This is the one-hundred-forty-third lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I…

Data suggests that what you do with your free time affects your family’s long-term spiritual formation. The novel coronavirus now dubbed COVID-19 has struck fear around Asia and the world. As many as 760 million people in China have been quarantined, and perhaps 110 million are barred from even exiting their apartment, all as part of China’s effort to prevent a pandemic. In Hong Kong, where my wife and I serve as missionaries in the Lutheran Church-Hong Kong Synod, school has been cancelled since late January. Kids began doing online classes last week, and they will not return to school…

Here are 5 Key Connections from recent Christian articles around the web, including one on what Hagar’s life can teach us today, and another on the surprising places of discipleship. Three Glimpses of God’s Love Seen in Hagar’s Life (Colin Smith, Unlocking the Bible) Living in the tension of a home where there is little peace? Living with the emotional abandonment and the spiritual wounding you may have experienced? I am saying to you today from the Scriptures that God loves you deeply. God sees you. He knows you. He hears your affliction. By God’s grace, and through his Word,…

Jesus constantly and seamlessly integrated evangelism and discipleship into his everyday actions and into the way he spiritually formed and shaped the 12 disciples. I have often seen a false dichotomy emerge between evangelism and discipleship in many churches and with many Christians. Some individuals who emphasize evangelism seem to say things like, “If you aren’t sharing your faith regularly, how can you even call yourself a Christian?” Or at least, “How can you consider yourself a strong Christian?” On the other side, people who focus on discipleship have often told me that they do not share their faith because…