Today's Word for Pastors...
When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.
Today's Preaching Insight...
Dealing with Psalms 135, pastor Paul Martin writes, "I'll tell you right now, the Psalmist is excited in this psalm. He cries, 'Praise the Lord,' ten times in twenty-one verses! Why should we be excited?
1. It is exciting to think about God as the Creator. "Whatsoever the Lord pleases He does. In heaven and in earth. In the seas and in all deep places." (verse 6)
2. It is exciting to think of God as present in every crisis. "He defeated many nations and slew mighty kings…and gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to Israel His people." (verses 10-12)
3. It is exciting that man can talk to God, and that God talks to man. If you look for God's delicate intervention in your affairs, you will see it. And sometimes, as Samuel Shoemaker says, "God is there flat-footed, sort of ‘barging in.'" What a precious privilege, talking with the living God!
4. It is exciting to know that God wins the victory over evil by love…not by might or power, but by the Spirit of love. But He wins! I see them continually—men and women, once slaves to sin, now free through Christ. Alive, happy trophies of His love! (Paul Martin, 'Get Up and Go')"
This Week's Book
In Church Morph (Baker), Eddie Gibbs talks about the trends and tools found in churches that are countering the decline experienced by too many congregations. He talks about the changes needed for churches to live out their mission in 21st century culture, and offers a host of examples of churches that are reaching out and making a difference.