Heart Prep for Sunday

Pray

Begin with a short prayer asking God to reveal any sins you have from this past week that you haven’t already asked forgiveness for.

Read

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Listen

Pray

Thank God for taking away your sin and the shame that comes along with it. Call out to God with thanks for the sacrifice that Jesus made so that you can be free from your sin!

The Pastor 1: Intro & Qualifications​

 

The Pastor 1 - Qualificaitons

I was thinking the other day about the two scriptural offices of the church–pastors and deacons. I decided that I would start a new series of blogs about these two positions in the church. So, today I want to introduce this topic and deal with the qualifications of someone who seeks to be a pastor.

First, let me clarify why I believe that there are only two scriptural offices in the church. In Philippians 1:1, Paul addresses the letter to the Continue reading “The Pastor 1: Intro & Qualifications​”

Reflections on Psalm 23

Psalm 23 Reflectioins

The LORD is my shepherd,

1 Peter 2:25 – For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have
returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

I shall not be in want.

Philippians 4:19 – And my God will meet all your needs according to his
glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.

1 Peter 5:10 – And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

John 14:21 – Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

1 John 4: 18 – There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Hebrews 12:6 – because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

1 John 4:4 – You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

1 Corinthians 1:21-22 – Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Ephesians 1:3 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

2 Peter 1:3 – His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

9 Leadership Lessons from the Early Church Fathers

Leadership Lessons From The Early Church Fathers

About 4 years ago I had to read a book for a doctoral seminar. Not only was I to read it, I was tasked with having to make a presentation on its leadership lessons. Sounds easy right? Wrong! The book was The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 3, by William A. Jurgens (you can read more about this book here). While tough to read through, it was full of great leadership lessons. Continue reading “9 Leadership Lessons from the Early Church Fathers”

Heart Prep for Sunday

Pray

Begin with a short prayer thanking God for the extravagant grace He lavishes on you.

Read

Romans 6:18-19

18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 . . . Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.

Listen

Pray

Say a short prayer to God recognizing that your life is totally different because He is in it. Thank Him for taking away your regrets and making you something valuable to the Kingdom of God.

Heart Prep for Sunday

A little while back I encouraged people with a simple plan to prepare their hearts for worship. I gave it some thought and decided that I want to contribute some help to your effort. So, I will try to weekly (on Friday) post a “Heart Prep for Sunday” post that you can use as you get ready to worship with your congregation. You will notice that I added a short “read” section that was not included in the plan at the above link. It doesn’t add much extra time.

Pray

Begin with a short prayer asking God to help you focus on Him rather than on the craziness of your week.

Read

Job 11:18-19a

You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your resto in safety.19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid.

Listen

 

Pray

Say a short prayer to God about your hope in Him alone. Thank Him for his help in getting you through a recent difficult situation.

3 Reasons to Love the Church

Love the church

Almost weekly there is an article, social media post, or comment that someone makes to the effect of “I like Jesus, but not the church.” It comes from people who (I hope) have good intentions. They are concerned that the church has become a marginalized place that people do not want to go because of all the “hypocrisy.” Thus, they love Jesus, but not the church. I would love to deal with the idea that there would be no hypocrites in the church, but alas, I will save that for another post. What I want to deal with is the idea that you can love Jesus, but not the church.

Typically those who have this distaste for the church, call for some sort of dramatic change in order for the church to become “relevant” again. This really pains me to see. Here are 3 reasons why we should still love the church. Continue reading “3 Reasons to Love the Church”

6 Things to do While Waiting on God

6 things waiting

Waiting can be hard. When was the last time you had to wait for something? Maybe it was for food at a “fast food” place. Or maybe you had to wait in line at the store in order to check out.

Our culture is one that runs on speed. People want things and they want things now. It used to take an hour (or so) to make a baked potato. Today you can have one in 10 minutes in the microwave. Some people have called us a “microwave” society. This makes it even more challenging when we have to wait on God. Continue reading “6 Things to do While Waiting on God”

Did Jesus Always Know That He Was The Messiah

Did Jesus Know

A few years ago one of my former students, who had been in college a few years at the time, asked me, “Did Jesus always know that He was the Messiah?” Apparently he, and some of his friends, had been arguing over this question (and he wasn’t even a Bible major!). Below you will find my response to this question.

Dear [Student’s Name],

This is actually a really tough question to answer because the Gospels do not give us insight into the mental awareness of Jesus, except when he himself reveals it to the crowd listening.

So, we need to begin Continue reading “Did Jesus Always Know That He Was The Messiah”

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