Are you correction adverse?

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People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray. Proverbs 10:17

When a close friend or even someone outside of your circle of comfort identifies an attitude, action, or belief that is wrong what do you do? How do you respond?

Are you reactive? Or, are you responsive?

A reactive person is correction adverse. Immediately feels judged and condemned, even disrespected. A reactive person will lash out at the one who has offered a corrective criticism. The reactive person feel diminished as a person if their attitudes, actions, or beliefs are called into question or if they are called to give an account. There is a kind of foolishness shaping the reactive person and it will lead them astray.

The responsive person is celebrated as a wise one. The responsive person pauses and considers whether there is anything true in the criticism and corrective word. The responsive person is willing to change his or her mind. The responsive person has found their identity not “in being right” but in truly being righteous. The responsive person is not diminished by correction but embraces the opportunity to apply discipline to their life and thereby enter the pathway of life.

So you, are you correction adverse? Or are you responsive to correction?
It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance, and therefore to Jesus and His pathway of life! There is no discipleship without responsiveness to correction.

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Running on Fumes

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30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. 33Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.

34When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. 35And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. 36Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

37But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties.

41And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. 42And they all ate and were satisfied. 43And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men. Mark 6:30-44

Running on Fumes

The disciples where tired. They had started the day with hopes of rest with Jesus. But Jesus spent the day teaching the crowd that intercepted and interrupted the retreat plan. And now the crowd is hungry. The disciples wanted them to go home. Jesus wanted the disciples to feed them.

Outrageous.

“You give them something to eat.”

Without this invitation and command the day would have passed into the mix of other crowded days in the disciples’ minds. But now, Jesus turned it into a memorable moment. Retelling this moment would have grounded their faith in Him.


An imagined conversation
“Remember what Jesus did with five loaves and two fish?”
“Remember how tired we were? I was fuming by the end of the day!”
“Remember, there was enough!”
“More than enough.”
Jesus is enough. Walk with Him and there will be interceptions and interruptions. This intersection of people and need is a holy moment when our apparent inadequacy meets the not so obvious abundance but very much real grace of Jesus.

Feeling empty? Inadequate? Severely challenged, perhaps annoyed, by ___________________ ( you fill in the blank!)?

Pause and listen. What does Jesus want you to be a part of? As you take what you already have, He will provide the balance… and more.

Collegiate Day of Prayer — Canada

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“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I out to speak.” Colossians 4:2-4

I’m thankful for the window Scripture gives us to see into the hearts of God’s servants when we hear their requests for prayer. Whether its Jesus asking his disciples to accompany Him in His distress and time of prayer or its Paul requesting intercession for the mission to which God had called him, these records of their requests make me bolder.

Many in our network are praying today for university and college students on campuses across North America.  Its the 200th anniversary of a commitment to pray for students and campuses.

Our friend Mark, shares the following requests:

We are praying for students to come to know God through a relationship with Jesus.

We are praying for students to engage their campuses with the Gospel.

We are praying for students to be called to serve the nations and take the Gospel around the world.

We are praying for a spiritual awakening on our campuses.

Vancouver Requests

UBC and two other schools are on my heart today in Vancouver. I invite you to join us in praying for students and staff at:

The University of British Columbia

Langara College

Emily Carr University of Art and Design

Simon Fraser University

Douglas College

As well please pray for the leaders and ministry teams on campuses across Canada. Ask the Lord to open a door for the Gospel of Jesus, and to anoint them with His Spirit that they may communicate clearly and compassionately.

Campuses in Canada:

98 Universities in Canada.

190 Colleges in Canada.

Who cares for the church?

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…the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

24Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.  Colossians 1:23-29
I have a friend who says, “Disciple-making is largely unappreciated at the time.” The Apostle Paul knew what it was like to be unappreciated. Yet, Paul says he has joy in his assignment from Jesus. Joy! But, its not been easy. Following Jesus has brought him into:

Sufferings.

Stewardship.

Struggle.

Sufferings. There are seasons in which Paul suffered physically and psychologically for the advancement of Jesus’ church.

Stewardship. Paul had a persistent sense of responsibility to proclaim the word of God to people, making Jesus known through the Gospel.

Struggle. Paul tapped into all the resources of mind, body, and soul that the Lord made available to him so that people would grow up as Jesus’ disciples.

There is nothing like the Gospel ministry to which we have been called. It has its highs and its lows. It’s rich! It’s glorious! It’s messy! No one else but the church is promised the incredible hope of glory: Christ in you!  Disciple-making is not an easy journey, but it has its joys! There is nothing like being in the company of Jesus, the King of Creation, when He touches the life of a brother or sister.

These joys can be ours when we lean into Jesus with His people and willingly accept some measure of sufferings, stewardship, and struggle for the sake of Jesus and His church. Gospel ministry is not a matter of full-time or part-time vocation. Instead its a relationship and a labour of love. Will you venture into relationship with at least one other person to flame the hope of our glory—Christ in us?

 

 

 

When You Want to Give Up: Gospel Grit

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Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a
harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9

Do you ever wonder if doing good is worth it? Do you ever start comparing yourself to others? Are you tempted to take a shortcut to the success you desire? Are you wanting to give up? Has a disappointment cast a shadow of your ideals? Are you intimidated by the threats of those who want you to cut corners? Do you lose hope when those without scruples succeed? Do you wonder if following Jesus is worth it?

The Gospel provokes determination and persistence. Every morning for years as my father reached for his suit, he reached past these words printed on a small piece of paper and posted on the inside frame of his closet. He lived the grit of the Gospel.

LET US NOT BECOME WEARY
IN DOING GOOD,
FOR AT THE PROPER TIME
WE WILL REAP A HARVEST
IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP.
GALATIANS 6:9

These are words of faith, hope, and love. These are the words of the hardworking person whose future has been claimed by Jesus. These are the words of the grace-filled follower of Jesus who is determined to be the neighbour. These are the words of God.

You can claim them as your own.