It’s true for people, and it’s true and for churches: the passing of time does not guarantee the development of maturity. When it comes to church growth, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of measuring only numeric growth or decline.
The battles intensified for Elijah. He had witnessed the power of God in defeating nature, death, Ahab, and Baal, but the next battle would not be so easy. This time it was Elijah vs. Jezebel. Jezebel was as committed to Baal as Elijah was to Jehovah. Her hometown was the worldwide headquarters for Baal worship.
Even a small child knows that a red light means to stop. But what does the word “stop” mean? It seems to be such a simple word, but the word “stop” actually has two inferences that are quite different from each other.
A city broken down and without walls is open to attack. It is vulnerable to the enemy. It is easily destroyed. Scripture tells us that if we do not accept responsibility for keeping our own spirit right, we become equally open to attack.
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.
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.
In writing to one of his converts, Gaius, John commended him for many things. First, John was pleased that Gaius knew the truth. If we are to be true to God, we must know the truth. In our day with so many tools available to us, there is no reason for any Christian in America to be ignorant of the Word of God. It is vital for our spiritual growth that we read, study, memorize, and meditate on the Bible.
If your schedule is anything like mine, from Thanksgiving to early June is booked. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, starting off new school semesters, winter revival, stewardship emphasis, Easter, graduations…. It fills up pretty fast.
God’s grace has to be the greatest gift of the Christian life. It is by grace that we are saved (Ephesians 2:8), by grace that we grow (2 Peter 3:18), by grace that we have access to the presence of God (Romans 5:2), and by grace that we are motivated in service to God.
Last year my husband and I were given a wonderful opportunity. We were asked if we would like to go on a trip to the Holy Land; Israel, God’s land, and God’s people. We worked through a couple of scheduling conflicts and said, “Yes!”
For me, it was a dream come true; for my wife, it was an act of love toward her husband. On our first day of fishing, she seemed to revel in the fact that she caught the biggest fish: a twenty-seven-inch Northern Pike! We enjoyed a beautiful cabin on the shores of a beautiful lake and heard the enchanting call of the loons.
Productive Staff Members Build These Areas of Ministry
One of the things I look forward to when hiring staff is the opportunity to invest into their lives. Between praying for and pastoring their family, weekly staff meetings, and other times of training, I want to do all I can to help build them up in service and as spiritual leaders.
Spiritual Building Blocks for the Christian Life—Part 7
My father in law served as an assistant fire chief during his career in Northern California. I am always intrigued with the many stories that he has shared with me. From massive building fires to forest fires, he has fought them all.