The Early Bird Gets The Link

Daily Wisdom

img_0635

Worth The Read

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

Reflections In Mark: Why Did Jesus Have To Be Baptized?

The question has to be asked right? Why in the world does Jesus have to be baptized? If he is God in the flesh, why does he come to John to get baptized? Especially, since John’s baptism is a baptism unto repentance, what does a sinless Jesus need to repent of? John recognized this, we read John saying in Matthew, ” I need to be baptized by you”.
It is Jesus response to John where we discover the answer of why Jesus needed to be baptized.

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.

John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. – Matthew 3:13-15

What did Jesus mean here? What does Jesus mean to “fulfill all righteousness”?

Identifying

When Christ is baptized, even though he is sinless, Jesus is choosing to symbolically identify with sinful men by submitting to John’s baptism. This is one of the first acts of love and redemption, a sinless redeemer identifying with a people who have no righteousness.

Obedience

Just like we say Jesus died for me, we can also say Jesus lived for me. In theology we talk about Jesus’ active obedience and this is what I believe Jesus is referring to by fulfilling all righteousness. Jesus not only had to die in your place but he also had to live in your place. Jesus had to be a sinless saviour, walk in complete faithfulness to God and his righteous requirements.
Why?
So that when we place our trust in Christ there is an exchange, a transaction, our sin for Christ righteousness. Look at these passages of scripture,

Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. – Isaiah 53:11

3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,

4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. – Romans 8:3-4

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:21

God is so good, not only did He send His Son to be the sin offering for our sin, he sent his Son to live the perfect life that we cannot live. When we respond to his saving call through repentance and faith our sinful deeds are nailed to a cross and Christ righteousness is placed on us like a royal robe.
Until Next Time
Solo Del Gloria

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Daily Wisdom

img_0965

Worth The Read

Discovering the Secret Journal of Grace

In Ephesians chapter 1, it’s as if the children of God are permitted to thumb through the journal of their heavenly Father. Reading through it, we find out that the experiences that we enjoy so much were carefully and intricately planned. God has set his love on his people before the foundation of the world, and he carried it out in real-time. What’s more, these thoughtful, intricate, and loving plans gave our Father you himself. He loves to shower blessing on his children.

8 Ways to Impact Your Community By Blessing Local Schools

Some good info and ideas here.

Peculiar Passages: the Strange Case of the Forbidden Raisin Cakes

There are plenty of actions and attitudes that the Bible describes as wrong. Lying, thieving, adultery, anger, selfishness, pride, boasting… and eating raisin cakes.

Gospel Encouragement Knocks out Satan’s Lies

Encouragement for the Christian is like the heavyweight boxer going into the ring. Satan is about to land the knockout punch, and then—bam!—before that big-time moneymaker reigns down its terror in comes the counter-punch. Encouragement is the counterpunch to Satan’s lies.

Jesus throughout the Bible

Years ago, someone captured the centrality of Christ in the Bible by identifying the reflection of His image in each book.

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Been on a road trip from Arkansas to Oregon, we got some rest yesterday. Now here today’s edition of The Early Bird.

Daily Wisdom

Worth The Read

An Open Letter to Pastors about the Teens in Their Congregation

Most likely your church includes many teens (and adults!) who struggle with depression, anxiety, self-harm, PTSD, OCD, eating disorders, or any number of other invisible burdens. And these struggles come with a lot of shame.

Too often, the church is silent about these issues, and that just adds to the shame. Please, don’t be silent. Research it if you need to. Listen. Try to understand. These illnesses and disorders have both a spiritual and a physical side—prayer and the word are essential, but they won’t make clinical depression go away. 

How Porn Makes Us Less Human and Humane

The path toward seeing how pornography dehumanizes begins here, in thinking about the death of wonder in our hearts and our lives. But I do not speak of wonder about sex—not yet, anyway. The death of mystery in that realm is only one manifestation of a more general disease, a pornification of our eyes and our minds that extends well beyond the realm of sexual stimulation. Whether pornography is to blame for this more general problem, or vice versa, may remain subject to debate; my only interest is in arguing that what happens in pornography is not limited to sex.

Hidden Dangers

Here are five significant hidden dangers that every God-called minister must be aware of.

Can A Christian Blaspheme The Holy Spirit?

It has always seemed to me that there is something about blaspheming the Spirit, as Jesus intended us to understand it, that has brought a person to the point where they are sinning in such a way that they are unwilling and unable to repent and believe. That is the way I am putting the two together.

3 Ways To Spoil The Gospel

It’s always a temptation in polemics to stress one thing to an excess when we view ourselves as correcting excesses elsewhere. But over-correction tends to do harm as well. We have to prayerfully work against such extremes or we risk imbalances that harm the gospel.

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Daily Wisdom

Worth The Read

A multi-level warning about multi-level marketing

There is a way that MLM is commonly done that conflicts at many points with Biblical values. So in what follows I submit several cautions – several lessons I’ve learned – for you to consider if you are involved in or thinking about joining one of these organizations. These points could be summed up as how we don’t want to do multi-level marketing.

Peculiar Passages: The Prophet, the Dead Boy, and Some Very Strange Events

Strange though it is, the more God works through us, the easier it is to forget that it’s about him, not us. Beware being used by God, and then thinking you have no use for prayer.

The Compassionate Truth About Judgment

Jesus, at whose cross “heaven’s peace and perfect justice kissed a guilty world in love,” perfectly balanced judgment with compassion.

4 Questions: David Ayers on Sex and the Single Evangelical

Despite the clear biblical instruction, sex outside of marriage has become increasingly morally acceptable among young evangelicals. That’s one of the findings in a new research brief for the Institute of Family Studies produced by sociologist David J. Ayers, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, and professor of sociology, at Grove City College. He uses data from the National Survey of Family Growth to gauge trends in sexual activity among never-married evangelical young people

What Does It Mean to Be Dead to Sin?

When we accept Christ, we “die to sin” in two ways:

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Daily Wisdom

img_0913

Worth The Read

4 Ways to Grow in Self-Control

I’ve argued before that self-control is one of the biggest indicators of Christian character. Without it, you’ll eventually ruin your life and legacy. With it, you can thrive and be a blessing to others around you. You’re probably convinced of the need for self-control. But how do you get it?

Reaching the Nations: Thinking about Highest Priority

There are 7,000 unreached people groups in the world. What if we knew there was one group who never had one followed of Jesus in its history? What if two groups? Three? Ten? One hundred? One thousand? Would this historical knowledge affect the way we prioritize the least reached, frontier peoples?

7 Things Great Leaders Do: Advice For Today’s Young Leaders

As soon as you think you already know what the teacher, professor, or someone older than you is talking about you’ve mentally closed your mind to learning anything new.

The Power of Biblical Hospitality

True hospitality is a cultural expression of other-oriented kingdom living. It transcends regional expectations of gourmet performance and focuses its energies on the blessing of honest and sincere relationships. It isn’t concerned with projecting an image of manicured lives devoid of stress, mess, and chaos. Instead, biblical hospitality flips the camera lens from a selfie to a wide-angle, pointed outward toward the lives of others, warmly inviting them into ours.

Seven Massive Changes Where Churches Must Respond

Today, these are not just understandable concepts. They are the norm. These seven massive changes are dramatically shaping our churches today.

 

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Daily Wisdom

img_0956

Worth The Read

Did Jesus Claim to be God?

10 Things You Should Know about the New Heavens and the New Earth

All later tabernacles and temples within the history of the people of Israel are a reflection of Eden. The Garden of Eden is the exemplar of what it looks like when heaven and earth meet.

Gospel Coaching

Accountability shouldn’t be a giant guilt trip – that’s not the gospel – it should be coaching in the gospel, having someone alongside you to help you keep applying the gospel to your journey in sanctification.

Is My Job the Problem? Or Am I Just Discontent?

So how can we discern the root of our discontentment? Is it one of the ways we image God as we cultivate his world? Sinful preoccupation with our own comfort and status? Frustration with brokenness and a desire to reknit the fabric of creation?

Those aren’t easy questions to answer. Here are a few tangible practices to help.

How Charles Finney (and other Overly Emotional Preachers) Made It Difficult to Preach the Gospel

So, how can a church in a secular setting work toward a culture where discussing God’s wrath and substitutionary atonement isn’t frowned upon but celebrated? There are no quick fixes or magic pills. That said, I’d like to propose three practices that will prove helpful in all of ministry.