Archive for June, 2008
One of the unique things that fires me up is recommending great resources. I’ll be trying to have a good recommendation at least every week if I can (see last week’s recommendation).
This week’s recommendation is John Piper’s, “Undoing the Destruction of Pleasure.” This message was given at the University of Minnesota as an outreach talk. Every time I listen to it, I am stretched and challenged.
Click here to listen. (Right click, “Save Target As” to save)
For more John Piper resources, click here.
Don’t forget…tomorrow will be another informational meeting about Second Mile Church. All the information can be found here.
Today I read this text in Matthew 21:21-22,
“Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
I’m always blown away at the boldness of Jesus’ teaching about prayer. While I am eager to explain all the reasons why prayer doesn’t always produce the desired answer, Jesus is trying to teach me that I can’t out-ask God’s resources. My prayers are never too big for God.
As Second Mile Church begins to take shape, my prayer is that it would be a community of people who are drawing on the power of God and doing the impossible through his power (i.e. “throwing mountains”).
I had a good conversation the other day with a man who is doubting his life-long beliefs in the LDS church, but does not yet know what to make of biblical Christianity. He shared how one of the things he doesn’t get about Christians is that it seems that they focus so much on their weakness and imperfection that it becomes an excuse not to improve themselves or live good lives. I told him that I think his observation is correct. But I don’t think it’s because these Christians’ view of their own sin is too high, but that their view of grace is too low.
The Bible teaches that it’s God’s grace that empowers life-change. Consider Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” It’s grace–good news of Jesus’ work for us–that trains us to change! Once a person has been impacted by gospel grace at a heart level, he or she can’t help but want to change.
Change really happens not when we discipline ourselves to more diligently follow the rules, but when we are gripped by the truth that Jesus perfectly followed the rules for us and has credited it to our account.
I’ll sum this up with John Bunyan’s famous quote:
“Run, John, run. The law commands
But gives neither feet nor hands.
Better news the gospel brings;
It bids us fly and gives us wings.”
One of the most encouraging things so far about starting to work on this church is that people are really counting the cost and seeking God about whether they should be involved. I was just re-listening to Tim Keller’s brief sermon, “The Cost of Mission,” and I think it would be a great resource for anyone who’s really praying about whether to invest in Second Mile, EVBC, or any other sacrificial mission.
For more Tim Keller resources, click here.
We had a great meeting last Saturday, but there were a number of people who couldn’t make it. So, we’ve decided to schedule another one for next Thursday. Here’s the info:
When: Thursday, June 26, 7:00-8:30pm
Where: 21553 E Pegasus Pkwy, Queen Creek, AZ 85242, gate code #4100
What: Church plant overview meeting – we’ll discuss the plans and vision for this church, as well as take any questions. This meeting will be identical to the one we had last Saturday night.
I recently read this quote by Bob Roberts Jr. in his book, The Multiplying Church:
“Converts may grow a church, but disciples change the world.”
My prayer is that God would fill Second Mile Church with people who live like apprentices of Jesus and follow him all the way.