Links & Quotes

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For my pastor friends: “A growing church is a work of God. We, His servants, matter only to the extent that we are faithful in our callings.” —T.M. Moore

“Maintaining doctrinal purity is good but it is not the whole picture for a New Testament church. The apostles wanted to do much more than simply ‘hold the fort,’ as the old gospel song says. They asked God to empower them to move out and impact an entire culture.” Read more from Jim Cymbala’s post His Hand Of Love.

“Read whatever chapter of Scripture you will, and be ever so delighted with it—yet it will leave you as poor, as empty and unchanged as it found you unless it has turned you wholly and solely to the Spirit of God, and brought you into full union with and dependence upon Him.” —William Law

Pastor Chilly Chilton has an important reminder: Being Mean Is MEAN.

If you are fasting during Lent, or if you simply fast on a regular basis, this post is helpful: Kingdom Fast: Caffeine.

Very helpful: Want To Get Your Dream Job? Do These 4 Things.

Ever been here? How To Pray When You Don’t Feel Like It.

Thoughtful words from Seth Godin: Kicking And Screaming (vs. singing and dancing).

Funny, but true, from Truth Facts

Tax forms

Links & Quotes

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“Another point is that on that view you would have to regard the accounts of the Man as being legends. Now, as a literary historian, I am perfectly convinced that whatever else the Gospels are they are not legends. I have read a great deal of legend and I am quite clear that they are not the same sort of thing. They are not artistic enough to be legends. From an imaginative point of view they are clumsy, they don’t work up to things properly. Most of the life of Jesus is totally unknown to us, as is the life of anyone else who lived at that time, and no people building up a legend would allow that to be so. Apart from bits of the Platonic dialogues, there are no conversations that I know of in ancient literature like the Fourth Gospel. There is nothing, even in modern literature, until about a hundred years ago when the realistic novel came into existence. In the story of the woman taken in adultery we are told Christ bent down and scribbled in the dust with His finger. Nothing comes of this. No one has ever based any doctrine on it. And the art of inventing little irrelevant details to make an imaginary scene more convincing is a purely modern art. Surely the only explanation of this passage is that the thing really happened? The author put it in simply because he had seen it.” ―C.S. Lewis

“It takes more than academic rigor to win the world for Christ. Correct doctrine alone isn’t enough. Proclamation and teaching aren’t enough. God must be invited to ‘confirm the Word with signs following’ (see Hebrews 2:4). In other words, the gospel must be preached with the involvement of the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven.” Read more from Jim Cymbala in his post With Signs Following.

Unbiblical Church Growth

Jim CymbalaThis message from Jim Cymbala is a hard word, but right on target.

The apostles never tried to finesse people when they were presenting the gospel. Their communication was not supposed to be “cool” or soothing. They aimed for a piercing of the heart, for conviction of sin. They had not the faintest intention of asking, “What do people want to hear? How can we draw more people to church on Sunday?” That was the last thing on their minds. Such an approach would have been foreign to them.

Instead of trying to bring men and women to Christ in the biblical way, we are consumed with the unbiblical concept of “church growth.” The Bible does not say we should aim at numbers but rather urges us to proclaim God’s message in the boldness of the Holy Spirit. This will build God’s church God’s way.

Unfortunately, some churches now continually monitor how pleased people are with the services and ask what else they would like. We have no permission whatsoever to adjust the message of the gospel! Whether it seems popular or not, whether it is “hip” to the times, we must faithfully and boldly proclaim that sin is real but Jesus forgives those who confess.

Nowhere does God ask anyone to have a large church. He only calls us to do His work, proclaiming His Word to people He loves under the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit to produce results that only He can bring about. The glory then goes to Him alone—not any denomination, local church, local pastor, or church growth consultant. This is God’s only plan, and anything else is a deviation from the teaching of the New Testament.

Today we have an anti-authority spirit in America that says, “Nobody can tell me I need to change. Don’t you dare.”

Both in the pulpit and in pastoral counseling we have too often given in to this mentality and are afraid to speak the truth about sin. We keep appealing to Paul’s line about becoming “all things to all men” (1 Corinthians 9:22), not noticing that in the very next paragraph he says, “Run in such a way as to get the prize” (verse 24). Adapting our style to get a hearing is one thing, but the message can never change without leaving us empty-handed before the Lord.

I’m curious: What do you think of this?

Links & Quotes

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Some great reading & watching from this weekend…

What it means to fight like a man.

[INFOGRAPHIC] The most popular Book of all time.

“Christians are priests, but how priests if they offer no sacrifice? Christians are lights, but how are they lights unless they shine for others? Christians are sent into the world, even as Christ was sent into the world, but how are they sent unless they are sent to pray? Christians are meant not only to be blessed themselves, but in them shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, but how if you refuse to pray?” —Charles Spurgeon

“Reason does not know that salvation must come down from above; we want to work up from below so that the satisfaction is rendered by us.” —Martin Luther

“No matter the society or culture, the city or town, God has never lacked the power to work through available people to glorify His name.” —Jim Cymbala

Chilly Chilton has a very timely message: My Take On Mark Driscoll & Acts 29.

[FREE EBOOK] I love the graphics and Bible study tools from The Overview Bible Project. Check out the free ebook they are offering on the apostles.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell says, “You cannot be full of yourself and focused on others.” Check out his video on humility.

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Some good reading from this weekend…

“What most Americans—and the world—hear about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas goes something like this: ‘125 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed by Israel’s relentless assault on Gaza. No Israelis have yet been killed.’ This may be true, but there is absolutely no context to it. One must look at the methodologies of the two sides.” Read more in this post: The Moral Difference Between Israel And Hamas.

If Planned Parenthood did so much work to prevent women from needing abortions, then why are they the nationwide leaders in performing abortions?! Read how Planned Parenthood responded to their certificate of death award

“Christianity at any given time is strong or weak depending upon her concept of God. … Our religion is little because our god is little. Our religion is weak because our god is weak. Our religion is ignoble because the god we serve is ignoble. We do not see God as He is…. A local church will only be as great as its conception of God. An individual Christian will be a success or a failure depending upon what he or she thinks of God.” —A.W. Tozer

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

“Give us a pure heart, that we may see Thee, a humble heart, that we may hear Thee, a heart of love, that we may serve Thee, a heart of faith, that we may live Thee, Thou, Whom I do not know, but Whose I am.” —Dag Hammarskjöld

“Whether we call ourselves classical evangelicals, traditionalists, fundamentalists, Pentecostals, or charismatics, we all have to face our lack of real power and call out for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. We need the fresh wind of God to awaken us from our lethargy. We must not hide any longer behind some theological argument. The days are too dark and dangerous.” —Jim Cymbala

Pulling Up To The Table

Jim Cymbala“To every preacher and every singer, God will someday ask, ‘Did you bring people to where the action could be found… at the throne of grace? If you just entertained them, if you just tickled their ears and gave them a warm, fuzzy moment, woe to you. At the throne of grace, I could have changed their lives.’ God has chosen prayer as His channel of blessing. He has spread a table for us with every kind of wisdom, grace and strength because He knows exactly what we need. But the only way we can get it is to pull up to the table and taste and see that the Lord is good. Pulling up to that table is called the prayer of faith.” —Jim Cymbala

Pastor, are you pulling up to the table enough? Is prayer a priority in your personal life? Is it a priority in your church?

Links & Quotes

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Some great reading I found today.

God has sought us out: let us have good hope for those who are laid upon our hearts in prayer, for He will find them out also. … It is a point of honor with Jesus to seek and to save all the flock, without a single exception. What a promise to plead!” —Charles Spurgeon

Where is the outrage?! Christian Girls Abducted & Raped In Egypt.

[INFOGRAPHI] Right on the heels of Easter, Bible Overview has a great infographic of everyone in the Bible who was raised from the dead.

The apostles had this instinct: When in trouble, pray. When intimidated, pray. When challenged, pray. When persecuted, pray!” —Jim Cymbala. Read more from Pastor Cymbala’s great post on prayer.

“Throughout our history Americans have put their faith in God and no one can doubt that we have been blessed for it. The earliest settlers of this land came in search of religious freedom. Landing on a desolate shoreline, they established a spiritual foundation that has served us ever since.” —Ronald Reagan

“Nobody ever got anything from God on the grounds that he deserved it. Having fallen, man deserves only punishment and death. So if God answers prayer it’s because God is good.” —A.W. Tozer

Sacrifice is not giving up things, but giving to God with joy the best we have.” —Oswald Chambers

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