We are in a relentless, violent spiritual battle against an enemy who doesn't want us to fulfill our calling, either individually or corporately. Whether we have been persecuted like Christians in a hostile culture or not, Peter's words to the persecuted still ring true for us.
Changing our minds feels so natural to us as humans, it’s hard to envision life without it. But what would it mean for God to change his mind? Does he? Could he? Or are all his plans and purposes unchangeable?
There are lots of hints in the biblical book that bears his name that Nehemiah was a person who lived with an ongoing awareness of the presence of the Lord, and who highly valued the importance of communion with God.
When I have preached on a psalm in a church, some people have mentioned to me that they were familiar with a verse from the psalm but they had not thought about the passage’s overall message. I have often wondered if believers have a good reading strategy for getting the most out of a psalm.
If God loves us, we assume it must mean that we are not all that bad. Not only is this view false in every way, it destroys a deep appreciation for the amazing beauty of God’s love — that He loved the unlovely, and died for the unloving.