Posts by Matthew Holst

 

Regrettably, conflict is a reality in the church. Often that conflict is between a congregant and the pastor. After all, he is--in many ways--the focal point of the church’s public ministry. A good pastor is hard to find. A good congregant is equally hard to find. How then should you seek to approach your pastor when you have problems with his ministry, his behavior, his family or any other related issue?  Here are a few guidelines to help us all live peaceably with each other:

 

The power of lust and desire for sexual gratification, even through brief visual stimulation, is compulsive and controlling. It is the most immediate and powerful impulse. Everything else, for that moment or two, becomes unimportant, in order to get a hit. Sin is addictive. And the worst part? This sin resides deep in the heart of each and every one of us.  

 

In every genre of Scripture, whether it be narrative, Psalms, wisdom or the Gospels and Epistles, warnings against sexual sin are prominent. From Genesis to Revelation, every book of Scripture teaches that believers are to vigorously pursue sexual purity...We cannot deny that the world’s lax and liberal attitude to sexual sin has permeated the church--to the point that it is now bordering on being accepted as one of the so-called “acceptable sins”.

 

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?