How great the light that casts the shadow!
When the over-emphasis of numbers starts to creep in I have to run to the Word of God.
This week's links include resources on everyday work, skipping resolutions, welcoming those with eating disorders, and when our waiting will be over.
Let faith and patience have their perfect work.
These were the 10 most-read posts at FTC over the last year.
Immeasurable hope and help await you as you learn to kill the diehard sins that plague you.
How do I prevent praying the Scriptures from feeling formulaic?
Ministry is increasingly complex. We live in a zany world. The culture is imploding, ethical quandaries abound, our church members need, and will need, more from their ministers, not less.
It’s a tall order, but our job as the church is to help one another become like Christ in our thoughts, actions, and knowledge.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson discusses the benefits and challenges of establishing a program for ministry residents at your local church. Joining him is special guest, pastor Josh Hedger.
To my grandpa, the gospel was the good news of rest.
Are you slavishly protecting your Christian freedom to do everything that pleases you?
Spurgeon: Santa or Scrooge?
Christians stand on this confession not because it is a sweet sentimentality at holiday time, but because we know that it is integral to Christ’s gospel.
We are in real danger of allowing the disappointments of life to discolor our understanding of God.
This week's links include resources on the mega-joy of Christmas, when you're weary at Christmas, kids and new phones, and a Christmas carol for the weak.
Let all heaven say "Amen" to the praises of our hearts, and let the multitude of thy children here on earth, for whom this feast is spread, laud and magnify and bless thy name.
Seasonal celebrations have become more about seeking peace, gaining a glimpse of beauty, upholding tradition, or experiencing some other common grace than celebrating God incarnate.
Art is a gift from God, and God hates sin. To mingle sin with this gift, or to even approve of it, is a mockery to God’s demand for our pursuit and love for holiness.
What encourages you about the future of the church?
The God who finished creating the world for his people is the same God who finishes the work of redemption for them.
For many churches, a lack of equipping their women to love and study Scripture is a result of a lack of conviction about Scripture itself.
When we refuse to listen to all of God’s word and substitute other, more palatable messages in its place, we set ourselves on a path to sin big-time.
Even in his weaknesses, David fights to surrender himself to God and to persevere despite physical and spiritual opposition.
Could you imagine how hopeless of a doctrine union with Christ would be if he remained in the tomb?
What advice do you have for the wife who is disappointed with her husband?
We can leave the edges of our lives unreaped because we are confident in the generous provision of God.
Why would Rembrandt place himself at the feet of Jesus as he is being hoisted up and crucified?
FTC.co asks Clint Pressley, Lead Pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, "What are some non-negotiables for preaching?"
God cannot not be omnipresent. So for Jesus Christ to be God incarnate must not mean he was not also God omnipresent.
Even the best of friends and closest family need time to themselves, but not God.
This week's links include resources on loving your neighbor, hiring older church leaders, the effect of the curse, and misplaced compassion.
From the first moment of your spiritual life until you are ushered into glory, the language of Christ to you will be, "Come, come unto me."
This culture of abusive authority makes the Advent season all the more a breath of fresh air.
Some redemptive-historical preaching can fall into the trap of saying the same thing week after week.
What does evangelism look like in New York City?
Announcing the winners of the 2nd annual FTC Book Awards.
While there are areas where the digital can be helpful, the Gospel and the church will always point to its cornerstone and head, Jesus Christ, who took on flesh and dwelt among us.
Our resurrection is coming! Every physical blessing in the heavenly places belongs to us. It is coming for us, but not yet.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson speaks with author, podcaster, and pastor's wife Christine Hoover about pastors, their wives, and their friendships.
Even amid the most heated and intense opposition, Jesus shows his heart of mercy and pleads for forgiveness.
I let the original intent of the passage sting me, move me, drive me to what I need to be.
It might be tempting to change the message because we often think we have to do something in return for what we are given, but not so with the gospel.
Jesus’ first arrival made way for his second. The incarnation and the second coming are wound together.
FTC.co asks Steve Bezner, lead pastor of Houston Northwest Church in Houston, TX, "How do you maintain a culture of community in a growing church?"
Having been enslaved to substances that threatened to destroy them, they had reached a desperation point and enlisted others to help them in the battle.
The gospel is God’s love made manifest, and the church is the gospel of God’s love made visible.
This week's links include resources on boundaries in ministry, incarnation and work, routine Bible reading, and comforting suffering people.
At this hour we rest . . .
That’s not just pixels on a screen. That’s God’s image bearer, whom he created for relationship with him.
Whether our physical Bible is coming apart or not, we should store up the word in our hearts.
What advice would you give the pastor beginning the process of implementing meaningful membership in his church?
The typical ways we view friendships, discipleship, and sanctification may be overlooking an important way God uses our relationships with others.
While singleness may, at times, be a function of cultural shifts and an extended adolescence among some adults, no single person remains single outside of the sovereignty—and goodness—of God.
For the humble spirit that knows where its help comes from, every day is a day of thanksgiving!
Christ’s mandate to go does not give license to recklessness any more than our culture’s disapproval gives permission to disobedience.
He entered human flesh to show us that he is better in every situation, at every turning point, in every crisis.
What advice would you give the Christian struggling with daily Bible reading?
Though a relatively short work, Queen Katherine Parr's The Lamentation of a Sinner is a deeply personal and overwhelmingly theological confession of her unworthiness for the grace of God.
FTC.co asks Michael Kelley, Director of Discipleship at Lifeway Christian Resources, "What are some mistakes we make in thinking about discipleship?"
Parents, when you’re so tired you can barely function, consider this a chance to enjoy the privilege of friendship, family, and fellowship in the body of Christ.
This week's links include resources on true beauty, Christianity without community, being alone during the holidays, and pastors visiting workplaces.
We are called to continue in the ways of God, to pursue godliness.
“I hope that everyone gets to rich and famous and have everything they ever wanted so they could see it isn’t the answer.”
The Lord's admiration of his Church is very wonderful, and his description of her beauty is very glowing.
For every brutal act, every time your voice fell on deaf ears, each betrayal and misplaced shame—all of this will be overcome in victory.
How can I help this member see and savor Jesus Christ?
What are some misconceptions too many churches have about the unchurched?
You cannot love Christ as an attachment to life, either in an intentional part-time way or a part-hearted way.
Friends, none of us feels exactly what we ought to feel. But thank God we have a Bible that tells us the truth even if we can’t do the same thing for ourselves.
Since God became a man who lived in a particular time and place, we can be more confident that He cares about the particulars of our time.
We are involved in cosmic battle, attempting to capture the hearts of men and women for Christ.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson discusses several reasons why it's so important and beneficial for pastors to systematically work through entire books of the Bible in their Sunday morning preaching.
Simply put, a sermon’s authority is derived from Holy Scripture’s authority.
Why is the local church integral to theological training?
When God’s people gather together for worship, the next generation’s eyes are wide open.
Just as the gospel of justification by faith in Christ alone was the central message of the Reformation, so the preaching of the Word was central to the work of the Reformers.
FTC.co asks Matt Capps, Senior Pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Apex, North Carolina, "Why is expositional preaching as important today as it’s ever been?"
We must wear this armor constantly. We should never take it off.
How God views me is not based on my performance but based on Christ’s perfect performance and sacrifice on my behalf.
This week's links include resources on homosexuality, Christian success, Jesus as a Baptist, listening to the hard of hearing, and church's handling accusations against elders.
When Jesus sets free, the liberty is perpetually entailed; no chains can bind again.
In the various expressions of contemporary evangelicalism it is often easy to forget that the phrase “born again” is a biblical phrase, employed a verb, not an adjective.
When faced with the impossible, trying, and hard situations of life we should be God-seekers.
How can Christian families bear witness for Christ in today’s culture?
We have here crowning mercies, suggesting special and crowning thanksgiving.
Eagerly introduce others to the one you love and treasure.
Who has God placed in your life so that you can be encouraged by their example?
Does the process of discipleship change as a church grows?
Suffering creates an avenue for ministry as it makes us able to extend the comfort we receive from the Lord to others.
God’s preeminent concern is the glory of His name, not the comfort of our lives.
FTC.co asks Trillia Newbell, author and Director of Community Outreach for the ERLC, "How do we love our kids without making them into idols?"
Christians have the power to “do relationships” in an entirely unworldly way.
We experience salvation and a relationship with God today because Jesus was selfless.
This week's links include resources on a difficult marriage, if mission work is good, the early church, weeping for lost souls, Victoria's Secret, and going to church.
Oh! how sure and safe is the inner life of the believer!
Know the Scriptures and the power of God, and trust that God to reveal his beauty to those you are witnessing to.
Some seminarians think they can just convince others of truth, and they’ll obviously get on board with God.
What is the biggest challenge in church revitalization?
What if the bigger issue in having your kids obey isn't their obedience, but rather, is your patience with them?
When you’ve wrestled with God and prevailed with a blessing, it has a way of breaking the spell of insecurity and fear.
The greatness of both our sin and our forgiveness should inspire us to sing the greatness of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
We might intellectually know our union with God will never falter, but our communion with him sometimes can feel far and sporadic.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson talks with Drs. Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger about their new book Equipping for Life: A Guide for New, Aspiring, and Struggling Parents and important topics related to raising word-wise kids in a wordly culture.
Though we don’t deserve to be heard, God chooses to hear and acknowledge repentant sinners who struggle with unfaithfulness and wander from him.
I wonder: am I content with being called and unknown? Am I willing to serve in obscurity but be known by Jesus?
We can have meaningful church membership because what Jesus died for, he will also give life to. Jesus died for the church. He will give life to it.
FTC.co asks J.T. English, Pastor of The Village Church Institute at The Village Church in Denton, TX, "What encourages you about the future of the church?"
We weren’t designed to be double-minded. We weren’t made to playact, to posture. So it’s impossible to keep The Persona from taking over.
Anguish and confidence met to form sonorous, singing agreement: our God in heaven is sovereign.
This week's links include resources on church volunteers, love and marriage, hope in the sexual revolution, and resting in Jesus.
Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there.
If we are talking about the gospel in such a way that doesn’t ever make people want to go, we’re doing it wrong.
Not only does a genuine Christian desire change, but their life gives evidence of change.
How is the gospel connected to the daily effort in the spiritual disciplines?
Parents, use the sacred space of car rides and other "as you go" moments to explore and deepen your family faith story with the people who matter most.
The uniquely begotten Son of God stepped out of the glory of heaven to bring the glory of the Father to us. Does his birth not demonstrate his love for us?
Choosing to hold a grudge is tremendously powerful, controlling others and you. Forgiving is even more powerful, liberating others and you.
Jesus never turned away a person who came to him broken, hurting, and deemed “useless” by society and religious people.
The Lord does withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly.
Why should pastors think about the power of story?
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.
How can we as pastors, preachers, lay leaders, and disciple makers help our people bear good fruit?
FTC.co asks Jonathan Leeman, Research Fellow for the ERLC and Editorial Director of 9Marks Ministries, "Is there any problem with Christians voting pragmatically?"
If you want to change the movement of your church, you have to change the message.
We grieve at bedsides and empty beds, asking hard questions that might go unanswered for our lifetimes.
This week's links include resources on moms who need to slow down, trendiness and the Bible, women who struggle with pornography, and Paul's example in politics.
Happy are those to whom our Lord manifests himself, for his promise to such is that he will make his abode with them.
Hospitality is more than having a cookout.
Through our social media, we can bless or curse, build up or tear down, honor or dishonor the Lord Jesus Christ.
What encourages you about the younger generation?
Muslims in our country and abroad need the gospel of Christ. We need to preach it to them; we need to be their neighbors in the utmost way. This is exactly what Micah Fries and Keith Whitfield seek to show in their edited work, Islam and North America: Loving Our Muslim Neighbors.
Sometimes sanctification can feel frustrating, unfair, or useless. But God knows how to care for His children and to bring them to see Him as our superior satisfaction.
Jesus’ ministry in homes was a ministry of love. Such love in the most private of places was a most potent apologetic to an unbelieving world. It still is.
On this first installment of For The Church Mailbag, a new occasional feature of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson answers listener submitted questions related to the Christian life and ministry.
God, in his forever patience, humbles me over and over again and reminds me of my need for help from Him.
The Christian life, from beginning to end, is comprised of listening to God’s word and walking in obedience to it.
I don’t know of a person on Earth who doesn’t need to know what it feels like to be loved by God. Consequently, each week, with the Spirit’s help, we’re going to take our best shot at it.
What does Jesus think about those who have money and celebrity? Is there a place for them at his Table and in his circle of friends?
FTC.co asks Won Kwak, Lead Pastor of Maranatha Grace Church in Fort Lee, NJ: "What does the average churchgoer not understand about their pastor?"
The Bible says at least as much -- if not more -- about speaking the truth in love, not tearing down, and letting our speech be gracious as it does "letting people have it."
Willing submission to God’s plan, even when it looks different than ours, actually produces the fruit of patience and peace within us.
This week's links include resources on encouraging one another, women spreading the word, truths for grandparents, feeling God's love, loving your single friends, and pastors developing true friendships.
Come, my soul, exult before the God of grace and leap for joy of heart.
By and large, you’d be hard-pressed to find a missionary who used his last words to show regret.
How has ministry in the Bible Belt changed in the last 10 years?
The Reformation was costly for many. For John Frith, a committment to one Reformation doctrine cost him everything.
I knew it could be an awkward transition, but I figured that it’s better to be a happy church member than a joyless pastor.
In short, Baptists have had much to contribute to the church catholic when they have sought to build local churches and defend the freedom of religion with the Gospel and for the Gospel.
Faithful preaching finds soul-satisfaction in the heralding of the gospel and in nothing less.
As we invest in seasons of exile by pursuing the Lord and his work, we can rest assured we’re living out his will.
What should a young pastor know about shepherding elderly church members?
The wonders of God are inexhaustible and unsearchable, but are within our reach to enjoy.
Jesus likely won’t take you through a cardiac arrest or another near death experience, but I wonder what he might do in and through more dead pastors.
FTC.co asks Jen Wilkin, author and teacher at The Village Church in Dallas, TX, "How is grace different from permissiveness?"
This week's links include resources on age diversity in the church, lamenting, when work is hard, and renewed joy in ministry.
Next time someone opens up and cries in your presence, just sit there, listen, and watch what happens.
“Do you think you could wash the dishes tonight?” she calls sweetly. “Um, sure,” he replies. “I’ll do it in the morning before I head out." Mom sighs.
"Fear not, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward."
Instead of hiding the most important truths on the highest intellectual shelves, God makes them accessible to spiritual toddlers.
Why don’t more churches take the process of discipleship seriously?
Your consistency and persistence in the younger years will pay huge dividends in the teenage years.
Though the Scripture may be shown to be trustworthy by many historical and logical proofs, it is essentially received as true because of the revelation of God’s glory experienced through it.
The fact that we are singing to and about God ought to make us pause and breathe a little deeply and at least consider the words coming out of our mouths.
Culture will shift, our feelings will shift, and human opinion will shift. But truth will not.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson talks with pastor, author, and professor Zack Eswine about the problem of busy-ness in ministry and the promise of hope for the pastor who feels overwhelmed.
The depth of our roots in Christ will be exposed by how we respond when we get punched in the face.
Christ is particularly called the wisdom of God because he took the form of a servant and was made in human likeness.
My 20-year-old self bought the lie that flash, position, popularity, power, and success was the way to live ministry life. It is far better to strive for faithfulness to Jesus.
Worship is not a condiment, meant merely to flavor the Christian life.
FTC.co asks Christine Hoover, author and pastor's wife, "What encouragement do you have for the believer who feels like they're at the end of their rope?"
If I don’t believe the gospel, I will miss out on the joy of the it-ness of things.
Biblical theology corrects sentimental notions of the future God is preparing for us.
This week's links include resources on ordering our loves, what our liturgy celebrates, responding to pornography, and gratitude.
If a Christian can by possibility be saved while he conforms to this world, at any rate it must be so as by fire.
Yet we can take heart in the midst of it all because Christ has overcome the world.
What would you do differently if you could plant your church all over again?
A reading of the early chapters of Deuteronomy shows us that Moses' commandment to know that the Lord is God is not made in vain.
Christ upholds all things such that not one molecule fails to do it’s appointed task. Not one ant goes off course. Not one leaf withers and falls out of place. He upholds all things well.
George Cheever was right: God is against slavery and racism, as well as oppression and injustice of every kind, in every age.
The ministry of love outside of Sunday morning gatherings creates the credibility that not only arrests, but keeps the attention of those inside the church and outside it.
God is too great and good and glorious to forego the right, fitting, and delightful adoration that is due him from his creatures.
Pastors must be able to teach sound doctrine and all that accords with it.
How can Christians adopt appropriate concerns for justice while rejecting a social gospel?
We must have strong hermeneutical standards, but those hermeneutical standards are wrecked if we do not begin with all of Scripture being God-breathed.
The only perfect church, filled with non-problematic people is in Heaven. Be faithful in the present without wishing for the past.
FTC.co asks Jeff Dodge, Teaching Pastor at Cornerstone Church (Ames, Iowa), "Why should local churches be thinking more intentionally about college campuses?
Our song is truer and better.
This week's links include resources on collaborative creativity, Puritan women and the Bible, the Christian's role in #MeToo, and why we need rural churches.
Jesus suffered well because saving mankind was enough for him.
To trust him whose power will never be exhausted, whose love will never wane, whose kindness will never change, whose faithfulness will never fail, whose wisdom will never be nonplussed, and whose perfect goodness can never know a diminution!
Your lips can go on autopilot singing some of the most beautiful and gospel-rich songs ever written all the while your heart is not truly on the same page.
We may not recall every Scripture we’ve read, but God sustains our trust in him as we choose to consistently feed on his Word.
What are some ways to develop inter-generational discipleship in a church?
Your ministry is not about endless growth and it certainly isn’t about your fame; it’s about the difficult task of loving and caring for the sheep Jesus has sought and purchased.
The difficulty we face in our families takes time to process, and in The Storm-Tossed Family, Dr. Moore walks with the reader every step of the way.
I carefully study, edit, prepare, and pray over my sermon every week. What would it look like to prepare and pray about the words I speak at home?
Can we learn anything from the start of the attractional movement? On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson lists some positive steps the original seeker church movement made that were headed in the right direction, things we can still emulate and apply today.
Because the Christian life is a fight against sin and flesh and all their wayward children, we may often find ourselves knocked down, weary, and needing to get back up again while feeling we lack the strength to do it.
We mourn the passing of loved ones and friends, but if they are in Christ we don’t mourn like the world.
Death says you are less important than you’ve ever allowed yourself to believe. The gospel says you are far more loved than you’ve ever imagined.
God is in the business of opposing and exalting, of bringing down and lifting up.
FTC.co asks Robby Gallaty, Senior Pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN, "What are some ways churches today 'do discipleship' poorly?"
How would you live if you realized that nothing you fear could ever have the last word in your life?
This week's links include resources on missions and wanderlust, the 9th commandment and social media, creativity in doing good, compassion burnout, an 6 lessons for mental health issues.
Watch all 6 sermons from FTC18.
Better anything than death. The snarlings of the dog of hell will at least keep us awake, but dead faith and dead profession, what greater curses can a man have?
Trust that God is at work in your heart, and vulnerability is good because He makes it good.
True purpose is found in communion with our Father who invites us to draw near to his throne of grace with confidence because of Christ’s righteousness.
How should a Christian think about the place of politics in their life?
True greatness, according to Jesus, is found in being rather unimpressive.
When God gets involved, it doesn’t mean everything will be safe. It just means everything will matter.
Frith's call for Christian love doesn’t mean that he saw doctrinal debates about the Lord’s Supper as unimportant.
As a church plant begins to mature, the church planter should preach less by sharing the pulpit more.
How do you keep church discipline from being weird and mean?
Christians, of all people in the world, should be the best apologizers.
Apologetics and thoughtful witness effectively takes place where there is real and loving presence with others.
FTC.co asks Nathan Rose, pastor at Liberty Baptist Church in Liberty, MO, "Why is important for churches to maintain an accurate membership roll?"
When we suffer, we tend to ask lots of "why" questions. Here's the one thing we can know in our hurts.
This tension that we must keep in balance with God-given wisdom is really a call to be like Christ.
This week's links include resources on long-term community, living a diverse life, stronger small groups, and modeling forgiveness with children.
Know by full assurance thy glorious standing.
What if instead of making services about the altar, the priority of the gospel invitation was attached to the exhortation from Scripture?
God always does as he pleases, in unmatched wisdom.
How do you keep theological training from becoming intellectualism?
Pastor, you aren't ready to preach until you can state what your sermon is about in one, clear sentence.
Being safe emotionally is the thing that all other things in a marriage depend on.
The day after, everyone had cooled off a bit. I stepped into my mentor's office not knowing I was about to learn a lesson I would never forget.
How does gospel-driven sanctification work? On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson talks with pastor and author Darryl Dash about the ins and outs of practical spiritual growth.
What you do with that conviction is the difference between arrogance and humility, immaturity and maturity.
How good it is, however, that God has pointed out what we couldn't see and has made a way for our return to him.
This is fight of the Christian life: subduing what once subdued us. And, by God's grace, we will accomplish this task by his word and power.
The home is a microcosm of the church. If a man can’t lead his home effectively, how will he lead a church?
FTC.co asks Don Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, "How do you encourage someone who is struggling with prayer?"
I'm not convinced this thing can be settled online at all. But it's effecting real life relationships and it's effecting local churches, so the least we can do is start thinking and rethinking in terms of our online discourse.
The proof of God’s delight in saving sinners is the investment of His Son on the cross for our redemption even when we had nothing to offer Him.
This week's links include resources on speaking with non-Christians, no excuses for bad sermons, parenting daughters, and fighting the good fight.
Oh! marvellous mystery! we look into it, but who shall understand it?
Justification is not only the non-imputation of sin but the imputation of righteousness.
As I think of Josiah, I am challenged by his humility and sensitivity to God’s Word.
What are some important considerations for evangelicals taking the stand for traditional marriage?
Every Christian should read this old book, at the very least, to grow in the knowledge and enjoyment of the timeless One to whom it directs their thoughts.
A fictitious first-person narrative imagining what it was like for the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
Sure, you know how to handle to text. But can people tell that you have been with Jesus?
The Christian life is a life of discipleship, from every angle.
I know way too much of the ways of this dark world and the ways of depraved humanity to be innocent of evil.
What encouragements and cautions would you give Christians in thinking about food?
I know that he sees my every failure. He knows my every sin against him. Yet, he stands in my defense.
We should always want and expect there to be unbelievers present and listening in our services. How does that affect our communciation?
FTC.co asks Clint Pressley, Senior Pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church (Charlotte, NC), "What do you wish you'd known when you started as a pastor?"
A guide to the best barbeque, food, coffee, and things to do in Kansas City while you're here for FTC.
The gospel is indeed the antidote to every sin and suffering. But "just preach the gospel" misses the mark as the solution to all manner of ills, because the good news has necessary implications that adorn and amplify it.
Moving to campus and immersing yourself in a holistic experience shows you are serious about your training and that you have set apart this season for something special.
Prevailing prayer takes the Christian to Carmel, and enables him to cover heaven with clouds of blessing, and earth with floods of mercy.
The sparkling reality of the Christian life is that God not only meets our needs but often far surpasses them.
Wise forgetfulness is the fruit of finding our identity in Jesus Christ.
How should pastors think about parenting kids growing up in the ministry fishbowl?
Since the mission of the Church universal is to make disciples of all nations, any church structure should lead to the life transformation of those for whom Christ died.
While we might feel like we have more to do, we must rest in knowing that Christ’s work is done.
It’s tempting to try to salute the contemporary zeitgeist while also standing firm on the Bible, but this is difficult pose for the faithful Christian to hold for long.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson talks with David McLemore about prevalent concerns for church planting in areas that already have lots of churches.
The most beautiful beauty in this life is redemption, and redemption only comes through sacrifice.
Sometimes people have the mistaken idea that the gospel is something that is merely lived out before others, as in serving them.
If we experience giving and generosity as fundamentally an obligation and a duty, we will never unlock the joy that God has for us in it.
FTC.co asks Steve Bezner, Lead Pastor of Houston Northwest Church in Houston, TX, "What’s the most difficult thing in your life that has taught you the most?"
As worship leaders, our primary job is to raise our church’s gaze to Christ - to take their eyes off the mundane things of life and set them on the majesty of their Savior.
An interview with Jackie Hill Perry, whose new book Gay Girl, Good God releases today from B&H.
Greedy, lustful, predatory businessmen gain our support because "that's just the way the world works." "You've got to pick your poison." "The world isn't black and white." "What other choice do we have than picking the lesser of two evils?" Well, for starters, there is the way of Jesus.
This week's links include resources on covenant vows, the disabled and church, careful walking, and idol idolatry.
Why, dear reader, if such be your case, do you crave for signs and wonders?
It is a holy endeavor to stop and smell the roses so long as the rose is not the ultimate object from whom we seek rest.
A checklist without a heart change is giving a corpse a facelift.
What encourages you about the younger generation?
Contentment is not a feeling you drift in and out of. Rather, contentment is fueled by belief.
The inherent divine, organic unity of the Bible demands that faithful interpreters of the Scriptures recognize the theological coherence of the entire biblical canon.
Oh the untold wonders of things that may be accomplished from a unified gospel-front within the local church. Ask your pastor how you can help the church get there.
While we can’t drum up genuine zeal by our own power, God has given us his word to know him and prayer to commune with him.
What if one of my primary concerns in every situation was my holiness instead of my comfort?
We can’t look to the degrees on our wall or the title beside our name as evidence of qualification.
He came to serve, but he is not a butler; He’s the Lord God Almighty who is in the heavens and does whatever he pleases.
FTC.co asks Jen Wilkin (author and teacher at The Village Church in Dallas, Texas): "What are some misconceptions pastors often have about women and discipleship?"
God isn't calling gay people to be straight.
Pastor, you are justified by your faith, not by your church plant.
This week's links include resources on deleting Instagram, humble prayers, miracles, and the aftermath of when an unbeliever departs.
When the church pursues the Lord’s Supper with discipline and forms good habits around the table, the congregation is equipped to embrace unity wholeheartedly.
More especially it is the pleasure of God's people to contemplate the graciousness of this covenant.
When we experience even a fraction of the weight of who God is, the only response is utter surrender.
If we invest in others, even imperfectly, God will often multiply that investment more than we could imagine.
What should a new Christian who isn't being discipled do?
Not only was Jesus qualified to take the mantle of our suffering, he was willing. This drips with love from another land.
Bunhill Fields has never attracted the crowds of St. Paul’s, but the kingdom influence of those buried in that field lives far beyond the crowds through the churches that carry forth the same Gospel they preached and shared.
As parents, we are to point our children to Jesus. But before we can point them to Jesus, they, like us, need to see their need for him.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson talks with Russ Ramsey about what kind of pastor Jesus was and what pastors can learn from him about shepherding.
John came to point, he came to bear witness about the light, Jesus Christ.
Upon receiving this gift of life, God indwells us by his Spirit, changing our behavior and outlook for the eternal future.
God’s call upon man delivers the grace necessary for the godliness needed.
Jesus Christ came to the utmost of sinners bearing the utmost hope. Do not expect marketing to bring them to you.
FTC.co asks Christine Hoover, pastor's wife and author of Searching for Spring and Messy Beautiful Friendship, "What does the average churchgoer not understand about their pastor?"
Don't make your pastor groan.
Sometimes looking up from the grindstone and seeing what is happening around you in ministry through other believers is even more productive for Christ’s Kingdom.
This week's links include resources on hospitality in the church, 'God talk,' sacrifices made in preaching, healthy marriage, and reflections on Hurricane Harvey.
What an inexpressible sweetness is to be found in these few words!
We need to pay much closer attention to what we know to be true so we can live accordingly and not be in a complacent drift.
Carrying the consistent emotional weight of the various pains, fears, criticisms, suffering, and transitions of a congregation is a challenging vocation.
How is ministry in the South different than it was 10 years ago?
A family vacation is a gift of God, but a family vacation is not God. A vacation must never become our ultimate “happy place.”
Chances are, your people will remember your hospital visit for the rest of their life, even though they may not remember last Sunday’s sermon.
Given the neediness of the church, the cultural pressures we face, and the general social upheaval of our times, how we preach has never been more important.
This must humble us. In many parts of the world, believers have shed their blood for the cause of Christ or suffer for their faith in ways we never will.
Prayers for people we don't even know around the world to be brought to Christ engages us in the great purpose of the Christian life.
The best news of all is that Christ fighting for us. In fact, he already fought for us. And he won.
God uses most effectively preachers who are given over to the task of proclaiming the word of God with their whole person—holding nothing back.
FTC.co asks Jeff Dodge, Teaching Pastor at Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa, "What’s something about being a pastor the average churchgoer doesn’t understand?"
The healing of the deaf and the mute is just the beginning.
This week's links include resources on depression, Ecclesiastes, global missions and autonomy, scripture before phone, and non-epic church services.
It was our iniquities and transgressions that He suffered for, shedding light on the fact that it was not His own sins that He was carrying.
May we soon reach the city of the great King!
We believe in and confess that his death has absorbed the Father’s just wrath and washed our sin away.
The standard of beauty is God—the interplay of his own unity, diversity, and harmony.
What kind of books should pastors read that they normally don’t?
Don’t let the whisperer's harmless appearance, smooth talk, and flattering words fool you; he’s capable of much destruction.
Jonah, David, and Paul saw the value of sometimes putting their worst foot forward as a way to show a watching world how long, high, wide and deep is the love of God.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson talks about about how a church should respond when a pastor, under normal circumstances, resigns from his ministry.
Sacrifice is the first act of true love for the church because this is how Christ loved the church.
The world is a barren wilderness without love. You really do need each other.
God has not left us wondering about His character. He has not left us without the validation of who He is and what He is like.
FTC.co asks Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, "What encourages you about the future of the church?"
I know the reasons we don’t live transparently with each other.
This week's links include resources on mental illness, the visible church, discipleship and pastoral burnout, warning signs of a bad pastor, and the ministry hill to die on.
The body of Christ should be a refuge for the wounded.
The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, "Send me what thou wilt, my God."
Why don't more churches take discipleship seriously?
The good news the Lord Jesus Christ is God’s response to the bad news of eternal punishment for personal sin.
Being more and more aware of my own depravity simply leads me more and more to the cross.
Three thoughts on leading gospel-enriched change in any local church.
God calls us to die to self. Often that means we will be doing things that don't feel great.
Theological study, communion with God, and godly living comprehend one another.
Their souls also yearn for what is most glorious, and it is our privilege and solemn duty faithfully to display that glory as it is revealed in God’s Word.
I forever abandoned the idea of using the Bible to preach what I wanted. I had to actually preach the Bible.
We are limited in our ability, but Jesus makes sure we know our limitations are not a liability to Him.
When we don’t feel productive, the work we should look to and be comforted by is the work done by Jesus.
FTC.co asks Jonathan Leeman, Editorial Director for 9Marks Ministries, "Why is everyone so angry today?"
This week's links include resources on loneliness, the book of Acts, 15 reminders about hell, and pain knocking at your door.
What's the difference between the moralist and the Christian?
Here is comfort for the tried and afflicted soul.
Once we were grafted in, there was not, is not, and can never be any possibility that we do anything but remain in Him.
In my experience of counseling pastors, the single greatest cause of pastoral burnout is not taking a full day off every week.
Why should pastors care about writing?
Youth ministry might not need a total makeover. Instead, we need to think strategically about how to incorporate students into the life of the church.
Real ministry doesn’t start with a title, a salary, or a blog. Real ministry begins the moment a man is born again
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson visits with Noah Oldham about pastors pursuing physical fitness.
The Lord has preserved the integrity of the Gospel over many years.
God revealed himself wonderfully in history through the ugly and violent picture of the cross.
The humility of Christ calls us to let His loaned power rest in our hands, but never to close our fists around it.
FTC.co asks Nathan Rose, pastor at Liberty Baptist Church in Liberty, MO, "What traits should a pastor have who is leading church revitalization?"
When they dropped their nets, the disciples broke with the past and fully embraced the future with Jesus.
I’m not talking about having a bad day. I’m talking more about having a bad life.
Only knowing I am nothing can I see that He upholds my spirit when I fall—preserving me to the end
This week's links include resources on student ministry, making social media more Christian, Ecclesiastes and our secular age, and pausing in pressure.
Passing all human union is that mystical cleaving unto the Church, for which Christ left his Father, and became one flesh with her.
The progress I’ve made in Augustine is minimal, but I would like to offer my current thoughts on reading this intellectual giant.
What does discipleship driven by the gospel look like?
God’s love for the world and desire to provide salvation is why God became man.
Scene by scene, God is crafting our lives into stories that reflect his beauty and bend it toward others.
What if we all opened our heart to the kindness of Jesus Christ? Maybe he could transform your city into a modern-day Geneva.
The key to prayer is a heart of dependence. Pray with the holy urgency of one who has a need that only Jesus can meet.
If you would hesitate to tell a fellow Christian that you are a fan of a certain show – or would hesitate to tell a fellow fan that you are a Christian – you need to rethink your entertainment choices.
Each and every person who names the name of Christ has, by necessity, come to a place when they have seen their sin.
While on vacation, I reflect on my life in every dimension, seek to identify personal weaknesses, and strive to strengthen them.
FTC.co asks Don Whitney, "What are some misconceptions people have about the spiritual disciplines?"
Beloved, you have a Wonderful Counselor. Heed his instruction about what is better.
The Lord provides the strength needed for the obedience he requires.
The idea that the holy God of the universe, the only one who has the absolute right to condemn us and dismiss us, declares his approval over us because of Jesus’ taking our sin and shame is so wonderful, so hope-giving, so steadying.
We think that we are standing up for the truth, but maybe we are just meeting someone’s sin with more sin of our own.
This week's links include resources on aspiring theologians, grief, teaching kids theology, Instagram and the Christian, and genealogies.
God loves to see the hearts of his people glowing towards himself.
Has social media changed the way we think?
Christians who are building personal libraries should be utilizing these resources for the purpose of being conformed to the image of Christ and helping others to follow suit.
Every woman has something dynamic to bring to a local body.
It is not nostalgia that prompts me to read the Bible on paper; it is the expectation of encountering on every page the God who wrote it.
Ron Prach, who served for over 45 years in the same church, reflects on the things learned in a long-term pastorate.
Let’s face it: being nominal is a breeze, but standing strong as a true believer can be very costly.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson discusses some ways the seeker service approach to church gatherings may be "upside down."
How do you respond when someone you know has sinned against you, or maybe people you love?
FTC.co asks Trillia Newbell, Director of Community Outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, "What are some important things to remember in talking to our children about ethnic diversity?"
Perhaps, though, taking control of your calendar isn’t just an issue of time management. Maybe it is actually a spiritual discipline or even an act of discipleship.
My sinful heart might crave omniscience, but a good and loving God will never give it to me.
We may not be able to keep our pastor from falling, but we can invest in his personal, marital, and ministerial health in such a way that the temptations are lessened.
If a pastor doesn’t feel like the sermon he delivers is that important, why on earth would his congregation feel different?
This week's links include resources on leading leaders, Bonhoeffer and spiritual disciplines, when God isn't there, and spiritual gifts.
Our faith will be tried faith, and if it be of the true kind, it will bear continued trial without yielding.
Pray to bravely and boldly expose the lies in your own church body and step confidently into the truth.
What’s something about being a pastor the average churchgoer doesn’t understand?
When we live in the way in which we have been made to live, we will find satisfaction, meaning, and joy.
Sometimes, the ‘No’ we hear as an answer to prayer tells us more than any ‘Yes’ could have.
One day, Christian, “getting out of your comfort zone” will no longer be required. It won’t even be a possibility!
Over time, our increasing conformity to the image of Christ makes us more human in all the ways we are meant to be human, not less.
Exercise thy right, O believer, and live up to thy privilege.
Every day, entrepreneurial Christians are planting parachurch seeds producing ministries that populate the West.
If Jesus truly is the best thing in this world, we are free to be nobodies.
FTC.co asks Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, "What’s the problem with unhitching the Old Testament from our theology?"
You could completely bomb this change challenge that’s before you. I mean fall-on-your-face fail. And God’s love for you will not change.
For many, “joy” and “reading plan” don’t jive. How many of us have set out January 1 with Genesis 1 only to fail somewhere around Leviticus 10?
If everything is exciting, nothing is.
We need no other mediator between God and Man; Jesus is enough.
This week's links include resources on how to be a burden, planting seeds with kids, essentials for new team members, and fauxnerability in the church.
I am only asking what he delights to give.
I want to tell you what God sees when he looks at you, why I love you, and how I hope to encourage you in the midst of our cynical culture.
This call is not merely a nudge toward a more polished homiletical delivery; rather it comes with the weighty knowledge that the message of a crucified and risen Christ alone saves.
For elder and younger brother types alike, the Father in heaven extends a generous and affectionate ‘welcome home.’
Sometimes for all of our learnedness, experience, and ministry strategizing— we forget that the battle is Jesus’ to win.
We are in desperate need of Christian wisdom, but not barbaric untamed and undignified rhetoric. It's doing us no good.
The supremacy of Christ over all things is what makes preaching him valuable, whether it is to 30 or 3,000.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson talks with Won Kwak, Lead Pastor of Maranatha Grace Church in Fort Lee, New Jersey, about growing up a pastor's kid, raising up leaders in the church, and the challenges and opportunities of doing ministry in New York City metro.
He is working all things for our good while we are being conformed to the image of his Son.
We’re not called to model perfection for our churches, our sole responsibility is to shine the spotlight on the only One who ever was perfect.
My church won’t remember everything I say but they will remember what I repeatedly talk about.
The solution is to realize that political power must always begin with the gospel. It alone possesses the ability to change a heart, produce true justice, and permanently unite enemies.
He makes the Samaritan the hero. Why?
Having my fears become my reality hasn’t changed my belief in this truth. Now, more than ever, I affirm that, despite our fears, we can trust and obey God.
This week's links include resources on singles in the church, prayerful people, loving wisdom, and the brevity of life.
An ounce of heart's-ease is worth a ton of gold.
The funeral is not your Sunday morning exposition. It is a unique situation in which you have been given a special assignment.
This is what you preach, seek to understand, adore, and center your life on – the gospel.
What difficult thing in your life taught you the most?
We read Ephesians 5:22-26 and there is no avoiding it: God has called men to be spiritual leaders in the home.
No matter what you are going through you have to know that you can keep going because God keeps his word.
The church must spot the lie. The church must preach and teach the truth. The church must celebrate God-made order.
Jesus Christ is the hope of all nations and from the nations he will gather his people.
There are few things more dangerous to a church than a pastor who is extraordinarily endowed on the gifting side and extraordinarily deficient on the character side.
Is there a certain test - designed by you, administered by you, and graded by you - that one must pass to be included in God’s kingdom?
There is no substitute for being present. There is no greater gift than helping another understand the Bible.
We insist we have “good news” for the world. But not for a moment can we think the news is good because it has somehow done away with notions of an angry, wrathful God.
Discipleship to Christ is very difficult. But it is incomparably joyful.
We must be willing to be sent if that is God’s will for us, and if not, to give our lives to sending those whom God has called to go.
This week's links include resources on long-distance friendships, warning signs of moral failure, beauty in hard times, habits of great Bible teachers, and living intentional lives.
The Lord's character assures us that he will not leave his people.
Just like in our salvation when we know we contribute nothing and God has done it all, so I know that He chose me to fulfill his mission and He is the one doing the work.
God has indeed made us, by gifting and by calling, for certain tasks.
Is it more comfortable to stay in a tent of doctrinal ease at basecamp or to trek up the mountain to a summit where I can experience the very person of Jesus?
Our personality type never gives us license to continue to disobey God's clear direction.
While challenging, Edwards will greatly benefit those who persevere in reading his works.
Church planter, your calling is to dynamically love your family as you lead your church family.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson discusses how the good news of the finished work of Jesus Christ applies to the ongoing work of the pastor -- his life, heart, and shepherding.
But what if your name has already been given to you, and your legacy has already been achieved?
The wallets that remain empty force us to find our joy in things that cannot be valued by Wall Street and Instagram.
What is the key to unlock the deep mysteries of eternal life? A humble recognition that we don’t have it all together.
FTC.co asks Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, "What difficult thing in life has taught you the most?"
Three reasons to do the very countercultural thing of actually staying in the church that’s simply not cool enough.
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.
This week's links include resources on youth groups, substitutionary atonement, leaving your first love, advice for new parents, and how to wait well.
The water tastes different in Oak Ridge. The sounds outside are harsh. Shouting matches and profanities are common. These are daily realities in urban, government-subsidized housing developments like Oak Ridge. On most nights, however, a different tune resounds amid the discord. Two men, with large chests and thick mustaches, cheerfully discuss the latest Premier League soccer match...in Arabic. One used to be a police officer in…
We are here as the "salt of the earth," to be a blessing to the world.
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
In the midst of trying to decrease debt, do not allow the Enemy to make you indifferent, scared, or stagnant.
There is a lot of necessity in the rural church. There is less money and fewer bells and whistles. But the Spirit is there. And the gospel is universally applicable.
As modern life runs ever faster on fiber optics and high-speed internet, redemptive history continues to load thoughtfully, pensively, and slowly.
The priority of the church should be seen in the things we do and say.
More than merely what we can know, the hope that dwells within us is grounded in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ.
Transfer growth is an inevitable part of church life. But sheep stealing jeopardizes church health.
I don’t deserve mercy; I deserve judgment. I deserve quick, exacting, unrelenting, justice.
Approval flows from heaven and floods this earth in Christ. Let’s advance the tide in our day.
The elder who shies away from exercising oversight does the church a disservice just like the authoritarian elder who rules with an ungodly dominance.
FTC.co asks Trevin Wax, Bible and Reference Publisher at Lifeway Christian Resources, "What kind of books should pastors read that they may not normally be drawn to?"
I want to finish strong. Don't you?
This week's links include resources on the gift of singleness, women in Scripture, special needs ministry in the church, when your boss isn't a Christian, and moms who have needs.
Man’s supreme function through all eternity is to reflect God’s highest glory…that God might look into the mirror called man and see His own glory shining there.
Jesus is the great teacher of lowliness of heart.
In disregarding the total authority of the Word of God, people seek to take the throne of authority themselves
Our pursuit of unity in the body does not relax our love of theology, and our desire to handle the Word with care.
"What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?"
Consider the fact that God is shaping you and growing you as a person through your occupation.
According to the Bible, we experience loneliness not because there is something wrong with us, but because there is something right with us.
The fact that God calls and gifts some in extra measure does not absolve every Christian, and especially every minister, from doing the work of an evangelist.
When we go to ourselves for our confidence or encouragement we will end up finding more doubt.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson talks with Charles Smith, Vice President for Institutional Relations at Midwestern Seminary, about the ins and outs of gospel-centered leadership.
Praise the Lord that our eternity hinges not on our ability to live out a “therefore,” but on Jesus’ righteous life on our behalf.
There is a madness in missions driven by one ultimate question: “Does it work?”
FTC.co asks Clint Pressley, Senior Pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church (Charlotte, NC): "If a staff member disagrees with the pastor on an important issue, what should they do?"
When the way of Jesus clashes with "street smarts."
The diligent pursuit of wisdom will train us to act wisely and prepare us for difficulties in life.
This week's links include resources on detecting prosperity gospel churches, love according to the Puritans, seeking man's approval, and pastoring anxious people.
Dust and ashes though we be, we must and will "magnify the exceeding greatness of his grace."
Being spoon fed the truth doesn’t result always result in an abiding faith.
Has God called you to stay behind? Be faithful in the so-called mundane
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
We are nothing on our own. But in Christ, we are something beyond imagination.
My fears are real. They can’t be ignored, denied, or spiritualized into something they’re not. But for me, they can camouflage a deeper reality.
Our lives are meant to be utterly and unapologetically gospel-centered. This is true balance.
Jesus was trampled by the wrath of God on our behalf.
The point in Scripture is never the location or size of the gathering, but the purpose and activity of the gather.
Believing the finished work of Jesus means believing that the gospel is all the approval and compliment we need.
We are hopeless in our Christian lives if we have not the charter of Christ held fast against our hearts.
When you and I encounter trials, we need the ability to see what God is doing, to see that our trials are not wasted.
5 errors that masquerade as biblical confession of sin.
We should compare our calendars to God’s commands and see where our lives are out of alignment, then make adjustments where necessary.
This week's links include resources on walking by faith, a pastor's schedule, corporate confession, foolish creativity, selfies, and how men can encourage women in ministry.
What golden sentences drop from his gracious lips!
Dream about the future together and celebrate your diversity as you do.
I would not have been called to my current church if I had abandoned the convictions that caused that first church to reject me.
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
Christian leaders, consider this: you have been given stewardship, not ownership
David’s sin didn’t start with Bathsheba in his bed; it started with Bathsheba in his mind.
May we be content to fulfill what God has called us unto—nothing less, but nothing more— and then rest in his goodness.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson visits with Dr. J.D. Greear, Pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, and author of the new book Not God Enough.
As ashamed as I am for doubting, I am so grateful to the Lord for this gracious reminder and confirmation.
We needed to hold up the honor of Christ and the standard of repentant holiness while also showing love and patience to the wayward members.
How amazing it is that Jesus takes the cup of wrath once and for all!
Jesus Christ is the fountain from whom all blessings flow, and biblical theology is the scriptural map that helps guide us to this ever-flowing fountain.
An upright life is a grace to others.
Church members are told to read their Bibles but are seldom instructed how to do so.
This week's links include resources on gratitude and gratefulness, leadership, how to be nicer, God's gentleness and strength, and the god of busyness.
It may be all dark now, but it will soon be light; it may be all trial now, but it will soon be all happiness.
The fact that people are willing to open up their lives to you in their most vulnerable and intimate moments is the true gift of pastoral ministry, and it is also the true burden.
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
Because of who He is, in light of who we are, and because we are received by Him, we worship this infinitely other God with hearts full of gratitude and praise!
When key words are missing in our gospel vocabulary, the ministry of “sound words” is lacking.
Many churches are pursuing a bit more "simple church." We’ve gotten the memo that activity does not equal godliness.
God have mercy on us if we consider any possession to be so precious that we would prefer it over Him.
True happiness is obedience to the word of God and our dependency on it.
The fact that “Christ came to get us out of hell” isn’t a small thing, but is a truth so wondrous we’ll proclaim it for all eternity.
Show the kids in your ministry the gospel in your actions. Show that it isn’t just a message of empty words, but a message of power from a holy and gracious God.
Transitions in ministry are never going to be easy. Therefore, we have a responsibility to minister even more diligently today.
FTC.co asks Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor of The Village Church, "How can a church know its on the right track? What are some signs of faithfulness?"
Take a look, book by book, at the many things God's word says about God's words.
This week's links include resources on being a dad, missionaries in a secular land, video games, kids and racial reconciliation, the church and natural disasters, and your dispensability.
We need a script, a revelatory rehearsal for the crushing inevitability of life and death.
Will you take my Master's house on a lease for all eternity, with nothing to pay for it, nothing but the ground-rent of loving and serving him forever?
While the world has distorted the purpose of sex, the Bible, and specifically the Song of Solomon teaches us that sex serves a greater purpose.
Godly people who are about the gospel say goodbye often, confident in our union together as the family of God and confident that we will celebrate again.
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
Jesus' work on the cross was empirically a failure, but invisibly, it was redemption's greatest success.
Your sin can’t kick you out of God’s love because your righteousness never put you in it.
Pastor, as you seek to shepherd your congregation, don’t wait until suffering comes. Don’t start preparing people for death in the ICU.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson offers some practical ways to craft sermons that inspire and empower congregations live on mission in their communities.
The beauty of each one’s service flowed from a humble love for the truth.
Ask for God’s wisdom and strength and do your part in the lives of those you might influence.
Precisely because saying "sorry" is a counter to the sin of pride, we need to be able to do it when necessary.
If we are not willing to suffer for our convictions, then they are not convictions at all, they are conveniences.
FTC.co asks Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, "How do you write sermons? Describe your sermon preperation process."
Jesus is our moral example, of course, but the power for enduring, joyful obedience comes not from trying to be like him, but in first believing that he has become like us . . .
This week's links include resources on pastors getting things done, spiritual gifts, teaching kids to love God, Christian hospitality, and racial reconciliation in the SBC.
The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.
We need a better reckoning of what is inevitable and what is fleeting, of what is emerging and what is retreating.
What difficult thing in your life has taught you the most?
The listening, loving, inclined ear of God is a gift that flows from the gospel.
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.
What if the autonomy you seemingly operate under really casts something of an illusion?
We’ve placed extra-Gospel demands on ourselves, and as such, have sought extra-Gospel means of reconciling ourselves to God.
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.”
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.
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 delightful to reflect how close is Christ's union with his people.
Brokenness is our condition; wholeness is our goal.
The church must always bear witness to the risen Christ.
What advice would you give a young couple struggling with family worship?
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.
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?
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.
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.
The Bible itself describes our lives as vapors that vanish quickly. We must recognize today that we are not promised tomorrow.
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
Preaching the gospel with creativity and novelty is nothing to celebrate when it comes at the expense of the truth.
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.
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.
When you join a local church, you’re committing to helping other covenant members faithfully follow Jesus.