I have been amazed, as I’m sure many other pastors are, to witness the moral decline in our society over the last decades. As a pastor, I want to set the right tone in what is ministered in our congregation. For example, I know that we have many visitors and even attenders who are living together without being married, and some think absolutely nothing about it. It seems to be a social norm. I don’t want to be known for what we’re against, but what we’re for. At the same time, I want to help people move toward godly, biblical values and standards. I understand that people coming out of the world are going to have worldly perspectives, but what especially troubles me is long-standing Christians who seem just fine with ungodly standards. For example, it seems like some Christians who should know better have bought into the world’s mentality that sex before marriage is perfectly acceptable. Two questions:
(1) How do pastors minister the love of God to people, and yet still promote godliness?
(2) How do pastors help mature Christians and leaders not buy-in to compromised, worldly standards?
Read the responses
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June was a busy and fruitful month for us with ministry in California, Oklahoma, Utah, Nebraska, and South Dakota. We are looking forward to the rest of the year and are expecting good things in the second half of 2017 as well. We are also excited about how next year’s itinerary is shaping up. As I have shared recently, we will be doing more internationally in the future. 2018 meetings already planned include Italy, France, England, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Colombia. We are also working on setting up meetings in other nations as well, and we will keep you posted as these are confirmed.
What does “lift” look like when it is operating in our lives? When we have yielded to the power that flows from the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we may be surprised at how pervasive and practical God’s influence in our lives can be. Resurrection power can drastically affect our overall attitude toward life and our attitude toward others. We can see hope where others see none. We envision possibilities when others have given up. Encouragement rises inside us even in the midst of discouraging circumstances. We reject pessimism, cynicism, and fatalism. We are empowered by a confidence that does not come from this world. Resurrection life provides a wellspring of joy and peace from which we draw and by which we are sustained. We don’t see the end of this temporal, mortal existence as the end of life. Rather, we have an eternal perspective of our own lives and of life itself. Everything and everyone takes on greater value because of how and why God created us. “Resurrection” is not just a past event or a future promise; it affects us dynamically in the here and now. Read this article by Tony Cooke
Philippians 3:14 is the rallying cry for those whose choice it is to follow God’s ways. We make the “upward call of God in Christ Jesus” our goal and with each new day pursue afresh this high calling. But let us do this with delight because we see this goal as a treasure God has made possible for us to seek. The enemy of our souls persistently tries to steal our joy, particularly in doing the will of God. He will subtly try to get us to focus on perfectionism or draw us into the rigidity of legalism, where we exchange delighted submission for mechanical obedience. Losing our joy results in a loss of strength as well, making loving and living God’s ways difficult. It is not God’s intention for us to lead lives of drudgery in trying to please Him but rather that our lives be a testimony to the world that serving God is life-giving! We are not ignorant of Satan’s devices and can readily recognize when our joy level is not where it should be. When joy is low, allow the Holy Spirit to restore to you the attitude of delight in “following hard after God” as the King James Version puts Psalm 63:8. Read this article by Lisa Cooke
Several years ago, I and another pastor were doing a conference on bearing fruit. In John 15 Jesus spoke of fruit: bearing fruit, bearing much fruit, bearing lasting fruit. I concluded that His intention for His body was to be effective. While doing that conference I was very supernaturally given an emphasis—or application—from each of the nine letters in the word EFFECTIVE. When I got this revelation, I spent nine weeks teaching and ministering it to our church. Even though this is in the English, the concepts can be applied in any language. On one trip to Russia we taught this. It proved to be profitable for them even though it was not in the English language. Here are the nine concepts… Read this article by Dave Mickelson
Read all of our quotes by visiting our Quotes Page.
“In God there is no hunger that needs to be filled, only plenteousness that desires to give.”
– C.S. Lewis
“What is grace but glory militant? What is glory but grace triumphant?”
– George Whitfield
“If we will do God’s work in God’s way at God’s time with God’s power, we shall have God’s blessing.”
– Leonard Ravenhill
“Truth without love destroys. Love without truth deceives.”
– Dave Earley
“Worry often gives a small thing a great shadow.”
– Swedish Proverb