Daily life, distractions, and struggles (as well as the world, the flesh, and the Devil) seek to dislodge the Gospel from our hearts and memory. When personal words fail, how glorious is it to be able to rely on the words of Scripture and the text of a well-worn hymn to give voice to the truth of the gospel and to unite our hearts in hope. It behooves us to ensure that the people we shepherd are well prepared and equipped with songs, psalms, and hymns that are theologically rich, singable (without accompaniment), and truly known—songs that they can wholeheartedly sing and share together.

 

The cure to our weariness, skepticism, and hopelessness is not found in ourselves or anyone else. It’s not found in programs or procedures. It’s not found in isolating ourselves. We won’t see a change in our cynical heart until we look away from what’s under the sun to look above and to the One who rules and reigns above the sun. Cynicism is a prison and only our Savior has the key.

 

Healthy churches and healthy believers treasure deacons as invaluable servants of God, Christ’s official ministers of mercy. They help exposit the kindness of God, strengthen the communion of the saints, and preserve the fiscal integrity of the church. It is important for us to retain or, if need be, recover a biblical view of the office of deacon.

 

The conditional word “if” is full of biblical weightiness. We must never ignore, explain away, or overlook the “ifs” in the Bible. The "if" passages are freighted with importance. Though a small word, it has eternal implications. 

 

Many western churches are withering spiritually because their pastors and church members have bought into the lie that rigorous theological study is outdated and unnecessary. Yet, many of the churches in which pastors are committed to historic theology miss the mark when it comes to ensuring that sound doctrine isn't as dry as the Sahara. If we would learn to approach the discipline of theological study and teaching in a local church with the right frame of mind and heart, we will find it to be incredibly rewarding commitment.