But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 1 Peter 3: 14-16
READING: Job 1-2, Acts 7:22-43
“Throughout all this Job did not sin or blame God for anything.”
I’m not sure I could do it.
Job was a godly man, “a man of perfect integrity, who feared God and turned away from evil . . . the greatest man among all the...
Several months ago, I posted someOld Testament verses that challenge me as a Christian leader.Here are other verses from the New Testament that challenge me, especially as I think about standing before God’s people in worship this weekend:
READING: Esther 9-10, Acts 7:1-21
“The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt, but God was with him . . . .”
Sometimes I need a reminder that God is in control. I know that truth intellectually, but it’s easy to forget it when your own life seems...
Getting ready to gather with God’s people is an important step before you go to church this weekend. Here are 10 “not’s” to remember as you go:
READING: Esther 6-8, Acts 6
“But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the preaching ministry.”
The work of ministry involves so many different components that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Hospital visits. Premarital and marital counseling. Baptisms. Weddings....
In my decades of studying churches, I’ve never seen an evangelistic church notled by an evangelistic pastor. Here’s why the pastor is so critical in this Great Commission task:
READING: Esther 3-5, Acts 5:22-42
“. . . liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place.”
I’ve heard this verse from the book of Esther quoted many times, especially when someone is facing a difficulty or dealing with a question of...
I wrote yesterday about the importance of the church connecting with cities. I confess that I’m more urban and suburban than rural, but I also recognize the importance of rural churches. In fact, I began my ministry career as pastor of a more rural church. Here are some of the reasons these...
READING: Esther 1-2, Acts 5:1-21
“As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.”
It’s one of those Bible stories that you read once, and then...
We are called to get the gospel to all peoples of the world (Matt. 28:18-20), and we will not do that if we shy away from the world’s cities. Please read on even if you’re not interested in urban settings, and pray about how your church might tackle a city (then come back tomorrow to...
READING: Nehemiah 12-13, Acts 4:23-37
“Jerusalem’s rejoicing was heard far away.”
It was time for the Hebrews to dedicate Jerusalem’s wall they had built under Nehemiah’s leadership. Moving in two different directions around the wall, and...
Last week, I posted on “Church Member Contradictions that Frustrate Pastors.” Apparently, many of you have those kinds of members in your church. To be fair, though, to the great people of God, I’m posting today the opposite: church member contradictions who bless pastors:
READING: Nehemiah 10-11, Acts 4:1-22
“But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.’”
Acts 4:13 "When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus."
I trust you have been with Jesus this week. I'm praying that others will recognize that you've been with Him as...
Maybe this Father’s Day weekend is tough for you because you have a child who has wandered from the fold and is not following God. While others rejoice as they celebrate this weekend, you’re more like the father of the prodigal son – watching, waiting, grieving, hoping, and...
READING: Nehemiah 8-9, Acts 3
“So they were filled with awe and astonishment at what had happened to him.”
The man had been lame from his birth. Every day, someone carried him to the Temple, where he begged for alms in order to survive. Apparently, he had been there so long...
Check out these recent posts:
Take Up Thy Swords: A Challenge to Memorize Chapters by Greg Morse
I thought I’d simply read this post, but now I’ve accepted its challenge. Maybe you will as well.
READING: Nehemiah 4-7, Acts 2:22-47
“When all our enemies heard this, all the surrounding nations were intimidated and lost their confidence, for they realized that this task had been accomplished by our God.”
The Hebrews were working to rebuild the walls...
As my church consulting team does congregational interviews, we often hear concerns about children’s ministries. Listed in no particular order, here are the most common concerns we hear:
READING: Nehemiah 1-3, Acts 2:1-21
“Please, Lord, let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and to that of Your servants who delight to revere Your name.”
Nehemiah, knowing that he wanted to return to Jerusalem and rebuild its walls, prepared to ask...
This coming Sunday is Father’s Day. I suspect that your congregation will include husbands who long to be a father, but to whom God has not yet granted this blessing. Frankly, I’m one of those men, andand here are some of my reflections as you prepare to honor fathers this...
READING: Ezra 9-10, Acts 1
“Here we are before You with our guilt.”
Today is one of those days when I read the Word, and all I can do is read it over and over again while slowly falling to my face. In fact, I’m almost embarrassed to write anything about this text, as...
Some church members are walking contradictions, and they frustrate church pastors and leaders. Here are some of them:
READING: Ezra 6-8, John 21
“The king had granted him [Ezra] everything he requested because the hand of Yahweh his God was on him.”
In my early days of ministry, I likely would have argued that my ministry was fruitful because I studied hard, ministered a lot, and...
I make no claims to be a preaching and teaching expert, but I’ve been a preacher and seminary professor for more than 20 years. All of us, beginning with me, can improve in communicating the gospel. See if any of these ideas will help you improve:
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