Jay Younts

2264 posts
John A. (Jay) Younts wrote the Shepherd Press blog from 2007 through 2019. He 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.

Are You Santa’s Helper?

Your children know everything about you. They see when you are sleeping, they know when you have been good or bad, they know when you pout and when you shout. Your kids know all of this without you ever having to say a word. When you stumble and ask God for help — they learn. When you stumble and snap or make excuses — they learn from that, too. If you value your relationship with God above all else, your children will know that as well. What does this have to do with being Santa’s helper? Just this: in Psalm 72:18 we read that “God alone does marvelous things.” However, at Christmas time, for little children someone else is portrayed […]

Christmas for All

On a quiet night, the sky erupted with the praise of heaven to shepherds in a pasture with their sheep. In an age of global communication and media fanfare, it seems unsettling that the most important announcement ever made to humans was given to just a few shepherds. They had no political connections. They were not celebrities with social media connections. I don’t believe they even had a youtube channel. Yet the angels gave them the wondrous message of Christmas that was meant for all people.  Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors! However, this message was broadcast in ways quite different from the internet and social media channels. It was proclaimed […]

Do Good to One Another at Christmas

There is an amazing gift that you can give this Christmas that is literally priceless. In the book 31 Ways to be a One Another Christian the authors remind us of the gift of doing good to one another. It is a gift so easily ignored, but there are few things in life that can match the power of the gift of goodness.  The book explains it is this way: “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:15, Paul uses the present tense to show that seeking after good for one another person should not be a temporary or sporadic action, but rather […]

When Christmas Hurts, Hope in Christ

Christmas is a time of joy and thanksgiving, but not for everyone. Amid the colored lights and wrapped presents there are hearts that are as empty as the open gift boxes under the tree on Christmas morning. Christmas brings good memories but also the hard ones of broken dreams and relationships. When we are struggling, it is tempting to ask where is the joy in life?   David asked these same questions long ago. He wanted to know why God had abandoned him. He wanted to know why his prayers were not answered. He cried out to ask why God does not answer his pleas. So he writes these words in Psalm 22: My God, my God, why have you […]

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 […]