Posts by Matthew Holst

 

Your prayer-life is a measure of your spiritual maturity. Just about any decent book on prayer will tell you so. Your prayer lives exposes you to the reality that what is nearest and dearest to your hearts are those things for which you pray the most. It is an inescapable rule. In this respect, your prayer life may betray the public image which you, in turn, portrayed to others. Just a few years back, I became painfully aware that my prayer life was centered on...me. What a shock it was to realize that my prayers were essentially self-serving!

 

One of the great difficulties we encounter when we seek to preach Christ from the Old Testament is the challenge of being able to rightly apply the text--both in its original context and then to our own. After all, a chasm of thousands of years exists between the life of the patriarchs and monarchs of Israel and us. What does their experience have to do with ours? How could Christ be preached to them centuries before His coming, and still be preached to us from the same events, teachings and texts? One of the illustrations that I have found to be most helpful in answering this question is that of an ultrasound. So how can ultrasounds better help us understand how to preach Christ from the Old Testament?

 

Restraint in speech, both in content and manner, is a mark of a Christian. How we say something can be as beneficial or harmful as what we say. 

 

As I approach the fifth anniversary of my ordination to pastoral ministry, I confess that last five years have been a maelstrom of emotional highs and lows--as well as a school of previously unknown experiences. My own experiences and observations of pastoral situations have helped produce my baker’s dozen of lessons for seminarians and new pastors.

 

“For Everything There Is A Season...” So says the Preacher in Ecclesiastes 3:1. Our God has ordained whatsoever shall come to pass, according to His most wise and free counsel. He has set the limits for every hour, day, week, month and year. He has also ordained the seasons. We live our lives by the divine designations of days and seasons. We mark our births and deaths, we plant and pluck up, break down and build up, all according to the times that God has designated. We live our lives by calendars.