Weekly Once-Over (09.4.2014)
Jesus Cares About Your Words: Jesus is Lord over all. And as the Cosmic Emperor, he reigns over Neptune, pinwheel galaxies, birds, blades of grass, and our words. Jesus is Lord over our sentences. The Lordship of Christ has no boundaries. There is not an area of our lives that we can rope off and tell Jesus, “Not here, bub.” Jesus cares about our speech.
A Gospeled Church: You cannot grow in holiness and holier-than-thou-ness at the same time. So a church that makes its main thing the gospel, and when faced with sin in its ranks doesn’t simply crack the whip of the law but says “remember the gospel,” should gradually be seeing grace coming to bear.
You Must Put Sin To Death: Owen says that Christians—the choicest Christians—hate sin and pursue it to its death. Could there be a conclusion that is farther from the world around us? The world, the flesh, and the devil tell us to pursue our sin, to enjoy our sin, to go deeper and deeper into our sin, to identify ourselves by our sin, to become our sin. God’s Word tells us to identify our sin, to hate our sin, to destroy our sin. And by God’s grace we can do that very thing. He can give us a revulsion toward our sin, and then empower us to kill it. Praise God!
He Must Increase; Our Churches Must Decrease: There is one thing that the churches experiencing historic revival have in common: they seemed overrun with the sense of the glory of God. They preached the gospel and the response was, as some describe, that “glory came down.”
Good News For The Poor: The church has made mistakes in the past by farming out, almost exclusively, social justice-type ministries to parachurch organizations. The church has also been guilty of paternalism and malevolent generosity when it comes to things such as soup kitchens, food pantries, and so forth. We’ve too often confused free handouts with Christian ministry. Instead, we should be evangelizing, discipling, equipping, and sending out people as they minister within local churches.
A Tale Of Two Mars Hills: A drift in doctrine, a drift from the truth, has a devastating impact. There is a massive difference in holding tightly to the “faith delivered once and for all to the saints” and continually questioning, as Satan did in the garden, “Did God really say…?” Putting on trial what the Lord has clearly declared is the antithesis of watching your doctrine. One Mars Hill, and numerous observers, has been adversely impacted by a failure to closely watch life, and one by a failure to watch doctrine.
When You Wonder Who Is Thinking Of You: The trail of tears is thinking of myself and looking for others to give to me. The trail of joy and blessing is thinking of God and others. The fight that so often happens in my heart happens because this isn't a natural response, but it is possible by the Holy Spirit who resides in me.
4 Things God Says To Singles: About 35 percent of adult church members in Britain are single, so clearly the subject of singleness has considerable personal interest to many people in our churches. Each single person will have a different experience. There are age differences. Being single at 20 is very different from being single at 30, 40, or 70. There are circumstantial differences: some have never married, while others are divorcees, widows, or widowers. And there are experiential differences: some have chosen to be single and are basically content; others long to be married and feel frustrated. What does the Bible say to all these people?
Ten Simple Ways Your Church Can Serve Foster Families: Foster care is a Church problem, not a state child welfare problem. It is a Gospel issue first, not a government issue. The Church has both the duty and privilege to speak on behalf of and stand for the sake of those who cannot speak and stand for themselves because that is exactly what God has done for us through Jesus. That's the Gospel.