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.
From time to time, we all need to reassess various areas of our lives. It is good to take a step back, take a breath, and re-assess a situation. We all need to do this in our own personal lives with Christ (2 Cor 13:5; Ps 19:14). And we all need to do this with our church life. We need to be very careful that the church we are actively involved in is still a faithful church; a church that Jesus sees as faithful. We need not to stay in a church simply because we grew up there nor because it is comfortable nor because we don’t want to mess with the hassle of finding a another church nor because “we have invested so much!” The church is a precious, vital part of your spiritual maturity in Christ.… 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
What is the greatest commandment? Jesus answers, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’” and “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (Matthew 22:37 & 39). Although the Pharisees tried to box him into a situational answer, to set him up for failure,  Jesus both corrects and dodges them pointing out the foundational reason for every commandment: devotion to the Lord.
Jesus answer addresses the true reason for every commandment: worship. The use of ‘love’ in this text, conveys the idea of worship and devotion. To live is Christ.… 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