Here we are, the first week of the new year. And because we are, most of us are considering resolutions. There are the standard promises of weight loss, gym membership, more reading, and a host of others. Chances are, you’ve made one of these resolutions before. Maybe it worked out, and maybe it didn’t. If it didn’t work out, then perhaps you’re redoubling your efforts this year. Maybe you have some kind of plan that will make this year different. And maybe, because you do, you are repeating the same resolution you’ve done before.
Naturally, this love for Jeremiah 29:11 has often led more theologically-oriented Christians to lament its out-of-context use. So much so that a young Christian recently asked me, “Does Jeremiah 29:11 apply to me, or not?”
My answer: Kind of.
Let me take that back. Yes, it does apply to you, but not in the way many “claim” the passage.
So let’s turn from media headlines to biblical headlines in order to correct our worldview and enter 2018 in a more peaceful and trusting spirit. The prophet Isaiah knew that tough times lay ahead for God’s people. He spent 39 chapters warning them about it. But, in chapter 40 of his prophecy, he turned from earth to heaven and called God’s people to “Behold your God!” (v. 9). And what a reassuring sight that is.
Participation vs Speculation in Worship
This was interesting
This is important stuff for all of us to be thinking about, regardless of our role in our local churches. Number 2 on the list is the biggest one.
The obstacle that lies in front of many white Christians isn’t always ill will. It’s inertia. It’s simply easier to avoid thinking about things that don’t affect us. But if we’re gospel people, we will be aware of the pain others are going through. We will be aware of the privileges we experience that others don’t have. And we will use any position of privilege or strength that we enjoy to serve others. We are called to share the burdens that our brothers and sisters of color live with as if they were our own.
A favorite from the archives:
Think about it: no matter your background, there was a time when this was true for you, just as it was true for me. There was a time in your life, whether you remember it or not, when you did not esteem Christ. When you did not value him. When you did not love or honor him. And I don’t like that because it means it’s also true for my kids, too. I don’t like the fact that I can’t “make” them be genuine Christians. That it is entirely possible that Emily and I could see one or all of them never truly come to faith. And that’s not something I like thinking about at all. I desperately want them to be people who never “esteemed him not”.