A brief series of thoughts on stewardship/giving. Part 3: I am what I love? At our panel discussion on Sunday I offered this thought: We are not so much pushed along in life by what we know, but rather pulled about by what we love. Allow me first to properly attribute that thought to James... Continue Reading →
A brief series on stewardship. Part 2: What do you Treasure? During his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus turned his attention to the idea of what we choose to treasure... Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for... Continue Reading →
Choosing to rise and follow Jesus while at the same time remaining at all seated in our old pattern of life is not an option. To rise and follow Jesus is to rise from the reality of a crucifixion of the old man shaped by his old ways to follow him as the Way, the Truth, and the (new) Life.
Deep discipleship that presses believers into maturity in Christ requires intentionality. We do not drift toward holiness, as I've heard it well put. This intentionality must be applied by both the church and individual believers. From both of these perspectives discipleship must be pursued through BOTH breadth and depth. My fear is that too often... Continue Reading →
This past Sunday our preaching series at our church through the Book of Revelation focused on Jesus' letter to the church at Ephesus. If you are at all familiar with these seven letters from the book's opening chapters, the phrase "you have abandoned your first love" probably popped into your mind when you heard the... Continue Reading →
Back in August I wrote an article based on a question that my good friend asked me recently: "What is the state of your soul this week?" You can read that article here. As I have continued to reflect on the importance of that question, I have considered the danger of assumptions. I believe that... Continue Reading →
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.
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 →
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."