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
- One Year Bible Group Plan
- My Utmost for His Highest 30 Day Group Plan
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
Echo Prayer App
When you stop to consider the events of this Wednesday about 2,000 years ago, it is mind-blowing that the creator and sustainer of life was put on trial by His own creation for sins He had not done. In the late hours of Wednesday, Jesus Christ was put on trial as a criminal. By Thursday He would be hanging on the cross. There he would take upon Himself the wrath of God for your sin and mine. While all Israel celebrated the passover in Jerusalem, just outside the city, on a hill called Golgotha, Jesus would become THE final passover lamb.
About a year ago, I preached a sermon series through the Gospel of Mark. I thought that I would share the sermons related to the events of the Passion Week beginning today. On this day, I encourage you to meditate on your Savior, Jesus Christ.
Wednesday—God on Trial (Keynote)
Thursday—Viewing Calvary (Keynote)
Sunday—His Resurrection calls us to Total Abandonment (Keynote)
Timeline of the Passion Week
“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.
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.
This year, at Grace Baptist Church, we are our learning our purpose and priorities. More than anything, we want to accomplish the purpose that Christ has given us to accomplish. In Matthew 28:18-20 says, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” This is a huge, monumental undertaking! However, as one man said, “Through God’s power, our faithfulness is always possible.” We have a purpose and we must faithfully engage in that purpose.
This past Vision Sunday, I was excited to reveal our public church purpose statement. Our purpose is to engage in the complete fulfillment of the Great Commission of Christ through the power of the Spirit to the glory of God.
During this first quarter of the year, I am preaching and teaching our priorities—how we will accomplish our purpose. I believe that accomplishing such a God-sized purpose requires that we plan and prioritize. You can listen to the message at our website, facebook or podcast.
What do you immediately think of when you hear the word “strength?” Perhaps you think of working out and building up muscle mass and endurance. Maybe you think about emotional strength found in a loving support system of friends. Some may equate strength as not showing any emotion in the midst of crisis. There are many concepts that come to mind.
I want to ask another question. Where does real strength come from? Would you consider and meditate on the thought that Daniel gives us?
Daniel 11:32 “…the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. “
Real strength comes from a personal relationship with God. A relationship that secures eternal life. One that bears you up through trials and distress. More yet, this strength enables you to do exploits, what seemed to be impossible before.
Let’s seek real strength in a daily, dynamic relationship with God.
In the wake of the ruling that has been passed down from the highest court in our land, I want to point attention to a biblical character that gives an excellent pattern for Bible believing Christians. Daniel was unashamedly a follower of the one true God. He openly loved Him and sought His guidance daily. Daniel was so open, that those who worked closely with him knew his habits of prayer. When the new law was handed down from the king saying that the citizen could only pray to the king and no other god, Daniel’s co-workers knew that he would continue to pray to the God of Heaven.
Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
Before we look at today’s ruling from the Supreme Court and bunker down, lets remember what Daniel did. He continued walking with God and seeking Him daily as he did aforetime. What do Bible believing Christ followers need to do today?
- Seek God
Don’t react publicly until you have sought God privately. Take time to pray today. Pray for God’s grace to stand and shine for Him. Pray for other believers to remain steadfast. Pray for our leaders to come to trust and follow Jesus. Pray for a revival of the fear of God in our country. You cannot go wrong in seeking the Supreme Ruler of All first.
- Share Jesus
Continue to witness for Christ. If you have not been an open witness, seek God’s forgiveness and begin right away. Jesus needs you to stand and shine for Him in the midst of spiritual darkness. Don’t allow fear and cultural trends to mute your witness for Jesus. He is the answer to all the chaos!
- Show Christ’s Love
As you witness, remember to speak the truth in love. Christ always showed compassion to those that were against Him. Let the love of Christ be most evident in your voice and eyes as you proclaim Jesus Christ. Remember, there is not a single person alive on planet earth that is beyond the reach of His love. Let Jesus love them through you.