The Foundation of Self-Control…

“Self-control isn’t just one good character trait, a nice addition to the pantheon of virtues.

It’s foundational. Not because it’s more important than other virtues, but because the others rely upon it.

Think about it.

Can you be faithful to your spouse without self-control? Can you be generous without self-control? Peaceable? Selfless? Honest? Kind? No, even the most basic altruism requires suspending your own interests to think of others.

And that can’t happen without self-control.”

~ Drew Dyck

Cruel Irony…

“There’s a cruel irony that comes into play whenever we value something above God.

If we prioritize happiness above all else, we will never find happiness. If we grant marriage or family or work the highest place in our hearts, we will end up hurting those too.

These are all good things, but they were never meant to bear the full weight of our ultimate allegiance.”

~ Drew Dyck

Not Really About Me…

“I know that Christianity isn’t a success course. It’s not a self-improvement program.

In fact, it’s not really about me. Not primarily anyway.

The end goal for a Christian isn’t to become such an impressive, successful person that you can stand atop a mountain of accomplishments and declare, ‘Look at me’ !”

~ Drew Dyck

Shepherds Wanted…

“Not every Christian man with an entrepreneurial spirit and a gift for speaking should be a pastor.

I say this kindly—if your drive is not to feed the sheep, please quit. You may have missed your calling. Your gifts could be used more effectively elsewhere, perhaps for starting a business or a nonprofit.

We don’t need any more salesmen in the pulpit. We need tenders of the sheep. We need shepherds up to their elbows in Christ’s little lambs.

Pastor, if you do not get to the end of your week without at least a little wool on your jacket, you might not be a shepherd.”

~ Jared C. Wilson

Getting Comfortable With Rejection

“A prophet is not without honor except in his household.”

I came across these words again while I was reading Mark 6 this morning.

To sum it up, Jesus brings His disciples to His hometown, teaches for a little bit, does a handful of miracles…and is basically written off by this same hometown.

I thought He handled it pretty well, though.

But I wonder what His disciples must have felt like seeing this play out in front of them.

This same Jesus, who they had pretty much left everyone and everything to follow, was being dissed by family, friends, neighbors, classmates…basically everyone from His old stomping grounds.

As much as I would like to, I can’t say for sure how they felt in that moment. But I can talk about my own strange takeaway from this. Strange to me, at least.

I began to feel a little more comfortable with rejection.

To be real, I struggle mightily with the idea of being rejected or disapproved of. It unequivocally wrecks me. My loved ones…especially wifey…often point out to me that I put too much stock in what others think. That’s certainly not a special or unique problem, but it is one (of many) that I have.

In a twisted sort of way though, it was actually comforting to read again about Jesus being rejected so thoroughly.

It means He can relate.

And that’s good to know. Because in my humble opinion, rejection is one of those inevitable parts of the human experience. I think we’ll all find ourselves on the receiving end of it at some point in life. Not even Jesus was exempt.

And like I said…I think He handled it pretty well.

Where’s The Love?

“What I notice a lot every day in the Christian spheres of social media is just how incredibly adept we evangelicals are at doctrinal criticism, cultural rebuke, theological analysis, biblical exegesis, apologetic and ethical debates, pithy spiritual bon mots, religious advice, and of course the use of quotations from Christian leaders present and past.

But what seems less prevalent is love for Jesus.”

~ Jared C. Wilson

Called To Preach…

“If we see the purpose of preaching as primarily instructing, then it will be confined to an individual exercise, a responsibility granted only to the most biblically educated, articulate, and proficient in the congregation.

But if we believe preaching is primarily the announcing of the kingdom, an unveiling of a vision of God’s glorious reign and our life in it, then the responsibility to preach cannot lie solely with the pastor.

It properly belongs with all of God’s people—even ignorant fishermen.”

~ Skye Jethani

Unseen Value…

“In the economy of God’s kingdom, there is not a single thought, feeling, or moment that is lost. Nothing is unseen or unrecorded. God is our witness.

But as church leaders, we are tempted, perhaps more than others, to believe that our value is defined by the visible, quantifiable, and tweet-able aspects of our lives. How many came? How many followed? How many liked?

This is a soul-crushing mistake, and is perhaps why we struggle with prayer.

Prayer, which is our private communion with God, is not something others can see. In prayer only God is our witness, and in prayer only God is our reward.”

~ Skye Jethani

Unnoticed…

“The fear of living an insignificant life resonates with many of us, but in our exhibitionist culture we’ve been formed to believe that significance comes from being noticed.

This explains both our culture’s deification of celebrities and disregard for the unborn.

Celebrities are valued merely because they are seen by millions, while unborn babies are unvalued because they haven’t yet been seen by anyone.

Our culture has embraced the cliche that out of sight really is out of mind.”

~ Skye Jethani

The Commodity Society…

“In our society, the only value an object has is the value I give it. A commodity exists to satisfy my desire and supply my needs—nothing more.

Because consumerism has formed us to engage both goods and people this way, it should surprise no one that in our culture God also has no value apart from what He can do for me.”

~ Skye Jethani

The Danger Of Platform-Based Authority…

“Sadly, as our culture’s capacity to engage and maintain meaningful relationships has deteriorated, we have seen a rise in popularity-based rather than proximity-based authority.

And the same trend is evident within the church.

Just because someone has a large platform or ministry, or has sold millions of books, doesn’t mean we should automatically grant them authority over our life, faith, or congregation.

As many entertainers, politicians, and church leaders have proven, it is possible to build a large platform and yet lack the character or competency to faithfully wield it.”

~ Skye Jethani

Beyond Our Control…

“If the Bible and history have taught us anything, it’s that God is notoriously uncooperative at our attempts at controlling Him.

We want to contain Him, institutionalize Him, and systematize Him so that we can ultimately understand, predict, and control Him. So, when the Lord does something unexpected, when He complicates our life or our world, it’s a reminder that control is an illusion. We never had it, and we never will.

That awareness is a gift.”

~ Skye Jethani

Light Bursting Thru Darkness…

“We live in a dark world. Our hearts long for goodness, beauty, justice, and peace, but they are often hidden behind the shadow cast by evil and sin.

This is why preaching is so necessary.

Whenever the kingdom of God is proclaimed, it is like a bright burst of light. In those brief moments, the shadows recede and we are given a glimpse of a world behind the darkness.

It is a sublime vision that reorders our perception of reality and leaves us hungry for more.”

~ Skye Jethani