Be honest: when was the last time you said something or gave something or wrote something or did something with the single motive of encouraging someone else?
Pastors and politicians have more in common than either will admit in polite company, but there is one thing both readily agree on—to serve in government or pastor a church requires a thick skin. The difference, however, is the pastor must also have a soft heart for the Word of God and for the needs of the congregation. And because pastors work with the spiritual needs of people, they are bound to come under criticism. Toughening up without becoming callous is a tricky balance to find and maintain.
Pastoral work is not for the faint of heart. Insight for Living understands this and is grateful to those who answer the high calling of the pastorate. By providing pastoral resources, we're committed to encouraging pastors in their pursuit of developing a tough hide and a soft heart.
See, to deny that I have strengths is ridiculous…just as is denying that I have weaknesses. Somewhere is the balance. Grace allows me the freedom to know the difference.
“I know I should never question those God placed in authority of the church, but I'm starting to feel exhausted always trying to measure up to their standards. It never seems like I can do enough or be enough.”
Titus brings a word of caution, a reminder that good works must accompany our proclamation of the truth and our defence of the Gospel. The two letters to Timothy encourage him to protect and to preach, while the letter to Titus instructs him to practice those things. While good works in no way lead to salvation, they are the irrefutable evidence of true salvation.
Go ahead…tell me what's eating away at you,” I urged. “Well, I don't know how I should say these things, Chuck. But I can't just ignore them either. The fact is, I'm concerned.
We are to convey Christ across the canyons of age, nationality, language, gender, cultural bias and spiritual blindness. There is no doubt the truth of Jesus can transcend every canyon, but are we equipped to carry Him well?
Because Scripture is inspired and the individual words of the Bible are God-breathed, we know words and their meanings are important to God. They should be to us as well.
Prophets like Isaiah were not rookies who carried out hit-or-miss pre-game chapel programs for a few teams in Judah. No, they were the real deal, sent and anointed by God to be trusted and revered.
Some would say humour, like music, defies analysis. It is too complex, diverse, and personal. How do we decide if we have the freedom to be funny?