As we approach this Easter, it is my desire to take a special online journey with you through the passion week of Christ beginning with the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. That will be the subject of my Palm Sunday message. You can join us for that message at watchGBC.com at 10:30am (EST). Monday through Friday, I will post a video right here on my blog, at watchGBC.com and at our Facebook page. These videos will track the events of the passion week and give a brief devotional thought. I hope this journey will encourage you and motivate your love for Jesus Christ.
Those who garden know that growth requires a plan along with consistent care and effort. Spiritual growth is no different. As you prepare for 2020, may I encourage you to plan for spiritual growth. Remember, growth will not come easy. However, with some care and effort, it will come! Let me suggest some resources that you might find helpful for your spiritual growth in the New Year.
Digital Bible Reading Plan on the YouVersion App
Daily Reading Bibles & Study Bibles
- One Year Bible
- Life Application Study Bible
- Thompson Chain Study Bible
- Ryrie Study Bible
- Kids Study Bible
- Trust and Obey
- Rooted in Christ
- A Daily Word
- A Word to the Wise
- Revival Today
- Daily in the Word in your Email Inbox
- My Utmost for His Highest—Oswald Chambers
- Morning and Evening—C.H. Spurgeon
Light illuminates. It makes it possible to see and to take steps. It exposes. It reveals clearly what was dark or vague. It answers questions. What was unknown and causing wonder, light cuts through the darkness giving certain answers. That fact is light is a good thing…a really good thing. Can you imagine living a day without light? Can you image if the sun did not come up and you had no electricity. Can you imagine what you would do? Can you imagine how much you would long to have light?
We have just been talking about physical darkness. While that may be intolerable, many will tolerate living days of their lives in spiritual darkness. What do I mean? The Bible tells us in Psalm 119:130, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; It giveth understanding unto the simple.” I often hear as a pastor, “I just don’t have time to read my Bible.” “I don’t read my Bible as much as a should.” “My life is busy, so I just depend on the pastor’s message.” Many believers live dark lives. They stumble and fall. They struggle to have victory over sin. They have no sense of God future will let alone His daily will. They live without the comfort of God. They feel helpless against the onslaught of temptation and pressure from the world, the flesh and the devil. God has told us that His Word is the light, the illumination that we need. As believers, we have Holy Spirit indwelling us and the Bible tells us that He is our guide into all truth. He is there to teach us the truth of Scripture as we read and receive it.
Let me encourage you not to live in spiritual darkness. Dive into the Bible! You will be amazed at how the things you are facing in life all of a sudden become clear as the light of Scripture illumines your heart and mind.
Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path.
Here are a few reading plans you might find helpful.
Recently I was listening to a sermon that really gripped my attention. We live in a day of so many false realities. The world is in search for something is real. This message challenged my heart to seek the power of God on my life and ministry as opposed to pursuing pragmatic philosophy. I hope this message will encourage you in the same way.
“There is an app for that.” While that certainly seems to be true, I have found some apps to be especially helpful. Here are some of them!
Here is one I use on a daily basis. This app enables me to have a plan for reading or listening through the Bible. I also love its ability to create church events on it for free. We are testing it our with our Acts series.
This is an app that I have been using for about a year. Essentially it is your public library at your fingertips—anytime, anywhere. This gives you access to TONS of digital content for free. I have been blessed to listen to many Christian audio books from great preachers and writers in the past and present.
This is an app that I have been watching for a couple of years and seems to be making great improvements. It is a soulwinning management app. Recently testing it for our church’s outreach.
Ever wish you could pull up a tract on your smartphone and use it to give the Gospel? Well, now you can. You can even keep a prospect list on it! It is a fantastic Gospel tool.
Abiding Radio—how to listen
What you listen really influences you! Many times Christian radio does not sound so Christian. I have enjoyed listening to this internet radio station through their app. Give it a try! You will find the music to be Christ-centered and spiritually nourishing.
God often brings us to situations that are bigger than our faith, experience, resources and the human help available to us. Time after time in Scripture, God allowed men and women to come face to face with their own limitations in order that He might prove his “bigness.” Think about a few (of many) illustrations with me.
Abraham and Sarah
God had promised that He would make Abraham’s family to grow in the generations to come to be as numberless as the sand of the seashore. That’s a big family tree! Yet, Abraham and Sarah had no children. They were rapidly ageing and Sarah had long passed her children bearing days. Humanly, physically what God had promised was impossible. In Genesis 18:14 the question was asked of Abraham, “Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” The correct answer is “NOTHING!” Even though there were some moments of doubt, Abraham believed God and God gave them a son through Sarah.
The Unnamed Widow
In 2 Kings 4 we find a widow of a godly servant of the Lord in a crisis situation. Debt collectors were coming after her for the debts her husband had left behind. She did not have the resources necessary nor the physical strength to work to earn the money necessary to pay off the debt. She met the prophet Elisha to get some advice. He gave instruction as to how God would meet the need. The need would not be met by human strategy but simple obedience to a “God-plan.” This was a plan that would totally fail if God did not come through. She was to take a pot of oil, that she had, and fill as many borrowed pots that she could. She then was to sell the oil and use the proceeds to pay off her debt. As many pots as she borrowed, God gave oil to fill. God fully met her need!
In 2 Chronicles 20 we find king Jehoshaphat in an impossible situation. The armies of Moab, Ammon and others were marching to invade Judah. As Jehoshaphat received the news, he and all of Judah began to fear and tremble. This enemy alliance would certainly crush them. By all human predictions, they were done. There was no hope. Jehoshaphat called the people of Judah to seek God by prayer and fasting. He prayed, “O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.” (2 Chronicles 20:12) Notice his complete reliance and dependence on God. Without God doing something God-sized, they were done! God told him that the battle would be the LORD’s. Long story short, they went out to battle and God fought for them. The end of the story is amazing! 2 Chronicles 20:27 “Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies.“
Here is the bottom line! God is bigger than every problem, enemy, fear, need, financial shortfall, circumstance, health issue, church need and all our own human limitations. God delights in proving his “bigness.” Trust Him to be as big in your situation as He has revealed Himself to be throughout the pages of the Bible.