We yawn because we forget: Uncovering the wonder of Christ (Marshall Segal): Of all the wonders in the world — the steepest mountains, the grandest canyons, the widest oceans — none compares with the Son sent from heaven. If we think we have seen the full extent of who he is, we are deceived. We cannot fathom just how breathtaking he is. Have we forgotten? When was the last time you were mesmerized by Jesus? Read more at Desiring God.
For still our ancient foe (Nicholas T. Batzig): At the opening of the letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul reminds believers in the church that God has already blessed them “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (1:3; emphasis added). At the close of the letter, he reminds them that the entirety of the Christian life is one in which they will be engaged in hand-to-hand combat “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (6:12; emphasis added). “The heavenly places”is shorthand for the heavenly origin of the Christian life. It is also shorthand for the spiritual realm in which we fight against spiritual hosts of evil. Read more at Feeding on Christ.
Brothers, shall we weep? (Andrew Roycroft): Pastoral work is emotionally and intellectually draining, especially where the minister is concerned with the real concerns of the flock in his care. We are assailed by needs which are pressing, by circumstances and traumas which are distressing, by intractable problems which can be depressing and contrary to the ways in which we have prayed for so long. Our ministry can become a hub of activity, whirring with the fuel of a thousand problems, of incessant deadlines, of demands which we are strained to meet. But are we weeping for the sheep? Are we weeping for the generalised state of the church? Are we burdened by the temerity of Christians to name Christ as Saviour, and to negate him as Lord in any meaningful way? Read more at Thinking Pastorally.
The 3 words that changed missions strategy—and why we might be wrong (Darren Carlson and Elliot Clark): A thought-provoking article why unreached people groups that is normally interpreted as reaching every ethnolinguistic people group to finish the task may be wrong. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
He must increase; our churches must decrease: Thoughts on the desire for revival (Jared C. Wilson): A gospel-centered church is not aiming to be the smartest church in town. That’d be okay. No, a gospel-centered church doesn’t aim to be the anything-est church in town because it’s not comparing itself to other churches, but to the holiness of God, which will shrink the church down to size in its own estimation and make her hunger for the holiness that only comes from the riches of Christ in the gospel. A gospel-centered church aims to be a gospel-proclaiming church in town. Because that would be glorious. Read more at For the Church.
The danger of success in ministry (Paul Tripp): Although it may not seem like it from the surface, success is more spiritually dangerous than failure. Failure produces a sense of need. It humbles you and drives you to God for help. Because of this, failure often produces good things spiritually. Success tempts us to take credit for that which we couldn’t achieve and couldn’t produce. You do not produce change. You are an instrument of change in the hands of the One who controls everything. Read more at Lifeway.
7 qualities a leader can’t afford not to have (Carey Nieuwhof): I’ve met thousands of Christian leaders in my two decades of leadership, and when I think about the leaders I believe are worth following, seven qualities keep rising to the top. Read more at CareyNieuwhof.com.