Evangelistic Prayer

September 20, 2012

It is no small thing that the apostle Paul, uber church planter, would ask the churches to pray for his effectiveness in spreading the gospel.  I never had a course in logic, but I figure if Paul needed the Spirit’s help, then we do too.

Below are Paul’s evangelistic requests, summarized in four key words.  We can’t go wrong adopting his requests as our own.  We should pray for:

OPPORTUNITY

At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ. (Col 4:3)

CLARITY

[Pray] that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
(Col 4:4)

BRAVERY

[Pray] that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel. (Eph 6:19)

RECEPTIVITY

Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you. (2 Thess 3:1)

Father, please open a door for me to speak of Christ today.  And when that door opens, give me the boldness to walk through it and the ability to make the gospel clear.  Finally, grant a receptive heart in the hearer so that your word may be honored through repentance and faith.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Mark Richt is the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs.  The reason this Tennessee boy loves him isn’t hard to figure out.  In yesterday’s press conference, Richt answered a  question about how he handled the now-waning criticism he has received over the last couple of seasons:

I know you never know what tomorrow is going to bring, so it’s not like we’ve arrived or anything like that.  But we have played well lately, and we’ve won lately, so that’s a big deal.  Quite frankly, I love the game of football.  I love my job.  I love Georgia.  But what I do is not who I am.  I’ve said that before.  I think sometimes if we become what we do, and then things aren’t going just right, then all of a sudden our entire world falls apart.  I’ve got a faith in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and I know that God loves me and is going to take care of me.  I just truly believe that.  When all the games are done and all the life is lived, I know where I’ll be for eternity.  Not to say I don’t care about what happens in this world, because that’s not true.  Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily as unto the Lord,” so that’s what I was doing on a daily basis.  I was doing my job as best I could and trying to do it for his glory, and try not to worry about anything else.  That’s kind of how I navigated that time, and there will be more tough times I’m sure.  That’s the way life is.

Is Richt saying that nothing is more important than trusting Jesus for eternal life?  That our justification isn’t found in being successful?  That we should work hard as unto the Lord and leave the results to him?  That’s exactly what he’s saying.  And it’s enough to make me say, “Go, Dawgs!”

Forget the leprechauns and Lucky Charms.  Move over corned beef and cabbage.  Put away your pinchers, all you people who are eager to see someone not wearing green.  (By the way, if you’re an adult, you should know that pinching people was okay back in middle school.  Now it’s just creepy.)  Despite the silly fun that we manage to import into all of our holidays, you might be surprised at what would more fittingly dominate our thoughts on St. Patrick’s Day: Read the rest of this entry »

Great God Who Saves

February 21, 2011

One of our members, Bill Horton, came across this powerful testimony about how our God providentially pursues his own. Be encouraged.

Celebrating “Amateurity”

September 20, 2010

My wife loves Little House on the Prairie. Not the books, mind you, but the late 70’s TV show. The one that played every day in our hometown at 10am and 3 pm.  We own every episode on DVD, and yet she will watch it whenever it comes on the Hallmark channel. Needless to say, I have absorbed a lot of Little House through marriage.

One of the most interesting things to me about Little House on the Prairie is Charles Ingall’s forgotten talent. Every now and then, Pa picks up the fiddle and thrills the family with a jig, a hymn, or a mournful tune. It’s truly delightful to imagine this sod busting, mule driving farmer coming in at the end of the day, hands sore from gripping the plow, and reaching for a delicate violin to draw out some melodies at the end of the day. I’m pretty sure Pa didn’t go to the conservatory. He just picked it up and played. It seems very unusual in our day, but I wish it didn’t.

The arts are just part of the fabric of living. We have always made art, whether in drawing, creating, design, or music.  But there has been a shift since the Ingalls family built their little house. Families rarely make their own art anymore. We encourage children to draw, to write, and to sing, but we put down our creative tools as we grow up. It is as if we equate our amateur attempts at art and creativity, a God-given trait of mankind, with immaturity or childish things. Following in the wake of our consumer culture, we have outsourced the creative process to professionals and accepted the role of observers and critics. We look at paintings and photography, we watch our plays on TVs or at the movies, we listen to our music, and we read our books. I have realized that I am so busy consuming “art” that I am robbing myself from the opportunity of making art. Read the rest of this entry »