ADVICE FOR YOUNG PASTORS & LEADERS: “Don’t neglect caring for your own soul before you care for other souls.” Young ministry leader Tyler Saldaña gives some advice to other young ministry leaders.
A ‘GOSPEL’ THAT ALMOST KILLED ME:“The white-knuckled discipline that I once devoted to the prosperity gospel, I now devote to trusting fully in the finished work of Christ and the grace that I breathe in to survive.” Sean DeMars gives an account of his live when he was devoted to the ‘prosperity gospel’ and how his eyes were opened to the true gospel.
4 WAYS TO MINISTER TO US ‘YOUNG GUNS’:“Many young guys have big hearts and legitimate ambition for the kingdom of God. The church of the future will be far better served if young men are guided and shepherded by more seasoned saints.” John Pond explains four ways older men can mentor younger men in the ministry.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR MISSIONARIES ACTUALLY TEACH?:“Stop sending prosperity-preaching missionaries to the jungles of Peru. They’re killing the villages here. Your missionaries are spending tens of thousands of dollars, traveling across land and sea, invading and settling into new cultures, and it’s all for nothing. They’re doing more harm than good.” This is a very important post that all Christians need to read – especially if they support missionaries, are missionaries, or plan to be missionaries. Sean DeMars talks about how the American Church is exporting the prosperity gospel into places like Peru (where he serves) through missionaries. He challenges us to know what our missionaries believe before we support or send them.
WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH: “[True worship] is both an affair of the heart and an affair of the mind.” David Mathis discusses what it means to worship in spirit and truth.
WHEN YOUR HEART ISN’T IN IT:“You might find yourself sitting in darkness and uninterested in God’s word, prayer, or worship. But do not neglect these things, for no matter how feeble your faith is at the moment, God will strengthen and enlarge it.” Joe Thorn challenges us to seek the Lord even when our heart just isn’t in it.
THE LIFE-RATTLING TRUTH THAT HAS KEPT ME IN AFRICA:“Paying mere mental assent to a doctrine is quite different than having that doctrine shape your thinking and ultimately your decisions.” Philip Hunt explains how practically experiencing the sovereignty of God has kept him in Africa for 20+ years.
THREE CHALLENGES FOR THE CHRISTIAN BLOGOSPHERE:“We need to be less about whatever bonehead move Celebrity Pastor X made this week and more about the gospel.” Aaron Armstrong challenges Christian bloggers with three things he would like to see change this year in the blogosphere.
“When you blow it, God still celebrates His Son in you. The litmus test of whether or not you understand the gospel is what you do when you fail. Do you run from Him and go clean yourself up a little bit before you come back into the throne room? Or do you approach the throne of grace with confidence? If you don’t approach the throne of grace with confidence, you don’t understand the gospel.”
Jim Elliot, who died as a martyr on the beaches of Ecuador (58 years ago today), to his parents when he told them he was going:
“I do not wonder that you were saddened at the word of my going to South America. This is nothing else than what the Lord Jesus warned us of when He told the disciples that they must become so infatuated with the kingdom and following Him that all other allegiances must become as though they were not. And he never excluded the family tie. In fact, those loves which we regard as closest, He told us must become as hate in comparison with our desires to uphold His cause. Grieve not, then, if your sons seem to desert you, but rejoice, rather, seeing the will of God done gladly. Remember how the Psalmist described children? He said that they were as an heritage from the Lord, and that every man should be happy who had his quiver full of them. And what is a quiver full of but arrows? And what are arrows for but to shoot? So, with the strong arms of prayer, draw the bowstring back and let the arrows fly–all of them, straight at the Enemy’s hosts.
‘Give of thy sons to bear the message glorious, Give of thy wealth to speed them on their way, Pour out thy soul for them in prayer victorious, And all thou spendest Jesus will repay.’”