Prayers for Christ’s Increase and Our Decrease by Jon Bloom
When John the Baptist said, “Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:29-30), he wasn’t talking about his inner life. He was talking about his ministry calling as a prophet and his public influence. He delighted that Jesus’s influence was eclipsing his own.
But he could only delight in his public diminishment because in his private life, in his heart, Christ had become supreme. And since the Bible shows that it is never easy for a sinful person to come to such a place of joyful submission, it is safe to assume that John’s public joy was likely the result of much wrestling with God and hard fighting against sin in the private place.
The Love of God by Holly Gerth
I’m a girl who’s serious about coffee. One morning I poured water into my machine, pressed the “on” button, and waited for the magic to happen. But my much-desired beverage failed to appear. I began investigating and discovered somehow the grounds had overflowed the filter and clogged the whole process. I cleared the way and soon I had a hot mug of something wonderful in my hands again.
The lies we believe are a lot like those grounds in my coffee maker. They may seem small and harmless, but they can end up totally blocking the love God wants to pour into our lives. So, let’s get rid of the lies and get back to the goodness that’s rightfully ours.
5 Principles About Vision by Ronnie Floyd
A vision is beyond just a good idea. It must be a God idea. God does not obligate Himself to our good ideas or brainstorming sessions. God commits Himself to us when we connect with His heart and vision for the world.
There are five principles about vision I want to share with you today:
1. Vision Given: God alone gives the vision.
Therefore, we have to connect with God not only daily, but deeply. Vision is not duplicating what someone else does. Vision is crafted by God into your life and leadership, using your giftedness within the context you are ministering.
3 Things to Remember When You’re in a Season of Waiting by Mandy Hale
As Winter Storm Jonas rocked much of the country a couple of weeks ago, I found myself trapped inside my apartment for a few days due to the condition of the roads. I should add that I live in middle Tennessee, where any real amount of snow is a rarity—we treat it like an apocalyptic event when it actually occurs. We run to the grocery store, we cancel school (sometimes before a single flake falls), and we seem to forget entirely how to drive. It’s like everything we ever learned about driving shoots right out of our heads and we’re left skidding around like a child’s first bike ride without training wheels.
So when the snow began to fall … and fall … and fall some more, I decided I wasn’t going anywhere. I was going to stay put. Wait it out. Enjoy a few days of trapped, hibernating quiet. And for a while, the beauty of the snow and the coziness of my warm apartment had me waiting in sheer bliss. Hot cocoa was made. Netflix binges were had. I got some work done that might have gone neglected otherwise. I took bubble baths. Had a chat with God. Read a book. I was snug as a bug in a rug.
Then hour 11 or 12 of waiting out the storm arrived, and I found myself going stir crazy. This waiting stuff was not for the faint of heart. I wanted to see people. I was craving Chick-fil-A. My apartment no longer felt cozy and warm, but stifling and claustrophobic. I needed to drive and move and talk and act I couldn’t wait one more minute!
Five Common Reasons Church Members Burnout by Thom Rainer
“I just did not have the energy to keep coming back to church.”
Though my consultation with the church took place many years ago, I remember vividly my interview with a member of the church who had recently dropped out. Her departure stunned the members and leadership. She was the one member you could count on. She was there “every time the doors were open.”
And then she never showed up again.
She simply sent an email of resignation of all ministries and left.