This month: Textual Theme: Paul's Letters
Exploring the Heart of Restoration

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Matt Dabbs

Matt is the preaching minister at the Westside Church of Christ in Bakersfield, California. He and Missy have been married 10 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor of Wineskins.org

Homepage: http://mattdabbs.com

Philippians 2:1-11 is one of my favorite and least favorite passages. It is one of my favorites because it is challenging and applicable to almost any circumstance. It is one of my least favorites because it is challenging and applicable to almost any circumstance.

I don’t always want to consider others better than myself and yet I know if I did things would go much more smoothly and I would…

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What can we learn from the apostle Paul?

We can learn from his letters and the instruction he gave to congregations in the first century. We can learn about unity from 1 Corinthians, the Gospel from Galatians or what it means to be the people of God from Romans. We can learn about joy in suffering from Philippians and how we respond to God’s gracious acts on our behalf from…

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And what is that?

Assimilation.

When Christianity gets assimilated and enmeshed too deeply into the surrounding culture it becomes something less than Christianity. There is a fine line between understanding our culture and learning to minister “contextually” (within the culture we find ourselves…being sensitive to its nuances) and so mixing the values of our faith with the values of the culture that what results is a cultural Christianity that isn’t Christianity…

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Jesus talked about politics more than any other subject, depending on how you hear him. The primary topic of Jesus’ teaching was the kingdom of God. Sometimes we use words and phrases so much that we read right over the very words that are being used. If I say New England you probably don’t think about England and settlers navigating the Atlantic looking for a New start…same with New…

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It takes a lot of faith to trust the political process in this country because it feels like the process and the people continue to fail to live up to what we expect of them. This is not a partisan thing. This is a reality that crosses party lines. Many people are disillusioned at the moment. If you dig beneath…

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Jesus was born into a world steeped in politics. It was a world of governors, kings and emperors. Whether you were a local ruler or a peasant, there was a pecking order and it paid to know your spot in the food chain.

As Jesus went about his ministry he had a way of upsetting the religious authorities of his day because…

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Jesus connected prayer and mission and we should as well. He prayed for his disciples before he left and for the impact on the world. He taught the disciples to pray prior to their going out on mission in Luke 10. Here is what he said there,

“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by…

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Jesus made it clear, the kingdom grows. That is what it does. Silence his followers? The rocks cry out. Throw a seed on the ground…reap 100 fold. Send out 11, baptize 3000. Persecute the church? The kingdom grows the more they scatter.

This is dandelion theology or, really, dandelion missiology.

The kingdom was designed to grow.

Somewhere along the line our evangelistic spirit has…

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Ministry comes with pain…all life comes with pain but when you minister there are certain burdens that you carry for or with others that come with the territory. It is often difficult to know when is the time to carry someone’s burden for them and when it is time to carry it with them. Paul got at this…

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Ministers wear a lot of hats and carry a lot of burdens. Many ministers enter ministry because they enjoy helping people and making an eternal difference in the world. That is a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because there is so much joy and fulfillment in ministry. It can be a curse because when you…

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