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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

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Love

Feature Friday (04/27/18)

I can still remember the day, time, place, and emotions of that day. It changed my life. It changed the lives of many I knew. And it changed the life of my entire family. I had been told that such an event in one’s life could have and would have dramatic results, but I never grasped the meaning and depth of change my life would encounter until that day. March 10th, 2013 @ 12:10AM my life changed forever. I became a dad.

Having a son, and now two daughters, and another son on the way soon has drastically changed my outlook and experience of life. I love being a dad. Don’t get me wrong it is hard. Very hard at times. And to be honest, I regularly see myself as a failing parent. Was I too easy on him? Am I too hard on him? Should I have acted sooner? Should I have waited before helping out? All of this and more are daily internal battles I have with myself. But one thing I know, while there are many styles of parenting, tough love is needed for every child at some point in their lives.

That is why I love so much Abigail Shrier’s article “‘Knock It Off’ and ‘Shake It Off’: The Case for Dad-Style Parenting“. In a way I would not have thought about before, Shrier makes a great argument for why kids need, what she calls, “dad-style parenting. While I am not the best guy to ask about how to parent “dad-style”. This article challenged me, yet again on my duty and privilege as a dad.

I hope you enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

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Feature Friday (2/3/17)

I’m sorry. These two little words, when withheld, have the power to change mediocre to awful. These two little words, when spoken, have the power to redeem a horrible situation. Yet it is these two little words that seem so often absent from relationships, marriages, and families. It is these two little words that unfortunately have been withheld all too often in the very group who is on earth to spread the greatest message of redemption. It is these two little words that are the beginning point of love. It is these two little words that the church must speak more often, in more ways than one…

Check out Tim Barnett’s article over at the Stand to Reason blog entitled: The Apology to the LGBT Community That Needs an Apology for an excellent apology, well many of them actually.

As always, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (10/21/16)

Tug of war. Remember that game? As a child it is a fun game of back and forth until someone finally outlast and out powers the other. But imagine an eternal game of tug of war? Sounds exhausting right? Reality is there are many truths of scripture that exhaust my mind in an everlasting game of mental and theological tug of war. One of those issues is the love of God and the reality of hell.

Definitly not a popular or well thought of doctrine, hell nonetheless is a biblical truth and reality. But how do we reconcile the doctrine of hell and the love of God. Randy Alcorn steps in not to finish the game of tug of war but instead to help ease the tension of our minds and hearts while playing the game. “God’s love and the doctrine of hell: the two doctrines are in fact compatible in the mind of God. And it is His mind, not ours, which is the source of truth.” Read Randy’s article here and be encouraged and challenged!

Discipleship: How Jesus Made Disciples

discipleship_graphic1aMatthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples”. This was Jesus’ final command to his disciples as He left this earth to return to the Father in heaven—five simple words that form one small statement. But this final command of Jesus summarizes His purpose for those who call themselves His followers, His disciples, those who wish to learn from Him. While this commission from Jesus has been performed for millennia since the ascension, it is often vague or misunderstood so that those who believe themselves to be “making disciples” really are not. So what does a disciple-maker do? What does it look like for one to make a disciple? In order to make disciples one must know what a disciple is, what the internal characteristics of a disciple are, what the external characteristics of a disciple are, how Jesus made disciples, how one will make disciples, as well as what success will look like in making disciples. This series will engage those topics continuing with: How Jesus Made Disciples. The gospels lay out how Jesus made disciples in 5 steps.

First, Jesus called for disciples. He did not wait for them to come to Him and inquire about how they may or may not get involved. He went to where they were. He got in their fishing dingy (Luke 5:1-3). He passed by and visited them at their workplace (Mark 2:13-14). Jesus did not just visit them at a synagogue meeting or when friends had a party. He engaged them in areas where they spent a lot of their time and life. He even went out of His way to visit them at their homes (John 1:43). But Jesus did not just go to where they were, He called them from where they were. He called for them to get out of their boats and follow Him (Luke 5:1-3). He invited them to leave their work behind and follow Him (Mark 2:13-14). Jesus was inviting them to come and see Him, to meet Him, to know and love Him (John 1:45-51). Jesus called for disciples where they were and from where they were. He went to people and called them to have faith in Him (John 4; John 9).

ModelSecond, Jesus modeled life to His disciples. Jesus did not just sit around in an ivory educational tower teaching the disciples what a disciple was…He showed them. Jesus denied Himself all the time. His very existence in the form of a man was a self-denial (Philippians 2:6-8). While He was well above menial tasks, Jesus never acted as if He was anything but a servant (John 13:1-20). Jesus led by example in many ways throughout His life. From the very beginning, Jesus was modeling the life of a disciple for His disciples. While in the wilderness, He even demanded John to baptize Him, not because He needed a baptism of repentance, but to fulfill the righteous plan of God and set an example to His disciples (Matthew 3:13-15). Even in the face of great temptation Jesus modeled the life of a submissive disciple. When tempted three times by Satan, when He could have called down a legion of angels to catch Him, what did Jesus do? Submitted to the Father’s plan and obeyed the Father’s Word (Luke 4:1-13). Jesus modeled the life of a disciple to His disciples, all the way to the end (Matthew 27:32-50).

Third, Jesus lived with His disciples. He did not just visit with them every third Thursday of the month. Jesus actually lived life in the highways and byways with His disciples. He traveled to the places they traveled (Matthew 8:23). Jesus ate meals with His disciples (Matthew 9:10). He even walked the same roads with them and shared snacks from time to time (Matthew 12:1). He used normal routine activities of life to teach real life discipleship rather than hypocritical religiosity. Jesus did things with the disciples. He would share responsibility with them, delegating actions to be taken (Matthew 21:1-3). Christ served alongside of His disciples to minister to people (Mark 8:6). He did all of this in life with the disciples because He was not just teaching religion, He was making disciples. Jesus lived with His disciples.

servant-leadershipFourth, Jesus loved His disciples. He showed His love for them by protecting them on many occasions. When in the middle of a great storm that the disciples were so distressed about they thought they would die, Jesus calmed the storm and protected them (Mark 4:35-39). He protected His disciples by standing up and defending them against hypocritical false teachers (Matthew 12:1-8). And Jesus protected His disciples from false teachers not just directly, but indirectly by teaching them how to identify these deceitful tutors (Matthew 16:5-12). But Jesus loves was more than just protection it was action. Jesus loved His disciples to the end, completely (John 13:1). He held nothing back in service and love to them (John 13:4-5). Jesus loved His disciples by teaching and praying for them and with them (John 17:8-9, 15). And greatest of all, Jesus demonstrated His love for His disciples by laying His life down for them (John 15:13). Jesus loved His disciples.

Finally, Jesus sent His disciples. He sent them to serve others (Matthew 14:13-22). When Jesus was ministering to a group of people He enlisted the help and aid of His disciples alongside of Him. But Jesus went further. Knowing He would one day leave this earth, to return to Heaven and prepare His disciples a place (john 14:1-3), Jesus commissioned His disciples to continue preaching the gospel. He did this first of all, while He was still around (Luke 9:1-6). But Christ also said they would be His witnesses and empowered them to continue without Him by sending His Spirit to indwell them (Acts 1:8). Jesus’ final command to His disciple was to make disciples. Jesus sent His disciples to do just that.

discipleshipAnd as His disciples we are called to the same thing. Are we making disciples? Are you calling for them? Modeling the life of a disciple to them? Living life alongside of them? Loving them? And are you sending them to make more disciples? The mission of Jesus was to make disciples that would make disciples. The mission Jesus gave His church was to make disciples. How are you doing at being a disciple?

Make sure to stop by next week where this series on discipleship continues with How You Can Make Disciples!

Feature Friday (10/3/14)

imageSorry for not having posted a Feature Friday for quite some time. Without further apology or excuse making here is one to enjoy!

I am still working greatly on all of these, but #6 and #7 I am constantly working through.

7 Tips for a Happy Christian Marriage!

Discipleship: The External Characteristics of a Disciple

discipleship_graphic1aMatthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples”. This was Jesus’ final command to his disciples as He left this earth to return to the Father in heaven—five simple words that form one small statement. But this final command of Jesus summarizes His purpose for those who call themselves His followers, His disciples, those who wish to learn from Him. While this commission from Jesus has been performed for millennia since the ascension, it is often vague or misunderstood so that those who believe themselves to be “making disciples” really are not. So what does a disciple-maker do? What does it look like for one to make a disciple? In order to make disciples one must know what a disciple is, what the internal characteristics of a disciple are, what the external characteristics of a disciple are, how Jesus made disciples, how one will make disciples, as well as what success will look like in making disciples. This series will engage those topics continuing with: The External Characteristics of a Disciple. The gospel of John lays out the external characteristics of a disciple which include an abiding in the word, a loving one another, and bearing fruit.

First, a genuine disciple of Jesus Christ will abide in the word. In John 8:31-32 Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus used the verb abide, which means to remain, to dwell, to continue or to have a determined resolve.[1] This word carries with it the type of resolve a dog shows when it really wants to chase a ball, but stays put because the owner told the dog to “sit”. Paul uses the same word when he speaks of his desire to be with Christ yet truth that he will ‘remain’ in the flesh (Philippians 1:21-25). This type of abiding gives assurance to a genuine disciple. Confidence is built by consistence. And the consistent abiding for a believer is in the word. This word is the Jesus’ teaching, His example, His life, His commands. This word is the Word of God. It is this Word that God points us back to over and over and over again (Psalm 1, Psalm 119, Matthew 4:1-11, Romans 10:17, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:3, 2 Peter 1:19-21, Hebrews 2:1-4). Disciples abide in the word.Jonah

Second, a genuine disciple of Jesus Christ will love one another. In John 13:34-35 Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” This type of love is one that cherishes. it is a love that is a determined, willful, selfless love. It is the love Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 13 as, patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not arrogant, not rude, not iinsistingon its own way, not rejoicing with wrong, but rejoicing with the truth.  This love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. This love never ends. This is the love disciples show to one another. It is a love they display to other believers. It comes out in a multiplicity of actions (Mark 9:50, Romans 12:10, Romans 14:19, Romans 15:7, 14, Galatians 5:13, James 5:16). But the ultimate example of this love was in Jesus Himself who died for the sins of others (1 John 4:9-11). Disciples love one another.

Third, a genuine disciple of Jesus Christ will bear fruit. In John 15:7-8 Jesus says, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” The verb to bear means to produce, to follow a course, or to demonstrate the reality.[2] Jesus is illustrating for us the truth that a branch does not bear anything unless it is connected to the vine or tree. And as disciples of Jesus people will bear fruit. Fruit in this teaching of Jesus is referring to actions. Other places in the gospels Jesus constantly referred to actions as fruit (Matthew 7:15-20). And the ultimate fruit of disciple is described in Galatians 5:22. This fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. These actions come as one has the Spirit that comes through connection with the Vine, Jesus Christ. Disciples bear fruit.

fruitSo are you a disciple? Are you evidencing the eexternal characteristics of a disciple? Do you find yourself abiding in the word? Is there a love for other believers evidenced in your life? Finally, are you bearing the fruit of the Spirit?

Make sure to stop by next week where this series on discipleship continues with How Jesus Made Disciples!

[1] Robert H. Mounce, “John,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition), ed. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, vol. 10 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007), 479.

[2] Arndt, William, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

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