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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
How Repentance Gets Hamstrung
by Brent Osterberg on September 7th, 2021
When we realize that we have sinned, our next move should be to make a beeline to the Lord in repentance. But instead, we sometimes (often?) cut ourselves off from the source of help and relief we so desperately need in Christ. Like Adam and Eve, we deal with our own sin in our own way. It may not be hiding among the trees or sewing fig leaves together to make loin cloths, but it is just as tro...
by Ben Forbes on August 24th, 2021
Sometimes God guides us with truths that seem like two sides of a coin, or maybe like guard rails on the right and left that keep us centered. We’re called to be harmless as doves and wise as serpents (Matt. 10:16). We’re told to answer a fool according to his folly (Prov. 26:5) and not to answer a fool according to his folly (Prov. 26:4). A little reflection reveals how this works. We must be...
What You Need to Know About Your Idol
by Brent Osterberg on July 6th, 2021
How are we to fight the desire to find satisfaction in something outside of God when the desire is so powerful that it seems insurmountable? Among many other things, we need to be able to tell ourselves the truth about what we are desiring in those moments. In his excellent book, Look and Live, Matt Papa makes a statement that captures this reality: “[God] knows that anything we love more than Him...
Words on a Gravestone
by Ben Forbes on June 22nd, 2021
Mark Bennett sent the following email to the other elders after his morning devotions a while back. When it was still on my mind several days later I thought it was worth sharing with the body. It’s a very short reflection on 2 Chronicles 21 reprinted with his permission:Words on a gravestone say much about the decedent. II Chronicles 21 reports on King Jehoram’s reign in Judah. He was one who...
Love is Love?
by Ben Forbes on June 15th, 2021
I’ve been seeing this phrase a lot lately “Love is love” has been used for years to mean something like, “Romantic love between any two individuals is equally valid and beautiful.” It’s been a popular slogan for some time, generally used to express support for those in homosexual or other non-traditional relationships. When brilliant composer Lin-Manuel Miranda won a Tony Award for best origina...
The Normal Christian Experience
by Brent Osterberg on May 6th, 2021
What does normal life look like for the believer in Jesus Christ? Most certainly, it involves living in a new relationship to God. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, the believer is no longer God’s enemy, but God’s child. Understanding this is crucial, but this is not the only new relationship that salvation brings us. Dan Kirk, a fellow contributor to the CBCD, has often said that Jesus’...
Religious OCD and Morbid IntrospectionReligious OCD: Don't Trust YourselfThe Benefit of Biography in Biblical CounselingThe Importance of the Worship Service for Biblical CounselingRedeeming the Time in the Days of the CoronavirusKeeping Your Brothers and Sisters from CrisisThe Threat of Reading the Bible with a "Fix-it" MentalityComfort: Don't Keep it to YourselfThe Truth About OCDTemptation Begins Earlier than You ThinkYour Goal in Suffering