6 min to read I imagine most church members would find it hard to believe their pastors struggle with practicing spiritual disciplines. If any group of people should excel at personal Bible reading and memorization, prayer, worship, evangelism, fasting, and a number of other important Christian exercises, it should be the shepherds. And yet, surprisingly, many pastors do in fact struggle to consistently practice them. In certain seasons of ministry, good and important ministry needs tend to crowd out the everyday disciplines of Bible study and prayer. The struggle is real.
< 1 minute Though we Christians might struggle to see and appreciate it, God is at work in us today–by every trial and every blessing–to transform us into a glorious image of Himself. Take heart in your trouble. When we don’t see it, He is still working for our good. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory …
< 1 minute At one time or another–when the voice of condemnation comes–we need to hear powerful, gospel-saturated truth. We need to talk back like Luther.
< 1 minute The Gospel of Jesus opens the way to joy. How am I still awakening to this? There are many ways to capture my heart and life. But this truth remains: in the Lord’s hand are pleasures forevermore. And by faith in Jesus, that hand is opened to me. In Jesus alone are all the treasures [and pleasures] of wisdom and …
3 min to read My six year old asked me for another biscuit at breakfast this morning. Can you imagine what would happen if I met his request with something utterly un-biscuity? Of course you can imagine this.
2 min to read You love to be angry, don’t you? Come on – admit it! Even if every once in a while, given particular conditions, you enjoy anger. Strangely, there is something pleasant about it.
3 min to read In my sermon yesterday, I provided “10 Ways to Hear God More Clearly,” summarized from Thomas Watson’s book Heaven Taken By Storm. And I promised my church that these principles would be posted online, in case they were not able to write them down in the course of my preaching about them.
< 1 minute I recently posted a resource about giving and taking critique. Today, another helpful article caught my attention. The following link at Ligonier contains a letter written by John Newton, to a correspondent who was about to blast a fellow minister in writing. Newton gives clear, concise, and beautiful advice.
2 min to read This one verse caught my attention and stuck with me today, much to my comfort and awe. We know God has factored into spiritual life a kind of cause and effect dynamic. We reap what we sow. We ask, He answers. But at the heart of the Christian life is God’s gracious and primary initiative in our lives. It’s true that God responds to us, but it is in no way near the way in which He acts first so that we can respond to Him.
< 1 minute Criticism. Some love it, others hate it. Some people develop a critical spirit from which they routinely dish it out. Others struggle to take it, even when it’s lovingly ministered. There is a kind of criticism which is loving, sensible, and constructive. This kind is a gift of God’s wisdom in grace. There is another kind of criticism which belongs …