Posts Tagged With: training

On the Road Again

The Treasury in Petra

It had to be a rather rude awakening to be sure—Paul’s initial introduction to the unenviable life of an apostle.

As we will learn in this PODCAST, there is much—much more than we could possibly imagine—behind Paul’s otherwise enigmatic statement in 1 Corinthians 4:9, a rare moment of personal reflection (and dare-I-say exasperation and frustration) in the writings of this most-prolific apostle:

“I sometimes think God has put us apostles on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor’s parade, condemned to die. We have become a spectacle to the entire world—to people and angels alike.”

Well, here in Acts 9, the Apostle to us Gentiles endured quite the humiliating spectacle indeed.

It was hardly the homecoming our new friend, the Apostle Paul, had anticipated as he entered archway in the main gate leading to Straight Street in Damascus.

Was his heart all a-flutter? Mine would have been.

After a three-year absence from its legendary landscape, his formal training as an apostle now complete. I have to believe that Saul-now-Paul had much upon which he would have liked to reflect.

  • Perhaps a quiet, private, personal rendezvous with the spot on the road where he first met Jesus?
  • Maybe a knock on the door of Judas’ house, where he was graciously housed for three days as a man-struck-blind?
  • How about cup of Turkish coffee with Ananias, the man tasked with, and understandably fearful of, being first follower of Jesus to approach just-converted Saul?
  • Possibly some visits to the synagogues where he first preached, “Jesus is indeed the Son of God”?

Paul’s heart had to be pitter-pattering with excited anticipation as he once-again approached the storied city.

But alas. A happy homecoming wasn’t in cards that fate dealt this soon-to-be-suffering servant of Jesus.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Saul Goes to Seminary

Do you know what I love about Bible?

Well, truth be told, there are a lot of things that I love about the Bible. Far too many to tell in this PODCAST.

But certainly residing at or near the top of my rather lengthy list is this: The window the biblical writers open to the growth and maturity of its principle players.

Case in point: The Apostle Paul.

Paul did not emerge from his road to Damascus encounter with Jesus a wholly-mature believer. Nor did Paul burst on the scene armed with a fully-formed theology that would become the capstone of his prolific writings. Paul had to grow in his faith as a committed Christ-follower just like the rest of us.

I love that!

Paul moved from a measurably primitive understanding of Jesus to a remarkably profound comprehension of who Jesus was and is and all that Jesus did and accomplished. This growth, this development, this maturity takes place right before our wondering eyes ever to behold in all of its spiritual splendor.

In short, Paul was a person in process, just like us! A process well-documented in the New Testament that as we are about to learn slowly-but-surely took place over many, many years.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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This Daddy’s Lament

cost-of-discipleshipYou might call this discussion “One Daddy’s Lament.” Or to put an even finer point on it, “This Daddy’s Lament.” The “This Daddy” in this title referring to your humble servant, me.

All if which I will explain in mere moments as you listen to this PODCAST.

But for now, consider this: I don’t have to tell you that Jesus was a radical in every sense of that word.

Jesus did things things that were totally unexpected, unpredictable, unconventional. More to the point of this discussion, Jesus said things that were totally unexpected, unpredictable, unconventional.

I have no doubt that if we had been alive and well back then, privileged to watch Jesus in action, honored to hang on His every word, there would have been situations weekly if not daily where we would have done a total double-take. We would have cocked our heads, blinked our eyes, pulled on our ears, and said to ourselves,

Jesus did what?

Jesus said what?

You talk about a guy marching to His own drumbeat, that was Jesus. And that is certainly true here.

As Jesus came to the conclusion of His training session, as He prepared His men for their very first missions trip, Jesus — Are you ready? — basically put the whole of the Christian life into its proper perspective. Read that sentence one more time:

Jesus basically put the whole of the Christian life into its proper perspective.

What does it mean to be a committed Christ-follower? Jesus answers that question here.

What does it cost to follow Jesus? Jesus answers that question here.

All of this in what is arguably the single most radical statement that Jesus ever made.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

Thank you for listening.

May God bless you richly as you listen.

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Oh What Might Have Been…

CentsTruer words were never spoken. It is an axiom of life. An undeniable reality that is obvious on its face:

You can’t put toothpaste back in the tube.

Now what in the world does toothpaste have to do with Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 10, you ask? Everything, my friends. Everything.

For the fact of the matter is that there are some things in this world of ours which, once they are done, there’s no going back. Which is so ironically true about the passage in this PODCAST.

I suppose on the one hand, one could ask: Then why even discuss this? If indeed it is how it is… If it’s how the game is played today… If it’s how the game has been played for years… If it’s not going to change… Not by you. Not by me. Not by anyone…

Then why even discuss this?

Because on the other hand Matthew 10:8 IS in the Bible. Because Jesus did indeed say this. Because Matthew did indeed include this in his Gospel masterpiece. Because these ARE the words of Jesus. So God obviously WANTS us to discuss this.

So despite the fact that I have no illusions about changing anything, the precious truth contained in this passage is well-worth our consideration and understanding. And the fact is, WE don’t have to play this game the way it’s always been played.

We can play by a whole different set of rules. Rules of Jesus’ own making.

As He sent out His disciples, Jesus clearly and unambiguously told His men six words that are paradigm-shattering in their impact. So let’s talk about these six words: What they meant to His followers then. More to the point, what they mean for us, His followers, today.

Or at least what it ought to mean to us today.

And as we do so, please permit me to speak in this podcast with a distinct tone of wistfulness in my voice and body language as we contemplate together what might have been… What might have been, if only our evangelical world had simply taken these words of Jesus seriously and applied in our churches consistently.

Oh, what might have been…

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it might take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

And please share a link to this podcast with your family and friends.

HAPPY LISTENING.

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“These were His Instructions:”

jesus_and_disciplesWe have come in this PODCAST to a monumentally significant section of Scripture.

And yet ironically one of the most ignored.

As we will learn over the next several weeks, here in Mark 6, and its much more complete parallel passage in Matthew 10, we read of something that was for Jesus enormously emotional, and for us incredibly instructional.

Emotional because of its context (Jesus’ compassion for people will shine ever so brightly against dark backdrop of His own rejection); instructional because of its content (that includes wonderfully practical principles we can readily apply).

There is no way for me to overestimate the value of the insights that we will discover together here as we sort of eavesdrop on Jesus as He prepares His men for ministry.

Just to give you a sneak peak of just some of the things that we will learn together as we dissect and digest this that we could call The Master’s Message to His Men, we will discover:

  • How Jesus wants His ministers — both then and now — to conduct their ministries;
  • How Jesus wants His present pastors to pastor;
  • What the template for any ministry that Jesus develops here in Matthew 10 actually looks like;
  • Where the lines of the ministry blueprint are drawn;
  • Jesus’ purpose statement for all future ministries;
  • Jesus’ own philosophy of ministry, and how it translates into our own ministry contexts today.

You could say that Jesus wrote the ministry manual that He intended each of us who dare to minister in His name to follow, and that Matthew 10 is that manual. A chapter of epic importance that was completely overlooked, and never-once-considered throughout my four years of Bible college, three years of seminary, and five years completing a doctoral program.

#Never.Mentioned.Once.

I cannot help but to wonder how different the church landscape would look today if we actually taught future pastors what Jesus taught His men. Jesus planted here in Matthew 10 the seeds of ministry principles that will come to full bloom in rest of New Testament. In short, how we view the ministry and discharge our own ministries begins right here.

Please note that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it might take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

HAPPY LISTENING.

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