An underrated key for a fruitful Christian life: A rooted life in a place: Pastoral reflections on place (Jeremy Linneman): There is a real spiritual danger to being a boomer, constantly looking to a new and better place. I wish I had a different job; I wish I lived in Boston; I wish I didn’t have health issues; I wish we weren’t stuck at home with little kids every night. This is a dangerous and sad way to be a Christian, and it’s a real threat to the whole church. For there’s always going to be the lure of bigger, faster, better—bigger city, faster growth, better church. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
How Jesus secures your highest joy (David Mathis): The cross of Christ, and the shedding of the blood of the covenant, not only purchased the possibility of joy but also the heart of joy. Under the terms of the covenant, a new heart is not only available; it is essential. The problem of our sin is not only external (requiring the removal of God’s wrath), but also internal (requiring in us a new heart). Sin has poisoned our souls. To enjoy God, we need new hearts, which we find to be the explicit promise of the new covenant in Christ. Read more at Desiring God.
God is on the throne, everything is going his way, and he loves me (David McLemore): These are simple yet profound truths. They define not only how we are in ultimately, but how we can be in the present. Our circumstances may loom large in our minds. We may fear and fret all day long. But for those in Christ, these three things are always right. Read more at Things of the Sort.
Do we care for the sheep or do we use the sheep? (Tim Challies): The temptation among pastors to use the sheep instead of tend the sheep. As I travel far and wide, I encounter churches that seem to be accomplishing remarkable things, or at least that intend to accomplish remarkable things. Many of them have set some of those infamous BHAGs—big, hairy, audacious goals. They’ve decided they want to plant 1,000 churches, they want to grow to 10,000 members, they want to send a missionary to every country on earth. Read more at Challies.
The scandal of gospel inclusivity (J.D. Greear): Salvation through trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross creates the most inclusive community the world has ever seen. Read more at JDGreear.com.
Why “don’t take it personally” is bad ministry advice (Karl Vaters): “Don’t take it personally.” That may be the worst piece of advice I’ve ever received about ministry. It fails on so many levels. Here are six of them. Read more at Christianity Today.
8 benefits of investing a lifetime of ministry into one congregation (Karl Vaters): Longevity builds trust, which gives people a better perspective on what does and doesn’t really matter. Read more at Christianity Today.