Got Questions?

by Justin Windham, Associate Pastor of Outreach & Discipleship

got questionsMany of us are a part of a unique generation–one that lives in the “internet age,” but also remembers a time before the World Wide Web.

In middle school, I can distinctly remember the tedious task of using big, physical, multi-volume encyclopedias to do research for homework assignments.
Yet, just a few years later in high school, I was browsing the internet to find information as though I had been doing it my whole life. Today, I can’t imagine not having the internet at my fingertips at any moment during the day.
As a child being raised in a Christian family, I learned a lot about God and the Bible through my parents and church. But when I had questions about faith, doubt, Jesus, the origins of the universe, pain and suffering, sin, and more–I didn’t know how to find the answers.
Aware of my frustrations, my parents bought me a reference book called, Where to Find It in the Bible: A Reference Guide from A to Z. I tattered that book’s pages as I would regularly scour it for biblical answers to very real questions I had.
Once our home PC became “web-enabled,” I began searching online for those same answers but quickly realized there was no “biblical orthodoxy” filter that ensured the results I found were actually from a Christ-honoring, bible-based perspective.
A few years later, a new and unique website called GotQuestions.org was published with the explicit mission of seeking “to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by providing biblical, applicable, and timely answers to spiritually related questions through an internet presence.
Since that discovery, this has been my single most treasured online resource in my personal life and ministry.
The website does not just offer certain theologians’ opinions, but uses the Scriptures as the primary source of drawing conclusions. If a potential claim cannot be soundly backed by Scripture, the claim is not made.
And when ambiguity remains and clear-cut answers cannot be arrived at with confidence, the website gives the most compelling Scriptural arguments from the most prevalent views and leaves the reader to arrive at his/her own conclusions.
I have long believed that God is not afraid of our questions. If He’s truly God, there will always be satisfying answers to our most daunting questions.
Certainly, some of those questions won’t be answered on this side of heaven, but until then, www.gotquestions.org does a fantastic job attempting to fill the gap.
To understand the depth and breadth of this resource, I’m posting their current Top 10 most frequently asked questions. Click the links to view the related article.
As much as I love this website, like any extra-biblical material, no man-made resource is perfect and no one has all the answers except God Himself. I hope you enjoy using this website, but remember to always search the Scriptures for yourself and ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance as you seek truth.


God’s Glory in Our Weakness

by Chad Porter, Pastor of Student Discipleship
 

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 1.21.01 PM“And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” -1 Corinthians 2:3-5

Do you ever feel unfit or ill-equipped for ministry? Does the thought of serving in a particular way ever make you feel weak or scared? For example, what goes through your mind at the prospect of intentionally discipling another Christian? Lovingly encouraging someone in your small group in an area where they struggle?

It’s striking to me that the apostle Paul—you know, the guy who wrote a good portion of the New Testament, saw the resurrected Christ, was called to his ministry directly by God, witnessed miracles, performed miracles, etc.—says that his own ministry to the Corinthian church was marked by weakness and fear and much trembling. These are not words that immediately come to mind when I think of Paul’s service to the church, but I’m so glad they’re recorded for us here.

The fact is, we’re all weak and unfit and insufficient—and that’s the point.

The terrifying thing about ministering to others is that we have absolutely no control over the final outcome of things. Only God can change hearts. Only he can orchestrate a situation to bring about lasting change or harmony. Only he can give us words and wisdom to act in ways that will be helpful and edifying in the moment. We come to the end of ourselves rather quickly when we step out in the obedience of faith and try to do something that’s ultimately out of our control.

But this is precisely how God likes it. In fact, it’s how he intentionally set things up. A few verses earlier in 1 Cor Paul says,

“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Cor 1:26-29).

Praise God! When I feel my weakness most fully is when God gets the most glory. He intentionally calls weak people to his service so that at the end of the day NO ONE can boast in themselves. If we’re not stepping out and serving in ways that make us feel the weight of God’s greatness and the reality of our smallness then something’s not quite right.

So how is God calling you to serve in your weakness?