'I remember being a freshman in high school, believing heart and soul that I would wait for marriage to have sex. I'd never kissed a boy, and I didn't plan on it until I was engaged. Fast-forward four or five years, and I've made out for fun, for comfort, for love and for revenge. Fast-forward another two or three years, and I'm sleeping with someone I'm not even dating. Why does it happen? Because we are broken people. And because God created sex and physical affection as a phenomenal part of what is meant to heal us: intimate, committed love with another human being. But when we don't know how our body and heart work, we tend to do long-term damage to ourselves instead of long-term good.'
'If God is to be glorified through our gifts, we must rely on him, which can be hard, especially when it comes to our strengths. When you lead your Bible study, do you wing it because you are intelligent and quick on your feet, or do you commit yourself to prayer and reflection because you need God’s help? When you swing a hammer in Katrina relief, is it in dependence on God for his glory or are you just another humanitarian doing a good thing for hurting people? God doesn’t get the glory when we do good things on our own. He gets glory when we do good things in the strength he supplies by his Spirit.'
'The following is not an attempt to track and categorize all of the concepts of “sin” in the book of 1 John. To do that one would need to look at walking in darkness, loving the world, not keeping commandments, not practicing righteousness, idolatry, etc. Rather, I simply want to highlight some of the various ways that John instructs us to think about what he explicitly calls “sin” (ἁμαρτ–).'
'How often do you think of heaven and rejoice as you think of it? Does it give you a sense of strangeness and of fear, and a desire, as it were, to avoid it? If it does so to any degree, I fear we must plead guilty that we are living on too low a level. Thoughts of heaven ought to make us rejoice and be exceeding glad. True Christian living is to be like Paul and to say, `to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ Why? Because it means, `to be with Christ; which is far better,’ to see Him and to be like Him. Let us think more about these things, realizing increasingly, and reminding ourselves constantly, that if we are in Christ these things are awaiting us. We should desire them above everything else. Therefore, `Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven.’
'The daunting statistics about church going youth keep rolling in. Panic ensues. What are we doing wrong in our churches? In our youth ministries? It’s hard to sort through the various reports and find the real story. And there is no one easy solution for bringing all of those “lost” kids back into the church, other than continuing to pray for them and speaking the gospel into their lives. However, we can all look at the 20-somethings in our churches who are engaged and involved in ministry. What is it that sets apart the kids who stay in the church? Here are just a few observations I have made about such kids, with a few applications for those of us serving in youth ministry.'