Tuesday, April 2, 2024

An Instinctual Conversation


"We prioritize prayer in this life as we live for the next."

Not all priorities are formal. In fact, the vast majority of true priorities in our lives are instinctual and thoughtless. This is evident when it comes to eating: we do not have to deliberately make time in our schedules to satisfy our hungry tummies or think through strategies about how we will get calories into our systems (diets excepted).

Is prayer a true priority for us?

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Hanging on His Every Word


"We study the Bible because it is the whole counsel of God."

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about the Bible is that it is incomprehensible. Though it is true that Scripture is complex and profound, there could hardly be a bigger lie than claiming that it is beyond our apprehension and understanding.

Consider the proclamation of Deuteronomy 29:29: "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever..."

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Getting the Word Out


"We proclaim the gospel to the world so that they may be saved."

There have been a few times in our lives when we've missed out on something we wished to be a part of because nobody told us. Perhaps we even said, "Nobody told me!" with bitterness in our breath. Such circumstances can enrage or otherwise depress us. When the stakes are higher, the feelings are more intense.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Keeping with the Flock


"We love each other and cherish the fellowship of God's people."

When a young zebra is separated from the herd, he is much more susceptible to the wiles of lions. Perhaps you've seen footage from the African safari of young animals unable to defend themselves, falling prey to predators. For the tender-hearted, it can be difficult to watch; for the rest of us, it satisfies a morbid curiosity.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Where Sovereignty and Responsibility Touch


"We serve God wherever we are, knowing He has put us there."

Where does God's will meet (or override) our stewardship? This is one of the most difficult topics that we face.

There's a man who invests and saves his money diligently throughout his life, only to encounter circumstances totally outside of his control that leave him empty-handed. It was the will of God. Yet there's another man who does not invest or save his money and he, too, is left empty-handed. It was his lack of stewardship. Not so fast. The first man was not exempt from engaging in good stewardship and the second man was not exempt from the will of God. Both men live with both realities -- just as we do (in all things, I should add).

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Prayer as Evangelism

"We prioritize prayer in this life as we live for the next."

Prayer can be an evangelistic tool.

When we pray with our children, they hear the desires of our heart and how we speak to and of God. This is powerful. When we sit down for a meal with an unbeliever and let him or her know that we would like to thank God for the food before we eat, the unbeliever is unexpectedly entering into a spiritual moment. This too is powerful.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Commitment to Gospel Conversation


"We proclaim the gospel to the world so that they may be saved."

The story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 is absolutely astounding. An angel told him where to go (v. 26), the Spirit told him who to talk to (v. 29), and the Ethiopian man asked him to teach the Bible to him (v. 31). Philip proclaimed the gospel of Jesus to him (v. 35) and the man believed and was baptized (v. 38). After that, the Spirit raptured Philip to a city dozens of miles away.

Well, that was easy!

Saturday, December 2, 2023

God's Word Is Sufficient


"We study the Bible because it is the whole counsel of God."

The Bible is the whole of God's counsel--not the whole of all we may want to know. I would love to understand the Trinity more deeply. I would like to hear more about the incarnation of Jesus Christ. You could even say that I'm actually curious to know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

But God--in His goodness--has opted to give us what we have in the Bible as the fullness of His counsel. Fittingly, this conviction of ours is revealed in counseling. We practice biblical counseling because the Bible is God's whole counsel. We don't practice emotions-based counseling, trend-based counseling, or opinion-based counseling. All of our counsel comes from the counsel of God, which is the Word of God.

What this means is that when we respond to the problems people have, we must be led by Scripture. How tragic would it be if we provided an answer to someone's spiritual question with the whole counsel of God closed and tucked away on a shelf somewhere. When we open our mouths to speak, may our words reflect the Word. May our speech be guided and shaped by the Bible--the whole counsel of God.

A New Revelation Chart (Messages to the Seven Churches)

I've created a new chart on Revelation! But not like that. This chart doesn't detail the events of the end times, but rather encapsulates Jesus' messages to the seven churches found in chapters 2-3.

Recently, I've desired to study these seven churches more and commit Jesus' messages to them to memory. There are some very unique statements in these two chapters that often get ignored. When I searched for charts like this one, I found a few online, but I wanted to make one that was a little better. So please feel free to download the chart and use it however you'd like. If you click on the image below, you will be taken to the Drive page where it can be downloaded.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Participating in Christ's Body


"We love each other and cherish the fellowship of God's people."

"Fellowship" is the common translation of the Greek word koinonia (it's where we get the name "Koin" for our fellowship hall). Out of the 19 times the word appears in the New Testament, the NASB translates the word as "fellowship" twelve times. Twice it's rendered as "contribution," twice as "participation," and thrice as "sharing." As we dwell on this, we can first understand--quite simply--that fellowship is more than "hanging out." It's deeper than simply existing in the same space with others for a select amount of time.

So, drawing on these translations, perhaps an angle we could take at this is that "fellowship" is most properly understood as "participating by contributing and sharing."