Best of the Week for January 29
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.
“It is fear that drives so many good intentions but no true action. And that is very much against the pattern of Jesus.”
This tarts off with some stats about pastors, but it applies broadly to every believer. Listen to the convicting challenge here, and then think through how to respond. He even gives three practical examples of how.
“The habit of serving others in the church and community likely formed these young adults in a way that kept them from identifying merely as a churchgoing “consumer,” but instead as a contributor to the building up of God’s people.”
I saw this reposted and shared several times last week, so it has already made the rounds a little, but it’s GOOD. The bottom line is really about the culture of your family–do you treasure Jesus and live in a way that reflects that? Or do you try to be a good person and attend a church? Two VERY different things.
“The Spirit began whispering new thoughts. ‘Did you think that my call for you to live on mission wasn’t also for the good of your children?’ ‘Do you not realize that mission will actually be an incredible tool to help your children know Me?’ ‘Do you think it is too hard for Me to beautifully blend these two callings together just because it feels hard to you?’ ‘My ways are higher than your ways, I have much to teach you.’”
While we’re on the subject of teaching our kids to treasure Jesus, this one is very challenging. It reflects the heart of a parent who deeply does not want to neglect family togetherness OR the mission of God, a very worthy aspiration. Easier said than done, but we must make it our aim.
“For someone to come up to you and say, ‘You know what, we went out for barbecue last week, and I remember when we used to go to that barbecue place, and Sam loved to go there with us. Remember how we’d always get the –?’ So, do you know how much better that is than ‘How are you?’ It says you’re not the only person who’s missing him.”
It can be hard to know how to love and talk to a grieving person. We don’t want to hurt them more, so often we wind up not saying much at all, which is also not our best. These are some insightful words that can help.
“We sat in that room and got to hear other people’s hearts for The Summit Church, hear their fervent prayers for the global church, for our city, and for the local churches in Raleigh-Durham. We learned from them, and we joined with them. We collectively proclaimed this truth: A praying church is a church that is near to God’s heart.”
This is about a weekly prayer meeting at a large church in NC, and it is inspiring to think about what the Lord does when his people consistently ask him to do things only he can do.
“Yet while we pray, we must attend to a critical distinction: although God can heal us, we must never presume that he must.”
This one is hard to love–it’s just hard–but it encourages us to confront mortality in a way that acknowledges God as the giver and taker of life and to think about how our faith and our lives will bend toward him in all things, and not an illusive cure.