I once had an unexpected, startling confrontation with another Christian. I was a speaker at a conference and walking from one event to another when an individual came charging up to me. He got right up in my face, like a batter arguing strikes with an umpire, and began to tell how I had offended him. I quickly learned I had done something he found irritating and he wanted me to know all about it.
Lore asks an important question. For the record, I vote no. It’s just changing.
It was about a year ago at this time that a public announcement was released which shocked more than a few people. After 11 years working in various capacities for Maryland/Delaware Baptists—most recently as State Evangelism Director—I would be transitioning back into the local church to serve as a pastor. While most warmly congratulated me, a few were puzzled. In their minds, I was leaving a highly influential denominational role accompanied by national and international platforms and the collective resources of more than 560 churches. Why would I want to leave that to shepherd a single congregation?
Your story is not mere biography. It is much bigger than that. Your story is what God has been and is currently doing in you. Your story is made up of your family size and personal experiences, but it is also made up of your struggles, failures, hopes, and dreams.
Do you ask others to tell this kind of story? Are you sharing your story with your church?
Telling your story is a beautiful, God-glorifying, church-loving discipline. Here’s why we should encourage personal story-telling in our churches.
In counseling, parenting, and my own personal pursuit of godliness I have found that hating sin is an easily overlooked but never overstated priority. Sin brings consequences. Often these consequences are painful. It is a real temptation for us to hate the consequences and never get around to hating the sin. Don’t get me wrong, we should hate how sin hurts ourselves and others. But we can’t leave it there. Until sin is actually hated for its odious and repulsive character we will not make true progress in godliness. We may make progress in morality but not holiness; for this requires a godly hatred of sin.
It’s not that God doesn’t care about details, though. Have you ever read God’s instructions in Exodus for building the tabernacle? God wrote down so many details that it’s hard to stay awake. Of all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge which God could have recorded in His Word, He chose to give us many pages outlining the uses of things like blue, purple, and scarlet threads and of finely spun linen. God pays attention to the details, too.
Have you had any opportunities recently to lead someone to Christ? I bet you’ve had more than you realize. Probably even today. Most of us have daily opportunities to show the love of Christ with the broadest diversity of people we could imagine.
Where? Social media.
A favorite from the archives:
Can Christians smoke weed? Barely 15 years ago (at the turn of the century), this question would have been quickly answered with a resounding no. And yet, it’s no longer quite so cut and dried these days more American states move toward decriminalizing and legalizing the sale and possession of marijuana.