Satan will sing you to sleep: Waking up from spiritual indifference (Jon Bloom): There is a satanic lullaby playing, even in churches, across the West. Why else are we so lethargic in the midst of such relative freedom and unprecedented prosperity? Where is our collective Christian sense of urgency? Where are the tears over the perishing? Where is the groaning? Where is the fasting and prevailing intercession for those we love and those we live near and those we work with, not to mention the unreached of the world who have no meaningful gospel witness among them? Read more at Desiring God.
Blowing up the 3 B’s: bodies, buildings, budgets (Trevin Wax): What if the B’s were, too often, a way for us to paper over serious problems below the surface in our discipleship process (or lack thereof)? And what if, now, God has used a global pandemic to blow the 3 B’s to bits? Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
How not to be a humble leader (Sam Rainer): When church leaders begin to rely on their own abilities, arrogance builds, especially when the church grows. Arrogance is the catalyst for building your own kingdom instead of God’s kingdom. How can you tell when confidence is slipping into arrogance? Read more at Southern Equip.
Critique gently, encourage fiercely (Scott Sauls): Thanks to social media, we are more connected than ever. We are a lot lonelier, too. How can we find healing for our ache of loneliness? Where can we turn in our search for connection and for a safe space to know and be known? In our age of church shopping, church critiquing, church splitting, and church leaving, it seems we have forgotten Jesus’ vision for the church. We must remember that the church is not a social club for well-dressed posers; it is a hospital for the sick and Jesus is the Chief Physician. Read more at For the Church.
Can recession serve our joy? (John Piper): God intends to relocate the roots of our joy in his grace (not our goods), in his mercy (not our money), in his worth (not our wealth). God sends recessions to yank up the roots of our joy from the pleasures of the world, and plant them in the glory of his grace. Read or listen at Desiring God.
What we need most at present (Nicholas T. Batzig): What do we most need at present? We need to be looking to Christ by faith alone for our redemption (Eph. 1:7). We need to know the one who–though He knew no sin–was made sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21). Then, we who are united to Christ by faith, need to be “patient in affliction, thankful in prosperity, and that in all things, which may hereafter befall us, place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father.” May God grant that this be true of us today and everyday He gives us hereafter. Read more at Feeding on Christ.
When will your church be back to normal? (Russell Moore): Even when we re-gather, we will be changed. We will know what it is to be kept apart. We will know that we are children of dust, and feeble as well as frail. We will know that we are so feeble and frail, in fact, that something microscopic could, in an instant, take away from us our life, our livelihoods, our loved ones, even our church services. But maybe that means that we will hug each other longer, knowing how fragile all this is. Maybe we will hear the Word of God, in person and with our own ears, with a special realization that we need the Bread of Life, and that apart from it we perish. Read more at RussellMoore.com.
3 ways waiting shapes you as a Christian (Michael Kelley): Of all people, Christians ought to be the most comfortable with waiting. That’s because “waiting” is something we are really doing all the time. For most people, “waiting” is just a means to an end. You bide your time until the waiting is over, and you get the meal you ordered or the promotion that you’re due. But for the Christian, waiting is not just a temporary time; it’s a perpetual state. Our whole identity, in a way, is built around waiting, for we are the people who believe in things that we cannot see. Read more at MichaelKelley.co.
20 tips to improve your preaching (Steven J. Lawson): How do I become a better preacher? There is more to it than eye contact, hand motions, and freedom from manuscript. There is more to it than staring at yourself in the mirror as you rehearse. The following are the twenty things I would tell the man who wants to improve his preaching. Read more at The Master’s Seminary.