Tim Challies

Tim Challies

Why Your Church Should Sing New Songs (Not Only Old Songs)

“Some churches sing only old songs—they rely on the great hymns of the faith and add newer selections on only the rarest of occasions. Some churches only sing new songs—they rely on their own songwriters or the Christian top-40 and sing older selections on only the rarest of occasions. I am convinced there is value in deliberately singing both the oldest and the most recent songs (though gladly extend an exception to those brothers and sisters with the conviction that…

Would it be Okay for me to be Angry with God?

“It felt like a test—a test of my faith, a test of my convictions, a test of my love for God. Soon, very soon, after I learned that my son had died, I received a message from an old acquaintance. Her intentions were good—she wanted to offer consolation. But her instructions were suspect—she wanted me to rage against God. Paraphrasing one of her favorite authors she said “It’s okay to be angry with God about this. It’s okay to tell…

I Fear God, and I’m Afraid of God

“Perhaps the reality is that I fear God in a new way. Before I understood he had power, but now I know he has power. Before I knew God would exercise his power in giving what I love, but now I know God will also exercise his power in taking what I love. Before life was easy because God’s sovereignty always seemed inclined toward the things I wanted anyway, but now life is hard because I see that God’s sovereignty may also…

How To Make A New Year’s Resolution That Sticks

“We have all heard the statistics: 50% of people make some kind of new year’s resolution, but 88% of those resolutions ultimately fail. That is more than a little discouraging. But I still believe in new year’s resolutions. I believe in them as a convenient opportunity to evaluate life and to make choices about living life better. I have done a fair bit of reading on how to make resolutions work, and it turns out that though there are many…

The Servers and the Servicers in Every Church

“Every church is made up of different kinds of people. There are extroverts and introverts, for example—people who are on the outgoing and sociable side and people who are on the shy and pensive side. There are leaders and there are followers—people who love to lead ministries within the church, and people who are content to be led. There are evangelists and disciplers—people whose passion is sharing the gospel with unbelievers and people whose passion is equipping existing believers. In…

Maintaining Confidence in the Process

“We are people in a hurry. We live fast-paced lives in a fast-paced culture. We can never go quick enough to keep up, never do enough to complete every task, never accomplish enough to satisfy ourselves or others. But still we try, still we hurry on. Yet the Christian life has a way of challenging us, of cutting against our haste. It challenges us that the ordinary state of affairs when it comes to spiritual growth is slower than we’d…

A Master at Identifying Sin

“I am a master at identifying sin. I might be tempted to brag about that fact, except for this: While I’m a master at identifying the sin in other people, I’m a mere novice at identifying the sin in myself. And I don’t think I’m the only one. There seems to be something deeply embedded in sinful humanity that gives us the ability to spot the sin in others but to ignore it in ourselves. We can provide a thorough…

The Local Church Was Made To Serve The Christian, Not The Christian The Local Church

“The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. Sabbath is a gift God has given us for our good. We are feeble creatures who need rest, yet foolish creatures who would otherwise work ourselves to the bone. The sabbath is a reminder of our weakness, of our finiteness, of our inability. It is a reminder of all of these in a physical sense and, more ultimately, in a spiritual sense, for so much of what is true…

A Mid-Year Bible-Reading Checkup (Don’t Give Up!)

“Six months ago many of us were excited to kick off the year with a new Bible-reading plan. We had the plan printed out and the Bible laid open and the time set aside. We began with a lot of discipline and enthusiasm. But along the way, life happened. We missed a day here and there, then missed a week, then realised we had fallen far behind. Now, halfway through the year, many of us have given up and are…

If Only I Had Been Saved By Merit!

“One of the hardest tasks for every Christian is to deeply believe and forever remember that we’ve been saved by grace. This is a lifelong challenge because our natural tendency is always to veer back to merit, to assume that we’ve been saved by something we are, something we’ve got, or something we’ve accomplished. Grace—unmerited favour—is too much for our sinful minds to accept and for our sinful hearts to embrace. The reason we need to hear the gospel again…