Recommended Resources: August 31, 2020

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Date: August 31, 2020

Book Recommendation from a Pastor

Making All Things New by David Powlison

Recommendation by Pastor Mat Pau

While most books address the topic of sexual desire from one perspective, Powlison thoughtfully and concisely recognizes that sexual desires in a broken world are much more complicated than that. Which is why this book is so helpful, especially at a time like this when this season of life has brought about various pressures – our hearts are always interacting and responding to those pressures (ch. 3). And I think for many of us and those that we know, sexual desire is most likely one of those areas affected – whether it’s because we struggle with sexual immorality, or are struggling with the impact of being sexually afflicted (ch. 1) – to some degree or another (ch. 7). And yet in this brief yet impactful book, Powlison thoughtfully and practically helps us to see the hope that we have in Christ (ch. 2).

Here’s what I mean: While most books I’ve read have been helpful in practical ways, Powlison is helpfully realistic. He understands that sanctification looks different for all, and that the issue isn’t speed or distance, but rather direction (ch. 4). This is incredibly freeing because for many who struggle, sexual struggles can often feel the most disheartening. Along with this, he also recognizes that sexual struggles are rarely an isolated issue – but intertwined with all of life (ch. 5), especially our hearts (ch. 6). And yet in its complexity, Powlison reminds us that the goal is simple: Not just sinning, but growing in knowing and being more like Christ (ch. 8). It is knowing Christ, how He speaks to our specific struggle, and how we relate to Him in prayer (ch. 9).

  • “To see sexual immoralities as wrong is not to be nervous about sexuality. Christian faith envisions sexual joy before the eyes of the holy God. Neither immorality nor prudishness understands that” (16-17).
  • “The Son of God came into the world to save sinners. You do not need to fear telling the truth about yourself. He already knows. He has come to bear our wandering and our woe that we might turn to him and find a new life that is filled with goodness” (29).
  • “God works organically in our lives. Organic growth has integrity. God works step-by-step. He walks with you. He’s always interested in how you take your every next step. Walking through life with him feels right. You’re going somewhere. The day of ‘completion’ will not arrive until the day when Jesus Christ arrives (Phil. 1:6)” (59).
  • “Understanding the deeper battle for our hearts deepens the significance of the Savior” (89).
  • “Your battle always gets fought at the next step, not all at once. ‘Today’s trouble’ is where you find God’s aid” (113).

Read it. I trust you’ll be as encouraged and edified as I was.

 

Articles

The Quiet Power of Ordinary Devotions

Following Sunday’s sermon on abiding in Christ, this article shows us how indispensable our devotions are. Do you realize the power of time in the Word? This simple habit of reading the Scriptures rehearses how apart from Christ, we can do nothing.

When Solomon’s Fool Created a Social Media Platform

These days, social media seems unavoidable. Whether that’s true or not, we should evaluate how we are utilizing various platforms and ensuring we are engaging in a manner that is worthy of the gospel.

You Didn’t Do ‘Nothing’ Today

Ordinary lives filled with routine tasks doesn’t mean we’re doing nothing. What we do in faith and truth can be done unto the Lord.

Who Defines Your Joy?

Our joy is a person. When we come to see this truth, it affords us much strength when we are suffering or undergoing a hard trial. This article unpacks how knowing God is with us can help us navigate through the difficulties of life.

We Need Wisdom, Not Wealth

In a time where it’s easy to cling to our wealth, this article calls us to examine our need for something far more valuable: wisdom. The good news is that God is eager to bless His children with His wisdom.

4 Qualities of God-Honoring Work

Our work is one way we worship. More than passing time or earning a paycheck, R. Kent Hughes shows us how we can redeem our work for the glory of God.

 

Music

I Want to Serve God

Let this song become a prayer where all our resources, giftings, and relationships do not become idols, but a stewardship by which we serve God and His people.

We Are One (Live)

Union with God means we are united to the body of Christ. This song rejoices over how this great truth comforts and encourages us to walk in love.

Songs from The New City Catechism

Here’s a clever way to teach your children (or yourself) basic Christian doctrine through music. Based off of The New City Catechism, these songs help commit theology to memory.

 

Miscellaneous

Rosaria Butterfield on COVID-19

One question we might have during a time while we’re quarantined is how we can still be hospitable. Rosaria Butterfield, author of “The Gospel Comes with a House Key,” shares her insights on how to still practice hospitality amidst COVID-19.

What Characteristics Mark an Effective Church? Part 5 of 7: Mutual Care

As we prepare for the next series of small groups, Alistair Begg gives a short exhortation of how Christians are to care for one another with our resources.

The Generosity Project

By the same people who put out “Two Ways to Live,” here is a set of videos to teach us on generosity. We might associate generosity with giving money, but this series seeks to ground us in being generous people because of the gospel and, therefore, we give of ourselves.

Truth Unites

For those interested in apologetics and theology, Gavin Ortlund has started a YouTube channel that deals with this very topic. Give it a view/listen and find yourself challenged to think through how our faith is not necessarily illogical or without reason.

Who Gets to Rule Our Hearts This Week?

A fitting prayer to echo at the start of your week. Or any week.