Where is God glorified most in the life of our church? I would argue that he is often most glorified in Community Groups. To explain, I quote John Piper, on the “diverse excellencies” of Jesus: “we admire him for his glory, but even more because his glory is mingled with humility; • we admire him for his transcendence, but even more because h...Keep Reading
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How can God justly forgive you? The theological answer: it’s not the relative badness of one’s sins that matters, but the worth of the sacrifice given by God, for the forgiveness of sins. Leave in place the badness of what Bundy, Duch and you have done. Do not minimize it for a moment. But Jesus, the perfect Son of God, God in flesh, was an even greater, infinitely more valuable sacrifice, more valuable than even the worth destroyed by all the murders of the whole world. ...
There are three common characteristics of Community or Discipleship Groups or friendships that are faithful and useful and healthy over the long-term: • Deliberately Gospeled • Attentive Friendship • Consistently Missional:...
The fact of community, and the mode of community, are two different things in the church. This is different from the world, where we pursue a mode of community - could be Boy Scouts, Rotary, or just being neighborly - because we think that will create community. But God reverses that order in the church. We are already a community, created by Him, by uniting us by faith to...Keep Reading
A word or two about Discipleship Groups. Their purpose is to "attend to one another's souls". We are essentially asking "How goes it with you with Jesus?" Then we help each other apply the Bible to life. For instance, you mention that you have a big meeting coming up this week at work. You want to trust God in that. That's your answer to "how it goes with you . . . with t...Keep Reading
We Americans have had a twisting relationship with ambition. Alexis de Tocqueville observed about us: “There are no Americans who do not show that they are devoured by the desire to rise, but one sees almost none of them who appear to nourish vast hopes or to aim very high. All want constantly to acquire goods, reputation, power; few envision all these things on a g...Keep Reading
Recently I heard someone say that their Community Group lacked purpose. I was disappointed to hear that, but I think I understand the malaise. I want to make three comments to clarify and perhaps inspire us in the purpose of Community Groups.First, remember that God has sovereignly, deliberately placed us in geographic proximity to other real people. Therefore, one of your...Keep Reading
Meals have meaning. When you welcome someone to your dinner table, you act in a rich ritual, one “thick” with meaning. This meaning is heightened and made more clear in Christ....Keep Reading
True compassion does require empathy, but a form of empathy that utilizes more of our thinking abilities and less emotional sympathy. This kind of empathy actually requires deeper listening, to understand what's really true about the other person. This positions us to then speak truth about Christ that more closely corresponds to what's really going on....Keep Reading
God uses means for us to "behold" Christ: the Word, prayer, and fellowship. We behold Christ in the Word, in prayer for God to cause us to see Christ in the Word. But this is meant, like a body, to happen in relationship to each other....Keep Reading
Last week I mentioned the purpose of discipleship groups: to attend to one another's souls. How do we do this? In short, it is Christian friendship. A friend is one who cares for you enough to help you get what you need most, even when it's not easy or pleasant. What do we need most? Think about that for a moment. What we think we need most is the need we project on others...Keep Reading