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The NewLife Blog

May 2, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The battle is real

This past Sunday, I preached on Romans 13:8-14, and noted how in verse 12, Paul tells his listeners to get up and put on their armor. It’s a curious and striking exhortation, given that most people don’t get up in the morning and change out of their pajamas into a suit of armor! But Paul’s words reinforce what he says more directly in Ephesians 6:11-12, where he tells his listeners to “put on the full armor of God,” because our fight is not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of evil. The Christian life is not a walk in the park, but is rather a fight against a tenacious and terrible opposition, led by the devil himself....Keep Reading

Posted in: Leadership Tags: Leadership, Spiritual Warfare

April 25, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

If I could go back to college...

In the years after I graduated from UConn, I found myself wishing that I could go back to some of my classes and defend my faith against some of the messages I heard from my professors. I became a follower of Jesus right at the beginning of my freshman year at UConn, and although I was an eager learner when it came to my newfound faith, I had no idea how to answer many of the criticisms of Christianity I heard in my classes. For example: “Missionaries are arrogant, evil, and ethnocentric.”...Keep Reading

Posted in: Evangelism Tags: Evangelism, Apologetics

April 18, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Live like you were dying

I work best with a deadline. In college, I was notorious for knowing how long it would take to write a paper, and then waiting until the last possible moment to start the paper. Inevitably, I would finish with minutes to spare. Even when it comes to preparing sermons, I do a lot of work during the week, but it’s when I sit down with my draft on Saturday evening that my brain kicks into high gear and everything comes together. For some reason, it’s the pressure that brings out the best in me. But the truth is that I, along with you, and everyone else, have the ultimate deadline looming....Keep Reading

Posted in: Death Tags: Discipleship, Death

April 11, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

God, the master storyteller

In Donald Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, he writes about what he learned about his life and God’s grand story while the screenwriters “edited his life” for the movie version of his book “Blue Like Jazz.” As he reflected upon his boring, uninspired life and contrasted it with the ways in which his life was being made more interesting for the movie, it got him thinking about the grand story of risk and adventure that he believed God was calling him to live. Let me share a few quotes from the book that really challenged me:...Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Discipleship, Story

April 4, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

How do you see yourself?

One of the mysteries of the gospel of John is that one of the disciples is referred to as “the disciple Jesus loved.” According to church history, this disciple is none other than John himself, the author of the book. Consider what you would be like if you saw that as your primary identity, the way you viewed yourself. Not a mother or father. Not a husband or wife. Not a teacher or carpenter. Not an athlete or an artist. Not a good person or a screw-up. Not even a Christian, or one who loves God. I am the one that Jesus loves....Keep Reading

Posted in: God's love Tags: Identity, God's love

March 28, 2017 by Rob Freyer 0 comments

Guest blogger: Rob Freyer

Jesus speaks these words to his disciples and the rest of the population surrounding him, and it can be understood as both a challenge and a command for those who at this point still aren't sure who he is ... a prophet, John the Baptist, or some other figure of importance. This statement is a make or break ultimatum. Will these people follow, and what are they willing to give up to do so?...Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Gospel, Discipleship

March 21, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

There is no fear in love

I am a very fearful person. I often feel as if anxiety is my predominant emotion, as I walk through my life avoiding conflict and difficult situations that, for some unknown reason, I fear will be the death of me. Never mind, of course, that typically when I have to face one of those situations, I find myself surviving unscathed, and even grateful that I went through it instead of working so hard to avoid it. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that I struggle with fear and anxiety on a daily basis. In the apostle John’s first letter, he has many beautifully profound things to say about love, both the love we have received from God and the love we are to display towards one another. My favorite line...Keep Reading

Posted in: God's love Tags: Fear, God's love

March 14, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Somebody scratch my itching ears

In Paul’s second letter to his protégé Timothy, he warns him that the time will come when people will seek out teachers who “say what their itching ears want to hear.” I imagine there have always been teachers like this throughout the history of the church, but this warning is undoubtedly prophetic today. But rather than point the fingers at others, we would be prudent to consider where it is that we are most tempted as Americans to have our itching ears scratched....Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Preaching, Discipleship

March 7, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Does putting God first cause you to love others better or worse?

When I was a youth pastor, I remember engaging in a conversation with a friend of one of my youth group kids who was questioning whether or not God was real. At one point, as I was sharing with her how God was the most important person in my life, she asked the question, “Isn’t that offensive to your wife?” It’s an understandable question. After all, I know that there are non-Christian spouses who are bitter about their significant other’s devotion to Christ, because they feel that their marriage takes second place. My answer,...Keep Reading

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: God, Discipleship

February 28, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

You're not as free as you think you are

This past Sunday, I preached from Romans 6-7 about the question of motivation: If I am saved by faith in Jesus, not by my good works, then what is my motivation to “be good” or follow God? Why not just live however I please if God has already saved me? One of the reasons given in Romans 6 is that “freedom” as our culture teaches it is a fallacy. 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

Posted in: Discipleship Tags: Discipleship, Freedom