Best of the Week for January 2

In Best of the Week we link to a handful of the best articles, videos, books, etc. that we have come across in the last week. We hope this will point you to some of the right places and give you gospel-rich tools and thoughts for life and mission.

One Reason to Dedicate Yourself to Bible Reading in 2017

“The Bible is a bit like that fresh set of eyes. It’s like an outsider looking into your private world. But in this case it is an unerring and absolutely authoritative outsider looking in.”

We all need the exposure of the living word of God if we expect to see wrong things righted and honorable, righteous things thrive. It takes work, and it can seem monotonous at times, but the consistency of a steady diet of Scripture is one of the healthiest things you can do for your soul.

Resolutions Are Not Enough

“Whether it’s eating and exercise, or Bible-reading and prayer, the God-created mechanism we call “habit” is vital for seeing our earnest resolutions through to enjoyable realities.”

Resolutions are often just hopeful thinking, nothing more than good intentions. But when we make them, we do want them to be so much more. We really do want things to change. This article gives a few, very practical and simple steps to help us actually move toward realizing some new realities in 2017.

A Pediatrician Lays Out How to Protect Your Child From Sexual Abuse

“I don’t lock my kids up and throw away the key, as much as I would love to protect them forever. But these are hopefully some practical tips as a mom and pediatrician to make your kids feel safe and to highlight some potentially dangerous situations.”

Sexual abuse is an ever-increasing danger in our world, and we must be diligent as parents and as the church to prevent it and to expose it. These are some very good and practical ways to help do both. Let’s shine light on the darkness.

Spiritual Depression is Coming For You

“It’s like you’re . . . off. Foggy. You’re not connecting with God, even after you’ve asked Him to search your heart and reveal to you any unconfessed or secret sin. You are praying your guts out (or perhaps just exhausted from trying to). You read the Scriptures hoping to feel real again but can’t get past a verse or two.”

Times in the proverbial desert come for us all. Part of the reason we struggle in them so much is because we think we shouldn’t be there. But if we are honest, we all wind up there at some point or another, including Jesus. This author talks about why God is faithful and what it looks like to pass through the desert without giving up hope or losing your mind along the way.

Suffering is a Doorway, Not a Dead End

“In the gospel, suffering for Christ is not only a doorway to greater knowledge of Christ’s suffering, but to greater experience of his resurrection. This is part of the archetypal pattern into which we walk. ‘To know him and the power of his resurrection’ is of one piece with to ‘share his sufferings’ (Philippians 3:10).”

Suffering is not fun, and rarely would we ask for it. But we see over and over again in Scripture that it is maybe the most effective tool God uses to form us into the image of Jesus. And that is something most of us would say we want. The question is: Will we embrace the hard road of suffering or run from it?

Have a good week.