When I read Hebrews 5:2, the sentence, “He is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people” resonates deep in my soul. Because that’s me—ignorant, wayward, rebellious, broken, sinful. The verse goes on to say, “because He himself is subject to the same weaknesses.” Jesus, my source of hope and the only One I can trust in, was subject to the same weaknesses as I am, yet He withstood every ounce of temptation....

A tree is one of the most beautiful displays of God's absolute sovereign brilliance. Here is a created entity that serves in so many roles in this world. A tree can bear fruit, provide a home for creatures, or fight erosion. Most importantly, a tree gives off life-giving oxygen. We use these for shelter; we use them for shade. They are beautiful to observe. They display the power of God. Their roots dig deep and their trunks reach to the sky....

In Hebrews 4:14-5:10, the author is describing to us how Jesus is our “mega” high priest. Jesus was made high priest by God and He charted a path to God that was marked by His suffering, sacrifice, and obedience. Jesus is like us in all of our weaknesses, yet without sin. Since He is able to sympathize with our weakness and is our source of eternal salvation, we can hold on to our confession of faith and approach the throne of grace with boldness....

After last week’s warning from Hebrews 3, I clearly identify my natural tendency to harden my heart in virtually every area of my life. In verse 7, we hear that warning again: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” Here, the writer of Hebrews mentions rest 14 times, tied in with this warning—apparently, it’s important. ...

While there, I was abused mentally, physically, sexually, and emotionally. Anything they could do to me was done. I was told several times that I deserved what was being done to me. It was during this time that I started to get angry with God. If I was His child, why was He allowing all these things to happen to me? I started wondering if there really was a God....

As believers, we can rest in the truth that we do not have to work to prove or earn our salvation. We need only to do the work of examining and exposing our souls. We are free from exhausting ourselves with good works, because our faithful God has made rest ready for us in eternity....

A few months ago I decided to pick up Tolstoy’s War and Peace for a bit of light reading. I mean, I knew it was a big book, but multiple people had recommended it to me as one of the best they’d ever read, and if they had gotten through it, then certainly I could tackle it. Needless to say, I was completely unprepared for its length and complexity, and I’m convinced half the people who’ve said they’ve read it are lying and have just watched the BBC series online....

The author of Hebrews warns his audience to inspect their souls and be able to care for others. As believers, we are susceptible to hardening our own hearts and living in disobedience to God. It begins with drifting from our faith, and if we are not careful to examine our hearts and heed the warnings of other believers, we will become blinded and deceived by sin....

I don’t know what all the answers are, but I know the church can help bridge that gap, and in the process, make a big difference. I know Hebrews 13:3 says, “Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself.”...

How quick I am to call places my home. How eager I am to connect with new people and hold tight to old friendships. I could say my home is Chesapeake, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Nashville, Martin, or Greenville. I could say my “second home” is Camp Crestridge, or that my heart is with Camp Ozark. Each place I’ve lived carries much more than just an environment. Each of these places are home to me....

As believers, we have direct access to God’s messenger and our High Priest, Jesus. However, we often settle for “good” things when we have access to the Greatest. We focus on and place our hope in the things of this world rather than the One who created all of these things. We focus on the house, when our attention, praise, and worship should be directed to the builder....

It’s been a long week, I’m ready to be home, and my hands smell like people. I’m writing this between airports, coming home from yet another work trip. And at the end of each day while we’re traveling, my hands always smell like people. It’s become my phrase on our many work trips—it struck me on the first trip and has stuck with me over the past few months of regular travel. ...

Jesus, both fully God and fully man, is the victorious and perfect atonement for our sins. Because Jesus became and remains fully man, He has the unique ability to join two worlds and to break the power of sin and death through the shedding of His own blood. As God, Jesus has access to the real Holy of Holies; as man, He is eligible to die to pay for our sins....

Our culture romanticizes words such as “wander,” “adventure,” and “free spirit.” If you take a scenic hike, you better snap an artsy picture, slap a filter on it, and upload it to Instagram. If you travel to a foreign country or visit a well-known city, everyone wants to hear about your crazy quest. Traveling and experiencing new places is wonderful, but the desire to be where we are not reveals a lack of contentment....

In the opening verses of Hebrews 2, the author warns Christians of their ongoing responsibility to hold close the message of Jesus. He warns that if we do not continually process the hope of the gospel, we may drift away from the Truth. We must recognize the reality of our own sin to truly see the good news of Jesus....

Thinking about joining a short-term mission team this summer? The pros and cons of such trips have been debated over the years. And while short-term missions will never become a perfected model for missions, we believe that they can be done well and that they can have an eternal impact as we seek to make disciples alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. ...

At my daughter’s school they are studying indefinite pronouns. I don’t personally have a memory of learning indefinite pronouns, per se. Do you? All. Another. Any. Anybody. Anyone. Anything. Both. Each. Either. Everybody. Everyone. Everything. Few. Many. More. Most. Neither. Nobody. None. One. Other. Several. Some. Somebody. Someone. Such....

The letter to the Hebrews should serve as a warning and a challenge for us to know the Word and to know Jesus. The author of Hebrews counted on the biblical knowledge of his audience in order to draw attention to the supremacy of Jesus—to once again captivate their eyes and hearts with Jesus, challenge them, and open the doors for them to experience His greatness. ...

Adoption is a beautiful, messy, scary thing, sometimes unpredictable, but always worth it. ...

When I lived in Wilmington, NC, I attended a church there that encouraged us not to make New Year resolutions, but to choose one word that we would like to see God work out in us for an entire year. I loved this challenge while living there but have to admit that I have not kept it in practice after being back in the Upstate for several years now....

This past Sunday, Matt and Bill laid out We Choose, our two-year ministry plan based on our best understanding of how God is directing us. It is a strategic way to budget, allocate, raise, and spend resources in a manner that will help us accomplish the mission God has given us....

Matthew 6:19 tells us not to store up treasures here on earth, which stands in stark contrast to the inclination of our hearts to focus heavily on the things of this world. When we are making choices with our money, we tend to operate out of our earthly desires for security, status, and comfort. These three dysfunctions in how we handle money can rob of us of joyful giving and take away our ability to worship through our resources....

As believers, we view our resources differently than the world. The way we steward what we have reflects our faith—it reveals what we value. Jesus said, “Where your money is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:34) As a church, we want to be a people who give courageously, storing up for ourselves treasure in heaven because we have faith in the One who provides and gives generously to us....

It was 1982. I was a wide-eyed, naïve, college freshman dancing in my pj’s, singing a brand new song and pretending to party like it was 1999! I blinked and 17 years went by. Suddenly it really was 1999. The world was afraid of what was going to happen when the clock ticked at midnight on New Year’s Eve. ...

In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul instructs Corinth to mimic the generous hearts of the Macedonian church. Because their first action was giving themselves completely away to God, they considered it a privilege to worship with their money. In giving themselves away, they were able to give generously and eagerly because Christ had given generously to them....

At dinner, our family spent a good 30 minutes or more sharing memories of all our friends and favorite moments from our season in Allendale. I think about Allendale a lot, I get happy talking with others about it. I love when others visit our old community, even if I do get a bit jealous....

The holiday season was the most wonderful time of year for some of us. For others of us, it provided a painful reminder of how broken the world is in which we live. Many struggled with difficult life circumstances such as job loss. Others tried to make the best of what seemed to be less-than-adequate financial provision. ...