• Bearers of God’s Image Article by Trillia Newbell

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2014 | Genesis 1

    In the beginning, God created all of mankind in His image, male and female alike (Gen. 1:26). And we know that before the foundation of the world, God, in His goodness and kindness, had His people in mind (Eph. 1:4). It was no surprise to our omniscient Father that Adam and Eve fell and sin entered the world. He knew people would not worship and delight in Him. Knowing this, He didn’t have to give us aspects of Himself, but He did. God—the holy one, pure and awesome—created us to reflect aspects of His beauty and character … View Resource

  • Not Hearers Only Article by Harry Reeder

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013

    But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:22–24). Obviously, a pastor’s heart desire for the flock … View Resource

  • Self-Discipline Article by Steven Lawson

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2013

    Growth in personal holiness is largely determined by our progress in self-discipline. Without this foundational discipline, there can be no advancement in grace. Before other disciplines can be administered, whether in the home, business, or church, there first must be self-discipline. Admittedly, personal discipline is not a popular subject today. In our society, any insistence upon self-discipline is largely resisted, even among many Christians. Legalism, they cry, defending their rights of Christian liberty. These free-spirited believers maintain that discipline restricts their freedom in Christ, binding them in a spiritual straightjacket. But many of these believers have so abused their freedom … View Resource

  • The Heart of Words Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    Words are powerful. They transform lives and make history. They birth nations and topple empires. They make peace and fuel wars. They make covenants in marriage and wound those we most cherish. They change hearts and give news of eternal life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Words are foundational to everything we think, do, and say in all of life. Nevertheless, words are not ends in themselves. Words exist because God spoke them into existence that He might communicate with us. He spoke the world into existence and has graciously spoken to us in His sacred Word. When … View Resource

  • Speaking the Truth in Love Article by Nathan Busenitz

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    We live in a world where people love to talk. Studies suggest that the average American adult speaks approximately 16,000 words per day. Multiply that by a lifespan of 70 years, for a total of nearly 409 million words, and suddenly Christ’s warning in Matthew 12:36 takes on new significance: “I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.” Of course, actual vocalization is only part of how people communicate. The Internet, in particular, has given rise to many other ways in which to … View Resource

  • Bind These Words Article by Miles Van Pelt

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2013

    The final words of the Shema contain Moses’ command to the Israelites to bind the words of God as signs on the hands and between the eyes (Deut. 6:8). He also commands them to write these words on the doorposts of their houses and on their gates (v. 9). In previous verses (vv. 6, 8), Moses calls for God’s words to be “on the heart” of each Israelite, and that they be considered and discussed daily as a part of ordinary family life. Given this context, his commands to bind these words to our bodies and to write … View Resource

  • Emulating Our Elders Article by Guy Waters

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2013

    The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates is often quoted as having said: “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.” The quote is almost certainly apocryphal, but it resonates with generations of human experience. Throughout history, older generations have peered over the rims of their spectacles … View Resource

  • His Heart Trusts in Her Article by Steven Lawson

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2013

    Few influences affect a man’s heart for God more than his wife, for better or for worse. She will either encourage his spiritual devotion to the Lord or she will hinder it. She will either enlarge his passion for God or she will pour cold water on it. What kind of wife encourages her husband’s spiritual growth? Proverbs 31:10–31 provides a profile of the wife who is worthy of her husband’s trust. Such a wife is the embodiment of true wisdom from God, causing the husband to confide in her with complete trust. “An excellent wife … View Resource

  • Respecting Our Elders Article by Nathan Finn

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2013

    Around the time John was writing the book of Revelation in the mid-90s AD, a bishop in Rome was penning a letter to a troubled church. The epistle of 1 Clement is possibly the oldest non-canonical Christian writing that has been preserved. Clement of Rome sent his missive to the Corinthian church after a group of young men had instigated the removal of the church’s elders. Clement rebuked the Corinthians for failing to respect their leaders, removing them without just cause, and causing dissension in the body of Christ. I was once a member of a church that was … View Resource

  • Dealing with Lust Article by Joseph Pipa Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2013

    They are as close as our skin, the troika of lusts described by the Apostle John: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:16). These inordinate and forbidden longings of the sinner are the fountain of sin, as James points out when teaching that God does not tempt us to sin: “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James 1 … View Resource

  • Grace Alone Article by Guy Waters

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2012

    Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!” “Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt.” “Wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin; how shall my tongue describe it, where shall its praise begin?” Christians love to sing of the saving grace of God—and rightly so. John tells us that out of Jesus’ “fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Many of the New Testament letters begin and end with the writers expressing their desire that the grace of Jesus would be with His … View Resource

  • The Religious Affections Article by Owen Strachan

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2012

    Many years ago, in a wild and woolly period known as the First Great Awakening, colonial pastor Jonathan Edwards took on the tricky task of sorting out what place the “religious affections,” as he called them, have in the Christian life. Here’s what he said as a foundational tenet: There are false affections, and there are true. A man’s having much affection, don’t prove that he has any true religion: but if he has no affection, it proves that he has no true religion. (Works of Jonathan Edwards 2:121) Edwards wrote these words to help people … View Resource

  • Heavenly Mindedness Article by Randy Alcorn

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    Jonathan Edwards said, “It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven … to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?” In his early twenties, Edwards composed a set of life resolutions. One read, “Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can.” Unfortunately, many believers find no joy when they think about heaven. A pastor once confessed to me: “Whenever I … View Resource

  • The Secret of Contentment Article by William Barcley

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2012

    Contentment is one of the most difficult Christian virtues to attain. Almost four hundred years ago, Jeremiah Burroughs referred to the “rare jewel” of Christian contentment. It is safe to say that contentment is no more common in our day than it was in Burroughs’. Yet, it remains one of the most crucial virtues. A contented Christian is the one who best knows God’s sovereignty and rests in it. A contented Christian trusts God, is pure in heart, and is the one most willing to be used of God—however God sees fit. We live in a world that breeds discontent … View Resource

  • God-Centered Prayer Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2012

    It is easy to be critical of prayer, particularly the prayers of others. Robert Murray McCheyne’s words are often cited because they remain painfully true: “You wish to humble a man? Ask him about his prayer life.” Our prayers reveal much about us. Prayers with little or no worship and focusing on our needs (usually health) reveal a distorted, Adamic bent. What they reveal is self-centeredness, what Martin Luther labeled homo in se incurvatus: “man curved in on himself.” Listen to prayers at the church prayer meeting (if one still exists). You will discover that the majority of prayers … View Resource