The Early Bird Gets The Link

Daily Wisdom

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Is It Biblical to Say, ‘Bloom Where You’re Planted’?

In the case of “bloom where you are planted,” it’s not enough to object, “That’s not in the Bible!” We should bring the whole teaching of Scripture to bear not only on the words of a phrase, but also on its meaning. This practice honors Paul’s admonition, “Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good” (Rom. 12:9; cf. 1 Thess. 5:21–22). In other words, ask what’s true about a statement—and what’s false.

The Food Scene of a Gospel Culture

What is the dish of a gospel culture? What delicacy marks the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth? It’s not a casserole. No crockpots. But it is a carb and a cup.

4 Practices to Help You Discern Between the Holy Spirit and Leadership Gurus

With so much advice at our disposal, however, how do leaders find clarity about God’s specific call for their church? How do we hear from God when so many other voices are calling for our attention?

Every Master (But One) Leads to a Living Death

When we allow sin to gain dominance in our lives, we start to experience death, even while we live. In Romans, death and life are not just options for the afterlife; they are conditions we experience now.

Self-Control In Christ Alone Brings Freedom

The phrase “a believer in Christ” is essential to fruitful self-control, for here is the truth: Only the one who is in Christ can truly control their self.

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Daily Wisdom

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How Often Do You Examine Your Fruit?

If you aren’t growing in godliness, this is a sign of trouble. At the root of failure to grow in godliness is always the spiritual problem of failure to live in Christ. 

1 Corinthians 10:13, Part 3: Will I Be Tempted Beyond My Willpower?

Worth the listen.

4 Things to Reset In Your Life and Ministry

While there’s no reset button in real life, the Lord does give us opportunities to re-adjust our outlook on life or to reconsider how we should spend our time and energy.

Maybe it’s time to “reset” a few things in your life. Here are four to consider.

Pursuing the Will of God as a Student

Throughout high school, I felt drawn to be a professional golfer but also had a call on my life that had been affirmed by others at church for vocational ministry. During my teenage years, I often asked myself, “Is God’s will for my life to go into vocational ministry or to go into professional golf?”

NUGGETS: Suicide

Some good resources on suicide.

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Daily Wisdom

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Matthew’s Gospel as You’ve Never Read It Before

The Gospel of Matthew is best understood with one eye looking back to the old story, and the other attuned to shifts in the new story.

9 Ways Great Leaders Communicate

Great leaders are great communicators. Communication certainly includes making a great speech, or for pastors, delivering a compelling sermon. That kind of communication is important, but it’s less so than communicating well one-on-one.

Common Does Not Mean OK!

One of the many dangers with sin that has become common, is our sinful hearts begin to justify our own sin by comparison. Ordinary is confused with acceptable. Normal is distorted into moral.

Run Like the Wind from Sexual Sin

Paul tells the Christians in Corinth to “flee sexual immorality” (1 Cor 6:18). Men, don’t gloss over the urgency in his words. The imagery calls to mind refugees fleeing a war-torn battle zone. “Forget going back to the house for our stuff. Grab the kids, we have to run—now!”

The Root and Reward of Faithful Service

The root of these men’s faithfulness is their love for God and His Word. They remember what God has done for them throughout the years, how He has always been faithful, and they cling to His Word. They revere His holiness and they find rest in serving Him.

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Daily Wisdom

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The Offensively Ordinary Steps to Godliness

The pursuit of holiness, then, is both easier and harder than many of us imagine: Easierbecause our growth in grace often happens gradually, one small step at a time. Harderbecause sanctification has now invaded all of life. Holiness is hidden in offensively ordinary tasks, and those tasks are all around us.

Seeking God’s Will in Disappointment

Are you struggling to understand God’s will for your life? Are you discouraged about his purpose for you? It’s too easy to misplace our hope in our plans and goals. God’s will is about so much more than just our circumstances, and He is more persistent than our problems too.

Have You Ever Lost Trust in God?

In the times when we feel invisible, we can counter those fickle feelings that tell us we don’t matter with the truth that God will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13 v 5). When the disappointments of life weigh us down, we can remember that God is the lifter of our heads (Psalm 3 v 3). When we feel like we are doing life alone, we can know that it is God who helps us (Isaiah 41 v 10). God also gives us hope in his word. He knows he can be counted on, and he kindly fastens our hearts to his promises.

Write. Record. Release.

We have more God-given, communication resources than any people who have ever lived. Ever! How now should the wise Kingdom steward live in light of the fact: Every computer and cell phone is a recording studio, and book, magazine, and blog publisher?

Sticktoitiveness and the Christian Life

Sticktoitiveness is not something we value today. We are a nation of quitters. We quit jobs, quit towns, quit wives and children, and quit churches at an alarming rate. Just drive around on any Saturday morning for evidence of our quitting ways. Garage sales dominate our neighborhoods and enable us to attempt to receive back some return on our investment for all of the hobbies and life improvement changes we started but couldn’t complete.

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Daily Wisdom

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Is the Universe Designed for Life?

 

Seven Things We Can Learn from Attractional Churches

The debate between being an attractional or missional church continues. I’m not a fan of a church that is ONLY attractional, but I do think we can learn some things from the attractional approach:

On the Issues: What to do if Your Parents Divorce

 

Was Jesus Tempted To Commit Murder?

Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). What an amazing truth. But what does it mean? Does it mean that he was tempted to do everything that any human has ever been tempted to do: murder, child abuse, genocide, and the rest? Most of us probably assume not. But why? And (more pressingly in our current context): how do we differentiate between the ways in which he was tempted, and the ways in which he wasn’t? If it says he was tempted “in every respect”, but there are a bunch of ways in which he wasn’t tempted, does that end up undermining his humanity, his priestly mediation for us, the clarity or authority of Scripture, and more besides?

Women: You(r Gifts and Leadership) Matter in God’s Kingdom

Sadly, there has been a false dichotomy put forward in the church: Either you believe there is no distinction of roles at all (a position called egalitarianism), or you believe women don’t ever have the capacity or calling to lead.

We need to reject that dichotomy and adopt instead what the Bible puts forward: distinctions of position and function in the body of Christ, but not distinctions of gifting, dignity, or value.

Kindle Deals

If you are a Logos user, the Free book of the month and the discounted books that come with it are excellent resources this month.

 

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Daily Wisdom

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Bridging the Thin Blue Line Pt 5 – The One Common Sin That Contributes Most to the Racial Divide

How to Help Your Teens Use Their Phones for Good

Smartphones invite us to use them mindlessly, purposelessly, to alleviate boredom or provide shallow entertainment. It’s all too easy to start scrolling through apps as a form of procrastination, or when there’s nothing better to do.

Augustine and a Distracted Heart

Ultimately, I’m not sure that a distracted heart can be solved by removing Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or any other platform. My right-hand causes me to sin, so I take it to the butcher block, only to find my left is causing me a bundle of problems itself! Ultimately, we may strip our lives down to nothing but the dogs and hares and find that we are still consumed with “vain stupidity.”

7 Areas of Life Where Every Leader Must Set Goals

Are you a goal setter? Goals give you a starting point and a destination. It is the easiest way to give meaningful direction to your life, which releases you to effectively use your talents.

Peculiar Passages: The Case of the Wise Ants

Small but wise, weak but well-organised. Got it. But what are we supposed to do with this list? What are we supposed to think? Reading these verses might feel like listening to someone at a party drone on about everything they’ve done that day. A vacant “Mm, that’s nice,” is the natural response. There’s no demand being made of you, nothing profound to think about. Ants are not very strong, but they store up food in the summer. Right. And?

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Daily Wisdom

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Three Ways We Go Wrong When Discussing Homosexuality

Historically, we in the church haven’t done a great job in conversations about homosexuality, and we’ve done an even worse job caring for those experiencing this. If we look humbly and open-mindedly at what the Bible says, then we see three ways we’ve gone wrong in the church when it comes to talking about homosexuality.

The Vow of Christ

Jesus, like Ruth, makes his commitment to the ones he loves for better or worse. But unlike Ruth, he knows just how bad the “worse” is going to be. Still he stays.

Constantly (Dis)connected: How Online Habits Form Us

The world of the Internet has its own such heart-shaping liturgies. Unless we’re conscious of them, they can subtly shift our desires and our habits so as to undermine our contention for the truth or our love toward others. Consider three heart-attitudes that are dominant in the digital world, along with the analog truthto preach to ourselves.

His Testimonies Are My Heritage

For some of my ancestors, coming to America was a dream. For the indigenous part of my heritage, “America” was a nightmare that came upon them through the idea of someone else’s “manifest destiny.” When talking to other Latinas and indigenous people—both Christian and non-Christian—I have discovered we are alike in many ways. Outwardly, we display very different and beautiful shades of brown. Inwardly, the fight and fate of our ancestors still brings a force of reckoning that is undeniable. And even though we may be separated by faith and last names, we share a commonality that unites our hearts—to make the dreams of our ancestors a reality for future generations. A dream to escape decades of poverty and to have an actual house instead of a makeshift shed. A dream to enjoy land, freedoms and rights that are equal to those who have migrated here. A dream of a life worth telling your great-grandchildren about.

Leader, Your Small Choices Have Big Effects

One of the most basic functions of leadership is the power of choice. Like pebbles tossed in a lake, leaders daily make choices that ripple in every direction. The choices leaders make, through action or inaction, will likely change more lives than they can possibly imagine.

Here are three important choices leaders face on a regular basis.

Kindle Deals

 

Kindle 5.15

Hebrews Commentary 4.27