Worthwhile: April 26, 2019

The week after Easter can be something special. Coming off of Spring Break for the kiddos and ministry movement back to normal after special services and feasts. So here we are with warmer temps and an eye for summer, which will come faster than we know.

Before the weekend hits with its refreshing and rest, read up. A journal worth checking out and a prayer for those graduating from seminary.


Themelios is the Gospel Coalition’s “international, evangelical, peer-reviewed theological journal that expounds and defends the historic Christian faith.”

And this month’s issue deals with some of the conversation around the continuation of the gifts of the Spirit. With pieces from Andrew Wilson and Tom Schreiner it should be a helpful look at the issue.

It is on my reading list and I thought it should be on yours as well. Download it here.


Five years ago today I graduated from Western Seminary with a Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies. It was quite the journey and the time in seminary was tremendously valuable.

The most meaningful portion of the ceremony was the prayer by Todd Miles for the graduates. Later he published the same prayer as a blog post and it is worth praying again.

So Father, we ask for them that they would always remember the gospel, for it is the gospel that actually dedicates, it is the gospel that consecrates them to service, it is the gospel that has called them, it is the gospel that has saved them, it is the gospel that continues to empower them. Father, may they never, ever forget that.


We ask that you would give them wisdom — wisdom to follow you, discerning hearts to understand the difference between those thoughts that go contrary to the Word of God, and those that have been taken captive in obedience to your Son. We pray, Father, that you would give each of them an attentiveness to your Spirit, that they would depend upon His enablement, His empowerment every day and in every way.

Todd Miles

Read the whole prayer here.


Have a great weekend and remember that Jesus loves you and has carried all your burdens. Give them to him.

Worthwhile:March 22, 2019

Well Spring has sprung and March Madness has kicked off. How is your bracket?!

Today I am looking forward to attending the Valued Conference here in San Diego. It is for equipping the church to prevent sexual abuse and help heal where it has happened. Fathom Magazine has a nice piece about the conference and I am hoping to share reflections afterward.

A couple of items this week to enrich you and send you into the weekend. First on church membership (a favorite topic of mine and timely given last week’s sermon on Awkward Community). Then some reasons to desire and seek the spiritual gifts… Word and Spirit all day over here!


The fine folks at Saturate want to equip the church to be the deepest of communities on mission where ever we are. So Nathan Cedarland invites us to see community from a new angle in the first of his posts on church membership.

I think he is tackling some important questions and will be an encouragement to you.

What does it mean to belong to a local church? Some Christians argue that if they are already members of the Universal Church then becoming a member of a local church is unnecessary or even unbiblical. On the flip side, there are some churches which seem to handle membership as an excessively complicated administrative procedure. Are our convictions about the church being a family on mission compatible with official church membership? Does our heavy emphasis on relationship make a formal membership process unnecessary or even counterproductive to the organic Spirit-led community we seek? Is there another angle on this that we’re missing? And why does it matter?


Next up is a post on Desiring God from five years ago that is as timely as ever. Bryan DeWire compiles 10 Reasons to Desire All the Spiritual Gifts. I found this helpful as I am preparing to preach on the gifts this Sunday and we want to be a church that zealously desires the gifts.

Mostly because its biblical, and because we on the road to maturity and mission we need the power of the Spirit. Check for yourself.


That’s it. Have a wonderful weekend and may you see Jesus as you seek him today and always!

Taking the Seatbelt Off

It is always encouraging to hear Matt Chandler share how his church is pressing into the gifts of the Spirit, and clinging to the Word of God. There is much from The Village Church, their intentionality as elders, and the testimonies they have, that all of us can glean from.

Here Matt sits down with the guys form The Remnant Radio to talk about it all. It is a good hour-long conversation of his thinking and story of pursuing the gifts of the Spirit.

Be encouraged.

Wayback: 1 Corinthians 14

From the archives and March of 2017 comes a sermon on 1 Corinthians 14:1-25. The pursuit of the gifts of the Spirit in the gathered worship of the church.

This was an important season for our church. On the verge of executing the last phase of replanting, changing our name, we benefited from this series through 1 Corinthians. As a church that desires to highly value and pursue both Word and Spirit, the guidance Paul gives is helpful for us today.

Give it a listen here.

Some highlights:

The ramp of confirming spiritual gifts and using them in the context of love arrives here at pursuit of them and expression of them in gathered worship of the church. And Paul puts one gift ahead of the others…“Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.”

...Since gifts are given for the common good of the church the public expression of gifts should be beneficial for the gathered church, communicated in a way that can be understood by everyone present…

The one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding, encouragement and consolation. Those that believe in Jesus and are part of the church will gain from prophecy. They will be “constructed, developed, brought to maturity” by what is heard and understood. They will be encouraged in the faith, to continue in trusting Jesus and laboring in community. And they will be consoled, comforted in the wake of hardship or suffering…

When gifts are used intelligibly for the purpose of edification, encouragement, and consolation, the result is that the message of the gospel rings clear and true. People are transformed by it. It is the gospel proclaimed with regularity and spontaneity that does this good, by the Spirit…