Video
Posted on September 17, 2013

Who wrote Matthew and when was it written? What are some of the key themes of Matthew's Gospel? In this episode of Opening Up the Gospels, I give a very brief overview of some of the important points we should understand as we seek to construct a chronological narrative of Jesus' life from the Gospels. The most important point to know about Matthew's Gospel is that it is arranged thematically and topically, not chronologically.

Blog entry
Posted on April 8, 2013

In all of the social media/blogging buzz on the grace of God, it is troubling to me that the second coming of Jesus has been largely absent from the discussion. According to Paul, anticipating Jesus' return was the goal of grace. Jesus' return will bring an end to all unrighteousness, therefore true grace motivates sober, self-controlled living before that day. And because His return is the culmination of all of our hope, grace also teaches us to eagerly anticipate that day:...

Blog entry
Posted on January 30, 2012

Sin, Satan, culture, and even a well-meaning church have all challenged the biblical understanding of God as a tender Father, sovereign King, passionate Bridegroom, and jealous Judge. We’ve believed lies to one extent or another, which has caused us to approach prayer like we would approach a vending machine. Our quantity of prayer and zeal in prayer become two sides of the coin we insert into the vending machine called “God”. Almost automatically, we believe when we press the right combination of buttons by praying with the right scriptures and fasting a large number of days, God is...

Article
By Josh Hawkins Posted on June 6, 2011

The true Christian lifestyle has not changed through the passing centuries, however in our day Christianity is often presented in a way that has very little to do with conformity to the life of Jesus. The cross is often presented as the path Jesus took to secure our leisure and comfort. Sadly, many ascribe to this completely unbiblical idea. In my last two posts in this short series, I wrestled through a little bit of what it means to love Jesus through obedience and follow Him by...

Article
By Josh Hawkins Posted on May 30, 2011

In my last post of this short series, I briefly wrote about what it means to “deny ourselves” and how it specifically relates to obedience, the way that God defines how we love Him. Jesus’ call to deny ourselves entails a violent, radical resistance to self-promotion, self-preservation, and every expression of self-service in our time, emotions, thoughts, money, and every level of our existence. It requires a reorientation of our entire existence to understanding that we take in...

Article
By Josh Hawkins Posted on March 12, 2011

In the last two articles (read them here and here), I’ve written about how every choice, word, action, and moment of our lives should not end in self-exaltation but rather rebound to the glory of Christ. In today’s potently narcissistic culture, modern Christianity has presented a version of Jesus that exists for our pleasure and comfort instead of us existing for His fame and renown among the nations. The...

Article
By Josh Hawkins Posted on November 1, 2010

Imagine wandering off a hiking path to explore other parts of the woods. Unaware of how much time has passed, you suddenly realize nightfall is nearing. You’re stumbling around at dusk frantically looking for the trail markers, but fail to find them. You know that there are cliffs, ledges, and holes around that could easily claim your life with one wrong step. As the darkness closes in, you begin to wonder if you should have just gone elsewhere for a walk where there is an abundance of pavement and streetlights. As night sets in, so does fear. If only you would have listened to...

Blog entry
Posted on March 12, 2009

I came across this amazing quote from Thomas Dubay's book "Happy Are You Poor" and wanted to share it with you all.

“Plain honesty requires that we assert that the New Testament teaches an unblushing and uncompromising asceticism [simplicity], a hard road and narrow gate, a carrying of the cross every day, a renouncing of all that one possesses, a being rid of superfluities, and a dying with the Lord (Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 9:23; Luke 14:33; 1 Timothy 6:7-8; Romans 6:3-5). But it also teaches a rich, abundant human living, a complete and intense joy beyond...

Article
By Josh Hawkins Posted on February 26, 2009

Did you know that “striving” is a biblical concept?

In the church today there’s much talk about “striving” and how not to do it. We wrongly interpret striving as effort to earn God’s love, acceptance, forgiveness, and affection. Rather than fasting and praying out of love and longing to receive more of His presence, we fast and pray to earn His acceptance. We must remember that His love and forgiveness has been freely given to anyone who would accept it because of Jesus’ work on the cross. We were once dead, and it was only because of His kindness that we’ve been made...

Blog entry
Posted on February 2, 2009

We just started our monthly 3-day fast together as a community, and more and more I am discovering God’s wisdom in the “seeming weakness” of prayer. Telling God what He told us to tell Him, skipping a few meals, and spending time reading and praying through the Bible seems like a foolish waste of time to the natural mind. Yet I’m finding that it is truly the pathway to a vibrant heart full of life, peace, and joy.

Today I was reading through Luke’s gospel when I flipped ahead a few pages to Luke 21 and something caught my eye. Jesus said that many would be going through life as...

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