It happens to all of us. We have all walked through the slough of despond, a fictional, deep bog in John Bunyan’s allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress, into which the protagonist Christian sinks under the weight of his sins and his sense of guilt for them. When that happens, we need to follow David’s example, and cry out to God to “Restore unto me the joy of your salvation.” (Psalm 51:12)
The 3 requirements for fervent effectual prayer are ask, seek, and knock. The Christian life is an active life, it motivates, and it works. You need to ask the will of God. You need to actively seek the answer. Then, you have to put the answer into action. All 3 of these are required. Don’t expect a godly answer and good results without all three. If you never ask the will of God, but seek everywhere for an answer, who knows what Continue reading 3 requirements for effectual fervent prayer: ask, seek, and knock
Right in the middle of the book of Ephesians, which contains the most complete, accurate, and detailed description of the church, which is Christ’s body, there is this nugget… Ephesians 3:17-18 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his Continue reading Rooted and Grounded in Love
Towards the end of the Apostle Peter’s exhortation to the exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, he shares this nugget. The amazing truth and beauty of this passage is somewhat obscured by the King James English, so let’s look at several different translations… Casting all your care  upon him; for he careth  for you. (1 Peter 5:7 KJV)
What did Jesus teach about serving others? Many leaders in the Christian community are identified as Christian “ministers”. This tradition leads many to equate Christian ministry with clergy or leadership over Christian congregations. In scripture, a “minister” is simply a “servant” and “ministry” relates to “service”. How can one be both a servant to, and an authority over, God’s people?
You may have thought God could only use superstars. But, this is not true, God can use anyone, if they are willing. God is very clear that these 8 gifts are given by him to ordinary people for service in your congregation… προφητείαν — prophecy; the gift of communicating and enforcing revealed truth διακονεῖ / διακονίαν — to serve (as a servant), waiting at table; in a wider sense: service, ministration διδάσκων — to teach (literally, “cause to learn”); instruct, impart knowledge (disseminate information) Continue reading 8 Gifts of Service for Your Church
“Knocking on the door” is a nearly universal request for entrance. The verb “to knock” is an active action, not a passive position, like waiting around for you to come outside. The verb “to knock” is a respectful request, not a fearful force, like breaking down the door and barging in. This request for entrance into the center of your life is part of the universal call of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1) One cannot have it both ways. Either we belong or we don’t. Jesus Himself warned us that there would come a day when many would say, “Lord, in Your name we did many wonderful things,” but He will retort that He never knew us as His own. It is a most serious and sobering thought which should make us search our own hearts and motives and personal relationship to Continue reading Is the LORD really your shepherd?