The biblical account of King Josiah of Judah (2 Kings 22-23) contains the story of revival that comes when a King, and a nation, submit to the Scriptures in true repentance when a copy of the Scriptures is found.
The sad commentary on Josiah’s day is that the Word of God was missing, but nobody seemed to miss it! Religious practice and temple activity went on, but was apparently uninformed by knowledge of the Scriptures.
I’m wondering if the sad commentary today might be that while the Word of God is everywhere in the USA – translations abound in an almost embarrassing array of versions – there is still an amazing biblical illiteracy in so many churches.
A few thoughts from March 1990.
- As a pastor it is quite easy to be drawn to meeting everyone’s expectations, but lose our joy of relationship with the Lord who has called us to service beyond expectations.
- “Burned out people always look their best the day before they crash.”
- When pruning grapes, one must cut back the vines to the five good canes, possibly cutting off forty-five others that seem good, or you’ll have the lushest, greenest vines but NO fruit. It is good to submit to the pruning of the Lord. (See John 15).
- People come to worship with distractions – often legitimate distractions – deep cares and hurts in family, in body, in soul. They may be in a financial crunch time, or struggling with an aging parent, or a rebellious child. Our job as ministers is to overwhelm the careworn with the aroma of the gospel. Most people need encouragement – courage to make changes in their lives – even small ones. That means along with the aroma of grace we must bring words of courage far more readily than words of challenge.
I wasn’t good about recording sources back then so I really have no idea where most of them came from (but Leadership Journal would be a good guess).
Warren Wiersbe wrote somewhere that young ministers seem to be more concerned with reputation rather than with character. Some older leaders do the same – lots of talk about leaving “legacy”.
I think that maybe we should leave the reputation and legacy to God as we strive in his strength to point everyone to his glory. We should be all about making his name famous.
Not every character in the Scriptures is a Paul, but Paul seemed to consider unnamed and unknown believers just as important to the work of the gospel as he might have been.
There is seemingly no end to advice on being a good parent – especially the parent of an adolescent. While my “parenting teens” years are in the rearview mirror (as are my youth ministry years), I think Kevin Huggins’ advice in the now out of print Parenting Adolescents is still the very best.
The key to becoming a more effective parent is to become a more godly person.
When I read this book 20 years ago I noted in my journal that there are three basic errors that parents (i.e., me) tend to make when it comes to dealing with problems with their children.
- Misguided focus. The focus of a disappointed parent too easily becomes that of changing or controlling his or her teen’s outward behavior often seeking to eliminate our feelings of distress.
- Misdirected Goals. A parent’s goals can be considered misdirected when they are aimed at getting their desires fulfilled by people or circumstances – for example, getting their children to do what the parent wants – instead of their relationship with Christ.
- Misplaced Dependency. When we choose not to depend on God to satisfy the desires that battle within us, our dependency comes to rest in our own ability to get people (like our kids) to come through for us.
We must focus first on meeting the true need in others rather than the need in ourselves and find the strength to do that in Christ – even when that requires trusting God to protect our children. We so often create damaging strategies of human effort to keep our worst fears from happening.