My counsel to young pastors is to make every effort and read every book that will facilitate and deepen their “delight in the Lord” (Ps. 37:4) and enable them to communicate this truth. The only way long-term to empower people to say “No” to the passing pleasures of sin is by cultivating satisfaction in the superior pleasures of knowing and delighting in Christ. Make “Christian hedonism” the focus of your study! Don’t relegate joy to the periphery of your Christian life or reduce it the “icing on the cake of Christian obedience.” Make your joy in Christ the central pursuit of all pastoral study and ministry. You and your people will conquer the lesser pleasures of the world, flesh, and the Devil only by immersing yourselves in the surpassing and altogether satisfying pleasure of savoring all that God is for you in Jesus.
Starting September 7, Victory Tacloban will start a three-week series on the holiness of God (Victory Metro Manila and other Victory centers start this weekend, August 31). The importance of this topic could not be overstated. We live in a time when people generally think of God as their pal, someone they could have drinks with. We no longer think of God as terrifyingly holy. This series is an attempt to address that. Drew Dyck, in his book Yawning at Tigers, describes the holiness of God in striking details. Quoting from Isaiah 6, he writes:
One important point that was brought home to my heart while preparing for my preaching on the Lordship of Christ from Colossians 1:15-20 last week:
We have no problem with a powerful God who can create universes and thrones and big stuff but we have a problem with a God who demands obedience and encroaches on our personal space. We like the idea that God is good and big and powerful because it benefits us in some ways. What we don’t like is when that God starts demanding obedience from us. Human tendency is to try to get the benefits of God without having to commit to obedience.
Andy Schmitz on digital pastors (and people who prefer digital churches):
Can a preacher disconnected from a local church—in fact, completely oblivious of it’s existence—defend that flock from false teaching? Can he fend off the wolves? Can he shepherd the flock, exercise oversight, or rule well?
Southern Seminary’s Hershael York on the local church ministry:
If you want a church to be saturated with truth, then stay there and walk through life with them. It takes time to lay the foundation, and more time to build the superstructure. Plant your life. Show them what a gospel-centered marriage and family looks like. Preach the Word — both testaments, law and gospel, all genres, creation, fall, longing, fulfillment, consummation. They won’t get that strategic grasp of the scriptures from six consecutive pastors, but they might from one who stays and lives life in community with them.
Christianity Today posted these five errors preachers need to stop saying in their Easter sermon:
1. Don’t say Jesus died when he was 33 years old.
2. Don’t explain the apparent absence of a lamb at the Last Supper by only saying Jesus is the ultimate Passover Lamb.
3. Don’t say the same crowds worshiped Jesus on Palm Sunday and then cried out for his crucifixion on Good Friday.
4. Don’t bypass the role of the women as witnesses of the resurrected Christ.
5. Don’t focus on the suffering of Jesus to the extent that you neglect the glory of the Cross in and through the Resurrection.
You can read the whole thing here.