Were these words of sadness, redirected to verbalize a lack of faith, but more honestly expressing a deep sadness for his absence?
We don’t know. What we do know, though, is that these are definite words. They’re words of resolution: “I. Will. NEVER. Believe.” Thomas had made up his mind, and whether that was motivated by insecurity, anger, or sadness, he was resolute. He would not be caught up in the foolishness that was before him. I mean, come on – Jesus? Back from the dead? It was ridiculous after all. But here’s the striking thing to me about this passage.
On a recent episode of Word Matters, Trevin Wax and I discussed Jesus’s warning of a future “abomination of desolation.” This passage gets some of the end-times chart junkies’ wheels spinning. And it’s actually a passage that someone brought up to me when I was teaching at my local church recently, so I thought it’d be worth addressing on the podcast, because I know others have wondered about it.
Great leaders ask great questions. Great leaders ask questions to learn but also to encourage those they lead to think strategically. Below are six questions leaders should be asking those they lead. They may not show up in a meeting agenda or on a questionnaire, but wise leaders are continually asking those they lead these types of questions.
Well, the same gospel that by its nature unifies also tends to divide. We don’t usually expect this kind of division in a local church —we are typically otherwise fearful about conflict arising from music styles, programming choices, and personality types—but the gospel can divide a church just as easily as it might a family. But actually there’s nothing more prone to stirring up mess than the grace of God that has arrived to create order.
Whenever the gospel is faithfully preached, people get poked in the idols. And people don’t like that.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. Scripture has lots of things to teach about raising children. Numerous principles are communicated implicitly and explicitly. Nevertheless, there’s an entire genre of Scripture devoted to wisdom, and it insists wise things cease to be effective when you misuse them: “Like the useless legs of one who is lame is a proverb in the mouth of a fool” (Prov. 26:7). You can know all the right things to do, but they’ll be utterly useless if you apply them in ways God didn’t intend.
Like looking for the one right way to approach your kids.
For those who serve in ministry, tragedies cannot be avoided. Although a devastating event may not be personally affecting, it strikes at your heart and mind, and in the overflow, it strikes your home. When others have experienced a personal loss, the sufferings within a minister’s home may be overlooked during a time of crisis, and rightly so. However, that does not diminish the difficulty of the days you are experiencing.
As we weather this current storm, we are clinging to these life-giving truths in order to minister well and take care of our own bodies and souls. I pray this provides you encouragement in whatever you may be facing.
A favorite from the archives (in honor of my one-year anniversary at LifeWay):
Today is the big day: my first day at my new job. Lord willing, by the end of the day, I’ll have a fancy name badge and everything. I’ve spent the last week and a half getting settled into our new town and apartment, doing paperwork, and trying to do everything I could to be ready to start work today.
Now “today” is here, and my head is spinning. Here’s a look at what’s going through my mind right now as I take this next step.