Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!
On church and serving: When Serving the Local Church Isn’t Fun by Bethany Mathis
I tell this story to share with you a real life example of when service in the church isn’t glamorous or fun. Should I quit serving in the children’s ministry because I don’t like it very much? No. Should I continue to serve with a begrudging attitude? Absolutely not. God has had some work to do in this heart.
You see, I am part of a church congregation who needs people to step up and do things that don’t always feel awesome. That’s how we function. Sometimes we will serve in capacities that we love and in doing so it requires little emotional sacrifice. Other times we are asked to serve in ways that require more of us. Yet even when it’s hard and tiring and not the thing you love, we can allow God to use it to transform our hearts and make us more like Him in the process. (click here to read more)
On relationships and loneliness: Loneliness is Killing Us by David Murray
We need friends. We need confidants (Proverbs 17:17, 27:5-6), companions (Ecc. 4:9-10), comforters (Job 2:11, 16:20-21), encouragers (Proverbs 27:17, 1 Thess. 5:11). The Bible is full of verses like these exhorting us in our friendships, showing us who and who not to have as friends, and outlining the many, many reasons we need others in our lives. Jesus Himself during his time on earth developed deep, rich friendships with three of His disciples, and also calls us “friend” (John 15:15). How important, then, this kind of relationship must be! (click here to read more)
On the spiritual condition of one’s heart: Is the Heart Deceitful Above All Things? Well, Maybe… by Stephen Altrogge
When you read the Old Testament promises of a new covenant, it becomes beautifully, startlingly clear that God intended to replace his people’s dead, sick, deceitful, putrid, decaying hearts with something else entirely.
With new hearts that pulsed and hammered and thrummed with spiritual life. With hearts awash with the Holy Spirit and bent toward obedience rather than idolatry. (click here to read more)
On the riches of the imagination and future hope: Like Those Who Dream: An Imagination of the New Creation by Bryan Elliff
Thus we have a strange song of ascents. Since Mt. Zion and its temple have been destroyed, it’s clearly not a psalm about the Mt. Zion that is, but about the Mt. Zion that will be.
And his mind is full of imagination. “What is it like for the captives of Zion when they come home?” he asks. They are like those who dream. It is an experience so incredibly joyful that they can hardly believe it’s happening. You might know the surreal feeling of finally experiencing something that you’ve waited for a long time, like a wedding or the birth of a child. You can’t believe it. You feel almost dazed. (click here to read more)