As we close this series on praying for our pastors, let’s talk about his most important ministry (aside from his ministry to his wife and children). In order to do so, we need to turn again to Paul’s words to Timothy:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. ~~2 Timothy 4:1-5 (ESV)
Paul wrote this epistle from prison, acutely aware that he would soon be beheaded for proclaiming the Gospel. Except for personal requests, this passage contains his last instructions to the young pastor. For that reason, he began (in verse 1) by emphasizing the solemnity of Continue reading
Don’t you cherish the friends God has blessed you with in the body of Christ? Whether those friends attend the same local church with you, worship at a church you attended in the past or connect with you online, they encourage your growth in Christ. You need them and they need you! Nothing matures a Christian quite like fellowship.
Have you ever thought about the opportunities your pastor has for mutual friendships? Certainly, he spends time with the other elders in the church, and may even host a men’s Bible Study. But as the primary authority figure Continue reading
Your pastor, like mine, requires your prayers on a regular basis. He’s probably a godly man whose faithfulness and integrity serves as a model for everyone in the congregation, making it seem as if he’s a spiritual giant with no personal problems or needs. His willingness and availability to minister to each person in the church lend credence to the idea that he exists solely for our benefit. Thus, we often fail to understand that he has just as many physical and spiritual needs as we have.
This week, I plan to offer a few ideas on how we can pray for our pastors. By no means will I touch on every area in which these men need prayer support; I regret my own shortcomings in praying for the two men who shepherd the church I attend. Rather, I hope my posts will spark ideas, leading you to develop your own ways of praying for your pastor.
For me, the most difficult area of praying for my pastors has been Continue reading
Other bloggers and social media mavens are currently (and finally) pointing out the problems of “discernment ministries” being hyper-vigilant in calling out orthodox Christians with whom they disagree on secondary matters. As tempting as it is to throw my hat into that ring, however, I believe it’s more edifying to continue my series on how discernment applies in everyday Christian life.
I know — I’d attract more readers by blogging about the first topic. Too bad! Sometimes writing about the things that reflect God’s priorities takes precedence over building my readership. On the other hand, if everyone else is sounding the alarm, I don’t need to add my voice, now do I?
You’ll remember that back in December I began writing about using discernment according to Biblical prescriptions. Certainly, discernment includes distinguishing truth from error and occasionally calling out false teachers (I want to be clear that I support such uses of discernment when appropriate), but I believe we should recognize that discernment Continue reading
Conventional wisdom tells us that successful evangelism requires building a case for the Gospel apart from the Bible. Arguing from history, archaeology and science can substantiate Scripture’s claims, thereby convincing people of its veracity. And certainly history, archaeology and science does support God’s Word.
The problem with relying on disciplines outside of the Bible to defend Christianity, however, lies in the implicit (even if unintended) assumption that something outside the Bible has greater authority than the Bible itself. Even though non-Christians do regard these disciplines as more authoritative, when we Continue reading
I seriously considered breaking with my tradition of posting Christmas hymns during the month of December. It seemed all too predicable. Too expected!
But think about all the predictions the Old Testament prophets made about the coming Messiah. Each prediction filled believing Jews with hopeful expectation, knowing that Messiah would bring freedom. While most Jews ended up missing Messiah when He came, some actually did understand Who He was.
This Advent season, perhaps we need to expect Christ’s Second Coming, which He Himself predicted. He was faithful to fulfill the predictions of the prophets; should we expect anything less now?
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For over 30 years, “How Firm A Foundation” has been my favorite hymn. It has brought me conviction about the sufficiency of Scripture, courage in times of fear, hope during heartbreak, comfort during trials and confidence regarding eternity.
Originally, I had planned to blog about specific instances in which the Lord used this hymn to minister to me. And perhaps some of you might have enjoyed that narration. (Or perhaps I flatter myself in thinking you’d enjoy it.) But in mulling it over, I couldn’t see how such a post would keep the focus on Jesus.
So as you listen to this hymn, I want you to think about His faithfulness in your lives rather than His faithfulness in mine. How has Scripture assured you? How has He strengthened you with His presence, blessed your sorrows, taken you through extreme difficulties and assured you that nothing will divide you from Him?
The foundation of His Word is firm enough to last. Eternally.
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