In a culture defined by productivity and success, rest has become taboo. Even among Christians, the Biblical precedent of rest laid out in the pattern of creation has been cast aside in favor of the hyperactive rigor of contemporary society. But what is there to gain from remembering the Sabbath that can’t be obtained through hard work? More than you might think.
Disciple-making is a priority of the Christian faith originating in Jesus’ ministry, continuing on in the early church and into the present day. Over time, however, it seems that the art of disciple-making has been lost. The gap between our current understanding of disciple-making and that which is present in the Bible is growing, and today’s church leaders are recognizing this in their own ministries. How can we as church leaders move past this dilemma?
The analogy is often used of the four seasons representing the four stages of life. We also employ the word season when referring to a period of time that is markedly different than that which came before. The concept of the seasons is one that is intimately intertwined with our perceptions of the past, the present, and the future. How, then, should we as Christians reconcile the often difficult reality of seasons in our lives with the promises of Scripture?
Christians have long stigmatized cursing. Often times we are so quick to dismiss what a person has to say because they employ language indicative of the ‘world’. But what if the problem isn’t as black and white as it is often made out to be. Perhaps there is more to language than just the words we do or do not speak. Perhaps there is something else that determines whether or not what we say honors God.
Rest. As a practice this word remains irrelevant to some people, and it occupies a marginal amount of space in the lives of others. We barely need to look around us to recognize how busyness is ingrained into not only what we do, but also virtually into who we are. How can we take time to step back from working, and reflect on the “daily grind”?
People commonly find the beginning of the year as a great time to turn over a new leaf. The metaphorical slate is essentially wiped clean. While these commitments are outwardly beneficial, I would like for us to take a step back and become aware of our motivations for these resolutions. Do we perhaps make New Year’s resolutions with hopes to fill an internal void that we all inevitably feel?
Signs are helpful. They tell us where we are. They tell us where to turn. Have you ever made a wrong turn because there was no sign? Have you ever turned onto a road because of a sign but then wondered later if you made a wrong turn or missed a road sign somewhere along the way? Sometimes in life we make major decisions in complete confidence only to question those decisions down the road.
“I’m moving to Canada,” say many in response to the choices that they have had and the results they fear from the elections. Few mean it. Some leave the voting booth grumbling words similar to a friend of mine, “I voted today, but I don’t feel good about it.” This week, as the final ballots are cast, we engage an alternative way to look at political realities.
A heightened sense of anxiety over the outcome of the election appears a reasonable response given the high stakes involved. As American believers, we have long enjoyed the privilege of power and influence, a rare opportunity afforded to Christians throughout history. How should followers of Christ continue to deal with the anxiety of losing the illusion of political control?
There is a trend within culture that seems to have infiltrated the church. Culture, especially here in the west, tends to equate one’s importance – and therefore their worth – with what they do, who they know, and how much power, money, or influence they may have. To see how this might have influenced the church, how many Christians do you think would rather meet with the Carl Lentz’s, Judah Smith’s, Matt Chandler’s, and Hillsong’s of today than people who are being prostituted, substance abusers, homeless, and those considered “worthless” by society? Don’t get me wrong, the ministries of the aforementioned are amazing and important to bringing people to Christ.
But should the influence, ministry, money, or power one has make his/her worth more or less than others?