Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Carl Lafterton on 6 ways to look godly without really growing.

This time last year, I mentioned six ways to look godly while not growing in your faith — and then spent 2013 battling them, falling for them, and finding several other ways, too. So here, for 2014, are six more ways to look great while doing little…

Kevin DeYoung on The 10 commandments of twitter.

And the Lord of Twitter spoke all these words saying, I am the Lord your God, who gave thee computers and tablets and smartphones, the Holy One of all social media who foreknew the internet before the foundation of the earth, yea even when the world of handles and hashtags was without form and void.

5 ways to fight entitlement in your kids.

On the one hand, you want to provide your child with every advantage. On the other hand, sometimes it feels like when you do that, you’re feeding an incredibly unhealthy characteristic in our culture.

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Brokenness…

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Brokenness is not a feeling or an emotion. Rather, it requires a choice, an act of the will. Further, this choice is not primarily a onetime experience, though there may be profound and life-changing spiritual turning points in our lives. True brokenness is an ongoing, constant way of life. True brokenness is a lifestyle—a moment-by-moment lifestyle of agreeing with God about the true condition of my heart and life—not as everyone else thinks it is but as He knows it to be. -Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Quoted in Leadership as an Identity: The Four Traits of Those Who Wield Lasting Influence

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The Process of Growth

Though the Christian life requires intense activity, it is not in the least self-reliant. Instead it follows this four-stage sequence. First, as one who wants to do all the good you can, you observe what tasks, opportunities and responsibilities face you. Second, you pray for help in these, acknowledging that without Christ you can do nothing — nothing fruitful, that is. Third, you go to work with a good will and a high heart, expecting to be helped as you ask to be. Fourth, you thank God for the help given, ask pardon for your own failures en route, and request more help for the next task. Biblical holiness is hard-working holiness, based on endless repetitions of this sequence. -J.I. Packer, Gospel Change

This Weekend @ Revolution: Grow Up

What an awesome week we had last week at Revolution. If you missed it, you can listen to it here. And you can see pictures and video from our baptism that we had last week on our fan page (if you aren’t a fan yet, be sure to become one).

How does growth happen? Why is it that some people are able to grow spiritually, almost effortlessly? But for the rest of us, it seems like an uphill climb, always just out of our reach? How do you keep your relationship with God fresh?

These are just some of the questions we will look at this Saturday night as we continue our series on the book of Philippians. I am really excited about this Saturday because my good friend Luke Simmons will be with us and I believe will share a powerful sermon on how we grow up and become all that God intends for us to be.

You don’t want to miss Saturday night because it might unlock what you have been looking for in terms of your relationship with God and your next step.

So, do whatever you have to do to get to Revolution this Saturday night (and bring someone with you who doesn’t know Jesus, you never know how a simple invitation can make an eternal difference)! And come expecting to see God move and do something huge in our lives.

Remember, we meet at 5pm at 6620 E 22nd St.

See you Saturday.

 

Stop Complaining

Last week I talked about the process of how we become more like Jesus (sanctification). Paul clearly lays out how this process works in Philippians 2:12 – 13. If you missed it, you can listen to it here. On the heels of this in verse 14 he says, “Do all things without grumbling or questioning (complaining).” I had always been told that this means we shouldn’t complain, “God doesn’t like whiners” I was told.

One of the points I made in my sermon was when God is making us into more like Jesus, he will help us along the way. Maybe we need to grow in patience, he will send someone into our lives who will make us impatient. If we need to trust Him more, maybe He will allow things to happen in our lives so that we have to choose between worry and faith. You get the picture.

This morning, Katie and I were talking more about it because we had small group last night and she said, “What if that verse is also talking about all the things God has already told us to do and made clear in Scripture.” Things like giving, being in community, sharing our faith, being on mission, worshiping, being a part of a church, using our spiritual gifts. What if, when we don’t do those things, we are complaining or questioning God’s ways because we aren’t doing them. Someone at our small group last night said, “I started giving back to God when I realized I was commanded by God to do it, that it wasn’t an option. That changed everything.” What if, by not doing something God has already called us to, we are questioning him and by doing that, we are stopping the process of sanctification. Paul makes very clear in verses 12 – 13 that we and God partner in the process.

What if, by not doing what God has called us, we are making sure we don’t experience all that God has in mind for us? For example, if we don’t give, we are ensuring that our faith won’t grow, that we won’t trust God and that we won’t see God move in big ways. Every time you meet someone who prays big prayers, has enormous faith, does not worry, you are talking to someone who is generous and trusts God with their finances.

So, what are you doing that might be keeping the process of sanctification from happening? What things has God already made clear in scripture, things like being in community, praying, reading Scripture, giving back to God, sharing your faith, inviting people to church, etc. that you aren’t doing. What if, you started doing those things, what would happen? Would God move in your life in bigger ways if you stopped questioning Him in that way?

Radicalis Session 4: Radical Discipleship (Rick Warren)

Rick Warren spoke on Radical Discipleship in session 4 of Radicalis.

Here are some thoughts:

  • The single greatest problem in the church is the immaturity of believers
  • Healthy things grow
  • The question isn’t “how can my church grow?” but “what is keeping my church from growing?”
  • The goal of discipleship is to conform us to the image of Christ
  • Before you can have a mature church, you must eradicate the myths of maturity
  • You cannot measure maturity by attendance
  • You can go to church your entire life without growing up
  • It takes more than sermons to grow a church and grow disciples
  • One of the reasons people don’t grow is because they are going to too many meetings
  • Christians should be less stressed, more at peace, but that is rarely the case
  • The test of maturity is reproduction and how many people a church sends out
  • Bible knowledge does not equate to spiritual maturity
  • Real religion is public charity and private purity (James 1:26 – 27)
  • How do you know something is mature, when it bears fruit
  • Maturity does not mean perfection
  • A church does not have to be perfect in order to be a mature church
  • The goal of a church is not growth, but health and maturity
  • Focus on building people and God builds the church
  • Focus on training an army instead of attracting an audience is how you grow a church

Being a disciple means  I must first spend time with Jesus

  • We need to be talking to God constantly and continually, we have to be with Jesus (John 12:26)
  • Spiritual growth is a choice
  • If you don’t feel close to God, it is not because of God
  • It takes action to grow, it is not passive
  • Commitments force us to grow
  • If you are committed to everything means you are not committed to anything
  • Don’t turn the heat up too quickly when it comes to discipleship, it needs to be gradual
  • Spiritual growth is a relationship, you have to be with Jesus (Mark 3:14)

Being a disciple means I must love Jesus supremely

  • Luke 14:26
  • Spiritual maturity is measured by love

Being a disciple means I must love his church

  • If you say “I love Jesus but I don’t like the church” you are not a disciple, because when you love someone, you love them warts and all
  • Spiritual growth happens in community
  • You cannot follow Jesus by yourself
  • 1 John 3:16

Being a disciple means I must obey Jesus completely

  • Spiritual growth is an ongoing process, it is measured by obedience not knowlege, growth is based on God’s word, the result is that it leads to freedom (John 8:31 – 32)
  • To continue in the word you need a pathway and a process, you have to learn some habits (John 15:7 – 8)
  • Your character is the sum total of your habits
  • The result of spiritual habits are bearing fruit

Being a disciple means I must serve others unselfishly

  • To grow to maturity, we must understand where significance comes from, significance comes from serving
  • Tie discipleship to service
  • Spiritual growth requires exercise
  • Spiritual growth requires sacrifice

Being a disciple means I must pass on the good news

  • If you are not fishing, you aren’t following and you aren’t a disciple (Matthew 4:20)

8 laws of spiritual growth

  1. Spiritual growth is incarnational (Galatians 2:20), we grow by letting Christ live through us (1 Corinthians 3:6)
  2. Spiritual growth is intentional, not automatic or inevitable (Philippians 4:13)
  3. Spiritual growth is incremental, one little step at a time, it is not instant (2 Corinthians 3:18). Stages of growth are knowing Christ, loving, growing, serving, and sharing.
  4. Spiritual growth is personal, there is no such thing as a one size fits all discipleship, each person is different and grows differently (2 Corinthians 13:5).
  5. Spiritual growth is habitual, we grow by developing good habits, journal, write down scripture.
  6. Spiritual growth is relational (Hebrews 10:25). Small groups, mentoring, coaching.
  7. Spiritual growth is multi-purpose. Maturity is not measured by how much you know. You need discipleship, mission, service, outreach and worship.
  8. Spiritual growth is seasonal (Genesis 8:22), we grow in spurts. Nothing grows up and to the right, we grow in waves.

This Weekend: How God Grows Faith

Have you ever wondered how you grow in your relationship with God? Is there a formula? Why do some people seem to have it and others seem to spin their wheels?

This is where we are headed in part 2 of our series “The Journey of Jonah” this Saturday at 5pm.

If you have wondered how to take the next step in your spiritual journey, you do not want to miss this week!