Word & Spirit, Worthwhile

Worthwhile September 27, 2019

First off this week is the fact that on this day in 1979 my love was born. She has done quite a bit of growing since then and for that I am thankful. Happy birthday Stacy!

It has been a full week of exciting ministry but I did come across a few important bits for you to peruse.

Tackling acedia. The ancient category of spiritual boredom, or worse, sinful apathy. I think we probably diagnose differing layers of issues but for Christians, and as this article suggests pastors, acedia is a terrible root cause if it exists. Harold Sankbeil has a full article on Gospel Centered Discipleship about it.

Acedia means a lack or absence of care. And that’s deadly. Whenever we grow numb to Christ’s saving work and the Father’s gracious gifts by which he makes us and preserves us, spiritual boredom takes hold, followed by apathy and subsequent despair.”

As you can imagine, when this happens for those responsible for the spiritual health of others, things can get sketchy. Sankbeil gives some good clues to combat acedia and warning sings to watch for.

“God your Father in heaven for Jesus’ sake will take care of you, of that you can be sure. He is the almighty Maker of heaven and earth, and yet at the same time he is your true Father. That means you are his true son, dearly loved. He is guardian and keeper of all his beloved children. He guides you waking and he guards you sleeping. Under his protection you can safely rest even in the most distressing hours of your life.

“So call upon him in every trouble, won’t you? Pray, praise, and give thanks to him. He is good, and his mercy endures forever. Whenever you are at the end of your rope—mentally, physically and spiritually exhausted—he will then be your strength and stay.”

Read the whole thing here.

Going back then a couple of years, after a few questions about the Passion translation of the Bible, and as a local church plant posted a verse from it that I thought was a terrible misreading of Scripture, I wanted to get to the bottom of its dangers or value.

Andrew Wilson does not disappoint as he gives some good guardrails. Essentially the Passion Translation is no translation at all and for that reason we should steer clear of it.

Read Wilson’s thoughts here.

Finally, last week I had some questions on our Church’s view of the gifts of the Spirit and how we desire them today. I have always found resources from The Village Church helpful and thought you might too.

Check out their page of talks and articles.

That’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the first days of fall. Nebraska is hosting ESPN’s College Gameday on Saturday so you should watch that! GO BIG RED!


You don’t always get the gift you wanted…

If you are anything like me I am sure you have experienced the feeling, getting a gift that was not what you expected and just maybe wishing you received your expectation instead.

For the record this has never happened with any gifts given by my wife, family or any of your reading! But there has been times that I have let my imagination run and dream up all kinds of great gifts to be surprised by what I actually get. I think we do this a lot with conversations as well. The boss says he wants to talk, you dream it is about that raise (or getting fired for those pessimists out there) or the new fancy title but it turns out he wants to compare notes on the recent Husker game.

This also happens in the church. We dream of great gifts that will bring public acclaim but  seem to only be given “behind-the-scenes” type ministries. While this often reveals corruption of our ambitions (which should be another post all together) it is our response to receiving that gift that we should think through.

If I am pursuing God’s glory and not my own I am more comfortable with serving and using any gift given to me and I do it not for acclaim but out of obedience. I may continue to pray for other gifts but I must learn to be content with what I am entrusted with and make a gospel difference where we are.

We must embrace the gifts we are given and play our part in the body of Christ with passion and enthusiasm (unless you don’t have the gift of enthusiasm!