Monthly Archives: October 2015

23 posts

Why the story of Noah matters today

The setting is in any one of the high-crime areas of several major U.S. cities. The time is approximately 10:00 p.m. A loud, sharp bang gets everyone’s attention. A young child turns to her mother and asks, “How many gunshots is that we have heard tonight?” “Two or three.” “Mom, do you think maybe somebody got shot?” “I don’t know baby. I hope not.” “Why do people have to get mad and shoot each other?” “You know the answer, sweetheart.” “I know, it is because of sin. But I still don’t like it.” “I don’t either! But when people turn from God, bad things happen. Do you remember when we read about Noah and the ark in the Bible?” “Yes. […]

Keep your child from the brink of destruction

In his first epistle, the apostle John speaks of the world as a hostile place. This hostility, however, is masked by deception. The world does not present itself as a hostile enemy. Rather, the world offers itself as the ultimate source of pleasure, fulfillment and satisfaction. The success of this deception is evident in the lives of many children from Christian homes who have been savaged by the world. Too many have repeated the cry of Proverbs: “Afterward you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body, and you will say, “How I hated discipline! If only I had not demanded my own way! Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to those […]

Christ Formed in You Study Guide now available!

Shepherd Press is pleased to announce that the Study Guide for Christ Formed in You is now available. Christ Formed in You is a well respected guide to understanding theology. It has been described as precise and practical. Now that the Study Guide is available this book becomes even more valuable! The study guide will help you answer two important questions: Are you becoming more like Jesus? Are the contours of your character being shaped by his image, formed in his likeness? Here are the recommendations from two leading theologians about Christ Formed in You: Brian Hedges brings a beautiful clarity to our understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and pulls together a comprehensive patchwork of the Gospel’s implications […]

Love is God’s idea

Love is a personal thing or so we are told. Problems come when love is too personal. When love is all about me, bad things happen. Love must be defined by God, specifically by the work of his son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit tells us that we know what love is by how Jesus loved (1 John 3:16). By looking at Christ we see that love is other-centered, not me-centered. This takes some radical rethinking. Love is not about what makes you feel good or happy. Love is dying to your wants, your desires. Only by loving Jesus first can anyone experience this sort of love. The Holy Spirit provides specific examples of what other-centered, true love looks like in […]

The narrow road to worship

Jesus directed his followers to pursue him through the narrow gate. The narrow gate opens to a narrow road that leads to life. The narrow gate is not as appealing as the wide gate. The wide gate is the gate that accommodates the crowd. It is the one that offers enticement and intrigue. There are many objects worthy of your worship. Enjoy as many as you can. The wide gate boldly flies its banner: You only go around once! The narrow gate leads to truth. Instead of a multitude of things to worship, there is only one Who is worthy.  Not surprisingly, few desire such a restriction. Worshiping one God to the exclusion of all others is too narrow, too […]

Love: What’s in it for God?

The unspoken question most asked about love is, “What’s in it for me?” We are born with this compelling motive regarding love. We are born self-centered and self-consumed. So, if we love something or someone there must be a benefit to be gained. Young children love what makes them happy. Unfortunately, this is a pattern that we never outgrow apart from the saving work of Christ. We were made to love, just as we were made to worship. But, because of sin, we love ourselves and we worship what is pleasing to our corrupt nature. Without being changed by God, both love and worship become distorted and lead to destruction rather than salvation. In God’s mercy he sent Jesus Christ […]

Teenagers: The image of power, the reality of fear

Teenagers are often like Absalom. They present an image of arrogance and power. Yet inside they are hurting. Parents see the power but not the hurt. They may become intimidated and fearful—or angry—at the images their teenagers project. An angry teen is at odds with the God of heaven, and therefore lives with a desperate need for contentment—but he doesn’t know why. Absalom was powerful, handsome, arrogant, winsome and popular. This was the image that he projected and cultivated. However, the image he displayed was not consistent with who he really was. Inside he was hurting. He relied on subversion and raw intimidation to achieve what he wanted. He had no balm for the pain caused by the rape of […]

Announcing “Noah: A Journal of Praise”

God created man with the powerful capacity for imagination. This capacity can be a very good thing or a very bad thing. Director Darren Aronofsky used his imagination in a damaging way with the movie Noah. The movie weaves myth, ancient heresies and speculation together to produce a story which is unfaithful to the Bible’s account of Noah. However, author Nancy Ganz and illustrator Matthew Sample show the beauty and wonder of what a biblically informed imagination can accomplish. Here is what Nancy says in the foreword: “You would think there would be a whole book in the Bible called the ‘Book of Noah,’ but the account of that incredible journey is recorded in only one small section of the […]

Life’s Storms

You cannot measure the faithfulness of God by the intensity of the life’s storms. Christ’s last words in the Sermon on the Mount talk about the storms of life. The final four verses (Matthew 7:24-27) teach that these storms will be powerful and that they cannot be avoided. So, the question is not can I avoid the storm, but how can I remain secure when the storm strikes. This much is certain, the storms will come. Jesus is talking about more than physical dwellings. He is talking about your life. The same things – the rains, the rising streams, the winds will attack each house. Don’t be fooled. The security of the house rests not upon the elaborateness and beauty […]

Are you mad at God?

“She makes me so mad, I can’t stand it!” “He thinks only of himself, he doesn’t care if he hurts me or not. It’s maddening.” Did you ever say or think words like these? Well, you are not alone. But, what do you gain by being mad, by being so angry you lose control? The answer: you don’t gain anything of value but you lose much that is valuable! Often, being mad brings such harm that the damage is difficult, if not impossible to repair. Of course, you think you have good reasons for being mad. You have been hurt and nothing will stand between you and your right to be mad. If you are miserable, then everyone else should […]