Highlands Fellows Writing Articles

Blog posts by pastors from around the country. They write about how to understand God’s word and apply it in your home, church, and community. They write about living a simple, separate and deliberate life. They encourage you to live faithfully by taking captive all your thoughts and actions to Christ and His word.

The Lord’s Supper — Feast for Sinners

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The Lord's Supper — Feast for Sinners

Sundays are for Sinners I love Sundays. My children love Sundays. In fact, they love them so much I’m sure they learned the days of the week so they could know when the next Sunday was coming. “What day is it daddy,” they’d ask. “What day comes next.” Then they would keep asking until they knew just how many days there were until Sunday. I might be stretching it a bit, but they may have learned to count for the same reason. Each week our anticipation rises as we make ready our home for the covenant families who will share. . .
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Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

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Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

Rightly Dividing or Wrongly Fighting? Some things are worth arguing about. You should fight for the truth. You should defend the faith. In a world gone mad, where lies, heresies, and worldliness surround us on every side, you do not have to look far to find a foe. So much is wrong with the church and the world, the feisty warrior has much to keep him busy. Some people, however, just like to argue, and they will argue about nothing and everything. They criticize people for what they say and for what they do not say. They pick specks out. . .
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I Did Not Come to Bring Peace but a Sword

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I did not come to bring peace but a sword.—Jesus

Jesus Talked About Family Conflict We are a people at war. This war is not always fought out in the marketplace, in the broader culture, or in the church. It is often fought in the confines of the family. Jesus, in one of the most uncomfortable of all His uncomfortable sayings, tells the disciples this in Matthew 10:34-39: Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her. . .
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If Your Theology Doesn’t Transform Your Living You’re Doing it Wrong

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If Your Theology Doesn't Transform Your Living You're Doing it Wrong

We are Forgetful of God’s Word There is a subtlety regarding our interaction with the Scriptures that causes our lives as Christians to be less than they could and ought to be. The apostle James spells this out in no uncertain terms by stating; “Looking at the Scriptures and going your way” is never going to do to and for us what, “looking at the Scriptures as you go” will do. (Read that last sentence again, slower, it’ll make sense.) The difference here is focus. And the focus initiates a transformation. The man who glances at the Word and goes. . .
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Fighting Worldliness as a Family

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Fighting Worldliness as a Family

Worldliness in Christian Children Generally speaking, we parents desire the best for our children and would protect them from what harms them or that which is contrary to what we believe to be right and good. So what is going on in the American Evangelical church where — if statistics tell us the truth — so many of our children abandon the faith? According to reports, between 70-90% of Christian students abandon the faith after their second year of college. What these reports often don’t address is why this is occurring. Many Christian families begin training their children in the. . .
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Christian Parenting with Perseverance

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Christian Parenting & Sanctification We have just begun preaching from the book of James. In preparing a sermon for the last part of chapter one, verse twenty-five jumped out at me: But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. In particular, I was impacted by the clause, “and continues in it.” While the applications of this verse are manifold with regard to our sanctification, I was struck by its application to us as. . .
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Relativism — America’s Idol

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Relativism in Narnia In C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle, an ape named Shift tried to convince the free animals of Narnia to embrace Calormene culture and serve their king, the Tisroc. Pretending to be Aslan’s prophet, the Ape told the animals that Aslan had sold them into the service of the Tisroc in order to bring all the “benefits” of Calormene culture to the backward land of Narnia. “Please,” said the Lamb, “I can’t understand. What have we to do with the Calormenes? We belong to Aslan. They belong to Tash. They say Tash has four arms and the head. . .
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Weapons of Spiritual Warfare

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Weapons of Spiritual Warfare

Words of Spiritual Warfare The first question in the Bible came from the devil. Within that question, everything that God had said about mankind and the world was put into doubt. Here was a new voice speaking backwards regarding all that had been thus far spoken forth. And this was the cause of man’s fall. Thorns and thistles burst forth, but also all of the myriad levels of death: leanness of soul, frenetic activity, discontent, bitterness, arrogance, and so on. Adam and Eve enjoyed innocence, intimacy, perpetual youth, fulfillment, and fellowship with God to name a few. They were given. . .
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How Not to Gossip

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How Not to Gossip

Gossip Starts Here It all started with a comment from a friend: “The pastor seems a bit too friendly with Miss Rogers, doesn’t he? Did you see the way he looks at her?” “Not exactly,” I responded. “Well, it does not look healthy to me,” he said. We parted ways, and I began to watch. I did not see much, but the pastor was smiling a lot while they talked. Maybe there was something to this. This is where my evil began. “An evildoer gives heed to false lips; A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue” (Proverbs 17:4). I. . .
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The Kingdom of God & Brownies

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The Kingdom of God & Brownies

Kingdom of God Takes Hold It all starts with worship — potent worship. Like a kung-fu ballet or fudge brownies with just enough brownie mix to hold all those pecans together. Let’s face it, if you don’t have something that is worthy of passion then you ain’t got much at all. But once it takes hold, you see life radically differently. There is eternity in every moment. Those words spoken, that opportunity that presents itself, that child, that job, that illness; they all become what they were not before, because you were not who you were before. The world has. . .
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How to Repent

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How to Repent: A Story Guide

A Story Guide for How to Repent When R.C. asked me to write on this topic, I wasn’t sure whether or not to be pleased. You see, when I am given an assignment, I immediately try and evaluate whether I know very much about the topic. I guess I should be pleased. I am quite experienced on the topic of repentance, having had to do a lot of it in my life. However, doing a lot of it and enjoying it are two very different things hence my corresponding displeasure. I only see one semi-honorable way out. Take the “third. . .
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Contentment in All Circumstances

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Contentment in All Circumstances

Learning Contentment Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content; I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13 Paul’s Example of Contentment It is commonly understood and agreed upon that the main theme of Paul’s letter to the saints in Phillippi is that of joy in the Christian life.. . .
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Join the Great Cloud of Witnesses & Run

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Great Cloud of Witnesses “Timothy, a deacon of Mauritania, and Maura his wife, had not been united together by the bands of wedlock above three weeks, when they were separated from each other by the persecution. Timothy, being apprehended, as a Christian, was carried before Arrianus, the governor of Thebais, who, knowing that he had the keeping of the Holy Scriptures, commanded him to deliver them up to be burnt…[which he refused to do]. The governor being much incensed at this reply, ordered his eyes to be put out, with red-hot irons, saying, ‘The books shall at least be useless. . .
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Living in Community

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Living in Community is Hard Work A wise man once said to me that “living in community is hard work.” Longsuffering, humility, repentance and forgiveness are easy when they remain as rhetoric or ideologies. In practice, they stretch us beyond our own strength. But if we truly love one another then we don’t have to work so hard at it. Sins are covered, bones are broken by soft words, feelings aren’t lying around for neighbors to trip on, and everyone is committed to speak the truth in love knowing the vital connection of the two. We are, after all, the. . .
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Building the Kingdom of God is a Family Mission

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Build the Kingdom of God in Your Family During times of war a wise commander deploys his soldiers according to a strategic plan. Missions are carefully planned and then manned with well-equipped warriors so that objectives are achieved, positions are held, and enemy territory is taken. And so it is with the Lord of Hosts, the One who commands the armies of Heaven. Our God has an eternal plan for dominion, one that is moving forward one heart, one household, one community at a time. The reality of the Kingdom of God and our part in it is something that. . .
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What to Wear to Church

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We Don’t Know What to Wear to Church Anymore To everything there is a season and a time . . . and yes, there is a time to dress up. The need to suggest such a thing is an indictment on our casual-minded, downgraded, culture. But when people now wear their pajamas to the mall and think little of it, it’s time to reverse this cultural digression before our worship service looks more like a slumber party than the ultimate wedding ceremony that it is. When I was a kid, my parents regularly took me to the symphony. Everyone dressed. . .
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Is Evangelism Worth It?

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Is evangelism worth it?

Evangelism Disappointments If you’ve ever found yourself discouraged or beating yourself up over how poorly you handled a situation where you were trying to share your faith, I have sort of an inoculation for you. This is not a license to succumb to the fatalistic tendencies that often prevail among Calvinists. “Since God predestines everything, I’ll play video games all night and skip out on going to our church’s neighborhood outreach.” This is more for the times we do what God calls us to do and things don’t work out the way we pray they will. When this happens to. . .
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Love One Another & Be a Childlike Church

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Love One Another Like the Early Church A few years ago I chided a minister who said he spent forty hours each week preparing his Sunday sermons. I couldn’t imagine how he could justify such a solitary life. “It’s kind of like a father who thinks he’s being a good provider working endless overtime,” I told him. “What the family really needs is a lot less money and a lot more dad. The same is true of you and your church.” But, today, I find I’m a lot more like the man I gave a hard time, and less like. . .
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Worship is a Good Offense

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Worship is a Good Offense—Defense of the Faith

Worship is for Believers The past two Lord’s Days, a few of our members shared with me how they wept through portions of our worship service. These emotions are not uncommon as believers bask in God’s glory with understanding of what is going on in His presence. The sense of holy awe before the throne moves our whole being. When we leave we are different people. In order to have a good defense of the faith, we need to have a good offense. That’s what worship is. Worship is the fountainhead from which all of life springs. But worship is. . .
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Honoring Your Parents When You’re All Grown Up

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Honoring Your Parents When You're All Grown Up

Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Exodus 20:12 Family Battles One of the most familiar verses on spiritual warfare is Ephesians 6:12, where we learn that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. And yet, while we read that verse and meditate upon its meaning, some of us are confronted with the reality that it seems we do indeed wrestle with flesh and blood, the flesh and blood that is related to us. Sometimes, the greatest spiritual battles seem to take place in. . .
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