If I were to see a needle running across the table all by itself, I should know that under-the-table a magnet was at work out of sight. When I see a sinner running after Christ, I feel certain that divine love is drawing him: the cords may be invisible, but we are quite sure that they are there. If you are seeking Christ, it is because he is seeking you. The desire for grace is caused by the very grace which we desire. You must not dare to charge the Lord Jesus with unwillingness to save, seeing he has laid down his life to prove his eagerness to redeem. No, it is not possible that there can be any backwardness with the Saviour; the backwardness lies with you. Get rid of the unbelieving in dishonouring notion that Jesus is unwilling to forgive, and at once throw yourself into his arms…
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Gossip has an initial thrill. Dispensing gossip provides a rush due to the information you have that others do not, thus you feel empowered with that knowledge. It’s a great temptation to “be in the know.” Hearing gossip makes you feel empowered, believing that you are better off and somehow giving you a sense of superiority.
The detrimental aspect is the lack of love demonstrated on the gossip dispenser and recipient. You are leveraging someone’s situation not for prayer but for power. That power you crave slowly crumbles trust. Any community, especially a community of believers, that succumbs to rampant gossip fosters a culture of distrust.
The solution: love your sibling in Christ. Pray for and with them. Let them know you have their back and thus foster that trust.
The Great Commission does not merely apply to missionaries who have been commissioned and sent to their mission field as a vocation.
The Great Commission does not merely apply to those with the gift of evangelism.
The Great Commission does not apply merely to gifted celebrity preachers with a burgeoning platform.
The Great Commission does not apply to just those who have a blossoming tract ministry.
The Great Commission does not apply merely to those who have lots of followers of their blogs.
The Great Commission does not apply merely to those who have the gift of hospitality, ready to open their home to anyone and everyone.
The Great Commission is for everyone. Whatever your personality or gifting. God will use whatever He gives you for His glory.
I serve as a pastor of a local congregation in South Denver who gladly preaches 42-45 Sundays per year. It is a joy and, yes, a calling. This week, I had the privilege of preaching four times in five days (Midweek study, funeral, Good Friday, and then Easter Sunday). That’s more than usual, obviously. Yet, seeing people change and respond to the Word never gets old.
We must beware as pastors and teachers. We can spend so much time pouring out that we miss the need for others to pour in. That is a long-term recipe for disaster. All of us must intentionally have a daily intake of Scripture, read and preached.
How? Here are some ideas for us pastors:
- Listen to faithful preachers on podcasts. By “faithful,” I mean ones committed to the Scriptures rather than a mere motivational talk laced some with Scriptures for support.
- Go to pastor’s conferences geared around the Word and not the latest church growth technique. The later may have their place but we need the former most.
- Bring in a guest speaker, or give your associate or intern an opportunity to preach. No, they may not be as seasoned, but from my experience, I have always benefited someway from their preparation and message.
- Gather fellow pastors together to share/preach His Word to each other. I’ve heard of pastors sharing papers on academic topics for sharpening. All well and good. But sharing God’s precious Word is better, I believe.
These are just some ideas. What ideas do you have?
THE resurrection of our divine Lord from the dead is the cornerstone of Christian doctrine. Perhaps I might more accurately call it the keystone of the arch of Christianity, for if that fact could be disproved the whole fabric of the gospel would fall to the ground. If Jesus Christ be not risen then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain; ye are yet in your sins. If Christ be not risen, then they which have fallen asleep in Christ have perished, and we ourselves, in missing so glorious a hope as that of resurrection, are of all men the most miserable.
Because of the great importance of his resurrection, our Lord was pleased to give many infallible proofs of it, by appearing again and again m the midst of his followers. It would be interesting to search out how many times he appeared; I think we…
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As Easter approaches, Christians all over the world reflect vigorously on the event of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-2, where Paul gives the Corinthian church (and by the Spirit’s preservation of the Scripture, Paul gives us) four pieces of how the gospel is dispensed.
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain (1 Cor 15:1-2).
- The gospel is preached: The Good News of Christ gets out through the act of preaching. The gospel is not ultimately discussed in an effort to provide a consensus among a myriad of opinions. The gospel is heralded, proclaimed–preached. Romans 10:14-15 shows the role of preaching in the economy of God in salvation.
- The gospel must be received: You can receive the gospel or reject it. Just because this gospel is preached does not mean it will have its effect. God works in our unrighteous heart that does not seek after him (Romans 3:9-12) to transform it so we will receive it. This gospel is not simply an intellectual quest–it is a spiritual gift! And what is received must be put into practice (see Philippians 4:9-10). The way you can tell that someone has received the gospel is that they live out the gospel (thus the final clause: “if you hold fast to the word I preached to you–unless you believed in vain).
- The gospel is that in which we stand: The gospel is our anchor. Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection is of first and foundational importance (see 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). We stand because He arose and is alive.
- The gospel is that by which we are saved: The gospel does not merely justify (take away the penalty of sin) but the gospel continues its work in the Christian’s walk by its sanctifying work. We are rescued from the penalty of sin (justification), being rescued from the power of sin (sanctification), and will ultimately be rescued from the presence of sin (glorification).