The last time I saw my grandfather alive he made fun of me for being a pastor. You’ve probably heard the jokes or even made them yourself. “What does a pastor do all week anyway? You only work like one hour.” I wanted to tell my grandpa we have two worship services on Sunday morning, and they go for three hours by themselves....
Here are your key connections for the week, including two posts on the Church, one great post from Pastor Colin on getting into Heaven, and more:
What Went Wrong with Nadab and Abihu (Derek Rishmawy, Christianity Today)
What is stunning is that this episode immediately follows the Lord accepting the initial offering. How can somebody with a front-row seat to God’s burning glory be so arrogant? It’s almost as if the success itself provoked the failure—they believed themselves “too big to fail.”
This is a warning to those of us in ministry: If we mistake God’s grace at work with our own efficacy or holiness, presumption naturally follows. Success blinds us to our own sin and need to fear the Lord.
When We Need The Service of Others (Jennifer Brogdon, Risen Motherhood)
Certain seasons or life circumstances require members to serve us. Galatians 5:14 says, “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Paul, who is talking to a group of legalists, encourages humility. If they want to fulfill the law, then they should love and serve their brothers and sisters! When we allow fellow members to love us by bearing our burdens, we help fulfill the law of Christ.
What Does It Really Mean to Take the Lord’s Name in Vain? (Kevin DeYoung, Crossway)
So what exactly is forbidden by the third commandment? The word vain (as it’s rendered in the ESV) can mean “empty,” “nothing,” “worthless,” or “to no good purpose.” We are forbidden, therefore, from taking the name of God (or taking up the name or bearing the name, as the phrase could be translated) in a manner that is wicked, worthless, or for wrong purposes. This doesn’t mean that we have to avoid the divine name altogether.
How Churches Can Help Women Study God’s Word (Kristen Wetherell, Radical)
Unfortunately, many churches don’t have this contagious effect because they lack a settled conviction about Scripture. But this low esteem for Scripture is equally contagious, and it will saturate the congregation with whatever else is held in high esteem. I’m particularly concerned with the lack of Scripture’s presence in many women’s ministries––for we will only equip our women to study God’s Word if studying God’s Word is the basis for everything we do as a church.
What Would Jesus Say About Your Church? (John MacArthur, Grace to You)
Believers need to understand that what happens in America politically and socially has nothing to do with the progress or the power of the kingdom of God. Cultural change can’t accelerate the kingdom’s growth; nor can it hinder it (see Matthew 16:18). Christ’s kingdom “is not of this world” (John 18:36).
How Do I Get to Heaven? (Colin Smith, Unlocking the Bible)
If salvation rested on our works in any way, all assurance would be arrogance because it would be saying “I’ve done the necessary works.” Salvation depends not on your works for Christ, but on Christ’s work for you. His work is finished. It’s perfect and complete. You can rest your life, death, and eternity on him with complete confidence.