Friday, November 26, 2010


Having talked about pursuing holiness in the last two sermons on Sunday morning to some degree or another, here is a helpful post that lists several motivations for that pursuit based upon a study of 2 Peter:

Motivations for Pursuing Holiness

Enjoy reading today as the turkey slowly fades away...hopefully.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Genuine Ministry

First, it is important to understand that every Christian is a "minister". What is different is the "role" in ministry that one plays. The unhealthy degree to which "clergy" has been distinguished from "laity" over the years, I believe, is an unintended by-product of not teaching fully what the scriptures regard as a "calling" for every Christians to be a "minister."

With that being said, during my personal bible study this morning, drawing from 2 Corinthians 6, Henry Blackaby gave a list of several marks of a mature minister's profile.

Here they are:
- patient with others and with the unfolding of the plan of God
- willing to endure tribulations, and times of intense needs or stress
- faithful even if publicly punished or imprisoned
- calm in times of intense conflict
- willing to work hard and put in long hours
- engaging frequently in fasting and prayer
- a life of purity
- studying God's word diligently
- bearing with "difficult others" and showing kindness to them
- led by the Holy Spirit
- expressing sincere love
- giving to others the truth of God in the power of God
- a righteous life
- steady even if ridiculed or overlooked
- steady even if given great honor or recognition
- countering all lies with an exemplary life
- knowing that God sees all and is the final judge of all
- having assurance of "riches in glory" and authority in Christ Jesus
- having confidence of God's love and eternal life regardless of persecutions

As I reflected upon these statements, several questions came to mind:
1. In what areas do I need to grow?
2. In what areas does God want to stretch me?
3. How can I cultivate an attitude of "life-long learning & growing" as a disciple toward spiritual maturity?
4. How can I know that I am growing toward spiritual maturity?

It is my prayer that this "profile" and these questions will be helpful in evaluating our spiritual progress for the Lord.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What are we laboring for?

John 6:27 says, “Do not labor for food that perishes, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the son of man will give to you. For on him the Father has his seal.”

Then, in my personal bible study of John’s gospel, Henry Blackaby wrote the following. I’m reproducing it in its entirety for our edification. Read slowly and take it all in. Then, spend some time in John 6 for meditation and reflection on the depth of what Jesus is saying to us and the application that Blackaby makes to our daily lives.

“The sign in the restaurant said in large letters, ‘we serve slow food, not fast food.’ In smaller type were these words: ‘We spend hours preparing our meats by a slow-cook method. We take hours to chop up the freshest ingredients to make our salads every day. We bake our own bread and make our own desserts. We have only three employees to take your order, put together, your order in the kitchen, and serve you. If you have the time, we’ll provide for you a great meal. If you don’t have the time, come back. We’re worth waiting for. But no, we can’t ‘hurry it up’ on demand.’ The restaurant does a steady business, but it will never become a franchised chain or serve hundreds of people a day. It is too slow to jockey for position in life’s fast lane. We live in a world that demands immediate gratification at every turn! We want fast food, even though we prefer the taste of slow food. We seem irresistibly drawn as a culture to purchase lottery tickets and pursue get-rich-quick schemes. We admire and desire overnight success. We want to earn academic degrees in less and less time, regardless of what is or isn’t learned. We want to get something right the first time we try it. We want to fall in love at first sight and if things don’t work out, get a quick divorce at a low cost. We want wars to end forty-eight hours after they are started, crimes to be resolved in real life at the pace of a prime-time television show, and to have at age twenty all it took our parents or grandparents a lifetime to acquire. What about our spiritual life? How long should it take for a person to become spiritually mature? How long should it take for God to answer your prayer? How long should a preacher preach or a teacher teach? How long should a church service last? How long is long enough to spend reading your bible? How long is long enough to pray?”

What are we laboring for?