A life of prayer is irrefutable proof of God-dependency. This is true not only of the individual believer, but also of the church. Prayer is direct communication with God. It is crucial, therefore, that we understand how God directs us to speak with Him. Continue reading
Perhaps the greatest privilege and joy of involvement in the personal ministry of the Word is leading others to the green pastures of safety and security where Jesus, the Good Shepherd, never fails to care for them. Understanding and believing in Jesus as the only Lord and Savior is only the beginning, not the end, of their relationship with God and, therefore, only the beginning of our ministry to them. Yes, the Christian life begins with repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ as one’s sin-bearing Savior; however, it continues and thrives most fruitfully as disciples learn to walk humbly with our God by following the Good Shepherd. Therefore, meditating on the loving care of the Good Shepherd for His sheep builds up our faith and equips us to more tenderly care for those to whom He calls us to minister His grace and truth. Listen to how Jesus describes Himself. Continue reading
Faithful counselors are conscientious; they exercise great care in guiding others with the Word of God. Additionally, they seek to listen well, speak truth graciously, and rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish His transforming work in the hearts and minds of those whom they help. However, as admirable as all of this is, the neglect of our own obedience is a real danger. It is possible to go through the motions, teaching what we know is good counsel while at the same time failing to consider the relationship that our own personal Bible study and daily walk with the Lord have upon the effectiveness of our ministry. For this reason, I’d like us to ponder one simple verse hidden away in one of the books of the Minor Prophets. Ezra 7:10 reads, “For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.” Continue reading
Philippians 4:8 is one of the most commonly used verses in biblical counseling. In a concise manner, it provides a grid through which our thoughts should be screened. The apostolic exhortation is clear and direct.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Continue reading
The New Testament uses several different words to emphasize the more concentrated aspect of disciple-making that we call “counseling.” Today we examine four. The meanings and uses of these words help us to envision a well-rounded ministry that is geared toward helping people change. Continue reading