Mailbag

The Mailbag: Potpourri (Budgeting… Abuse and Submission… DIY Sanctification… Prayer)

Welcome to another “potpourri” edition of The Mailbag, where I give short(er) answers to several questions rather than a long answer to one question.

I like to take the opportunity in these potpourri editions to let new readers know about my comments/e-mail/messages policy. I’m not able to respond individually to most e-mails and messages, so here are some helpful hints for getting your questions answered more quickly. Remember, the search bar (at the very bottom of each page) can be a helpful tool!

Or maybe I answered your question already? Check out my article The Mailbag: Top 10 FAQs to see if your question has been answered and to get some helpful resources.


Before I get to this week’s questions, I wanted to say – I love getting questions from my readers! Here’s a helpful hint for increasing your chances of getting your question answered in The Mailbag

Your best shot at your question being selected for The Mailbag is to email me, or – if you have a question pertaining to a particular blog article – to comment on that article. Those are the two main sources I draw Mailbag questions from because they’re the most user friendly for that purpose. I also try to grab questions from Facebook private messages whenever I think about it.

I’m rarely able to grab questions from social media comments (on posts) and DMs, especially on Instagram and Twitter. Comments and Instagram DMs move down the notification queue too quickly, and Twitter DMs from people I don’t follow are hidden.

That being said, sending me the same question multiple times or on multiple platforms (emailing and leaving a blog comment and messaging me on Facebook) will not increase your chances of your question being selected. If you send it to me once, I’ve got it. :0)

Thanks for all your questions. Keep sending them in! We wouldn’t have a Mailbag without them!


I was wondering if you can do a video on how a Christian housewife should budget money. I want to learn and trust in God’s will as well.

Great question! I’m much better in writing than on video, so I hope this format is OK.

Every household is unique, with a unique income, unique needs, unique bills and expenses, etc., so I can’t tell you, “Budget X% for this and Y% for that.” The best I can do is give you a few general guidelines:

  • Sit down with your husband with all your numbers: income, bills, expenses, etc. Prayerfully and thoughtfully consider how much you’re bringing in and how much you’re paying out. Do you need to earn more? Spend less? Cut out some expenditures? Save more?
  • Don’t forget to pray about and consider how much you need to set aside for your offerings at church. Christians are not under the Old Testament law of the tithe, but we are to give as generously to the church as we’re able according to what we’ve prayerfully determined in our hearts.
  • If money is tight and bringing in more income isn’t an option, a great way to be a helper to your husband would be to research ways you can reduce your bills, cut expenses, etc. Can you renegotiate your mortgage? Buy generic instead of name brands? Use coupons and shop the sales at the grocery store? Get your clothes at a thrift store instead of a boutique? Turn off the cable? Sell one of your cars?
  • If your husband doesn’t mind you discussing this with someone else, ask one of the godly older women in your church for advice. You can share the specific details with her and perhaps she can offer you some suggestions specific to your particular household.

This is just one of those things every couple has to work on together and figure out for themselves.


I read your article The Mailbag: I “feel led” in a different direction from my husband. In that article, you said:

Unless your husband is abusing you or encouraging you to do something sinful, God’s will is for you to graciously submit to his decisions.

I have always wondered why this circumstance is almost universally accepted as an exception to the principle of submission.

I don’t want to try to answer for the rest of the universe, but let me just explain my position. If a woman is being abused, priority number one is to get her to safety. And that’s going to mean getting away from her husband to a different place to live (until or unless he radically repents and gets saved, bears a lot of fruit in keeping with repentance, the two of them get extensive pastoral counseling, and so on).

What do you think an abusive husband’s immediate response to that is going to be? He’s going to be angry and demand that she come back home. That would be the first thing she would have to submit to before she submits to anything else. As a Christian, should she submit to that first demand? Of course not. He’s requiring her do a variety of ungodly things:

  • We are to be good stewards of our bodies and glorify God with our bodies. It is neither glorifying to God nor good stewardship to put your body in a situation in which you’re virtually certain it’s going to be damaged for no good reason. Putting your body in the hands of an unrepentant abuser is no more glorifying or good stewardship than jumping out of a third story window.
  • If you have children and you go back to an unrepentant abuser, you’re knowingly and intentionally putting them in danger. Godly mothers protect their children by keeping them away from danger as much as it’s within their power.
  • If you go back to an unrepentant abuser, you’re indirectly lying to him about his sin. By going back to him, you’re saying that his sin of abuse is OK, that he doesn’t need to repent or suffer any consequences for it, that you, as a Christian, approve of it, and that, by extension, God must approve of it, too.
  • Going back to an unrepentant abuser puts temptation in his way. When you’re in the home with him, he’s tempted to abuse you. When you’re not, he doesn’t have the opportunity to commit the sin of abusing you. We don’t put stumbling blocks in the paths of sinners.

These are all good, biblical reasons not to stay in an abusive situation, either. You can’t submit to someone who is sinning against you and requiring you to act in an ungodly way.


My question is how do you get out of yourself and your feelings? Yes, turn them over to God, I know this and I have but here I am still hurting and unable to find my way back to being content in all situations. Thank you for your wise words.

How do you cultivate die-to-self love and love God and others more?

Two great questions from different readers, but with the same answer: You can’t. This is something God has to work in you. You can’t sanctify yourself.

When it comes to sanctification and spiritual growth, we often cast about for a plan we can implement to start making things happen, kind of the same way that, when we want to lose weight, we reach for a diet book, join a gym, or call Jenny Craig.

Sanctification doesn’t work that way. There’s no such thing as a “get holy quick” scheme. There’s no program you can implement, book you can read, or specific behavior regimen you can initiate that will help you shed those unsightly sins and lose those pounds of character flaws. There’s nothing you can do to create growth and get the guaranteed results you’re looking for. That’s God’s job. It’s His job to grow you, and it’s His job to grow you in a way that guarantees He’ll get the results He’s looking for.

Your job is to get up every day, trust Him to do His job, and walk faithfully with Him by…

  • Studying your Bible
  • Praying- for help, for wisdom, for guidance, for strength
  • Being faithful to your church
  • Obeying the Word
  • Faith, trust, and utter dependence on God
  • Getting good counsel when you need it from godly friends and loved ones, your pastor, or spiritually mature women in your church

That’s God’s plan. His method. And it works every time it’s tried.

You might find some of the principles in my article You Don’t Need *A* Book, You Need *THE* Book to be helpful on this.


I often don’t know what to pray. Can you give me guidance and whether pre-printed prayers are a good idea or not and if so how they should be used. 

I’ve got tons of resources on prayer here at the blog. I hope you’ve been able to find them (using the search bar, tabs in the blue menu bar at the top of this page, or category cloud in the right or bottom sidebar) in the time since you originally asked this question.

I would recommend starting off with…

Basic Training: 8 Things You Need to Know about Prayer

After this Manner, Therefore Pray

Can We Talk?

Sweet Hour of Prayer: Learning to Pray from the People of Scripture (my Bible study on prayer)

And then you can just start plowing through all of my other articles of interest about Prayer.

There’s nothing sinful about praying a biblical, doctrinally sound pre-printed prayer back to God. The best way to do that is to pray Scripture back to God, because you know Scripture is biblical, doctrinally sound, and pleasing to God since He breathed it out. The Psalms are especially well suited for this (in fact, praying the psalms back to God is one of the components in our current Bible study, Psalm 119: The Glory of God’s Word). You might want to take a look at my article Praying Scripture, to get a feel for it.

Outside of the Bible, the only prayer book I’m familiar enough with to feel comfortable recommending is The Valley of Vision. What I would recommend it for is reading through it for an example of the things we should be praying for and about, rather than using it for reciting or actually praying the prayers in it (although, like I said, it’s not sinful if you do). Your prayers should be personal, between you and God.


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Mailbag

The Mailbag: Asked and Answered

Good Monday morning, readers. It is an honor and a joy to serve you in Christ. Welcome to all the newbies and to you seasoned veterans of the blog.

Because some of y’all are new, you aren’t yet aware of all of the resources here to help you. Or maybe you’ve been around a while and haven’t noticed something that might be helpful. Let’s remedy that!

First, if you’re new (or if you’ve never read it), check out Blog Orientation for New Readers and Old Friends. It’s like a CliffsNotes intro to the blog.

Second, be sure to familiarize yourself with all of the tabs in the blue menu bar at the top of the page. That’s where I keep the info I’m most frequently asked about.

Third, there’s a search bar at the bottom of every page (and one in the blue menu bar at the top of every page) which might help you find what you need.

Fourth, if you don’t find your question answered in one of these ways or below, you might want to check previous Asked & Answered articles and The Mailbag: Top 10 FAQs.

And finally, let me get you new readers some answers to the questions several of you have asked. Some of you long time friends may have missed these along the way, so I hope they’ll be helpful to you, too!


I’m a man who wants to use one of your Bible studies for my personal quiet time. Is that OK?

Is it OK for a man to teach one of your Bible studies to a co-ed class?

I don’t get this question frequently – maybe a handful of times a year – but that’s enough that I’ve added this statement to the Bible Studies tab (in the blue menu bar at the top of this page):

“From time to time I receive inquiries from men about using my studies for their personal quiet time or for teaching a co-ed or men’s Bible study class. It is my personal conviction that it is more in keeping with the spirit (though not the letter) of 1 Timothy 2:12, Titus 2:3-5, and related passages for men to use Bible study materials authored by men rather than by women. Therefore, on the honor system, I would request that men please not use my studies for personal use, or when teaching a class with male members. (Vetting the studies for your wife, daughter, or the women of your church, is, of course, fine. Encouraged, actually.)”


Is it biblical for a woman to pray at the opening of the church service?

Is it biblical for women to participate in gathering the giving on Sunday morning?

Is it OK for women to ask questions in a co-ed class or group if the pastor or teacher invites those present to do so?

Great questions! I’ve answered all of them in my article Rock Your Role FAQs. Numbers 15, 22, and 4, respectively.


Is The Bible Project a doctrinally sound teaching resource?

No. I’ve addressed that in this article. Pastor Gabe “WWUTT” Hughes has written an excellent article about the biblical (technically heretical on some points) issues with TBR. I went ahead and linked it at my Popular False Teachers and Unbiblical Trends tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.


You seem to be saying we should talk to God during prayer, but we should not try to listen for God’s guidance during prayer…But are we not supposed to pray about big decisions before we make them? If someone is deciding on taking a different job, or moving to another state, or getting married, isn’t that person supposed to pray about making the right decision? There isn’t a passage of Scripture that says “Jane Doe should marry John Smith in AD 2022.” What about pastors, who say God “called” them into ministry?

Do you think instead of praying specifically about a decision, we are supposed to pray for wisdom according to James 1 and then make our own decision, trusting God has given us the wisdom to choose correctly?

You’re circling the bullseye. I think my article Basic Training: 8 Steps to Finding God’s Will for Your Life will help. I didn’t specifically address pastors having some sort of Damascus Road-type “calling” to the ministry in that article, but the same principles apply. The Bible doesn’t say men will receive some sort of supernatural calling to the ministry. It says, “If any [man] aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task,” (1 Timothy 3:1) and that he must meet certain biblical qualifications. If a man desires to be a pastor and he meets the biblical qualifications, he should start prayerfully putting the principles in that article into practice, trusting God to guide him in his pursuits.


As Christians, do we participate in celebratory life events of sin? For example- I had a family member (professes to follow Christ) throw a housewarming party for another family member living with her boyfriend. They bought a home together & are not married. I also had another family member (professor of Christ) become pregnant outside of marriage & naturally my family wanted to throw a big baby shower. How do those of us who honor Christ with our life handle such events?

It can be an uncomfortable invitation to receive, for sure. I’ve addressed the baby shower question in my article The Mailbag: Should I Attend the Baby Shower?. And let me just clarify a distinction between a shower for a woman who conceived out of wedlock and these other scenarios. A woman who conceived out of wedlock sinned – past tense. She may have since repented. Also, the purpose of a shower is to give her things she will need for the baby, not to celebrate or help perpetuate an ongoing sin such as the ones mentioned below. That is something to weigh if you’re trying to decide whether or not to attend a shower.

Amy and I briefly addressed the “housewarmings for shack ups” issue in our Pride, Pronouns, & Prodigals episode of A Word Fitly Spoken:

Let’s get things kicked off with a question that really came to the forefront a couple of years ago when same sex “marriage” became legal: Should Christians attend homosexual weddings?

And really, this answer also applies to any sort of event that celebrates, normalizes, or helps codify an ungodly union: events celebrating transsexualism, homosexual wedding receptions or showers, housewarming parties for a homosexual couple or even for a heterosexual couple that’s going to be living together, a celebration of adoption for a homosexual or non-married heterosexual couple, or even – I don’t know if these are still a thing or not, but divorce parties.

The short answer is, Christians should not be helping people celebrate their sin. We should be sharing the gospel with them so they can get saved out of their sin.

Attending a wedding or any of these other events implies that a person is in favor of the union or the sin that’s being committed, and no matter how much we love the person, Christ calls us to love Him more and not participate in or give approval to sin.

You might also wish to read my article The Mailbag: Should Christians Attend a Homosexual “Wedding”? since some of the same principles mentioned in it apply to these other scenarios.


You regard John MacArthur as someone who is biblically sound – I beg to differ with you, as he claims (and directly answered a question asked of him) if after taking the mark of the beast, can a person change their mind (claim Christ) and still get to heaven….his response was “yes.” Absolute unbiblical doctrine….that’s all I’m bringing up at this point – he is leading people to HELL!

No he isn’t “leading people to HELL!” and you’re making a slanderous false accusation against (assuming you’re a genuinely regenerated Believer) a brother in Christ. Repent.

This claim against John MacArthur is the urban legend that will not die, no matter how many times it’s clearly and biblically refuted (I guess because people with this attitude want to discredit him and will grasp at any straw to do so, no matter how flimsy.). It’s been going on for over ten years now. I get some form of the screaming neemie “JOHN MACARTHUR IS A FALSE TEACHER!!!!!” email or message several times a year. I’ve heard it all before and it’s all still a lie. No need to send me any more messages about it.

I’ve addressed this issue here.

Seriously, stop. Repent.


Is it wrong to bail on a Bible study if you find error in the teachings?

Nope. In fact, most of the time, I would recommend it, as long as you’re sure it’s the study, not your beliefs, that’s in error. You may find my article The Mailbag: Should I attend the “Bible” study to correct false doctrine? to be helpful.


I was wondering if you have any info on homeschooling on your site that is biblical?

Yep, on both of my sites. Amy and I recorded an A Word Fitly Spoken podcast episode on homeschooling called NOW are you ready to homeschool? And, a while back, my readers suggested some Christian homeschooling blogs here.


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Holidays (Other), New Year's

Sanctification > Resolutions: 6 Ways God Could Sanctify You in the New Year

Originally published January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

There’s just something about the beginning of a new year that brings with it a yen for getting a fresh start. We think back over the past year, evaluate what we’ve spent our time and efforts on – or what we should have spent our time and efforts on – and, invariably, there’s a desire to make this year better.

Lots of people will make lots of resolutions on January 1: to lose weight, to stop smoking, to exercise more. And by mid-February, some 80% of those people will have failed and given up on their resolutions.¹ Why? Partly because (statistically speaking) most of those people are lost and the flesh is exceedingly hard to tame by sheer “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” willpower. Even Holy Spirit-indwelt Believers can testify to the pull of the flesh.

Should we, as Christians make New Year’s resolutions? Is it OK to set a goal to get a certain area of our lives under better control? Sure, there’s nothing wrong with that. But, is it possible there’s a bigger picture we need to take a look at?

The Christian life is not one of putting out fires via resolutions. We don’t tackle one problem, get it under control and then move on to each of the other five problems that popped up while we were working on the first one. It’s more like fire prevention. We get up every day and hose down the house and yard by resting in Christ, communing with Him through prayer and the Word, and seeking to obey Him throughout the day. Sanctification is not mainly reactive, it’s proactive. And it doesn’t come by our own outward effort and striving, but by Christ growing us, changing our hearts, and enabling us to obey Him from the inside out.

And guess what? Along the way as Christ is conforming you to His image, you’re going to fail. You’re going to give in to temptation, and you’re going to sin against your Master. But here’s what biblical sanctification offers you that New Year’s resolutions cruelly withhold:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

You don’t just get a fresh start once a year. You get a fresh start every time you confess your sin, repent, and receive Christ’s cleansing and forgiveness. You get the mercy of Christ, the grace of God, and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to move forward in submission to God’s Word. You get the steadfast, never ceasing love of the  Father who is out for your good rather than the unfeeling “do more, try harder, be better” taskmaster of New Year’s resolutions.

So, bearing all that in mind, how might God be trying to grow you in Christlikeness this year? What are some ways you can get up each day and proactively rest in, and obey Christ? Let’s prayerfully consider the following aspects of our walk and ask God to sanctify us and help us submit our will to His as we follow Him in this new year.

Growing in the Word

1. Daily personal Bible study. Do you set aside daily time for the personal study of God’s Word? Have you ever read the Bible from cover to cover? Have you considered, maybe just for this year, putting away all of the Bible study books and materials authored by others and using only the Bible during the next 365 days of your personal study time? Evaluate your daily time in God’s Word. Here are some resources you might find helpful:

📖 Bible Study Resources (how to study the Bible)
📖 Bible Studies
📖 Bible Reading Plans for the New Year- 2022
📖 You’re Not as Dumb as You Think You Are: Five Reasons to Put Down that Devotional and Pick Up the Actual Bible

2. Scripture memorization. This is something God has gotten a hold of me about recently. It’s important to store up God’s Word in our hearts as a weapon against temptation, for comfort, for prayer, and to encourage others. Try starting with verses you’re already somewhat familiar with. Many find it easier to memorize Scripture in song form, or by typing it out. If your pastor is preaching through a certain book, memorize a verse or passage out of each chapter as he comes to it. I’ve found it helpful to recite my verses in my head in bed at night. It helps me fall asleep faster, and there’s actually research that shows retention is improved if you study right before bed.

Growth In Prayer

3. Daily prayer time. Of course we should be talking to the Lord throughout the day as we go about the routine of life and work, but that’s not a substitute for having a daily block of time set aside for focusing all of our attention on communicating with God. Jesus set this example for us, and we should follow it. Do you have a daily time of prayer? Do you know how to pray in a way that’s pleasing to God and helps you grow in Christ?

🙏 Prayer
🙏 After this Manner Therefore Pray
🙏 Basic Training: 8 Things You Need to Know about Prayer
🙏 Sweet Hour of Prayer (Bible study on prayer)

Growth in the Body of Christ

4. If you don’t have a church, find one. Physically gathering with the Body of Christ for worship, teaching, fellowship, prayer, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, giving, serving – and so much more – is not optional. It’s vital to your growth in Christ.

 Basic Training: 7 Reasons Church is Not Optional and Non-Negotiable for Christians
 Six Ways Not to Forsake the Assembly
 Searching for a new church?

5. Faithful church attendance. At a minimum, Christians should be at Sunday morning worship and Sunday School/Bible study class/small group every week unless Providentially hindered (circumstances beyond your control: illness, emergency, the rare out of town trip, occasionally having to work). That’s not legalism, that’s loving the Bride of Christ and having your priorities in line with Scripture. Contrary to popular metrics, habitually missing Sunday worship twice or more a month (when you could be there if you made it a priority) is not faithful attendance. If you’re lackadaisical in church attendance, examine your heart. What’s going on in your spiritual life that’s keeping you from wanting to gather with your brothers and sisters in Christ? (And if it’s a problem with the church itself, see #4.)

6. Don’t just “go to church,” invest yourself in it. Are you serving your church in some capacity? Do you regularly and fervently pray for your church, your fellow church members, and your pastors, elders, and teachers? Have you poured yourself into personal relationships with others at church for fellowship, care, and discipling? Do you regularly, sacrificially, and joyfully give offerings? Are you sharing the gospel with the lost? As with anything else, you get out of it what you put into it. God loves you and wants you to invest yourself in His Bride for His glory and for your joy.

⛪ The Servanthood Survey
⛪ Let Me Count the Ways: 75 Ways Women Can Biblically Minister to Others
⛪ Servanthood
⛪ Top 10 Ways to Pray for Your Pastor
⛪ To Tithe or Not to Tithe…
⛪ Evangelism
⛪ 10 Fun, Practically Effortless, and Free Ways to Do Missions and Evangelism

How might God want to conform you more to the image of Christ this year? Could it be in one of these areas? Maybe another area? New Year’s resolutions are often about how you want to shape your life. Sanctification is about how God wants to shape your life. Not just for the new year, but for eternity.


¹Luciani, Joseph. “Why 80 Percent of New Year’s Resolutions Fail.” U.S. News & World Report. December 29, 2015. Web. December 29, 2017.
Holidays (Other), Thanks/Thanksgiving

25 Things I Forgot to Thank God For

Originally published March 13, 2015

I’ve just been in a funk, lately. Nothing out of the ordinary is wrong, but it’s been raining for eleventy two days in a row, and the constant darkness and dreariness seems to have wormed its way into my psyche and, I noticed recently, even into my prayer life.

A couple of days ago, I started out my prayer time with a huge sigh followed by a bunch of wimpering and whining about nothing of consequence. I was just moody. And I didn’t feel like praying.

And then God graciously brought a lovely little snippet of Scripture to my mind:

give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Want to know God’s will for your life? There it is: give thanks in all circumstances. When you get a new car. When you catch your spouse cheating on you. When you’re on a glorious vacation. When you get laid off from work. When you’re happy. When you’re sad. When you’re in the mood, and when you’re not in the mood.

Give thanks in – not necessarily for, but in – all circumstances.

Well, this was certainly a circumstance. Why not give gratitude a try? I was in the car headed to pick up my boys from school, and I decided to spend the entire twenty minute drive just thanking God for things.

I started with the big stuff: salvation, forgiveness for my sin, times when God has miraculously provided, specific answers to prayer…

I was starting to slow down and I still had about half the drive left. Surely there was more to be thankful for! And that’s when it struck me. How often do we forget to thank God for all the (in our eyes) tiny little unnoticed things He does for us every day? We thank Him for the miracles, but what about the mundane? What “little things” had I forgotten to thank God for?

1. Air conditioning. I live in the South. Enough said.

2. I know where my next meal is coming from.

3. Social media and e-mail. I can keep up with far off loved ones, and I’ve “met” some awfully nice people.

4. I can see. I can hear. I can think clearly. I can walk.

5. I live in a country where Christianity is not yet against the law.

6. Sunsets.

7. Cute baby animals.

8. I can read and write. That’s not the case for women, globally.

9. I was able to conceive and carry my children to term.

10. Warm quilts on cold nights.

11. The Bible is available in my native language, and I have several copies of it.

12. I have no fear of suicide bombers in my community.

13. The beach.

14. A crawfish boil with friends.

15. Reliable electricity.

16. Hearing my children sing when they think no one is listening.

17. My husband is a believer and is good to me.

18. Mountains. I miss mountains.

19. Indoor plumbing and clean drinking water.

20. Laughing hysterically with my family.

21. Level-headed discernment ministries.

22. Peanut butter and chocolate ice cream.

23. A roof over my head.

24. Home schooling.

25. People who are kind (or crazy) enough to read my blog articles all the way to the end.

Well, that was my list, and I think I’ll keep looking for things to add to it. Thanking God for the “little things,” realizing they might be big things to others, and recognizing the pervasiveness of God’s blessings and provision cheered me up and was truly a worship experience.

What kinds of things would you put on your list?

Church

Throwback Tuesday ~ Revive Us Again

I’m flip-flopping the blog schedule a tad this week.
Enjoy this week’s Throwback Thursday – on Tuesday!

Originally published August 12, 2009

Thirty three per cent of clergy and thirty six per cent of laymen
report having visited a sexually explicit web site.
Christianity Today survey, August 2000

The divorce rate of born-again Christians (32%)
is higher than that of atheists and agnostics (30%).
Barna Research Group 20081

Twenty per cent of women who have abortions
are born-again or Evangelical Christians.
The Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1996

We rarely find substantial differences between
the moral behavior of Christians and non-Christians.
George Barna, Founder, Barna Research Group

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless,
how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out
and trampled under foot by men.
Jesus, Matthew 5:13

Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, my parents took my sister and me to visit some of our elder relatives. For the evening meal, the lady of the house set a beautiful, formal table, complete with lovely crystal salt cellars at each place.

Having attended approximately zero formal dinners in my decade-long, casual dining existence, I had never seen a salt cellar. Since it happened to be sitting next to my goblet of unsweetened iced tea, I presumed it was my own personal sugar bowl.

I was puzzled as to why the spoon was so tiny, but forged ahead in an attempt to sweeten my tea with spoonful after spoonful…of salt. After one swig, I realized my mistake, but to maintain decorum, I did my best to eat my meal while taking an occasional small sip of the tea-flavored salt water. It was a long dinner.

I have never been so thirsty for a fresh drink of water before—or since—that moment.

We, the body of Christ, are supposed to be salt. Look around. How are we doing? By and large, instead of the church making the world thirsty for the Living Water, we have become so worldly ourselves that we are in danger of losing our savor altogether.

The Western church, the American church, the local church, maybe even your church—is in desperate need of revival. Not a revival meeting. Revival.

Revival is not a special event to win the lost. It is a time when God’s people, both individually and corporately, humble themselves, cry out to God in repentance and return to a fresh, empowered, obedient love relationship with Him.

Aren’t you tired of seeing statistics like the ones at the beginning of this article? Tired of the church having so little impact on a lost and dying world? Tired of simply going through the motions in your spiritual life and at church? Have you ever, as I have, taken a step back, looked at your walk and your worship, and said, “There’s got to be more to the Christian life than this”?

There is more. Much more. God desires that we have a full, exciting, vibrant, dynamic relationship with Him. But it’s going to cost us. It will cost our pride, our time, our repentance, our obedience, and our priority. It will require that we become dissatisfied and uncomfortable with the status quo of complacency.

I think we’re up for the challenge.

Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity,
and revive me in Your ways.
Psalm 119:37


 

1Take these statistics with a “grain of salt”. :0) Not everyone who claims to be a “born-again Christian” in a poll actually is one, the divorce stat has subsequently been proved false, etc. The idea is that the world has infiltrated the church, and the church has embraced the world, and therefore, the behavior of way too many professing Christians is worldly.