How the Gospel Frees Us from FOMO
by Brent Osterberg on September 26th, 2022
It’s a good sign that something has become culturally significant when we make it into an acronym. Such is the case with FOMO, or the Fear of Missing Out. It is a common burden in our day to feel anxiety at the thought that friends, family, or acquaintances are getting together without us or that there is some desirable event that we won’t be there to experience. Certainly, social media has only h...  Read More
The Obedience of Idolatry
by Ben Whiting on September 13th, 2022
If the villain in a book or movie wants to manipulate the hero, what do they do? Threaten someone the hero loves. To manipulate Spider-man, they threaten MJ. To manipulate Batman, they threaten Robin.This works because the things dearest to our hearts control us. Jesus illustrates this in the parable of the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45-46). Because the merchant treasured the pearl so much, ...  Read More
Idol Promises or God's Promises?
by Ben Whiting on August 30th, 2022
Gods make promises. The true God makes promises, and false gods make promises too.The question is, where will we put our trust?We see a vivid example of misplaced trust In 2 Chronicles 16. King Asa of Judah faced a military threat in a neighboring kingdom building a fortress on his border. He responded by sending silver and gold to the king of Syria in exchange for help with his enemies. And it fu...  Read More
The Antidote to Idolatry
by Ben Whiting on August 24th, 2022
What do you want? Where are you looking for satisfaction? What do you need to be happy?All of these are different ways of asking "What is life?" And our hearts are revealed by how we answer.The flip side is also revealing: "What is death?" What makes you anxious? What are you afraid of? What's the worst thing that could happen? What tempts you to despair? Your answers to these questions will also ...  Read More
Identifying Your Idols
by Ben Whiting on August 17th, 2022
The idols in our modern world are subtle.We’re too sophisticated and civilized to offer sacrifices to small statues or the gods they represent. Sure, we struggle with lust, anger, fear, despair. But we don’t get tripped up by the easy stuff that wreaked havoc in ancient Israel. Right?Actually, idolatry is thriving in our modern age. You don’t have to visit a temple prostitute or a brothel—you can ...  Read More
Idolatry Today
by Ben Whiting on August 17th, 2022
Why don't we talk much about idols these days? Why do we so easily dismiss a temptation that works so much devastation in the story of God's people?Idolatry is a consuming focus of the Old Testament. The first two commandments direct our love toward God and forbid the worship of anything but God. When Israel draws near to the promised land, Moses repeatedly warns them against idolatry. After they ...  Read More
Pride in Disguise
by Brent Osterberg on June 23rd, 2022
What kind of person comes to mind when you think of pride? Is it the man who loudly boasts of his achievements in the presence of others? Is it the woman who demands that things be done her way and her way only? Is it the teenager whose speech, dress, and behavior gives no consideration to the feelings of those around him? These examples are some of the more common associations we have when we con...  Read More
Think Like a Puritan About Indwelling Sin
by Brent Osterberg on May 3rd, 2022
“The best prayer I ever prayed had enough sin to damn the whole world.” Have you ever come across this quote? Whether you’ve heard it before or you just read it for the first time, I bet it didn’t make you feel all warm inside. It probably wasn’t like spiritually stopping to smell the roses on a sunny day. The quote is attributed to the puritan John Bunyan, and although it may sound like he was mo...  Read More
What If I Don't Crave God's Word?
by Brent Osterberg on March 25th, 2022
Many people reading this will believe that a regular diet of God’s Word is essential for a Christian’s spiritual health. If you have spent any length of time in a faithful church, this comes as no surprise. The Word of God itself is clear on this matter when the apostle Peter says, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). In...  Read More
Combating Discouragement in the New Year
by Brent Osterberg on January 1st, 2022
As we approach the end of another year, many of us look to January 1st like the refresh button on an app. When an app slows down or stops loading, we quickly attempt a refresh so that progress will continue. So it is with a new year. Goals and ambitions begin to decelerate or stop altogether toward the end of November, but there is the hope of January to start anew. With this refresh, however, can...  Read More
Before You Can Get Home
by Ben Forbes on December 2nd, 2021
Remember the days before GPS?  When you were lost you had to discover where you were on a paper map (gasp!) before you could get where you needed to be.  You had to define your lostness before you could get home.  This is Paul’s goal in the first three chapters of Romans.In Roman's 1:18-32, Paul’s topic is sin.  And while that may sound unpleasant, it’s actually the single most loving topic Paul c...  Read More
Sometimes Jesus' Love Throws Us for a Loop
by Brent Osterberg on November 23rd, 2021
I admire the simplicity of the familiar Sunday school song which declares, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” It expresses assurance of Christ’s love on the basis of Scripture’s authority, and this a reality that, in our post-Christian culture, needs to be constantly reaffirmed. But Scripture tells us more than the reality that Jesus loves us, it also tells us how Jesus love...  Read More
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