Morning Musing: Mark 13:11

“So when they arrest you and hand you over, don’t worry beforehand what you will say, but say whatever is given to you at that time, for it isn’t you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been put on the spot to speak? Some people thrive in that kind of an environment. I’m not generally one of those. I’m the kind of guy who wants to have everything written out ahead of time. I’m much better on paper than in person. I’d rather put in the effort to memorize a sermon entirely than to walk into the pulpit with nothing more than an outline. In fact, I’ve done that. In seminary, our preaching classes all pushed us in the direction of preaching without notes. They wanted us to learn how to think from an outline. I refused to play ball. I wrote my sermons, memorized them word for word, and dutifully delivered them without notes. The thought of being expected to deliver more than a few words without some sort of heads up makes my stomach churn. Sometimes, though, you don’t get that chance. Sometimes you don’t get that chance and the words you’re expected to deliver are a defense of the Gospel in a pressure situation. Jesus here offers some hope for those situations.

Read the rest…

Playing Your Part

This week we finally wrap up our series, Tell Someone. For six weeks we have been talking about how to share our faith with another person. This last part offers a reminder: Although our work is vital, when it comes to the saving of souls, our work is not the only work that is happening. Jesus reminds us in the parable of the sower that there is someone else involved in the process and His work is pretty important too. Rather than worrying about doing the whole thing ourselves, if we will learn to play our part, things will go entirely more smoothly for us. Thanks for reading.

Playing Your Part

Have you ever watched a rowing competition? On occasion during a Summer Olympics event, I’ll manage to tune in just in time to see the rowing event. I don’t necessarily look to be able to watch it, but when it happens to be on, it’s not one of the events I’ll flip past to watch something else. While it’s not exactly one of the more popular sports in the world, rowing is one of those sports that requires both high skill and high strength. It doesn’t seem like it at a glance, but if you want to win big, they are a must. The most successful teams train rigorously until every single part of the team not only knows their part, but executes their part in perfect harmony with the rest of the team members. Every motion is coordinated. Every stroke is timed. One person who is even slightly out of sync with the squad will immediately become a drag on the rest. Oh yeah, and because they row with their backs to their destination, they are all completely dependent on the one person who can see where they are going. It’s almost like there’s a parable in there.

Read the rest…

Share It Everywhere

As we continue our conversation about evangelism, today we finally talk about actually sharing the Gospel with others. But rather than offer some tips and tricks, we’re going to take a slightly different approach. You don’t need to learn a particular method to share the Gospel effectively. You just need to learn to see the world through a Gospel lens. Then it will come as naturally to you as breathing. Let’s talk about how with a look at one of Paul’s most famous sermons.

Share It Everywhere

Have you ever felt put on the spot? Being a preacher it kind of comes with the territory. You eventually get to where you don’t even notice it. You just expect it. For most folks, though, that’s not something you sign up for. There may be a few spotlight-seekers out there, but most folks just want to get through their day without drawing too much attention to themselves. But more often than not, being put on the spot isn’t something over which you have any control. You’re just going about your normal day-to-day activities and then…bam…there’s a spotlight and you’re the only one in it. And again, a few folks have the kind of personality that they just roll with it, but most of us freeze and start looking for the exit.

Read the rest…

Live Like It’s True

Have you ever had someone be really unkind to you and then expect you to listen to what they had to say? I suspect you weren’t quite as interested at that point as they wanted you to be. There’s a lesson here when it comes to sharing our faith. As we continue in our series, Tell Someone, instead of turning to tips and tricks for effective evangelism, we’re taking a pause to talk about something we have to have in place before we start doing it (and I’m not talking about prayer). What is this thing? Read on to find out.

Live Like It’s True

In a headline that grabbed not a little attention a couple of weeks ago, the Gallup polling organization released a survey on religious participation in the United States. They found that for the first time since the organization began tracking this particular bit of data in 1937, church membership had fallen below 50% of the population. In other words, for the first time…perhaps in our entire history…less than half of the country reports being a member of a church. The problem runs deeper than just that, though. These folks who are leaving behind their church membership are overwhelmingly not just leaving that behind, they are abandoning the Christian faith entirely.

Read the rest…

Beautiful Simplicity

For the last couple of weeks we have been talking about our call as followers of Jesus to tell someone else about our faith in Jesus. We’ve talked about the what (connect people to Jesus) and where to start (with prayer). This week, we’re talking about what the actual message we are to share is. We have a tendency to imagine sharing the Gospel is something incredibly complex, because we think of the Gospel itself as complex. The truth is just the opposite. The Gospel is simple and so is our message about it. Let’s talk about just what this simple message is together.

Beautiful Simplicity

One of the life lessons I had set before me fairly often when I was growing up is best summed up by the acronym K.I.S.S. Anyone know what that stands for? Keep it simple…well…you fill in whatever S-word you heard put there. The idea, of course, is that it is better to keep things simple than leave them complex. Simple things are…well…simple. They’re easier to manage. They’re a lighter burden to bear. Simple is just better. Complex never made anybody’s life better.

Read the rest…