Weekly Once-Over (10.9.2014)

You Do Who You Are: Our people seemed to be doing well at loving one another, but were having a hard time regularly engaging in the lives of the people in our city. It started to feel as if we had to keep reminding them of what to do on a weekly basis. And unfortunately it seemed as if we had just adopted a new kind of legalism—a “missional to-do list”—that had started to feel like a new form of spiritual slavery that left the leaders feeling like taskmasters. This was clearly not the free and abundant life the gospel promised to deliver. 

Unintended Pharisees: Revealing and Redeeming the Hypocrite Within: No pastor or church leader likes to see the spirit of judgmentalism in others. In fact, Pharisees seem to be the only ones who like themselves. But this is a blind spot in our own lives, too. Pharisaical attitudes are often revealed through difficult situations.

Self-Control And The Power of Christ: It’s not a flashy concept or an especially attractive idea. It doesn’t turn heads or grab headlines. It can be as seemingly small as saying no to another Oreo, French fry, or milkshake — or another half hour on Netflix or Facebook — or it can feel as significant as living out a resounding yes to sobriety and sexual purity. It is at the height of Christian virtue in a fallen world, and its exercise is quite simply one of the most difficult things you can ever learn to do.

Do You Have Confidence In Christ That Can Handle Ebola?: So I’m thinking about a man in Dallas who took his last breath today. But I am also thinking about a man in Louisville today whose final breath may come sooner than he expects. And I am praying for the Lord to have mercy on him and his family and to make him ready to exalt Him either by life or by death.

Pastor Saeed's Letter To His Daughter Rebekka: Saeed Abedini, the American pastor imprisoned in Iran, writes an encouraging and beautiful letter to his daughter on her eighth birthday. Pastor Saeed Abedini wrote this letter to his daughter for her 8th birthday, which was on September 12. This is the third birthday of Rebekka’s that Pastor Saeed has missed while he languishes in an Iranian prison for his faith.

Is It Wrong To Earn A Profit?: The ability to earn a profit thus results in multiplying our resources while helping other people. It is a wonderful ability that God gave us, and it is not evil or morally neutral, but is fundamentally good. Through it we can reflect many of God’s attributes, such as love for others, wisdom, sovereignty, and planning for the future.

6 Great Reasons To Study Doctrine: I love doctrine. Doctrine is simply the teaching of God or the teaching about God—the body of knowledge that he reveals to us through the Bible. I guess I’m one of those geekly people who loves to learn a new word and the big idea behind it. But I hope I do not love doctrine for doctrine’s sake. Rather, I strive to be a person who loves doctrine for God’s sake. Today I want to give you 6 great reasons to study doctrine.

5 Tips For Business Leaders On Mission: I’ve owned three businesses in the last few years. I’ve also held a high level executive positions that have had me on the road on a very regular basis. I know from experience that it can be harder to live on mission in everyday life when you are in a different city or country every week on business. Or when you have to run to Costco in the middle of your missional community gathering to grab milk for your coffee shop because they ran out. I’d like to share a few things with you that were helpful to me when I was on the road and/or very busy at work. Remember, these only apply if you are not working too much or neglecting your relationship with Jesus and your family.

photo credit: Jason Carpenter via photopin cc