And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.—Mark 16:15
This week is Missions Conference at our church, so my thoughts are wrapped in what I’m hearing and seeing.
Specifically, I’m thinking on the command of Jesus to share the gospel with the billions of people who haven’t yet heard it once.
And then there’s the lady who lives just several blocks down from my church. She had actually been to my church once and heard the gospel, but she was confused. Very confused. She was also ready to hear God’s Word. Today I had the opportunity to open the Bible and share the sweet story of salvation with her. An hour and a half later, she trusted Christ. Continue reading
Funny thing about the biblical commands to “be strong.” They have nothing to do with our strength. In fact, they only make sense when we realize that our strength is insufficient.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:—Isaiah 40:30
The strongest of us are weak, and the sooner we realize that the better. I love the quote by Charles Spurgeon: “When your own emptiness is painfully forced upon your consciousness, chide yourself that you ever dreamed of being full, except in the Lord.” Continue reading
I have a thousand blessings to rejoice in today: a warm house, food in the refrigerator, a working car, a delightful family, kind friends, opportunities to serve…I even had pie for breakfast. (You always know it’s going to be a good day when you eat pie for breakfast. Always.)
But in all my reasons to rejoice there is none greater than this: “Rejoice in the Lord” (Philippians 4:4). In life, I have many reasons to rejoice. But in Jesus, I have every reason to rejoice.
To be sure, just as easily as I can come up with a list of blessings, I could gather a list of discouragements. If I really set my mind to it, I could make my discouragements list longer than my blessings list. (This is not because I have greater discouragements than blessings, but because a mind set on discouragement easily finds it.) Continue reading
- How is it that we who personally know the One who invites us to cast our cares upon Him still stagger on bearing our own loads?
- How is it that we who have chosen Christ’s easy yoke persist in carrying our lopsided weights on our shoulders rather than hitching them to our shared yoke with Christ?
- How is it that we who have dedicated ourselves to the service of the Burden Bearer so often find ourselves feeling heavy, burdened, weighted, and exhausted?
- And one more question: If we learn to cast our cares on His shoulders, do we release them from our own?
These are the probing, opening questions in The Burden Bearer by Pastor Paul Chappell. Perhaps you’ve had similar questions. So has Carrier—the allegorical Lifter with whom I readily identify. Carrier’s story is woven throughout the book with plenty of Pastor Chappell’s personal illustrations and biblical insights given as well.
This book was one of the projects I have been privileged to help with serving on the team at Striving Together Publications. Without a doubt, The Burden Bearer has been one of my favorite projects. Released just under a year ago, many have shared with me that this is one of the most encouraging, uplifting, helpful books they’ve ever read. Continue reading
Freely ye have received, freely give.—Matthew 10:8
There are two ways to look at a full week ahead: You can see the appointments, meetings, and responsibilities as demands on your time—people taking your limited resource of time from you.
OR you can see the same appointments, meetings, and responsibilities as an opportunity to give—a chance to use your time as a conduit of the blessings of God.
When Jesus sent His disciples out, He gave them the second paradigm: “Freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). Continue reading