Leadership Links 8/28/2019

CULTURE

Is there really anti-Christian discrimination in America? (George Yancey): Are anti-Christian attitudes widespread, or are we talking about a couple of nutcases? In my book So Many Christians, So Few Lions, I document that about 32 percent of all Americans like conservative Christians significantly less than other social groups. In comparison, about 31 percent of all Americans like Muslims significantly less than other social groups. So it’s fair to say that if we’re concerned about anti-Muslim prejudice, then we should also be concerned about anti-Christian prejudice—at least prejudice against conservative Christians. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.


SPIRITUAL LIFE

Humility is not hating yourself: The joy of self-forgetfulness (Gavin Ortlund): If we would like to grow in humility, the place to start is here, at the cross. Christ’s humiliation is the death of all ego and swagger. There is no room for pride before the crucified Savior. And his exaltation gives us a greater glory to live for than our own. Heaven is roaring with his praise, and one day every knee will bow before him — what a waste to spend our talents on any lesser cause! So, humility is not hiding what you can do, or hating who you are. It’s the joy of thinking about yourself less, and about Jesus more.https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/humility-is-not-hating-yourself

The power of biblical hospitality (Jeff Christopherson): True hospitality is a cultural expression of other-oriented kingdom living. It transcends regional expectations of gourmet performance and focuses its energies on the blessing of honest and sincere relationships. It isn’t concerned with projecting an image of manicured lives devoid of stress, mess, and chaos. Instead, biblical hospitality flips the camera lens from a selfie to a wide-angle, pointed outward toward the lives of others, warmly inviting them into ours. Here are four characteristics that distinguish biblical hospitality from entertainment. Read more at Christianity Today.


THE GOSPEL

Is God still “mad” at you? (Sam Storms): The good news of the gospel is that this “wrath” has been poured out on Jesus in our place. Praise God that Jesus Christ willingly, voluntarily, and with joy submitted himself to serve as our penal substitute, satisfying the justice and wrath of God that we so richly deserved. For those who have embraced this truth as their only hope for forgiveness of sins and eternal life, it is gloriously true that God is not “mad” at them. Read more at SamStorms.com.


CHURCH

Your church needs more time for personal testimonies (Dustin Crowe): Throughout Scripture, God’s people publicly talk about God’s work in their life. That’s all a personal testimony means to be. Here are three benefits of building more testimony time into a church’s life—either through the corporate gathering or other ministries throughout the week. Read more at 9 Marks.


PRAYER

When prayer makes anxiety worse (Kevin Halloran): My anxiety-driven prayer didn’t make things better. That’s because God doesn’t promise any type of prayer to be the silver-bullet anxiety stopper. He prescribes supplication with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6). A heart lacking gratitude will not encounter the peace of God. Read more at KevinHalloran.net.


MINISTRY

Ten principles for personal productivity (John Piper): John Piper shares what principles drive him to personal productivity. Read more at Desiring God.

Daily slogging in the power of the Spirit (Ray Ortlund): I am not impressed by young pastors who seem too eager to publish books and speak at big events and build “a platform.” They are doing the work of the Lord, which is good. But I’m not impressed. What impresses me is my dad’s daily slogging, year after year, in the power of the Spirit, with no big-deal-ness as the goal or the payoff. This is the pastoral ministry that brings Jesus into the world today, and it takes a lifetime to develop. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.


BIBLICAL INSIGHTS

Hell is more than a choice (Justin Dillehay): The fact that people want the sins that lead to the penalty doesn’t mean they want the penalty. An unrepentant thief may not want to be in prison and would escape if he could, but neither would he stop stealing if he were free. Conversely, the fact that people want out of the penalty doesn’t mean they’re willing to accept God’s terms. The rebellious Israelites didn’t want to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Indeed, they quickly became eager to enter the Promised Land—but only after they were no longer allowed to (see Num. 14:39—45; cf. Luke 13:24—28). Read more at The Gospel Coalition.