Perhaps this sounds like a strange admission, but there have been times in my life when I had no church home. While I believe those were legitimate absences, upon reflection, I may have learned more about the need to be part of a church when I didn’t have one than the many years I did.
When I first moved to Washington, D.C., finding a good church was a challenge. It took many visits to find and settle in a church I thought was committed to the truth. Then, after roughly a year there, God opened my eyes to some serious false teachings entrenched there. I was devastated. After trying and failing to make any headway against the teachings, I left.
It was painful and discouraging time in my life. I missed the fellowship, the community, I missed hearing the Bible taught regularly. I missed singing praise aloud to God with other people. But church visit, after church visit, I kept spotting the same problems. And it wrecked me. The discouragement got the better of me and I gave up for awhile.
I was judged by some Christians during that time, which made it even harder to want to find a church again. I want to be clear – I never gave up my faith in Jesus. I didn’t somehow lose my Christianity because I wasn’t attending church on Sundays. During my absence, I also read my Bible and listened to podcasts and sermons when possible. Thankfully, that season did not last forever, and I eventually found churches I could regularly attend again and eventually even consider my home church.
But I learned some things during that season that I think are important and sharing them could help others. Continue reading
Working through the Pillars of Christian Character series from Grace to You, the next character trait Pastor MacArthur examines is compassion.
The sixth sermon in the Grace To You series that I’ve been listening to once a week is all about forgiveness.
Speaking for myself, forgiving others can be a struggle at times. I’m glad I was reminded and chastised through this message. You can listen to it here.
I’m continuing to listen to this Grace to You sermon series “The Pillars of Christian Character,” once a week, for ten weeks.
The second message is about obedience. That word sure can make our rebel hearts want to run away or start rationalizing behavior, can’t it? And yet, the Bible makes it clear that we are saved not to continue sinning, but to love the Lord and to obey him. Continue reading
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
1 Timothy 4:7-10 ESV
To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. Continue reading