4 principles for the exercise of Christian liberty (Sinclair Ferguson): Some good insight in summary of Paul’s teaching in Romans 14 at Ligonier Ministries.
Read the Bible with your heart (Jon Bloom): We cannot truly read the Bible without patient and rigorous engagement of our minds. That’s probably obvious to us. But we will not have read it well, not as God intended us to read it, without eager, even relentless, engagement of our hearts. It requires more faith, effort, prayer, humility, vulnerability, and often time to read God’s word with our hearts, but that’s because the heart is precisely where God wants his word to land. What does it mean to read the Bible with your heart? Read more at Desiring God.
75 astonishing things that happen at conversion (Paul Tautges): Take time to meditate on these astonishing realities, personally, or in your small group. I hope this meditation on the riches of God’s grace and kindness in Christ will stir our hearts toward worship and will encourage our spiritual growth. Read more at Counseling One Another.
Wait for the ending: The stories God loves to tell (Scott Hubbard): Today, we are living in the grandest story ever told, but we are not yet at the ending. Read more at Desiring God.
Six ways pastors struggle: You are not alone (Ed Stetzer): Pretending pastors don’t struggle is a recipe for disaster. As a pastor, let me share six unique ways that pastors struggle. My hope is that this short list will allow both leaders and their congregations the opportunity to begin to ask, “How can we change our situation?” Read more at Christianity Today.
Dysfunctional elders make for a dysfunctional church (Phil A. Newton): This article gives some good evaluation questions for each of us as elders. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
18 prayers to pray for unbelievers (Tim Challies): A friend asked the question: How do I pray for unbelievers? How do I pray effectively? I trust that every Christian regularly prays for family or friends or colleagues or neighbors who do not yet know the Lord. And while we can and must pray for matters related to their lives and circumstances, the emphasis of our prayers must always be for their salvation. Here are some ways the Bible can guide our prayers. Read more at Challies.
6 quotes that challenge me as a leader to evangelize more (Chuck Lawless): I’m a professor of evangelism and missions, but I still need reminders that I must intentionally choose to lead the way in doing evangelism. As I’ve read these quotes below, my burden has only increased to do this well as a professor and a pastor—both in modeling evangelism and equipping others to evangelize. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
10 ways the enemy gets an upper hand in our churches (Chuck Lawless): These ways we have all seen and experienced in our churches. Good reminder to be alert to the attacks. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
How to pray for your pastor (Jeramie Rinne): What would happen if even a core of people in our churches would begin to pray for the leaders in these specific ways? Read more at Crossway.
Preaching holiness without bashing heads (Andrew Lim): In preaching a biblical virtue like holiness, preachers can easily give the idea that we must all strive for it through sheer grit. People who are already burdened with moralistic tendencies invariably tie those virtues to an angry, transcendentally holy and demanding God, and unwittingly, we will jump through one hoop after another to try to please God. But an approach like this often ends badly on two counts: if we fail, we feel crushed and plummet into despair. If we succeed, we thumb our noses at others who have failed. Read more at Kiwi-Made Preaching.
3 dangers in only teaching commands and virtues (Eric Geiger): Of course, we must teach commands and we must challenge people to be who God has declared them to be. Commands are in the Bible. Statements of our identity fill the Scripture. But if we only teach the commands and virtues without rooting those commands and virtues in the finished work of Jesus, then we are not serving our people well. In fact, we are burdening them and enslaving them. Here are three dangers in only teaching commands and virtues at EricGeiger.com.