I very often treat the gospel like something I've moved on from, but every time I bring it back to mind, it transports me to a more beautiful, more powerful, more helpful place than any of these newfangled messages I flirt with every day ever could.
In the pastoral ministry world, we sometimes get the impression from the Bright Minds Among Us that only losers quit. Well, maybe so. But Jesus came for losers.
Two sweet words start the reversal of our will and fate.
The gospel is God’s love made manifest, and the church is the gospel of God’s love made visible.
The letter to the Galatians reminds us that the faith that saved us is the faith we still walk by and the Spirit that regenerated us is the Spirit that grows holiness within us.
If God came as a vulnerable, needful, weak baby, we have no need to fear for our own vulnerability, needfulness, and weakness.
He emptied himself so that we would not see our own emptiness as a hopeless cause.
Many things can and will make us happy.
There is no joy but in Jesus Christ.
"To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives or children or the company of earthly friends are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but the scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but the streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops; but God is…
The more bored you are with the things of God, the more vulnerable you will be when difficulty comes.
He's not sighing or sulking. He is more eager to forgive than we are to sin.
Too often we envision “successful ministry” and pour our energies and affections into seeing that vision become a reality.
There is no sin so great that God's gospel is not greater still.
The grace of God in Jesus Christ meets all of our needs and satisfies our deepest desires.
He makes the Samaritan the hero. Why?
Three tactical steps to do battle against this pernicious sin.
Jared C. Wilson's message on "The Church's Message" delivered at the 2017 For The Church Micro-Conference at Ames, Iowa.
Jared C. Wilson's message on "The Church Majestic" delivered at the 2018 For The Church National Conference.
In the end, the Incarnation is not for analysis but for worship.
What we see in the wonder of the God-Man is a miraculous extension, not reduction!
If I don’t believe the gospel, I will miss out on the joy of the it-ness of things.
When we go through something difficult, that is typically when we begin to question whether God is actually good, whether he's actually remembered us, whether he even cares, if we're even saved!
If the emphasis of our preaching is on being more like Jesus and not on the good news of grace despite our not being able to be like Jesus, we end up actually achieving the opposite of our intent. We inadvertently become legalists, actually.
Every word of Scripture from Genesis 1:1's "In" to Revelation 22:21's "Amen" is le mot juste.
One fear we must put aside in our quest for greater gospel-centrality is that it will not preach week to week.
There is much good in young men rejecting passivity, taking responsibility, and seeking to better themselves. But the arteries of anger, victimhood, and aggressive machismo running through the new masculinity movement do not bode well.
The ferment of the gospel needs the wineskin of the church.
When we find Christ supremely valuable and fulfilling, the desire to cut our neighbor down disappears.
This short checklist reflects the irreduceable complexity of true Christian preaching.
Christians want to be channels of the Holy Spirit at work in the world. We can’t do that, however, if we’re constantly worried about having others meet our needs.
When we suffer, we tend to ask lots of "why" questions. Here's the one thing we can know in our hurts.
So you keep going. Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. What’s the definition of insanity again?
You don't need "more" to be satisfied in God.
Who is church for? And what do they need? - An exclusive excerpt from the new book The Gospel-Driven Church
Open yourself to hard questions, challenges, conflicts in opinions, loving rebukes, and constructive criticism. People who only tell you what you want to hear are not your friends and are doing you harm.
But Moses' hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.—Exodus 17:12
Yesterday I sat with Natalie and read to her from 2 Corinthians (at her request)…
We must wear this armor constantly. We should never take it off.
You may feel “all is meaningless.” Especially when you are ministering in the midst of conflict, division, unfair or undue criticism, or even hostility.
Pastoral ministry is about souls, not stats. If your number of souls grows, fantastic. To God be the glory. Let’s just remember that we are responsible mainly for the care of the souls, not the accumulation of them.
(35) Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (36) But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. (37) All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (38) For I have come down…
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.—1 Thessalonians 5:23
Not a single one of us is a perfect repenter. And not a single one of us ever will be. I do believe we cooperate in the work of our sanctification, working out what God…
It seems that every week brings more stories of abuse occurring on church premises. We are hearing about this more and more, and there should be no doubt that the problem is actually more prevalent than what we see reported. And quite often in retrospect these cases reveal not simply mistakes made but systemic dysfunctions in a church community and a church's discipleship culture.
The good news is that the Lord has a way of making a way where there is no way.
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you."
- Luke 17:20-21
In Jesus' day, the Jewish world was fractured into factions, each of which sought to…
The chapter and verse numbers in the Scriptures are not inspired, of course, but there is something about Genesis 8:1—specifically in the phrase "But God remembered Noah"—which is a nice correlation to Romans 8:1…
When you are stuck, deep, despondent, or in despair, think back to what God has delivered you from in difficult times past.
Do you know the name of the kinsman redeemer who was first in line to marry Ruth? Exactly.
Godly pastoral care is the overflow of love, an act of nurture, and an act of self-giving.
If you want to change the movement of your church, you have to change the message.