All tagged repentance

Why The Psalms Are Like The App Store

I have an app addiction. Anytime I come across an interesting app, I have to download it. Sure, I tend to only use said app for roughly 13 seconds before burying it in a folder somewhere deep within the recesses of my phone, but that’s beside the point. The genius of the “app explosion” is that there is an app for virtually everything you can imagine - money management, tracking calories, reading blogs, tracking tasks - you name it, and "there’s an app for that". 

I think the book of Psalms has a lot in common with the App Store.

The Drivers Destroying Church Planters

The battlefield of church planting is littered with burned out bodies. Long hours, immense stress, and constant pressure have caused more than one well-intentioned church planter to wave the white flag. 

Even if they don’t quit, church planters struggle to manage the war within. 

Church planting is difficult work. It takes an tremendous amount of spiritual, physical, emotional, and relational energy to build something from nothing. These first five years of getting Redemption up and off the ground have been some of the most personally taxing of my life. The difficultly is often a direct result of the spiritual war being waged, in which we stand on the front lines. 

Yet, much of the pain planters experience is self-inflicted and unnecessary. Church planting demands a unique wiring - you have to be one part called and one part crazy. I wish I could say that it was only the clear call of God that drove me and others like me, but I’d be lying. Often times there are drivers just below the surface impacting church planters. 

The Missing Mark Of Leadership

Leadership resources are legion in our culture, and for good reason - leadership is vital. We all need to be led and we all lead. Books, blogs, conferences, and podcasts are filled with practical instruction on the defining marks of effective leadership. Things like courage, competency, care, communication, and creativity are all essential to leadership. 

Sadly, I rarely read, or hear anything about what I would argue, is the most important and attractive mark of effective leadership:

Five Signs of Godly Sorrow

Big Idea: Repentance requires godly sorrow.

To listen to the entire message, click here.

The Apostle Paul was clear in 2 Corinthians 7: 10 that godly sorrow produces repentance. This means that where there is no sorrow, repentance is suspect. But where does this godly sorrow come from? What does it look like? And how can we pursue it?

The best way to understand godly sorrow is to see it in action. In Luke 7:36-50 we find one of the clearest examples in all of Scripture.

3 Keys to Facing My Sin

This is adapted from my latest sermon entitled: “A Change of Mind: Three Keys to Facing My Sin." You can listen to the full sermon audio here.

Most people would rather do anything other than face their sin.

The problem is, facing sin is the first step to repenting of it. The puritan Thomas Watson wrote, "Before a man can come to Christ, He must first come to himself...Sin must first be seen before it can be wept for."

In 2 Samuel 12, the prophet Nathan confronts the concealed sin of King David. David was guilty of a body of sin that would make the most hardened of sinners blush. There is much in the example of David that should not be replicated, but there is one thing that should - he finally faced his sin when Nathan called him on it. After nine months of hiding his sin, David finally admits in v.12,

"I have sinned against the LORD."

In this simple sentence we learn so much about repentance, specifically three keys to facing our sin...

3 Essential Marks Of Genuine Repentance...

Big Idea: Repentance is a change in me the world can see. 

To hear the entire message, click here.

We’ve all experienced times of confusion - times when we thought we understood something we in reality did not. The problem with confusion is that it has consequences. Some confusion, in fact, can have life-long, fatal, even eternal consequences. Repentance is one of those issues.

From beginning to end, the Bible heralds genuine repentance as foundational to both salvation and spiritual growth. The truth is, there is no salvation or spiritual growth apart from repentance.

But even though it’s one of the most talked-about issues in our faith, repentance is also one of the most misunderstood. As a result, much of what we deem repentance may not be. So, we need to be crystal clear about what it is and what it isn’t.

Here’s the question:

At Redemption we celebrate the sacrament of communion nearly every week. We do this because it puts the sacrificial work of Jesus in our place at the very center of every worship gathering. One of the potential dangers for a church that celebrates communion each week is that without great care it can become a religious formality - one of those this we do because "that's what we always do." Regardless of how often we take communion, it ought always to be taken seriously. It's not a game. It is not a sad expression of worship, but a serious one. In 1 Corinthians 11:27 the Apostle Paul warns in writing, "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord."

So the question is, how can we take this important expression of worship seriously and properly prepare our hearts for it? Here are the four steps I encouraged our church family in yesterday:

 

Four years ago I instituted a semi-regular retreat day into my schedule for the purpose of prayer, fasting, and personal planning. Few things have grown and blessed my soul, my family, and my ministry like regularly withdrawing to engage with Jesus in this way. This practice started for me when I heard another pastor at a conference mention that he took a regular retreat day as one of his spiritual rhythms, so I decided to give it a shot. It was uncomfortable early on, as I didn't really know what I was doing and didn't have any real plan. Some of my retreat days were fruitful and some of them were, quite frankly, awful.