1. 4 Ways to Block God’s Grace in Your Ministry

    September 26, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    waves-crashing

    We often talk about what God’s grace does for us. And, truly, it is abundant.

    We talk about how greatly we need it in ministry. And we do.

    But have you ever considered if you might be preventing God’s grace from working in your heart? If you might be blocking its flow in your ministry?

    Scripture tells us that we can hinder the work of grace. How? (more…)


  2. 4 Ways Grace Works in Our Hearts

    September 21, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    waves

    The grace of God is an incredible gift. It not only brings salvation (Titus 2:11), but it is the ongoing provision for our Christian walk.

    It’s a peculiar thing about grace, however: it seems practically every Christian has their “angle” on the best way to use God’s grace—what grace is really all about.

    Perhaps part of the reason for that is that grace is indeed multi-faceted. It doesn’t only bring salvation, only give Christian liberty, or only produce holiness. God uses His grace at every level in our hearts. It is the ongoing provision for every child of God.

    In a recent podcast, we looked at how God’s grace is one of the key scriptural motivators of the Christian life. But how do you know if you are being motivated (or motivating others) by grace? (more…)


  3. When the Battlefield Terrain Is Different Than You Planned

    September 12, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    soldiers

    Do you ever have a day go differently than you planned? Or a year? Or an entire season of your life?

    I’m a planner, and although I know in theory that God may change my plans and, in fact, has every right to intervene, I don’t always see His hand in the unplanned delays, changes, or upsets in the moment they occur.

    I recently came across the paragraph below, written by an Irish Baptist pastor in 1840. It was a great encouragement to me:

    Nothing can be more consoling to the man of God, than the conviction that the Lord who made the world governs the world; and that every event, great and small, prosperous and adverse, is under the absolute disposal of him who doth all things well, and who regulates all things for the good of his people…. The Christian will be confident and courageous in duty, in proportion as he views God in his Providence as ruling in the midst of his enemies; and acting for the good of his people, as well as for his own glory, even in the persecution of the Gospel.—Alexander Carson

    When you and I believe—not just at a theological level, but as a deep, heart-embracing belief—that God is in control, we can battle valiantly for Him…even when the terrain of the battlefield feels absolutely outside our control.

    Consider the Apostle Paul who lived with constantly-changing circumstances outside his control. His trust in God kept him anchored and gave him the courage and confidence to press forward.

    Think, for instance, of Paul’s words to a storm-tossed ship crew, remembering that these were spoken when “all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.”

    Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.—Acts 27:25

    If you’re having an unplanned day, or living in a season that feels helplessly out of your control, take courage in God’s sovereignty, and take confidence in His goodness. He is acting on your behalf. Love Him, trust Him, and press forward for Him.


  4. 4 Ways Courageous Leaders Model Sustained Urgency

    August 29, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    starting-race

    You can’t miss the urgency and passion with which Jesus carried out His ministry. Throughout His ministry, He spoke of musts, such as, “I must work the works of Him that sent me” (John 9:4).

    As spiritual leaders, we know there is urgency to our labor, but we don’t always maintain it. The truth is, urgency is not the default mode; complacency is.

    Strangely enough, it is our very successes in ministry that tend to feed complacency. It works like this: Success builds pride, and pride kills urgency. (more…)


  5. 5 Questions to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Your Gospel Witness

    August 22, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    handing-a-tract

    We cannot always measure effectiveness by visible fruit. Some of my favorite testimonies of salvation are of people who trusted Christ after repeated witnessing attempts by multiple people.

    Even the Apostle Paul experienced times when he witnessed and the fruit wasn’t immediate.

    I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.—1 Corinthians 3:6

    So if we try to measure the effectiveness of our witness on fruit alone, we may miscalculate. Perhaps during a season when we are diligently sowing seed, we won’t see fruit. On the other hand, we may be in a season when we are reaping another man’s labor and are seeing great fruit although our own witness may or may not be effective.

    The bottom line is that God grades on faithfulness, not evident fruitfulness.

    So how do we measure faithfulness? Is it simply by our heart to continue? Is it because we are open to sharing the gospel if the opportunity arises? (more…)