need 3×5 notecards (not bigger, not smaller). 3×5, not 5×8.

3. NOTECARD DIVIDERS 

Though not needed immediately, these are going to come in handy later (after you’ve become a walking Bible database). In phase 2, you’ll need 6-7. In phase 3, you’ll need 30.

4. Index Card Box

You’ll want to get a sturdy index card box. See mine below. Duct tape label is optional, but I believe duct tape makes literally everything better. I leave that between you and the Spirit.

Alternative Index Card Holder. These are good and portable. They don’t hold as many cards, however, and break easy. If you start with this, buy 5, not 1. It will tear up.

 

 

6. Main Section Dividers

Main section dividers are for your every day Scripture memory. These are the most important things to get. A typical start would be green in the front, yellow in the middle, and red at the back.

Alternative section dividers: These are my section dividers. Regardless, have 3 dividers which indicate 1) Verses you know word-perfect, 2) verses you are comfortable with but haven’t nailed yet or verses whose references you can’t remember, 3) Verses you don’t know at all or hardly know.

7. A Good Pen

Everyone needs a good pen for these. For my part, I use the Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point fountain pen (see below). This is, without a doubt, overkill. Whatever you choose, make sure it doesn’t bleed through the cards. Try to have a certain pen that you use with consistency. I generally discourage doing cards in different colors.

Using the Box for Scripture Memory

Phase 1:

Step 1: Dividers

Put your Main section dividers into the box. Cards go behind (or in front of — it’s up to you) these accordingly. Thee main dividers indicate the following:

  • Green: These are verses you know. For a verse to be considered ‘known’ you must be able to recite it perfectly, word-for-word with no stumbling. you must know the exact reference. Reading the reference you can give the verse, reading the verse you can give the reference. You can say it fast, slow, whatever. You know it. However well you probably know John 3:16, that’s how well you want to know these. (This is my ‘Got it!’ tab)
  • Yellow: These are verses you kinda know. You may even reference these verses in your daily life. You still mess up some of the words, forget the reference, or get things mixed up. Maybe you need the first word to get started. That’s ok! No big deal. Keep them behind this tab until you nail them. When you first start out, you will probably have the most verses here. (This is my ‘Meh.’ tab)
  • Red: These are verses you don’t know. Some of them are verses you’ve just started to memorize. Some of them are verses you don’t know at all. When you do you time with the Lord and read a verse you want to memorize, write it on a card and stick it here. Even if you don’t get to it for weeks, this tab will hold it for you. This is where cards go when you first start to learn them and it’s where they stay until you are familiar with them.

Step 2: The Cards
Every Scripture Memory Card should be handwritten. Part of the memorization process is writing the cards, reading them in your own writing. If you have bad handwriting, slow down and take your time. I would insist that you write them, though. Trust me on this.
I don’t advise that you do more than 2-3 verses on a single card at a time when memorizing in isolation. I make exceptions for this. I memorized Ephesians in college using this method and I memorized 2 Cor. 4-6  two years ago using this method. When I did those, I left all the cards in order regardless of how well I knew them and each card was full. Except times like these, however, try not to do 4-5 verses. Practically, a bunch of cards that are super long can be discouraging because they take a long time to memorize. You may work weeks with little progress and quit. Instead, try shorter cards with only a verse or two and you’ll move very quickly! There are TONS of great verses to memorize before getting to chunks anyway. Let’s get started on those cards.
The front of the card should have a reference:
The back of the card should have the verse written out. Don’t cram the card.
Here’s a trick I learned from my friend Joe for cards that are really hard to learn. If you’re working on a single verse that you just can’t seem to make progress on, give it a shot. Write the first letter of every word and include the punctuation on the front of the card with the reference.That way, looking at the reference, you can work your way through the verse with what you know and familiarize yourself with the word order.
Romans 13:14 is where I had to do this. Those last few words leading into “to gratify its desires” always gave me trouble.
Step 3: The Verses 
You need somewhere to start.You’ll want to start your box with 30-50 verses– don’t freak out! I know that’s a lot. Remember, most of them go behind the “Don’t Know’ and “Meh” (or yellow) tab. The first thing you need to do is figure out which verses you already know perfectly. John 3:16. Romans 5:8. Romans 3:23. Genesis 1:1. It doesn’t matter what they are. Write them down and put them behind the green tab. Starting with an empty green tab (Got It!) is discouraging. If you don’t know any, I’m so glad you’re starting! Odds are, however, you know at least a few. Get them in the green.
Next, find new verses to add.
Here’s a helpful list of verses I often give to people: VerseBox_Starter
Otherwise, Dr. Tim Beougher, Evangelism professor at Southern Seminary recommends these verses.
Step 4: The Box
Put the box together. Put in your divider tabs. Put in your notecards. I put my notecards in front of the tab. Why? At the back I put about 50-100 blank notecards to add more stuff. (Also, I suggest buying good notecards. Cheap ones bleed and wear out.)
What now?  Memorize Scripture!
Every day is Scripture memory day. When you wake up, when you do your quiet time, before bed, during breakfast….you decide. But every day, find time to memorize scripture.
You can pick verses just for Evangelism, just for theology, just to fight sin, just for anything, really! One important note I will make is to not take things out of context. For example, memorizing Jeremiah 29:11 out of context may be unhelpful since you are not an Israeli exile or if you don’t understand God’s wonderful plan for you in Christ includes suffering for his name (Phil 1:27). Romans 13:14 is fine out of context. Not all verses are. Make sure you understand what you are memorizing!
There are 3 steps in your Scripture memory process:
  1. Go through every verse behind the green tab. It’s so incredibly easy to lose the verses you ‘know’. Don’t believe me? Did you ever learn a foreign language in high school? Do you know it now? Probably not. This is the same principle. You have to keep doing those verses! Every day, if you do nothing else (even if you don’t get to any new verses or ‘yellow tab’ verses) do these.
  2. If you have made it through green tab verses you know and have time, try to make it through your yellow tab verses. Don’t feel the burden to do all of them. That’s great if you have time, but even better is quality time with 4-5 of them. Do these until you can move them to the green tab. No pressure!
  3. If you’ve run through all the green tab verses and moved many yellow tab verses to the green, grab 2 or 3 from the red tab and start new verses.

You will find it helpful in your Scripture memory time to pray through the verses. This has been the most important use of Scripture Memory for me. For more information on praying Scripture, go here.

Also, meditation on the verses is key. Here is what you need to know about meditation.

John Piper has a helpful sermon on this.

For a practical guide to meditation, go here.

You may struggle with legalism on these. DON’T! Scripture Memory is a tool. It is commanded and it is an encouragement, but it does not and will never give you right standing before God. Don’t trust in how many days in a row you did Scripture memory for your self worth. Donald Whitney, one of the world’s leading authorities on spiritual disciplines, has written a helpful article on resisting legalism in spiritual disciplines. Read it here.

Phase 2:

How can there be more? Well there is! The good news about this Scripture Memory box is that it works. In fact, I have never met anyone EVER for whom this did not work. I doubted it and refused to do it for over a year. Then, struggling in my stubborn way, I switched to this and all of a sudden I was zooming through verses!

So what do you do when you have 50 verses behind the green tab, 40 behind the yellow tab, and 40 behind the red tab (Trust me– this will happen)? MORE TABS! This is where the 7 dividers come in handy.

Adding New Tabs

Once you have 30-40 cards memorized, the green tab can become burdensome to go through. Add 6-7 tabs (Some folks exclude Sunday), one for each day of the week. Once a card has been in the ‘green tab’ for a month or so, move it behind a ‘day tab’. Then, when you do your Scripture Memory time every day, do what is behind the green tab and add the ones assigned to that day. Try to keep the day tabs even so you don’t have 10 on Monday an 2 on Thursday. Even them out. This way you see every verse once a week.

Phase 3:

Adding Even More Tabs!
I don’t have a picture of phase 3. I haven’t gotten to that point yet, but I know plenty of folks who have. One friend of mine has multiple boxes, because this method has been so effective.
In Phase 3, keep your ‘day tabs’ and add tabs numbered 1 to 30. Yes, thta’s a tab for every day of the month. At this point, Scripture Memory time becomes ‘green tab’, ‘day tab’, and ‘day of the month tab’. Surprisingly, it doesn’t take that much more time. This will come once you have hundreds of verses. Don’t start the ‘day of the month’ tabs until you have 150 or more tabs behind your ‘day tabs’. I promise you, however, that if you stick to this you will get there within 2 years. Because of my switch to ‘large chunk’ memorization, my individual verse box memorizing slowed significantly. Stick to it, and you’ll know hundreds soon enough.

Conclusion

Remember, this isn’t the Holiness Olympics. You aren’t gaining right standing with God by memorizing Scripture. You are, however, equipping yourself to recite the Scripture when you are discouraged. You are equipping yourself to use these verses in Evangelism. You are equipping yourself to have a biblical theology. You are equipping yourself to know God more truly according to how he has revealed himself.

What are you waiting for?

Start memorizing!

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Continuing In Repentance With Expectant Hope

This post originally appeared at Servants of Grace.

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Luke 9:23-27, “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

Prayer is hard. Obedience is hard. Forgiveness is hard. For the average Christian, however, I think that repentance is the hardest. Repentance— the one act that is impossible apart from humility, impossible apart from truth, impossible apart from hope. Repentance is not merely remorse. Even the wicked are sometimes sorry. Repentance is not merely regret. Even a dog learns from bad results. Repentance is more than that. Repentance is an intentional turning away from the wickedness of the world to the righteousness of God. In this, we agree with God on what is righteous and what is sinful, and we agree with him on the punishment deserved for both. Repentance is an act of the whole person— it is an act of the heart before it is an act of the hands.

One of my seminary professors, Lyle Dorsett, quoted C.S. Lewis as having said, “Every story of conversion is a story of blessed defeat.” That’s close to the mark. It’s not just defeat, however, it’s assimilation— it’s reformation! Rosaria Butterfield captured this beautifully in her book Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert when she said, “Repentance is the only no shame solution to a renewed Christian conscience, because it only proves the obvious: God was right all along.” That’s a beautiful but terrifying thought. Repentance is an overthrowing of what is evil in us in favor of God’s goodness apart from us.

If a Christian is one who repents from beginning to end then it’s important that we understand why. Why would anyone want to repent? What motivation is there to keep going? Jesus says in Matthew 9, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” So often I’ve read that as if Jesus is merely saying we will have to make sacrifices in our lives. So often I’ve thought the point is about persistence. More specifically, however, Jesus is urging would-be believers to persist in dying. a certain kind of death. He continues, “For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”

The death that Jesus is calling Christians to is not the kind of death Bill Murray died in Groundhog Day. This is not an ascetic death or an ambiguous death. This is the death died by way of humility. It’s the death that denies one’s self the desire to gain the whole world. What Christian has not once stood at the base of Babel’s tower and imagined future glory? John Piper has reminded the church, there is no hope in future self-glories, only in future grace.

The same grace that leads to repentance is the grace that sustains us in repentance, and it is the same grace that gives us hope in the promised future. The truth is that dying daily feels like death. It has all of the hurt, all of the struggle, all of the gasping and life-rattling shudders of weakness. The author of Hebrews says , “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood,” (12:4) as if the shedding of blood is the natural expectation for the one resisting sin. Here’s the secret: it was. Somehow we have come to the conclusion that the fight against sin becomes easier as we go along in the Christian life or that it doesn’t require drastic measure.

How have we gotten to the point that we expect the carrying of a cross to be like a mere ankle weight on an otherwise easy jog through life? Jesus never comes to that conclusion, instead He teaches His disciples to, “Deny yourself.” He says, “Take up your cross daily.” He says, “Follow me.” He warns his disciples that anyone who seeks their own life and not his will find neither. Christians are compelled in love for God to lay down their sinful desires and wayward preferences. We are compelled to refuse that which displeases God. We do not laugh at or love those things which led to the death of our Lord. Instead, Christians are to lay down our lives out of faithfulness to the Word.

The result is that Christ’s remaining words in this passage aren’t true of us. The result is that when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels, he is not ashamed of us. The motivation for a life that continues in repentance is friendship of God, the expectation that when Jesus comes our eager awaiting is met with his surpassingly eager embrace of us as his brothers and sisters, and friends.

The apostle John says in 1 John 2:1, “I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Likewise, I would urge all who are struggling in the fight to turn to Christ first for grace as our advocate before God. He is, 1 John 2:2 says, “the propitiation” for our sins. And, being found in Christ, persevere. Deny yourself and seek that life which is far greater than any other: life in Christ.

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