7 Reasons We Preachers And Teachers Need To Practice Reading The Word Of God Aloud

~ Lawless

In my preaching class as a student, the professor required us to stand before the class and read a Scripture passage. He critiqued each of us for our reading. At the time, I thought the exercise was an unnecessary, if not demeaning, one. Now many years later, I’m convinced the professor took us in the right direction. Here’s why we need to practice reading the text aloud before we teach it publicly:

  1. The Word of God is the Word of God. That simple truth ought to make us think deeply about how clearly we read the Word aloud when we’re teaching or preaching. We must handle the Word with care.
  2. We often spend much more time on preparing the sermon than on reading the text aloud. That makes sense, but many of us devote no time to reading the text aloud. It should not be that the first time we read the text aloud is when we stand before God’s people.
  3. We sometimes stumble over hard-to-pronounce words in the Scripture when we don’t first practice reading the text. In some cases, our congregation then hears our mispronunciation more loudly than the rest of the reading. Practice may not result in perfect pronunciations, but we’re much less likely to stumble if we’ve already worked diligently on reading the Word.

Read the rest: http://chucklawless.com/2019/07/7-reasons-we-preachers-and-teachers-need-to-practice-reading-the-word-of-god-aloud/

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Signs Of The Enemy’s Attacks On Individuals

~ Chuck Lawless

Earlier this week, I wrote on ways the enemy attacks the church. In this post, I want to suggest some anecdotal signs of attack I’ve seen on individuals– particularly, if not primarily, on those Christian leaders who are taking steps of faith to get the gospel to a lost world:

  1. Unusual marital and family conflict. I’ve seen some of the healthiest homes face surprising strife when they take strong steps of obedience. Marriages are particularly a target.
  2. Recurring and uninvited temptations. We’re ultimately responsible for our wrong choices, but the tempter delights in setting traps for us. For example, the man who has lived in purity for decades is shocked by past images that suddenly erupt in his head.
  3. Returning, controlling sin. The enemy particularly wants us to return to actions of our “old self” (Eph. 4:22) so we begin to question the power of the gospel to transform. Battles won long ago now become sites of defeat.
  4. Strong discouragement and defeat. One day, hope and faith resound; the next day, disbelief and struggle reign, at least temporarily. Nothing has changed, except the enemy is attacking.
  5. Crippling doubt. You may have been moving in faith for some time, but you begin to hear messages like, “God is not going to use you. You’re not going to make much difference.” The enemy’s goal is to get you to quit.
  6. Evangelistic apathy. This happens when we focus more on ourselves and our situation than on others and their spiritual condition. If the enemy entices us toward personal recognition and hardens our hearts toward lostness, he’s gained some ground.
  7. Team disunity. From the Garden of Eden, Satan has sought to turn people against each other. A divided team doesn’t pose much threat to the enemy.
  8. Personal isolation. Under attack, even extroverts will sometimes withdraw in the battle. The problem is that leaders who fight battles alone most often lose.
  9. Inward focus. Satan has a way of turning faithful believers away from the blessings of obedience to the potential loss because of obedience. “Look at what you’re giving up,” he says.
  10. Prayer struggles. Sometimes, the leader who has always prayed diligently finds prayer unexpectedly difficult as he moves into the front lines. Prayerlessness equals powerlessness, and the enemy knows that fact.
  11. Physical persecution. It happens around the world, even if you don’t face this reality today. Our enemy, who is bent on destruction (see Rev. 9:11), wants to destroy the work of God by destroying the people of God.
  12. Reading distractions. The Word of God is the sword we use in the battle (Eph. 6:17). Distractions that keep us from reading—including the “good” work of ministry at times—can be a tool of the enemy.
  13. Demon hunting. This one might be a surprise to you, especially given the topic of this post. But, if you come out of this reading and find a demon behind every rock – a demon that’s causing every issue you face – you’re likely under attack. Satan often distracts us by claiming more power and influence than he really has.

Comment: http://chucklawless.com/2019/07/signs-of-the-enemys-attacks-on-individuals/

7 Evidences We Might Be Stuck In The Christian Bubble

It’s a problem for many of us. In fact, I contend that for most of us, the longer we’re in church and the higher we go up the Christian ladder, the more likely it is that we’re stuck in the Christian bubble. Beginning with me, we need to recognize some of the signs that we’ve insulated ourselves from a world we’re called to reach:

  1. Most of our prayers are about Christians, not non-believers. For some of us, all of our prayers are focused on brothers and sisters in Christ. And, even as we pray for those believers, we focus more on their physical needs than their spiritual needs. I fear we simply don’t think much about others and their walk with God.
  2. We can’t name five non-believers with whom we have a genuine relationship. I don’t mean superficial friendships; rather, I’m talking about real relationships built on God’s love that compels us to tell others about Jesus. The number “5” is arbitrary, of course, but I trust you get my point.
  3. We try our best to avoid any interaction with the world. I realize that’s almost impossible to do, and I grant there are good reasons not to put ourselves under ungodly influences—but some of us work so hard to escape non-believers that we offer no threat to the Enemy.

Read more: http://chucklawless.com/2019/07/7-evidences-you-might-be-stuck-in-the-christian-bubble/

6 Reasons I Miss Hymns

http://chucklawless.com/2019/07/6-reasons-i-miss-hymns/

10 Minutes To Prepare For Worship

http://chucklawless.com/2017/02/10-minutes-to-prepare-for-worship-this-weekend/

8 Faulty Assumptions Of Non-Growing Churches

Most churches are not growing. Not every non-growing church gives evidence of the following faulty assumptions; nevertheless, many do, and these assumptions help us to understand why the church isn’t growing. See if your church lives by (even unintentionally) any of these assumptions:

  1. “If people attend our church regularly, they’ll automatically develop and learn orthodox theology.” These churches must believe this statement, for they have no other strategy or pathway in place to teach basic theology.
  2. “If we tell people to do spiritual disciplines, they will.” I’ve written about the difference between telling people what to do and teaching them how to do it. Many, if not most churches only tell people what to do—and then get frustrated with them when they don’t do it because they don’t know how.

Read more: http://chucklawless.com/2019/07/8-faulty-assumptions-of-non-growing-churches/

10 Ways the Enemy Robs Us of Our Joy

By Chuck Lawless on Jun 05, 2019 01:00 am

Paul made it clear to us that we wrestle against demonic forces as we strive to follow Christ (Eph. 6:12). In fact, the enemy often seeks to destroy our Christian joy so that our witness for Christ loses its effectiveness. Here are some ways he seeks to rob us:

  1. He wants us to magnify our mistakes, dwell on them, and struggle with accepting God’s forgiveness. It’s tough to speak about grace when we’re not willing to receive it.
  2. He wants us to dwell on one complaint rather than see the good that God is doing through us. Some of us will focus on one complainer even if two dozen people are saved that day.
  3. He entices us into secret sin. The work of hiding simply drains us of inner joy, even when we can fake it on the outside as we do ministry.
  4. He leads us to see only the negatives about our sermons. One fumbled word. One unclear illustration. One moment of forgetfulness. One minute longer than we intended to preach. One missed Bible verse. Just one—but that one thing echoes in our mind for the rest of the day (if not longer).
  5. He aims his arrows at our families. The pain of spiritual attack on our loved ones is agonizing indeed—especially if we sense that the enemy is attacking because we’ve been faithful to follow God. In the weakest moments, we wonder if it’s worth it.

The rest are at: https://chucklawless.us10.list-manage.com/track/click