My gratitude goes to Open the Bible for sponsoring the blog this week to tell you about their excellent courses—a “video-based training platform designed to equip you with a solid biblical foundation and practical, actionable guidance for serving the Lord over the long haul.”
Today’s Kindle deals include a few notable titles.
(Yesterday on the blog: A Big Problem You Didn’t Know You Had)
Chopo Mwanza considers the life and ministry of John the Baptist and asks whether we display his kind of humility.
“Though it all ended well, it was frightening to witness. As is helpful and necessary after an unsettling event, I continued to process what I had seen in the days that followed. This young lifeguard—she couldn’t have been older than twenty—headed into danger in order to rescue someone out of it. This moved me. On that day, she courageously embodied her title: she guarded life—an actual life!”
“False teachers will always be with us. Peter points out how they have hidden among God’s people since Old Testament days. In fact, it all began in the garden of Eden with the first false teacher, the serpent—Satan himself—who twisted God’s words, leading to death.” Jonathan Gibson identifies four characteristic traits to watch out for.
And on a somewhat similar note, Jacob Crouch warns about the devil’s normal schemes. “If the only devil we are looking out for is the red horned master of Hell, then we will be caught off guard when his schemes seem normal. Let’s be honest: No one is falling for the devil’s outrageous schemes. If the devil stood up in your church and shouted, ‘Let’s all follow a false god!’ very few (any?) would respond. But the devil is smarter than that. He doesn’t look to shock and awe, he boils the frog. You know what I mean? He puts you in pretty comfortable water and then slowly turns up the heat.”
“It’s not really ‘trust’ when life is going easy, is it? When life is a walk in the park, we aren’t really trusting God. Yes, we might be trusting him with regard to salvation, but for all other things we tend to run on autopilot, don’t we? (Not that that’s right!) But even so, to say, ‘It’s so much easier to trust when life is going well’ is like saying, ‘It’s so much easier to climb when you are standing on the ground’!”
That’s actually quite an interesting question to consider: are the Psalms maximally or minimally Messianic? I’d probably land a bit closer to Spurgeon than some others, but am very willing to be persuaded otherwise!
The most difficult time to lead is when you have forfeited the respect of those who are meant to follow you, when your confidence, and theirs, is shattered. But this is also the most important time to lead.
Our spiritual disciplines don’t just benefit us. We don’t follow Jesus in isolation. Our growth and our perseverance also encourage growth and perseverance in our brothers and sisters in Christ.—Glenna Marshall