Worthwhile February 22, 2019

February is coming to an end. It is always faster than we think. For many, the hope of Spring over the horizon is enough to warm your heart and even for those of us in SoCal, we wouldn’t mind some warmer temperature.

So this week let’s get real warm, in the love of Christ!

Two articles. On having a “Precious” and not being awkward when we think we are.


First from Sam Storms. A question: Is Jesus precious to your soul? I am preaching from the text he quotes and have been asking myself the same question all week. More than anything else, I long for Jesus to be precious to me, my obsession even. Are you on board? It’s worthwhile.

Read him here.


Next up before you clock out for the weekend, Andrew Wilson quotes Matt Smethurst’s new book on how sometimes (okay most of the time) evangelism can feel awkward and embarrassing to us. But it may be used by the Lord to draw people to himself.

Are you down for being embarrassed in order to share Jesus? It sure beats not sharing him.

Check it here.

Worthwhile February 15, 2019

Do you have a Valentine’s Day hangover? Feeling loved and noticed or lonely and hopeless? At either end of the emotional spectrum, and in every spot along the way, the love of God is poured upon your heart by the Spirit (Rom. 5), may you feel that today as you trust in Jesus for all of life.

A few items to share this week that could all be filed under false teaching/ heresy. Each informing us toward clarity and clinging more tightly to the biblical gospel of grace.


Jared Wilson has an article on For The Church where he outlines key differences between biblical Christianity and Mormonism. While the recent tactic of this man-centered religion is to claim being Christian, their doctrinal beliefs makes that an impossibility.

Wilson gives a good starting point to recognize the difference and still love Mormons with the hope of Christ.


From the vault, as recent as December, Christianity Today highlights some new research that points out the link between pursuing “health and wealth” spirituality and actually feeling worse about life. This is the false gospel that says God wants you to be rich and without problems. It ignores so much of the hope found in the New Testament in trusting Jesus through troubles and usually has a swindler telling you God will heal you if you “plant a faith seed of $1000…”

New research suggests that Americans with poor physical health and low socioeconomic status are particularly inclined to look to the Bible for insights into attaining “health and wealth”— an aspect of prosperity gospel teaching—even though doing so often ends up making them feel worse.

God still heals, but you can’t buy it and when he does it is for his glory. Read more on the research here.


And to close us out this week, a new video clip from the Gospel Coalition with Francis Chan sharing why the Prosperity Gospel is unhealthy.

A Hermeneutic for All of Life

An article from Sam Storms on seeing Jesus in all of Scripture has me thinking about how we view all of life. How we interpret the events around us and on the global stage. What is our hermeneutic?


her·me·neu·tic
/hərmən(y)oodik/ adjective

1.concerning interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts.

http://www.dictionary.com

A hermeneutic is our method and theory of interpretation. And while Storms was reviewing Scripture to encourage interpreting the Bible as pointing to Christ, there is actually more we can see as pointing to Jesus – all of life.

Here is the text in question (one of them anyway): Colossians 1:15–17

Jesus “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (ESV)

Storms them writes that by saying “for him” Paul is indicating that “Jesus Christ is the purpose of everything exists.”

Now I am familiar with this text and I have always thought of all things being for Jesus concerning his glory, that he would reign over them. But it goes further.

Think about that. Sure there are some sticky implications to that statement, but none prevents it from being true. Just like every Scripture in the Bible, everything of creation is meant to point to Jesus.

It may be to reveal the need for a savior. To show the beauty of his creative power. To proclaim his arrival, life, death, and resurrection. To highlight the miracle of belief and what a life transformed by grace looks like. To call us back to him when we run off to lesser gods.

Jesus as a banner over all things to make himself known. That people would believe.

Every encounter, every run-in, every mellow moment, every anxious interview, and everything in between. It is all for Jesus – about him, pointing to him, for his glory.

What a radical way to view all of life. And I think it is right. I want to spend more time interpreting life in light of Jesus. Will you join me?

Worthwhile February 8, 2019

We have been suffering through a cold snap here in SoCal, lows in the 30’s, and it is really more than I can bear! Seriously, it is amazing how thin my blood is. I need a stocking cap and coat when it is 60 degrees. Sad and brilliant at the same time!

What should you check out this week? Keep reading and grab a couple of ideas!


Alan Frow, pastor at Southlands Brea gives a glimpse of his forthcoming book in a post about the transient nature of California. If you have wondered what ministry looks like in the Golden State, here is a good look.

Much similar in the transience of life in D.C. but with a different disposition toward engaging in the church and being rooted where you are.

“Californian transience makes building community an extremely taxing pursuit. Honestly, leading a church in California can be like planting tumbleweed. The moment you think someone is putting roots down, they just roll on down the road to a new job, a new town, a new church or just a new adventure. The temptation can be to cling feverishly to every single person who is rooted and committed because they’re such a rare breed. Sending your best can feel like you’re intentionally trying to kill your church!”

I am thankful to know Alan and glean of his wisdom. Read his post here.


How about “apostolic passion?” Now don’t get all nervous at the use of the “A” word! This is an old article from Floyd McClung on Mission Frontiers about what it means to be passionate about being sent to make Jesus known.

Ready to abandon normal life, focus on being sent and rely on Jesus in prayer. This is an article I need to keep reading and go back to. How am I living sent? Let it stir you.