We need a church besotted with the glory of God (Jared C. Wilson): Look, what America needs, brothers and sisters, is not merely believers in God, but worshipers of God—not people simply willing to mentally assent to the reality of the supreme being, willing perhaps to accommodate acknowledgment of him into their weekly schedule, willing to nod at him on social media as a missing “value” in society, but people willing to offer their whole hearts to the reality of the glory of the one true God YHWH, willing to surrender their days—their very lives—to him, willing to reorient their very existence around the One in whom we live and move and have our being. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
Beg God to move again: 7 marks of revival (Ajith Fernando): While we cannot dictate to God what he will do, history shows us that there are some things that happen before and when revival comes that are worth noting. Read more at Desiring God.
5 types of ministry rejection every leader faces (Taylor Combs): Ministry is a beautiful and thrilling call, and if the Lord has called you to it, there’s no other place you should be. But be prepared—rejection will come in its various forms, bringing frustration and doubt in its wake, seeking, if possible, to get you out of ministry. Here are just a few forms of ministry rejection you should expect to face. Read more at Facts & Trends.
Your sin is not your friend (Scott Slayton): For the Christian, we have a new life and a new identity. We are not who we once were. In Jesus Christ, we died to our old way of life and have been raised to walk in newness of life. When sin crouches at your door, remind yourself that this is not who you are anymore. By the power of the Spirit, refuse to live in that for which your Savior died. Resolve to never live in the sins that defined you before you were in Jesus. Read more at Patheos.
4 reasons to stop grumbling (Cassie Watson): The Bible shows that grumbling has been a problem for humans for a very long time—and that it’s not acceptable for Christians. Here are four biblical reasons why we should stick a lid on our complaints. Read more at CassWatson.com.
10 ways I know when my spiritual walk is stagnant (Chuck Lawless): This post is confessional, but I trust it will be helpful to you. As I make disciples, I encourage them to be ever aware of markers when their spiritual walk loses its fire. Here are some of those markers for me. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
You’re a theologian. Become a good one (Matt Smethurst): We study God to praise God. And we cannot praise what we do not know. Friend, don’t let anyone ever convince you that theology is impractical, that it distracts, that it impedes worship or hinders mission. Any good thing can be misused, of course, but the purpose of theology has never been to make you feel smarter. It’s certainly not to make you feel superior. The purpose of theology is to stoke your worship, to deepen your love, to fuel your mission, and to sustain your life. Because when suffering arrives unbidden in your life, and the bottom falls out, you will either have something solid and sure to stand on—or not. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
The gospel in 7 emojis (Bernard H. Howard): With smartphone emojis used by so many people on a daily basis, emojis provide a shared pictorial language that can help us explain the gospel. The following set of seven emojis is designed to communicate the gospel’s main elements. One of them, admittedly, is a stretch, but until the organization that controls emojis offers an empty-tomb emoji, it may be our best bet. And since Jesus is the Word delivered from the Father but now ascended to heaven, perhaps an empty mailbox is just right. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
Why Jesus can’t always be our model for preaching (Hershael York): The unique and distinctive marks of Jesus’s preaching are inextricable from his person, specifically his place in the Godhead. He preached with an intrinsic authority; our authority is derived. He looked into the hearts of men and women and perfectly saw their worth by divine creation and their sin by human commission; we can only approximate knowledge of either one. His preaching had the unmistakable gleam of the glory of God; on our best days, we struggle to get self out of the way and hope God might just show up for a little while. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
Do your sermons make your congregation think you’re angry? (Matthew Kim): There is a temptation in every preacher to begin and end every sermon with correction. Didn’t Paul tell us in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”? Yes, he did say that. So we follow suit and begin and end every sermon with correction, rebuke, and training in righteousness because it’s good for our listeners. Their apathy needs to be shaken up a bit with some scolding, we say to ourselves. Read more at Logos.
Hell is not separation from God (Michael Horton): This sounds strange to those of us familiar with the definition of hell as “separation from God,” and heaven as a place for those who have a “personal relationship with God.” But Scripture does not speak in these terms. Quite the contrary: If we read the Bible carefully, we conclude that everyone, as a creature made in God’s image, has a personal relationship with him. Therefore, God is, after the fall, either in the relationship of a judge or a father to his creatures. And God, who is present everywhere at all times, will be forever present in hell as the judge. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.