A new year is upon us which means we are frantically thinking about what we will resolve to do. In 2008, Sinclair Ferguson delivered a message at the Desiring God National Conference that included 20 God-honoring resolutions from the book of James. I commend them to you:
Christmas is full of wonderful things. Time with family & friends. Delicious cookies. Beautiful lights. And, of course, gifts. For many people, Christmas is a time to gather with others to give and receive gifts of all kinds—from toy trucks to gift cards to t-shirts that we’ll never wear—no doubt; this Christmas will be full of gifts.
The Apostle Paul knew a thing or two about gifts. In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul is urging the church at Corinth to be a generous people for the sake of the gospel by reminding them of the generosity of God’s grace towards us in Christ. And as he is reminding them of God’s grace in the gospel, he writes, v.15, “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” It’s as if Paul, upon reflecting on Jesus coming to save sinners, sat back in his chair and said in amazement: Thank You, God, for this gift!
To say that God’s love for us in Christ is inexpressible is to say that there will never be a day when it will cease to amaze those who know it.
How great is this gift, you ask? It is “inexpressible,” which tells us two things about God’s love for us in Christ:
1. It never runs out.
The word “inexpressible” literally means, “beyond comprehension.” He uses this language again when he writes to the Ephesians in Ephesians 3:19 prays that they might know, “the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.” In other words, if the gospel were a body of water, Paul says, “You can swim as far down as you can, but you’ll never reach the bottom.” That is how great God’s love for us is. And that is the very gift that those of us in Christ have received—God’s inexpressible love.
2. It never grows old.
To say that God’s love for us in Christ is inexpressible is to say that there will never be a day when it will cease to amaze those who know it. This isn’t true of any gift you and I have ever received. Food eventually expires. Clothes shrink and fade over time. Toys get dull and boring. But those in Christ have God’s love—a gift that will never grow old. Such that ten thousand years we will still be saying with the Apostle Paul, “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!”
This Christmas, celebrate the only gift that never runs out and never grows old. The very gift that we will be talking about for all eternity—that Jesus saves sinners. So, may God bless you this Christmas season as you reflect on God’s inexpressible gift. Merry Christmas!
Charles Spurgeon once said, "Give yourself unto reading. The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men's brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read." Every year I assemble a list of the best books I've read in the given year. My hope is that this list will serve you in that it 1) inspires you to read more in 2019 and 2) gives you a couple of ideas of books to read. So, Tolle Lege!
10. No Quick Fix by Andy Naselli
9. Teaching as Jesus Taught by Roy Zuck
8. Great at Work by Morten Hansen
7. The Preacher's Catechism by Lewis Allen
6. The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield
5. Unstuck by Matt Perman
4. Some Pastors and Teachers by Sinclair Ferguson
3. Charles Spurgeon on the Christian Life by Michael Reeves
2. Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Warren
1. C.S. Lewis on the Christian Life by Joe Rigney
One of my favorite verses on marriage for husbands is Proverbs 5:19, "... be intoxicated always in her love." Nowhere in the Bible do we find any command to be intoxicated except in Proverbs 5:19. I love that. Husbands are to be so in love with their wives that from the outside it appears that they are intoxicated. Make note: this does not happen naturally. Day-by-day, ever Husband is called to take intentional action to develop a deeper, more intimate romance in their marriage. So, here are thirty ways Husbands can love their wives:
*I've adapted a few of these ideas from Justin Buzzard's excellent book, Date Your Wife. I highly recommend it.
The Christmas season is a beautiful time of the year. Full of lights, Christmas cookies, family gatherings, and for some people, egg-nog. In the midst of all of the beauty of this season, there tends to be a tendency for our souls to slip into neutral; going through the motions and slowly losing the affection for God we once had.
So, as we enter this Christmas season let me encourage you to ask yourself six questions on a weekly (or daily!) basis: