Church & Ministry

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Posted 7/24/14 at 5:02 PM | CP Blogs

Matt Chandler: The Gospel Is . . .

Photo: YouTube

YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley used the words "clip culture" to describe the community that developed around his video sharing website. YouTube's visitors originally watched short clips instead of long form entertainment.

Now pastors can upload entire sermons to the website but it is still the short sermon clip that gets the most attention. Christians re-post inspiring quotes often with subtitles to share the Gospel message.

Twitter user @momentumnight made this video featuring a clip of Pastor Matt Chandler talking about how we cannot fix ourselves. "You can't resurrect anything. Christ can. That's the good news."

While listening to this video, the Bible verse 1 Corinthians 1:18 came to mind: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Is this "power of God" at work in you?

Matt Chandler's Gospel Presentation

Posted 7/24/14 at 2:47 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

How can I Stay Motivated in my Relationship With Jesus Christ?

Photo: Flickr/Robert - Creative Commons

By Randy Alcorn

A reader of my blog asked, How does a believer keep his motivation? I understand the motivation of the new believer, but how does one stay motivated in day-to-day living, year after year?

Another way of putting that question, in biblical terms, is, “How do you keep from losing your first love?” (Revelation 2:4). When you come to know Christ and put your faith in Him, Jesus changes your life. You’re excited about Him, and everything in life is a contrast to what it was before. But over the long haul, how do you keep that motivation going? How do you sustain a Christ-centered life?

I think the answer to that is really how you sustain a relationship with any person. When Nanci and I first met and started dating, there was an excitement to our relationship and we had our first love. But you begin to realize that over time certain things will change, and the tendency is to start taking each other for granted. FULL POST

Posted 7/24/14 at 12:19 PM | Austin Andrews

Living Compartmentalized - Super Mario Brothers and Jesus

Sometimes, we want to writhe in pain.

I Like the cartoon above, partly because it makes fun of my childhood and partly because of how preposterous it seems, but let’s not dismiss what it can teach us. Our pity party, rolling on the ground in pain, can hurt the people around us. It can drive them away, it can bring their lives down, their attitudes down, their God Given talents set aside. Your leadership can create a roadblock. Poor, poor Luigi. And yes, I know this was an extreme, and that yes it is satirical, but sometimes we need satire to help us make sense of reality.

When we hurt, whether by misguided or purposeful actions, we have a choice to make. Will we lie on the ground, writhing in our pain, or will we stand up and keep moving? Some of us want to throw a pity party for who we are, the junk we have been through, and the mistakes we woefully will make soon after. The problem is, this behavior is destructive behavior.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2nd Cor 4:8-11 FULL POST

Posted 7/24/14 at 11:36 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Some Things, Pastor, You do Not Want to Know

See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. Eyes, ears and mouth covered.
Photo: Flickr/Geoffrey Fairchild - Creative Commons

By Joe McKeever

“He leadeth me in paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).

Pastor, you do not want to know why that committee turned you down for that position you wanted so badly.

I’m rereading my daily journals for the decade of the 1990s. Much of it I’d long since forgotten, so in many respects, it’s fun. One thing struck me, however, about the year 1992.

I was looking for a way out of this church!

By “this church” I mean the one where I remained as pastor for nearly 14 years and to which I still belong. It had come through a crisis 18 months before I arrived that almost resulted in its self-destruction. The Lord sent me to half a congregation, millions of dollars in debt, a sanctuary that had had major problems from the beginning and needed considerable work, and a dysfunctional leadership team made up of some of the greatest souls in the kingdom as well as some of the strangest birds ever. FULL POST

Posted 7/24/14 at 11:17 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

15 Reasons the Greatest Suffering is Better Than the Smallest Sin

By David Murray

Photo: Pixabay/Nemo - Public Domain

You have a choice.

Option 1: The tiniest sin imaginable, a sin that would bring you tremendous wealth and other material pleasures.

Option 2: The greatest suffering imaginable, for rejecting that one tiny sin.

Your selection, please. Or maybe you want to read this first.

In his sermon on Moses’ choice of Christ’s reproach instead of the pleasures of Egypt (Heb. 11:25), the Puritan Thomas Manton argues that the healthy Christian will choose the greatest affliction before the least sin. He then gives a number of reasons “why the greatest affliction is better than the least sin.”

1. In suffering the offence is done to us, but in sinning the offence is done to God; and what are we to God? FULL POST

Posted 7/24/14 at 10:07 AM | Tim Challies

No Wonder We Hate to Buy Cars

Photo: Flickr/Automotive Social - Creative Commons

A recent headline proclaimed that buying a car ranks among most people’s least favorite activity. Many would rather suffer pain or be deprived of a favorite pleasure than to have to endure the car lot and the car salesman. Recently, inevitably, it was my turn to face the pain. With our old minivan ailing and a long roadtrip looming, I had little choice in the matter. I had procrastinated as long as I could.

Now there are various strategies involved in buying cars. Some people only buy really, really used cars and drive them until they can wring out the last little vestige of value. Then they rub out the VIN, drive it into a lake, and start over. Not surprisingly, these people tend to be pretty handy, and comfortable under a hood. Other people buy only new cars, drive them until the new car smell has faded, and then swap them for something newer. As you would expect, these people tend to be pretty comfortable with their checkbook. FULL POST

Posted 7/23/14 at 3:17 PM | John Dillard

Are You Know by "Your Love"? Are You Practicing What You Preach?

Are You Practicing What You Preach? Are You Know by "Your Love"?

 

All too often I see people who LOVE to judge others!

Especially Christians.

I say this NOT Lightly as this includes me.

But if we are to be known as Believers “They Will Know Us By Our Love”

FULL POST

Posted 7/23/14 at 1:57 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Awakened Together: The Hope of Resurrection

Photo: Flickr/James Emery - Creative Commons
The Garden Tomb where some people believe Jesus was buried and resurrected.

By Wade Burleson

"We should learn to view our death [as] . . . a fine, sweet and brief sleep, which brings us release from . . . all the misfortunes of this life, and we shall be secure and without care, rest sweetly and gently for a brief moment, as on a sofa, until the time when He shall call and awaken us together with all his dear children to His eternal glory and joy." (A Compendia of Luther's Theology, p. 242).

I lead a men's discipleship group on Tuesday mornings. The only ground rules are there are no ground rules. Come when you can. Leave when you must. Ask questions, make comments, or simply stay quiet. The discussion is free flowing. We've been meeting for twenty-two years at 7:00 am and everyone's welcome, guests invited. Currently we are reading and discussing John's Gospel. FULL POST

Posted 7/23/14 at 10:53 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Courage Greatly Needed in the Pulpit and in the Pews

Photo: Flickr/David Morris - Creative Commons

By Joe McKeever

“The Lord is for me; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6. See also Hebrews 13:5-6)

I read that scripture–especially the Hebrews 13:5-6 incarnation–and smile. Asking “what can man do to me?” is kind of like asking for it, isn’t it? Daring them to “bring it on.” The answer of course is that man can do a great deal to you. But the bottom line–and the point of the scripture–is that ultimately, with God being “for me,” it does not matter.

Nothing matters so much as our being one with the heavenly Father.

Can we talk about courage? This is as rare as plutonium these days, particularly among the very people who should demonstrate it most readily, the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Only two people in the church need courage: the one in the pulpit and the one in the pew. FULL POST

Posted 7/23/14 at 10:24 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

14 Sobering Reminders When Confronting Sin

number 14
Photo: Flickr/Steve Bowbrick - Creative Commons

By David Murray

The last couple of days we’ve been looking at the important, difficult, and oft-avoided duty of confronting or rebuking sin. We looked at the general attitude we should have when approaching someone about their sin and then listed a bank of 30 questions to ask when challenging sin. Today I want to suggest 14 truths to remember throughout this process:

  • Remember the depth of sin: This is not some shallow simple matter. It has deep origins and roots in the unfathomable depths of the human heart.
  • Remember the width of sin: Sin impacts every part of our beings – bodies, minds, emotions, desires, imaginations, personalities, relationships, and so on.
  • Remember the length of sin: Long-term habits are not easy to break – they create default pathways in our brain that we all too easily and automatically travel down.
  • Remember the height of sin: It is against God, the Holy and infinite God of heaven and earth.
  • Remember the power of sin: The person’s whole life may be dominated and consumed by it.
  • Remember the damage of sin: The destructive consequences for the person, his relationship with God, and his relationship with others.
  • Remember the love of sin: He is not doing it because he hates it but because he loves it and gets pleasure from it – no matter how temporary.
  • Remember the confusion of sin: It is illogical and irrational and makes those committing it illogical and irrational. You cannot rely on reasoning to defeat sin.
  • Remember the context of sin: Without absolving a person of responsibility, consider some of the factors that may have contributed to this person’s sin – genetic, social, providential, relationship factors. Other people’s sins may have triggered this sin.
  • Remember the memory of sin: Even when a person is delivered from it, the memory will often remain and continue to tempt.
  • Remember the deceitfulness of sin: We deny, downplay, shift blame, minimize, excuse, etc.
  • Remember the despair of sin: A person be hopelessly overwhelmed with shame and guilt.
  • Remember the ignorance of sin: Through ignorance, custom, context or seared conscience, a person may not realize what they are doing is sinful.
  • Remember the companions of sin: it rarely comes alone but brings lots of “friends” with it.

These reminders keep us serious, humble, and prayerful throughout this process. FULL POST

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