I began 2016 with a goal of blogging more consistently. For the most part, I succeeded—I think. I tapered off at the end of the year to sort out some mental and spiritual burnout while also working on some meatier projects. I had the opportunity to publish at some outlets that I strongly support, so I also wanted to put them on your radar if you had never visited them before. I hope to resume a regular blogging schedule at the beginning of next year, but until things pick up again, here are six of my top posts from this year. You can click through to read them in full.
"Jesus Died For Your Depression Too" - For The Church
"Remember, Christian, there is no spot that the blood of Christ is unable to cover. There is no need to cover your shame up before God. Rip up your fig leaves, for you have been given garments washed in the blood of Christ. . . Brothers and sisters: Do not fear your banishment from God. Jesus died for thee, depression and all. He has robed you in his perfect righteousness, and you will never be snatched from His hand."
"Seeing the Gospel in Family Life"
"Ultimately, our families’ imaging of creation, redemption, and joy reminds us that we live in a shadow. One day, we will be at home with our brothers and sisters, dining at the wedding feast. On that day, there will be no more carseat tantrums or wayward young adults. We will eat, drink, and be merry, for then we will live. But till that day, we see the gospel in the normalcy of the family—a tangible euangelion—reflecting what’s in store when Christ bids us homeward."
"In Victory, Insufficiency" - For The Church
"Insufficiency is part of the church’s DNA. It is in our creeds and catechisms, our songs and liturgies, our sermons and small groups: Christ is all. We can harbor our insufficiencies in the church by reveling in the gospel—playing in it, living in it, and wrestling through it. And most importantly, we can boast in our insufficiency so that Christ’s strength might be made known, perfected in our weakness to God’s greater glory."
"5 Ways to Revitalize Your Worship Services" - Am I Called
"I’ve heard it said that if you want to figure out a church’s theology, you can simply watch their worship service. Is the congregation typically lively, or does it look more like Lord’s Day of the Living Dead? How does the congregation respond to the lyrics? Does the service feel corporate? In my experience, asking these questions can be very revealing. The members are almost always a reflection of the whole. But there are a handful of things that shape our worship services that most would call insignificant, or even negligible. You might not even notice some of them if you looked at the congregation. Here are five simple ways to help revitalize your worship services."
"First-Person: Advice for students" - Baptist Press
"It's easy to forget the importance of our own spirituality when confronted with assignments and deadlines. Too often, students spend all their energy focusing on performing and neglect the local church. . . No matter what the cost, we need to remember we are students of Christ first. Friends with him, too. This friendship promises the kind of life academic success could only theorize about, so cling to it."
"Can God Love Me if I Hate Myself?"
"You are not worthy of the gospel. You never have been. That’s the point. God’s love is not due to your loveableness. Because of this, He will not leave you, even when you’re unlovable. You are reckoning with a God who came down to take on flesh so that he could replace your unworthiness with His worthiness—a God who loves you even when you don’t love yourself. Reckon with Him every day anew."
Cody Glen Barnhart
Cody Glen Barnhart (@codygbarnhart) lives in Maryville, Tennessee, and is a student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written for sites such as Canon & Culture, For the Church, and Gospel Centered Discipleship.