Yesterday was yet another election day in the United States; a day when a healthy percentage of the American population visited their designated polling places to lend their voice to decide who will lead and represent our states, for the next couple of years at least. (Or, they mailed in their ballots weeks ago, which I wish I would have done, but didn’t.)
I wrote this post a couple of years ago on the day of our most recent Presidential election. I stand by it today, and offer it to you once again, in hope that it will help Christians in some small way to stay focused on things that are most important concerning this life, namely, things that concern eternity and the life to come.… Continue reading
Dealing with criticism is a common challenge facing all pastors and an especially difficult one for many of them. If you are a pastor, you know what it is to be criticized. If are not a pastor but have one (or more), I can assure you that you are being shepherded by a man (or men) who has dealt with the challenge of criticism.
Last week I gave a message at a small pastors’ conference for the network our church is a part of (check them out!) on this very issue; dealing with the challenge of criticism. It was a good subject for me to work through, since for me personally, the steady flow of criticism has been the challenge that has most frequently led me to question whether I can endure as a pastor for the long haul, and whether I even want to do so. … Continue reading
“How, then, is true brotherly service performed in the Christian community?” German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer asks this very practical question near the outset of the fourth chapter in his relevant and helpful book Life Together. In an attempt to flesh out the ways Christians are to serve one another in the church, Bonoeffer begins with a ministry that many of us are prone to overlook – the ministry of listening.
“The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love to God begins with listening to his Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them.
… Continue reading
Fellowship. It’s such a rich and meaningful word in the Bible, and yet a somewhat generic catch-all term in the vernacular of modern Christians. What is fellowship? In Scripture, fellowship is a word used to describe the common life that Christians enjoy with one another, as those who have been brought into a reconciled relationship with God through Christ by grace. Entire books have been written to flesh out this one word, given the depth and breadth of its use in the Bible.
If we were to do a study together of the concept (not just the word itself) of fellowship in the NT – at least as it concerns fellowship between Christians – we would see five major themes emerge from that study. … Continue reading
I am convinced that one of the sweetest and most valuable expressions of God’s grace in the life of a Christian is that of good, godly, truthful friends. The second wisest man ever to have lived seemed to agree when he said: The sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel (Prov 27:9).
Some of the most beneficial conversations in my life have been the hardest conversations I have ever been a part of. On many occasions throughout my life, it has taken the honest and loving rebuke of a good, godly, and truthful friend to help me see some way that I need to change; and nearly every time, what my friends have had to point out in my life have been things I would have never seen with my own two eyes.… Continue reading