At the end of another year we want to pause and thank you for taking the time to read The Southern Blog. Our prayer is that content produced would equip you for more faithful service. This year saw a new record for pageviews on Southern Blog content as well as the most read post in the history of the site. In addition to the readers, we want to extend a special thanks to the dozens of contributors who have spent countless hours crafting content to serve pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders around the world. Here are the top 10 blog posts from 2015 based on a combination of pageviews and social media shares:

1. The only decision that matters — Hershael York

“People are no more lost now than they have ever been, and Jesus is no less Lord now than He will ever be. We dare not cower in our churches as though God has lost anything. The only decision handed down that matters is that the gates of hell cannot prevail against His church!”

2. Is your marriage a picture of the gospel? — Hershael York

“If marriage is a picture of Christ and his love for his church, then much more is at stake than my happiness. The world should long for what Christians have. If our marriages aren’t filled with kindness and joy, why would anyone want what we offer? But when they see in us a mutual delight, a gentle and easy trust in one another, they can’t help but ask, “What’s your secret?” And we can tell them that it’s no secret at all. It’s Jesus.”

3. 8 essential components for discerning God’s will — David Sills

“I know that some people maintain that God doesn’t have a will for our lives beyond our sanctification, but He does. No, we cannot sit down and pray to know it until He reveals a fully developed life plan, but He has put us in the places we are, the times in which we live, the background we have, and given us the personality and preferences we have in order to guide us in right choices.”

4. The funeral I most dreaded — Hershael York

“I wish I could tell you how sweet these last three years of his life have been, even in difficult circumstances none of us would ever choose. We saw God’s grace at work in his life even as it had a profound effect on us as well. So today, I am not preaching the funeral I dreaded. I am preaching the funeral that I could preach for a Rahab, or a Ruth, or the thief on the cross. It’s the story of redemption, of God’s love extended to one whom many thought beyond His reach. It’s the story of the five o’clock worker who gets the same reward as the one who’s labored since dawn. It’s the story of grace. It’s the story of Jesus.”

5. Nine possible reasons for your spiritual drought — Derek J. Brown

“Spiritual drought, though a persistent and unwelcome visitor, is not something with which we must constantly live. There are Biblical means by which we can, by grace, put ourselves in the way of refreshment; we can be restored to once again feel the joy of our salvation. But this can only happen if we are able to discern why we might be experiencing spiritual dryness so we can take the appropriate action.”

6. 5 best books on apologetics — Bryan Baise

“[Mere Christianity] is, for me, very personal. I had a huge faith crisis in college and Lewis provided a lifeboat for me in a way that, frankly, saved me from abandoning the faith. Certainly, it has its issues (what work doesn’t?). But the enduring quality of the work shows its fruits. To this day I can still place it in the hand of a seeking unbeliever and he’s intrigued by Lewis. That speaks volumes.”

7. How to get things done in seminary: the 5 keys to productive scholarship — Matt Perman

“While I don’t begrudge the fact that time management was not taught in my seminary studies (though I think it should have been), the fact remains: every seminary student needs to learn time management. There is no other way to prepare adequately for all the demands that will come after seminary. Further, learning time management now will pay big dividends by enabling you to be more effective in your current studies, with less stress and more peace of mind.”

8. 20 tips to help you finish your dissertation — Derek J. Brown

“I haven’t met many Ph.D. students who don’t like to write. Some may like writing more than others, but most enjoy writing—or, at least, the satisfaction of having written. Wherever you find yourself on the love-for-writing spectrum, a dissertation awaits completion, and you must finish. Here are a few tips to help you.”

9. 5 good reasons to read the entire bible every year — Jeff Robinson

“I have become convinced that every student of the Bible, particularly those who are or will be charged with teaching it as a vocation ought to consider this practice. There are many, many benefits of reading through the Bible every year, and here are five ways I have been helped.”

10. Guilty as charged — Mary Mohler

“Those who shake their heads in disbelief at the seemingly simplistic stance of interpreting roles for the family based on the clear teaching in the infallible, inerrant, eternal, sufficient Bible will continue to do so. And they will continue to make up their own plan based on their fallible, erroneous, temporal, and insufficient musings until their descendants decide that those too are anachronistic and come up with yet another plan.”

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Colby Adams is the digital marketing manager at Southern Seminary and managing editor of The Southern Blog.