Jared C. Wilson:
Christian, you are never not covered by the blood of Jesus. So: If his blood has covered your sin, why are you still walking in fear and hiding?
You know, the one place I finally felt “at home” I got eventually got chewed up in and spit out of. I’ve had a pretty good life, but I’ve also got some pretty good reasons to keep entirely myself and never let you or anyone else in. That would be the safest and–to some extent–most understandable way for me to live my life.
Your feelings will shipwreck you and leave you hopeless. But knowledge of God will give you a true anchor for the soul. It will give you comfort even when the world falls away, when the diagnosis is horrible, when a scary president gets elected, when you lose your relationship, job, or health. I’ve been there, and God used the knowledge of Him to turn the lies and feelings of despair into an experience of joy amidst horrible circumstances.
As someone who struggles with anxiety and overanalyzing, I can quickly start beating myself up. In these moments, my affection for Jesus wanes. My eyes turn from God’s grace toward me. I don’t deserve God’s love, I may tell myself, but fail to also remind myself of the love God has shown me through Christ. It’s in these times that I need passages like Ephesians 3:16-19, passages that cause me to reflect on the glories of God’s grace.
For a couple of months, I was preaching The Gospel of Mark in our Sunday Worship Service, then teaching Sunday School in the Gospels using The Gospel Project, and then teaching our Men’s Bible Study mid-week in The Gospel of John. Usually, I am teaching from many different areas of the Bible. But rather than getting bored with Jesus, spending concentrated time in the Gospels has made me fall in love with Him deeper as I have had the privilege of looking to Jesus for hours each week. May a couple of things I have seen in a fresh way from gazing at Jesus, encourage you in your pursuit of looking to Jesus today (Hebrews 12:2)!
We live in an age in which the high school hallway is no longer limited to the corridors between classrooms on campus.
Today’s high school hallways are the always-on social media platforms that occupy the pocketed phones of America’s teenagers.
Without self-awareness, a leader is stuck. In fact, the biggest hindrance to a leader’s development is not intelligence or work ethic but a lack of self-awareness. While self-awareness helps us understand what areas of leadership need focus and development, knowing ourselves is something we struggle with. We all have blind spots, areas of struggle we are challenged to see in ourselves. So how can leaders grow in self-awareness.
A favorite from the archives:
I’ve read a lot of leadership advice over the last number of years; some good, some… not so much. Most of the time that advice seems to revolve around how to increase our influence. At least one church leader has suggested that the reason we lack any significant influence in the larger culture is because we’re afraid of controversy. We avoid criticism, and in doing so forfeit opportunities to gain influence. So if we really want to gain influence, we should be be like Jesus as be willing to embrace controversy—to be controversial even at the risk of being misrepresented or misunderstood.
There’s something compelling about the idea of being the misunderstood outlier. To take great risks, say things people won’t say, do things others won’t do… to do whatever it takes to gain influence in the surrounding culture for the sake of the gospel.