The key to finishing well for anyone is to fix our gaze on Christ and relentlessly pursue a vital relationship with Him.
The goal for all pastors, and all Christians really, is the pursuit of knowing and worshiping God as He really is and not as we have merely imagined Him to be.
The promises of God are not just promises to visit us with favor and blessings.
Our souls are glory-vacuums, fearfully and wonderfully made for an Esteem greater than self.
We’ve placed extra-Gospel demands on ourselves, and as such, have sought extra-Gospel means of reconciling ourselves to God.
What if the autonomy you seemingly operate under really casts something of an illusion?
Leadership is about embracing responsibility. It’s about understanding our role as stewards and being content with where He has placed us.
The good news in all this is that we are gloriously whole and are being made to feel that way also. But God is not content that we fill up on vainglory.
FTC.co asks J.D. Greear, Pastor of Summit Church (Raleigh-Durham, NC), "How can a church know it is on the right track? What are some signs of faithfulness?"
“Do you know why there are a thousand fresh self-help books every year? It’s because they don’t work.”
This week's links include resources on disciple-making shift, single women in the church, lessons from a bad sermon, how to lose a pastor, sin's allure, and church planting pipelines.
It is clear that men and women need each other if they are to accomplish the task God gave humanity to fill and subdue the earth, bringing glory to God in the process.
It is delightful to reflect how close is Christ's union with his people.
Brokenness is our condition; wholeness is our goal.
What advice would you give a young couple struggling with family worship?
The church must always bear witness to the risen Christ.
In his temptation, Jesus understood that not even a legitimate need should be met in illegitimate ways.
We may not understand what God is doing or even agree with it, but we know that while things are hopelessly beyond our control, they are not beyond His.
It’s the strangest thing: the heretic is actually the fundamentalist.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared C. Wilson talks with Nathan Rose, lead pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Liberty, Missouri about the ins and outs of church revitalization, as well as the difficulty with altar calls and public invitations.
While God’s will in particular circumstances may seem very unclear, God has already stated clearly in his word his desire to use us to glorify his name and spread his gospel to the nations.
It has been revealed to God’s prophets already, they have written it for you, and that is enough.
The work-life God set forth is a life of purposeful work of imaging God in our shepherding of his creation.
Whether a fly is in your face or a dove is on your shoulder, keep preaching and keep praying.
FTC.co asks Dan Darling, Vice President for Communications, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, "Should pastors write? Why or why not?"
My left knee sends out a regular signal in Morse code that death is creeping up on me.
This week's links include resources on the purpose of marriage, worry, when Christianity doesn't work, caricatured biblical womanhood, and habits of false teachers.
The truth of God’s love is weaved through the Scriptures and culminated at the cross and it is unignorable.
God's people need lifting up.
The amazing and good news about this upside-down kingdom of our God is that you can be the most effective, the most faithful, and leave the greatest legacy simply by being faithful in your quiet life.
If I want to soothe that deep, empty ache in my heart, am I ready to chase down the right things, even when it costs me dearly?
How can a church know it is on the right track? What are some signs of faithfulness?
Only when the heart is addressed do people find Christ more glorious, satisfying, and beautiful than whatever else they are grasping onto.
One mark of a truly gospel-centered pastor is the willingness to be seen as a complete fool, so long as Christ is honored.
A man with self-control is not governed by his emotions, but is governed by God and his gospel.
Preaching the gospel with creativity and novelty is nothing to celebrate when it comes at the expense of the truth.
A Christian’s confidence in fear is that God does exist as One who, of his own incomprehensible decision and grace, rewards those who seek him
The Bible itself describes our lives as vapors that vanish quickly. We must recognize today that we are not promised tomorrow.
From one point of view, the natural result of being a new creation, regenerated by the Spirit, is that we have the fruit of that new life being produced in our lives.
The pastor doesn’t take a poll to see what people want to hear. He reads the Word and gives people what they need to hear.
FTC.co asks Jeff Medders, Pastor of Redeemer Church (Tomball, TX): "What is the one thing you wish you’d done different as a church planter?"
The problem and the promise for those who fail morally is that Jesus will only deal with us on the playing field of reality.
Why do we seek contentment in things that will never satisfy, long to make much of ourselves, and compare our lives with others?
This week's links include resources on a balanced gospel, hype church services, Christian hospitality, and prayer in 1 Timothy 2.
Fear not; the divine Spirit can give you, in your want, a greater plenty than the rich have in their abundance.
When you join a local church, you’re committing to helping other covenant members faithfully follow Jesus.
If you live in pursuit of the things of this world in an attempt to satisfy the longing of your soul, then you will die empty.
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
God shows his love for us not by affirming our brokenness, but by receiving us while still in such a state, and then slapping an expiration date on it.
For us to be able to respect our husbands as our pastors, we must first respect them as the spiritual leaders of our families. These two actions are irrefutably linked.
Pastors, let your church know they should listen to your sermons with one ear to the pulpit and one ear to the heavens.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared C. Wilson helps you evaluate how welcoming your church really is for visitors.
In the midst of it all, brothers and sisters, do not forget to follow up with those the Lord has providentially guided to your church on any given Sunday.
Discipline can be exercised in unloving ways, but Hebrews reminds us that discipline is, in fact, a mark of God’s love
If your trust is anchored in Jesus, you never need to fear his frown. God has no anger left for you.
Victory in Jesus is not equivalent to an exemption from trouble. Nor does it mean that you look like a champion in the eyes of the world.
FTC.co asks Keith Getty, Christian songwriter and author, "What is your favorite worship song, and why?"
Until pastors discover and embrace their identity in Christ they will keep trying to find their identity in their position, their preaching, their persona, and their programs.
Singing at church should be passionate but never devoid of Biblical truth and teaching.
This week's links include resources on the sacraments and art, sharing the gospel, the language of "calling," and spitfire women.
This proves the futility of all opposition to Christ
The cross is an exposure of human evil and at the same time a revelation of the divine purpose to overcome human evil.
What are some key components to discipling young men?
As my Father takes me down life’s uncertain roads, I pray he will help me to respond by trusting him.
In addition to giving us specific instructions, the biblical passages that mention the Lord's Supper are vivid reminders of the “togetherness” of it all.
There are a myriad of things the Lord is calling us to do as a body and a myriad more he is calling you to do as an individual. And most of them are uncomfortable.
Living in a fallen world means living in perpetual winter, at least in the morning. With each frosty morning, we must grab our tools and get to work.
When you see Jesus correctly, the right response is fear.
It isn’t wrong to have strong opinions. It is wrong to hold so tightly to these beliefs that we dismiss and destroy our neighbors.
But this thing is far too hard without the Father’s love coursing through me. The truth is that I don’t love like he does.
The starting point of a redeemed worldview is knowing the greatest danger to any man exists inside of him, not outside.
FTC.co asks Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, "How can a Christian do wise political engagement while maintaining faithfulness first to God’s kingdom?"
When people are lazy (or restless), they do have a sin problem, but the sin problem is just a symptom of the deeper worship problem.
This week's links include resources on celebrity power, the gospel in all seasons of life, grieving childlessness, and pastors teaching kids to love the church.
Since God created and cares for our natural world, His people should be marked by an appreciation for and care of that world.
Let me be on my guard when the world puts on a loving face, for it will, if possible, betray me as it did my Master, with a kiss.
The commitments the Bible illustrates for us are for our good. They are not to shackle us to burdens or to place weight.
As pastors, we are vulnerable to paint ourselves as victims on the one hand or to become bullies or crooks or adulterers on the other.
What leadership qualities are needed in transitioning a church to greater gospel-centrality?
God is the only one that can truly give us comfort and this is a comfort that doesn’t just look to the past and the good ol’ days. It is a comfort that holds the future in its hands.
It can be a monumental challenge to stomach the obscurity that comes from consistent “decrease,” but it’s part of every pastor’s journey.
Jesus did not come for those who presume they are innocent before God, but for sinners who know they are guilty.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared C. Wilson interviews Dr. Alvin Reid about getting beyond our problems with evangelism and rescuing student ministry from goofiness.
The Enemy of our souls and our sinful flesh has a way of adding terrible fuel to the raging fires of shame.
Jacob failed his daughter, his wives, his sons, himself, and God; but God did not fail Jacob
Three questions to help parents begin evaluating the way they talk to and around their kids in more relaxed settings.
So confident is the Son of God. So self-assured. So much so that He holds Himself out so us, day after day, with the same invitation: "Come and you'll see."
FTC.co asks Don Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Associate Dean at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, "What should the average Christian's devotional time look like?"
The parables Jesus tells in the four Gospels are peculiar kinds of stories that too many readers read very wrongly.
The human spirit, to be healthy as God intended it to be, cannot veg-out inside our bodies with its feet kicked up.
This week's links include resources on advocating for others, unmarried Christians, parenting and pastoring, and staying long in a church.
As the Father loves the Son, in the same manner Jesus loves his people.
True expository preaching strives to be faithful to the text and clear in the presentation.
There is a certain quality Christians should strive for as we represent God to the world.
Meditation doesn't mean humming in a monotone tone in an effort to completely clear your mind so the universe can come rushing in. It means filling your mind with Scripture and turning it over in your mind again and again.
Trials can be surprising ministers, serving us by showing our insufficiency and escorting us to our all-sufficient God.
Men today are often drowning is superficial relationships, but do not possesses any genuinely accountable gut-level friendships.
No, the answer, if there is one, isn’t to heap another burden onto the weary. It is, instead, to look to Jesus for our rest.
If you opt out of being vulnerable with your sin and prefer instead to convey a sense of perfection with your life, there’s likely a legalistic spirit that needs to be killed.
Principles of interpretation are what stand behind your approach to a text.
We should feel “at home” with people who share our faith but not our politics even more than we do with people who share our politics but not our faith.
There is no price we can pay to remove the stain of our sin and guilt. Favor with God is something that is only given.
Jesus doesn’t lord his inheritance over you. He serves you with it, giving you a portion along with him.
FTC.co asks Nathan Finn, Dean of The School of Theology and Missions at Union University, "What kind of books should pastors read?"
Join the hashtag. Join the movement.
This is how the Christian life is designed to work . . .
This week's links include resources on faith in dry seasons, grace to you, how to welcome people with disabilities, former atheists, and paying your pastor.
Jesus Christ is the eternal Word that perfectly communicates and reveals God to His people.
The surpassing grace of God is seen very clearly in that we were not only sought, but sought out.
God disciplines his people so that they learn not to rely on themselves and run after other gods, but to seek all and find all in him.
Our minds are complex, intricate, sometimes confusing, and always in need of guarding.
What are some key things churches can do to influence the culture for Christ?
When we trust that God is in control, we are freed to take responsibility for our own actions.
Pastor, give yourself to sound doctrine and make much of it from now on. If you cannot do this, resign.
Often, we are left wondering what it actually means to come alongside those who are experiencing great loss. But exactly how do we do it?
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared C. Wilson discusses the contemporary church methodology of "video preaching."
Our culture is not only opposed at present to the gospel. It is opposed to the very concept of reality itself.
Jesus has come and he is ushering in Eden day-by-day.
We must be careful what we call beautiful. We must be careful not to attribute words to the Word that he never said.
FTC.co asks Matt Chandler, Pastor at The Village Church, "How do you cultivate a healthy marriage?"
Our anxiety is tempered by remembering that we have a Father who gives good gifts.
One fear we must put aside in our quest for greater gospel-centrality is that it will not preach week to week.
Let your academic study and writing become a spiritual discipline through which you are able to behold the wonders of our God.
This week's links include resources on assisted suicide, getting the most out of books, 9Marxism, friends pastors need, how to live a whole life, and rest.
This patience of the saints proves the power of divine grace.
One sin deserves God’s wrath for all eternity, but the shed blood of Christ, our Eternal Priest, removes the punishment for our sins forever.
Why do the books Christians buy the most tend to not be the best for them?
While God’s Word does condemn all sexual sin, it also offers healing and forgiveness from all sexual sin.
Where does the wayward mind truly go when it comes time to pray? It’s hard to say.
God's providence is always good, beyond improvement. Thus, he crafted your story, including your past, for his own, optimum glory.
Before I am anything else, I am a man who has been saved and sustained by the God of the gospel.
His identity was not connected with those to whom he was commissioned; rather, his identity was connected to the one who commissioned him.
Jesus kills our sin so that He can fill us up and give us life.
Scripture is not about you; it is about Jesus. Scripture is, however, for you through the work of Jesus.
We live in a world relentlessly focused on keeping up appearances. But, there is a better way, one in which our sight can be resurrected.
FTC.co asks Dean Inserra, Pastor of City Church - Tallahassee, FL: "How can a church know it’s on the right track? What are some signs of faithfulness?"
If you have experienced the Spirit’s conviction, you have been primed to experience the Spirit’s power.
There is something powerful about having the profound glories of almighty God brought to bear in a palpable way.
This week's links include resources on painful callings, conversion therapy, singles and gifts, meeting Christ, temptation, adoption, and quiet lives.
You will find in the long run that it is far harder to shun the work and will of God than to at once yield yourself to it.
Our brothers and sisters in Christ are God’s gifts to steady us, to laugh with us, to remind us of the mission we are on together for Christ’s fame.
What people need the most is a renewed perspective that hinges on a kingdom that is not of this world.
What does Gospel-Centered teaching sound like?
A banquet of Christ awaits us. Let’s not starve, but enjoy the feast!
We have a message that needs to be spread and we have the largest communication platform the world has ever known.
The Bible is preoccupied with the Messiah and we must be as well.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared C. Wilson interviews Dr. Jason K. Allen, President of Midwestern Seminary and College on his new book Being a Christian: How Jesus Redeems All of Life
We take the things that are good for the Christian life, some of which God even requires of us, and give them unhealthy focus.
If you want to consider theological education, you must first consider if you are in Christ at all.
If salvation is by faith alone, then every person we come in contact with is within a single moment of faith of being made a child of God.
Whatever else we do as Christian leaders must stem from seeing Jesus first.
FTC.co asks Jeff Medders, Pastor of Redeemer Church in Tomball, TX: "What should a pastor do when his church is tired of hearing the Gospel?"
Laypeople have no biblical warrant to leave the duty of doctrine up to pastors and professors alone.
Death and dying are never easy, but both in physical death and spiritual death we have the hope of God’s promises to come.
This week's links include resources on boys respecting women, gathering seashells, celebrating women, Christians and death, and the phrase "I am enough."
We have been cleansed once for all, but our feet still need to be washed from the defilement of our daily walk as children of God.
He died to live, and to live so that other dead people could come alive.
God himself is the true fountain from which we find all wisdom.
What can a young pastor do to start cultivating a healthy legacy?
One thing I know I can do in the midst of the complexities and difficulties of the parenting task: I can pray.
Sometimes God answers age-old questions while engaging in magnificent acts, the purpose for which is anything but answering said questions.
Writing about the difficulty of pastoral ministry probably won’t ease the difficulty of pastoral ministry, but it will remind us that God has matured us more than we have measured.
The call of pastoral ministry is completed only when the body of Christ affirm that call as a pastor.
Instead of allowing our inadequacies to keep us from evangelism, we should allow them to propel us into it.
The basis for biblical interpretation begins with Jesus.
When pastors major on the urgent, we can inadvertently lead people to forget that “the word of our God will stand forever.”
The reason your scarlet sins can be made white as snow is because Jesus' scarlet blood covers them.
Three tactical steps to do battle against this pernicious sin.
Archaeology does not, has not and will never prove Christianity as a system of faith—nor can it disprove the textual evidence of the New Testament.
This week's links include resources on embryo adoption, gratitude, the gospel in a cold place, cynicism, and small-groups and singles.
O quicken us that we may return to our first love, and do our first works!
When our plans go awry it can be easy to spiral into complaining and self-pity.
We asked Barnabas Piper: "What should pastors and their wives know about raising pastors’ kids?
Because the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead, we must not waste our lives.
Confession isn’t solely so the confessor can feel better because someone else knows. No, it is confession for the sake of change and accountability.
We may not follow all of Augustine’s interpretations of Scripture, but his humility before the word continues to teach us.
Your feeble efforts can add nothing to the finished work of Christ. When Jesus cried “It is finished!” he meant it.
On this episode, Jared C. Wilson visits with Costi Hinn, Executive Pastor of Mission Bible Church in Tustin, California, co-author of the book Defining Deception, and redeemed refugee from the world of faith healing.
This is joy uplifts all that I do so that I can now find joy in the most mundane task or everyday circumstance.
What we need is a trust in God that can endure seasons of discomfort by denying ourselves.
Matthew 18 is about winning your brother. That’s the goal. We want to see him turn and repent. We pursue the process to win our brother.
If Christ hasn’t experienced the bitter taste of sin, how does he know the sweetness he must apply?
We asked J.D. Greear, Pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, to describe his process for preparing sermons.
Godly pastoral care is the overflow of love, an act of nurture, and an act of self-giving.
When I’m fearful of a broken and hostile world, the presence of a King who dwells among His people emboldens my faltering hopes.
This week's links include resources on safety for the same-sex attracted, leaders and yes-men, children and the Bible, and Black History Month.
Does not this make thee love Jesus?
We must realize that a proper appreciation of one’s guilt before God is a gift that can lead us to the truth, and without which we are lost.
Measuring the success of one’s service based primarily on what we can see is deceptive because most of the fruit in our ministry is in things that are unseen.
Six lessons missionary John Stam learned while trusting God provide for all his needs.
How can I know God is pleased with me? The crushing answer: be perfect. The good news: Jesus has given the answer for us.
Is complementarity–male leadership in the home and church, especially–a matter of gifting, or a matter of essence?
I can’t help but wonder how different this might be if we made it a point to treat everyone like they are invited to the party.
Whatever our station in life, the Lord’s Table announces the Good News that we must neither wait for our victory, nor wane in our defeats.
Missionaries feel their inadequacies daily and need reminded that the Lord they serve is omnipotent.
The new release from Jason K. Allen is a guide to living as a Christian every day.
We must not become earth-rich and God-poor.
You are undersized in the fight, but the Holy Spirit that indwells you is anything but.
This week's links include resources on old books for young Christians, busyness, social media, life purpose, and unknown false gospels.
In God's sight, you are "complete in him."
A person who fears God more than anything is less likely to abuse God’s subjects.
Since we are commanded to gather together for the purposes of helping one another grow in love and good works, we shouldn't neglect that activity.
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
It is not enough just to be spiritually needy; we must recognize it, also.
The gospel redefines everything. No part of our lives is untouched by God’s redemptive power, including our relationships.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared C. Wilson discusses the importance -- and unimportance -- of preaching illustrations.
Marriage is not sufficient for life and godliness. Jesus is.
This new book shows readers how to rely more fully on the power of the Holy Spirit for growth and satisfaction in their lives.
The ones we stand in the midst of on a Sunday morning are the flesh and blood set around us as a perpetual help in remembering the flesh torn and the blood shed for us.
FTC.co asks Noah Oldham, Lead Pastor of August Gate Church in St. Louis, to describe his sermon-writing process.
Not what. Who.
Words, even truth, not carefully spoken can damage relationships and cause division among brothers and sisters.
This week's links include resources on death, accountability, fostering, and what to say to the grieving.
You must expect to feel weakest when you are enjoying your greatest triumph.
Ordinary things in the hands of an extraordinary God become the miraculous means by which He brings about His kingdom.
Teach people to be students of God’s Word, not students of your opinion.
What are some common mistakes worship leaders make?
One can be a godly man without being a pastor, but one cannot be a faithful pastor without being a godly man.
Preacher, be thankful: Jesus doesn’t love you to the degree you gain the nod of the masses.
You are not who you were and, therefore, you don’t belong where you used to. You are different, so walk that way.
We are not running to Christ-likeness, we are running to Christ.
Following Jesus will often lead us directly toward what we do not understand.
The only way God could speak a word of welcoming mercy to sinners like me and you is to speak a word of judgment to Christ in our place.
Teenage believers, you can contribute right away in significant and helpful ways when the church gathers.
We will experience Jesus for all eternity. Praise God! But even if we only experienced him for a day, we would be fully satisfied.
FTC.co asks H.B. Charles Jr., Lead Pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, "How important is preaching to a local church?"
However great the trouble I’ve been through in the past, I know God will compensate me much more greatly in the future, which gives me tremendous joy in the present.
By reading what God has done, we gain insights into the character of God.
This week's links include resources on leaving your church, diversity and God's kingdom, repentant pastors, discipling children, and waiting.
Our extremities are the Lord's opportunities.
We are, like my children, desperately needy and utterly dependent upon God, not only to meet our needs but to sustain our faith and grow us into spiritual adulthood.
As pastors, we need to remind our elderly members that they’re not only loved by their Good Shepherd and Savior—they’re also loved and needed by his people.
How can a Christian do wise political engagement while maintaining faithfulness first to God’s kingdom?
In his self-sacrifice, Jesus shows us the greatest expression of great love by laying down not only his life, but his reputation also.
One active way we can remind ourselves of our comparative insignificance is to do something we’re probably going to be bad at.
This is the reality about all who are in Christ: from the mightiest to the weakest, all who love the holiness of God rise, redeemed and renewed, in heaven.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared C. Wilson interviews Dr. Jason K. Allen, president of Midwestern Seminary, about his first five years in leadership at the school and the dramatic resurgence resulting.
The church is not simply a man-made tool that we use to advance the cause of Christ; the church itself is central to the cause.
The more I dig into the Word, the more I see with glaring clarity that the Bible is like a collection of big neon signs pointing to the cross.
The truly humble person will take the low position and will not be shocked, dismayed, or depressed if he stays there.
FTC.co asks Clint Pressley, Senior Pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC: "What are some key components to discipling young men?"
Student ministries can give students something the world cannot – a greater purpose for their soul, and guidance in how to live for that purpose.
"Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war?" Yes. We do.
Where we may run amok is forgetting that our confession and receiving of forgiveness should be effecting something significant in us.
This week's links include biblical womanhood and Genesis, reading more books, truth and love, and well-behaved women.
He professes to live for Christ; how can he live for another object without committing a spiritual adultery?
Making disciples involves much more. It involves us teaching others what it means and how to follow Jesus.
The irony of growing on our faith is that we have to be childlike to mature.
FTC.co asks Don Whitney, "What should the average Christian's devotional time look like?"
To be in the covenant of grace is to be secure in the love of God; it is to be tied to Christ - unchanging, unfading, never failing.
I was the kid who always kept his nose clean, had his act together, and tried to do the right thing. Why wasn’t I prospering?
It’s entirely possible to be absolutely unwavering on convictional truth matters and still give people the expectation to receive love and compassion from you.
Historically, great things happen when churches link arms.
When the pulpit isn’t held in high regard, sheep become malnourished by fast-food style preaching that contains little nutritional value.
I have a God who cares about me, and who loves me enough to orchestrate everything so that my soul is fed the right thing for the day I need it.
A grace that turns inward is no grace at all.
Today’s youth thirst for discipleship, not gimmicks. In eternity past, God ordained the local church as the chosen vessel to quench that thirst.
FTC.co asks Nathan Finn, Dean of The School of Theology and Missions at Union University, "Why should Christians consider theological education?"
Maybe we’re in the same boat when it comes to our spiritual lives. Maybe you've been wanting to start fresh with your relationship with God, but you keep putting it off for whatever reason. Might your apprehension have less to do with the right timing and more with the right approach?
This week's links include resources on infertility, how to be generous, leading when you aren't the leader, and the gift of cancer.