Everything about the church points to participation—from the biblical metaphor of the church as the body of Christ to the way in which Christians remember the sacrificed body of Christ every Sunday. Unfortunately, participation is not always the norm for Christians when it comes to making progress in the work with which God has tasked … Continue reading Progress requires participation.
Knowing what you want is very different from knowing how to get it. We consider those who give little thought to how they will be successful in any endeavor to be less than serious about making actual progress. Intending to lose weight without planning a healthy diet and having an exercise schedule amounts to little … Continue reading Plan for progress.
A God of purpose deserves to be served by purposeful people. Paul presents a progression in Ephesians 4:11–14 which illustrates for the Christian the ultimate purpose of making progress in the work a church does. Paul begins by identifying “the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers” (ESV) as gifts Christ gives to … Continue reading Progress has a purpose.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord,” Paul begins in Ephesians chapter 4, “urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (ESV). As Paul exhorts the Christians in Ephesus, he emphasizes the lifestyle indicative of faithful Christians—namely, one of consistent acceptable action. In doing so, Paul … Continue reading Progress begins with God’s perspective.
“For this reason,” Paul writes to the Ephesians, “I bow my knees before the Father” (3:14 ESV). Paul’s prayer of petition on behalf of his Ephesian brethren has everything to do with them making meaningful spiritual progress. Paul defines the purpose toward which these saints are progressing as being “filled with all the fullness of … Continue reading Pray for progress.
“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”Proverbs 15:22 ESV The term “counsel” suggests the kind of recommendation that a trusted person gives another to ensure a good result as a reward for right action. It is easy to see, then, how counsel is critical in making progress. “The plans of the diligent … Continue reading Counsel prepares people for progress.
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”Proverbs 21:5 ESV The term “plan” suggests the kind of forethought that produces purposeful action. While it is true that “in all toil there is profit,” (Proverbs 14:23 ESV), there is truth in the old adage “work smarter, … Continue reading Purpose and plans precede progress.
"In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty."Proverbs 14:23 ESV The term “toil” suggests the idea of hard work. There are two important implications that arise from the use of this term. First, “hard work” necessitates that one, in fact, work. This precludes the idea that any progress can be … Continue reading Only action produces progress.