News & Notes This Week

When the Gospel Hits Home (The Gospel Coalition)
Brené Brown: Be the adult you want your children to be (The Washington Post)
New films speak for the ‘Innocents,’ victims of human trafficking (Deseret News)
Falcone-Codding: U.S. must take the lead in stopping slave trade (Norwich Bulletin)
How Hookers for Jesus Founder Turned Away From Sex Trade to Serving God (The Christian Post)
Sex for sale: sex trafficking in Ohio (The Guardian)
Officials warn kids about child porn charges in underage sexting cases (Wate.com)
Sex trafficking now an ‘epidemic’ (The Washington Times)

Who Is This Jesus?

by Rick Schatz

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 16:17).

The identity of Jesus is the question of the ages.  Every individual must answer the question about the identity of Christ.

Just consider the message we find in Matthew 16 and the impact that the identity of Jesus had on His disciples.  These men had followed Christ for three years, and Jesus made them squarely face the question of His identity.  Moved by the Holy Spirit, Peter acknowledged that Jesus was the Living God.

As they recognized this truth, the life of every disciple was turned upside down.  Their faith grew until they became fully convinced that Jesus was who He said He was.  Their faith led them to share the good news of the gospel with an unbelieving world.  They spoke with clarity and boldness and were willing to give their lives to share the good news about Jesus as Lord and King.

For every believer and servant of Christ, He is not only Savior but also Lord of everyday living.  We’re called to live righteously, and many of us are blessed with the opportunity to be husbands and fathers.  We’re called to serve our families and to love our wives as Christ loved the Church.  Coming to know Jesus as Christ changes everything.  It brings joy, peace, and hope in this life and salvation for the next.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:15-16

So, who do you say He is?  How have you been changed by Him?

This devotion appears in On The Road: Meditations for Men Who Travel, a collection of inspiring and encouraging writings from dozens of Christian leaders and businessmen.  Click here to order a copy from Beacon Hill Press.

pureHOPE+Central Church=Impact

Our ministry focuses on partnering with churches and Christian schools across the country to equip their people to pursue sexual purity and oppose sexual exploitation.  Over the last five weeks, we’ve partnered with Central Church in Charlotte, NC on a series to really open up the dialogue in the congregation about pursuing purity, parenting with integrity, and opposing the injustices of porn and trafficking.  pureHOPE team members Rick Schatz, Joanne Samad, Dan Martin, and Noel Bouché had the privilege of ministering to an average crowd of over 1,000 on each of the last five Wednesday nights.

Mark Driscoll on Pornography

Porn-Again Christian: A Frank Discussion on Pornography & Masturbation is just that.  Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle addresses men with solid theology and raw facts about sex, sexuality, pornography, and lust.  The appendices helpfully connect porn with human trafficking, and specifically discuss the challenges military men face with respect to porn and prostitution.  More than anything, this resource calls men to the only thing that can ultimately rescue them from the clutches of porn and lust: intimacy with Jesus.

“For men wanting to encourage other men to lives of purity, I pray this booklet would be a useful and readable piece of literature that you could pass on to as many dudes as possible as a pedagogical tool for cranial-rectal extraction.”   Mark Driscoll [from the introduction to Porn-Again Christian]