As we continue to discuss our need to grow spiritually, I found two daily devotionals during the week that may help or encourage you to this end.
First at Ligonier, we have a devotional entitled “Pushing Through Plateaus”. Here we are encouraged not to settle for mere jargon and/or spiritual milk, but to push on through the power of the Holy Spirit and discipline.
Second, Paul David Tripp wrote “The Fear of Public Speaking” where he encourages us to be able to explain the hope that is within us. While I encourage you read the entire post, i do want to make special note of his questions for reflections. Tripp asks us to consider:
What steps can you take to become more biblically literate and theologically informed?
What are some other areas in your lief that compete with – or you prioritize more than – being a student of the Word of God?
Have you thought of a way to tell your story in a way that puts God and his grace on center stage? Take some time now to consider how you can share your story with others, both of how God saved you and is now transforming you everyday.
What are some of the hurdles that leave you unwilling or nervous to talk honestly about how much you were (and continue to be) a person in need of rescue? How can you combat that pride or fear by preaching the gospel to yourself?
Who is living near you who could benefit from your story of grace? What action steps can you take this week to meet with them and begin to share your story, while also asking more about their story?
Here is the link to the Family Life article Rob referred to tonight. In it, David Powlison helps us address our anger issues in a biblical way.
The tone and text of Pastor Jeff’s sermon today reminded me of Drew Dyck’s book “Yawning At Tigers”. Here is a snippet:
“The truth is that God is radically different for us, in degree and kind. He is ontologically dissimilar, wholly other, dangerous, alien, holy, and wild……But for the most part we neither tremble in fear nor thrill with excitement at the prospect of encountering this wild deity. Instead our church experiences are largely predictable and sedate. Our spiritual lives are devoid of passion. Yes we believe, but often our knowledge of God is dry and cereal. We give mere mental assent to truths that should leave us shaking. We mumble perfunctory prayers. We ask God to keep us safe, not realizing that it is from him we most need protecting.”
Writing in the daily devotionals at Desiring God, John Piper states:
“The problem with the church today is not that there are too many people who are passionately in love with heaven. The problem is not that professing Christians are retreating from the world, spending half their days reading Scripture and the other half singing about their pleasures in God all the while indifferent to the needs of the world. That’s not happening!”
So what does Piper think IS the happening? Read the rest of the article here.
Patrick Schreiner, writing at Crossway.org, gives us “10 Things You Should Know about the Cross”.
Mark Dever, of IX Marks and Capitol Hill Baptist Church, gave this conference presentation about how to create a culture of discipling within a church. While it is primarily aimed at pastors and elders, there is much to be learned here of all of us.
Note: The link will lead you to You Tube. It runs just over 30 minutes.
We have all heard Jesus’ words about denying yourself. In fact, you probably fall into one of two groups. The first has heard these words so often, that they no longer pay much attention to them. The second group has also heard them, but have no idea how denial applies to their lives.
Grayson Pope has attempted to assist all of us. He has written a post at Gospel Centered Discipleship entitled “Say No To Yourself So You Can Say Yes To Jesus”. Pope’s focus in on what denying yourself actually means.
Charles H. Spurgeon offered this sermon on the use of the gifts of the Spirit. Note the voice is not that of Spurgeon, as it was given in the 1800s, and you will be directed to a You Tube link.
While the sermon is over 100 years old, it is just as valid today as it was in Spurgeon’s day.
Following Jeff’s encouragement to read the Bible more (or more consistently) in 2018, here is an article from David Mathis at Desiring God suggesting we should Marry The Bible this year.
In addition, here are a couple of links to reading plans:
Nathan Bingham at Ligonier provides a list of options.
Replicate Ministeries offers their F260 reading plan complete with a weekly list of memory verses.
We have talked much over the years about what accountability should look like. Here is an article by Peter Mahaffey giving us an outline towards building a healthy accountability group.