Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!
On discipleship: 4 Ways to Make Disciples by Mark Dever
Jesus taught his disciples to live in view not of today or tomorrow, but eternity. We try to help others follow Jesus; we do deliberate spiritual good; we pray for gospel influence; we proclaim God’s words, and we do all this for the sake of the Last Day. Yes, we may see some fruit now. But the goal is always to present people mature in Christ then.
What is discipling in addition to helping others follow Jesus? It’s doing them spiritual good. Specifically, it’s initiating a relationship in which you teach, correct, model, and love. Needless to say, it takes great humility. (click here to read more)
On evangelism: Awkward Gospel Conversations by Jordan Standridge
Changing the message is not an option. God has made the Gospel very clear. We cannot alter it. There is no “polite” way to tell someone that if they were to die right now that they would be heading to hell. There is not a “non-awkward” manner to tell someone that Jesus is the only way to salvation. There is no “nice” way to let someone know that their sin is so bad that the God of the universe had to die on a cross because they couldn’t earn their way to Him on their own. It doesn’t matter if you’ve evangelized a thousand times or twice, those truths cannot be explained without offense. (click here to read more)
On parenting: Good Parents Connect, Not Just Correct by David Mathis
Far from squashing our children’s interests or suffocating the spirit in them, we’re charged as parents to cultivate their hearts, and direct them in ways that are true, beautiful, and good. Surely, this will include the pruning of discipline, but our first pursuit is not to hunt for the evil in them and attack it, but look for the good and instruct them. It is far too easy to fall into a kind of merely reactive “discipline” that tries to kill off the weeds of sin by chopping aggressively at the heart of the plant. But true discipline carefully identifies the bulb and gently pulls away at the weeds of sin, so as not to harm the heart of a fledging plant before it ever has the opportunity to blossom. (click here to read more)
On happiness and joy: Breathe in the Happiness of Heaven by Randy Alcorn
I grew up in an unbelieving home, and first heard about Christ as a teenager. Initially, Bible stories seemed no more true than the Greek mythology and comics I loved. Then I read the Gospels, and believed that Jesus was real, and then superheroes became mere shadows of him. When Jesus rescued me, I experienced a profound happiness I’d never known, and have never gotten over. My heartfelt gladness was the result of being born again, forgiven, and indwelt by God’s Spirit. “Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Psalm 32:1, NRSV). (click here to read more)
On “changing the world”: There’s Only One Way to Change the World by Luke LeFevre
All of these fields, whether it be science, literature, history or art, have certainly played a part in affecting the way the world operates, but the people that inhabit this world have essentially remained the same. Discoveries in these fields may change the way people view a certain subject or change the way that people operate and go about their business, but that’s as far as it goes. The most important part of this world (humanity) goes unchanged. (click here to read more)