Tag Archives: God

When Revival Comes

The great need of our day is for genuine revival to come to believers in our nation. I’m delighted to see Ronnie Floyd’s emphasis on revival (sometimes called a “spiritual awakening”) in my own denomination. It is desperately needed.
Revival is specifically about the revived spiritual commitment of those who know Christ as Savior and Lord. While it leads to evangelistic concern (and often an awakening among those who are not saved to their need for salvation) it is specifically about reviving those who have already been “vived”.
Here are some results that will follow a genuine revival should it come to our churches and believers.
1. A deepened love for God and the Continue reading

When Easter is Over

Our churches are never fully defined by our biggest Sundays or our smallest.

As a pastor, I love Easter Sunday. I love the large number of guests, those who haven’t been in a long time and the spiritually curious. We had our biggest attendance ever this past Sunday with 2,551 people. It is exciting to preach the message of the gospel to lots of people. There is an energy that comes with the large crowd.

I do know, of course, that not every Sunday has Continue reading

Race and the Jesus Agenda

Few things are more difficult to have an honest conversation about than issues of race. This issue continues to divide and befuddle and frustrate our nation and even our churches. When I was a young man (my wife tells me I’m still young but her eyesight isn’t what it used to be) I thought racial reconciliation and unity would be far better by this point.

I’ve gone to some meetings about racial reconciliation and have come out of those times with this thought. The Continue reading

In Praise of Encouragers

Encouragement is one of the most beautiful gifts we can receive. A kind word, a helping hand, a warm smile, an appreciative hug– these things are the currency of encouragement. And this currency is never devalued.
I officiated the funeral of a great encourager recently. In more than twenty years of being his pastor he encouraged me countless times without a single hint of discouragement. Amazing.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am for that wonderful gift. In a day when snark Continue reading

It’s a Christmas Miracle!

I’ve given birth to a new book. (Well, it was a different kind of labor than you mothers have.) It is called “30 Days to Acts: A Devotional Commentary”. You can get this devotional book at Amazon. (Just click on the picture.) Merry Christmas!

30 Days to Acts

A Dying Man

Recently, a man with a terminal disease came to speak with me about his funeral. That is a sobering conversation to have. While we don’t know how long he has left in this life (does anyone really?) it reminded me of some important things.
– We are all dying. This is the land of the dying. I look forward to going to the land of the living one day. But this is not that place.
-Life is fleeting. Time goes forward, never backwards. Young men become old men quickly. We never get to relive it.
-Big things need to be big. At the end of life we tend to think of family and love and joy and faith. Smaller things don’t seem that important from that perspective.
-Faith matters. This man gave his life to Christ just a Continue reading

Christmas Movies

Like so many, my family will watch some Christmas movies this year. It’s a fun tradition.
-We’ll watch “A Christmas Story” and say “adios, Bart” with a hard “a” on the adios while giving warnings about the danger of shorting one’s eye out.
-We will watch “Elf” and note that Francesco is indeed a fun name to say.
-We will probably watch “Christmas Vacation” and remember that the jelly of the month club is the gift that keeps on giving.
-“Home Alone” might slip in there as we ask Continue reading

Why Missions?

The question is phrased differently but often asked. Why international missions? Why not focus on the needs here? Aren’t there enough spiritual needs in America to focus upon? Why care about those so far away? Couldn’t we better spend our money here?
Here are some of my answers to “why missions?”
1. Missions is biblical. The bible talks frequently about the gospel being for all nations. Everyone needs the Lord, not just those who speak English or live nearby. Frankly, Continue reading

Theology is Not the Goal

I’ve read a couple of books recently that taught me more about the life of J.P. Morgan, the famous banker. I didn’t know much about his life and work but he was among the most powerful men in the world for a time. He had great wealth, incredible influence and a massive art collection.
There was one thing that really surprised me about the man. He was Continue reading

What Pastors Need

The world of pastors and other vocational ministers is a different world. It can be wonderful, fulfilling, frustrating and discouraging all in the same day. It is fantastic because we get to work with people and it can be challenging because… well, because we get to work with people.
The majority of ministers do it because they believe God has called them to this important task. They want to make a difference in this world and in eternity. They care about people and love the message of the gospel. Their motivation, if they are what they need to be, is to honor the Lord, teach His word and help others to join them in following Jesus.
But, like all people, they have needs. Let me mention four things pastors need from their churches.
1. They need Continue reading