Jeremiah 17: 5-8 invites us to evaluate what we ultimately put our trust in and what we naturally rely on. In this passage, there are two kinds of trees: one that is struggling and one that is flourishing. The difference between the trees is not their circumstances, but instead where they have placed their roots....

Anxiety stems from the unknown and can consume our everyday thoughts and life. However, anxious thoughts can be fought and won with what we do know: God sacrificed His only Son on our behalf. Through God’s reassurance to Abraham in Genesis 15 and God’s truth in Scripture, we learn that the hope of the gospel conquers our anxiety and any uncertainty of our future....

The traditions and the foods may be different, but even across the globe, we can unite with our Kenyan brothers and sisters in this great celebration. Christ has come to earth! The redemption of our souls has been accomplished. Our God has made a way, and we will never be the same. ...

For many of us, Christmas Day is one of the most important days of the entire year, which is obvious given the intense amount of preparation that often goes into it. We adjust schedules, plan, and budget months in advance. Family members travel in from far away. Decorations are perfectly placed, menus are planned, and gifts are purchased, wrapped, and hidden. ...

This summer I had a memorable conversation with my Dad. He will turn 65 in a couple of months and he was talking to me about insurance options that my parents had been discussing. As we sat in that small coffee shop in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, I recognized that this was one of the first times I had let myself think about the mortality of my parents....

David left a legacy behind him of both devotion to God and failure. As he leaves a legacy of corruption and generational disobedience for his sons in 1 Kings, he simultaneously praises the Lord and sacrifices all the resources and wealth he has left to the building of a permanent temple for God....

We have been pursued, therefore we pursue. We have been brought into God’s family. Therefore we bring others into ours. We now live in a state of eternal belonging, therefore we bring others into our lives and offer them a place to belong. We have a Father who protects us and provides for us, therefore we seek opportunities to provide for and protect others. We have been adopted, therefore we adopt....

In the same way God set a star in the sky to lead the Magi to Jesus, He places His children in their neighborhoods, workplaces, PTA meetings, and lecture halls to do the same. You don’t have to go overseas to impact the nations. God brings them to our doorstep—refugees, international students, those in search of greater opportunities and freedom....

Our current community group study has me excavating the depths of my heart and taking a thorough inventory of my sin patterns and their effect on my life. It’s a dark and lonely road. I am learning how easily I gloss over, legitimize, or even dismiss sin as no longer relevant, even though they are clearly and unequivocally sins to God....

2 Samuel 24 brings tension between our understanding of judgment and God’s perfect union of justice and mercy. God encourages David to take a census of the people, and although David’s advisors try to convince him otherwise, David follows through and tallies the people. The census results in God’s judgment....

Satan is an unforgiving and dominating master, and the consequences and darkness of sin had corroded humanity - those made in God's image- since the beginning of time. We were slaves to our own sinful natures; our cravings and desires were the very things destroying us. Then, in the quietness of a sleepy Jewish village, all of human history was changed. "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name 'Immanuel' (which means God with us)" (Matthew 1:23)....

We love hearing good news, especially when we’re the first to know. There’s a big difference between getting a phone call from your best friend about their pregnancy, engagement, or new job and finding out about it on Facebook. We cherish being invited to participate in the lives of the people we love instead of simply being spectators. ...

Absalom was known as the most cunning, handsome, and ambitious of David’s sons. The Bible describes him in 2 Samuel 14:25 saying, “Now Absalom was praised as the most handsome man in all Israel. He was flawless from head to foot.” I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pretty important image to uphold....

In 2 Samuel 15, the consequences of David’s sin are being revealed in the rebellion of his son, Absalom. Through his own sin, David helped create the moment and opportunity of Absalom’s rebellion. Upon hearing of this rebellion, David flees Jerusalem but shows his trust in the Lord in the face of his consequences. ...

At Christmas we rejoice in the birth of a child. Though much-awaited through the volumes of history, this child slipped into the world with little fanfare and even fewer resources. Illegitimately born into the care of a teenage mother, he was without status, power, or privilege- deprived of even the simplest of opportunities....

Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets spoke of the promised Savior, telling the people how to recognize His coming and reminding them that God had not forgotten. The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the Son of a virgin according to the line of David, a King to rule and usher in an era of peace like never before. Israel watched and waited, filled with longing and expectation for this promised Rescuer....

2 Samuel 12 begins, “then the Lord sent Nathan to David.” Many of us can think back to those specific moments in our life when we came face-to-face with a God-sent friend. For most of us, those moments have only happened once or twice, but because of them, we have been able to overcome some of life’s greatest challenges and battles....

Does Satan have any access to our lives and/or power over us? You hear people say, “Satan is attacking me…” or “The Enemy knows my weakness…” But are these concepts biblical? Does Christ’s death and resurrection nullify Satan’s power over believers?...

God sends Nathan to speak truth into David’s life and cast light on the darkness of David’s hidden sin. Nathan risks his life to confront King David’s sin, knowing that obeying the one true King is more important than his own fears or desires. ...

For as long as I have understood what adoption was, I have known it to be a beautiful thing. I had a family friend who was adopted and her parents always talked about it openly, about how they waited for her and felt so grateful that God had chosen them to be her parents. ...

Many of us grew up with the story of Advent beginning in a stable. But, really, the story begins in a Garden, a long time before the night of Christ’s birth. When God created the world, all things were just as they should be. Creation functioned in perfect order and seamless harmony. Man walked in unbroken relationship with God, fully known and unafraid. But all that changed in an instant when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s good instruction....

My friends make fun of me incessantly for being the sentimental sappy one, and I would be deceiving myself if I tried to deny the label. They've watched me save cheap orange pom-poms from big football games, drive the long way around just to look at my favorite spots, and never fail to point out seemingly insignificant lasts....

I grew up with the understanding of God’s grace before I understood how desperately my heart needed it. I fully believed that He lovingly accepted me no matter what I did. I fully believed His love was unconditional, that He would never walk away from me, and that I could never be separated from His love....

In 2 Samuel 11, we find David at the peak of his power. His army is going to battle, and instead of engaging in work and going with them, he stays behind in idleness. This decision, and the choices that follow, create space and vulnerability for David to engage in a sinful pattern of behavior....

The world around us is ever-changing and, at times, can feel as if it’s spinning out of control. As believers in Jesus, we must discipline ourselves to set our hope in eternity and to rest in the sovereignty of God. However, we must also learn to be “in the world but not of the world.”...

If I’m being honest, like taking a microscope to my heart kind of honest, I think I'm a pretty big deal. Of course I don't insert that line into everyday conversation, because it's not socially acceptable to be obviously arrogant. You have to coat your self-centeredness in a layer of fake humility first....

When we pray, we speak or think in real, concrete language. How does God reply to us if He doesn’t use an actual voice; how can we be sure a “still small voice” or something similar isn’t just our mind making up what we desperately want God to say?...