I Am Not He

I’m reading a good book called “Zeal Without Burnout” by Christopher Ash and in a chapter on rest he shares a comment by a friend who offers perspective on ministry.

He says, “God has already appointed his Messiah, and he did not appoint you.”

Great reminder to those who labor without rest. Be mindful of this if your habit is to do ministry seven days a week. God does not need you, so get over it and do what he says. Rest one day a week. For those in ministry, particularly pastors I recommend this fine book. You don’t have to lose your first love to become exhausted and disillusioned.

“Zeal Without Burnout” -Christopher Ash, published by Thegoodbook Company.

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Job: A Series on Suffering

In all the years I’ve been a follower of Christ I have, to some degree, struggled with the book of Job. It was kind of like an awkward uncle that you admitted was part of your family, but one you didn’t often talk about. And yet, with this book, there is remarkable understanding into the sovereignty of God. The problem of pain can be profoundly confusing. I often think about what it might be like to understand pain when one has no belief in God. For me, it would be extraordinarily overwhelming. There is no reason or no context for pain without God. It simply would not make sense. Why in our expanding universe is there such a thing as pain. If we are truly evolving into something “better” how could I stomach the idea that we seem no better, or worse off, in our world of suffering. That thought is confusing, not comforting.

With God, pain is still a bit disappointing, if I can be perfectly forthright. I still don’t like pain, and my first response is almost always to anesthetize it. Nevertheless, I find comfort in the fact that a loving Father is behind and in control of it. I understand that sounds a bit counterintuitive: a loving Father behind our pain. But it isn’t. There is purpose in pain. Even deep pain. And for those who call God Father it is redemptive and temporary. God is so remarkable and life giving that, if He is nothing else, He is sovereign and He is good. All of us had broken examples of earthly fathers (or are broken examples) but on the surface we would likely agree that the role of a father is to love us and discipline us into healthy adulthood. They do the things they do to prepare us, and the motivation is a profound love for us. God is the supreme and faultless example of this.

This can be seen in the book of Job. Don’t treat Job like an awkward uncle and politely avoid him. I encourage you to dive into the abundance of Job. To do that I want to highly recommend John Piper’s five part series on the book. You can find that series by clicking the link below. And stay with it. I know you won’t be disappointed in what you learn from this encouraging series. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Regardless of your circumstances.

Enjoy this series on Job by John Piper.

 

Do Ask, Do Tell, Let’s Talk

Unfortunately, many in the Christian community have alienated an important part of our population. We need to understand the gospel more fully and see how it calls us to robust relational integrity with God, but it also teaches us how to better reflect this great God we know and love. Even in areas, and with people, one may feel uncomfortable with.

“Do Ask, Do Tell” offers practical encouragement to become better conduits of God’s love toward the gay community. It is important for believers to know how to engage, love, and affirm those who struggle with same-sex attraction. This book equips you to be a better friend and neighbor to those who struggle with this area, inside and outside the church.

To find out more follow this link. “Do Ask, Do Tell”