Resurgence Roundup, 3/7/14
Fri Mar 07, 2014
How to Replant a Church, Part 5: Rally Your Troops
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Bubba Jennings
The 4 Pillars of Pastoral Work
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Dave Bruskas
10 Ideas For Keeping Lent
Wed Mar 05, 2014
by Winfield Bevins
How an Executive Pastor Frees the Lead Pastor to Do What Only He Can Do
Tue Mar 04, 2014
by Sutton Turner
“Is that all you’re eating?” I ask my son, who is lounging on the sofa with a cheese stick. “Would you like me to make you a sandwich?”
“I’m grazing, Mom.”
He’s always grazed, ever since he was a little guy. It’s best for him, these small meals taken regularly throughout the day. His blood sugar tanks unless he eats well and often. We know from experience that if all he eats on a cross-country flight is gummi bears he will not do well later in the day. Gummi bears sustain thee not. Remembering to eat well is important to his well-being, and I encourage this by filling his lunch bag with good food designed to nourish and sustain until I can feed him again at dinner.
The Daily Diet
“Daily remind yourself of the gospel.” This was the encouragement given to a group of pastors’ wives on retreat. I’ve kept those notes in my Bible and refer to them frequently. It’s full of quotes like this one from C.J. Mahaney in The Cross-Centered Life:
“Reminding ourselves of the gospel is the most important daily habit we can establish. If the gospel is the most vital news in the world, and if salvation by grace is the defining truth of our existence, we should create ways to immerse ourselves in the these truths every day.”
I think on this as it relates to a healthy diet. God designed us to require food regularly. He knows us well, so he uses the language of our daily needs to communicate good news.
“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.’” John 6:35
“‘. . . whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” John 4:14
Please, give me this day your daily bread.
Oh how I want this—bread and water from Jesus to fill my thirsty, hungry places and remind me that while my need for him is great, he is able to meet it freely and often.
Feasting in Fullness
I function best when I eat healthy, whole food but it feels like work to remember to eat well and often. I feel guilty and self critical when I lazily neglect the principles of good eating. I do this with the gospel, too: forgetting the ample daily diet of nourishing, sustaining refreshment from my Father, I deny myself the very truth that is life giving.
Weak and running on empty, I’m trying to satisfy hunger and thirst on a gummi bear diet.
I am listening to lies, telling myself I should know the truth, shouldn’t need the reminder, should work harder while ingesting less.
Perhaps Paul knew that this was the condition of the Ephesians when he prayed for them to “be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). Ah, the fullness of God, the cure for my heart’s hunger and water for my thirsty soul. Fullness comes when I consume freely, when craving is satisfied with the richness of mercy:
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:4–9
Take the Water of Life
My dear friend shares a gospel-centered worship video on Facebook. She comments apologetically, “I've watched this about 5 times tonight … because sometimes that's how much I need to hear it.” Another comments on her need to hear it often, and maybe it will sink in. They agree that they must both have thick heads.
“Not thick headed—thirsty!” I respond.
“The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” Revelation 22:17
How do you daily remind yourself of the gospel? Are you feasting regularly upon mercy and grace? It is life to you, and free.