• Topic > Christian Ministry & the Church

    “Not by Might nor by Power”

    My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power . . . —1 Corinthians 2:4

    If in preaching the gospel you substitute your knowledge of the way of salvation for confidence in the power of the gospel, you hinder people …

    The Consecration of Spiritual Power

    . . . by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world —Galatians 6:14

    If I dwell on the Cross of Christ, I do not simply become inwardly devout and solely interested in my own holiness— I become strongly …

    The Focal Point of Spiritual Power

    If you want to know the power of God (that is, the resurrection life of Jesus) in your human flesh, you must dwell on the tragedy of God. Break away from your personal concern over your own spiritual condition, and with a completely open spirit consider the tragedy of God. Instantly the power of God will be in you. “Look to Me. . .” (Isaiah 45:22). Pay attention to the external Source and the internal power will be there. We lose power because we don’t focus on the right thing. The effect of the Cross is salvation, sanctification, healing, etc., but we are not to preach any of these. We are to preach “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). The proclaiming of Jesus will do its own work.

    The Secret of Spiritual Consistency

    God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . —Galatians 6:14

    When a person is newly born again, he seems inconsistent due to his unrelated emotions and the state of the external things or circumstances in …

    Direction of Focus

    Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters . . . , so our eyes look to the Lord our God . . . —Psalm 123:2

    This verse is a description of total reliance on God. Just as the eyes of a servant are riveted on his master, our eyes should …

    I Was Wrong About Thanksgiving

    I used to think Thanksgiving was cute, like little handprint turkey art projects from third graders. Thanksgiving was mildly entertaining, like whatever football game is on TV when you fall asleep after too much turkey.

    Make a Joyful Noise

    Back when I was searching for a church to attend regularly, a friend invited me to a service at her church. The worship leaders led the congregation in a song I particularly loved. So I sang with gusto, remembering my college choir director’s advice to “Project!”

    After the song, my friend’s husband turned to me and said, “You really sang loud.” This remark was not intended as a compliment! After that, I self-consciously monitored my singing, making sure I sang softer than those around me, and always wondering if the people around me judged my singing.

    But one Sunday, I noticed the…

    Something in a Song

    For years, Denise referred warmly to her sibling Carolyn as “my little sister.” Carolyn faced significant cognitive challenges, but she loved life and brought joy to everyone who knew her. She loved Jesus too!

    Winning into Freedom

    If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed —John 8:36

    If there is even a trace of individual self-satisfaction left in us, it always says, “I can’t surrender,” or “I can’t be free.” But the …

    The Eternal Goal

    By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing . . . I will bless you . . . —Genesis 22:16-17

    Abraham, at this point, has reached where he is in touch with the very nature of God. He now understands the reality of God.

    My goal…

    In His Presence

    The seventeenth-century monk Brother Lawrence, before a day’s work as cook in his community, would pray, “O my God . . . grant me your grace to stay in your presence. Help me in my labors. Possess all my affections.” As he worked, he kept talking to God, listening for His leading and dedicating his work to Him. Even when he was busiest, he would use intervals of relative calm to ask for His grace. No matter what was happening, he sought for and found a sense of his Maker’s love.

    As Psalm 89 confesses, the fitting response to the Creator…

    What’s the Best Gift?

    My husband recently celebrated a milestone birthday, the kind that ends in a zero. I thought hard about the best way to honor him on this important occasion. I discussed my many ideas with our children to help me home in on the best one. I wanted our celebration to reflect the significance of a new decade and how precious he is to our family. I wanted our gift be in keeping with the importance of this milestone in his life.

    King Solomon wanted to give to God a much greater gift than a “big birthday” would merit. He wished for…

    Fellowship in the Gospel

    …fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ… —1 Thessalonians 3:2

    After sanctification, it is difficult to state what your purpose in life is, because God has moved you into His purpose through the Holy Spirit. He is using you now for His purposes throughout the world as He used His Son for the purpose of our salvation. If you seek…

    Texas shooting: The Aftermath

    On Sunday, while I was worshipping at my church, a shooting happened just a few miles away at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. It turned out to be the deadliest church shooting in US history.

    Let’s Pray Together

    Few of us would think we’d done anything significant after attending a prayer meeting, much less that one day a monument would be built to commemorate what we did. College student Samuel Mills would surely have felt the same way.