The false narratives (you can be like God!) will never fulfill. The stories we tell ourselves (I am the most important! I am enough!) will never satisfy. But God tells a different story. In the pages of the Bible we find a narrative written by the Author of our world. He’s the narrator, the protagonist, the conquering hero, and the innocent sacrificial victim all at once.
I spend a lot of time on the mission field working with missionaries. I LOVE the local church wherever it is, but I fear more for the American church every time I go overseas. Here are some of my fears .
The important takeaway from this command to show reasonableness-graciousness-forbearance is that Paul expects this virtue to be public. Contentiousness, quarreling, and bullying show up among divisive and cantankerous people. Paul doesn’t tell the Philippians to disengage from debate, but to go public with the opposite.
“I woke up, and it was like a nightmare,” she remembered. At one point, a needle penetrated her protective gear and pricked her skin while she worked in the ETU, but she did not get sick. “I believe the Bible, but I did not feel the Bible. But when I went through the Ebola crisis, I felt the Bible. It was realistic. The reality of the Word was seen.”
We must first consider the age-old question: What is the purpose of life? For that is the purpose of retirement. It is best to have one overarching purpose that sets the direction for every area of our lives. As followers of Jesus our purpose should be that God is glorified in everything.
Not that long ago, “man of God” was a common and honored descriptor in the church. The phrase ranked alongside “great preacher,” “brilliant theologian,” or “gifted writer” in frequency and surpassed them in value. Now, it seems as though the designation “man of God” has gone the way of the bus ministry and the youth choir—a largely passé referent to a bygone era of church life.