Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!
On parenting and prayer: Seven Things to Pray for Your Children by Jon Bloom
So, pray for your children. Jesus promises us that if we ask, seek, and knock, the Father will give us good in return (Luke 11:9–13), even if the good isn’t apparent for forty years. And because Jesus regularly asked those who came to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51), we know that he wants us to be specific with our requests. (click here to read more)
On parenting and discipleship: Don’t Farm Out Your Child’s Discipleship to the Youth Pastor by Clark Forbes
What I tell them isn’t usually the answer they’re looking for: the best practice and strategy for helping kids know the gospel, come to saving faith, and grow as a disciple, is a parent investing in the discipleship of their child. Nothing helps a teenager know the gospel like seeing it modeled in the home; not just taught or spoken to them, but modeled through their parents’ relationship to each other and to the kids. (click here to read more)
On singleness and God’s Mission: Single, Satisfied, and Sent by Marshall Segal
While it may seem like two categories at first, we soon discover in application that there are three: the single, the married, and the not-yet-married. After all, as any single person knows, a desire for marriage does not a marriage make. My hope in reflecting on Paul’s words is to restore hope and ambition in the hearts of the not-yet-married and set them solidly on mission in their singleness. (click here to read more)
On the God-centered focus of preaching: You Are Not the Story by H. B. Charles Jr.
After watching a few minutes of a news telecast, I find myself turning the channel in frustration, grumbling to the reporter on the screen, “You are not the story!”
Unfortunately, many of us who stand in the pulpit need this reminder just as much as those who sit at the news desk. Christian ministers are charged to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:1-2). The Lord commands it. The truth demands it. The hearers need it. Yet there is always the danger of inserting ourselves into the sermon – by our content or delivery – that the message is obscured.
People should not leave the sermon having learned more about the preacher than Christ. When we stand to preach the word, we should prayerfully whisper to ourselves, “You are not the story.” (click here to read more)
On the ups and downs of spiritual growth: Why Do Spiritual Highs Fade? by James Beevers
So, if there is to be any lasting effect from these events and experiences, it must have at the bottom seeing and savoring Jesus Christ — and this is often what camps, conferences, and events provide. Anything of true, durable worth from these experiences comes from seeing God clearly as he really is. This can come from sermons, or discussions, or singing in worship, or late night conversations, prayers, and devotions.
When we see the light of the glory of Christ most clearly, the things of this world seem dim and worthless by comparison. Why have sin, good as it may look, when we can have Christ? (click here to read more)