Pastoral Joy Made Complete
Monday, March 22, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:1-3)
In this text, the Apostle Paul shared both a universal passion and a pastoral sentiment. His universal passion was to see all the Body of Christ share in common love, compassion, like-mindedness, and purpose.
As with all biblical mandates, this must be lived out locally among congregations of believers. The greatest challenge of pastoral ministry is to unite the congregation around a God-ordained vision, and behind a senior leader, such as the pastor of a local church.
One of the greatest joys is to see that unity of like-mindedness and purpose. Paul made his appeal directly to the Philippian church by saying, "Make my joy complete..."
One of the greatest heartbreaks is to witness a failure in common love, compassion, like-mindedness, and purpose. Sometimes this failure is due to a lack of understanding or sincere shortcomings in one area or another. At other times, the failure is do to what Paul called "selfish ambition or vain conceit."
Regardless of the source of the failure, leaders and believers must embrace biblical, Kingdom imperatives as well as local church mission/vision priorities as articulated by senior leaders.
Paul made a similar appeal to the Corinthian church,
"I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought." (1 Cor. 1:10)
This is an appeal worthy of our Lord Jesus Christ and for all who love Him and His church.
Be Strong and Courageous Today!
Friday, March 19, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments
God's counsel to Joshua still rings true today. When we make God's word our words, and set our plans of action based on God's word, we lay a firm foundation of blessing and success for ourselves and others.
Let go any fear of the future. Settle it in your mind that, "The LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Let Your Light Shine
Monday, March 15, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments
Jesus wants people to see our light so that they can see our "good works" and experience the presence of God. Since it is the "goodness of God" that leads people to repentance (Rom. 2:4), we have an opportunity to lead people out of darkness by showing kindness and demonstrating to them a positive, fruitful life.
Let God's light shine through you today and everyday! To people in darkness, it will look like dawn.
Matthew 4:12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: 15 “ The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: 16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.”
The Apostle Paul called us "Sons of Light" and of the "day." Everything about us should dispel darkness. (I Thess. 5:5)
Light speaks of all that pertains to God and godliness because God is light. We are cleansed by fellowshipping in the light. (1 John 1:5)
Light comes from the Word of God and the God of the Word.
Psalm 119:130, The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.
2 Peter 1:18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed,which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
When Jesus was on earth, He was the Light of the world.
John 8:12, Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
John 9:4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
When Jesus left the earth to return to heaven, He empowered the church to carry His light to the world.
Matt. 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Today, and until Jesus returns, it is our assignment to shine our light and faithfully serve Christ
Philippians 2:14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
How Prayer & Fasting Helps Overcome Unbelief
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Tuesday, March 09, 2010 Bryan Hudson 2 Comments
The Goodness of God Leads to Repentance
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Thursday, March 04, 2010 Bryan Hudson 4 Comments
One of the bad effects of religion that often carries over into Christianity is its focus on man-made solutions to spiritual problems. The Apostle Paul affirms that, "the law is good" (Rom 6:16) to the extent that it highlights the sinfulness of humanity, "so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful." (Rom. 7:13)
For all its righteous commands against sin, in vivid detail, the law could NEVER REMOVE sin from the hearts of people. Equally, all our proclamations against sin, sinners, warnings and threats regarding sin's consequences, and more, never leads people to genuine faith in God. In other words, so long as the "consciousness of sins" remains, people are not truly free.
Too many Christians miss this powerful truth from Romans 2:4: "Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?"
It is God's GOODNESS that leads sinners to repentance, not our legalistic efforts of trying to impose conviction on sinners (and even on Christians!) with statements like, "You are going to burn in hell if you don't repent!"
What sinners need is "purification" from sin. They need to know that God loves them. They need a Gospel and a Savior, whose power alone is sufficient to deliver sinners from their sinful nature. Like Jesus told Nicodemus, the miraculous moment of regeneration is a "New Birth" where, "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:6) Either a person is born of the Spirit or not. There is no middle state. Neither the law of Moses nor the "law of Christians" can produce this new birth. Only the Holy Spirit can do the work of regenerating the human spirit as a result of the power of the Gospel (Romans 1:16).
We are not in the Holy Spirit's position to judge the "quality" of someone's faith and salvation. Jesus was very clear on this matter, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24) We can only inspect the fruit to know the outcome of anyone's faith. That's righteous judgment.
In the final analysis, the work of conviction of sin, of righteousness, and of justification is God's work. Our role is to effectively preach the gospel, invite sinners to repent and believe on Jesus Christ. What happens in a person's heart is God's work. When Christians try to "add" to God's work, they invariably end up imposing their version of the "law" in which people are only as "saved" as determined by others.
I recommend you keep God's word, not man's words, as the only authoritative, reliable, and effective means of salvation. The Hebrews writer goes on the say….
"15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin." (Hebrews 10:15-18)
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