Showing posts from August, 2013

Who We Are

At ABIDE Assemble (our young adult gathering) we started our new series on 1 Peter last night. I have been out of the preaching rotation for the summer but it was good to be back teaching amongst such an awesome group of young people. Their love for Christ is noticeable and infectious and I love it. You can listen to the sermon here and follow the series for the next few months.

The Power that made Christianity Revolutionary

As we prepare to launch our ABIDE Apprentice training I have been working through the material we will give to our young adults. One of the books we will start with is J.D. Greear's Gospel: Recovering the Power that made Christianity Revolutionary . It is a great book that is very approachable and easy to digest. The greatest attribute of the book is, of course, that it makes much of Jesus and the gospel. We will be using it in our "gospel-centered" section and Greear does a good job of working through the implications of allowing the gospel to motivate, inform and define Christianity for the individual and the church. I gladly commend this book to you. Below are  some of my highlights. "The angels never get tired of looking into the gospel. This means that there is no end to gospel exploration. There are depths in the gospel that are always there to be discovered and applied not only to our ministry and daily Christian life, but above all to the worship of the God o

Which translation is choice?

In my preaching and leading at ABIDE (our young adult ministry) I use the ESV translation of the Bible. Primarily because I feel it is clear and most accurately maintains the original text. Paired with the publisher's commitment to the authority of scripture as God's word, it is the right translation for our young adults trying to stay afloat in a culture rife with moralism and in need of gospel life jackets. Crossway is also active in the growing number of resources and study Bibles in the ESV translation - one I am excited for is the Gospel Transformation Bible . Mars Hill, a church in Seattle and other places, uses the ESV as its primary text and their pastor has a good list of reasons why . You can read them here . In essence they use the ESV because: 1. THE ESV UPHOLDS THE TRUTH THAT SCRIPTURE IS THE ACTUAL WORDS OF GOD, NOT JUST THE THOUGHTS OF GOD 2. THE ESV UPHOLDS THAT WHAT IS SAID MUST BE KNOWN BEFORE WHAT IS MEANT CAN BE DETERMINED 3. THE ESV UPHOLDS THE TRUTH THAT W

The Heart of the Church

As of late I have been greatly blessed and encouraged by the preaching ministry of Ray Ortlund Jr. at Immanuel Church in Nashville. This last week he preached from 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 and Paul's call for the church to have a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. The message was specifically for Immanuel but I believe it to be profitable for the church everywhere. Let us make Jesus central to all the we are and do. Listen to the sermon, "The Heart of Immanuel Church," here .

Upholding all things

"He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high..." Hebrews 1:3 Jesus upholds the universe by the word of his power. He is not waiting to reign. He is keeping the planets in orbit, the winds blowing and your every breathe is a function of his creative power and upholding. Rest in this. It is your present reality. It is your future hope.

Gaining Christ's Righteousness

This might be your most import five minutes all week. From my buddy Seth's recent sermon at Bethel Richland . [vimeo]

Suffering is meaningful

My heart is breaking for some friends that are suffering. And in the midst of it all I am thankful that Jesus is who he is and he is enough for me and for them. John Piper says it this way: " A Christian’s suffering is never meaningless." It is a message all through Scripture, God uses trials and suffering to change and empower us. It is not an easy message but one that is true.   [vimeo] You're enough for me You're enough for me Rest in that truth.   HT: J Pipes and Desiring God

All my jewels I give

"All my jewels I give to the shadow of the safety that is in thee - my name anew in Christ, my body, soul, talents, character, my success, wife, children, friends, work, my present, my future, my end. Take them, they are thine, and I am thine, now and for ever." - Valley of Vision "Refuge" I am surrounded by stuff. The stuff of life. Books, technology, vehicles, houses, phones, gadgets, furniture, work, tasks, dishes to clean, dishes to dirty, television, music, instruments, dreams, aspirations, expectations... and so much more. At times it can all be quite oppressive as if we are lorded over by the stuff. It is a clever ploy. Care for the stuff so you will lose love or passion for the One thing that fulfills, that completes, that makes all the stuff unimportant or at the least tools for something else. This is what I want to give up to gain the One. I want my heart completely changed so that stuff has no place in it other than to serve the true King, Jesus. This is

The Pastor's Justification

Last week I finished The Pastor's Justification by Jared Wilson and quickly ordered a bunch of copies to send to friends. While most readers know that I am a big Wilson fan, rather than slather on praise from a groupie I thought I would pass on a review by someone a bit more respected. Zach Eswine has his own story of pastoral ministry and pursuing Jesus and he commends this new book to us. Of The Pastor's Justification Eswine says: "When I finished the last sentences of Jared Wilson’s book, I took off my reading glasses and rested the paperback on my lap. These four words then looked at me with invitation: “Recover your first love.” Behind the words was the lover himself, Jesus. I was smitten again and grateful. Attention to the loveliness of Jesus describes the strength of this book... "To set Jesus in front of us again in our pastoral vocation, Wilson first takes us back to Scripture by helpfully meditating at length on  1 Peter 5:1-11 . Then he fleshes out what

What is your church mantra?

I appreciate this from Ray Ortlund and Immanuel Nashville. Do you have a church mantra? [vimeo]

Two Years

In the busyness of the last few days I did not get a chance to commemorate my two-year anniversary in ministry at Bethel Church in Richland, WA. It has been a great couple of years as I have been part of an amazing team committed to the glory of Christ and the growth of His disciples. While I have been mentored, led large ministry events and services, learned the art of setting up chairs, coached great small group leaders and written curriculum, the part of my job that most motivates and moves me is the young adults that I lead. These men and women have determined to pursue Jesus above all else, or in the very least wrestle with the idea of doing so. They face difficult life situations, relationships and the wild unknown of the future but they live for the gospel and I am so grateful that I am allowed to be among them. God is building a ministry that is not about a personality but a savior and I am humbled by that truth more and more. Two years under the belt and more to come.

Remind Me

"In a similar way, I'm reminding you today: celebrate Jesus. Although it might seem absurd to tell Christians that we need to remember him, it's my conviction that none of us thinks nearly enough about him and what he's done. We don't consider how the gospel - the good news about him - is meant to affect every facet of our day-to-day life..." "...Plainly stated, let me encourage you to proclaim the gospel to yourself today and every day. Our poor burdened hearts are in such need of a gospel celebration. When you fail today, you need the comfort of this proclamation: he died for that very sin. Tell yourself about his death. When you feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities, remember that he is ruling sovereignly over every facet of your life, and soon he will return to right every wrong and relieve you of your trouble. When you wonder if your life will ever change, he wants you to remember that he is coming back and that this life as it is won't last

The Generational Church

There is a lot of talk of millennials and the church this week with a slew of articles naming the reasons why young people leave or choose a church. Here is one . Another and Another . But Joe Thorn gives an account of his church and the reason people are giving him for being part of the church. It is a post worth your time if it sparks for you a desire for community, real community. "Actually, we ask everyone who wants to join Redeemer, "Why this church?" Over the years the answers have been very consistent. "The people here are amazing, and Jesus is the focus." or  "The community in the church is very strong, and we love the focus on the gospel." In my experience the millennials who have found a home at Redeemer are not interested in a Sunday spectacle, but a church. They want truth, even when it's hard. They want to know and be known by others, even when it's hard. They want the care and protection the church offers her people, and they w