How to improve your preaching (Kevin DeYoung): Here, then, are eleven questions I’ve been asking myself as I think about improving as a preacher. I don’t use these as any kind of weekly checklist, but these are the sorts of things rattling through my head and heart. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
5 questions will have when they hear you preach (David Qaoud): As a preacher, your aim is to please God and God alone. But that doesn’t mean it is entirely unhelpful to consider what questions your audience may have when they listen to you preach. This is especially true for new preachers or when you’re preaching to an audience for the first time. Considering what questions your hearers will have will help you to better connect with them. Read more at Gospel Relevance.
Why Christians should never retire (Chris Cagle): Christians may be free to “retire” from their occupation, but as disciples of Christ we aren’t ever free to retire from serving God and others. If we’re fortunate enough to be freed from the demands of working for a living, that opens a door of opportunity to do more work for the kingdom using the wisdom, experience, talents, and resources the Holy Spirit has given us through a lifetime of discipleship. If this sounds like “retire but don’t retire,” that sums it up well. Retire or don’t from your job or career; but if you do retire, then imagine and plan for a retirement that is different than the world envisions. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
10 flavors of works-based salvation (Ed Moore): By nature and by training we all seek solutions to our problem of sin. To varying degrees, these solutions include doing something—law keeping, good works, etc—to please or appease or satisfy the God who is one day going to judge us. The idea of contributing to one’s own salvation is universal. It’s the engine which propels every religion. But you may say, “I’m not that religious.” Well, even people who are “not religious” feel this way—and their feelings are based on some version of being good. Now there are many flavors of works-based salvation. Let me mention ten of them. Read more at 9 Marks.
4 grave dangers in every sin (Tim Challies): I have preached the truth a hundred times to others and a thousand times to myself: You can’t sin without consequence. That’s not the way God has structured his world. It’s not the way God has structured his people. For Christians, the ultimate consequences have been fully paid by Jesus Christ, but this does not mean there is no reason to fear immediate consequences. Here, with an assist from a favorite writer, are four grave dangers in every sin. Read more at Challies.
4 things to pray before opening your Bible (Matt Smethurst): I am convinced that a prayerless approach to God’s Word is a major reason for the low-level dissatisfaction that hums beneath the surface of our lives. We rob ourselves of joy and peace when we fail to pray. Indeed, approaching Scripture apart from prayer is one of the most counterproductive things we do. For prayerless Christianity is powerless Christianity. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
10 church members who drive me crazy (Chuck Lawless): I love the local church. I really do. Deeply. But, almost every church I know has members and attenders that get under the skin of a leader. Here are 10 of those types of people for me. Read more at ThomRainer.com.
The advance of the new legalism (Stephen Kneale): There is, sadly, a new form of this legalism on the rise. I say new legalism to distinguish it from the old form that we all claim to hate. The old legalism largely said keep away. Don’t do certain things and all will be well. It insisted on no cinema, no theatre, no drinking, no long hair and these sorts of things. As long as you are keeping away from A, B and C your righteousness is effectively in the bag. And most modern folks look at that and say, no thanks. But the new legalism doesn’t say ‘keep away.’ The new legalism says do more and more and the doing becomes the new law. Like with the old legalism, it takes a biblical principle and pushes it too far. Read more at StephenKneale.com.