Resources relating to self-denial and embracing our cross in this age unto fellowship with Jesus.

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By Stephen Venable Posted on December 22, 2011

The circumstantial ease of the West has contributed to a false understanding that suffering is not normal to the Christian life. Jesus often spoke otherwise.

Jesus is seen as glorious through the alleviation of suffering and the display of His power, but is also seen as glorious through the restraint of His power. We glorify Jesus in the midst of suffering by rejoicing in Him, and we glorify Him in the midst of ease when we shed tears of longing for Him.

In these notes, Stephen Venable presents a biblical theology of suffering with the glory of Christ as the backdrop,...

Blog entry
Posted on October 28, 2011

Earlier I was reading this article on Voice of the Martyr’s persecution.com, a website dedicated to assisting the worldwide persecuted church. The article briefly described how a 30-year old Indian Christian was deported from the Maldives simply for possessing a Bible in his home.

Upon reading more articles from the site, I was struck afresh with the normalcy of suffering to the Christian life. The circumstantial ease of the West has contributed to a false understanding of suffering, persecution...

Article
By Josh Hawkins Posted on August 13, 2011

Why is it that even after the best times of our lives, we lay our head to sleep and still feel unsatisfied? No matter how many possessions we obtain, how many friends we have that like us, or how perfect our circumstances turned out, we still inevitably will come to a point where we retire in solitude and ask “Really? That’s it?”

Humanity has either given unsatisfactory answers to this question or simply ignored it altogether by pacifying our ache of dissatisfaction through various means. In the West where affluence and ease permeate our culture like a strong fragrance...

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...

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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...

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By Josh Hawkins Posted on May 25, 2011

“Love” is a loaded word. It does not take a philosopher or psychologist to discover that it means so many different things to so many different people. What matters most to the Christian, however, is how Jesus defines “love”. The mistake we often make, in both gross and subtle ways, is applying our own definition of the word to our relationship with Jesus. Can you imagine the horror of standing before Him on that Day and Him asking us a question like “did you learn to love?” and not having walked according to His definition? Thankfully, He has not made His definition of “love” either...

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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...

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By Josh Hawkins Posted on February 14, 2011

In my last post, I wrote about how our lives must be completely other-oriented, where we realize that the reason why we take in breath right now is ultimately for Christ’s glory, renown, and fame, not for ours. I wrote about how self-denial and a daily death march to the cross is what we are beckoned to by Jesus Himself (Luke 9:22-26), because a life of self-denial is the way to bring the most glory to Another.

Though the way is narrow and difficult, the path to...

Article
By Josh Hawkins Posted on January 17, 2011

Why are your lungs filled with breath right now? Why is your heart beating? Humanity has sought the answer to this question for ages through philosophy, science, and religion. The Bible’s answer to this question is simple – you exist for God alone.

The polluted, narcissistic air of religion that we breathe in the West has often reduced the glorious Son of God to a mascot for our ease and comfort. Christianity subsequently becomes a “twelve step” self-help program that makes us better people, gives us a better society, and gives us more hope and happiness. But...

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...

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