Saturday, March 19, 2016

(I'm Glad) Jeremiah 29:11 is not for Me

{image source}
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)
Practically all of us are familiar with this promise. It’s cross-stitched on pillows, it’s used to decorate peoples’ homes, it’s the go-to verse for graduation cards – and understandably so; it’s quite a nice-sounding promise.

There have been some dream-killers, though, who argue that this verse doesn’t actually apply to us modern-day Christians. These meanies think that we should stop claiming that verse for ourselves.

Oh, I forgot to mention: I’m one of them. And you should be too.

Now, before you close the page, understand that I’m very, very glad Jeremiah 29:11 does not apply to me. And if you’ll bear with me for a couple minutes, I hope you’ll see why.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Single Men: Love Your Wives (Video Post)

It's Valentine's week. It's a time when many couples take that extra effort to express their love for one another. In recent years, it has also (perhaps jokingly) become a time for "Singles' Awareness." I believe, though, that we as singles need more than just "awareness." We need a lifestyle of commitment.

In Not Just a Teen's first ever video-post, we'll discuss how we men can love our wives even while we're single:

What other ways can we single men "love our wives"? How can single women "love their husbands"? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

God is not a GPS

{image source}
Some believe that God is like a GPS. He has a direction He wants you to travel (His “plan”), and He leads you in that direction each step of the way. Maybe you’ll take miss a turn or get off on the wrong exit here or there, but like a GPS, God’s always there to “reroute” you back on the right road.

This analogy, however, is severely lacking, if not in direct opposition with reality. If God were like a GPS, that would imply that we men and women are in the driver’s seat. We would be in control, deciding when and where we want to go. God would merely be an advisor, knowing the right route but having no control over what path we actually take. This view undermines God’s sovereignty.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

God is Good (and That's Terrifying)

{image source}

"The most terrifying truth in scripture is that God is good." - Paul Washer1

In our world of Christian slogans and catch phrases, “God is good” has become a mere cliché. It’s become so much of a cliché that sometimes it’s used more often as a call-to-order in a church service than anywhere else.

God is indeed good. Beyond good, really! He’s so good that He’s the very definition of good! He’s so good that He can’t be anything less than good! He’s so good that nothing outside of Himself can be good! He’s perfect! There really is no set of words that would fully explain just how good God is.

But why would that be terrifying?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Myth of Modesty

{image source}
The topic of modesty has caused unimaginable division, especially within the Church. The reason is clear: we’ve focused so much on how women dress that we’ve lost touch with the heart of God. Sure, sometimes we’ll throw in the male side of the discussion, but our attention still isn’t in the right place.

The problem is that the outward appearance is such a tiny portion of modesty that it’s no wonder why we’ve gotten things so wrong!

I have yet to read a description of modesty that explains it as it really is (not that one doesn’t exist; I simply haven’t found it). So what I’d like to do is try to paint for you the whole picture of modesty and destroy the myths that have caused such ungodly division.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

God Doesn't Make Sense (And I'm Okay with That)

{image source}
We live in a world that wants so desperately to know God. That is, we live in a world that wants to be able to understand God. To know His thoughts. To predict His movements.

We want God to make sense.

But there’s a problem. We’re humans. We live in our own corner of the universe with our own worldviews, ideas, and values. We, with our peephole-sized view of the world, determine our own idea of how things should be.

So, in the face of a Divine Master that doesn’t match our concept of “God,” we humans reject Him. Even though His reality is substantially clear, we deny Him and choose to follow our own desires (Romans 1:20-21).

This is a bad enough problem in a lost society, but this kind of thinking is invasive; it’s found its way even back into the lives of redeemed Christians.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

The Relationship Series: Now What?

{image source}

We’ve arrived at the sixth and final post of The Relationship Series. Over the course of this series, we’ve talked about a number of not-so-popular relationship topics. We’ve discovered the purpose of marriage and our roles as husbands and wives in it, we’ve discussed courtship with its purpose and application, and we’ve uncovered the real meaning of purity.

As I mentioned in the previous part in this series, though, many of us have years to go before we’ll marry or even begin some sort of relationship. So in reading these posts, you may find yourself asking this question:

“Now what?”

“What can I do now to prepare for marriage?” ­­We began to answer this question in Part 5 by talking about purity. We found out that purity is much more than simply “not crossing the line,” but is really a pursuit of Christ. This, of course, is the most important aspect of preparing for marriage. How can we expect to please God in our relationships if we aren’t pleasing Him in our individual lives? Therefore, chasing after Christ and His holiness is the most essential part of becoming ready for marriage.

In addition to following the Lord in purity, there are a number of specific things we can do to prepare ourselves for being godly husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers.