Best of the Week for January 9

In Best of the Week we link to a handful of the best articles, videos, books, etc. that we have come across in the last week. We hope this will point you to some of the right places and give you gospel-rich tools and thoughts for life and mission.

As You Start That Diet: 3 Truths About Body Image

“The desire to like what we see in the mirror is the fruit of the soul’s longing to be okay. Extra weight, blown diets, missed workouts—these become yet more evidence indicting us. So we respond by trying to justify ourselves. We make a plan, start on Monday, and work to achieve that elusive standard of perfection.”

As we all (self included) set out with healthy goals for 2017, we should first pause to insert the gospel of grace and identity freely given in Jesus (not earned) into the works-based, performance-driven, aesthetically-pleasing mindset many of us bring to toning our bodies.

Discover Your Role in the Mission of God

“Notice how Paul grounds his understanding of his purpose in what God had declared to be his purpose—God’s own purpose—in Scripture.”

In looking for our purpose or our role here, we cannot get it right if we don’t first start with God’s ultimate purposes. Once we see that, we can look at our own lives, giftings, and experience through that lens to see specifically where we fit. This post gives us a few practical ways to do both.

Community Keeps You From Drifting

“We understand God best when we are in community with other people. As we sit in a circle and talk about God from a text from the Bible, we begin to see the fullness of who he is. That aspect of him will stand out to one, another aspect to someone else. As we make our way around the circle we begin to lose our truncated view of God and begin to see him in his fullness. We need each other to see more of God.”

We need each other. God knew that. That’s why he made the Christian journey a communal one. Don’t try to change that or rationalize it away. Work hard to to make it a reality in your own life.

What We Need to Learn From the Early Church

“The earliest church was seen as too exclusive and a threat to the social order because it would not honor all deities; today Christians are again being seen exclusive and a threat to the social order because we will not honor all identities.”

If we are foreigners and aliens, and if our King is not the king of this age, our lives WILL be countercultural, and we will always find ourselves on the “wrong side of history.” And in doing so, we identify with countless believers throughout history. We should count this cost, because it is steep, but we should not be scared or diverted.

Dear Women’s Ministry, Stop Telling Me I’m Beautiful

“Any woman who’s done a degree of self reflection knows that her struggles, insecurities, and sins aren’t unique to her. They’re part of being human in a fallen world. Further, any woman who knows the depth of her own inadequacy will find these Christianized platitudes of beauty and “chosen-ness” entirely insufficient for daily victory.”

Might get into a little trouble on this one, but trust me, and read to the end. The point is not that you aren’t beautiful. I’m sure you are. But more than you need to hear that, you need to hear something painfully true about yourself and then be pointed to Jesus to rescue and heal. He is the essence of what is truly beautiful.

And a touch of apologetics…

How Do We Know Who Wrote the Gospels?

This is a good take on many of the questions people may pose about why the Bible might not be reliable. Good read.

Have a good week.