Like almost everybody who’s 40 years of age or older, I’ve known my share of both failure and success. I can look back on my life and see areas where I’ve succeeded far beyond my expectations and areas where I’ve failed far beneath my hopes. But I’ve learned to be thankful for both success and failure. I’ve learned to see the kind hand of God in each of them.
Probably you have some kind of routine. And at the risk of disrupting that routine, I wonder if you might take that chance as your eyes are starting to close to remind yourself of something other than the number of sheep in the pen and your 8 am meeting agenda. Here are three truths to speak to your soul as you fall asleep tonight.
While preaching the gospel—the one story of Scripture of God’s plan to redeem people from sin through Jesus—is critical, it is not all a pastor does, therefore it is not the only area where a pastor needs to be gospel-centered. Here are four ways for a pastor to be gospel-centered beyond the pulpit.
Is there any other message simultaneously simple enough for a child to understand and profound enough to baffle an angel? That’s right—angels. They had a front row seat at creation; they witnessed God splitting the Red Sea and making a donkey talk. Every time they show up to deliver a message, people nearly die from awe. But what blows their mind is the message of the gospel, and that’s what they spend all their time talking about.
From the beginning, God intended for humankind to be in a relationship with Himself. Adam and Eve enjoyed perfect communion with God in a sinless and perfect world while they lived in the Garden of Eden. Then one day, Adam and Eve chose to forsake their relationship with God to pursue their sin. This tragic day had severe relational consequences for them and for us as their descendants.
Though these conversations were with single people, they aren’t the only ones who feel lonely. Leadership is often lonely. The stay-at-home mom surrounded by toddlers all day feels lonely. The Christian teen who’s the only believer in his family feels lonely. The missionaries who just arrived overseas and are overwhelmed by the unfamiliar language and culture—they experience loneliness, too.
A favorite from the archives:
Aside from seeing how surprisingly easily the book translated into film (thanks in no small part to both being authored by William Goldman), and being astounded by his affection for parenthetical statements, I read what may well be one the most insightful examples of pride ever put to paper in the person of Vizzini the Sicilian.