Weekly Once-Over (3.26.2015)

The Christian And Common Grace: ...the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit, who strives with unconverted men in order to restrain them from being as sinful as their immoral imaginations would lead them to be. This is a general restraint upon their lives, impeding them from being fully engrossed in their sins.

How To Practice Christian Encouragement: When we encourage someone, we have the opportunity to speak healing truth into their life. We do this by grace through a heart changed by Christ and words drawn from Scripture. In this way, may we strive to excel in building up the church.

Stop Just Going To Church: Most people will spend one third of their lives at work and at least another third in or around their homes; that means that more than two-thirds of our lives are considered non-ministry space. In addition, most still believe church is a place you go for one-to-four hours a week where most of the discipleship happens. This means a very large majority of Christians see only a very small percentage of their lives dedicated to the mission of making disciples. It’s no wonder so few believers are fruitful in ministry.

What Makes A Man: It is humbling to note that the greatest danger to any man exist inside of him, not outside of him. Sin makes me willing to be less than the man God designed me to be, and for that, I need forgiveness and transforming grace. The next generation of men may need to be challenged to be real men. But more than anything, they need to be introduced to the Savior who alone can make that possible.

Glory Junkies (Part 1): This may seem harsh, but be honest - you and I often see people as a waste of time. Because we're overly confident and independent, people become an irritating and unhelpful interruption of what we could accomplish on our own. How often do you blow people off completely, or at least "tolerate" their lesser opinions while masking your frustration? Ask yourself - do I actually think I need the body of Christ?

Glory Junkies (Part 2): In this violent rehabilitation process, there is hope for you. God will not - he cannot - sit back and watch you destroy your own life in a selfish pursuit of glory. So, he will run you down, humble you, and ultimately dethrone you, not in a cruel manner that takes pleasure in your pain, but in a loving rebuke that prioritizes your eternal delight over momentary satisfaction. God will not relent until your addicted heart has been fully cleansed. That's good news for junkies like me and you!

Why Did God Give The Tree Of The Knowledge of Good And Evil?: Finally, if we could sum up all these reasons into one basic thought, it’s that God wanted to make things explicit. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil clarified humanity’s relationship with God, set expectations, held out promises and threats, and instructed Adam in what his truest and deepest good was. God is not arbitrary, cruel, or unclear. He declares his law explicitly for the good of his creatures. Unfortunately, we very explicitly botched it. Thankfully, he declares his gospel by an even clearer word: Jesus.

How To Multiply Disciples Like Jesus: This kind of discipleship will shift a demoralized younger generation into mature disciples of Jesus Christ who will go out to make, mature, and multiply more disciples. I eagerly expect a revival through the restoration of prayer and discipleship. May we boldly disciple the younger generation in faith—just as Paul did Timothy (2 Tim. 3:10-16). May we boldly ask God to fan the flame of our gifts, through prayer and devoted discipleship.

How To Pray All Day: Begin the day with God. Spend the day with God. Close the day with God. “This life of communion with God, and constant attendance upon him, is a heaven upon earth.” Indeed.

Dating A Non-Virgin: But let us not make virginity a form of righteousness before God or a replacement for a grace-filled character.