“I believe that the great tragedy of the church in our time has been its failure to recognize the importance of the spiritual gift of leadership. It appears to me that only a fraction of pastors worldwide are exercising the spiritual gift of leadership, organizing the church around it, and deploying church members through it. The results, in terms of church growth and worldwide spiritual impact, are staggering.
We must understand what it means to the kingdom when leadership gifts are not exercised. Hebrews 13:17 reminds church leaders that we “must give an account” for what we do with our leadership gifts. Obviously there are negative consequences when any spiritual gift is neglected. Why, then, were those with the leadership gift singled out in this passage? I believe it’s because the consequences of neglecting the leadership gift are so far-reaching. When those of us with leadership gifts fail to lead effectively, the entire local church is affected, not to mention the unchurched people in our communities.
The church must come to grips with the fact that the gift of leadership is the catalytic gift that energizes, directs, and empowers all the other gifts. People with the spiritual gift of leadership are called to nurture an environment where teachers can teach and shepherds can shepherd and administrators can administer. Without it, the other gifts languish, the church becomes inwardly focused and impotent, and unbelievers end up with a one-way, nonstop ticket to the abyss. That’s why I underscore again what Paul so passionately said to leaders, “If you have the leadership gift. . . LEAD!”
– Bill Hybels, Courageous Leadership
“In the larger rhythm of turning from and turning to, repentance is the turning away from. Repentance turns us from sin, selfishness, darkness, idols, habits, bondages, and demons, both private and public. We turn from all that binds and oppresses us and others, from all the violence and evil in which we are so complicit, from all the false worship that has controlled and corrupted us. Ultimately, repentance is turning from the powers of death. These ominous forces no longer hold us in their grip; they no longer have the last word.”
Faith is turning to belief, hope, and trust. As repentance dealt with our past, faith opens up our future. Faith opens us to the future by restoring our sight, softening our hearts, bringing light into our darkness. We are converted to compassion, justice, and peace as we take our stand as citizens of Christ’s new order. We see, hear, and feel now as never before. We enter the process of being made sensitive to the values of the new age, the kingdom of God. The victory of Jesus Christ over the powers of death has now been appropriated to our own lives; we are enabled to live free of their bondage. Christ has vanquished the powers that once held us captive and fearful; we now stand in the radical freedom he bought for us with his own blood.
Excerpt From: “The Call to Conversion: Why Faith Is Always Personal but Never Private” by Jim Wallis. Scribd.
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers.
He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
By Gerard Manley Hopkins
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
So tell me, what do you think these words mean?
“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Colossians 3:17) As a Jesus follower, I am committed to living LIKE Jesus in the details of my life. This not just about doing religious things, like going to church, praying before meals, reading the bible, etc. Following Jesus is about how you spend money, how I treat my spouse, how I handle disagreements, how I respond to a health concern. It is in the ordinary daily details – whatever I do – that I strive to live LIKE Jesus. Continue reading ‘Ordinary, everyday discipleship’ »
I recently spoke on the idea that Jesus still speaks to us, by His Spirit, in our hearts. I described what happened to the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). The spiritual ‘heart burn’ was how I described the Spirit of Jesus speaking to their hearts. This is something that I personally experience when I read the bible. Let me explain how Jesus speaks to me when I read the bible. Continue reading ‘How does Jesus speak to me?’ »
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Every day for the last 10+ years I have been posting my reflections here.
I am so thankful to ‘tdk’ for supporting me with his own reflections on the blog.
Someone recently asked me WHY I post my reflections here.
First I want to clarify what my reasons are NOT.
I am NOT writing these reflections because I am a minister, and I get paid to do it.
I am NOT writing these reflections to impress people how pious and holy I am.
I am NOT writing these reflections to teach people what they should think or believe.
I am NOT writing these reflections to excuse you from doing your own reflecting. Continue reading ‘Why do I post my bible reflections?’ »