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.

Good Tears, Bad Tears

Children quickly learn that tears are powerful motivators. Tears bring sympathy and comfort. However, tears also bring the opportunity for manipulation and deceit. Learning to discern the difference is a huge challenge for parents.  For example, a young child wants to play with a toy that his brother has. He feels sorry for himself and tries to grab the toy. When his attempt fails, he begins to cry. Amazingly, the tears allow him to possess the coveted toy. This little boy has just learned a lesson he will not forget. “Tears can bring me what I want.” Then he learns that tears will get him out of responsibilities that are unpleasant to him. Finally, he completes the trifecta by learning […]

Your Hurt and Your Hope

Paul Tripp comments on Psalm 51 about what brings us our greatest hurt.  While we look to blame people and situations, the one greater reality that we must face when looking to sort out the true source of our hurt is our own heart. Paul says is it this way: It is your fault! Sin is a matter of the heart before it’s ever an issue of behavior. Sin is a matter of what lurks in us before it’s ever an issue of what happens to us. It’s the evil inside me that connects me to the evil outside me. So we must confess again today that we are our biggest and greatest problem in life. You and I don’t […]

Baby Pictures

Pictures of infants and toddlers are adorable. These pictures appear to represent everything good about life: joy, beauty, innocence, vulnerability, potential. They fill us with hope that this sweet, precious child will somehow not be scarred by the hard things in life. Yet, there is danger in these photos. These captivating images can blind us to the hidden reality of the natural darkness of the heart. The deceptive innocence of the pictures is one reason we are stunned by that first lie, that first blatant act of ugly selfishness. Where did that come from? The temptation is to say who did this to my baby?!? To be sure, outside influences are significant. But there is another, more significant source of […]

God is Never on Coffee Break

There is only one thing about tomorrow that you can know with certainty. God will be faithful to you. You can plan for tomorrow, and that is a good thing. But tomorrow may not go according to your plan. World events may radically change your life. Your car may not start. Your kids could get sick. Your financial situation could change. Your pet could go missing. The uncertainty of tomorrow is the constant reality of your life. The way you anticipate tomorrow will impact the way you do life today. Worry about tomorrow comes from the lie that humans are in control of your life. This gives us reasons to do something other than to seek treasures of God’s kingdom […]

Friends You Can Trust

Which friends can you trust? This question has haunted humans since the beginning. Abel trusted his brother, Cain. Cain asked Abel to go out to the field with him. Abel was apparently unaware of the building hatred that his brother had for him. Despite Abel’s trust, Cain attacked and killed his brother.  Psalm 62 speaks of this hidden, selfish agenda of deception and hatred. Speaking of his enemies, David says: They plan to topple me from my high position. They delight in telling lies about me. They praise me to my face but curse me in their hearts. The darkness of the human heart doesn’t change. What can we learn from David and the narrative of Cain? There are at […]

What to Think About Halloween

Each year questions arise about participation in Halloween. Is it really the Devil’s holiday? Well, it is in the sense that every day where he rules in the hearts of unbelievers is his day. But it is also true that Christ has triumphed on the cross and brought defeat to the dark enemy of our souls. So it is important to look a little deeper if we are going to find a satisfying answer. At its best Halloween is time for creativity, joy, friendship, and fun. At its worst, it is about death, fear, darkness, and the celebration of evil.  Again, for the Christian, this is like every other day. Each day we are to choose between life and death, […]

God Alone

The Holy Spirit makes a statement about the uniqueness of God in Psalm 62. It is a simple, straightforward declaration: He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken. When David says God alone is his rock and his place of safety, he means just that. God is the only safe place. He is not one option among many possibilities. He is the only option, period. There is no person, place, or thing that can take God’s place. The greatest miscalculation that any person can make is to believe that there are other places of security besides God.  This does not mean that we can’t find peace and safety in people, places, or […]

Our Kids Are Like Us

Why do your children fight? The short answer is, the same reason you do! They fight because they do not have what they want. As adults, we think we have moved beyond childish selfishness, we have developed “mature” reasons for our arguments. However, if you strip away the adult “sophistication” of our arguments, you will find that you are not much different from your children who squabble over a favorite toy. We believe the lie that if we are hurt a robust defense is justified. Getting into a fight seems like the right and necessary and “real” thing to do; we have to protect ourselves! Our kids are like us. The hard truth is that you and I fight because […]

Love Is Not Disappointed 

If you love biblically, then your love for others will not be diminished by their failures. When love is all about you, 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 and God-centered, not me-centered.  This means radical rethinking regarding the nature of love. Love is not about what makes you feel good or happy. Love is dying to your wants, your desires, your dreams. Only by loving Jesus first can anyone experience this sort of love. Thus, genuine love is not consistent with […]

When Life is Hard

Life is hard. Life brings pain. Moments of happiness and joy fade quickly when darkness comes. When life is hard God calls out to his people, his voice remains strong and sure. It is in this setting that David writes Psalm 27. David has known joy and victory. But he has also known the despair of failure and agony. Some of this has come from the betrayal and manipulation of those closest to him. Some have been self-inflicted. David hears the call to doubt God. He hears the taunts of his oppressors. He hears that he is mocked and his God is mocked. He is tempted to believe that God is unfair. There is a taunt — “God, are you […]