Wednesday, May 21, 2008

...but God makes it grow

I was listening to Tim Thorburn en route to Orange today, speaking on 1 Corinthians 3
6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are God's co-workers; you are God's field, God's building.

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person's work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. [TNIV]

Tim's talk was a great reminder that we should not be looking at results to determine the effectiveness of a preacher or church, but at the materials being used. Tim pointed out that some things look good now, but may fall down next week.

But if the right materials from God are being used, we can be confident that God will use them for his glory.

A great talk for us geezers in little churches which are seeking to faithfully serve Christ.

Works for big churches, too.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Top 68 benefits of Children's Ministry

This is a wonderful, very well thought-through webpage on the numerous benefits of children's ministry. It is well worth the time of anyone who is interested in and/or involved in children's ministry.

And, while there, read Tony's story about sharing the good news with your neighbours, as prompted by his son.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

What is the message of the Bible?

John Woodhouse, principal of Moore College, Sydney, Australia, provides this helpful summary in his new book 1 Samuel: looking for a leader :
Stated briefly the Bible’s message is this: God’s good purpose in creation (Genesis 1–2) was not abandoned at the Fall (Genesis 3), but God promised to bring blessing to the whole world through Abraham’s offspring (Genesis 12:1-3; cf. 22:18). The Old Testament history of Israel is the record of God’s faithfulness to this promise despite repeated and disastrous human failure. The New Testament message is that in Jesus Christ God’s promises are fulfilled:
Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. (Galatians 3:16)
And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus. . . . (Acts 13:32, 33)
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. . . . (Romans 1:1, 2)
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him [Jesus Christ].
(2 Corinthians 1:20)
If we read the Bible with this in mind, it will make a lot more sense. It is very similar to Mark Dever's description in his series of 69 sermons on the Bible, which includes an overview sermon on the whole Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament.