FROM Here . . . TO There . . . THROUGH JesusFebruary 4, 2022 Counseling 1 Comment
How do you get FROM Big Ben TO Buckingham Palace? Or more generally, how do you get FROM any point A TO any point B within a six-mile radius from the center of downtown London? You’ll find no better guides than the drivers of the Black Cab. The reason? As Gregory Hudson puts it, “Cabbies are famed for possessing a detailed understanding of the city.” First comes a few years of training, then comes a thoroughgoing testing. The result? These drivers possess a “mental map” of some 25,000 city streets! They call it “The Knowledge”—a very practical, down-to-earth understanding of how to take a person FROM here TO there.
Now something more challenging and infinitely more important: How do we help a person grow FROM a faithless heart expressing itself in “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these” (Galatians 5:19-21) TO a heart of faith expressing itself in “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23)? Or more fundamentally, how do we help people get FROM living for themselves and dying TO dying to themselves and living for Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:15)?
Each member of Harvest Church shares a common call to help each other grow FROM here TO there (Ephesians 4:15-16). Even so, the Session has deemed it wise to establish and oversee a team of godly and gifted members to give particular focus to leading, practicing, and multiplying counseling ministry within and beyond our church (Romans 12:4-8). We call it the “Love & Truth Counseling Team,” and I’m eagerly responsible for helping its members and interns develop a “Practical Knowledge” for transformational ministry, so that we mature as servants who are not only theologically sound but also wonderfully skilled in helping people grow FROM here TO there.
The Love & Truth Counseling Team meets monthly for training, and among the many questions we grapple with are these: How must we ourselves grow in godliness, FROM one degree TO another? How will we engage the person in front of us in wise and loving conversation, such that we help him or her turn FROM the sin that entangles TO the Son who sets free? More broadly, how will we promote the kind of community of believers whose daily words and deeds serve to rescue one another FROM sinking under life’s realities TO laying hold of Christ’s riches? Together, in the context of a team, Jesus is meeting us and helping us grow in wisdom by his Spirit.
Can we really help one another walk this “highway” FROM here TO Zion (Isaiah 35:10)? None of us will deny that sins and sufferings make for a convoluted maze out there. But neither will we deny what the Apostle says is true: “We have the mind of Christ” to map our way FROM here TO there THROUGH Jesus (1 Corinthians 2:16).
In His Service,
What Pastor Greg is reading . . .
Grace & Glory
by Geerhardus Vos
Looking for a wonderfully rich book to kindle a fire in your heart during these cold, snowy days? Grace & Glory by the great Dutch theologian Geerhardus Vos is one of my favorites! It contains several sermons that Vos preached in the Chapel of Princeton Theological Seminary between 1896 and 1913. If nothing else, give the one titled “The Wonderful Tree” an unhurried read and learn afresh from Jesus, who says to you and me: “I am like an evergreen cypress; your fruitfulness comes from me” (Hosea 14:8).