Nearing the end of his life, the Apostle Paul is thanking friends for walking with him in faith while in prison for sharing the gospel. The gospel is many things. It is sharing the love of Jesus with the world. The word evangelism is getting a bad rap these days. Maybe it’s the word evangelical, which is diving the country, depending on which way you’re looking at it. But the Apostle Paul still wants you to share your faith in Jesus with others. So, the gospel is relational, the gospel is tenacious, and the gospel includes suffering. We don’t like to embrace suffering, as much as we can help it, but even Jesus himself suffered for representing God. How are you representing God through your life today? Does it align with how people in the Bible shared the gospel? If so, good. If not, why not? (click here to view the video)
Category Archives: Transition
The Apostle Paul is now thanking the people who helped him get these letters out to churches, while he sits in prison in Rome. What would be your goal, when sitting in prison? Would you want to reach out to people you don’t know, and share the gospel like Paul did? Paul thanks those around him for their part in his ministry with local churches. I spent the week at Princeton Seminary in New Jersey learning about the Art of Transitional Ministry, and in this video teaching I share with the church the teaching I learned. There are many things a church can do, and many things a transitional pastor can do when leading a church.
God has called His people to a different kind of life than the world. The Apostle Peter tells us throughout 1 Peter, that we are foreigners living in a world that is not our home. How do you look at trials differently than the world looks at trials? We all face terrible things in our lives, but as followers of Jesus, we are called to respond differently. How is your faith being proved genuine?
Do you struggle with trying to determine the future, so you can make all the right choices? I do too. I know what it’s like to want to know the outcome before the beginning. I imagine some of you feel stuck when you can’t tell what’s right ahead. God calls us to trust Him more than trust our own instinct. There’s a reason Jesus calls disciples to follow him. He knows where he’s going, and better yet, he knows where to lead us where we are going. You’re going to want to listen to this one twice. Sometimes we need to heed God’s wisdom in the direction of our life, rather than make all of our own decisions.
We get ourselves into a trap of pleasing others, which eventually makes us compromise our integrity, or sell out, or miss the goals we want to achieve. It’s easy to become a people pleaser if we remain obsessed with what people think about us. But when we embrace the identity that God gives us in Christ, we can live into the beloved child of God that He created. You choose. Keep people pleasing and feel empty, or be a God-pleaser and feel complete.
Like King Herod, at the birth of Jesus, we resist the Kingdom of God breaking into our world. Sometimes people forget that God doesn’t come into our world like a tyrant and terrorist, but rather God comes near as a offering of peace, like a little child. God’s Kingdom is breaking into this dark world to take over your kingdom of selfishness and pride. Is it possible that we act like King Herod in our resistance to God’s Kingdom also? We need to be like the wisemen who came seeking proximity to Jesus, bringing gifts of worship to the Savior. We all, like King Herod, have gone astray, but God has come for us like only the Missionary God can.