Reconcile or Turn out the Lights

I don’t believe in prayers for revival on some big scale. Any spiritual awakening starts with individual hearts. If we can’t even love our neighbors and our own families, why in the world would some magical event take place where everybody overnight is just passionate for God? The one nobody has ever seen.

Quit your claims of praying and braying about moral issues, and call up the person you offended and apologize. Give back what you stole from them, and if it’s their good name, make a public statement retracting the slander.

That’s what revival will look like. That’s where Jesus will be, where love makes a showing, when sincere apologies get made and forgiveness extended. So turn off the lights at your Big Church or your Big Media Ministry if there are outstanding interpersonal issues. And don’t turn the lights back on until all has been reconciled. Otherwise you’re just plain noise.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,b but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~ I Corinthians 13

A Study of Galatians

coatofarmsIt’s Reformation Sunday. In an age when anthropology has been substituted for historic Christian theology, I want to offer a series of videos from Dr. Rod Rosenbladt from Concordia Seminary featuring teaching from Luther’s commentary on the book of Galatians. If you would like to walk through a systematic study of Galatians, I can recommend this one. It is the antidote to what is being broadcast in this era of spiritual porn from teachers like Joel Osteen. Celebrity pastors offer fleshly excitement and cheap thrills but no biblical substance, and the consequences of this are seen everywhere in the church. Dr. Rosenbladt doesn’t offer anything slick or entertaining. He is a solid teacher of considerable experience, and it’s wonderful that he has shared these lectures.

Here is a link to the full album on Vimeo.

Jen Wilkin – Why Bible Study Doesn’t Transform Us

open-bibleIn a quest for good articles for my radio job, I ran across an article by Jen Wilkin which I found very helpful, “Why Bible Study Doesn’t Transform Us.” How we ¬†handle the Scriptures in our study is important.

How many times have you heard verses taken out of context and applied to situations that had nothing to do with the passage’s original intent? How many Bible studies or classes have you attended where it was little more than, “Well, here’s what this passage means to me.” Or how many books and resources are “me” centered, turning Bible study into a therapeutic, self-help manual. How many times have we randomly opened the Bible looking for something to help make a decision or answer a crisis?

Jen Wilkin writes:

Much of what passes for Bible study in Christian bookstores and church resource libraries just¬†isn’t: while it may educate us on a doctrine or a topic, it does little to further our Bible literacy. And left to our own devices, we pursue a host of unsavory (and un-transformative) self-constructed approaches to “spending time in the Word.

Here’s the article from the Gospel Coalition. I hope it’s a help.