Planting and waiting. That, I am learning, is the essence of biblical ministry. It is perhaps the most important lesson I have been learning over the last few years, at least as it concerns my life as a pastor.
Of all the things that I long to see happen in, around, and as a result of my ministry, I have no power whatsoever to make happen. I cannot save a single soul. I cannot make a single Christian more like Christ. I cannot cause a single saint to endure to the end of his life in faithfulness to Christ.
Beyond these things, I cannot heal a single marriage. … Continue reading
Later this week a Christian man named Andrew will begin counseling with his pastor in a last stitched effort to overcome a sin that he has long struggled with. Andrew is 32, has been married for 8 years, is the father of 3-year-old twins, is an active member of his church, and is hooked on porn. He’s been viewing pornography since he was a teenager, and with exception of a month here and a few weeks there, has not yet found victory over his addiction. His wife has been living under the impression that Andrew’s struggle came to an end, at least as a daily struggle, several years ago. … Continue reading
About a year and a half ago, I decided to take the plunge and begin preaching my way through the book of Romans. The journey through the book so far has benefited my faith in many ways – not the least of those ways being the constant reminder of what a colossal privilege it is for a corrupt, rebellious, totally depraved sinner like me to be a Christian.
Early on in Romans, the reader of Romans is overwhelmed (in a good way!) with the truth of human depravity. You don’t even get three chapters into the letter before you are required to square with the truth of your sinfulness. … Continue reading
Last week one of my fellow PS23 contributors sent me one of those annoying Facebook challenges, in this case it was to post a picture of a book that influenced my life, with no explanation, for 5 days. And while, as a rule, I find things like this annoying, and ignore them, in this case I was intrigued to think through the five books that impacted my life. I’m a book guy, I always have been (even as a hard partying unbeliever and even as a child) so it was an interesting exercise to think through the 5 books that really affected my life.… Continue reading
Life can be straight up overwhelming at times. Can I get an “Amen”? If you’ve lived more than 15 minutes in this world, you surely know what I’m talking about. Though I’ve heard it said, “God will never give you more than you can handle,” and though the words themselves sound very similar to the words of Scripture (1 Corinthians 10:13), whoever first used those words to suggest that the Lord is too nice to allow too much pain into your life – was dead wrong. Overwhelming situations are like storms. And Jesus has been known to lead his people through storms. … Continue reading