Featured Article: Slaves of Christ

Tags

This week’s featured article by Mike Riccardi is perfectly paired with a good reading through Philippians. Philippians is chalk-full of great material and a heartfelt message from Paul to the church.

Image result for the apostle paul in chains

When I began to preach the book of Philippians a couple years ago, I noticed that Paul immediately identifies himself and Timothy as slaves of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:1). Now, most of the English versions have “servants” or “bond-servants” there, but the Greek word is doulos, which is properly rendered “slave.”

In identifying himself as a slave of Christ at the very beginning of the letter, Paul intended that the Philippians—who had been struggling with issues of steadfastness amidst conflict (Phil 1:27–30; 4:1), unity among believers (Phil 2:1–2; 4:2–3), humility (Phil 2:3–9), and joy amidst persecution (Phil 2:17–18; 3:1; 4:4)—would be reminded that they too are slaves of Christ Jesus, and that that identity would inform their responses to those situations.

You can read the full article here.

Featured Article: 4 Primary Tasks for the Shepherd-Planter

Tags

Whether you are aspiring to do so or aspiring to support, knowing the role of a church planter can help any disciple understand more deeply the needs of a church, its members and its work. This article by Mark Hallock discusses just this!

Image result for church plant

The most basic responsibility of the shepherd-planter is to know his sheep. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me” (John 10:14). This means it’s not enough for pastors to know their sheep as one massive whole on a macro-level. Rather, we must know each person individually, from the nursery to the nursing home.

You can read the full article here.

What We're Reading Today

Tags

From Duncan Hamilton’s biography of Eric Liddell, “For the Glory”.

Known for his Olympic running achievements in 1924, his greatest story occurred after, as he moved to China, giving up a career in athletics in order to become a missionary.

Image result for for the glory eric liddell duncan hamilton quotes

“Skeptical question are always going to be asked when someone is portrayed without apparent faults and also as the possessor of standards that appear so idealized and far-fetched to the rest of us. Liddell can sound too virtuous and too honorable to be true, as if those who knew him were either misremembering or consciously mythologizing. Not so. The evidence is too overwhelming to be dismissed as easily as that. No one could ever recall a single act of envy, pettiness, hubris, or self-aggrandizement from him. He bad-mouthed nobody. He didn’t bicker. He lived daily by the most unselfish credo, which was to help others practically and emotionally. Liddell became the (concentration) camp’s conscience without ever being pious, sanctimonious, or judgmental. He forced his religion on no one. He didn’t expect others to share his beliefs, let alone live up to them. . . His heroism was to be utterly forgiving in the most unforgiving of circumstances” (8)

Image result for for the glory eric liddell duncan hamilton quotes

If you are considering taking a OYC, this book is a great read on sacrifice and a God glorifying perspective in the face of severe trials.

You can buy the book here.

Featured Article: When Prayer Seems Impossible

Tags

If you’re thinking about taking the One Year Challenge, chances are you have already been praying about the decision. And for those who have taken the challenge, prayer continues to be important, but it isn’t always easy to do.

Image result for prayer"

This article, by Jeremy Linneman, discusses this intersection of desiring to pray, but not finding it so simple, and dissects the book “Possibilities of Prayer”, by John Starke.

God invites us to know and enjoy him in prayer. It’s the place we meet with God and discover his healing and peace. Therefore, the major work of prayer has already been accomplished; at the cross, Jesus has made the way for us to sit before the Father without fear or shame. 

You can read the full article here.

What We're Reading Today

Tags

From “The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Related image

“The road to faith passes through obedience to the call of Jesus. Unless a definite step is demanded, the call vanishes into thin air, and if men imagine that they can follow Jesus without taking this step, they are deluding themselves like fanatics.”

Music Monday

Tags

This week’s song comes from the city of our newest OYC site… Taipei! In the island of Taiwan, this region, very similar to China mainland in many ways, is open to religion in a way that mainland is not. Enjoy this great worship song, and take a minute to consider that Taiwan has and can continue to be a great launching point for the gospel into the massive mission field of mainland China, even in Taipei, the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.