October 20th Daily Prophetic Word of God

October 20th Daily Prophetic Word of God


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October 18th Daily Prophetic Word of God

October 18th Daily Prophetic Word of God


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4 Things You Get Wrong about Reading Christian Books

4 Things You Get Wrong about Reading Christian Books

Rachel Dawson | Editor, BibleStudyTools.com | Friday, October 13, 2017

I read a LOT of books. A few years ago, I started stacking the books I finished, and seeing that pile grow kept motivating me to read more and more. I read a variety of books, but always have at least one book on faith going at all times. There have been many I’ve loved… but then there have been books I couldn’t finish, didn’t like, or had strong emotional reactions to, and I’ve found myself wondering why. What was happening in me that was causing me to be so frustrated or bothered by the books I was reading? What was I doing wrong?

Kristen Wetherell asked this same question in her recent article “The Wrong Way to Read Christian Books” for Revive Our Hearts. She confesses to feeling “everything from prideful offense at these books, wanting them back on the bookshelf, to embarrassment, as I fight a sense of defeat.” She goes on to wonder why, saying “these are rock solid books. Faithful books. God-glorifying, Christ-exalting, gospel-centered books, many of which have stood the test of time. So what is my problem?”

There are some key problems with the way we as Christians read books, especially Christian books. As you read through this list, consider the ways you engage with reading, and be open to adjusting your thinking about books and their material.

Here are four big problems with how we read:

  1. We forget the Gospel. The good news of Jesus Christ changes everything– “even the way we read books,” Wetherell says. When we read books that convict us or challenge us, often we can get discouraged by all the ways our lives and our faith aren’t seeming to measure up. “I forget that I’m free in Christ to enjoy good gifts like books since my identity is in Him, not in my accomplishments or abilities (Gal. 5:1),” writes Wetherell.
  2. We forget the purpose of books. We often treat books simply as entertainment, information sources, or mini accomplishments when we finish reading. “The goal of reading is communion with our Father, made especially clear through books that exalt God’s gospel and apply His Word,” says Wetherell. “If our purpose in reading is to enjoy communing with God through the help of His Spirit, He will use even it to transform us into Christlikeness.”
  3. We forget no human is perfect. No author will achieve perfection through the books they write. When we read, we must remember this, and actively think through what we are reading to discern for ourselves with the guidance of Scripture what is true and right. Reading this way invites us to engage more thoughtfully with books and ideas, as we consider the ways we might disagree, bring our life experiences into our perspectives, and wrestle with the information presented to us.
  4. We forget “the beauty and goodness of the Spirit’s conviction.” The beautiful thing about conviction by the Holy Spirit in our lives is the way it draws us closer to the heart of the Father and transforms us to look more like Jesus. Often though, what we read comes across more as condemnation than conviction, leaving us feeling guilty and ashamed. “Rather than fixing my eyes on Jesus, the One who fulfilled such exhortations and all God’s commands on my behalf (Rom. 5:19), I look at myself and only see my sin and failures,” writes Wetherell. “Rather than thanking God for the beautiful gift of His Spirit’s conviction, I give way to discouragement and shame. And this takes me back to the first point—I’ve forgotten the gospel! So I preach it to myself again.”

Do any of these resonate with you?

I know I’m often prone to forgetting the true purpose of books– it’s helpful for me to remember that while books are helpful tools for understanding Scripture and the Lord more fully, they are not perfect sources and they are not ultimate truth! As we read, may we pray to be more open to the Spirit’s convictions, discerning, and thoughtful, letting the words and ideas move us closer to true Christlikeness and wholeness in God alone.

Tell us: what books have helped you most in your Christian walk? Share them with us in the comments!

Male and Female Pastors to Co-Lead Willow Creek Megachurch

Male and Female Pastors to Co-Lead Willow Creek Megachurch

Willow Creek Community Church has named two people to take on the role of lead pastors at the church after founder Bill Hybels steps down.

Hybels announced last week he will step down from the top post at his church in October 2018. Executive pastor Heather Larson and teaching pastor Steve Carter will become the lead pastors of the church.

With the change, Willow Creek will become one of the largest churches in America with a woman in the lead pastor position. The church will also be the only major evangelical megachurch with male-female lead pastors who aren’t married.

“When we saw this shaping up, we had to ask ourselves, ‘Can our congregation have a lead pastor that’s a woman?’” Hybels said. “And because this is a deeply held value in our church, we said, ‘No problem.’”

Willow Creek was founded in 1975 and has grown to become one of the 10 biggest megachurches in the country.

 

“We know that no one person can replace Bill,” Larson said in an interview on the Unseminary podcast last year. “That has led Willow to talk about moving to more of a team approach in leading the church in the future and what that might look like.”

According to Barna’s 2017 State of Pastors report, the number of female pastors overall has tripled in the past 25 years to about 9 percent of all Protestant pastors in America.

The study also showed that only about a third of nondenominational churches have women in senior or preaching pastor roles.

“This is a significant move for not only Willow Creek Church, but also for the greater evangelical movement,” said Tara Beth Leach, who became the first female senior pastor at First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena last year. “Bill Hybels and Willow Creek have made a move that no church of its size has done before, and I hope that moves like this will have a ripple effect across all of evangelicalism.”


Photo courtesy: Facebook/Willow Creek Community Church

 

October 16th Daily Prophetic Word of God

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