35 Truths That Have Changed My Life

I turn 35 today. And these years have been filled with incalculable blessings and mercy. I especially feel gratitude for the preachers, authors, professors, and friends who have influenced me over the years. Would you mind if I share some of their wisdom with you? Some of the sources will be obvious, and other statements are paraphrases of things I can’t remember verbatim. Nevertheless, here are 35 truths that have impacted me. I believe these things to my bones, and I hope you do too.

  1. Everything and everyone exists for the glory of God.
  2. God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.
  3. We should read the Old Testament by imitating the interpretive moves of the New Testament authors.
  4. The Bible is one unfolding Story about Jesus.
  5. Your sin will find you out.
  6. The most important ministry for the minister is his family.
  7. Preach the gospel to yourself everyday. The gospel is for Christians too.
  8. Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.
  9. God calls me to holiness because He is more committed to my happiness than I am.
  10. Do now what you will wish you would have done.
  11. Christian maturity and responsibility involves doing what you should do when should do it, regardless of how you feel.
  12. Your idols will not die for your sins; they will leave you to do that.
  13. Satan tempts us all the time with the same temptation from Eden: to doubt the wisdom and goodness of God’s word for us.
  14. Heaven is not our ultimate home, for the saints will be raised bodily and will dwell forever with their Redeemer in a new creation.
  15. I cannot follow Jesus faithfully without loving His bride, the Church.
  16. Real Christians can have real doubts and questions.
  17. The prosperity health-and-wealth “gospel” is from hell.
  18. God’s commands are wise, good, and beautiful.
  19. If you want God to speak, read the Bible, because God speaks in His Word.
  20. I don’t have to understand why things happen in life the way they do, and I’m not meant to either.
  21. Life is full of wonder and beauty but also full of heartache and sorrow–both things are true in a Genesis 3 world.
  22. God is gloriously, meticulously, comprehensively sovereign.
  23. We must combat the deceiving promises of sin with the superior promises of God’s Word.
  24. From the greatest evil (the rejection and murder of the Son of God), God worked the greatest good (salvation for sinners to the glory of His name).
  25. Preach Christ in every sermon–the Old Testament points to Him, and the New Testament proclaims Him.
  26. No matter what your vocation in life, be a student of God’s Word, always studying and learning and growing.
  27. A strong marriage is worth pursuing and preserving, whatever it takes.
  28. Your children will only be young once, so don’t waste those years–be present, all in, for the long haul.
  29. You need mentors, and you need to be mentoring.
  30. Prioritize–and don’t compromise–the worship of Christ with your family on the Lord’s Day, lest half-hearted obedience in one generation lead to full-on rebellion in the next.
  31. When I don’t feel like going to church, I need to go to church.
  32. Parenting is part of the sanctification process…for the parent.
  33. Nothing is needful that He withholds.
  34. Get friends who make sin look bad and God look big.
  35. The greatest hindrance in your discipleship is not a parent or a spouse or a coworker or a neighbor–it is yourself. Jesus said, “Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.”



My Top 10 Reads in 2017

stackofbooks2017In no particular order, here are my 10 favorite books that I read this year. I commend them to you for 2018! Tolle lege.

  1. Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing, by Andy Crouch
  2. Recapturing the Wonder: Transcendent Faith in a Disenchanted World, by Mike Cosper
  3. Destroyer of the Gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World, by Larry Hurtado
  4. Faith.Hope.Love: The Christ-Centered Way to Grow in Grace, by Mark Jones
  5. The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together, by Jared Wilson
  6. The Life of God in the Soul of Man, by Henry Scougal
  7. Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture, by John Piper
  8. The Duties of Parents, by J.C. Ryle
  9. How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds, by Alan Jacobs
  10. The Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan




“This Father’s Prayer for Grace”

IMy first pic with Graysonn the amazing kindness of the Lord, today my wife Stacie and I rejoiced at the birth of
our fourth son, Grayson Mitchell Chase. He was 7 pounds 15 ounces, 20 inches long, and arrived at 5:44 pm in Louisville, Kentucky, at Norton Suburban Hospital.

Here is a poetic reflection and prayer on the day of Grayson’s birth.

“This Father’s Prayer for Grace”
May 2, 2017

Praise and honor be to God
who rules the depths and heights,
and knits inside a mother’s womb
an image-bearer’s life.

What joy to declare the birth
of Grayson Mitchell Chase!—
this one whom we have longed to see
and now hold face to face.

We pray his future steps you will
direct to this chief end:
to glorify and to enjoy
Your Son who saves from sin.

Our fourth son needs a heart to love
and eyes of faith to see
the Risen, Reigning Lord above
who sets the captive free.

Father, you alone can grant
this father’s prayer for grace:
that gospel light will dawn upon
my Grayson Mitchell Chase.

“This Temple Will Be Raised” – A Good Friday Poem

The people of Israel were familiar with a temple being destroyed and rebuilt. When Jesus tells the people in John 2:19, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,” the disciples later realized he was speaking about his body as a temple that would be destroyed and raised. Here is a Good Friday poem focusing on that temple motif:

jesus on the cross“This Temple Will Be Raised”
April 14, 2017

Seven years it took to build
The temple of the Lord,
That sacred space
And dwelling place
Where blood and life were poured.

But when the people saw the curse
That prophets warned would fall,
They strode the path
Of holy wrath,
And bitter was the gall.

Many years would pass before
The house, which fell by flame,
Was built to stand
In promised land
Once more for Yahweh’s name.

But all the blood of bulls and lambs
For sin could not atone,
So God the Son
Said, “It is done,”
And drank the cup alone.

Upon the hill they crucified
The temple of the Lord,
His body dead
Where, in our stead,
His blood and life were poured.

The people ’round the cross beheld
The one they deemed a fraud,
Who took the path
Of holy wrath,
The spotless Lamb of God.

Now he who once said, “In three days,
This temple will be raised,”
Who by the cross
Brought gain not loss,
Should be forever praised.

Seven Scenes of Joseph Weeping

joseph weepingThe stories in Genesis 37-50 report the trials and vindication of Joseph. The chapters are full of moving accounts for the reader, and characters inside the events are moved as well. Jeremiah may be the weeping prophet, but Joseph is the weeping ruler. In multiple scenes he weeps both privately and openly: 42:24; 43:30; 45:2; 45:14-15; 46:29; 50:1; 50:17. Here’s how it breaks down:

  1. In 42:24, Joseph weeps privately during his brothers’ first visit to Egypt. He recognizes them, but they don’t recognize him.
  2. In 43:30, Joseph weeps privately as he is moved over one brother in particular, the arrival of Benjamin in Egypt.
  3. In 45:2, Joseph weeps openly as he reveals himself to his brothers after more than twenty years since they betrayed him.
  4. In 45:14-15, Joseph weeps openly on all his brothers.
  5. In 46:29, Joseph weeps openly as he presents himself to his father after many years of relational separation.
  6. In 50:1, Joseph weeps openly in response to his father’s death.
  7. In 50:17, Joseph weeps openly before the messengers whom his brothers had sent.

Seven scenes of weeping. SEVEN.

My 10 Favorite Reads in 2016

So many great books published, too little time to read them all. In no particular order, here are my favorite nonfiction reads this year. Almost all of them were published in 2016.

  1. Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? A Biblical Theology of the Book of Leviticus, by L. Michael Morales.
  2. The Crucified King: Atonement and Kingdom in Biblical and Systematic Theology, by Jeremy R. Treat.
  3. You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, by James K. A. Smith.
  4. A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian Scriptures Reveal Their Complete Truthfulness, by John Piper.
  5. Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical, by Timothy Keller.
  6. Devoted to God: Blueprints for Sanctification, by Sinclair B. Ferguson.
  7. Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel, by Ray C. Ortlund.
  8. God the Son Incarnate: The Doctrine of Christ, by Stephen J. Wellum.
  9. Impossible People: Christian Courage and the Struggle for the Soul of Civilization, by Os Guinness.
  10. Unparalleled: How Christianity’s Uniqueness Makes It Compelling, by Jared C. Wilson.

“Come, Thou Word” – A Christmas Hymn

The following lyrics of “Come, Thou Word” were composed to the tune of “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”

“Come, Thou Word”
December 20-21, 2016

Verse 1
Come, Thou Word, which with the Father
and the Spirit ever dwelled
And hath taken flesh to save us
from our sin and death and hell.
We behold Thee in Thy manger,
Fully God and fully man,
Myst’ry of the ages former,
Now revealed in Bethlehem.

Verse 2
Come, Thou King, whose birth the angel
Sang to shepherds in the night.
‘Round them came a host of heaven,
‘Round them shone a holy light.
“See I bring good news of great joy,
So no longer be afraid:
Christ the Lord, the promised Savior,
Unto you is born this day.”

Verse 3
Come, Thou Son, whose arms shall carry
Those fast-bound in chains of sin.
‘Mid this exile, ruined sinners
Shall be raised to life again.
He was born for our redemption,
O’er the manger loomed the Tree.
There in David’s little city
Lay the one who set us free.