The Irresistible Magnetism of a Loving Church

Where true love flourishes, its magnetism is all but irresistible. As the late Bishop Stephen C. Neill has written, “Within the fellowship of those who are bound together by personal loyalty to Jesus Christ, the relationship of love reaches an intimacy and intensity unknown elsewhere. Friendship between the friends of Jesus of Nazareth is unlike … Continue reading The Irresistible Magnetism of a Loving Church

What specifically are we praying for when we say ‘Deliver Us from Evil?’

According to the Scriptures, there are seven evils from which we need deliverance: Disciples saw Jesus praying, and noticed the great difference between His prayers and theirs, so they requested to be taught how to pray. He alone can deliver us from evil. Said he to Moses: “I am come down to deliver them,” i.e., … Continue reading What specifically are we praying for when we say ‘Deliver Us from Evil?’

Struggling with Change at Church

Are you struggling with a change at your church? Maybe a change of leadership, a change in ministry direction, a change of a particular style, or a change in your ministry focus. Here is a good and encouraging word from a seasoned pastor, John Stott: “Change is painful to us all, especially when it affects … Continue reading Struggling with Change at Church

By Thy Mercy Deliver Us

According to the Lord’s Prayer, all evil has its origin in the Fall and consists of: profaning God's name, opposing God's kingdom, resisting God's will, failing to forgive and love deeply, and not resisting the temptations to evil. Deliver us from all of this, Good Lord! The seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer “are seven … Continue reading By Thy Mercy Deliver Us

“Deliver Us from Evil”

This last petition of the Lord's prayer helps to create in us a healthy disillusionment with this world and a longing for the heavenly kingdom where Isaiah 11:9 will be a reality: "They will neither harm nor destroy on my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as … Continue reading “Deliver Us from Evil”

Lord, Strengthen Our Capacity to Trust You

Read and reflect on Paul's description of Abraham in Romans 4:17-21: 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations” —in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he … Continue reading Lord, Strengthen Our Capacity to Trust You

What is so amazing about grace?

If I care to listen, I hear a loud whisper from the gospel that I did not get what I deserved. I deserved punishment and got forgiveness. I deserved wrath and got love. I deserved debtor’s prison and got instead a clean credit history. I deserved stern lectures and crawl-on-your knees repentance. Instead, I got a … Continue reading What is so amazing about grace?

The Struggle to Forgive

If you are struggling to forgive someone who has hurt, offended, or wronged you, then I would encourage you to read and reflect on the following prayer and Scriptures: Father, thank you that there is One who into earth’s bitter waters of sin, injustice, hatred, and revenge poured a crimson flood to make them sweet. … Continue reading The Struggle to Forgive

Ways to Cultivate a Healthy Marriage

To be human is to struggle with unhealthy patterns of relating. The Bible calls it "sin." Those of us who are married know how frequently our selfishness gets in the way of spiritual, emotional, and relational health. Here are a few ways to continue the journey towards a healthy marriage. None of us ever completely … Continue reading Ways to Cultivate a Healthy Marriage

Growing Strong in Trusting His Promises – Romans 4:17-21

ASPIRE: How do we grow strong in our faith?  How do I strengthen my capacity to trust the Lord? 1.         We grow strong in faith as we know what "is written" (v.17).  One must know well God's promises before you can trust them.  You must know someone well before you have a greater capacity to … Continue reading Growing Strong in Trusting His Promises – Romans 4:17-21