mgpcpastor's blog


Leave a comment

Going Back Where The Church Belongs (via J.A. Medders)

A post in which J.A. Medders points out that any sentimental, nostalgic appeal to become more like the early church is not the solution to the church’s current problems and challenges.
After all, much of the New Testament was written to address the needs of the church, not because of its strengths.

So, tell me again, which early church you want to go back to? Immorality, persecution, division, theological confusion, legalism, and attacking the apostle Paul is what’s on the menu.

The answer to our present need is the same answer that was provided to the early church for their problems and challenges:

We don’t need to go back to the early church—we are already like them. But we do need to go back somewhere.
The only perfect church, filled with non-problematic people is in Heaven. Be faithful in the present without wishing for the past.
We must always go back to the teachings of the early church, the New Testament, but the church itself was a mess. Much like today. We are a mess, too, so we go back to the teachings that went to our messy brothers and sisters. We learn from them and the teachings—not to be like them, but to be faithful to our risen Lord.
We go back to the apostolic teaching. We go back to the Bible. We go back to Christ. A church that does that is who we should want to be.

Source.


Leave a comment

Christlikeness Is Something To Long For, Not Be Delivered From (via Randy Alcorn)

Randy Alcorn is supporting his wife, Nanci, through her season of cancer.
God is supporting them both.
He writes about the experience of God using the very situations that nobody wants as the circumstances in which faith and Christlikeness grows:

If asked, “Do you want to be closer to Jesus, and more like him?” we all know what we should say. Yet, if God answered all our prayers for relief from suffering, he would be delivering us from the very thing we say we want. Christlikeness is something to long for, not be delivered from. It’s not easy to pray, “Please do whatever it takes to make me more like Jesus.” But when he does whatever it takes, we should trust him.

source


1 Comment

Suffering Is Never Alone (via Paul Tripp)

Paul Tripp reflects on his own season of chronic illness, a situation that has left him with ongoing physical challenges.
The greatest challenge though, is not physical, it is spiritual.

You never come to your suffering empty-handed. You always drag a bag full of experiences, expectations, assumptions, perspectives, desires, intentions, and decisions into your suffering. What you think about yourself, life, God, and others will profoundly affect the way you interact with and respond to the difficulty that comes your way.
This is why the writer of Proverbs says: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
What are you carrying around in your soul that has the potential to complicate your suffering? What are you preaching to yourself that could allow you to forget the truths of the gospel?
Never forget: No matter what painful thing you’re enduring, as God’s child, it’s impossible for you to endure it all by yourself.

read the rest at Paul Tripp


Leave a comment

The Hardest Battle In Ministry (via Jeff Robinson)

This is the battle every Christian fights, and it’s the hardest battle in ministry: the battle against yourself.
From Jeff Robinson:

The ministry is a lot like golf. You really are your own worst enemy. You have to battle you all the time. It comes down to realizing that you are weak. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10, You are weak, but he is strong. In our weakness, his strength is made perfect.
Jesus said it best in John 15:5. Apart from me, you can do nothing. You must rely on him. That’s part of winning the war within is God making you a humble, godly man who does look like the person Paul describes in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
Regarding the war within, I think it’s time for battle.

Source


Leave a comment

Living As Exiles, Not Expatriates (via D.A. Horton)

We are citizens of heaven living on earth, not people from heaven seeking to become citizens here.
That difference should show in our priorities and in our relationships.
From D.A. Horton.

Living as exiles means that fighting for political power isn’t our main objective, suffering together well as we reach the lost in our society is. The fathers and mothers of our faith, living on mission outside of Jerusalem, were known to spiritually flourish while they were socially oppressed and persecuted. Many of them held no power, yet they preached Christ in boldness and loved those living on the margins of society with them.

source


Leave a comment

Christian Hospitality Is A Reflection Of The Gospel (Nick Kennicott at The Christward Collective)

All Christians are part of the household of God.
All Christians were once welcomed to that household by God’s grace.
All Christians have a role in welcoming visitors to that household as an expression of the grace we’ve received.

From Nick Kennicott at The Christward Collective.

To be hospitable is to welcome a person with open arms, with an open heart, and with an open door; it is an openness to care for and love others, putting their needs before our own to ensure, at the very least, that they feel welcome in our midst. Fulfilling the Bible’s command to be hospitable in the local church is a responsibility of every Christian.
The motivation for Christians to be hospitable is to remember that we are the recipients of God’s hospitality. We were once strangers, wanderers, orphans, and aliens, but by the grace of God, we were made alive together with Christ. Thus, Christian hospitality is a reflection of the gospel. The ultimate hospitality was Jesus Christ dying for sinners to make all who believe, not only visitors, but members of His household.

Read the whole post here.


Leave a comment

Rise Up And Walk (via Ron Block)

A meditation on faith by Ron Block.

Faith isn’t something we drum up or fight for. We don’t pull up our faith-bootstraps and try to believe. Faith is more than intellectual assent to ideas about God; it is the outcome of any real moment of intimate contact with him.
When we are fearful or unbelieving, when we look at the future with trepidation, or when our mind is spinning with past losses, what can we do? Well, what do we do when we are cold? We pull our chairs up to the hearth and get closer to the fire. We step into the warmth and light of the sun.

Read the whole post at The Rabbit Room.