Too many pastors have been measured by worldly standards of success in this past year in the midst of all the distractions life and culture have brought our way. The real measure of successful ministry is what the all-powerful grace of God is doing in people's lives. Only Jesus Christ can transform a life so completely.
Ecclesiastes 1:3-11 could be interpreted quite negatively. If the purpose of the book is to help us know how to live with joy, this cannot be the ultimate interpretation. This passage exemplifies 4 thought patterns that can rob our joy. Unbelievers can approach these negatively or positively. How should believers respond to these thoughts?
Transparent spiritual relationships in the local church take hard work, but they are worth it. These relationships are more meaningful than checking off the number of times you attend church services. Christians cannot live the Christian life without each other.
As we finish Paul's list of greetings for those who are "in Christ," consider which description you identify with. What is your role in the pursuit of Gospel progress?
Ten years ago, the values of homes and stocks plummeted as the housing bubble popped. Many people lost significant amounts from their retirement accounts and significant investments, their homes, seemingly overnight. When wealth can disappear so quickly, is it worth spending all our energy for it? There is virtue in hard work, but not when it is done for the purpose of wealth that disappears. Wisdom is more valuable than any material treasure. Proverbs 23:4-5 teaches us that wisdom or discernment protects us from becoming workaholics to gain wealth.
Quick wealth often destroys. We don't have to look hard or far in our culture to find examples of this reality. At the end of his letter, Paul gives Timothy instructions for Christians "who are rich in this present world" (1 Timothy 6:17-19). This passage is widely preached out of context. The main point of these two verses is this: Prosperity should never devour mission. Prosperity should underpin mission.
1 Timothy 6 directly addresses four different groups in the church: those in the work force, teachers of unhealthy doctrine, Timothy and future pastors, and those who are wealthy. The way Christians behave in the workplace has a direct impact on their Gospel influence.
Theme: The primary way to demonstrate the glory of God to our culture is by living and sharing the Gospel. “Grace Church of Mentor exists to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and equipping the saints with the goal of Christ-likeness.” The Good News of the Gospel is simply the story of Jesus Christ and why He came to earth. It cannot remain simply intellectual data. We must believe it in our hearts and live it for everyone around us to see.
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