Weekly Links (12/8/2017)

“The best thing you can do for your marriage is to grow closer to Jesus. The more you understand and appreciate God’s love for you in Christ, the better your marriage will be as you reflect that love to your spouse. A strong marriage in which both partners are showing Christlike love to each other will help both of them to better appreciate God’s gracious love. One reason that a Christian would never want to marry an unbeliever is that a non-Christian does not know the love of Christ and, as a result, is incapable of expressing Christlike love.” (Jim Newheiser, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage: Critical Questions and Answers)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Feliz Friday! Well, another week has passed during this Advent season, so we hope your anticipation of celebrating Christ’s birth has been a great blessing to all of you. With the recent fires, there is much to pray for with respect to our prayers. Let’s continue to ask God to be gracious to those who are affected, and also to use those fighting the fires and end the destruction taking place near our homes. Even during this time, may these links be of help to you and draw you closer to Christ.

  • Tim Challies gives three productivity tips that can be of help for you in the new year. You don’t even have to wait until January 1st to get started! Start being productive, to God’s glory, today!
  • Since Christmas is coming, and many are thinking of gifts to buy for their loved ones, some may love a good book that helps them grow in Christ. You may not know where to start, but I found a couple lists that may be a timely blessing: Fred Zaspel’s and Tony Reinke’s booklists. Reinke’s includes the occasional charismatic writer (Jack Deere and Sam Storms), so be discerning in what you find.
  • There has been a lot of anticipation regarding Jack Phillips’ ‘refusal to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding’ case being taken to the Supreme Court by many Christians, so here’s a great recap from Denny Burk. Al Mohler chimes in as well on his podcast The Briefing.
  • The Acts 29 Network has faced a lot of storms in its nearly 20-year existence. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra writes of the long history, survival, and future of this group of church-planting churches. You will be surprised at some of the problems, and how God has worked in the hearts of many leaders to refocus its heart on planting churches to honor and serve our Lord, Jesus Christ.
  • Does calling Jesus Lord have any inherent implications? Pastor Jesse Johnson and New Testament scholar Murray Harris emphatically say, yes! Harris lists out eight. Do you agree with Scripture’s perspective on the matter?
  • Crossway has started an eight-day reading challenge this week through the Gospel of Luke and Acts to re-familiarize ourselves to the celebration of Christ’s birth. In case you want to read a devotional for the same reason, you can look no further than John Piper. Here is today’s devotional, with links to the previous entries at the bottom.
  • What is the goal of every friendship/relationship? How you answer that question will color the regular interactions you have with those whom you would call, ‘friend.’ Michael Kelley lays out five implications for those kinds of relationship that are defined by the gospel. With this in mind, do you have any gospel-influenced friendships?
  • Many children will be receiving gifts this Christmas, but what is one gift everyone would agree kids need? A safe bet would be patience. How can parents cultivate that into their kids? Pastor Scott James gives some solid wisdom, especially in light of the Advent season.
  • Andrew Walker gives some practical outworkings of talking to someone who identifies as transgender. There is a lot of food for thought here, but hopefully a lot to pray for, as well.

That’s all for this week! Please be in prayer for our youth, who will be having their Christmas party tonight, and the collegians, who will be having Bible study. See you all on Sunday!

Soli Deo Gloria