• Mom & Bob

    My Mom’s Final Breath

    It can only happen once in a lifetime: you watch your Mom take her final breath. Nine difficult days had passed since the car accident. Although she was still in the intensive care unit, there were reasons to hope my Mom would eventually recover. It was Christmas Eve morning and I arrived at the hospital…
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  • The Talk

    The Talk, Tim Keller, and a Video about Sex

    I recently had “The Talk” with my fifth-grade son. It was very brief and went something like this: Son, I can pretty much tell you everything you’ll ever need to know about sex in one sentence: God made sex. And if you do sex God’s way, it will turn out good. But if you don’t…
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  • Amy and Rita Bevington

    Forgiveness

    FROM BOB: The following blog post was written by my former wife. She will be in Tampa, Florida next week teaching a conference on Forgiveness. She knows a lot about the subject. I hope many show up and listen carefully to her. FORGIVENESS, by Rita Bevington In the film Under the Tuscan Sun, actor Diane…
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  • Prayer 2

    Jesus’ SCARS: How to Spend Quality Time with God

    A couple years ago I re-worked the well-known ACTS acrostic and found it to be a game-changer in my morning time with God. Recently I re-worked the re-work to make it clearer and hopefully more useful to others. Here it is: Jesus:  Start by simply meditating on the Person of Christ. Set your heart and…
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Jerry Bridges (1929-2016): My Mentor and Friend

Bob Bevington

Jerry Bridges (1929-2016): My Mentor and Friend

Jerry with BobI lost my wonderful mentor, prayer partner, and friend last night. The Gospel Coalition was kind enough to publish my thoughts about him today. I hope you have a few minutes to read about him at this LINK:

 

[Read more...]

Why Does God Allow Satan to Exist?

Bob Bevington
Written By:
Why Does God Allow Satan to Exist? | January 14th, 2016

Why Does God Allow Satan to Exist?

large_why-satan-existsThis POST was originally published at DesiringGOD.org. It is based on my book, Good News About Satan: A Gospel Look at Spiritual Warfare.

In a very real sense, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). All humans, including those who compose the church, are subject to the evil god of this world. So here’s a question for you: True or false?

God could have cast Satan into the lake of fire immediately after he rebelled, or immediately after the deception in the Garden, or at any point from then until now, thus sparing his people and the world untold misery and suffering.

Answer: True.

By [Jesus] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:16)

Christ spun forth galaxies with a word. He could just as easily have removed the entire kingdom of darkness with one little word. Wouldn’t the Bride of Christ have been better off? Why didn’t the Divine Bridegroom care for us in that way?

All this is just one way to pose one of the most knotty questions in all of theology.

Why Does Christ Allow the Enemy to Exist?

The short answer is this:  [Read more...]

A Christmas Card from Jerry Bridges

Bob Bevington
Written By:
A Christmas Card from Jerry Bridges | December 15th, 2015

A Christmas Card from Jerry Bridges

ChristmasThis is the best Christmas greeting I’ve received so far this season. I like it because it displays the bigger story and the greater glory of the coming of Jesus Christ. By the way, Jerry turned 86 this year!

Dear Friends,

My favorite Christmas scripture is John 1:1-4, 14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

When I link together vs. 14 with verses 1-4, I always say, “WOW”! The Creator of the universe actually became one of us. That’s what the Christmas story is all about. But it is not the end of the story. 

Why did He become one of us? To take our place both in living in obedience to God’s law and dying for our failure to obey. Galatians 4:4, 5, But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” and Philippians 2:8, And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

 But even that is not the end of the story. He arose from the dead. I Cor. 15:3-4, For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,” And now He sits at the right hand of God where He rules all of history. 

Finally, He is coming again to receive us unto Himself I Thess. 4:16-17, For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”

I like to put the whole story of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection, ascension, ruling and coming again into my concept of Christmas. This helps me focus on the real meaning of Christmas. . . 

[Read more...]

When Terror Works (& How To Fight It)

Bob Bevington
Written By:
When Terror Works (& How To Fight It) | November 24th, 2015

When Terror Works (& How To Fight It)

This post is the best thing I’ve read in a long time about understanding and responding to terrorism. I had to share it. If you only have 20 seconds to read it, skip to the last heading, Certainty in One Place.

If this helps you, please pass it on:

WHEN TERRORISM WORKS, By Caleb Greggson

paris-memorial_3501108b_316_197_90I was 14 when Islamic terrorists attacked my school. In the years that followed, I was often physically overwhelmed by an anxiety that came from knowing I could never feel safe anymore.

As I read live updates from Paris last week, I felt that same cold, knotting fear climbing up my back and reaching around my neck.

Even though Louisville and Paris are thousands of miles apart, these attacks feel different—closer somehow. These terrorists brutally murdered people doing everyday things—going to a soccer match, a concert, a restaurant. Things you and I could’ve been doing. These attacks weren’t just on Parisians, in other words. They were attacks on normal life.

The point of terrorism—and what makes it appealing to those who cannot fight traditional-style battles—is to inject fear into others. To freeze economies by making people too afraid to go out shopping. To tear societies apart since people are too afraid to gather in public places. In short, the point is to make us too fearful to go about our daily lives.

For all the bravado or stiff upper lip we may put up against acts of terror, the fact is sometimes they work. Sometimes, they make us afraid.

But that fear—that uncertainty and hopelessness threatening to paralyze you—is the very thing God uses to strip away your confidence in this world.

Uncertainty of This World 

Physical safety is so illusory, so fleeting. Once you sense this, you may suddenly discover parts of Scripture to be more relevant to your life than you thought. Ecclesiastes reminds us repeatedly of the brevity of human life, and how little control we have over our plans. James instructs us to say “Lord willing” as an expression of our dependence on God’s protection and provision in the fruition of our plans (James 4:13–14).

Hebrews was written to believers being beaten, imprisoned, and robbed (Heb. 10:32–34). In a sense, these were acts of terrorism—designed to teach the young Christians there was no guarantee of protection for their belongings or persons. And yet, these believers weren’t told to make themselves more secure. They weren’t told either to fight or to flee from the danger.

The Holy Spirit, through the author of Hebrews, tells us the ultimate response to physical uncertainty is to fix our eyes on Jesus—to go to him, outside the camp, and place our hope in an everlasting city, not earthly ones (Heb. 13:13–14).

Brothers and sisters, we’ve always lived in a dangerous world. In the same weekend of the Paris attacks there was a devastating massacre in Beirut. A funeral in Baghdad was bombed. A three-year-old in Charlotte was accidentally shot. And now an attack in Mali. This world threatens to undo us not just because we trust in Christ, but because sin has so tragically fractured it. Both world history and your own personal past reveal that the unpredictable, the unforeseen, the chaotic might be right around the corner. Even if you could flee the places that seem most dangerous, death and tragedy could still overtake you there. That’s why Jesus exhorts us not to fear those who can destroy the body, but only him who can destroy both body and soul (Matt. 10:28).

Fear is the natural human response to this kind of tragedy. French Muslims are afraid of how they’ll be seen. French secularists are afraid of losing not just their lives, but their country. People who’ve felt secure for a long time suddenly feel shaken to the core.

Certainty in One Place

But the Christian response to chaos is not to grab what we can see more tightly. All those things are fleeting. Nor is our response to fling our hands in the air and try not to worry since it’s out of our control anyway. No. Our response is to look to the one who governs the universe.

When terror grips you, your heart is likely believing, at some level, that God really isn’t in control, or that some things in life are more precious than the hope we have in Christ. The only way to fight that unbelief is to rehearse the gospel and fix your eyes on Jesus the King. That is the resounding counsel of his Word.

Our earthly security never lasts. But in Christ we have an inheritance, a security that will never be taken from us. This is the stunning position in which we stand. No, we cannot guarantee our own physical safety—much less that of our children, our friends, or our church. But we know one who guarantees something far greater than safety on earth. Trust that promise. Stand on the certainty that what matters most can never be taken away from you. Rest in the reality that our God is infinitely sovereign, infinitely wise, infinitely good—and therefore infinitely worthy of trust.

Caleb Greggsen grew up in Central Asia, Europe, and Australia. He earned his MDiv from [Read more...]

Thinking of Yourself Less

Bob Bevington
Written By:
Thinking of Yourself Less | July 21st, 2015

Thinking of Yourself Less

Killjoys PicC.S. Lewis said true humility is “not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less.” I think it also involves thinking of the triune God more (aka “regarding God”)–see my July 15th post below.

Jason Meyer took over for John Piper as Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church. His excellent post on pride is copy/pasted below. Before you read it, note this offer from Desiring God: FREE digital copy of Killjoys: The Seven Deadly Sins. The chapter on pride is written by Jason. I need all the help I can get with this battle–and Jason’s post and chapter were just that for me.

Hit List: Taking Aim at the Seven Deadly Sins also has an excellent chapter on battling pride. 

 

Think of Yourself Less:

Fighting Pride’s Preoccupation with Me

I am very qualified to speak on pride because I am so proud. I hate my pride, but what I take even more seriously is how God hates it so much more.

Pride is our greatest enemy because it makes God our enemy — an almighty opponent. “God opposes the proud” (James 4:61 Peter 5:5). Why? What makes pride so singularly repulsive to God is the way that pride contends for supremacy with God himself. Pride is not one sin among many, but a sin in a class by itself. Other sins lead the sinner further from God, but pride is particularly heinous in that it attempts to elevate the sinner above God.

Pride is not just a sin, but a  [Read more...]

How to do Battle with Pride

Bob Bevington
Written By:
How to do Battle with Pride | July 15th, 2015

How to do Battle with Pride

Two-sins-deeper-than-pride-1While working on my most recent book, Good News About Satan: A Gospel Look at Spiritual Warfare, I discovered the vital role of humility in dealing with our spiritual enemy.

Since I struggle with pride more than any other sin, I looked to my mentor and friend, Jerry Bridges, for direction. He sent me to The Beatitudes, which his next book will describe as “humility in action.” And we had further discussion which led to me writing this blog post for Cruciform Press. If you, too, struggle with the sin of pride, I hope this helps.

Prideful sin is no small matter. The biblical warnings against it are bone-chilling. And none is more frightening than this: “God is opposed to the proud” (James 1:6).

We’ve been told over and over: Pride is the root of all sinKill pride and your other sins will topple, too. Sounds easy but it isn’t. Pride is slippery. As soon as you think you’ve got a grip on it, it pops up somewhere else nearby—usually closer to your heart than it was in the first place.

Frontal attacks against pride usually fizzle out. Have you noticed that, too? If so, try the indirect approach I learned while working on a recent book on spiritual warfare.

Roots Grow in Soil

There are two sins that actually run deeper than pride. Picture them as the soil from which the root of pride draws its nourishment and support.

Thankfully, these are two sins you can easily battle head-on. In fact, you can “condition” these two soils (that is, poison them) [Read more...]

Spiritual Warfare? Here’s the Good News!

Bob Bevington

Spiritual Warfare? Here’s the Good News!

Cover ArtHere’s a LINK to my brand new book, published by Cruciform Press.

It’s an easy-to-read, Bible-saturated book on spiritual warfare. It emphasizes our need to recognize and engage the enemy, but not in fear—because the good news of the Deliverer is bigger than the bad news of the kingdom of darkness. After you click on the link you can scroll down to read the endorsements and a 33-page sample. If you have Amazon Prime, here’s a LINK that will cost less due to free shipping.

Here’s the endorsement Joe Coffey wrote:

Bob Bevington approaches a difficult subject with the precision of a surgeon. Using only the Bible as a source he is able to teach powerful truths concerning one of the most important areas of the Christian life namely our relationship with the enemy. It’s an area easily filled with misinformation and error in spite of it’s critical nature. Good News About Satan is the first book I’ve read that applies the Gospel to spiritual warfare so thoroughly. This is a tool I have long needed in my library. Like all great tools it is one I will use most on myself and then lend liberally to others. 

While writing this book I discovered something that changed my life–Christ is more glorious to the redeemed because the enemy has been allowed to “roam around the earth” rather than be thrown into the Lake of Fire the moment he rebelled. Why? [Read more...]

Three Bevingtons on Moody Radio “Java with Juli”

Bob Bevington

Three Bevingtons on Moody Radio “Java with Juli”

Bevington PhotoThe interviewees: My wife, Amy. My former wife, Rita. And myself.

The interviewer: Dr. Juli Slattery. The program:  Java with Juli. It aired last week on Moody radio affiliates across the country including WCRF. You can hear the half-hour broadcast at this LINK.

Our story of sin, forgiveness, and reconciliation began 18 years ago with all the toxic angst and drama of divorce. Eventually the three of us began to discover and apply the transforming power of the gospel. We are still learning. Meanwhile the amount of healing has been amazing–extending to and through all four of my children, and reaching out to help others through the book, Red Like Blood and the Oasis class at Christ Community Chapel.

If you listen carefully, you will hear the real story–how the dots connect all the way back to the cross.  [Read more...]

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