These next few weeks are going to hold changes for all of us as our communities work through the challenges posed by COVID-19.
In the midst of these uncharted times, we who know Christ, can still proactively practice faith. And even when our world is turned upside down, we can trust that God is in control and that He is working.
One of the most special times between a mother and child is when they spend time reading a book together. I always loved it when one of my kids would crawl up in my lap and ask me to read a story. Now, I especially love it when one of my grandkids asks me to read a story!
With the rise of interest in real, scriptural revival has come concern in some quarters that seeking and preaching revival might do us harm. Some voices express the fear that a revival emphasis will bring disappointment that will hurt faith.
Have you ever found yourself thinking: “I wish I had more time?” When flying back home from the East Coast, I have sometimes had the ridiculous notion—“This is going to be an awesome day! I gain three hours flying home. I have twenty-seven hours today to get everything done.”
At Lancaster Baptist Church, we give “Christmas gifts to Jesus.” It’s an opportunity for us as a church to tangibly give to the Lord whose birthday we celebrate, and it’s a great way for children to be reminded of the real purpose of Christmas.
Christmas will be difficult for many this year. Perhaps the death of loved ones is becoming incredibly real all over again, or maybe financial hardships have brought a family to the breaking point. I hurt deeply for those who are struggling, suffering, or sorrowing this Christmas.
Great potential can come out of nowhere, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Christmas narrative. Jesus is the greatest and most impacting Man to have ever walked the face of this planet, because He was God that came as man as stated in John one and Philippians two.
Without a doubt, our greatest resources for Christian servant leaders are the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Word of God. But a leader’s greatest commodity (something useful that when in plentiful supply diminishes the importance of other factors) is influence.
There is no doubt that God expects His children to maintain and practice a spirit of thanksgiving and sincere gratitude. This is, first and foremost, to be directed toward our Heavenly Father from whom all blessings flow.
As we approach Thanksgiving, our hearts turn, perhaps more than usual, toward God in thanks for His many blessings. Indeed, our lives are full of His blessings. As Psalm 68:19 tells us, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.”
Speak to nearly any believer and they will usually agree with two general statements. The first being that to accomplish what God has called us to do requires a commitment to a disciplined prayer life. However, the second general truth that nearly every believer agrees with is that they do not pray enough.
Manufacturing Apples and Other Things We Have to Let God Do
We often believe that victory is a matter of choice. There are, however, things we wish we could stop, but we are too weak to do so. The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. In Galatians 5, Paul talks about the works of the flesh.
You cannot be a recluse and be effective as a pastor. If you are called to a shepherding role of ministry, you must be actively engaged in healthy relationship building you want to be eternally effective. Ministry, and life for that matter, is all about relationships.
Our recent Journeys of Paul tour was full of highlights for me. But perhaps the most impactful locations we visited were on the island of Crete, where Paul left Titus to “set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city” (Titus 1:5).
These are affectionate words—little children. I know we like to think we are all “grown up” but sometimes we need to be reminded that God sees us as His children—precious and loved by Him. However, our position as God’s children doesn’t give us permission to remain immature in the faith.