An Introduction to Southside’s New Discipleship Emphases
(for the week of September 13, 2020)
Romans 1:21 - For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Much has been made over the last few years regarding the emergence of militant atheism’s evangelistic crusade to rid the world of ignorance. Specifically, these crusaders want to enlighten the minds of the masses who still believe God exists. For these spokesmen for atheism, belief in God is intellectually unsustainable and should by all means be abandoned. Not only that, these atheistic evangelists believe a person’s commitment to belief in God is actually harmful to children as well as to civilization as a whole.
Remembering Our Mission
On the very first page of our United Methodist Book of Discipline, we are reminded of the mission of the United Methodist Church. Our stated mission is,
To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
A Hard Question
For eleven years I was privileged to serve on the Board of Ordained Ministry for my denomination. The responsibility of the Board is to work with people who are candidates for ordained ministry, helping them navigate their way through the long process. From assisting them in understanding God’s call in their lives to celebrating with them at their ordination, it was a rewarding experience.
This is the first lesson in a new series I'm putting together called, "A Light Unto Our Path."
I love Acts 20! As a shepherd entrusted with the care of a local church, I get a lot of mileage out of these farewell words of the Apostle Paul to the church leaders in Ephesus. Paul spent three years shepherding and building the church in Ephesus – longer than he spent with any other church. He poured out his life as he invested in theirs. As he prepared to depart from them, Paul left the elders with important words for all who would shepherd God’s people.
What motivates us to invest our lives in the lives of others? Check out this week's devotional to reflect with me on those things that inspire and encourage our ministries to others.
The Bible study lesson below is part of a study I'm writing called, Living Wisely in Turbulent Times. It is focused primarily on the Book of James. May the Lord bless you as you study his Word, put it into practice in your life, and share it with others.
What Does God Have to Do with It?
Over twenty years ago I watched a television talk show that had a discussion I remember to this day. I don’t remember which of the world’s problems was being solved, but I do remember an exchange between the host and one of the guests. The host asked, “Don’t you believe in God?” to which the guest replied, “Yes, but what does that have to do with the way I live my life?”.
1 Corinthians 15:1-19
In his book, Knowing the Truth About the Resurrection, Christian philosopher and theologian, William Lane Craig, recounts a conversation he once had with a former student of his.
(From the archives. I wrote this when my children were much younger, but I believe the key ideas are still helpful. I know those regular times together blessed us as a family. As my children have gotten older, our family discipling now looks a bit different, but what we did together around the table laid a solid foundation - spiritually and relationally. Perhaps later this week or next I'll do a little video on some of the resources we used that were "fan favorites" with our kids. Enjoy.)
For a couple of months now, two of my Bible studies have been studying the Cross of Jesus. There are few topics more important than the work of Jesus on the Cross - and the love of God for us - that’s expressed so deeply on Calvary.
And what I’ve discovered in my studies is that the Book of Hebrews is in a class by itself in helping us see the love God has for us, in and through the work of Jesus on the Cross.