Day 31: Truth in Love

Day 31: Truth in Love

You may have noticed that I didn’t post on August 31st to wrap up my Better Every Day Challenge. And you may have also noticed that this is that Day 31 post. Although some of my challenge posts were quite short, I felt like this last one came with a “Handle With Care” sticker. In an effort to make sure that I dealt with the topic well, I pushed back the post so that spend time over this extended weekend (Happy Labor Day!) to really think through this topic.

If you’re an American Christian who regularly uses social media, you’ve probably heard something of an incredibly divisive document (website?): The Nashville Statement. The Nashville Statement is a series of 14 articles (short statements, actually) that seek to clarify the Biblical perspective on human sexuality. If you haven’t heard about it, I’m sure that you can understand why it’s so divisive.

Continue reading “Day 31: Truth in Love”

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Disciple-Making Disciple Makers

Disciple-Making Disciple Makers

For the past 3 weeks or so, I’ve really had discipleship on my mind. I knew my definitions well. A disciple is a person who is dedicated to becoming more like his master. So a disciple of Christ (i.e., a Christian) is a person who is dedicated to becoming more like Jesus.

Discipleship, therefore, is the process of becoming more like Jesus. I would have said that this process involves developing biblical literacy, prayer, community, and witness. I would have said that you learn these things by engaging in them, by being involved in Bible studies, by taking time to pray, by being involved at church, and by seeking to tell others about Jesus.

But all these things only answer the “What?” of discipleship. A few weeks ago, I started really questioning whether or not I understood the “How?” of discipleship.

  • How do I help others learn the story of the Bible? And furthermore, how do I help them to understand that reading comprehension is not the goal, but obedience is?
  • How do I help others learn to pray?
  • How do I help foster true, life-on-life community – one that encourages, rebukes, comforts, and directs people toward Christ?
  • How do I make sure that we not only know how to tell others about Jesus, but that we’re actually telling people about Jesus?

Continue reading “Disciple-Making Disciple Makers”

Day 6: Spiritual Hunger

The Bible is filled with food analogies for our spiritual lives. In Psalm 34:8,

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

In Deuteronomy 8:3 (quoted by Jesus during his temptation in Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4),

And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

And in Luke 22:19 (and elsewhere), Jesus uses bread as a symbol for his sacrifice on the cross,

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Continue reading “Day 6: Spiritual Hunger”

Planning to be Generous

Are you prepared to be generous? That sounds kinda funny, doesn’t it? Usually, I tend to think of generosity as a spontaneous thing. 

As I’ve grown older, I find that generosity is becoming more and more important to me. And it’s been interesting for me to balance because up until a few months ago, I was in debt and hadn’t ever had a full time job. Unfortunately, that also meant that I couldn’t be as generous as I wanted to be. I still gave a tithe at church, and would give a few dollars here or there, or buy a friend’s meal on occasion, but I always wished I could do more. 

A few weeks ago, I was reading my Bible, and was struck by the intentionality prescribed toward giving. 

On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.

1 Corinthians 16:2 (ESV)

For a bit of background, Paul was regularly taking money from one church and bringing it to help with other churches’ needs. Typically, when Paul was getting ready to leave for a church in need, the local church would collect donations. And that was good. 

But here, Paul is exhorting them to give preemptively. Everyone knew that a need would arise somewhere, sometime. Why not plan to give? By giving a little bit over time, when the need actually arose, people would be able to give more generously and abundantly to meet the need than they would otherwise.

I also like that Paul doesn’t say how much to set aside. He just says to make sure it’s proportional to your income. It’s more important to set the giving habit in place than to hit a certain amount given. Once the habit is there, it’s easy to scale appropriately. 
When the proportions are right, giving generously should hurt a little. It shouldn’t ruin your life (probably shouldn’t be giving away all that you have), but neither should it be unfelt. I try to give a little bit more than I’m comfortable with, just enough to make me think. It means that I slow down on my savings goals a little, and I don’t get to eat out or go to the movies as often. Ultimately, it means that I don’t get to simply blow past it. 

Giving will always be a part of my life. It’s part of my value system, and it’s part of who God created me to be. Why not set up a system so that I can give generously?

Welcome to Tarsus

Welcome to Tarsus

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about myself, so I thought I’d give you all an update on my life and talk a little about what’s been going through my mind.

I’m in a weird spot in life these days. To most, it just looks like a time of transition, a change in life direction. To some, it looks like an opportunity to move in a new direction. To me, it looks like waiting on God’s direction while doing my best to bloom where I’ve been planted.

Let me explain.  Continue reading “Welcome to Tarsus”