Walking saints home (Zac Harrel): How do we disciple men and women in their last days—or even moments—on earth? God gives pastors three specific ministries to help his people finish well. Read more at Gospel-Centered Discipleship.
To prepare for evangelism, put on your oxygen mask (Megan Hill) :In our evangelistic efforts, we should take counsel from the flight attendants. We are in an emergency situation: all around us, people are gasping for spiritual breath. But in order to best assist them, we must have our own supply firmly affixed. If you want to labor effectively for Christ, secure your own soul’s oxygen mask first. The oxygen that nourishes us and fuels our evangelism is largely composed of four things. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
God moves in a mysterious way: Hope for the hard years ahead (Scott Hubbard): An in-depth look at William Cowper’s hymn “God Moves in Mysterious Ways,” written from a life of heartache and despair. Read more at Desiring God.
Skip resolutions in 2019—make a rule of life (Jeremy Linneman): A Rule of Life contains spiritual, relational, and vocational rhythms needed to sustain the life in Christ we’ve been called to, and it doesn’t change much year in and year out. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the Rule or hasn’t created one, January 1 provides the perfect time to establish your own Rule of Life. This year, skip resolutions—make a Rule of Life instead. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
When our waiting will be over (Jon Bloom): The song “When We See Your Face” taps into subterranean longings and triggers profound emotions in me. I am not one to cry easily, but I rarely can listen to it without tears. So, I usually listen to it alone, sparing others the awkwardness of a weeping middle-aged man. Read more at Desiring God.
Beating bad habits with a new identity (David Murray): Paul is urging Christians (in Romans 6:11-12) to change their sense of identity, to establish new thoughts about who they are, to view themselves as dead to sin and alive to Christ. And the more they do so, the more they will dethrone sin and weaken its power. 2000 years later, James Clear depicts the three levels at which change can occur as layers of an onion. Read more at Head Heart Hand.
10 reasons to take care of ourselves physically (Chuck Lawless): As a Christian, I see this issue of exercise and bodily well-being as more a spiritual one than a physical one. Here are some reasons believers need to take care of ourselves. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
A pastor, his dying wife, and their church—a group text (Jonathan Leeman): An important testimony of suffering and the role of the church in supporting the sufferer. Read more at 9 Marks.
9 discussions local churches will likely need to have in 2019 (Chuck Lawless): As we face a new year, some of the issues churches will likely need to address haven’t changed. On the other hand, we seldom address these issues unless we’re reminded to consider them. Here are some of those issues I’m seeing. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
8 scars of wounded church members (Chuck Lawless): I start with this caveat: we’re called to be obedient to God, which includes being a part of His local church body, and we can’t let scars keep us from being obedient to Him. On the other hand, I’ve seen people bear scars of church life for many years. Here are sources of some of those scars – and I encourage you to use this list to see if you have any of the scars. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
Legalism is easier—the gospel is better (Maggie Combs): In conception, grace is easier. It’s a free gift. Grace seems like the obvious choice, but legalism is actually easier than grace. Legalism fuels our pride; grace requires humility. Legalism doesn’t require repentance and maintains control over our lives. Legalism only requires knowing about God instead of relationship with Him. Legalism maintains control. Legalism is easy. Why? Read more at Revive Our Hearts.
His heart is broad as heaven: why God delights to forgive (Scott Hubbard): All Christians believe that God forgives sins. But how many of us feel, deep down in our bones, that God delights to forgive? We need to grasp why he delights to forgive. Read more at Desiring God.
CULTURE / SEXUAL REVOLUTION
Where to find hope and help amid the sexual revolution (Sam Allberry): An excellent article detailing how we got where we are and how to respond to those caught up in the sexual revolution. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
5 ways to be more effective as a leader in 2019 (Ed Stetzer): I want to share with you five ways I think all of us can be more effective and Christ-honoring as we begin our leadership service this year. I hope these will provide you some food for thought as you reflect on where God has you and who he has under your care. Read more at Christianity Today.
Desiring eldership is a good and blessed thing! (Geoffrey R. Kirkland): God’s Word states in 1 Timothy 3.1 that if any man aspires to the office of an overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do! It’s good to desire eldership! How noble it is for a man to aspire to serve and shepherd the flock of God! It’s not a desire to hide or be ashamed of, but rather we should speak of the good and blessed and God-given desire to serve as an overseer. In speaking on this, I want to help us understand a number of related items to this great desire! Read more at Vassal of the King.
14 reasons church leaders sometimes coast (Chuck Lawless): I don’t want to suggest that it happens often, but it does happen – some church leaders and staff members simply “coast” in their work and do little for God’s glory. Here are some reasons why this happens. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
10 exciting discoveries in biblical archaeology in 2018: This past year brought numerous discoveries that supported biblical accounts and provided context for other scriptural knowledge. Here are 10 of the top discoveries from 2018. Read more at Facts & Trends.