Being a pastor is a high
calling, but a very strange job. And one
of the strangest things I do is to read bad books. Not bad in the sense that
they are poorly written, but bad in the sense that though they purport to be
Christian resources they are so deeply flawed they are not just non-edifying,
they are dangerous to the believers who read and are influenced by them. And I
just read a doozy, Girl, Wash Your Face
by Rachel Hollis (published by Thomas Nelson).
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
Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a handful of conversations and heard a number of my friends express sentiments that reveal an ironic situation, namely, that many Christians are finding it more difficult than ever to remain focused on Christ during the Christmas season. Amid frantic last-minute shopping trips, home decorations, meal preparations, family gatherings, and holiday parties, the Christ can become almost entirely eclipsed by all of our Christmas activity. I’ve lost count of the number of times this year alone, that I have heard other Christians express their desire to remain focused on Christ this Christmas. This is obviously a good desire, but how do we do it? In this brief post I want to suggest one simple way to help keep yourself and your family (if you have one) focused on Christ this Christmas: Attend your local church’s Christmas Eve worship service.… Continue reading
I recently finished up the first part of a two part preface to a planned verse by verse exposition of the Gospel of John and this past Sunday, I started on part two. I don’t think that is so unusual, especially among churches where preaching and teaching is taken seriously. In churches devoted to expository preaching introductory messages are often preached before a new sermon series. What is unusual is that part one of this preface was a verse by verse exposition of all of the Servant songs of Isaiah and part two will be an exposition of all of the songs of ascent, Psalms 120-134. … Continue reading
If there is anything I’ve learned over the last decade of life and ministry, it is that everyone is dealing with something big. Everyone has fallen in some way. Everyone is struggling with sin (or willingly giving into it). Everyone needs grace. And yet, it is striking that most of us seem to have such a hard time admitting these things personally, with any real detail. We tend to treat our personal struggle with sin as a thing to conceal, rather than as a thing to confess.
Several years ago, a good friend of mine counseled me with a penetrating tidbit of wisdom that I will not soon forget. … Continue reading