God made us to gather: The fresh wonder of corporate worship (Bob Kauflin): One person’s response to the question “What do you miss most about not gathering?” was simply “Everything.” I’d like to unpack that “everything,” focusing on the time we spend singing together. What difference should singing God’s praise in the same physical space weekly make in our lives? I can think of at least five God-glorifying effects. Read more at Desiring God.
Regathering and dying to self (Steve Weaver): Because we have catered to our congregations for so long without calling followers of Christ to die to their own preferences for the sake of others, regathering amidst a time of great division on how and when will indeed be a crisis for many of our churches. Read more at Southern Equip.
8 relationship miracles of the transforming gospel (Chuck Lawless): In the midst of these difficult days, I’m reminded today of the transforming power of the gospel – especially as evident in relationships. Here are some miracle examples that might be encouraging to you, too. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
Talking sin to a culture that doesn’t believe in it (Becky Pippert): The Bible describes sin as both rebellious unbelief and also idolatry. In today’s culture I’ve found that the concept of idolatry (using God-substitutes to give our life meaning instead of God) is often easier for people to initially grasp. At the right time we will need to explain both aspects of sin, but for now let’s look at how the issue of idolatry can be deeply relevant to unbelievers. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
Redeeming productivity: 5 morning habits you should quit right away (Reagan Rose): Sometimes we sabotage our morning routine before we even throw off the covers. I’ve found that on the mornings when I avoid these five bad habits my day has a much higher probability of success. Read more at Redeeming Productivity.
An ordinary abundant life (Melissa Edgington): One thing that the Scripture teaches us is that there are two types of things we “do”–there’s meaningless stuff and there’s eternal stuff. As Christians, we can spend our entire lives collecting all kinds of experiences and things that have zero meaning. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul calls the meaningless stuff “wood, hay, and straw,” and these things, like all things we’ve done in this life, will be tested by fire. The cars, the houses, the promotions, the vacations, the political rants, the movies and TV shows we’ve watched, many of the books we’ve read, the time we’ve spent taking quizzes about what kind of cheese we are, those will all be burned up when tested, up in flames, like they never even happened. But the eternal stuff–the time spent teaching our children about Jesus, the money we gave away sacrificially, the prayers, the Sunday school teaching, the meal taking, the mourning with those who mourn, will be like gold and silver and precious stones. Read more at Your Mom Has a Blog.
Your weird messy church is God’s plan (Jared Wilson): A Brothers and sisters, we are a part of a kingdom that will demolish all pretenders and will fulfill in furious fashion the promise of redemption already sealed for us through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. Not because we are strong, but because He is. Not because we’ve got it all figured out, but because He is “sustaining all things by His powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3b). Read more at LifeWay Voices.
Filtering for repentance (Andrew Roycroft): One of the many vulnerabilities of the contemporary evangelical church is a stubborn mistaking of quantity for quality. This can be true at a local and global church level where attendances (or more recently ‘hits’ and ‘likes’) can be the marker for how well things are progressing and how much interest is being shown. It can be evident in statistical analysis of the growth of the gospel in the world, which does not bore down deeply into the nature of the ‘gospel’ being believed in, nor the fruit that it is bearing. We are readily fixated on figures, and often filter our view of the influence of a minister, a ministry, or even of Jesus Christ himself, based on numbers. Read more at Thinking Pastorally.
Sometimes there is just nothing you can do (Stephen Kneale): If your church is anything like ours, you will know that it is most definitely not perfect. Lots of imperfect things regularly stare you in the face. Issues arise and, as best as we try to deal with them, often our attempts to handle them are far from ideal. The tendency whenever issues arise is to look for fixes. On one level, that is right and proper. None of us should want to see what is sub-optimal and be happy about it. Read more at StephenKneale.com.