You don’t accidentally evangelize: If you don’t prioritize it won’t happen (Ed Stetzer): Many churches do not have dedicated times or ways for people to reach our world for Jesus. As a result, intentionality has faded. The truth is, like anything else in life, when people have some sort of means, time, and intent, they actually are able to better prioritize intentional outreach. Read more at Christianity Today.
The crucial difference between law and the gospel for the Christian life (Michael Horton): The law can direct us, but it cannot drive us, except to either despair or self-righteousness. Christians are not purpose-driven but promise-driven. Purposes are all about law. The fact that purposes are about law does not make them wrong. We need purposes! All of this is fine as long as we realize that they are law, not gospel: commands and promises are both necessary, but they do different things. Church shouldn’t be a place where the old self is revived for another week, but where it is killed and buried and the new self is created in the likeness of Christ. Read more at Core Christianity.
4 promises to Christians about the resurrected body (Colin Smith): These promises are a good reminder of what we can look forward to. Read more at Unlocking the Bible.
12 distractions during worship service(Chuck Lawless): Worship is frequently a controversial topic, and it’s not my goal to add to those debates. Based on my work as a church consultant, reports from our consultation “secret shoppers,” interviews with church members, and my own experiences, though, here are 12 far-too-common distractions during worship services. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
SHEPHERDING / COUNSELING
Making peace with Romans 8:28 (Brad Hambrick): Why is Romans 8:28 so often resisted? Because it sounds too neat, like the God who said these things could not possibly understand. Read more at BradHambrick.com.
5 words that strengthen any sermon (Jason K. Allen): Sermons are composed of words, and every sermon rises or falls on the words that preachers choose to deploy. The words preached come with the power of life and death, so the preacher must carefully choose his words. The point is not so much eloquence as it is intentionality. Over the years, as I have monitored my own preaching and observed others, I have come to realize how intentionally using a few key words will strengthen most any sermon. For example, consider these five. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
The future: How does God know it? (Fred Zaspel): The God who has revealed himself in Scripture is not a God who, having looked ahead to discover what will be, makes determinations accordingly. He is the God who looks ahead and sees a history that he himself has decreed. He is not contingent. He is sovereign. That is to say, he is God. Read more at Credo.