Jay Younts

2118 posts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.

The Planet, Jesus, and Christmas

When Adam and Eve embraced the lie of Satan, the impact of their fall reverberated all through Planet Earth. God designed the earth to be lovingly cared for by people. All of the beauty and resources of the earth were to be under human care for the glory and honor of God. Practically this meant the planet and its resources would be managed well and respected. This gracious command to protect the planet is called the Creation Mandate.  But after sin entered into the human race that balance of care and respect was replaced by the unholy combination of abuse and worship. People either abused creation or they deified and worshipped it. Both actions continue to inflict disastrous consequences.  The […]

Giving to yourself – not cool!

Giving gifts to yourself is a dangerous activity. No, I am not talking about the present under the tree that is labeled from you to you. I am talking about the gifts you give to others that are really meant for you. Let me explain. For example, giving a gift to someone for the pleasure of seeing how much you are appreciated. You are feeling under-appreciated by your daughter. You find a gift you think will please her and tip the scales back in your favor. This is where things get murky. You spent money on something you really couldn’t afford so that she would think you are wonderful. But she doesn’t think the gift is all that great! So […]

Caring for One Another at Christmas

The authors of 31 Ways to be a “One-Another” Christian have provided a vital insight for gift giving this Christmas season. Do your gifts show that you care from your heart or do your gifts represent attempts to make others appreciate you? We tend to give gifts based on how much money we have to spend. However, by focusing on caring for one-another the funding that matters is that largeness of your heart. Listen to this distinction  from the eighth way to be a One-Another Christian: Caring for one another is not just having an affectionate feeling toward another believer. Caring is not merely an emotional feeling, just as love is not merely a feeling. Both care and love are […]

A December Prayer

Dear Father, grant that I would be blown away by the gift of your son to me. Grant that this season of “gift-giving” would not blind the eyes of my heart from the one gift that matters. If not for the gospel, all gifts would be nothing more than bribes and tokens of appeasement. If not for the gospel, there would be no selflessness. If not for the gospel, I would only give to get. If not for the gospel, I would obsess on what I think I deserve and despair over what I do not have. Father, I ask that your church would love the gospel message so much that we would become salt and light to those around […]

Why Be Thankful?

Thanksgiving is the one day in the holiday season about which there is no ambiguity. Store clerks, news anchors, strangers, teachers, pastors, flight attendants, TV commercials, salespeople, even government employees can say Happy Thanksgiving without fear of offending anyone. Almost everyone can offer some reason to give thanks. For the moment, at least, thanksgiving is not offensive in our culture. Christians especially have reason for thanksgiving. Our sins have been placed on another so that we can know the Lord of the Universe. There is much to be thankful for. But the most basic reason for Thanksgiving is the goodness and mercy of God. The simple truth is that if we were not commanded to give thanks we would not. […]

To Be a Christian is To Be With One Another

Life is about relationships. This simple, profound statement is the theme of a new book from Shepherd Press: 31 Ways to be A One-Another Christian: Loving Others With the Love of Jesus Authors Dr. Stuart Scott and S. Andrew Jin will take you a journey to discover the wonder of the power of relationships. The three Persons of the Trinity exist in eternity in a perfect relationship. Jesus says in John 17 that eternal life is knowing God and his Son. So we can readily see how the authors conclude that “People, created in the image God, are made for relationship.” We are made to “One-Another.” This is especially true for believers in Christ. To be in Christ is to […]

Gratitude: A Weapon of Victory

The Christian life is war. You have enemies both within and without. Some of these enemies appear larger than life. They dominate your thoughts when you wake and when you sleep. They are your Goliaths. However, they are pretend giants. They appear to have control, but they have no control over God and his ability to care for you. These pretend power players can never keep you from loving and following God. They may be able to overturn our plans, but they are powerless to stop God’s care for us. When you are confronted by your fears, the enemies of your soul, remember David’s to someone who thought he was in control: “All those gathered here will know that it […]

Patient Love 

Patience is often referred to as something that can be lost – as in “you are really causing me to lose my patience.” But how would it sound if you were to say “you are really causing me to lose my love for you?” Those words would be devastating to hear.  You see, love is intimately defined as patient by the Holy Spirit. So if love is patient, then “losing” patience can be equated to losing love. In other words, it is impossible to truly love without being patient. Said this way the idea of losing patience is not a pretty one.  A working definition of patience is living in the expectation of God’s care. This means living each day […]

Delighting in the Awesome Fear of the Lord

Happiness, trust in others, joy, and peace come with the fear of the Lord.  This sounds like a contradiction. How can peace come from fear? Because the fear of God means that we grasp his greatness and holiness and are humbled in awe of all that he is and all that we are not. This leads to a holy, healthy fear that orders our lives in joy and peace. The Psalms are built on one great foundational truth: God rules over the earth. Blessed or joyful is the man who turns away from the world and delights in the law and fear of God. The Psalms also teach that the appropriate fear of God must always come first. The fear […]

Veteran’s Day – Keep us from Evil

“Keep us from evil.” It is a prayer that many pray by rote. But one way God answers this prayer is with the men and women who would offer their lives to keep us from evil. The photo above is a church in Germany, within sight of the concentration camp at Dachau. The peacefulness of this scene attempts to mask the demonic face of evil.  Whether it is with the evil within or with the enemies of freedom, fighting evil comes at a high price.  I took this photo driving away from Dachau. I was with two of my closest friends. We were stunned at the horror of what we had just seen: Man’s inhumanity to man! This church looked […]