September 19, 2013#

You aren’t bad


“Letting your sin designate you “bad” is a misunderstanding of your sin nature. You don’t sin because you became bad but because you were born a sinner; it’s your nature, so it comes as no surprise to God when you fail. But it comes as great joy when you agree with Him and repent from your sin.”

Own It – Leaving Behind a Borrowed Faith – pgs. 95-96


September 3, 2013#

Pleasing people (including yourself) is not owning your faith



“When you want the approval of the world, you reject the approval of God. When man’s thoughts on you matter more than the One who can save you, your love exposes your worldliness. In Galatians 1:10 the author asks, “Am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.” What’s the answer you get when you ask yourself these questions? The answer will reveal to you your affection, and your faith. If you worship God only because you are trying to please people, then you aren’t worshipping God but the people. And if you want the approval of man so much that you will reject God’s and His love, then the love of God is not in you.

You cannot truly own your faith in Christ as long as there is a person between you and God. But loving God means getting face to face with Him and rejecting the pride you have in proving yourself to others. This should offer you freedom. Pleasing people is an unend- ing task, and one that dooms you to failure. But pleasing God is easy when it’s all that you desire. Not that you will be perfect, but that you will desire change as soon as you realize you have failed Him. In that desire for change you will find the freedom that comes with His forgiveness and His Son fulfilling the law for you.

As long as you put your hope in your own abilities and resources or in the beauty and reliability of the creation rather than the Creator, you will fail to own the faith that God is offering you.”

Own It: Leaving Behind a Borrowed Faith, pgs. 99-100.


September 2, 2013#

Pastors, we are not anchormen


Pastors, we are not anchormen; pretty faces with voices full of gravitas reading a gospel teleprompter full of pay per view wisdom from another’s scholarship. No, we are to be eyewitness reporters, delivering credible accounts of the Good News as we’ve experienced it, as His Spirit has revealed it.

To us.

Through His Word.

Not from someone else’s sermon notes and fruit of their study as our primary source.

Hayley and I have left two different churches, both of which where we loved the church families, when we were grieved at the discovery of regular and frequent plagiarizing or purchasing of sermon series in the pulpit. Yes, we sell books and encourage pastors to use them, even in a sermon series. But selling books that inspire a pastor to preach a sermon is not the same as writing the sermon out for them to pass off as their own.

To quote Thomas Young, preaching professor at Emory University’s School of Theology,

“Call me old-fashioned, but I think that if a preacher can’t find the inspiration he needs to preach the gospel without surreptitiously borrowing from the sermons of others, he ought to find another line of work.”

Pastor, in a world where every church member has Google in their pocket, do you really want your flock to know that your scholarship for the week consisted of downloading your sermon and memorizing it or practicing to “make it your own”?

It’s OK to not be Rick Warren, Ed Young Jr., Andy Stanley, Mark Driscoll or whoever else you’re not.

It’s not OK if you’re not hearing from God a word for your church.

It’s not OK if, when you read and study scripture, inspiration and conviction and hope and comfort and grace doesn’t just jump off the page.

Pastor, you need help. Pray for it. Solomon didn’t pray for Google or that God would bring him a wise man he could mimic or a graphic designer that would impress his people.

Pastor, you are not an anchorman; a simple news reader. Be an eyewitness. Have a story. Your story of your time in His Word and His Word in you. Forget about eloquence and videos and powerpoint and props and lighting for the front of house. Live the Good News and take your flock by the hand and lead them into the depths of the Gospel.

Pastors, we are not anchormen.


September 2, 2013#

Prophets, Priests, and Kings


Prophets, Priests, and Kings.

If you’re called to leadership, you’re naturally tuned to one or more of these roles. But your gifting can turn toward serving self instead of God even in a public position of ministry.

God delivers revival to His church through the UPS drivers that are the prophets. If you’re a prophet, what you speak must be grounded in wisdom, the Word, and recognition that every person is an image bearer of Christ or else you will rail against what offends you instead of what offends God; man’s sinful heart. After pointing out sin, you must always point to the cross. If you don’t, you’re merely a pundit, prognosticator, or instructor of useless drivel of no eternal consequence.

If you’re a priest, your people skills of ministering to and loving others must be rooted in being the heart of God in people’s lives, and not loving only those who love you back. Loving the unlovable without getting love in return is evidence of fruit in your life. If you’re in leadership and are a people-pleaser, your priesthood may be serving the god of self instead of the God of the Universe. A loving, fruitful, and ministering priest is one that seeks to serve God over his own ego and acceptance. A selfless shepherd.

If you’re a king, all of your best stewardship of numbers, dollars, time, and treasure is either done for your wealth and benefit or for God and His church. If your bean counting and rules/regulations don’t accomplish the task of knowing Him and making Him known, it’s just stewardship for the sake of stuff. An effective and fruitful king manages resources best for God’s glory when he asks, “Does this bring man glory or God glory?”