Good Thoughts or Great God

I just finished reading a really challenging book The Imperfect Disciple:  Grace for People Who Can't Get Their Act Together by Jared Wilson.  Here is my summary of the book.
I don't need people's "good thoughts" or "good vibes." I need Jesus and I am so thankful that I have been saved by God's amazing grace.  I need more and more of Jesus and I am thankful that God sent the Holy Spirit to empower me to grow more and more like Christ.  I need to help others live the same way.
This book was such a blessing for me at this specific time for several different reasons.

This book has helped me gain a better understanding of Personal Spiritual Growth
"We see more of our inadequacy as we mature in Christ."  (161)
I am a pastor.  I went to seminary.  I have read a lot of books.  
All of these things and so many others only mean that I need to lean upon Jesus more and more as the one who saved me and keeps me.
"Dos and don'ts accomplish nothing resembling biblical Christianity when they are detached from the done of the Gospel."

My identity, my spiritual growth, should not be found in my ministry and my work.
My identity, my spiritual growth, should be based on the finished work of Jesus Christ.

This book has helped me gain a better understanding my Pastoral Ministry goals.

I want to be very honest here.  My recent ministry change has been challenging.
The challenge doesn't have to do with West Cannon Baptist Church or Emmanuel Baptist Church.
The challenge has to do with me.   And this book has helped me understand what the biggest challenge has been.
At Emmanuel Baptist Church, I had the opportunity to start up new ministries with people I have known for years.  I had the opportunity to see ministries grow and struggle as God worked in good times and challenging times with people we love.

In coming to West Cannon Baptist Church, it is beginning at square one.  
Building brand new relationships.
Becoming a part of and understanding a brand new church family/community.
The people at WCBC have been very welcoming but there is a lot of new relationship building that needs to happen.
On top of these things, there is finding a house and helping my family adjust

But God being rich in His mercy has used The Imperfect Disciple to remind me that "God doesn't need any more messiahs.  He sent one.  The job is finished.  We are not needed.  I am not needed.  Ah, but I am wanted." (186)

At its foundation, my pastoral ministry is NOT MINE.  
"Every demand put upon us by God is ultimately and spiritually fulfilled in us by God himself as he is determined, for his own glory, to deliver us to himself as righteous."

I am very thankful for where God has us because he is the one who has brought here.  

The following quote has been a good reminder for me and a ministry challenge.
"I think the spirit at work in the suburbs tends to smother the Christian spirit.  The message of the suburbs, in a nutshell, is self-empowerment, self-enhancement.  Self is at the center and all things serve the self.  The primary values of suburbia are convenience, abundance, and comfort."  

Lord, I pray that I would live and serve with the goals convenience, abundance, and comfort.  
Help me to live and serve with the goal of your glory no matter what the cost.   
This has been my prayer and continues to be my prayer.  There have been and will be challenging things throughout life but "I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God" Acts 20:24


Sunday's Devotion & Rejection Devotional

This week I am daily posting verses and resources to help us keep our focus on God.
These resources and this past Sunday night's sermon were meant to build upon Pastor Doug's morning message "The Joy Placebo" from Isaiah 5:11-17

As we worship the Lord today, remember what Jesus Christ has done for us and

how we are to live as a result of what He has done.

1 John 3:16 and 17 are today's Devotion/Rejection verses.

Image result for 1 John 3:16

How Can I Be Sure I am a Christian? by Don Whitney takes a Biblical look at assurance of salvation by looking at 1st John.
Here are 10 questions Whitney develops to help people examine their lives and be sure they are a Christian.
  • Do you share the intimacies of the Christian life with other believers?
  • Do you have a deep awareness of your sin against the word and love of God?
  • Do you live in conscious obedience to the word of God?
  • Do you despise the world and its ways?
  • Do you long for the return of Jesus Christ and to be made like him?
  • Do you habitually do what is right more and sin less?
  • Do you love other Christians sacrificially and want to be with them?
  • Do you discern the presence of the Holy Spirit within you?
  • Do you enjoy listening to the doctrines the apostles of Jesus taught?
  • Do you believe what the Bible teaches about Jesus Christ?
For other Devotion and Rejection posts, go to https://drodgersjr.blogspot.com/search?q=Devotion+rejection