I was just thinking about some things I'm very excited about. There are always things that we dread, stress over, and just flat out hate... So it's nice to have some things to be excited about.
Anyway, I could go on and on, but I'll spare you! What are you excited about? What would it take for you to get excited?
Proverbs 30:7-9 "O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name."
I enjoy Mark Driscoll's teaching and appreciate his ministry at Mars Hill Church in Seattle and Acts 29 Network. Here's a part of a message he recently delivered at a Desiring God Conference in Minnesota.
Pray for the shepherds. Pray for them more than you criticize, e-mail, gossip, or blog about them. Pray that they would have a discerning mind to know who is a sheep.
Pray that they would have a thick skin. Pray that they would have a humorous outlook. That they would laugh at themselves, that they would have a tender heart toward Jesus and the sheep. That they wouldn’t be hammered, that they would keep a tender heart, that they would have a humble disposition, that when criticisms are true, they would repent. That they would look at a criticism for a kernel of truth to be sanctified by.
Pray that shepherds would have encouraging families, that their wife would endure all the criticism, backbiting, people who would use her to get influence, that she would remain close to Jesus and be a place of refreshment for her husband, that her job is to keep her husband from despair, by not always agreeing with him but agreeing that she will always be for him.
Pray for his children as people take shots at his family. That his children would not go astray because critics love that.
Pray that one of the elders in the church is a good sniper. That he could spot people who are trying to take down the pastor. If the pastor tries to do it, it’s a lose-lose situation. Some of you elders here need to get in the middle.
That the shepherds would have evangelistic devotion, that they would not just feed the sheep, but that they would love the lost. That they would not waste their time checking their ratings and overlook Paul’s admonition to do the work of an evangelist. That they wouldn’t be so buried in firefights that they can’t see more people become sheep.
Pray for the shepherds, that they would learn selective hearing, that they would listen to their elders, that they would invite into their lives good counsel. Not everything that is said is worth a hearing. Shepherds can become so hard-hearted that their ears are closed and they spend time justifying themselves when they shouldn’t. They need to know who to listen to, who to heed, and who to not to.
There is a short list of people that I will listen to: the elders, my wife, John Piper, C.J Mahaney, Gary Breshears. I’ll listen to them because they have love and hope for me. They will criticize me, but it’s so that I can be more like Jesus, and not so that they can glory in their victory.
Some of you who are critics and snipers will see someone who is not where they should be. A good shepherd comes to help them, and you shoot the shepherd who is trying to help them. Paul said there are not many people who are good shepherds like that.
Pray for the young shepherds, that older shepherds would not shoot them like wolves and wouldn’t criticize them like dogs, but would encourage them like dads.
You can find the entire message HERE
We had a really good Sunday at Harvest today!
Have a great week!
We concluded a great Bible Study last night on the devil and the tricks he plays. I'm looking forward to starting two new studies next week. One will be a video and discussion type group on Sunday nights on the Song of Solomon, the other will be a journey through 1 Corinthians on Thursday evenings.
Last night we closed our study by reading about 8 passages of scripture out loud and together. You know, I think that was probably the highlight of the study. There is something so powerful about reading the Word aloud. I'm going to try to incorporate this practice weekly.
Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
If you are not involved in a Bible Study, get involved. Huge opportunity for growth and connection!
We're on our way back from Washington soon. We had a great visit with Henry and family. Henry lives in probably one of the most beautiful places imaginable.
Barbara's memorial service was Saturday afternoon. Since we held the service outdoors on Henry's property I spoke on beauty. A beautiful life (Proverbs 31), a beautiful death (Psalm 116:15), and a beautiful promise (I Corinthians 15:19,35-55). Those of you who knew Barb know that she measured up to all three of these thoughts.
I'm excited about getting back to Harvest. A few days away always sparks my creativity. See you all soon!
We flew into Seattle Friday and it was too easy! Henry was to pick us up but couldn't find us. We were both at the airport, just different airports. That was hilarious. We were talking on our cell phones trying to explain where each of us were, then Henry finally asked, "What city are you in?".
I have fallen in love with most everything about Washington state. The woods are beautiful here and I could really get into living in the woods but this was a bit too outdoorsy for me.
We're visiting Mars Hill Church Sunday. Mark Driscoll is starting a new sermon series on the Song of Solomon...sounds interesting! I have Michaela with me so I might have to cover her ears for parts of the message.
Have a great Sunday!