Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com
[Thought questions for The Promised Revival: God's Mission Completed September 25, 2013]
1. Up, Up, and Away. Billions of dollars have been spent over the years to explore space. The stated purposes vary from wanting to find other inhabitable worlds due to solve an over-populated earth to discovering new energy sources. Both Christians and non-Christians believe there is more to the universe than instruments or travel can discover. Some, however, are a bit skeptical. It [...]
“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-10, NIV
The problem of how the church should relate to the world has existed from the beginning and has continuously struggled for resolution. Two conflicting viewpoints are illustrative regarding this tension. On the one hand, the [...]
“‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’
The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’
Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’” Luke 10:36-37, NIV
In the popular media, most problems seem to be solved by some sort of violent act. More often than not some sort of a firearm is used to vanquish the bad guys who are unquestionably evil and therefore deserve to [...]
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11
Many of us became Christians for childish reasons. We just wanted to go to heaven. That is okay. Jesus tells us to come as children, but He does not tell us to stay like children. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of [...]
“So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15, NIV
I once had a 1963 Chevrolet Nova Super Sport convertible that I enjoyed restoring. It was a rare automobile that represented a meaningful tie to my teenage years. As a teenager, I viewed the world as fresh and wonderful and full of promise. No doubt some of that golden aura attached [...]
Does the past ever haunt you? Do you ever wish you could go back and do something differently? Every baseball season I am haunted by something that I did, or actually didn’t do when I was 12. Many springs ago, I was a little league baseball player. It was my first year of organized baseball, while my peers had been playing for years. I had never played fastball before, and those 11 and 12-year-old pitchers threw fastballs by me so [...]
Keeping on Track
Just as any good motor vehicle will ultimately break down as a result of a lack of regular maintenance, so many good and worthwhile church ministries have fallen by the wayside because of a lack of regular intentional maintenance.
To keep your ministry healthy and on track, consider the following maintenance check list:
Maintain your personal connection. Remind yourself often that you are in a partnership ministry with the Lord.
Maintain your personal vision. Do you still sense the importance of your ministry? [...]
The Bible makes it clear that we were once slaves to sin, but through Christ we have been released (Rom. 6:6), set free (Gal. 5:1), delivered (1 Thess. 1:10), adopted (Rom. 8:15), and born again (1 Pet. 1:23).
Image © Erik Stenbakken from GoodSalt.com
The effective worker for God is the one who has given the past to Him and has accepted His power to work in the present and the future. In other words, those who have been delivered by Christ are able [...]
There’s an English expression that says: “There is no such thing as a free lunch”–the idea that if you receive something free, it really isn’t free because somewhere, somehow, sometime, you will have to pay or repay. The theory that nothing is ever really free has subtly infiltrated Christian thinking to the extent that many try to be deserving of God’s salvation through obedience to His will.
Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com
Legalism in the Christian vocabulary describes the attitude [...]
Key Thought : Christ’s loving service to us should awaken a loving response as the basis for our witness as reflected in our loving ministry to others.
[Teaching plan for A Love Response June 4, 2012]
1. Have a volunteer read I John 4:18,19.
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Does this mean that we aren’t supposed to fear God? Why do other texts tell us to fear God [...]
What would you think of someone who constantly and loudly declared that they were motivated and yet attempted nothing? What about someone who claimed to be dedicated yet never revealed to what, or to whom, they were dedicated? As we have seen, love is a most powerful motivator; but to only declare our love, even our love for God, means nothing unless we act on that love. In other words, we expect love to be revealed through actions. In this [...]
Over the centuries guilt has been used to motivate people to action. Evangelism leaders have often reminded us that God has given us responsibility and that we must use our God-given talents and gifts. We are told that God or the church is depending on us. If God has done so much to save us, how can we remain evangelistically inactive? All these attempts to call us to action, delivered, no doubt, with the best intentions, subtly appeal to our [...]
Have you ever wondered why often it seems difficult to motivate people to long-term commitments in church projects? Perhaps the answer can be found as we think of some other situations where a very high degree of motivation and commitment are evident. What is it that motivates a parent to donate one of their kidneys to save the life of his or her child? Why do moms and dads spend a small fortune to provide the best possible education for [...]
Read for This Week’s Study:
1 John 4:18-19; Rom. 3:19-20; John 15:13; Rom. 5:6–8; John 6:28-29.
“ ‘If you love Me, keep My commandments’ ” (John 14:15, NKJV).
We should work to win souls to Christ; the question we need to ask ourselves is, What motivates us to do just that?
Although our memory text is most often considered to refer to the Ten Commandments, there are other commandments, as well, not the least being “ ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations’ ” (Matt. 28:19-20, [...]