Saturday, July 25, 2015
Friday, July 24, 2015
It Cannot Be A Program
God can use programs. I know people who have come to faith at evangelistic events. For the record, I often promote and speak at evangelistic programs. But I don’t think programs are the most effective, or even the primary, way we should do evangelism.He goes on to describe a better idea:
But the gospel is pictured not just in our love. Have you ever thought of how many biblical instructions God has built into the fabric of the church that, if done correctly, serve as proclamations of the gospel?Let me rephrase this just a bit. The best way to do better at evangelism is to do better at being the church.
In pursuing a healthy culture of evangelism, we don’t remake the church for evangelism. Instead, we allow the things that God has already built into the church to proclaim the gospel. Jesus did not forget the gospel when he built the church.
For instance, baptism pictures the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It shows how his death is our death and his life our life. The Lord’s Supper proclaims the death of Christ until he returns and prompts us to confess our sins and experience forgiveness anew. When we pray, we pray the truths of God. When we sing, we sing the great things God has done for us through the gospel. When we give financially, we’re giving to advance the gospel message. And of course the preaching of the Word brings the gospel.
I wish that were not a novel idea.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Although the little story at the beginning of today's installment of Our Daily Bread seems trite and unnecessary, the point is a good one.AMEN!
Our prayers often revolve around asking God to hurry up and bless what we want to do. What if God’s answer to us is simply, “Be patient. Wait upon Me”? We can pray with David: “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3).Patience in prayer is difficult. (Really, patience in anything is difficult, isn't it?) And no matter how many times I have seen God work in me and in circumstances for which I've prayed for long periods of time, I still find patience in prayer difficult. God seems to need to teach me the same lessons repeatedly, including this one about waiting for Him and His timing and His will. Thankfully, He's more patient than I am!
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
What is Missed?
- How could a person bifurcate church and religion in this fashion?
- Does that say something about how we "do" church?
- Or, does it say something about who we are in the church?
- She misses the "smells and bells," not so much the praise chorus and good times. What endures?
- Is the problem the smells and bells or is it how WE stripped them of meaning?
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Why Shouldn't He Still Matter?
- Chesterton saw the big picture and would not compartmentalize the world.
- Chesterton unmasked false presuppositions as he promoted a Christian worldview.
- Chesterton was not swayed by arguments that appeal to progress.
- Chesterton exhibited a joyful exuberance at the wonder of existence.
Most of this flows from the fact that in science when a new theory comes along, the old one is replaced. Therefore, we seem to have decided that all knowledge can be treated in the same way. But here is the thing, quantum mechanics did not replace Newtonian mechanics. It supplemented it. Sending the Apollo astronauts to the moon was a matter of Newtonian mechanics, almost purely. Quantum mechanics came into play only in the design of the "computers" that were on board.
New knowledge does not replace old knowledge, it builds upon it. That said, new knowledge is often misunderstood or meaningless without the base of old knowledge. Quantum mechanics is pretty doggone hard to understand, but it is senseless without an understanding of Newtonian mechanics.
Knowledge and wisdom is a ladder to be climbed, not a destination to reach by the seemingly shortest path.
Monday, July 20, 2015
It is a liturgy, an ordinary habit of remembrance to see more clearly the extraordinary reality of two being made one.The first time I read that it brought tears to me eyes. Not only about their marriage, but about the church. The church seems to fight liturgy so hard. "We don't want to be staid and boring."
Should we not be at least as in love with our Lord as we are with our spouses?