A bowl of dry oatmeal

Fasting

Read Matthew 4:1-11. There are a number of traditional exercises intended to help us “crucify the flesh” or gain mastery over the passions, such as watching and praying, guarding the heart, meditating on Christ’s passion, meditating on scripture, discussing our spiritual state with others, and keeping silence. One of the Read more…

Image of person riding a bicycle through the countryside

Passions

Read Galatians 5:16-25. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24) What do you do to “crucify the flesh”? Do you have a plan or method for overcoming “passions and desires” such as lust, strife, anger, or envy? Experience amply Read more…

Image of hands kneading dough

Calvin on the Christian Life

When you hear people talk about Calvinism, you often hear of doctrines like predestination and total depravity and the sovereignty of God. When you actually read Calvin on the Christian life, the emphasis is quite different. He describes two chief goals: holiness and consecration. The Scripture system of which we Read more…

Hope’s Longing

Is Advent a time of mourning? Or is it a time of joy and peace? Or both? Or is it something else—a longing for completion, for perfection, for the end of conflict, for the coming of Christ’s kingdom, a longing seasoned with a dash of hope at its certainty and Read more…

Hope

Read Romans 15:4-13. Hope is an orientation of the soul, a direction of travel. It is an expectation of eventual arrival. It is motivation toward a goal, confidence in achieving it, joy and peace in the journey. Hope is building a house, planting a vineyard, raising a family. The lack Read more…

Rejoice!

Read Philippians 4:4-9. In his concluding exhortations to the Philippians, Paul says “rejoice in the Lord always.” Perhaps not feeling that this was emphatic enough, he doubles down, “again I will say, rejoice!” The mature Christian life should be characterized by joy. In the face of celebration or of sorrow, Read more…