Like every true believer, the disciples desired to walk in a deeper dimension of faith with Christ. They asked Him to explain how they could increase their faith. (Luke 17:5-10) What a wonderful request! However, when we examine the answer Jesus gave to them, we are surprised at His response. It is a great distance from what is usually taught today in Christian circles. How did Jesus answer this question? How does it apply for us if we want to increase our faith? Let’s look at this briefly.
* First Point - Jesus discusses how a ‘grain of faith the size of a mustard seed’ contains all the power necessary to perform His will. (v. 6)
Application – The faith given to every believer at the new birth in Christ is sufficient to accomplish God’s will if we use it! While we think in terms of enormity…the Lord thinks in terms of simplicity and potentiality. If we look to what we already have in Jesus, we will discover the power to do all He commands. (Eph. 3:20)
* Second Point – Jesus discusses the relationship between servant and master. (v. 7-8) Servant is an unfortunate translation. The Greek word for servant (doulos) is ‘slave.’ A Continue reading
We’ve all noticed it. The worship team is leading the congregation in praise and worship, and the person most distant from worship is the Pastor. Either he is using the time to talk with someone, or praying over his message, or putting the final touches on it. This practice by leaders reeks of disrespect and aloofness. It also hinders the freedom and liberty of the Holy Spirit the worship team is hoping to lead the flock into. How is the failure of Pastors to be worshippers a hinderance? Here are several ways.
- It is disheartening to the worship team that has been praying all week and practicing to lead the congregation in worship. It makes them feel their effort is not important.
- It is a poor example to the flock, especially other men, about the importance of worship. Men will look strongly to the actions of their Pastor. If worship isn’t a priority to him, why should it be to other men?
- It leads to the false assumption that worship is beneath those spiritually mature. Pastors are held up as examples of maturity. What type of example are we showing.
- It projects that worship time is only a ‘filler’ until the real event–preaching. It dumbs down the real benefits of worship. A person who worships in spirit and truth are the best ones prepared to receive the teaching of God’s Word.
All of these reasons will cause damage to the flock. It is never intended, but the damage is real nonetheless when Pastors appear distant from worship and praise. What should Continue reading
We have been rapidly moving toward a post-Christian culture. That can be daunting to those, like myself, who are old enough to remember the Christian dominating culture and have lived through the transition. However, if we embrace one important dynamic, it does not have to be the hurdle we think it is.
In order for many of our neighbors in our culture to ‘come to church,’ they must jump many hurdles to get to our services. Some of those hurdles are:
- Meeting times – do we worship a day or a person?
- Dress codes – do ties and dress slacks make us more spiritual?
- Meeting protocol – why 3 songs, an offering, a sermon and a prayer?
- Bible linguistics – why heavy theological language which most don’t understand?
The average ‘posty’ (my term for a post-Christian person) must jump over these and many other hurdles in order to ‘fit into’ our puritanical and centralized pattern of church. Continue reading
The Lord still has His prophets. No, we will not see them walking around in sackcloth and ashes, or with unkept beards and shepherd’s staff in their hand. But they are there… speaking God’s Word in faithfulness and stirring up the sheep to obey the Lord. Haggai was one such prophet. The Lord used him to bring the people of Judah back into focus for the labor before them. His words were like clear trumpet sounds, bringing the voice and will of God to the hearts of the people.
Prophets, especially New Testament prophets, speak much like Haggai. Sure, there are times of rebuke, warning and correction. However, even during these times, the NT prophet fulfills the call to be gentle and patient, correcting without strife or quarrel. We are called to represent the Lord not only in word, but also in Spirit. It is a high calling for messengers to speak “truth in love.” (Eph. 4:15) Continue reading
Regardless how full of the Spirit leaders are on Sunday, there is always the Monday morning war. The Lord could fill the weekend services with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and yet, when Monday rolls around a battle rages. Take heart fellow Elders, Church Planters and Pastors….it is common. The victory of Mount Carmel is always followed by some degree of the loneliness of Elijah’s cave. (1 Kings 19:9) We are engaged in a continual battle…we don’t get a day off.
The enemy loves to do one of three things:
- Over exalt what took place to get us into pride…attempting to make us feel ‘we’ did it.
- Weigh us down with expectations to make it happen again and therefore get us in our own strength and producing manipulation or coercion. Continue reading
I love to share what other leaders in the body of Christ are saying. As many voices as possible need to be heard from men who understand culture and who are using their gifts and talents to reach others with the gospel. Here is a great article by Rick Whitter. He does a good job of relating the experience of his granddaughter to our call to be strangers and pilgrims. Let us all be sensitive and wise as ambassadors for Christ. Well worth the read. Here is the link:
Why It’s Good to be the Minority Sometimes | Thoughts on Life and Leading.
From December 2011 to February 2013, the work of Project India has planted 41 churches and seen over 4,000 people surrender to Christ among the poorest of the poor in rural India. One of the most desperate needs we have is providing a copy of the Word of God to these believers. Because of the demand, we attempt to provide 1 Bible per family in their native language. We are always playing catch up, as the Lord has been bringing in a great harvest the past 15 months. We thank Him for the harvest of souls He is gathering by the Holy Spirit.
Will you pray about helping us provide a copy of the Bible to these families. Though they come from extreme poverty, when they come to Christ they usually only have one request…and that is for a Bible so they can read and grow in their walk with Christ. It is our call to disciple them, and we must have the Scriptures in their hands to do so.
We can get the bibles for $4 each. How great is that? We have hundreds of families who need bibles, and we plan on getting it to them. We need your help? Maybe you, your church or Sunday School class can help with this. We have connections on the ground in India to get these bibles at an unbelievable price. Every dime goes toward the purchase of God’s Word.
You can contact me personally, call or click the donate button on the right side of this page and donate via credit card or paypal. It is safe and secure. Just send a message that it is for Bibles. Thank you so much for your help.
“He sent out his word and healed them.” (Psa. 107:20, ESV)
Our culture hates absolute truth! It also hates and rejects men who are bold enough to proclaim it. That is why pastors should never seek to be popular or acceptable among the leaders of society. Jesus even warned us to be concerned if “all men speak well of thee.” It is the sign of a false prophet. (Luke 6:26)
We are witnessing the constant disintegration of our society, and that really is not a surprise. However, we are also seeing the emasculating of Christian men in the church…even in the pulpit. This is alarming. God is looking for men who will not bow down to political correctness or social pluralism, and who are willing to proclaim the exclusive claims of Christ and the call for all to repent and surrender to Jesus!
A gospel of love and encouragement is NOT the gospel of Christ if it excludes God’s judgment of sin and the call for repentance. The message becomes nothing more than pop-psychology with god words, and will only complement the further decay and Continue reading
A young man sits in an outreach meeting in a rural village in India. His name is Babu.* He listens as the Gospel is proclaimed in his village with clarity during a street meeting. Conviction comes upon his heart and he responds to the call to repent of his sins and surrender to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. When he does, his life is changed forever as God washes away his sins and makes him a new person in Christ. (2Cor. 5:17)
This story is unfolding time after time through the work of Project India, as we have seen nearly 4,000 come to Christ in the past 14 months and planted 41 churches in previously unreached villages. However, the story of this young man will help explain some of the phenomenal results we are seeing.
Soon after his conversion, Babu is praying and senses the Holy Spirit directing him to action. He obeys and is immediately thrust into action in the kingdom of God. What does he do? Babu is very poor, but feels he is to take all his money and buy a video camera and Continue reading