Consumer Church

We need more people coming to church ready to consume. We need more churches ready to give the people the product they need.

We need more people coming to church ready to consume. We need more churches ready to give the people the product they need. That's the trouble with the "hating on the consumer" mentality-- it's not always wrong. "With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation... Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without price" (Is 12:3; 55:1 ESV).

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Christward Collective is a conversation of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Christward Collective and the mission of the Alliance.

Wednesday: Prayer amid the Ruins of Jerusalem

Theme: The Lowest Point in the Psalm

In this week’s lessons we see the need for continual trust and worship, even during times of trouble and uncertainty.

Scripture: Psalm 74:1-23

In verses 9-11, Asaph's lament reaches its lowest point in an expression of utter abandonment. Scholar Alexander Maclaren rightly calls these verses “the kernel of the psalm, the rest of which is folded round them systematically.” This is right, because the psalm seems to descend to this point and then, like Psalm 73 before it, make a turning point in these verses and begin to start back up. Asaph complains, “We are given no miraculous signs; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be.”

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

How Much Should a Drunk Teenage Boy Be Held Accountable for His Behavior?

Are you who you were when you were 17? I hope not, but I also hope you didn't sexually assault others.

 
I am ashamed of my 17-year-old behavior. By God’s grace I have matured into a 42-year-old with a godly understanding of holiness and identity. By God’s grace, I have repented of my wayward behavior and his righteousness has covered me and the sanctifying work of his Spirit is transforming me more and more into the likeness of Christ.

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Mortification of Spin is a casual conversation of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Mortification of Spin and the mission of the Alliance.

Tuesday: Prayer amid the Ruins of Jerusalem

Theme: Faith in the midst of Calamity

In this week’s lessons we see the need for continual trust and worship, even during times of trouble and uncertainty.

Scripture: Psalm 74:1-23

Verses 1 and 2 form the first stanza of the psalm and at once strike the sad, wailing tone of this lament. Jerusalem has been destroyed, the temple is in ruins, and the psalmist can see no end to the wretchedness he has experienced and observed. In these verses he asks God if his rejection of his people is going to last forever (“Why have you rejected us forever, O God?''), and he asks God to remember and therefore help both his redeemed people and Jerusalem.

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Guard Your Heart

In the Bible, the "heart" is the center of oneself. It is the core of who a person is. It refers to who we are, our identity, the real us. This inner self includes our thoughts, our desires, our feelings, our personality, our motives and intentions, and the choices we make. It is what drives us. “As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man” (Proverbs 27:19).

Watch any romantic drama or comedy and you are bound to hear it. It’s a phrase that inevitably comes up in conversation between characters. When a woman is torn about whether to pursue a relationship with a man, her friend (or mother) will ask, "What does your heart tell you?"

It seems like an innocent and harmless question. But its implication is significant. Such a question implies that the heart seeks what is right and true. It also reveals that the way culture defines the heart is different than how the Bible defines it.

The Heart of Man

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Christward Collective is a conversation of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Christward Collective and the mission of the Alliance.

Monday: Prayer amid the Ruins of Jerusalem

Theme: The Psalm’s Historical Setting

In this week’s lessons we see the need for continual trust and worship, even during times of trouble and uncertainty.

Scripture: Psalm 74:1-23

Singing of the psalms was extremely important to the Huguenots, those persecuted Protestants who were driven out of France in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The power of the psalms to bless and fortify them must have been especially feared by their persecutors, for under Louis XIII and Louis XIV many edicts were passed forbidding the use of the Psalter. These brave people, however, merely hid their books while carrying on their singing in mountain caves or forests, since they knew the psalms by heart.

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Friday: A Paradigm Shift for Asaph

Theme: Seeing from God’s Perspective

In this week’s lessons we learn how the psalmist moves from doubt to faith in the goodness of God.

Scripture: Psalm 73:1-28

We have followed Asaph from his introductory statement of faith in the goodness of God, through his steep descent into doubt and near unbelief, to the important turning point as a result of which he began to see things from God's perspective. Here we see him coming back. This radical reordering of his thinking, described in verses 18-26, touches on three main areas.

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Thursday: A Paradigm Shift for Asaph

Theme: Asaph’s Turning Point

In this week’s lessons we learn how the psalmist moves from doubt to faith in the goodness of God.

Scripture: Psalm 73:1-28

Suddenly on this downhill path into floundering unbelief there comes a turning point. It is in verses 16 and 17. For just when he was about to be swept away, Asaph, the honest doubter, "entered the sanctuary of God” and came to understand the "final destiny" of the wicked.

Suddenly on this downhill path into floundering unbelief there comes a turning point. It is in verses 16 and 17. For just when he was about to be swept away, Asaph, the honest doubter, "entered the sanctuary of God” and came to understand the "final destiny" of the wicked.

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Wednesday: A Paradigm Shift for Asaph

Theme: Do Not Envy the Wicked

In this week’s lessons we learn how the psalmist moves from doubt to faith in the goodness of God.

Scripture: Psalm 73:1-28

What Asaph observed was "the prosperity of the wicked" which defies our expectation that virtue should be rewarded and wickedness punished. But that is only one side of the problem and probably the least important. Asaph's real problem, as he acknowledges, was that he had become envious of the wicked, and it was as a result of this that he had "almost slipped." In other words, his problem was that he compared their health, wealth and prosperity with his lack of prosperity and was resentful that God would allow such a state to continue.

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Doctrinal Pride

There is one specific kind of undiscerned spiritual pride that I think is not often discussed and is especially hard to recognize—the danger of doctrinal righteousness.

Jonathan Edwards’ short essay on Undiscerned Spiritual Pride1 is something that should be read by all pastors or Christians in leadership positions. In that work Edwards writes, “The first and the worst cause of errors, that prevail in [our day], is spiritual pride. This is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of religion.”2 There are few issues harder to talk about and more insidious than spiritual pride.

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Christward Collective is a conversation of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Christward Collective and the mission of the Alliance.

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