“You can’t judge a book by its cover”—that’s a phrase we’ve all heard before. What’s true of people is also true of churches—you can’t tell the effectiveness of a church by its building. To discover the traits of an effective church, we have to examine what’s on the inside. Fortunately, Jesus Himself shows us what to look for.
In the previous lesson, we studied several faithful men from the Reformation era. Time failed us, though, to tell the whole story of the greatest difference maker of that period, Martin Luther. Let’s pause for a while at his portrait and draw courage from his example of faith.
To illustrate how God uses ordinary people, let’s travel back in time to a period of history called the Reformation. The Reformation’s heroes and battlefields may not be as recognizable as the American Revolution’s George Washington and Valley Forge. Yet the soldiers who led a religious revolution from the 1300s to the 1500s made a tremendous difference in what matters most to us—our understanding of God, the Bible, and salvation.
Stop for a moment and think about this: What if Jesus’ resurrection was a fraud? What, then, is the meaning of your fleeting life on earth?
Do you become paralyzed by “what if” questions? What if it happens? What if it doesn’t? That’s what I call living hypothetically. There is a better way! Here are four ways the Bible instructs us to think.
You get the picture; we start every day with a certain number of decisions already in place. Those decisions, the ones that we agree on collectively, are what define our culture.
And that’s what you were about, Dad. Memories. When I was a lad, I loved to sneak up on you and watch what you were doing when you didn’t know I was there. That’s when you became my hero, I suppose.
Chuck says that God's sovereignty is the truth he turns to every day more than any other truth. And he preaches on it a lot because he needs to hear it just as much as anyone else.
Did you know that getting up in the morning and making your bed can be a profound example of faith? Steve gives sound advice for those who just don't feel like facing the day ahead.
Life's not easy for anyone, as Chuck assures us. We all have continual challenges. That's why Steve takes comfort from Proverbs 16:9 and knowing we must submit all things to God's care.