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Counterfeit Freedom That Divides and Enslaves

By Jesse Jost

The tricky thing about freedom is that the exercise of one man’s freedom almost always entails limiting another’s freedom. My freedom to play my music loud in the room limits everyone’s else’s freedom to have quiet or to enjoy their music.

This creates dilemmas for society: which freedoms should be protected by law and which freedoms should be limited? Should women be free to abort their babies? Should we be free to smoke pot?

The New Testament, while instilling love for liberty, does not call us to unlimited freedom. In fact, believers are often called slaves of God. We are to pursue liberty, but our freedom is to be limited by love. Gal 5:15-17

We are commanded to have the mind of Christ, who though He had the ultimate freedom as God, unhindered by any other power, voluntarily limited his freedom and took on the form of a slave, one who had no rights and freedoms. Jesus limited his freedoms instead of fighting for his rights, so that he could make us free. Phil 2:5-9

To the question of which freedoms should be honoured and which freedoms should be limited, the biblical answer is: We should be free to love and obey God in all He commands us, and we should be free to love our fellowman and be able to meet their needs.

However, the Bible does not give us full freedom of conscience. The Bible takes a dim view of our conscience in that it can become seared and be deceitful, and acknowledges that we have a tendency to justify and rationalize just about anything.

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Three of God’s Most Potent Mental Health Boosters

By Jesse Jost

If God stepped into your room and offered you a pill that was guaranteed to boost your happiness level, would you take it?

God made our brains for joy and peace and pleasure. In His presence there is fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11)

Jesus said that He came that we might have life more abundantly. (John 10:10) “That your joy may be full,” were some of His final words to his disciples (John 15:11). Paul urges us to “rejoice in the Lord always.” (Phil 4:4)

But on this broken planet, we rarely enjoy God’s presence. Our minds are weighted with anxiety, resentment, discontentment, and guilt.

How did we get stuck in misery and how do we get unstuck?

Happiness Booster #1: Replace Regrets of the Past with Gratitude

The past can be tormenting… mistakes, missed opportunities, and the criticisms and abuse heaped on us. Toxic reflections like these create a yearning to rewrite events gone by.

But the past can’t be changed. It can, however, be reframed or reinterpreted.

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3 Reasons I Now Love the Wrath of God and His Coming Judgement

By Jesse Jost

I almost became an atheist because of the doctrine of Hell. I used to choke on scriptures about God’s wrath or the coming fiery judgement; they felt unfair and cruel. I gravitated to passages about His love, grace, and mercy.

But even though you may rarely hear about God’s judgement and wrath in modern sermons, you can’t escape these ideas in the New Testament.

Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven. Sin was so serious, Jesus warned, that it would be better to pluck out an eye or cut off a hand then let those offending body parts lead us to hell. He said not to fear those who can kill the body, but rather Him who can destroy the soul in hell.

Knowing the terror of the Lord motivated Paul’s evangelistic pleas. He warned about the coming day when the “Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” (2 Thess 1:8-9)

Almost every epistle mentions the coming wrath and judgement that will consume this planet. Peter warns that judgement will begin with the church. The writer of Hebrews says, “’Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:30-31)

We squirm over this doctrine. Seeker-sensitive messages avoid or soften it, fearing that it makes Jesus unattractive.

But whether we like it or not, it’s a reality we have to grapple with. God’s judgement will come whether we agree with it or not.  The only real issue is: are you ready for it?

After meditating on these passages further, I now find them a source of comfort and delight. They free me from miserable chains of self-centeredness, and stir my desire for God. Here’s how:

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Guard Your Story With All Diligence, For Out Of It Spring the Issues of Life

By Jesse Jost

We have a deep psychological and emotional need to understand what is really going on. We are driven to figure out how events and actions are connected,

so we can predict what is coming. This need to know the story is connected to our desire to know the future.

The story we believe we are in informs our view of what the problem is, and what solution is needed. It tells us who the enemy is and what we must do to counter him/it.

We feel adrift and aimless if we don’t have a clear understanding of what story we are in. But a compelling story can light a fire of motivation, making us willing to sacrifice everything for that story.

The story we believe gives us a compelling vision of what needs to be done, and what can be accomplished if the stories ends are achieved. It determines what we are willing to sacrifice to achieve the stories’ goals. It is the root of humanity’s greatest accomplishments and most horrendous atrocities.

Socialism, the most deadly idea of the 20th century, was a captivating story about the world’s primary problem and what could be done to fix it.

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  • Rachel

    Story=worldview, as well?

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Why The Slippery Slope Can’t Predict The Future

By Jesse Jost

A look around at the present trends we are seeing in North America does not give a Christian much reason for optimism. In the past year we have seen numerous freedoms disappear. Churches are facing draconian restrictions and fines for trying to obey our biblical mandates. Censorship of conservative ideas is becoming widespread.

Society as a whole seems to be embracing ideas that run contrary to sacred core biblical values. It feels like faithfully preaching biblical Christianity is becoming cultural suicide.

I have seen alarming parallels between what is happening now to what happened in other nations as they slid into dictatorships and police states. Is history bound to repeat itself? Have the restrictions and freedoms lost in the name of this pandemic shoved us down the slippery slope toward a totalitarian dystopia?

The idea of a slippery slope, or the idea that if we grant one thing it will inevitably lead to another thing, is a powerful rhetorical device. “If we let government dictate masks for the church, then we will also allow the government to stop our preaching the whole Bible.” “If we relinquish one freedom, where will it end?”

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10 Steps You Can Take to Prepare For the Coming New World Order.

By Jesse Jost

I have numerous posts that come across my feed asking “Are you awake yet?” and telling me to “Wake Up!”

I hear warnings that a new world order is coming, the church is headed for persecution, our freedoms are a thing of the past, and that we are headed straight for economic collapse and communist dictatorship.

These things may all be true, only time will tell, but what is driving me crazy right now, is that hardly any of these posts give me any practical steps I can take to do anything constructive with this ominous information.

It’s as if people just enjoy casting prophecies of terror and just letting them hang in the air like a horror movie sound track.

I’ve seen over the years that God has given me a sphere of responsibility – actions He is calling me to take.

But there is also a sphere or jurisdiction that is way bigger than me, things that are out of my control. These things are God’s responsibilities.

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  • Barry Neufeld

    Rod Dreher’s book: “Live Not by Lies” gives practical things for the followers of Christ to do when we are overrun by tyranny.

  • Karen Glanz

    Thank you for this. Christians NEED to hear this today.

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The Tormenting Burden of Being Right

By Jesse Jost

This morning before church, I got sucked into a debate with a very close friend on the effectiveness of PCR tests in diagnosing Covid.

Neither of us has any medical training, and I doubt if either of us knew what a PCR test was a year ago. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find two people less qualified to debate the topic.

Yet, that didn’t stop me from letting this agitate me and temporarily get in between us. I sat down in my pew and struggled to let go and enter worship.

Then God whispered to my soul and I said three words to myself that flooded my soul with peace: “I don’t know.” It felt so good to admit I didn’t know the whole truth about PCR tests, and therefore it wasn’t my job to try to change someone’s mind to agree with me!

As I reflected on this later, I realized that resting in agnosticism about the issues isn’t enough. To not know anything for sure is to lack conviction and decisive action.

On the other hand, to wrestle someone else to the mat on every issue makes you a divisive and lonely jerk. But to not have confidence in anything leaves you adrift!

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  • Dale Jost

    Yes good word Jesse, it does truly depend on your source for what is truth, to be confident in it. There is definitely so much we dare not be dogmatic about!

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Top 10 Reads of 2020

By Jesse Jost

I finished 50 books this past year. Here are my top 10 with a word of recommendation, as well as the 10 that just missed the cut but are still highly recommended, and also a complete list of all 50 books.

10. Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920’s

by Frederick Lewis Allen

The 1920’s were a fascinating and often overlooked time in North American history, a decade of religious decline, sexual revolution, family upheaval, and booming business. Frederick Allen wrote this book in the early 1930s. His voice is fresh and his eye for interesting detail makes for a riveting read. I loved his sequel about the 1930s:

Since Yesterday: The 1930s in America, September 3, 1929–September 3, 1939

by Frederick Lewis Allen

9. Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God

by Timothy J. Keller

Timothy Keller always writes with simplicity, but profound depth, and has much practical application. His book on prayer covers the subject in rich historical detail and draws from a wide range of Christian thinkers on the subject. An excellent and soul-stirring overview.

8. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

by Cal Newport

Is modern technology serving us, or are we becoming enslaved? I got an eye-opening look at the ways that social media and our devices are designed to make us addicted and take more from us than we intend to give.

Newport is not anti-technology and he sees the value in social media, but he challenges us to live the life we want to be living rather than carelessly throwing away our most valuable possession: Our time.

I also high recommend “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life” by Nir Eyal, Julie Li which also covers similar themes.

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2020 Jesse and Heidi Jost Christmas Letter


This is us back in September

by Thomas Jost (almost 14 months)

I know its not traditional for authors to include their age beside the name, but in my case it is so impressive I made sure to add it.

A couple years ago my Dad wrote the Christmas letter from the perspective of “a letter from your future self” to last year’s version of you. He thought about doing that again this year, but he says this year was so crazy that past selves would never believe it!

So Dad asked me to write the letter this year. I’ve never done a Christmas letter before, but being 14 months means always trying things you’ve never done before, even if everyone is screaming around you that it is a bad idea. So here it goes.



Your Truly slaving away

I am Thomas, with luscious blond hair and dark brown eyes. I am currently single but that won’t last long, I’m sure. I’m often referred to as a miracle baby, and I’m not always sure if that is because my Mom almost miscarried me, or if they are referring to my magical ability to make things disappear in the toilet.

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  • Dale Jost

    Creative overview of 2020 Thomas! Loved it❤️❤️❤️

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Unprepared for Battle

Unprepared for Battle

By Jesse Jost

Recently we had a friend over who was discussing the holocaust. She said there were three groups of people during that horrific time. Those who perpetrated the crimes against the Jews, those who did all they could to oppose the evil men, and those who did nothing. Her questions haunted me. Which group am I in with the evil that is taking place today?

During the craziness of 2020, I’ve written blog and Facebook posts aimed to call people to prayer, bible memorization and meditation, and a deeper walk with God. I have also urged caution about embracing conspiracy theories and being careful about what we believe.

Almost every time I have posted, I get responses interpreting my advice as “not standing up for truth” or failing to be the watchman. That I’m somehow urging people to bury their heads in the sands of personal piety, and ignore the pleas of the oppressed.

I always cringe when I get one of these responses because that is not at all what I intend to communicate.

I believe there is a real spiritual and cultural battle raging right now. I believe God calls His Church to be soldiers in this battle. My concern is that we as soldiers of the King be prepared for battle.

As we have seen throughout history, sending soldiers into battle who are not equipped for the fight has been catastrophic both for the soldiers and the country they are defending.

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  • Konrad

    “Part of the reason I have been so passionate to point people away from possible conspiracy theories and back to God’s word, is because only on the sure foundation of the Bible can we find true unity. ” Amen and amen! Keep standing for the Truth as expressed His Word. One of the side benefits of 2020 is that is has been another reminder of the unrelenting relevance of the Bible to our day. I can not think of a time that I have held fast to what the scripture teaches and had it let me down or be less than advertised. Some things are hard (“…they that will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution…”) and counter-culture (“Bless those that curse you”), but It has always been true.

    Asking me to defy what the scripture teaches in favor of hearsay and theoretical ill-intentions of others (a lot of which is neither provable nor disprovable), is asking me to lend more authority to the conspiracy or man’s wisdom than to the Word of God, or said another way, putting scripture in subjection to conspiracy theory or man’s wisdom. That doesn’t seem like a good trade.

    ~K

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