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: Joshua 10-12, Luke 1:39-56
“And Mary said: ‘My soul exalts the Lord . . . ”
The story of Jesus’ birth is filled with humility. Mary, the mother of Jesus, saw herself as God’s bondslave – the one whose “humble state” (Luke 1:48...
The title of this post states my single point: senior or lead pastors simply must develop more relationships with missionaries. Here’s why:
READING: Joshua 7-9, Luke 1:21-38
“They raised over him a great heap of stones that stands to this day.”
We’ve read about heaps of stones before in the book of Joshua. In fact, yesterday’s reading taught us about the Hebrews setting up twelve stones to...
For more than 20 years (since first working with Thom Rainer), I’ve studied churches that grow evangelistically. I long to see churches that reach non-believers and make genuine disciples who then reach others. That’s not often happening, however, and here’s my opinion as to why....
READING: Joshua 4-6, Luke 1:1-20
“So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.”
“When your children ask, ‘What do these stones mean?'” Joshua said, “you can tell them that Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry ground....
Since the Garden of Eden, the enemy has tried to divide the people of God. It happens in marriages, families, churches . . . and church staffs. In my work of interviewing pastors and staff in church consultations, here are several reasons for that division and conflict:
READING: Joshua 1-3, Mark 16
“You shall meditate on it day and night . . . .”
As an elementary school student, I thought success was getting good grades. As a high school student, I thought it was graduating. As a college student, I thought it was graduating and...
Mark 16:6 “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him."
It's not Easter yet, but that's okay. The message of the resurrection is powerful any day....
READING: Deuteronomy 32-34, Mark 15:26-47
“Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew.”
I have been a pastor for 35+ years and a professor for 20+ years. My world revolves around teaching the Word of God. For the last eight years, I’ve...
It’s Saturday, and gathering with the people of God is just around the corner. If you’re a church leader, here are some thoughts you might want to be thinking today:
READING: Deuteronomy 30-31, Mark 15:1-25
“It is the Lord who goes before you.”
Let me get straight to the point today. Over and over again, God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous as he prepared to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land:
I’m 56 years old, so I’m not thatold – but I am older than the majority of people in our church in Wake Forest. Our church doesn’t do this at all, but too many younger churches fail to recognize what older people bring to a congregation. At the risk of sounding like...
READING: Deuteronomy 28-29, Mark 14:54-72
“And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord.”
As I look at the newspaper today, I read about people in Syria, Thailand, France, Somalia, Iran, Israel, Kenya, and...
I talk with a lot of church leaders, and the conversations often wander into many varied directions. If you’re a church leader, take some time today to think about these random questions:
READING: Deuteronomy 25-27, Mark 14:27-53
“Could you not watch one hour?”
Just one hour of alertness and prayer. That’s all Jesus asked from His disciples as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Yes, He demanded their lives and their futures, but He asked...
Almost every day, I work with young people preparing for ministry. They are some of the most gifted, committed young adults I’ve ever met in 20+ years of serving as a professor. At the same time, though, they have fears that my older generation must recognize:
READING: Deuteronomy 22-24, Mark 14:1-26
“He said to them, ‘It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me.’”
“Lord, is it I?”
This question must have echoed around the room the day Jesus warned His...
I know this post’s title is subjective, but I pray it gives you hope. This past weekend, I spoke at a church that has had some struggles in recent years – but it sure seems like God is doing something there these days. It made me think of positive signs I’ve seen in other churches...
READING: Deuteronomy 19-21, Mark 13:21-37
“. . . the Lord your God is with you
It’s almost hard to believe how many phobias we can have. Heights. Enclosed spaces. Spiders. Strangers. Snakes. Water. Failure. Flying. Storms. Clowns. The dark. Aloneness....
READING: Deuteronomy 16-18, Mark 13:1-20
“Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”
I’ve seen some impressive man-made sights over the years. The Statue of Liberty. The Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Eifel Tower. The St. Louis...
Luke 8:8 "And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.”
Sow the seed of God's Word broadly today. Some of it will fall onto good soil.
Authors: Chuck Lawless...
READING: Deuteronomy 13-15, Mark 12:28-44
“Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.”
I’m not sure I know what sacrifice means. Sure, I can say that I sacrifice for God. I can preach about...
READING: Deuteronomy 10-12, Mark 12:1-27
“Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do.”
The commands just echo throughout today’s Old Testament reading. As Moses continued to speak to the Hebrews, he reminded them of all that God required of...
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