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Your Role in Preventing Ministry Failure

Posted by on 10:12 pm in Blog, Church & Ministry | 0 comments

Your Role in Preventing Ministry Failure

Why do some ministers fail completely? Certain high-profile pastors (most notably in the United States) have fallen in recent years, badly and publicly. Some observe the numbers of pastors haemorrhaging at an alarming rate. Surveys suggest that the two main reasons are burnout and moral failure. The two are not unconnected. Sometimes moral failure follows on from burnout but they arise from the same causes. Burnout often occurs due to chasing outward success and the approval of others. Success means focusing on what is visible and attracts...

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Conscience is Fragile: Handle with Care

Posted by on 9:37 am in Blog, Christian Living | 0 comments

Conscience is Fragile: Handle with Care

The human mind is fragile as well as powerful and complex. The human spirit can be resilient but may also be frail in the face of countless intricate emotions, memories, doubts and fears. Conscience is an especially delicate part of who we are. God has given it to us as a witness to His righteous requirements. Sin has disordered it but further damages it. Our moral compass is easily warped by sin’s magnetic force. The Bible tells us that conscience can be defiled, wounded and seared. Through handling conscience carelessly we can do...

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Do We Love Jesus But Not the Church?

Posted by on 12:47 pm in Blog, Church & Ministry | 0 comments

Do We Love Jesus But Not the Church?

The slogan “I love Jesus but not the Church” has been repeated so often it’s now a category in major surveys. It’s now supposed to cover about 10% of people in the USA. This individualistic consumerist mindset may have eroded the thinking of more than this category alone. It’s easy to be a fickle consumer of the Church, taking what we like and leaving the rest. Without recognising it, we often complain when Church doesn’t fulfil our needs and expectations. There are of course genuine hurts and struggles as...

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Have We Become Tourists Rather than Pilgrims?

Posted by on 8:18 pm in Blog, Christian Living | 0 comments

Have We Become Tourists Rather than Pilgrims?

Not all journeys are the same. Tourists are focussed on their surroundings; pilgrims are fixed on their destination. Tourists want to capture as much as possible of what they see; pilgrims mark their progress towards an unseen destination. How do we respond to this world? Are we so comfortable and satisfied in it that we could better be described as tourists than pilgrims in relation to this world? Or half pilgrim, half tourist? Not all pilgrims are the same. Some are simply pleasing themselves under cover of religion. What is it to live as...

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What to Do with Your Anxiety

Posted by on 11:49 pm in Blog, Christian Living | 0 comments

What to Do with Your Anxiety

The viral conversation #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike is still going. It arose from fears due to a delayed response to a text message. “If you’re a human being living in 2017 and you’re not anxious, there’s something wrong with you”, says the originator Sarah Fader. We live in an age of anxiety. Every generation has its anxieties, but we have taken it to a new level. Generalised anxiety disordwer (something different from depression) is common. Some say it is at epidemic level. The psychologist Jean Twenge observes that the average anxiety level...

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All Things to All Men: What Does it Really Mean?

Posted by on 4:28 pm in Blog, Church & Ministry | 0 comments

All Things to All Men: What Does it Really Mean?

How much should churches change their message and methods to suit the culture around them? Some believe that whatever methods will connect with people are justified. The gospel must be “contextualised” they say. This means that we must adapt everything but the core message to suit the culture. The main Bible verse that they use to support this idea is when Paul speaks of being all things to all men in order to save them. Does that mean that we must adopt the culture around us and everything we do must be changed? How should we...

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Principles for Making Every Day the Best it Can Be

Posted by on 10:21 am in Blog, Christian Living | 0 comments

Principles for Making Every Day the Best it Can Be

Conventional inspirational wisdom tells us rather vaguely to “make each day count”. Personal productivity advice induces anxiety about using our time effectively. But we can’t do something effectively that in itself is not worth doing or is actually harmful. We must be doing the right things out of the right motives and principles with a right end in view. “Redeeming the time” is a biblical requirement. When we get our spiritual priorities right, the rest of our activities fall into their proper place. James...

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Were the Covenanters Puritans?

Posted by on 7:58 pm in Articles | 0 comments

Were the Covenanters Puritans?

The Covenanters shared certain principles with the English Puritans. There was an emphasis on the supreme authority of the Word of God in matters of worship and practice as well as doctrine. They shared a commitment to deepening the work of Reformation that brought them together in the Westminster Assembly. Their writings manifest the same spiritual maturity and true fear of God and preaching saturated with the Scriptures. They focus upon eternity, warfare against sin, family religion and practical godliness. Would it not be natural to think...

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How We Can Have Holy Boldness in Prayer

Posted by on 10:17 am in Blog, Christian Living | 0 comments

How We Can Have Holy Boldness in Prayer

Frequently distracted, pressured for time or feeling prayerless: it may be that private prayer sometimes feels like an uphill struggle. Anything else seems easier. Few activities are more humbling. Yet what privilege could be greater than to have constant access to the throne room of heaven? We have boldness to enter into the holiest of all (Hebrews 10:19). What will help us to express ourselves in true holy boldness? Christopher Love in his series of sermons on holy importunity in prayer gives some helpful counsel. 1. Get True Fear...

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The Soul of Christ’s Sufferings

Posted by on 9:39 am in Bible & Theology, Blog | 0 comments

The Soul of Christ’s Sufferings

Crucifixion is perhaps the most violent, humiliating and painful method of execution ever devised. The very word that we use for acute pain (excruciating) comes from crucifying. Yet we must never forget that the deepest sufferings were infinitely greater than the physical pain. As someone has put it, the soul of His sufferings was the sufferings of His soul. What do we mean by His soul sufferings? Samuel Rutherford puts it succinctly: the Saviour suffered in His soul “God’s wrath, which was a very hell to Christ”. He endured...

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