Happy New Year! It is hard to believe it is already 2016. May God bless you on the start of a new year. Around the web this week were mostly top 10 posts, yet there were are few new posts worth checking out
Every pastor has a general routine he follows each week in preparing to preach the Word of God on the Lord’s Day. I begin on Sunday night, reading next week’s text. I read it over and over, meditatively, throughout the week. By Wednesday, I hope to have a general outline. By Friday evening, I hope to have the sermon written. Each day, I pray that God will prepare my heart to preach his Word. and the heart of the congregation to receive the Word by the Spirit’s power.
During my longer-than-intended tenure as a seminary student I followed the same practice and, after a few years, had read through the Bible several times. The results have been massively helpful for both my walk with the Lord and the teaching and preaching ministry he’s given me. John Piper’s words are apt: “When all your favorite preachers are gone, and their books are forgotten, you will have your Bible. Master it.”
A habit is a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior acquired through frequent repetition. Habits, whether good or bad, are behavior or practices that have become so ingrained they are often done without conscious thought. If we seek out a vending machine at 3 pm it’s likely because we have developed a habit of having a mid-afternoon snack. If someone were to confront us and ask why we were buying a cookie and soda we’d say that we were hungry. But the truth is we are simply re-enacting a pattern of behavior that has become ingrained in our daily routine.
Justin Taylor provides a great archive of resources and tools to plan your Bible Reading for next year.
Denying yourself and submitting to King Jesus, then, is true countercultural living. And though it may look like legalism to the world, submitting to his authority is in fact liberty—shocking, unexpected, subversive liberty.
I've been working on a two-week sermon series on Communion with God. This post by Doug Wilson was very helpful.
If we are not created in the image of God, we have no purpose, no point. If we are created in His image, but are estranged from Him, then we find our lives to be pointless also. The only way to be oriented rightly is to be oriented while in fellowship with Him. And that is what this Table is for. This is to remind you, to refurbish you, to strengthen you, to nourish you, to speak to you, to commune with you.