April 13, 2024
Disciple-making, Lifelong Learning, Training, Growth Plans

What limits our disciple’s progress?

Over the years, I have recognized that many of those I have taught, coached or mentored have become better communicators and more effective leaders than me. I may have been their teacher, but their gifting and competency have surpassed my own. This has been a cause for celebration. I have even seen it as an indication of God’s blessing on my life. Upon first reading, Jesus’ words in John 14:12 might seem to suggest that he had the same sentiments. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. – John 14:12 However, I think D. A. Carson is right in saying that Jesus is talking about the greater impact the disciples will have once the resurrection has made it clear who Jesus is. The works… Read the whole post
Christ, Follow-up

Follow-up: Colossians – Avoid Syncretism

In this series on follow-up, we have been looking at how missionaries can continue to help churches they have planted after they no longer are resident where those churches are located. The letter to the Colossians was not written to a church that Paul planted like other letters we have looked at in this series. Rather, Epaphras, not Paul, planted the church in Colossae. This probably happened during Paul’s extended ministry at Ephesus (Acts 19). Paul describes Epaphras as “our beloved fellow servant” and “a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf” (Col. 1:7). Epaphras faithfully preached the Gospel in Colossae. But the new church struggled with staying true to the Gospel they heard from their missionary. Apparently, Epaphras had met Paul in Rome (Col. 4:12) and informed Paul of the false teaching threatening the church. As with most false teaching, this false teaching appears to be a form of… Read the whole post
God, Character, Hardship, Spiritual Formation, Theology, Prayer

Exploring Spiritual Formation: Grief – Part 2

This is the second of two posts that explore the subject of grief in the life of a believer. Part 1 presented the hallmarks and pitfalls of grief, along with a biblical perspective of grief. This month, in Part 2, the post will present ways we can prepare ourselves for, and respond to, grief.  Pandemic Grief I am an introvert. Actually, I’m a flaming introvert. Which means that, though I love people and find them interesting, I really, really, like to be alone. Fortunately, I married an introvert. And though we love being together, we’re also adept at making space for one another. Thus, you can imagine my surprise when I noticed myself suffering from loneliness during the COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent work-from-home state of affairs—a situation I thought was made for introverts. After some introspection, I realized I was missing my co-workers. Though we’ve seen each other over the… Read the whole post
Christ, Church, Follow-up

Follow-up: Union with Christ

The book of Ephesians is different than the other letters we have looked at in this series on Paul’s follow-up with the churches he planted. For instance, there are no problems that he is trying to correct nor questions that he is answering. Also, it is less personal than his other letters. Ephesians: A Summary of the Gospel F.F. Bruce writes: It [Ephesians] sums up in large measure the leading themes of the Pauline writings, together with the central motif of Paul’s ministry as apostle to the Gentiles. But it does more than that: it carries the thought of earlier letters to a new stage. Clinton E. Arnold offers a statement of purpose for the letter: Paul wrote this letter to a large network of local churches in Ephesus and the surrounding cities to affirm them in their new identity in Christ as a means of strengthening them in their Read the whole post
Finishing Well, Book Reviews, Growth Plans

A book about planning to live well after 40

What does wellness look like after 40? Why should we care? We find helpful and practical answers in Wellness for the Glory of God: Living Well After 40 with Joy and Contentment in All of Life by John Dunlop, MD. The author focuses on wellness in the second half of life. In the introduction, he explains what the book is about:       What strategies can we who are getting older adopt that will maximize our chances to endure the challenges of our later days and continue to be well? The essence of this book is expressed in the title. Wellness depends on living with a purpose that goes beyond the here and now. Over and over I have seen that one way in which Christians can stay well in their twilight years is to keep their focus on God, his greatness, and his glory. The suggested strategies call… Read the whole post
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