Spiritual Formation

As you seek to live out God’s calling on your life, there might be times when you ask yourself a form of this question: What is more important—living a life of holiness or reaching out to friends that don’t know God? Do you want to know Jesus’ answer? It’s “yes.” That is, they go hand in hand.

For most of my life in the church, “apostle” has been something of a dirty word, either because it’s assumed to be an expired gift or because we’ve so often seen it abused. Most of us (even those of us who are gifted as apostolic leaders!) struggle with the idea of calling something “apostolic” and, as such, we can find ourselves operating out of a gifting that we don’t have language for.

by: 
Bobby Gross

“Why is this night different from all other nights?” Jewish children will voice this question around Seder tables this week as families celebrate Passover and remember the ancient identity-forming story from Exodus 12-14. Likewise, we do well to ask ourselves as Christians, “Why is this week different from all other weeks? Why is this a holy week?”

In Exodus, God’s people finally have a place to encounter his presence. Does that ancient Tabernacle have any relevance for us today?

by: 
Bobby Gross

A little hunger is good for the soul, enlarging our appetite for God.

I have a friend who went to her church’s summer camp every year and felt the need to repent and be “born again” every time. It was the only way she knew how to deal with her “backsliding”. Annually, like a ritual, she feared she had lost her salvation, and then rushed to be saved again.

by: 
Jane Hall

It’s January, a time when many people resolve to improve their physical health by eating better, getting more sleep, or exercising more often. Perhaps you have made a similar New Year’s resolution after you indulged in Christmas cookies and fudge!

The words that Professor Ken Elzinga spoke were not complex, but their impact was profound. As our speaker for the Midwest InterVarsity Faculty Conference at Cedar Campus, Professor Elzinga was giving his final presentation of the event and his main point was simply this, “God is not calling you to success, but rather to obedience.”  

by: 
Bobby Gross

Christmas is only a few weeks away. You know the occasion is spiritually important but, as a student, I’m guessing you can’t think about that right now. Thanksgiving break is over and now is the crazy push toward end-of-term activities, papers, all-nighters, finals — and then packing to go home where you’ll crash and then scramble to get ready for Christmas. Plus, it’s not always easy being home for the holidays with no built-in routines, odd family dynamics, or old negative patterns that resurface. Not exactly an easy time to attend to your spiritual life.

“Pray without ceasing,” writes Paul to the Thessalonians (5:17). Did you ever wonder what Paul actually meant or how to do this? It feels just a tad guilt-producing. My prayer life is not like this.

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