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The NewLife Blog

October 8, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

What "born again" really means

The first time I remember hearing the phrase "born again" was in relation to Darryl Strawberry, the former Mets and Yankees star. I recall reading that Strawberry had become a "born again Christian," and while I wasn't quite sure what that meant, it was obvious that he seemed to have found religion. The phrase “born again” carries with it all kinds of baggage in this day and age....Keep Reading

Tags: Evangelism, Salvation

October 1, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Everything matters

At the end of a lengthy chapter on the significance of Jesus’ resurrection, Paul concludes by exhorting his listeners to live their lives completely for God, because it all matters. In a world where it is so easy to question the significance of our daily struggle and toil, I find this passage to be cold water in a parched land. Because Jesus rose from the dead, Paul argues, we know that the things that we do this side of heaven have eternal significance. ...Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Significance

September 24, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Monuments in your own honor

King Saul was the first king in Israel. Tall, strong, and handsome, he certainly looked the part. But from the beginning, his insecurities held him back. In fact, when the prophet Samuel went to anoint him as king, they could not find him because he was hiding “among the baggage” (1 Samuel 10:22)! Despite his anxieties, Saul’s early days as king were full of success. But eventually he lost his way...Keep Reading

Tags: Worship, Discipleship

September 17, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Two ways to answer your critics

Lately I have found that when I am accused of wrongdoing, I have two potential responses competing in my mind. The first is to defend myself, to give all the reasons the accuser is wrong, and to point out all the way my accuser is just as guilty as I am. My second response is to not only agree with my accuser but to add to my accuser’s list all the other ways that I am guilty which they neglected to mention. The first response feels like the right way to go. After all, I am standing up for myself and declaring that I am not such a bad person after all, nor am I alone in being imperfect. The second response, however, is both humble and brutally honest about who I am....Keep Reading

Tags: Identity, Criticism

September 10, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Pride and the problem of evil

This past Sunday, I began preaching through the book of Revelation. One of the key takeaways from chapter 1 is that our perspective on this world is incredibly limited. We may believe that “reality” consists of what we can see, touch, hear, taste, and smell, but the Bible, and Revelation in particular, reveals to us that there is a whole unseen spiritual reality that is more real than the transitory things that inhabit the material world. In a Tim Keller lecture that I was listening to recently, he shared an implication of that truth that I had never considered. ...Keep Reading

Tags: Suffering, pride

September 3, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Whac-a-mole discipleship

I became a follower of Jesus as a college freshman at age 18. After a couple of years of learning what it meant to follow Jesus and developing some close friendships with my Christian friends, I started to understand the importance of accountability, of having someone that I trusted enough to confess my sins too, someone who would ask me the tough questions about my walk with the Lord. For the past 20+ years, I have always had at least someone that I talk with regularly so that I stay sharp in my discipleship. As Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” But here’s the thing about accountability and the sincere desire to avoid sin:...Keep Reading

Tags: accountability, Discipleship

August 27, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

What does it really mean to be free?

One of the fundamental values of our culture is that every person should have the freedom to choose for themselves how to live (within the bounds of the law). But our culture’s definition of freedom (the absence of restrictions) differs from the Biblical concept of freedom. The Bible tells us that in the end, you are either a slave to God or a slave to sin (Romans 6:16). The choice is not between following God and living free to do as you please. The choice is between serving God, which leads to eternal life, or serving sin, which leads to death....Keep Reading

Tags: Freedom, Culture

August 14, 2019 by Eric Stillman 2 comments

The complicated legacy of Christian leaders

“Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” This stirring quote comes from the pen of Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision and one of the men responsible for Samaritan’s Purse, two of the leading Christian relief organizations in the world (Michael Wrang shared this past Sunday about his service with Samaritan's Purse). With a resume like that, you probably envision a passionate man of God, giving his all to share the love of Christ with all who came across his path......Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Sin

August 6, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Who are you, really?

This past Sunday, during my sermon on overcoming guilt and shame, I discussed the importance of finding our identity and self-worth in who God says we are. I am fairly certain that we have all been the victims of individuals who have shamed us at some point in our lives and told us terrible things about us (or done terrible things to us) that have shaped the way we see ourselves. And for many of us, we are our own worst enemies, berating and belittling ourselves in ways that we would never do to another person. But the more we come to believe the things that God says about us, the more we can reject the insults, scorn the shame, and walk in the humble confidence that comes from knowing who we are in Christ. And who does He say that we are? Read below:...Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Identity

July 30, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Less of me, more of God

In the last chapter Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, he writes vividly about the spiritual battle that we are in and our need to be clothed in the armor of God, supported by the prayers of God’s people. Every once in a while, there are weeks where being a pastor feels like running a marathon while simultaneously trying not to get taken out by the flaming arrows of the evil one, while you watch some of your running partners get knocked out of the race. This is one of those weeks....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, pride