Love One Another: 20 Practical Lessons

Don McMinn has come out with a new book entitled, Love One Another. It’s more of a workbook in that it covers 20 practical lessons on how love is described in the New Testament.

The book is clear, easy to read, and inspiring.

As I explain in The Deeper Journey: Part II, love is the nature of divine life. Thus living by the indwelling life of Christ will manifest itself in love. Jesus defined love as treating others the same way we wish to be treated in all circumstances.

McMinn’s book does a nice job analyzing what love looks like on the ground. Or to put it another way, he describes the nature of Christ’s indwelling life and how to recognize it.

Order Love One Another in paperback

Order Love One Another on Kindle

Join over 25,000 other readers and receive free blog updates. If you subscribe by Email, you will receive my Next Reformation Seminar as a free gift. By subscribing, you also won’t miss a post. If you want to start your own blog from scratch in less than 10 minutes, click here. And if you’re looking for a hosting or domain-name service, I highly recommend BlueHost.

Rethinking the Gifts of the Spirit: Part VIII

As I’ve established in Parts I – III, spiritual manifestations are real, important, and they should function in the Body today. But they must be held in proper balance.

Interestingly, spiritual gifts operate non-personally. This means that they function regardless of the spiritual stature of the person who functions in them. Gifts can be thought of as an outside power that God places upon an individual for a specific task.

Accordingly, the Bible gives us many instances where newborn babes and even carnal Christians functioned in powerful gifts (Acts 19:1-6; 1 Cor. 3, 14). God’s ultimate purpose, however, is intensely personal. It is not outward, but inward. God’s highest aim for His children is the inward formation of Christ within them. It is not the outward manifestation of the Spirit that temporarily abides upon them. [Continue Reading…]

Rethinking the Gifts of the Spirit: Part VII

Be not deceived. You can only supply to others that which you yourself have received from God (Matt. 10:8; Acts 3:6). When spiritual gifts become the central focus of our attention, Christ takes the backseat.

This has been the tragedy of many assemblies that have emphasized gifts over life. Among such groups, there is an abundance of soulish excitement coupled with an absence of the self-emptying experience of the cross. In this regard, Frank Bartelman, reporter and eyewitness of the Azusa Street Revival of 1907, solemnly warned the church of this danger saying,

The temptation seems to be toward empty manifestations. This does not require any particular cross or death to the self-life. Hence, it is always popular. We may not put power, gifts, the Holy Ghost, or in fact anything ahead of Jesus. Any mission that exalts even the Holy Ghost above the Lord Jesus Christ is bound for the rocks of error and fanaticism. There seems to be a great danger of losing sight of the fact that Jesus is “all in all.” The work of Calvary, atonement, must be the center of our consideration. The Holy Ghost will never draw our attention from Christ to Himself, but rather reveal Christ in a fuller way. We are in danger of slighting Jesus—getting Him “lost in the Temple,” by the exaltation of the Holy Ghost and of the gifts of the Spirit. Jesus must be the center of everything. The Lord Jesus becomes a stranger among His own people when they give the Holy Spirit preeminence over Him, when they praise Him but will not fellowship with Him, and when they seek His power rather than Him who embodies all spiritual things. Put another way, the upper room should never overshadow the cross or the empty tomb. 

In short, the giftings of the Holy Spirit are to do away with self and bring the Lord Jesus into greater view. If they are not doing that, then there is good reason to question their source. Note that the Spirit does not speak of Himself. Instead, He always speaks of and glorifies Christ (John 15:26; 16:13-14). Thus a person who is filled with the Spirit will be consumed with Jesus.[Continue Reading…]

The Deeper Journey

We’ve just uploaded the three keynote messages I delivered at a Deeper Christian Life conference in Texas (the 220 Conference).

The messages are entitled The Deeper Journey: Parts I, II, and III.

You’ll want to listen to them in that order as each talk builds upon the other.

Based on the reception, you don’t want to miss these messages and you can hear them for free.

You can listen to the messages on iTunes, RSS feed, or straight on your computer. Just click the preferred way at the bottom of this post.

I really love modern technology because it allows a series of messages that were delivered to a live audience of about 300 to reach hundreds of thousands all over the world. This is the genius of podcasting.

A friend of mine recently gave me the tagline –  The Deeper Journey – as a way to describe my ministry. I can’t improve upon it as it defines all of my work in a few words. As you’ll discover when you hear these 3 messages, the title is fitting for them as well.

Enjoy.[Continue Reading…]

Rethinking the Gifts of the Spirit: Part VI

God’s highest purpose for His people is that they be built together into Christ’s image. In an effort to reach this all-inclusive goal, God employs two means: Spiritual life and spiritual gifts.

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul makes a useful distinction between life and gift. The main difference between the two lies here: Gifts are used to minister. Life is that which is ministered. Stated simply, gifts are the tools; life is the content. Gifts are the utensils; life is the substance. Gifts are the instruments; life is the essence.

NT ministry is merely the release of Christ’s life from one person to another. Each believer has been given a ministry, and each ministry contributes something of Christ to His church and the world. It is for this reason that Paul likens ministry to a function of the physical body—some are eyes, others are hands, others are feet, etc. These different functions in the Body of Christ do not represent gifts. They instead represent ministries.[Continue Reading…]

How I Became a Professional Blogger

This post is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are interested in earning income by blogging, you’ll want to attend the new BUZZ SEMINAR where Frank and his partner will be giving away their secret sauce on how to create a high-ranking blog that earns income.Click here to be notified about the seminar.

Most of you are aware that I don’t profit from my book sales. As I’ve explained elsewhere, the money earned from my books is given to the poor and used for ministry expenses. Part of my personal income comes from this blog. And today I can say that I’m a “professional” blogger in that most of my personal income is derived from the blog.

Since this blog is free to read and subscribing is free as well, how do I generate income from the blog?

The answer: from advertising and affiliates.

Specifically, if you look on the right hand side of the blog, you’ll see a number of advertisements. Those are all paid ads.

In addition, when someone buys a book that I feature on a book review or on my Top 100 Best Christian Books Ever Written, Amazon gives me a commission. I also receive commissions from other products and services I personally recommend and promote.

Click here to read the steps I took to become a professional blogger.

If you find this post helpful, you are free to ADD A LINK to it on your blog or website. But don’t copy and paste the post as this violates Google’s guidelines.

Join over 80,000 monthly readers and receive free blog updates. If you subscribe by Email, you will receive my eBook Rethinking the Will of God (Revised) and my Next Reformation Seminar as a free gift. By subscribing, you also won’t miss a post. If you want to start your own blog from scratch in less than 10 minutes, click here. And if you’re looking for a hosting or domain-name service, I highly recommend BlueHost.

Rethinking the Gifts of the Spirit: Part V

In this post, I want to briefly address the problem of counterfeit spirituality. Martin Luther rightly said, “When God builds His house, the devil builds a chapel.”

When God is operating powerfully in a person or group, counterfeit spiritual manifestations will sometimes surface in the group or through people attacking the person or group whom God is using. This has been true historically.

For example, the Welsh Revival of the early 20th century is one of a number of authentic moves of God that was destroyed because people started to accept counterfeit spiritual manifestations.

Consequently, how do you know when the Holy Spirit is operating through someone or what they say is inspired by the Lord? Here are a few guidelines.[Continue Reading…]

Rethinking the Gifts of the Spirit: Part IV

How does a believer rightly exercise spiritual gifts in a local assembly? The answer to this question depends on whether or not you belong to a church that allows every believer to function and minister in the gatherings (see Reimagining Church for details). If you do not belong to such a church, there will be limited opportunities for you to exercise such gifts. But assuming that you belong to such a church, or will belong to one, the following can be said.

The Bible says that “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every person for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7). That means that the gifts are available to the entire Body of Christ. Paul’s exhortation to Corinth was to “eagerly desire the greater gifts” and to “eagerly desire spiritual gifts” so as to edify the church (1 Cor. 12:31; 14:1, 39). To eagerly desire the best gifts means to desire those gifts that best edify the church, such as prophecy.

The exercise of spiritual gifts begins with a desire to build up the church. It begins with observing what is most needed in your present fellowship. If some are sick among you, then healing is needed. If the church lacks perceiving God’s present mind or it needs a deeper revelation of Christ, prophecy is needed. If there is a lack of purpose, wisdom is needed. The church is a living organism. It will produce spiritual manifestations by sheer instinct if it is allowed to and if the Spirit’s manifestations are not suppressed or discouraged. This is why Paul exhorts, “Quench not the Spirit” in 1 Thessalonians 5:19.[Continue Reading…]

Jon Zens

Recently, I wrote a blog post featuring my close friend and co-worker Milt Rodriguez. Today, I want to feature my other co-worker and long-time friend Jon Zens.

I’ve known Jon since the 90s, and we’ve become extremely close over the years. Jon Zens is a brother whom I look up to and enormously respect. He’s a trailblazer and pioneer for Christians who gather outside the institutional church.

In addition, Zens has broken new ground in the area of New Covenant theology.

Here are some of the many resources that Jon Zens has contributed to the Body of Christ. You would be wise to take advantage of them.

Searching Together Magazine – one of the best periodicals in print. I bought all the back issues, which go back to the 1970s. This Christian magazine is without peer. I highly recommend it.
[Continue Reading…]