Thursday, November 16, 2006

Spiritual Pride

Jonathan Edwards points out the dangers of spiritual pride and how insidious it can be in our lives .

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Free For All

Birthday Boy

Happy Birthday Martin Luther

Thoughts From a Reformed Pastor

In the wake of all the turmoil involving Ted Haggard, I thought I would let Richard Baxter (1615-1691) share some of his thoughts concerning the role of a pastor in dealing with the temptations and sin in his life. The following quotes are from the book The Reformed Pastor written by Richard Baxter.

1. Take heed to yourselves, for you have a heaven to win or lose, and souls that must be happy or miserable for ever; and therefore it concerning you to begin at home, and to take heed to yourselves as well as to others.

2.Take heed, therefore , brethen for the enemy hath a special eye upon you. You shall have his most subtle insinuations, and incessant solicitations and violent assaults.

3. Take heed, brethen, of every word you speak, and of every step you tread, for you bear the ark of the Lord, you are entrusted with his honour.

4. We have seen some private Christians of good esteem, who, having thought too highly of their parts, and thrust themselves into the ministerial office, have proved weak and empty men, and have become greater burdens to the Church than some whom we endeavoured to cast out.

5. Your sins have more hypocrisy in them than other men's, by how much more you have spoken against them. O what a heinous thing is it in us, to study how to disgrace sin to the utmost, and make it as odious in the eyes of our people as we can, and when we have done, to live in it, secetly cherish that which we publicly disgrace.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Question

For the past three years I have asked friends and church leaders a question that most of them have never been asked. The question is simple yet heart probing. How are you doing SPIRITUALLY ? Most of the time the response I receive is --Thank you for asking. Sometimes the look on their face resembles that of a deer caught in the headlights of a oncoming car . I can relate to the last response. I was a Youth Minister for ten years in the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) and I can tell you that I don't remember anyone coming along beside me and asking me that type of question. I do not say that to criticize my church. I had wonderful people who loved me and I loved them. Why didn't they ask me those types of questions ? Here is the reason. They just assumed that because I was on staff I had everything together. And that is a deadly assumption that is plaguing the church today. How many former pastors are out there today who wished that they had someone who cared enough about them to ask the important questions . I would say that the evangelical landscape is littered with broken men and families who would have loved for someone to come along beside them asking , How are you doing Spiritually.

Most churches have tools to evaluate how a ministry is doing. What about the tools to evaluate the heart. Do we spend the time and energy to make sure that the pastor and those who serve with him are going through spiritual checkups on a regular basis. What if we took the time to be the person to ask those important questions of our leaders in the church. Not with an attitude of pride and arrogance, but with an attitude of love. How well do you know your leaders. How often do you pray for them and with them. Do they know that you love them.

Remember Prov. 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.