Gospel Loving: God’s Perspective

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“Husbands, love your wife, just like Christ loves the church” (Eph 5:25).

That’s a tall order. It is a rather difficult task for a believer and a rather impossible one for someone who doesn’t know Christ. Husbands have a large task. Looking beyond the walls of Ephesians, John records a broader command addressed to all believers, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Obviously no believer is without excuse. God calls each of us to love others. Now, how do we define love? What does love look like?

If you’re like me, you want to define this in such a way to where it’s the natural by-product of my life.… Continue reading

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Reprise: Charismatic Resources?

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I honestly had something else planned for today, but this post speaks directly to a question I was asked on Sunday and that I have answered several times in recent months. And so I think it is worth revisiting.

We all need to be very cautious about who we allow to teach our families, and this extends not just to where you attend church, but also to what qmarkbooks you read (and allow your family to read) and what religious broadcasts you listen to and watch. But what about charismatic authors and pastors, are they all bad? Or can charismatic resources be helpful and edifying?… Continue reading

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6 Questions to Help Pastors Assess Their Spiritual Health

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Later this month by God’s grace, I will reach my six-year anniversary as the preaching pastor of my local church.  I realize that this is not an incredibly long time and that compared to many faithful pastors, I’m still a snot-nosed kid with all kinds of things yet to learn.  Yet, I actually find it astonishing that I’ve made it this far.  Truly, this is all of grace.  I say that because I’ve come to realize that being in ministry poses a myriad of threats to a man’s spiritual health.

I remember hearing it said somewhere that ministry will either make you a better man, or a far worse one.  Like Paul discusses in 2 Corinthians 12, the privilege of knowing the Lord and the riches of his revelation, can easily become a source of pride and puff a man up with great conceit.  There is no guarantee that your soul will thrive in ministry; despite the hours you may spend in the serious study and proclamation of Scripture, and the number of people you counsel with the Word, and even the effectiveness of your ministry.  You can actually be a very effective pastor while your spiritual health is failing miserably.  That’s just the way the cookie of God’s mysterious Providence sometimes crumbles.  It is very easy for pastors to do ministry in a way that does not cultivate their spiritual health, and in fact hinders it.  Mining Scripture exclusively for teaching material, giving counsel to others that you do not personally live by, putting in extra hours at the office to escape from other responsibilities, ministering to the church to the neglect of your family; these are just some of the ways you can be very busy as pastor and very unhealthy as a Christian.… Continue reading

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Help! I have to Help! (Reprise)

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Walk with the Lord and you will have opportunities to minister to people. There are times where this is easy, “Can you give me a ride to the airport? or “Can you pray for me?” Those are fairly easy to do. By easy, I mean, do not require me to break out of a comfort zone or do something unfamiliar. Yet, situations and serving opportunities will come up requiring me to get heavily involved. At some point, a friend struggles or needs more than just a ride. The Lord engages us to struggling people. A friend comes to you with a problem. Now what? How do you help the person?… Continue reading

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My Great Ministry Dream

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“We speak often of the wonder of being married till one of us dies.  It has not been trouble-free.  So we imagine ourselves in our seventies or eighties – when divorce is not only sin, but socially silly – sitting across from each other, perhaps at Old Country Buffet, and smiling at each other’s wrinkled faces, and saying with the deepest gratitude for God’s grace: ‘We made it.’” (John Piper, This Momentary Marriage)

“We made it.”  Three simple words that summarize the dream that one brother in Christ has for his marriage.  I confess that I have a similar dream for my ministry as a pastor.… Continue reading

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