For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.–Romans 8:38-39

What I Like About Airplanes

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OK, I’ve already made note of my dislike of flying and the aftershock of going through airport security check. But, besides the joy and adventure of visiting new places, there’s one aspect of flying that I do really enjoy – READING! No distractions, no chores, no sleep (uncomfortable seating, turbulence, etc.), so that leaves plenty of time to take in some good books!

On my last flight, I had opportunity to finish reading The Trellis and the Vine by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne. It was an excellent read on how to develop disciple-making disciples. The authors paint a beautiful picture of what it would look like to have a ministry saturated with the gospel so much so that it spills over into every area of church ministry. The focus is on growing and maturing people over and above growing and sustaining programs. It was geared toward church leaders, but I found it very useful for helping me to know how I might come alongside our elders and leaders in caring for the body of Christ and reaching out to the lost.

I was also able to read Josh Harris’ Dug Down Deep. What a unique approach to helping us understand basic Christian doctrine. The book is part autobiography, part memoir, part biblical theology, all humble orthodoxy.

I’d highly recommend this book if you want to understand how to live the truth that you know and believe. Here’s a long quote that gives you a small taste of the treasures found in Dug Down Deep:

Do you want to keep your orthodoxy humble? Try to live it. Don’t spend all your time theorizing about it, debating about it, or blogging about it. Spend more energy living the truth you know than worrying about what the next guy does or doesn’t know. Don’t measure yourself by what you know. Measure yourself by your practice of what you know.

Do I know something of the doctrine of God? Can I list his attributes of sovereignty, omnipotence, and love? Then I should live that truth and stop worrying and complaining and being anxious.

Do I know something of the doctrine of justification? Can I tell you that I’m justified by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone? Good. Then I should live that truth by repenting of my worthless efforts to earn God’s approval. I should weep over my self-righteousness when I think and act toward others as if I’m anything but the recipient of pure, unmerited grace.

Do I know something about the doctrine of sanctification? Do I know the priority of holiness and the reality of remaining  sin in my life? Then why attack or look down on another Christian who seems less sanctified? I have enough areas where I need to grow to keep me busy. I should pray for more of the Holy Spirit’s power to enable me to grow in obedience….

I think this is what Paul was telling Timothy to do when he said, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16, NIV). It’s not enough to get our doctrine straight. Life and doctrine can’t be separated. Our lives either put the beauty of God’s truth on display, or they obscure it (italics mine).

Happy reading and/or flying!!

Author: Kristie

Kristie is a pastor's wife, mom, Bible teacher, and author of His Testimonies, My Heritage: Women of Color on the Word of God, which will be released in September. She currently serves as the Associate Director of Women's Workshops for the Charles Simeon Trust, helping to equip women Bible teachers. She joyfully supports her husband of almost 28 years, Thabiti, as he pastors Anacostia River Church in Washington, DC. They have 3 children. She has written contributions to the ESV Women's Devotional Bible; Word-Filled Women's Ministry: Loving and Serving the Church; Women on Life: A Call to Love the Unborn, Unloved and Neglected; and Hospitality Matters: Reviving an Ancient Practice for Modern Missions. Her work can also be found at The Front Porch, The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, Christianity Today, and Revive Our Hearts. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@kanyabwile).

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