This past Sunday I mentioned this excellent article by Francis Schaeffer, “The Mark of the Christian.” It sets out the priority of loving one another as the distinguishing mark of followers of Jesus. Click on the link below to access the abridged form of this article:
I got this from one of our NW far flung ones recently. It’s worth a thoughtful read. Your engagement with our sent ones is vital. Do you and your family engage and support one of our missionaries? You really should. If you’d like more information on how you can do that or with whom, contact Rob at Robc@northwake.com for more information.
Your Petitions are Desperately Needed
In Philippians 1 Paul is saying something notable, “Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your requests and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance.” I am still amazed that Paul the Apostle very clearly teaches that certain successes in his ministry are based on two variables.
- Your requests to the Father
- The help of the Spirit
Brothers and sisters please do not think that this newsletter is simply a casual nicety. Although I am thrilled to update my friends and family concerning my work I am not simply writing these newsletters as an friendly update. I am begging you along with Paul that you, “strive together with me in your requests to God on my behalf” so “that my service in this city may be acceptable.”
I do impossible work here. There is no natural way that I can raise the spiritually dead far less equip anyone else to do so (and in my second language). I am desperate for you to lift up the work here because I am desperate for the Son to come and work miracles in this city, mainly that of turning a heart of stone into a heart of flesh. Please do not underestimate the power of your requests to the Father on my behalf.
I thank you for your faithfulness and your support in lifting my work here before the Father. I cannot express how humbled and grateful I am for you, for my comrades in the fight for the lost.
Please ask the Father to give you and the others who strive alongside of me wisdom and persistence in lifting up the work here.
With sincere hope and love,
That the lamb might receive his just reward,
As you study along with us in l John, here are some resources that you might find helpful:
If you want to buy a commentary, here are two that I have found helpful that aren’t too technical:
If you want a more technical commentary, this one by Karen Jobes has been helpful for me:
This online sermon series by John Piper is very insightful (and free!):
“Suffering is not a topic for discussion as much as it is a reality each person must face. Yet, we tend to do little to prepare our hearts for it.”
As Christians, how do we prepare for the suffering we will inevitability face in this life?
Sundrenched mornings, filled with days at the pool, barefoot picnics with neighbors in the backyard, and refreshing time with family – this is what the best summers are made of. Have you considered how to redeem these priceless moments for the kingdom?
John Stott reminds us, “Every Christian should be both conservative and radical; conservative in preserving the faith and radical in applying it.” As you bring your daydreams of the perfect summer to life, consider how you can preserve what God’s Word commands us to live out in a radical way in your neighborhood, on the summertime road trip and at the local park this summer. Imagine what God can do as you lead your family to live radically for Jesus!
Set Realistic Expectations
Trevin Wax reminds us that “seeking first the kingdom comes after we have been sought by the King. The root cause of worry is not misplaced priorities. It’s misplaced faith. It’s a failure to grasp the gospel of a God worthy of our trust.” Consider how you can trust God to order your summer activities so that they bring Him Glory and lead your kids and neighbors closer in a relationship with our Savior. Welcome impromptu invites to summer suppers and rejoice at cul-de-sac meet ups. The dishes can wait – eternity is at stake. A simple pile of sidewalk chalk and a driveway can provide the perfect template for sharing the gospel story.
Be Christ Centered
Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” We have been entrusted to train up our kids in God’s Word. Consider how doing simple things such as driving to grandma’s house can be an opportunity to model Christ to your kids. Will there be unbelieving family there? Pray for them on the trip. Each time you see a new city name pass by on the highway, challenge your kids to pray for the kids in that city! Grasp summertime moments as an invitation to point to the Savior.
Learning to love Jesus should be fun! There are countless ways to help the scriptures to come alive to your kids. Consider what your kids love. For our little one, he loves to sit next to me and watch me draw out the storyline of the Gospels. His eyes get wide as he watches my untrained hand draw two fish and five loaves of bread. He squeals with delight and says “again, mommy!” Find ways to help them love and treasure God’s word this summer in fun and unique ways. Sandcastles quickly beg for an epic tale – and what better epic tale could you share than truth adventures of our King Jesus?
18 short summers is all we get. Consider how you can use those 1674 summer filled days with your kids to win them and your neighbors to the Kingdom.
In this one-minute video from Pastor Larry posted by the Baptist State Convention of NC, Larry speaks to the necessity of establishing “deepening” practices in our lives that build depth in our relationship and intimacy with God. Well worth the listen.
Here’s a link to the video: https://vimeo.com/264498586
Recently, I had the chance to participate in the “Wisdom Forum” on a Friday night at SEBTS. It featured a handful of short 10 minute TED talks on a variety of topics centered about the theme of “The Good Life.”
Several of the talks seemed especially helpful to me and I wanted to pass several of the talks along to you for your encouragement. (All of the talks were helpful and can be found at the Intersect website at the link below.)
Here’s one by Matt Mullins on loving the Bible (even the poetry parts!):