The Early Bird Gets The Link

A look at defining “missional”

Being missional means spreading the message of reconciliation between God and man through Jesus Christ

Dear Envy, we just can’t quit you

“Paul may not have been familiar with the object of our personal jealousy, but he understood the human heart and its tendency to long for what it does not have—or thinks it does not have.”

C. H. Spurgeon’s excellent and pithy approach to the gospel

Find it hard to share the Gospel? Here is a great approach.
” But recently, in my regular reading of C. H. Spurgeon’s sermons, I have discovered an excellent and pithy approach to the gospel, one that is fully biblical and establishes both man’s universal dilemma and God’s antidote in Christ: Spurgeon’s “Three R’s…”

A Compelling Reason for Rigorous Training of the Mind

“I was reading and meditating on the book of Hebrews recently, when it hit me forcefully that a basic and compelling reason for education—the rigorous training of the mind—is so that a person can read the Bible with understanding.”

Meditation Monday: Spotting Spiritual Fakes Part 1

Meditation Monday is where I share my reflections on Sunday’s sermons from my church, Watson Chapel Baptist Church, Pastor Todd Howard.
Currently we are going through 2 Corinthians. Yesterday the passage we were in were 2 Corinthians 10:7-11.

At this point in 2 Corinthians the church has reconciled with Paul, but there is still a group in Corinth against Paul. Paul begins to teach the church how to spot spirtual fakes.

1) True Christian Leaders Will Affirm Paul.

The more things change the more they stay the same. This can be said of Paul the apostle, people spoke out against him then and people attack him now. But Paul addressing this issue points out that we are of Christ just like you (v.7). How did we know Paul was of Christ, because his life and doctrine reflected Christ in him. True christian leaders will affirm the genuine because the genuine reflects truth. Spiritual fakes will shy away from the genuine to the point of attacking it.

2) True Christian Leaders Have A Positive Impact On The Church

Spiritual fakes are destructive to the church.
Look at those in Paul’s day they were teaching error, attacking the leadership & leading people astray. Some may even appear to perform miraculous signs or have a mass following, but Moses warned us saying,

“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods, ’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. (Deut. 13:1-4ESVST)

Gauge a spiritual fake, not by what sign they can perform or how many followers they have, but by whether they teach truth. Spiritual fakes will sound good but give you a diet Jesus and lite truth.

3) True Christian Leaders Will Lead With Love Not Fear

I don’t know if you have taken the time to read 1st and 2nd Corinthians, but Paul is dealing with an episode of Christians gone wild. He deals with many issues and deals with them up front and honest. After all Paul has written to them, he writes this;

For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed. 9 I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters (ESVST)

Paul assures them don’t be afraid of me I am doing this for your edification. Spiritual fakes try to lord over you and do not have building up in love in mind

4) True Christian Leaders Remember God Looks At The Heart

We can tell many Spiritual Fakes right away because they are image driven and are all about charisma and projecting an aura of superiority. Just turn on your Christian television network and you will find many of them with this problem. 

5) True Christian Leaders Have A Consistent Life

Integrity
and conviction
are important when evaluating the genuine from the fake.

Until next week
Soli Deo Gloria

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Tragedy, Tradition, and Opportunity in the Homosexuality Debate
“But the change in public policy need not—and should not—settle the issue for the church. Instead all of us are being compelled to examine our beliefs and practices. This is a good thing. We deeply need a new approach to our neighbors and our churches’ own members, especially those who live with a same-sex attraction or orientation. To find this will require acknowledging the tragedy of our recent history, the continuity of Christian teaching, and the opportunity for a new kind of ministry.”

Asking Questions Few Want to Ask
“Some questions should never be expressed, given their timing and content. The police pull you over and ask for your driver’s license. You do not say, “Oh? Why?” You give them your license. The boss says, “I need 20 copies of this in an hour.” You do not reply, “Can someone else do it?” You find a copy machine. When duty calls, duty expects an answer.”

Christ and His Church
“The local church is the greatest, most profound collective of which any human could be a part. Your family, your career, your nationality — these all pale in comparison to what it means to be a member of a local church. And of course, this doesn’t make any sense unless we understand what the local church actually is.”

The Best 10 Minutes Of Your Day
“And while I’m often tempted to go “all or nothing”, lately I’ve made sure to do the most beneficial part of my devotional time:”

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Immigration Will Tear Us Apart
“On more than one occasion, I asked President Obama not to turn immigration reform into a red state/blue state issue. People across the political spectrum support fixing this system, and it shouldn’t be a partisan wedge issue. I also asked him not to act unilaterally, but to work for consensus through the legislative process. To his credit, he did just that for a long while, and the Republican Congress took no action. He also told me, and others, that his patience was not endless on this.”

What if John Owen and Joel Osteen debated?
” I would pay good money to watch a debate between John Owen and Joel Osteen. Wouldn’t you? “

Boys, porn and education
“Pornography is a destroyer of innocence, and the innocence proper to certain years of a boy’s life is an important factor in his education—especially if that education is informed by the classical pedagogies of wonder, imagination, and delight.”

Strategic opportunities God is providing us as Christian parents
“One day there will be no more sporting events to take them to and from. The real question is, while we still have these strategic opportunities, how are we going to leverage them for the glory of Christ in training our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord?”

The Early Bird Gets The Link

What do US pastors think about immigration issues?
With political tensions over immigration rapidly rising, recent research offers an update on what Protestant pastors think about the issue.

Will we remember our earthly lives when we are in heaven?
“According to author Randy Alcorn, in his book Heaven, we surely will. Alcorn starts building his case from the contents of Rev 6.”

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
“How can I love my neighbor with dementia? 
We can start by learning about Alzheimer’s disease and build upon that by living out the gospel in their care.  Here are 10 things to remember about Alzheimer’s and caregiving.”

Is saying God always existed a cop out?
“How can we say that the answer, “the chemicals were always there,” isn’t a suitable answer if we say the same thing about our God?” A great question with a great response.

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Why is the New Testament in Greek?
Great look into history.

The Christian and Optimism
“We’re promised turmoil, suffering, cross-bearing pain. So why should Christians be optimistic?”

16 Things God Says To You In One Of The Best Chapters In The Bible.
“John Piper says that good news is so dense and so constant in Romans 8 — and so vastly superior to all earthly good news — that we scarcely feel the force of it until we take every verse of Romans 8 and restate it as the miracle it means for our lives.”

3 Common Traits of Youth Who Stay In Church
” It’s hard to sort through the various reports and find the real story. And there is no one easy solution for bringing all of those “lost” kids back into the church, other than continuing to pray for them and speaking the gospel into their lives. However, we can all look at the 20-somethings in our churches who are engaged and involved in ministry. What is it that sets apart the kids who stay in the church? Here are just a few observations I have made about such kids, with a few applications for those of us serving in youth ministry.”