Bill Mills’ Sermon on His Cancer Journey: “Learning from Cancer”

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In late August of 2013, Leadership Resources Founder Bill Mills was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He soon was operated on and began chemotherapy treatments to kill the remaining cancer cells in his body.

Thankfully, Bill completed his treatment and has transitioned back to a normal life with Leadership Resources, ministering and discipling pastors to preach the Word of God with the heart of God.

In a sermon titled, “Learning from Cancer,” Bill shares lessons the Lord taught him on his cancer journey. Watch the video below or download the mp3 to listen to later.

Download the sermon on MP3.

Learn more about how Leadership Resources trains pastors to preach God’s Word with God’s heart in the Training National Trainers program.

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What causes ministry burnout?

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In the introduction to Finishing Well in Life and MinistryBill Mills and Craig Parro give the answer to what causes ministry burnout.


The premise of this book is that the terrible disease of burnout is not primarily the result of our unfortunate circumstances. It is not a function of our lack of resources or planning, nor the result of our own failings and weaknesses. Burnout is largely a spiritual problem rooted in our theology, for the battles rage primarily in our hearts and minds. By theology, we are referring to more than our creedal orthodoxy. It is our practical theology in daily living which reveals what we really believe.

In his very challenging book God in the Wasteland, David Wells talks of the “weightlessness of God.”

It is one of the defining marks of Our Time that God is now weightless. I do not mean by this that he is ethereal but rather that he has become unimportant. He rests upon the world so inconsequentially as not to be noticeable. He has lost his saliency for human life. Those who assure the pollsters of their belief in God’s existence may nonetheless consider him less interesting than television, his commands less authoritative than their appetites for affluence and influence, his judgment no more awe-inspiring than the evening news, and his truth less compelling than the advertisers’ sweet fog of flattery and lies. That is weightlessness.

We can readily affirm that this is taking place in our society. But the view of a “weightless God” has also deeply affected us in the ministry. We so desire to be relevant to meet the needs of our culture. But in the process, even among the clergy, our view of God has been lessened, so that we now worship what Wells calls a “diminished God.”

A diminished God will not be able to keep the hearts of those whom He has called to serve Him. It is our prayer that as we seek an exalted God, lifted high in His sovereignty, His holiness, His glory, power and grace, that we might be transformed in His presence and our hearts sustained in Him.


Finishing_Well_I_4cdd87b7eb0b6You can have Bill or Craig speak on this topic and a variety of other topics at your church. Learn more about our church conference ministry or invite Bill or Craig to speak at your church or organization.

Learn about Leadership Resources’ program called Training National Trainers that equips national pastors in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and North America to preach the Word of God with the heart of God.

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Related Post: Christian Ministry Burnout: Prevention, Signs, Statistics, and Recovery

Author: Kevin Halloran

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6 Characteristics of Apostolic Preaching in the Book of Acts

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Do you ever wish you could attend a preaching seminar given by the Apostle Paul or the Apostle Peter? It would be life changing to sit at the feet of two men God used in amazing ways in the life and growth of the early church.

While we cannot travel back in time to meet with the Apostles, we can learn from their preaching documented in the book of Acts. The apostles’ preaching had certain traits that give us insight into what it means to preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2) and preach Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2).

Below are some observations about the apostles’ preaching. Some of these characteristics overlap in theme and highlight different aspects of the apostolic message, methods, or response received.

Our hope is that the apostles’ track record in preaching will encourage you as you pursue and proclaim Christ. Each of the characteristics listed below can be found all over the book of Acts, and for the sake of brevity I chose to only include one example for each. I encourage you to study the book of Acts and all of its sermons to see them for yourself.

Characteristics of the Apostolic Preaching in Acts:*

1. The Apostles’ preaching was biblical.

The apostles saw the recent events of Christ being crucified and being raised from the dead as historical fact and something predicted in the Old Testament Scriptures. This led them to quote Scripture frequently in their proclamation of the gospel.

Two characteristics of their biblical preaching:

  • It was expository in style. The Apostles did not pull verses out of context or quote Scripture to serve their agenda, but rather clearly and properly explained the Scriptures’ God-given meaning to their hearers and applied it to their hearts. Peter’s sermon at Pentecost in Acts 2 explains passages from Joel and the Psalms to substantiate his claim that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah.
  • It kept the Bible’s one story in mind. The Bible is one book with one story about one person; it tells the story of God’s redemption through Jesus Christ. The apostles’ preaching kept the Bible’s one story in mind by proclaiming Jesus to be the fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures, “…what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled” (Acts 3:18, see also 21-26).

2. The Apostles’ preached Christ.

The focus of the apostles’ preaching was unabashedly Jesus Christ. Their message consisted with the work and person of Jesus Christ and often ended calling listeners to respond to the implications of the life-changing message of Christ. This is why Paul later said “We proclaim Him…” (Colossians 1:28) and “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).

Here are some specific things emphasized by the apostles about Jesus Christ:

  • Jesus as Lord. Jesus was not just some other crucified criminal—He is the Lord of all creation who will judge the living and the dead. In the sermon at Pentecost, Peter preaches Jesus as Lord from Psalm 110 and applies it the following way,

“Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ…” (Acts 2:36).

  • Christ crucified and risen from the dead. Preaching Jesus as Christ revealed Him as God’s chosen Messiah. Preaching Christ crucified revealed the Jesus who died a brutal death on the cross for our sake. Preaching Christ risen from the dead reveals that He conquered death and is alive in heaven. Preaching Christ crucified and risen explains how man can be made right with God through God making atonement for our sins through the death of His Son. The entire history and hope of humankind hinges upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Acts 17:2-3 details the habit of Paul preaching the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ:

“And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.””

  • Jesus as the only Savior.  The apostles only give one solution to the judgment of God that comes from humanity’s sin problem: Jesus Christ as the only Savior.

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

3. The Apostles preached faith in Christ and repentance.

The apostles’ desired for their listeners to believe in Jesus Christ and repent from their sins. The themes of God’s judgment, human guilt, and the need for repentance are echoed throughout the pages of Acts.

“And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:42-43

People responded to the apostles in several ways. Many believed the word of the gospel, repented, baptized, and added to the church (2:41, 14:1, 28:24, etc.). Others disbelieved and some began to actively oppose the ministry of the apostles.

Three examples of mixed responses to the apostles can be seen in Acts 14:1-2, 17:1-5, 28:23-24.

4. The Apostles preached in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The apostles received power when the Holy Spirit came upon them, just as Jesus had promised in Acts 1:8. The Spirit’s power impacted their preaching and caused their words to cut listeners to the heart (2:37) and caused many people to believe and receive the Spirit as well (10:44-45).

“…they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God…” Acts 4:31

The combination of preaching the Bible by the power of the Spirit is what gives preaching the most power. Paul describes the Word of God as “the sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17). The Spirit uses the Word like a sword to impact the hearts of listeners, which is exactly what we observe in the apostles’ preaching ministry.

5. The Apostles preached with boldness.

Preaching with boldness is closely tied to Spirit-powered preaching. The apostles could not help but speak of the amazing things they had seen and heard after witnessing the resurrected Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 4:20). They displayed their boldness by declaring to people their guilt and by testifying to Christ boldly in front of rulers and authorities (Acts 23-26).

Soon after the Apostle Paul was converted from a Christian-hater to a Christian himself, he began proclaiming Jesus with great boldness (Acts 9:27).

6. The Apostles preached with their listeners’ situations in mind.

The apostles knew their audiences and were able to tailor their gospel proclamation to each group. To the Jews, Stephen preached Jewish history (Acts 7), to the Greek Athenians, Paul quoted Athenian poets and referred to an altar of an unknown god known in their city (Acts 17).

*The characteristics covered in this post refer to the apostles’ proclamation of the gospel (kerygma), which is to be differentiated from the teaching that would follow gospel proclamation (didache).

Leadership Resources International knows that God uses the proclamation of His Word in amazing ways. That is why our worldwide pastoral training program called Training National Trainers focuses on teaching pastors to faithfully exposit God’s Word and to preach it with God’s heart.

It is our goal to launch pastoral training movements in which our trainees train others and are able to cause God’s Word to “increase and prevail mightily” (Acts 19:20). Learn more about our work in countries like Ecuador, Brazil, Mexico, Kenya, and Togo.

25 Quotes about the Cross of Jesus Christ

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In celebration of Good Friday and Easter, here are 25 powerful quotes about the cross of Jesus Christ:

“Though justification costs us nothing but the sacrifice of our pride, it has cost Christ His blood.”
― F.B. Meyer

“It costs God nothing, so far as we know, to create nice things; but to convert rebellious wills cost Him crucifixion.”
― C. S. Lewis

“The cross is a one time visual representation of God’s grief over sin.”
― Dean L. Harvey

“The cross is the victory, the resurrection is the triumph…The resurrection is the public display of the victory, the triumph of the crucified one.”
― Leon Morris

Christian-Quote-on-the-cross-of-Jesus-Christ-John-Stott1“All of heaven is interested in the cross of Christ, hell afraid of it, while men are the only ones to ignore its meaning.”
― Oswald Chambers

“Unless you see yourself standing there with the shrieking crowd, full of hostility and hatred for the holy and innocent Lamb of God, you don’t really understand the nature and depth of your sin or the necessity of the cross.”
― C.J. Mahaney

“It was not nails that held Jesus to that wretched cross; it was his unqualified resolution, out of love for his Father, to do his Father’s will—and it was his love for sinners like me.”
― D.A. Carson

“Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us.”
― John R.W. Stott

“God hold us to that which drew us first, when the Cross was the attraction, and we wanted nothing else.”
― Amy Carmichael

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“Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain. What was once foolishness to us—a crucified God—must become our wisdom and our power and our only boast in this world.”
― John Piper

“Even on the cross He did not hide Himself from sight; rather, He made all creation witness to the presence of its Maker.”
― Athanasius of Alexandria

Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Quotes-about-the-Cross-of-Jesus-Christ“The cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise godfearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“The most obscene symbol in human history is the Cross; yet in its ugliness it remains the most eloquent testimony to human dignity.”
― R.C. Sproul

“The cross stands high above the opinions of men and to that cross all opinions must come at last for judgment.”
― A.W. Tozer

“The blood of Christ stands not simply for the sting of sin on God, but the scourge of God on sin, not simply for God’s sorrow over sin, but for God’s wrath on sin.”
―P.T. Forsyth

“The cross of Christ is the sweetest burden that I ever bore; it is such a burden as wings are to a bird, or sails to a ship, to carry me forward to my harbor.”
―Samuel Rutherford

Christian-Cross-Quotes-Galatians-Paul1“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
―The Apostle Paul in Galatians 6:14

“I find no better cure for that depression than to trust in the Lord with all my heart, and seek to realize afresh the power of the peace-speaking blood of Jesus, and His infinite love in dying upon the cross to put away all my transgressions.”
― Charles Spurgeon

“God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’”
― Billy Graham

“At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!”
― Isaac Watts, in hymn “At the Cross”

“In his death on the cross, Christ becomes the place of refuge, the place in the world where the full wrath of God has already been spent. Therefore, to stand in Christ is to stand in a place where the wrath of God will never be felt, because it has already been there.” —Rory Shiner, One Forever: The Transforming Power of Being In Christ

“The cross is proof of both the immense love of God and the profound wickedness of sin.”
― John MacArthur

“Faith is the acknowledgment of the entire absence of all goodness in us, and the recognition of the cross as the substitute for all the want on our part. The whole work is His, not ours, from first to last.”
― Horatius Bonar

JC-Ryle-Quote-on-the-Cross-of-Jesus-Christ“Love, not anger, brought Jesus to the cross. Golgotha came as a result of God’s great desire to forgive, not his reluctance.”
― Richard J. Foster

“Take away the cross of Christ, and the Bible is a dark book.”
― J.C. Ryle

Leadership Resources International knows that God uses the proclamation of His Word in amazing ways. That is why our worldwide pastoral training program called Training National Trainers focuses on teaching pastors to faithfully exposit God’s Word and to preach it with God’s heart.

It is our goal to launch pastoral training movements in which our trainees train others and are able to cause God’s Word to “increase and prevail mightily” (Acts 19:20). Learn more about our work in countries like EcuadorBrazilMexicoKenya, and Togo.

Follow Leadership Resources on Facebook and Twitter.

A List of Sermons in the Book of Acts

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The book of Acts gives a unique glimpse into the life and practice of the early church. It describes the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Acts 2, the spread of the Gospel outside of Jerusalem in Acts 8 and to the Gentiles in Acts 10, how the church made decisions in regards to doctrine (Acts 15), and more.

The sermons recorded in Acts give us a window into the preaching ministries of Peter, Stephen, Philip, James, and Paul, along with the immediate impact those sermons had.

Below is a list of sermons preached in Acts along with a short description and reference for each are listed below. Not every passage below quotes the preacher’s sermon directly, but each passage will share something important about the content of the sermon or the response of the hearers.

Other Resources on Acts:
Blog: Bible Study Questions for the Gospels and Acts
MP3 Download: Sermon on the Book of Acts: “God’s Plan for You” by Craig Parro
Article: 6 Characteristics of Apostolic Preaching in the Book of Acts

Major Sermons and Preaching in the Book of Acts
SERMON THEME BIBLICAL REFERENCE
Peter to Crowds at Pentecost Peter’s Explanation of Pentecost Acts 2:14-40
Peter to Crowds at the Temple The Jewish People should repent for crucifying the Messiah Acts 3:12-26
Peter to the Sanhedrin Testimony that a helpless man was healed by the power of Jesus Acts 4:5-12
Stephen to the Sanhedrin Stephen reviews Jewish history, accusing the Jews of killing the Messiah Acts 7
Philip to the Samaritans Philip flees Jerusalem after the stoning of Stephen and begins to preach to the Samaritans Acts 8:5
Peter to Gentiles Gentiles can be saved in the same manner as Jews Acts 10:28-47
Peter to church at Jerusalem Peter’s Testimony of his experiences at Joppa and a defense of this ministry to the Gentiles Acts 11:4-18
Paul to Synagogue at Antioch Jesus was the Messiah in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies Acts 13:16-41
Paul and Barnabus at Iconium Paul and Barnabus spoke boldly in Iconium’s Jewish Synagogue, causing many to believe and disbelievers to stir up opposition Acts 14:3-7
Peter to Jerusalem Council Salvation by grace available to all Acts 15:7-11
James to Jerusalem Council Gentile converts do not require circumcision Acts 15:13-21
Paul and Silas in Prison Paul and Silas preach to the prison guard after a terrible earthquake Acts 16:31
Paul in Athens at the Areopagus Paul preaches the Gospel in the Athenian culture that has no knowledge of the God of Judaism Acts 17:22-35
Paul to Ephesian Elders Remain faithful in spite of false teachers and persecution Acts 20:17-35
Paul to crowd at Jerusalem Paul’s statement of his conversion and his mission to the Gentiles Acts 22:1-21
Paul to Sanhedrin Paul’s defense declaring himself a Pharisee and Roman Citizen Acts 23:1-6
Paul’s defense before Felix in Caesarea Paul proclaims his righteousness and judgment to come Acts 24:10-21
Paul to King Agrippa Paul’s statement of his conversion and zeal for the Gospel Acts 26:2-23
Paul to Jewish leaders at Rome Paul’s statement about his Jewish Heritage Acts 28:17-20

*Much of the information in this chart is taken from Nelson’s Complete Book of Maps and Charts (1996).

Related Posts:

Leadership Resources International seeks to train pastors and church leaders all over the world to study the Word of God in depth using a variety of hermeneutical principles including learning the context of a passage and using inductive Bible study methods. Learn more about our Training National Trainers Program or how you can help the worldwide spread of God’s Word!

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Kevin Halloran is the Content Strategist at Leadership Resources and on the Latin America Training Team. Follow Kevin on Twitter.

Infographic: How the World’s Top 10 Countries Search the Bible Differently

BibleGateway has released statistics on what the world’s ten largest countries search for the most on BibleGateway.com.

Some interesting finds:

  • Some of the most popular chapters of the Bible include: Genesis 1, Psalm 23, Psalm 91, John 1, John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 13.
  • In Pakistan and Nigeria, each of the top 5 searches all come from the Old Testament.
  • Psalms, Genesis, the Gospels and 1 Corinthians 13 are all popular portions of Scripture.

View more of their findings on the infographic below:

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2014-02-21 18:01:47Z | https://piczard.com | https://codecarvings.com

The Training National Trainers program teaches pastors to read and preach the Word of God with the heart of God by learning hermeneutical principles while being immersed in a book of the Bible. Over our eight training sessions, trainees are equipped for biblical preaching by honing their skills while studying the books of Jonah, 2 Timothy, Mark, Genesis 1-11, Psalms, and more.

We train in many parts of the world including North America, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

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Donate to Leadership Resources

Infographic courtesy of GMI and BibleGateway.

     

    Launching Pastoral Training Movements Worldwide

     

    The mission of Leadership Resources is to launch pastoral training movements worldwide. This blog shares articles, resources, and updates from staff of God’s work around the world through our training. If you’re new to our blog, start here.

     


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