To read the first part of this teaching “Understanding Common and Special Grace” please click this link.
1-Common grace blesses all men/Special grace saves only some men
As we have seen in part I of this article, in the created order, God bestows His love, mercy, grace and goodness to every creature through what He provides to this world (Read Psalm 145:9). However, we also see that Jesus is only the Lord and Savior of those who believe (Romans 10:9,10). The first is common, the second is special or saving grace
In the New Testament, the word ” disciple” was used to describe Christ’s followers much more than the word “Christian.” Jesus commanded the church to make disciples, not just evangelize the lost (Matthew 28:19). In spite of this lopsided focus, discipleship is not always the norm in the contemporary church. The following eleven indispensable principles are things I have learned as a disciple maker for almost four decades.
One of the greatest conceptual and theological discoveries I have ever made was when I realized the difference between “common grace” and “special” or saving grace. By common grace I am referring to the fact that God uses and blesses unbelievers, not just His children, to fulfill His purpose in this world. This is why God was able to choose and anoint Persian Kings (E.G. Cyrus, Artaxerxes, Ahasuerus, and Darius the Mede) during the days of the Jewish exile to help restore Jerusalem, as well bless and protect His people.This is also why God calls unsaved political leaders in the Roman Empire His ministers (deacons) in Romans 13:4,7).
There is a huge emphasis nowadays in the Evangelical church related to evangelism, church planting and the like. This is a good since the church should never be separated from its mission of proclaiming Jesus to this lost world. In light of this, I believe the church will fall far short of our goals unless we incorporate the power of signs, wonders and miracles into our methodological norm for evangelism.
Text: 1 Samuel 30:1-6, 18-19
And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God….And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all.
Text: Psalm 16:1-6
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I want to project into the next generation the three L’s of living, loving and legacy. This is because these are the three fundamentals of why God created us and how He designed us to live.
Text: Isaiah 53:10-11
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied.
Every time a preacher stands behind a pulpit there ought to be a burden that brought him there. The preacher who lacks a burden in their heart during the moment of preaching is void of a compelling reason for their proclamation. Without a divine sense of urgency in the spirit of a preacher the spoken word will lack the fire of divine conviction and will fall short of penetrating the hearts of people. Have you ever entered the pulpit with fire on your heart, and with the singe marks of God’s red-hot coals that touched your lips at His holy altar? Have you ever felt the fire of God’s passion coursing through your soul, finding words through which you can share this burden with God’s people? There is nothing like this in the whole world! To every preacher who feels “stuck” in their preaching I encourage you to spend time with God till a burden emerges that will compel you to preach beyond your limitations. To every preacher who is wondering why the sermon time lacks the life of God in it and why people are not hungry to come every week to sit at the Lord’s feet and listen to His word, I implore you to get a burden from God and see how things will begin to change!
First and foremost, before we even get into the wisdom principles, I want to establish the fact that it is definitely God’s will for Christians to prosper. This does not mean that saints automatically prosper, or that every Christian should become a multimillionaire. But Scripture does teach that we should aim to be in a position financially in which we have more than enough to meet our needs so that we can be generous and aid other people (read Deuteronomy 28:12-13 and the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10).
There have been many articles and books written regarding spiritual fathering and parenting. This article is different in that I am writing from the perspective of leaders who need fathers.
I have been involved in empowering leaders of leaders for several decades now, and I have been challenged in two areas in particular that relate to this piece.
First, I want to say that many high-level leaders are craving spiritual fathers, but usually they go to other, more experienced high-level leaders who are just as busy as they are! The resulting problem: often it is difficult to regularly connect with a spiritual father who is traveling the globe overseeing huge projects and has very little time and emotional bandwidth to devote to fathering leaders. Note: I am not speaking about teaching other leaders; there is a huge difference between being a teacher and a father. It is very easy to do conferences and inspire people in ways that doesn’t include one-on-one mentoring and fathering.