Your failure does not define you, nor do the echoes of your sin. Jesus speaks a better story, and the grave does not have the final word.
“To live is Christ and to die is gain” is more than a hashtag for your Instagram account; it’s theology clothed with flesh.
Even as I write this, the fires still burn. But one day soon, through the blackened earth, green shoots will spring up again.
Part two of a six-part series, What Makes a Great Preacher?
Part three of a six-part series, What Makes a Great Preacher?
Part six of a six-part series, What Makes a Great Preacher?
Part one of a six-part series, What Makes a Great Preacher?
Part four in a six-part series, What Makes a Great Preacher
Preacher, give fervent and persistent attention to your life outside of preaching. It is not enough to simply preach good doctrine - your people need to see consistent demonstration, not just hear good explanation.
I've finally come to terms with it. I'm getting a tattoo. But not just yet.
The problem is not that we hold a few in high esteem, the problem is that we hold too few in high esteem.
Part two of a two-part parable recounting the events of Exodus 11-12.
A two-part parable recounting the events of Exodus 11-12.
Don’t despise the walls that law built, they serve a significant purpose. The prison was built in order for us to open our eyes and long for freedom.
His pleasure was rooted in the harvest he hoped for.
A gospel for the mundane. A gospel for the sorrow. A gospel for the dark hours of early mornings.
Before I let my gospel-centered infatuation cause me to point a judgmental finger at Jonah, maybe I too need to learn a lesson from the shrivelled up plant.
Tribulation is real—we should not be surprised by it—but it is not our defining reality. We have a living hope, an imperishable inheritance, and a secure salvation.
Preacher, show your church the wonder. Preach like a painter. Take your tools and your technique and bend them to the cause of Christ.
Only an "in-person" preacher can bear the burdens of the congregation, weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice.
Your identity of sonship isn't founded on performance-based assessment. Your standing before God was not procured by strategy or tribal association. Your preaching did not gain you merit, nor your vision give rise to redemption.
Power that comes through position is incompatible with God's agenda on earth.
One of the most significant personal needs a person has is the need to be heard.
It's the wave that provides the power.
My wife is currently in the throes of a full-blown "simplify" campaign, and I need to be careful—if I place my half-drunk coffee cup down it's likely to be thrown out. Anything not nailed to the floor may very well disappear.
No matter the source of your grief—be it silent, relational, or communal—you must know today that God is not deaf to your pain. You soul's ache is not foreign to him.
Your only hope—my only hope—is that God himself would deliver us.
Numbers 13-14 in story form.
To embrace solitude and quietness is to reflect on an image of our own self.
"And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted." What a phenomenal phrase.
It's good to bask in the light of grace. Soak it up. Revel in it. But don't recoil from the commandments of God—they are meant to show us his faithfulness, and steadfast love.
My younger self wanted a voice, wanted a platform but was unwilling to invest in the character required by the gospel.
What do we actually mean by the phrase "gospel centered"?
It is life and death. The wind is howling, the waves are building, and life is coming at me with all its fury. What have I to cling to? Hold fast to the gospel. Cling to Christ.
"Don't let them get too close." That was the advice I received from an experienced pastor early in my ministry experience. I knew it to be rubbish then—even more so now.
God was at work. The Holy Spirit powerfully wielded the Word in that place. I have no doubt that hundreds, if not thousands, of lives and ministries were altered in profound ways over those four days. Then I came home.
Give me a godly man with an average gift over the orator of the ages, whose character hasn’t been shaped by the gospel.
I have a son. I did not father him, nor did my wife give birth to him. Yet, he is my son.
Two decades of pastoral ministry has taught me that a prevailing theme of Christian life is the faulty thinking that we relate to God as though he is a disappointed father.
Yet both my personal experience and anecdotal observations, tell me that the vast majority of 'robust dialogue' or 'authentic conversation' is a poor front for what the Bible calls 'meddling in controversies'.
Without a break-wall, disaster is only a storm away.