3 Godly Ambitions for the Christian

Some of my favorite biblical commands are the ones that most counter our culture, and even our little Christian subculture. We find just such a series of commands near the end of 1 Thessalonians. There Paul tells this church to “…aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands” (4:11). The ESV is nicely complemented by the NIV’s slightly different rendering: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you.”

When Paul says “make it your ambition” he indicates that this is the good, right, and honorable way for them to live their lives—and for us to live our lives. Over against all the other things we could aspire to, we are first to aspire to these, for these are matters of first importance. He highlights three godly ambitions for the Christian.

Read more of Tim’s blog: https://www.challies.com/articles/3-godly-ambitions-for-the-christian/

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Thoughts to ponder

“Those most passionate about the gospel of God’s free grace should be the most passionate about the pursuit of godliness.”

~ Kevin DeYoung

“If love does not mark your church, then it may attract spiritual hobbyists and theological accountants who like to play at religion and theology, but not people of real Christian love who inconvenience themselves for others.”

~ Mark Dever

“If we are desensitized to the horror of sin, we will be desensitized to the glory of righteousness.”

~ Thabiti Anyabwile

Neglecting the Old Testament

https://claudemariottini.com/2017/09/18/neglecting-the-old-testament/

10 Regrets Too Many People Will Have in 10 Years

10 Regrets Too Many People Will Have in 10 Years

In the final decade of his life, my grandfather woke up every single day at 7AM, picked a fresh wild flower on his morning walk, and took it to my grandmother.  One morning, I decided to go with him to see her.  And as he placed the flower on her gravestone, he looked up at me and said, “I just wish I had picked her a fresh flower every morning when she was alive.  She really would have loved that.”  As you can imagine, my grandfather’s words touched a nerve in me.  And over the years I’ve often reflected on what he said that morning, and how his sentiment relates to everyone and everything I care about.

God willing, when I’m on the cusp of my 80’s, I don’t want to sit with regrets.  I don’t want to wish I had done things differently—especially something as simple, yet meaningful, as picking wild flowers for the love of my life.

Don’t you agree?

To an extent, I know you do.

In the end, more than anything else, we regret the small chances we didn’t take, the priceless relationships we were too busy to nurture, and the good decisions we waited too long to make.  I learned this through extensive experience.  Angel and I have spent the past decade coaching hundreds of students and clientsfrom all over the world, and the same exact regrets relentlessly pop up in the personal stories people share with us.  Below, we’re going to take a look at ten of these common regrets, and then cover some principles and strategies for avoiding and overcoming them.

  1. Not spending enough quality time with the right people. — At some point, you’ll just want to be around the few people who make you smile for all the right reasons.  So today, spend more time with those who help you love yourself more—spend more time with those who make you feel good, and less time with those who you feel pressured to impress.  Never be too busy to make room in your day for the ones who matter most.  And remember that nothing you can give will ever be more appreciated than your sincere, focused attention—your full presence.  Truly being with someone, and listening without a clock and without anticipation of the next event, is the ultimate compliment

Read more at: http://www.marcandangel.com/2017/09/17/10-regrets-too-many-people-will-have-in-10-years/

3 Blessings That Come From Troubled Waters

“God brings men into deep waters not to drown them, but to cleanse them.”

– James H. Aughey

REPENTANCE

If you feel like you’re in over your head, maybe God is telling you to repent from whatever it is you’re doing. God will sometimes bring me into the deep waters to make me examine myself and my life, and shows me where I am sinning. We all sin, but God doesn’t want us to stay there, so He might bring in the high tides of trouble to make us repent of our sins in order that we might confess them and be cleansed (1st John 1:9).

The Sting of Death

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One Big Family

 

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. (Galatians 3:26-29)

Relate: Sometimes it seems like the disparate pieces don’t quite fit together. My church here in Southeast Turkey is in many ways three different churches that all meet under one roof. There is an English speaking, a Turkish speaking, and an Arabic speaking service every Sunday. Even in the English service there are between 12 to 20 different nationalities and cultures represented any given Sunday. Many of these are African and sometimes the worship can get a bit… rowdy. Others in the congregation are from Central or Eastern European countries and are coming from a very high church background where you would never imagine such exuberance in the sanctuary.

For many English is actually a second or third language and so it is difficult to structure and shape a message that can be both challenging and clearly understood. I have to admit, sometimes things don’t always fit together. Egos get in the way. Sensibilities are upset. Cultures clash. But these are moments to grow and stretch. We are a family and I don’t know about you but growing up in my home sometimes siblings…  well, they taught their parents the necessity of patience. Honestly, I would be very worried if someone said there was always perfect agreement and serenity in their home. Either someone is very dishonest or something very weird is going on in that house. I’d put my money on an alien mind control device. Is there any way I could buy it off you or at least borrow it for a couple of my classes?

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