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Good Reads 01.05.16 (on: prayer, sermons, and more!)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On the most important thing you can read: The One Must-Read This Year by John Piper

The truth of God, rising continually through the roots of faith planted in God’s word, is the way God keeps Christians alive and enables them to bear the faith-authenticating fruit of love, so that they will not be castaways in the last day. This is the essence of why I say the Bible is a “must-read” — the only must read. (click here to read more)

On listening to and evaluating a sermon: How to Evaluate Your Pastor’s Sermons by Keith Collier

Celebrity judges on reality television evaluate people’s talents, singing, dancing, cooking, etc., offering witty comments and cutting judgments.
Talking heads on sports and political broadcasts argue with each other, second-guessing every decision and analyzing others’ performances.
Social media provides instant feedback loops on articles, photos, videos, and everything else. Many an ego has been stroked and many a heart has been broken by the comments (or lack thereof) that stream into one’s feed.

Which brings us to that question that often pops up during Sunday lunch conversations with friends and family: “What did you think of the sermon?” If we’re not careful, our answers can sound more like the scenarios above, more focused on the sizzle than the steak. (click here to read more)

On fighting against pornography in your life: 10 Steps to Win over Pornography by Chuck Lawless

I know it sounds simplistic to say, “You need to study the Word, pray, fast, and hang out with believers,” but basic Christian faithfulness is fundamental to victory over pornography. In fact, I’m not convinced a person can win the battle otherwise. You are much less likely to turn to pornography when God means so much to you that pornography loses its lure. (click here to read more)

On prayer: One Little Word that Radically Changed My Prayer Life by Bronwyn Lea

I got that lead-balloon feeling on Sunday when our pastor pointed out all the things Paul didn’t pray for in his letters: people with cancer, busy schedules, promotions at work, successful ventures, hard pressed finances, strained relationships…. Not that those things don’t matter, or that we shouldn’t pray for them, or that God doesn’t care about the minutiae of our lives, but they weren’t on the apostles regular prayer card.

It raised the old question for me again: why do I always find my prayer list filled with immediate needs, when I know that matters like the Kingdom come, His will be done, missions, justice, global worship etc are weightier and worthy of prayer? Why is it that when I do sit down to pray (and my struggles with that are lengthy and complex) I pray for the “light and momentary afflictions”, and so seldom for the eternal things? (click here to read more)

And finally, wisdom from Jonathan Edwards (from instagram feed)

glory 01 (edwards)

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