1. How to Die a Hero

    November 10, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    This post is by my good friend, Dr. R. B. Ouellette. Dr. Ouellette is the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Bridgeport, Michigan, where he has served for over thirty-seven years. The church has grown tremendously under his leadership and sees consistent, lasting fruit through soulwinning and outreach. Dr. Ouellette is also the author of several Christian books.

    sword

    It is a sad, tawdry tale—and one in which the hero isn’t who you might guess it would be.

    The cast?

    • David—The young man of faith who slew Goliath with a mere slingshot and who became God’s chosen king should have been the hero of this story. But he’s not. He’s over fifty now and has grown self-indulgent in many areas.
    • Joab—He’s a crafty, self-serving general who happens to be David’s nephew. He’s fierce but unscrupulous and always looking for an expedient way to increase his power.
    • Bathsheba—For her, the story is especially sad, for she is the victim.
    • Uriah—His name means “Flame of Jehovah.” And as you might have guessed by now, it is Uriah who died a hero.

    You probably know the story, but if you don’t you can read it in 2 Samuel 11. Verses 6–17 specifically deal with Uriah and his heroic death. What can we learn from him? How can we, too, be sure that as our lives end—regardless of circumstances outside our control—we bring honor to our Lord and die heroes? (more…)


  2. Don’t Waste Your Summer

    June 19, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    summer-lemonade

    The principle of rest is woven into the pages of Scripture. But in our twenty-first century mentality of hurry, we often miss it.

    God built cycles of work and rest into creation. (See Genesis 2:2–3; Exodus 20:11.) Even Jesus highlighted the necessity of having times of rest.

    And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.—Mark 6:31

    But there is a subtle temptation that comes with times of rest: selfishness.

    Vacation is all about me, right? Taking a day off is my day off.

    Or is it? Isn’t it rather about renewing our energy to more effectively invest our lives for the Lord?

    And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;—Colossians 3:23

    What can you do to enjoy times of rest with purpose this summer? Here are a few thoughts: (more…)


  3. When Your Hand Is to the Plow…

    May 21, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    plowing-field

    No one would question the diligence of the Apostle Paul. He labored with faithful tenacity and with loving diligence.

    When Paul wrote his final letter to Timothy, he included a request for Timothy to come to him. Notice his wording: “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me” (2 Timothy 4:9). Paul didn’t say, “Come if you get a chance.” He asked Timothy to invest focused effort—diligence—in coming.

    It is a tragedy to me how much ministry is done without diligence. When we become haphazard in our attitude toward the work of the Lord, we reveal our lack of self-discipline. Christ called us to put our hand “to the plough” (Luke 9:62), not to simply walk the furrows.

    When your hand is to the plow… (more…)


  4. Starting the Summer Right

    May 13, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    summer-meadow

    It’s hard to believe that we are already entering another summer season of ministry. Depending on your occupation and age, the word summer likely holds varying connotations for you. If you are a student, it means vacation! If you are a teacher, it means preparation. If you are a farmer, it means work. For our church family, the beginning of summer is a busy time of preparation for the Spiritual Leadership Conference June 8–11.

    But whatever the summer may hold for you, there are three phrases found in 1 Thessalonians 1 that should characterize your service for the Lord this summer:

    We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;—1 Thessalonians 1:2–3

    Work of Faith

    Faithful servants of God have ongoing routines in their ministry—perhaps making class visits, writing notes, going out during scheduled soulwinning times, etc. These routines are important and, if empowered by the Holy Spirit, touch lives. (more…)


  5. A Message for Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Others Who Follow Jesus

    May 2, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    follow

    1. In war there are no blacks and whites, young and old—only soldiers. Let us fight for Him.

    Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.—2 Timothy 2:3–4

    2. In the Christian life we all have one Master. Let us follow Him.

    And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.—Luke 9:23

    3. In ministry we have one mission—to win and disciple others. Let us reach them together.

    Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;—Philippians 1:27

    4. In life we are all imperfect and in need of the grace of God and others. Let us give it to one another.

    Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.—Colossians 3:13–14

    5. In the pulpit there is no millennial truth or boomer truth, only God’s truth. Let us preach it.

    Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.—2 Timothy 4:2