Sometimes we preach these truths to ourselves and our hearts aren’t moved at all. We groan, and wish that life was so different than it is (Romans 8:23). We pray and pray and pray, and things only seem to get more overwhelming and more difficult. Sometimes our hearts simply ache with the pain of broken dreams, broken relationships, broken bodies, and broken sinfulness. What can we do?
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Those of us who preach have a very important role to play in developing gospel fluency in God’s people. We are called to model being gospel fluent in our everyday lives, but we are also called to equip the church in gospel fluency through our teaching and preaching ministry. So . . . how do we do that?
After finishing up my morning Bible study several years ago, an idea seemed to just pop into my head: to memorize Romans. Maybe I had a lot of grace that day, or maybe I was a little too sleep deprived, but there on the spot, I decided to do it.
My favorite book on the church and God’s mission is Total Church. I admire Steve Timmis and Tim Chester tremendously and I have learned so much from them. I can say the same for Alan Hirsch, Jeff Vanderstelt and many others that I would consider missional experts.
But eventually I had to stop listening to them.
Distracted, obligatory, ordinary — I doubt any such words came across Moses’s mind as he ascended the mountain. But some three thousand years later, we rarely marvel that God permits imperfect humans into his presence. How did the shocking become so ordinary to us? Is it even possible for our experiences with God to be that fascinating?
How often do we see prayer as primary to missions? In our desire to fulfill the Great Commission and plant churches, our tendencies may be to rush ahead of God instead of waiting on Him. Sue Danneker, a missionary in Thailand, makes a bold statement: “Proclamation begins with prayer.”
Most Christians are aware of the importance of personal reading of God’s word. But just how should our daily Bible reading be done? Are there any guidelines for making the best used of our time and gaining the most from our reading of God’s word? Here, then, are five guidelines that have helped me much over many years of reading Scripture.
Sometimes the hardest part of discipleship is teaching people how to handle the Bible. We know that the Holy Spirit will help us learn as we read, but we cannot ignore that it can be quite daunting and even intimidating. You don’t need a seminary degree to help your friend begin with the Bible; here are a few suggestions of how you can help Bible beginners get started.
Chances are you are among the massive majority of Christians who rarely or never fast. It’s not because we haven’t read our Bibles or sat under faithful preaching or heard about the power of fasting, or even that we don’t genuinely want to do it. We just never actually get around to putting down the fork.
We may be passionate in our mission, but we must always lead with humility. This is a good article that helps remind us that we are simply holding treasure as frail jars of clay. Knowledge gained can lead to arrogance. This is true in all areas of life, including missiological thought. A biblical missiology is a humble missiology.