Gospel Links for Gospel Culture (7/19)
Jared Wilson offers some simple, but important encouragement.
This has shaped me as a pastor and as a preacher. Our church is biblically-literate and theologically-conservative. Many people have come to it specifically because they crave sound doctrine and expository preaching. It would be tempting to believe that in a church like this the majority of people would be in the Word just as much through the week as they wish to be on the Lord’s Day. But I’ve long since learned this isn’t the case. Even in a church like this, many people struggle to do what they believe they ought to do.
Loneliness is no joke. Moving and making new friends is not often fun. Yet, even if you’ve not moved around much, like I have, feelings of isolation can strike, even when you are surrounded by people you’ve known for decades. It all comes down to our relationship with lies.
We were three years into planting a church in downtown Fort Worth. Some core-team members—close friends—had just left, and the largely unseen fruit of our ministry didn’t seem worth the exhaustion.
Little did I know that I was about to get a kidney stone, then shingles, and then have to shepherd people through some difficult church-discipline cases. So I wondered if I should just bounce and go pastor an established church where things would be “easier.”
Have you, as a Christian, ever been accused of legalism? That word is often bandied about in the Christian subculture incorrectly. For example, some people might call John a legalist because they view him as narrow-minded. But the term legalism does not refer to narrow-mindedness. In reality, legalism manifests itself in many subtle ways.