Why “Fruitless” Ministries Are Never Truly Hopeless

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We live in a world that expects results. Nobody wants to waste their life or spend their time on things that don’t matter.

That’s part of what makes it so devastating when our ministries feel fruitless—no one gives their life to Christ, the financial troubles never end, or the sermons fall flat. It feels as though all our efforts have been for nothing, or a wrong choice put us in the wrong place. We don’t have stories of transformed lives, people meeting Christ, or God’s hand in our work.

Yet.

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Delivering Biblically Sound Messages to Your Congregation

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Pastors face a difficult challenge every week—crafting sermons that are both faithful to the biblical text and relevant to their contemporary audience. It may be easy to focus on one aspect over the other but preaching God’s Word with both in mind is hard work. In his new book, Excellent Preaching, Craig Bartholomew explains how to preach so that the powerful message of the Bible penetrates the daily lives of your congregation.

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Why 10 Translations May Be Better Than 1 Greek (or Hebrew) Bible

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A clever and provocative author wrote something clever and provocative recently about Bible translation:

We are accustomed to say things like “something got lost in the translation,” which it frequently does. But can anything ever be gained? Let me pose a question for you all, without attempting to answer it myself . . . .

Here is my question. Suppose you take an average Greek-speaking Christian in Asia Minor about 200 A.D., and you give him a copy of the book of Ephesians in Greek, which he reads ten times. Now take a modern Christian who knows both English and French. Give him ten different translations of the book of Ephesians, 7 in English and 3 in French. He reads each one of them once through. Who now has a better grasp of the message of Ephesians?

I merely pose the question and run away.

Well I’m slow, and as he runs away I’m stuck here holding the bag. I simply have to take up this challenge and answer this fascinating, stimulating, clever, provocative question.

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When God Interrupts, Something Great Is About to Happen

God has other plans

God has a way of interrupting our plans.

We set out upon one path and he sweeps us off on a different and more incredible journey than we ever anticipated. Some of the most influential Christians in history began their stories on the unlikeliest of paths. William Carey, lauded as the father of modern missions, started life as a humble shoe cobbler. Another young man dreamed of a wealthy life as a successful shoe salesman, then went on to found one of the most influential Christian schools in the world: Moody Bible Institute. That man was, of course, Dwight L. Moody.

Another man, born in Scotland at the turn of the nineteenth century, started his career as a doctor and an atheist. But God took him on a life-changing journey that would carry him across four continents and over thousands of miles of open ocean—and last 38 years.

His story is testimony to what can happen when we let go of our own plans, and entrust our future to God.

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5 February Deals You’re Going to Love

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February’s deals are here, and with more than 100 products on sale it’s easy to find resources for almost any topic you’re studying. And if you’re not sure where to start, check out these five insightful works at great discounts.

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How to Do Apologetics without Fear or Aggression

tools and weapons

When I was sixteen, I went to summer camp. But instead of mountains, sunrises, and songs around the campfire, this camp offered school desks, podiums, and hours of daily lectures. This was no ordinary summer retreat—this was a training ground for would-be apologists.

Led by experts on worldview, Christian leadership, and culture, this camp provided training for young Christians who wanted to know how to defend their faith—and I thrived in that environment. I was fascinated by the lectures and eagerly anticipated the next small group session, devotion, and worship session. At camp I was given tools to defend my faith, but as I tried to integrate them into my everyday life those tools eventually began to feel like weapons.

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How to Do Bible Word Studies: A Fool-Proof Guide

how to do a bible word study

Word studies are a treasure trove . . . and a mine field. Somehow you have to weave through the dangers to get the treasures. Think for a moment: if you were about to enter such a field, what would you want to know about first? The gold or the bombs?

I’d want to know about the treasures first: do they make it worthwhile to even bother learning about the dangers? And then I’d want a detailed accounting of the dangers—so I can live to enjoy the good stuff.

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Get the First Volume of Journal of Theological Interpretation Free!

FBOTM_Feb16_BlogHeaderJoel B. Green’s Journal of Theological Interpretation, vol. 1 is free during the month of February! Get yours now.

Joel B. Green has been a respected professor of Theology for over 18 years, serving at Asbury Theological Seminary and Fuller Theological seminary. A prolific scholar, Green has written and edited 30 books, four of which have won awards. The Journal of Theological Interpretation, vol. 1, edited by Green, is a collection of articles and essays penned by some of the foremost theologians and scholars of our time.

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Save 70% on Some of the Greatest Reformed Works Ever Written

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Reformed theology has always had a vibrant community of theologians. John Calvin arguably wrote the first systematic theology with his Institutes of the Christian Religion. Since Calvin’s day, luminaries like John Owen, Charles Hodge, and Louis Berkhof have articulated distinctly Reformed points of view in their now-classic systematic theologies.

In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, popular pastors and writers such as R.C. Sproul and J.I. Packer brought Calvinism into the mainstream, compelling Time magazine to call New Calvinism one of the “ten ideas changing the world right now.”

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How to Personalize Your Logos Home Page

personalize your logos home page

This post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris, who has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos seminars, provides many training materials.

If you’re like most Logos users, your first introduction to your software each day is the Home Page. It’s  filled with lots of information encouraging Bible study through various means. After using your program for a while, however, you may desire a more customized look to this opening pane. If so, here are some practical hints to personalize the Home Page.

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