These reflections were prompted by a statement that was recently brought to my attention. The speaker used 1 Corinthians 14:1 as a springboard to declare that bringing prophetic words to people is the best gift to have. Prophetic words being in the form of “God told me that . . . ” The “that” is usually something that the listener needs to do in response to what the speaker thinks is beneficial.
All of the items in the list above are related to the second great command to love my neighbor. A list like this is helpful because it reminds me that to love my neighbor, I have to get to know him and know what is going on in his life.
Mark 6 records the events when Jesus returned to his hometown of Nazareth. The townspeople were not quick to recognize the significance of what Jesus was doing. In fact, Mark records that Jesus “could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.” Jesus’ response […]
Any of us that have sat under Biblical preaching for any length of time have felt the sting when Scripture confronts us in areas of idolatry or rebellion. We need to have the discipline to find and stay with a church that will faithfully allow us to be confronted by Scripture.
As church leaders we must keep in mind whose is the responsibility to build the church. It is not the pastor’s responsibility. It is not the elders’ responsibility. It is not the preacher’s responsibility. It is Christ’s and Christ’s alone (Matthew 16:18).
The opening verses of Matthew 3 record the preaching of John the Baptist. While reading this passage, what jumped out at me is what John said to the Pharisees and Sadducees. He called them a “brood of vipers” and he went on to critique their behavior. I’m sure that the Pharisees and Sadducees bristled at […]
When I see Jesus, it is less difficult to think that God really cares for me as an individual. When I see Jesus, the unseen reality begins to make itself almost tangible.
One of the Christian platitudes that I find most irritating is “God will not give you more than you can handle.” Try telling that to Gideon and the 300 men with him as they moved toward a battle with the entire Midian army. Try telling that to Job who, in addition to experiencing the loss of health, wealth and family, had to endure the empty and sometimes harsh words of his so-called friends.
I have nearly completed my sixth decade of life, nearly all of it as a believer, yet I find myself trying to earn the approval of both God and the people around me. I need to transition from trying to earn God’s approval to responding to the love and acceptance that I already have. Rather than an initiator, I need to be a responder.
It is right to want more people sitting under the preaching of the gospel. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to learn from others. But the danger is that we can lose focus on what real spiritual growth looks like and we lose sight of who causes that growth.