My primary purpose here is pastoral, not political. I am simply exhorting you to remember and consider your supreme and primary identity as ambassadors of King Jesus and His Kingdom. I am simply exhorting you to remember and consider your greatest stewardship; the one that comes before any other aspects of stewardship you consider. Our greatest stewardship is in regards to the gospel.
Following Christ often calls us to swim against the powerful current of our culture. We need to see how this is the case even in the private way we engage one another, and not just in the big showy ways we typically attribute to that idea.
The lessons I teach my children are important. Taking time to teach them the Scriptures and to discuss how the gospel applies to our lives is vital. But my life will ultimately aim their hearts toward what I deem to be of greatest worth by the investment of my time, talent, and treasure.
I had the privilege of preaching through Psalm 84 this past Sunday with my faith family at Westwood. A significant portion of the Psalm offers the perspective of the people of God making what many believe to be a festive pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. The completion of this journey offered the opportunity for... Continue Reading →
Philosopher James K. A. Smith has a lot to say about the power of liturgies in shaping or forming our hearts. They do this by focusing our hearts on a telos (end), or a vision of the good life, through repetition or habit. I agree with him that whatever we have as that vision—that end... Continue Reading →
As I have continued to think about it this morning, especially alongside some prep I am doing for a sermon for this Sunday, I realized what is so very powerful about it to me:
When anything other than Jesus becomes our hope (or our wealth, security, sufficiency, completeness, joy, safety, etc...), whatever we have replaced him with has become an idol. And when we place anything on that throne, we will defend it. We will justify it. We will protect it. We will cease to allow the gospel to confront it. We will hang a Do Not Disturb sign on it. As Gerald said on Sunday, "Our idols will always make demands of us."
Several years ago I offered some advice to parents on how Christian families should think through involvement in extra-curricular activities. My own kids have now been involved in different activities, and our oldest has entered the world of middle school. This has caused me to consider how Erin and I should help them understand their objectives for each activity. What should be their primary goals? What is the WHY that governs their HOW and WHAT, so to speak? As I have thought about this I decided it would be good to put these thoughts into writing as I prepare to formally set this before them.
A phrase that we often repeat in our student ministry goes "Know + Be + Do = Authentic." This is a picture of inward transformation that leads to the outward expression of our lives. We believe this is the essence of spiritual growth! As we grow in knowledge, that knowledge grows roots down into our... Continue Reading →
It has been interesting to see the effects of social media on our culture over the past several years. One aspect that I find particularly interesting is the way that many people perceive what they believe to be a new or different identity online. So many seem to struggle with the ethical guidelines of this new... Continue Reading →