Here’s the thing: it’s not just you. Everyone’s past is marked by, at least to some degree, foolish words, reckless decisions, and sinful acts. Everyone’s! Many would-be followers of Christ and even many Christians live with persistent, suffocating guilt. They question whether Christ will truly forgive them for what they have done. They feel they will never measure up spiritually, and thus are assigned to second-class Christian status. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Tim Challies interviews Garrett Taylor, an artist who works at Pixar Animation Studios.
God is doing something wonderful in our church to overrule the rampant pornography that has at times invaded even our most closely guarded homes and hearts. Men and boys who previously wrestled with how to connect with one another, be transparent with one another, or even see the need for discipleship—including myself—have come to see, through the horrific plague of pornography, our need for God’s help, our need for God’s Word, and our need for each other.
It is tragic to think how many people have been stripped of ministry opportunities because they have depression, anxiety sometimes overwhelms them, or occasionally they aren’t sure what’s real. Essentially, churches find people among them who need the structure and purpose of serving in ministry and immediately take it away. Then we ask people to get better without one of the most helpful things they could have in their lives.
It seemed parents in the crowd had started pushing and shoving their way forward with their kiddos in tow. They were coming because it was customary in those days for a great teacher of the law to lay their hands on children and pray for them in order to bless them. That’s just what these parents were doing. They, like Nicodemus, didn’t quite know what to make of Jesus, but they had seen and heard enough to know they wanted to get their rugrats some of that blessing He might be handing out.
When you think church planter, you should think farmer, not rock-star. We plant, we toil, we labor, and we beg God for rain. There are seasons where the harvest is ripe and plentiful, and there are seasons where the opposite is true.
We should anticipate both hardship and happiness in the work of ministry.
A favorite from the archives:
You wouldn’t think it’d be that hard to write a letter, but this one has a very specific purpose, because it’s also my term paper for my apologetics and outreach course. I am to write a letter to a friend, a family member—someone I am close to—bridge the gap between their beliefs and my own, and encourage them to pursue Christ.
And until last night, I’ve been stuck.
Every time I’d start, I’d hit a wall. I didn’t know where to begin. So I started thinking about a different person, our relationship and what they believe. And then I’d hit another wall. And then another. And another…