Monday, December 27, 2010

Link to Bible Reading Plans

About two weeks ago, I linked some resources from a discussion based on the Thursday morning men's group, having read through David Platt's Radical.

Click here to go to that link and see the multiple links that will aid in your growth in 2011.

If I come across some additional Bible Reading Plans for 2011, I will do my best to post them here at this blog.

**By the way, Platt is finishing a new book entitled Radical Together. Pre-order it here.

Link to 'Almost Christian.'

Yesterday morning during the sermon I mentioned a book I was reading entitled Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church. The book was written by Kenda Creasy Dean.

You can link to it through here.

Discussion Questions from 12/26/2010 Sermon

Yesterday morning at WBC, we had a wonderfully full house for our 10:30 am (Day After) Christmas service. David led us in some Christmas hymns, we commissioned the team of 9 men heading to E. Asia this week, and Donna Smith sang 'O Holy Night.'

I preached from Matthew 1:18-25; 2:13-15; 2:19-23 and focused on Joseph's obedience. The title was "Trust and Obey for There's No Other Way to Be Happy In Jesus" (Or, "Delay to Obey, and You'll Be Sorry Some Day"). You can watch or listen to the message here later in the week.

Here are some discussion questions to think through:

1. Of the areas Matthew mentions Joseph's obedience, which one (from your perspective) seemed to be the hardest? Why do you think so?

2. What would have happened if Joseph had followed through with his original plan to 'divorce her quietly'?

3. What were some additional implications of Joseph's obedience (in other words, what else resulted from Joseph's obedience rather than the 'surface' benefits)?

4. What do these passages teach us about how to walk with God?

5. How is it that Joseph's obedience was influential in our salvation?

6. In what ways do you need to be obedient to the Lord in 2011?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Discussion Questions from Adoption Q and A Series Sermon #4

Yesterday I finished the "Adoption Q and A" Series with a focus on Jesus' Adoption. The title was "Was Jesus Really Adopted and Why Does It Matter?" You can watch or listen to the message here.

Of course, the answer to the question is an emphatic "YES!!!" Joseph did, indeed, adopt Jesus and bring Him into his family - making Him one of his very own.

Why does it matter? Yesterday, I offered five reasons:

1. The Messiah HAD to Come from the Line of David.
2 Samuel 7:12-16
Matthew 1:1, 6, 17 (See also Matthew 1:20)
Luke 4:31

2. Jesus as the “Son of David” Would Be Meaningless.
Matthew 9:27, 12:23, 15:22, 20:30-31, 21:9, 21:15, 22:42
Mark 10:47-48, 12:35
Luke 18:38-39

3. Jesus’ Adoption Implies His Having Come from Another Father.
Luke 1:26-35

4. Jesus’ Adoption Reminds Us of His Humanity and Growth as a Man.
Luke 2:40, 52

5. Jesus’ Willingness to Be Adopted Further Reveals The Extent of His Love for Mankind.
Philippians 2:5-11
Matthew 25:31-46

Here are some discussion questions to further help you understand/apply the truth(s) presented:

1. Had you ever wondered whether or not Jesus was adopted by Joseph?

2. Which of these five reasons regarding Jesus' adoption most surprised you?

3. Describe, in your own words, how Jesus' adoption demonstrates the reality that He was and is both 100% God and 100% man. What are some implications of this?

4. If Jesus came from the Kingly lineage of David and is, indeed, the promised Messiah - this means He is the everlasting King of the universe. What areas in your life need to be submitted to His kingly authority?

5. Read and meditate on Philippians 2:3-8 and Matthew 25:31-46. According to these texts, a person who follows Christ should diligently be doing what? How does your life demonstrate that Jesus' Spirit dwells within you?

6. Is God calling you to adopt?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How to Be Radically Intentional at a Christmas Gathering

Don Whitney has provided a very helpful list of questions to ask at a Christmas gathering. Great way(s) to be radically intentional with your family and friends this year!

Click here to read what he says about them.

Here are the questions:

What's the best thing that's happened to you since last Christmas?
What was your best Christmas ever? Why?
What's the most meaningful Christmas gift you've ever received?
What was the most appreciated Christmas gift you've ever given?
What was your favorite Christmas tradition as a child?
What is your favorite Christmas tradition now?
What do you do to try to keep Christ in Christmas?
Why do you think people started celebrating the birth of Jesus?
Do you think the birth of Jesus deserves such a nearly worldwide celebration?
Why do you think Jesus came to earth?

Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission by Darrin Patrick

Thursday morning Bible Study guys:

This morning I mentioned this book by Darrin Patrick. Click on the book itself and Amazon will allow you to 'Look Inside' at the Table of Contents and such.

Also, click here to watch Patrick talk about the importance of and need for godly men. What he says kind of sets the tone for the book.

Click here to read an interview with Patrick about the book.

Click here to view an on-line sampler of the book and some endorsements by leading evangelicals.

[All of the above links were posted by Justin Taylor at his blog 'Between Two Worlds.']
Let me know what you think!

Resources Discussed During Thursday's Men's Group

This morning, I had the privilege of wrapping up a study of David Platt's Radical with a group of about 20 guys. It was a great time of challenging one another with the biblical truths that David is so gifted at amplifying.

Chapter 9 concludes the book with a challenge not to just book the book on the shelf, but to actually do something 'radical' for a year. David challenges his readers to:

(1) Pray for the world.

(2) Read through the entire Word.

(3) Give sacrificially to a specific, church-based, Gospel-oriented cause.

(4) Spend your time on mission in another context.

(5) Be a part of a multiplying community.

I challenged the guys that met this morning to take this seriously, find some accountability, to pursue what was brought before us.

Here are some links of some of the things I suggested using the following resources through with these challenges:

Operation World

Click here to go to the web-site.

Click here to order the book.

Read more about Platt and the impact this book has had on his life here.

Bible reading plans...

Click here, here, or here (each of these are plans I linked from my blog last year).

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering - Click here to read and find out more about this all important offering.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Christmas Gift that Only My Blog Readers Would Appreciate

Today I received this T-shirt from a staff member just before evaluation time. I will let you guess which staff member it was.

Yesterday's Video (Link) and Quotes from Russell Moore and Margaret Sanger

During yesterday morning's worship service, we showed a video clip from Eric Ludy entitled "Depraved Indifference." Click here to watch the clip on You Tube.

I also quoted from Russell Moore, regarding his comment on Joseph's God ordained decision to go ahead and marry Mary.

From his book Adopted for Life:

“Joseph easily could have walked out to the city gates, shaking his head to his friends. ‘You’ll never believe the crazy dream I had last night.’ He no doubt would have denounced everywhere Herod’s pagan insanity in killing babies and toddlers. No one would have blamed him for putting aside his betrothal to Mary. In fact, he probably would have been praised at his funeral for his kindness in not calling for her to be stoned to death. Joseph could have married a pious Jewish woman, could have fathered several of his ‘own’ children. He could have slept easily at night, perhaps, and then died an old man. No one would have thought him to be evil or even negligent. But if he’d don’t that, he would have been standing with the spirit of antichrist rather than the Spirit of Christ. No one else was called to adopt this Christ-child, but he was. And because he believed his God, he obeyed him, even to his own hurt.”

I also quoted the chilling statement made by Planned Parenthood's founder Margaret Sanger (also taken from Moore's Adopted for Life):

"Adoption requires a person to devote time and resources to raising a child that is not genetically related. Adoption puts the future of a child in the control of a stranger. It’s easier for a woman to have an abortion, or for a family to refuse to think about adopting because evolution and biology conspire to thwart adoption. Evolution has programmed women to be nurturers of the children they bear, thus, adoption as a solution to abortion is a cruel hoax.”

Discussion Questions from Adoption Q and A Series Sermon #3

Yesterday morning, I was able to preach on the topic of spiritual warfare as it relates to adoption. The title was "If Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World, Why are there 147 Million Orphans? (The Fall, Satan, and Demonic Hatred of Little Babies)." You can listen to and/or watch the message here.

Some questions for further reflection:

1. How does Planned Parenthood exude the spirit of Satan in their agenda?

2. How might that same spirit permeate evangelical Christians and their outlook toward children? Toward orphans?

3. Of the Scriptures read and mentioned by Bro. Matt, which was the most compelling?

4. How did Joseph demonstrate the Spirit of Christ in his actions? How would doing the expected and convenient thing been Satanic in his case?

5. How did Jesus demonstrate His willingness to be 'inconvenienced' for the good and life of others?

6. What is your life most marked by: the Spirit of God or the spirit of Satan? Why do you answer the way you do?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Discussion Questions from Adoption Q and A Series Sermon #2

So sorry for the delay of these questions, but this has been a very busy week! This past Sunday, I preached the second in a series of messages on Adoption. The title of the message was, "Is Transracial Adoption Wrong? (Red and Yellow, Black and White - Are They Precious in Our Sight?"). You can watch and/or listen to the message here.

After you watch/listen to the message, ask these questions with yourself and others to further think through these truths:

1. Of the Scripture passages read or mentioned, which one (in your opinion) is the most convincing regarding God's plan for forming a group of people from around the world as a 'family'?

2. How might adopting a child of another race/ethnicity mirror the plan of God?

3. Are you okay with Jesus, the man you worship and have as an older brother, being Jewish? What if He were of African descent? What's the difference?

4. What are some ways society trumps what Scripture teaches regarding interracial adoption, families, etc.? What are some excuses you have heard as to why not to adopt of another race?

5. Why is it good news that God is not concerned with race or status or geographic location or religion, etc.?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Adoption, Race, and the Family of God

From Chapter 2 in Russell Moore's Adopted for Life:

"Our adoption means, though, that we find a different kind of unity. In Christ, we find Christ. We don't have our old identities based on race or class or life situation. The Spirit drives us from Babel to Pentecost, which is why 'the works of the flesh' Paul warns about include 'enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy' and so forth (Gal. 5:19-21). When we find our identity anywhere other than Christ, our churches will be made up of warring partisans rather than loving siblings. And we'll picture to the world an autopsied Body of Christ, with a little bit of Jesus for everyone, all on our own terms (1 Cor. 1:12-13).

What would it mean, though, if we took the radical notion of being brothers and sisters seriously? What would happen if your church saw an elderly woman no one would ever confuse with 'cool' on her knees at the front of the church praying with a body-pierced fifteen year-old anorexic girl? What would happen if your church saw a white millionaire corporate vice president being mentored by a Latino wage-earning janitor because both know the janitor is more mature in the things of Christ?

Here's where, I think the nub of hte whole issue lies. Adoption would become a priority in our churches if our churches themselves saw our brotherhood and sisterhood in the church itself rather than in our fleshly identities. For some Christians - maybe for you - it's hard to imagine how an African-American could love a white Ukrainian baby, how a Haitian teenager could call Swedish parents 'Mom' and 'Dad.' Of course that's hard to imagine, when so many of our churches can't even get over differences as trivial as musical style.

If we had fewer 'white' churches and 'black' churches, few 'blue-collar' churches and 'white collar' churches, maybe we'd see better what Jesus tells us when he says we've come into a new household with one Spirit, one Father, one Christ. In fact, maybe the reason we wonder whether 'adopted' children can 'really' be brothers and sisters is because we rarely see it displayed in our pews.

If this will ever happen, though, we have to learn to discover who we really are, together, as the adopted children of God. That isn't easy because our identity is constantly questioned-by our circumstances, by our consciences, by the accusing powers in the air around us."

Two Great Articles over at Desiring God

I would encourage anyone needing a challenge and some encouragement to read the following two articles posted at Desiring God during recent days:

1. An article by Michael Oh entitled "The Grace of God in Our Circumstances"

A portion of Oh's post:

"But even more important is the response of sharing spiritual blessing with the unreached peoples of the world. If you were born into a fundamentalist Islamic family what would you want Christians in America to do? If you were born into a family of a Shinto priest, how would you want Christians in America to respond? Knowing what you know today, certainly you would want them to share with you about eternal life through the Savior of the world Jesus Christ. Certainly you would want them to bring the Gospel to their nation and teach them about salvation for their souls and about eternal life. Certainly you would want churches and Christians in other nations to sacrifice financially to send missionaries to teach you the Bible, God's Word to this world."

2. An article by Paul Tripp entitled "The Shortest Distance Between Two Points"

Tripp's closing paragraph:

"So, David's prayer is an important request for all of us. All of us step off God's path in some way and all of us need restoring grace. Have you gotten off God’s straight path? Have you given yourself reason to take side-paths? How about praying, once again today, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path”? Thankfully, our Savior Guide doesn't leave us to our wandering. He relentlessly seeks us and places us back on His straight path and for that every son and daughter, still on the journey, should be deeply thankful."

New Book on Adoption Coming Out January 1, 2011

Click here to see the cover and read an excerpt from a new book called Reclaiming Adoption. Contributors include: Dan Cruver, John Piper, Scotty Smith, Jason Kovacs, and Rick Phillips.

A portion of chapter 1:

"I believe that a biblical understanding of God’s Fatherhood will cause us to be better able to look outside ourselves in service to others. If we are not confident of His love, our eyes will turn inward, and our primary concerns will be our needs, our lack, our disappointment, rather than the needs of those around us. As a result, we’ll be afraid to take risks or do the hard things even if they are necessary. Or we will do the externals of missional living as an attempt to earn God’s acceptance or to keep Him and our fellow-Christians off our backs. We will relate to Him as if we are wage-earners rather than as His dearly beloved children, the ones in whom He delights."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Great Resource on Adoption

This book by Russell Moore is by far the best book on Adoption that I have ever read.

I would strongly encourage you, whether you feel led to adopt or not, to get your hands on a copy of Adopted for Life and read it. It will enlighten you on the Scriptures and encourage and challenge your heart regarding the ministry of adoption.

Discussion Questions from "Adoption Q and A" Sermon #1

Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of beginning a 4 week series on adoption called "Adoption Q and A." My plan is to ask and answer the following 4 questions related to adoption:

November 28th, 2010 - "Why Should Believers Pursue Adoption"

December 5th, 2010 - "What About Transracial Adoption?"

December 12th, 2010 - "If God Loves the Little Children, Why are there 147 Million Orphans in the World?"

December 19th, 2010 - "Was Jesus Adopted and Why Does it Matter?"

Later today, you can watch and/or listen to yesterday's message here.

Below are some follow-up questions for your personal application and/or group discussion:

1. If you were asked whether or not you have been adopted, how would you respond? Why?

2. Of the following Scripture passages, which one(s) are the most compelling regarding your joyful obligation to care for the orphan? Why?

3. Bro. Matt gave three reasons why genuine believers in Jesus should pursue the ministry of adoption. Of the three reasons given, which was the most compelling? Why?

4. How did/do each member of the Trinity participate in your adoption as a child of God?

5. What are some truths about our spiritual adoption you learned from the sermon?

6. Based on the truth(s) presented in the message, how can Bro. Matt claim that every genuine believer MUST be passionate about adoption?

7. How is God leading you and your family to participate in the ministry of adoption?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Discussion Questions from 11/21/2010 Sermons at WBC

It was great to be back behind the WBC pulpit yesterday. Yesterday morning my aim was to motivate the Wynne Baptist body to give sacrificially to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

My text was Acts 20:35 where Paul quotes Jesus saying, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." You can watch or listen to the message here.

Some discussion questions to help you further apply the truth(s) of the message:

1. Would your spending reflect that you believe the truth that it is more blessed to give for Gospel causes around the world than it is to receive more for yourself?

2. What are some reasons Bro. Matt mentioned that make the need so imperative that Southern Baptists give sacrificially NOW to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering?

3. Of the four reasons Bro. Matt gave for why it is more blessed to give than to receive, which one of them spoke the loudest to your soul? Why?

4. Have you prayed about how much to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering? Would you be willing to give at least as much as you spend on Christmas gifts this year? How can you budget for 2011 to give even more this time next year?

On Sunday night, preached from Isaiah 54:1-8. The message was titled "Don't Waste the Gospel" and it ended the series through Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12; 54:1-8 (what I challenged WBC to memorize this year).

A few discussion questions for your application:

1. Of the four implications mentioned that result from one who trusts in the Gospel, which one do you most readily apply to your life? Why do you say that?

2. Which of the four implications do you most neglect (waste)? Why? What can you intentionally do to began applying it to your life today?

3. Which of the four implications thrills your soul the most? Why?

4. In verse 2, regarding evangelism and missions, God commands His people (through Isaiah) to "not hold back" in taking the Gospel to the world. What are some ways you can aggressively take the Gospel to the world? Be specific and dream big!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Discussion Questions from 11/07/2010 PM Sermon

Last night I had the wonderful privilege of wrapping up our annual Global Impact Conference. My goal was simple: To call WBC to "Kick it Up a Notch" in what we are doing for world missions and evangelization.

The message should be up later today here.

I read Romans 15:20-21; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:12-15; Hebrews 6:1; and John 17:18-20 to emphasize the point that genuine believers are never to "stay where they are" in their relationship with Jesus, but always be moving on to other levels of intimacy and devotion and Christlikeness.

Below is a summary of what I challenged everyone there to consider. My discussion question(s) is simply this: "Why not?"

Some of you have never been on a short-term international trip before. I want to call you, if you have never been, to commit tonight to go on one in 2011. Commit now to do that. God will show you where. God will direct you where. God will provide the resources to get you there.
Why Not?

Others of you have been on a short-term trip or two, but it has been a while. Perhaps you are thinking you have done your time and don’t need that anymore. I want to call you to think again. If it has been a while since you have been on a short-term international trip, can I call you tonight to commit to go again in 2011? God does unique things when you go overseas. He shows you His power beforehand by prompting your heart to go to a specific place. He shows you His power by providing for your financial needs. He shows you while you are there all that He is doing around the world. He shows you His power when you get back as to how He will use your testimony in others’ lives. Commit tonight to go in 2011, tell the Lord you will. Ask Him to show you where and how. He will do it.
Why not?

Still others of you have gone on at least one trip a year for the last several years. Before you commit to go on another trip, which is good, I want to call you to pray about whether or not God would have you serve long-term overseas somewhere. Seriously pray about it. Seriously seek the face of the Lord regarding it. Maybe a two-year stint. Maybe a four-year deal. Maybe the rest of your life. Move on to a deeper faith walk with Christ. There’s nothing wrong with going on another trip. I hope you will. But seriously seek the face and will of the Lord regarding your future. Where does He want you and your family to serve Him?
Why not?

Still others of you have sought the Lord and know that He has called you here, to this place, in Wynne, AR. But I still want to call you to a deeper faith walk with Christ, moving on from one degree of glory to another…
- Perhaps God wants you and your family to adopt a child internationally. Why not?

- Perhaps God wants you and your family to adopt a child here in the U.S. Why not?

- Perhaps God wants you and your family to open up your home to some foster children here in the U.S. who have no family? Why not?

- Perhaps God wants you to be intentional about building a relationship with a lost person in Wynne who you know needs Jesus? Why not?

- Perhaps God wants you to be intentional about building a relationship with a lost international in Wynne who you know needs Jesus?
Cambodians at Daylight Donuts?
Chinese Buddhists at Bin’s or China Express?
Spanish Catholics at Don Jose or Ameca?
Hindu Indians at Subway?
Islam Turks at the Gas Station here at the end of our street?
Japanese at businesses like Eakas?
Why not?

Still others in this room may not have the capacity to go or be as ‘radically’ intentional as you would like to be, but can send others and/or provide for others to be able to do this. All of us need to analyze our financial situation and ask how we can ‘kick it up a notch’ in our giving for the lost to know Christ.
- Some of you cannot go overseas, but can provide the means for some to go. Why not?
- Some of you cannot adopt a child, but can help provide financially for those who are. Why not?
- All of us can step up a notch toward our Lottie Moon giving compared to what we gave last year. Why not?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Two New GREAT Resources for Children and Families

Crossway has just introduced their new ESV "Seek and Find" Bible for Families and Children.

Click here for a description, video, and a sample PDF posted by Justin Taylor.

Also, Westminster books has recently released Long Story Short: Ten Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family Back to God. Click here to check out Justin Taylor's description and here to order it directly from Westminster books.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Platt on the New Edition of 'Operation World'

David Platt posts as a guest on Justin Taylor's blog today. His post deals with his excitement and recommendation of of the new edition of Operation World.

Click here to read what he has to say.

Al Mohler's Opinion of Yesterday's Election

Over on his blog, Al Mohler writes a very helpful article for evangelical Christians to help make sense of what happened yesterday in the United States and what to look for in the near future.

Click here to read the entire post.

His summary:

"Evangelicals tend to swing between extremes when it comes to politics and elections. We are too easily elated and too readily depressed. Make no mistake. The election results of 2010 will lead to big changes in Washington and far beyond. That in itself is good news. But all this must be put in a truly Christian context.

"Christians are supposed to be the people who know the dangers of investing either too much, or too little, confidence in the political system. The election is over. Now is the time for Christians to pray for those who were elected and for the government they will serve. Things are going to get interesting fast."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Operation World

Last night I mentioned Operation World as being for sale at our bookstore this weekend during Global Impact.

Click here and/or here to read more about it and/or order it.

Click here for other related items.

I highly, highly, highly recommend the book for your soul and for the glory of God around the world.

Links to Further Your Knowledge/Awareness of the Persecuted Church

Last night I led the church to pray for three different areas. I based the prayer time on 1 Timothy 2:1-6. After a time of thanking God for the fact that the city of Wynne allows and encourages us to worship on Sunday (morning's and evening's!), we spent some time praying for those around the world who are forbidden to worship in the open at the threat of their lives. I mentioned that I would post a couple of links to further your knowledge and awareness of the persecuted church. Below are a few:

Download the World Watch List

Discussion Questions from 10/31/2010 Morning Sermon

Yesterday morning I preached from Ephesians 6:10-20. The sermon was entitled "The Armor of God: The Original Under Armor." You can watch or listen to the sermon here later today.

In honor of Reformation Sunday, I made 9.5 Observations (instead of 95 theses!) from the text.

The observations were:

#1. The Context of Ephesians Warrants the Call to Fight.
#2. Prayer is the Closet Where the Armor is Put On.
#3. Successful Fighting Means Constantly Wearing.
#4. The Call Here is to be Standing Not to Just Stand.
#5. The Enemy is Much More Powerful than We Are.
#6. Paul Stresses the Whole Armor, Not Just Parts.
#7. The Order of the Armor is Intentional, Not Vital.
#8. The Pieces of the Armor are Intentional, Not Random.
#9.5. The Key to Enemy Endurance is Confidence in Gospel Truth and
Consumption of Gospel Implications.

Some questions to help your further understanding and application:

1. What were the three areas mentioned from the context of Ephesians that Satan loves to attack believers in?

2. Where is Satan currently attacking you the most?

3. Why are there no armor pieces mentioned for the back?

4. Why is the 'belt of truth' mentioned first and the 'sword of the Spirit' mentioned last?

5. What do you think Bro. Matt meant by prayer being the closet where the armor is put on?

6. Write out observation 9.5 in your own words and expound on what Bro. Matt meant by this.

7. Which observation ministered to you the most? Why?

8. Which area do you most need to focus on? Why?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Books Recommended Last Night

During the welcome of the evening service last night, I recommended two books to aid in preparation for our annual GIC.

The first book recommended was written by Thabiti Anyabwile. He, a former Muslim, wrote The Gospel for Muslims: An Encouragement to Share Christ with Confidence.

The second book recommended was written by Thom Rainer, current President and CEO of LifeWay. He authored the Unexpected Journey: Conversations with People who Turned from Other Beliefs to Jesus.

I plan to have these, along with numerous other titles, available at our GIC bookstore this year.

Discussion Questions from 10/24/2010 Sermons at WBC

In preparation for our annual Global Impact Conference, I preached out of John 12:20-26. The title of the sermon was, "Global Impact 2010, Reflecting Christ, and Revealing Ourselves." Click here to watch or listen to the message later today.

Some questions related to the message:

1. In your own words, how did Philip and Andrews question break open the heart and agenda of Christ? How will our GIC 2010 enable us to reveal the heart of Christ?

2. How will GIC 2010 afford us the opportunity to reveal our own hearts as they relate to the Gospel of Christ?

3. Have you pursued any of the 10 actions presented at the end of the message? Which ones? Which action do you most need to pursue?

They are:

1. Make it a point to be here Saturday night and Sunday – November 6th and 7th.
2. Ask the Lord to equip you to better understand and share with lost internationals.
3. Pray for the Lord to reveal to you ways you can be ‘radically intentional’ about sharing with lost internationals in the future.
4. Beg God to give you a deep, deep burden (His burden) for the lost.
5. Ask the Lord to show you exactly if/where He wants you to go on a short-term trip in 2011.
6. Ask the Lord if He wants you and your family to go overseas long-term.
7. Ask the Lord to direct you in how much money you will give so the Gospel can continue around the world.
8. Pray that God would send His Holy Spirit to work in us and in our hearts during GIC.
9. Pray for those coming to equip us to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God.
10. Be ready and willing to repent of any sin the Lord brings to the surface of your heart AND to embrace any new ‘missional’ direction He places in your path.

Last night, I preached from Isaiah 53:10-12. The title was "Why the Christian is NEVER Without Cause for Celebration." Click here to watch or listen later today.

Some questions for your application and/or celebration:

1. Who is ultimately responsible for killing Jesus and why is it important?

2. Of the 6 'implications' of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection mentioned from the text, which was your favorite? Why?

3. Which of the 6 do you most need to contemplate and pursue a deeper understanding of?

The six 'implications' are:

1. The resurrection guaranteed your becoming His child (10).

2. The LORD and His will ALWAYS Prospers (10).

3. No more sacrifice for sin is EVER needed (11).

4. Hearing and believing makes one righteous, period (11).

5. Satan and his demonic forces have been, are, and will always be defeated (12).

6. The resurrected Christ always intercedes for us sinners (12).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Russell Moore on "Is the Orphan My Neighbor?"

Great article here from Dr. Russell Moore on the call of God on believers to care for orphans.

An excerpt:

"Right now, there is a crisis of fatherlessness all around the world. Chances are, in your community, the foster care system is bulging with children, moving from home to home to home, with no rootedness or permanence in sight. Right now, as you read this, children are “aging out” of orphanages around the world. Many of them will spiral downward into the hopelessness of drug addiction, prostitution, or suicide. Children in the Third World are languishing in group-homes, because both parents have died from disease or have been slaughtered in war. The curse is afoot, and it leaves orphans in its wake.

"Not every Christian is called to adopt or to foster children. And not every family is equipped to serve every possible scenario of special needs that come along with particular children. Orphan care isn’t easy. Families who care for the least of these must count the cost, and be willing to offer up whatever sacrifice is needed to carry through with their commitments to the children who enter into their lives.

"But, while not all of us are called to adopt, the Christian Scriptures tell us that all of us are called to care “widows and orphans in their distress” (Jas. 1:27). All of us are to be conformed to the mission of our Father God, a mission that includes justice for the fatherless (Exod. 22:22; Deut. 10:18; Ps. 10:18; Prov. 23:10-11; Isa. 1:17; Jer. 7:6; Zech. 7:10). As we are conformed to the image of Christ, we share with him his welcoming of the oppressed, the abandoned, the marginalized; we recognize his face in the “least of these,” his little brother and sisters (Matt. 25:40)."

Oh may Dr. Moore's tribe increase!!!

If you haven't read his book Adopted for Life, I recommend it highly whether or not you are pursuing adoption. A GREAT read!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Interview with New NAMB President, Kevin Ezell

Baptist Twenty One recently conducted an interview with the newly elected President of the North American Mission Board (NAMB), Kevin Ezell.

You can listen to the interview here. I strongly encourage you to hear what he has to say and learn as much as you can about the direction of this Board and the future of our convention's involvement in intentional evangelism and church growth in our country.

Calling All Married Men!!!!

Brian Croft has an excellent post on how a married man can disciple his wife. Granted, the post is specifically for newly married men, but I think it is excellent for ANY married man nevertheless.

Click here to go straight to the post and to his blog. He writes specifically for pastors, but I believe this post in particular is helpful for all married men.

The post is copied below. I would love to hear how any guys out there disciple their wives in addition or in other ways than mentioned here. We can definitely be 'iron sharpening iron' together on this deal!

"I had a very encouraging meeting with a newly married man recently who was seeking counsel on how to faithfully disciple his new wife. We must as pastors get our newly married men in the church to see the spiritual care of their wives as their primary responsibility to establish patterns in their family that will last. So, here are a few things we talked about in our meeting that helped this newly married man know some practical ways how spiritually to care for his wife:

Pray with her for her out loud. Shockingly, one of the most difficult things for a man to do with his wife is pray with her, for her out loud. I still know pastors who struggle with this. A man will pray for his wife, but often not with her for her. An essential way to help married men spiritually care for their wives, which result in their wives feeling cared for is if we train them to pray, not just for their wives, but with them, for them, out loud for them to hear.

Read the passage preached last Sunday. Spend Monday and Tuesday with your wife reflecting back on the word that was preached the previous Sunday by reading the passage and talking about the sermon you both heard. It helps to be reminded of the truth preached and aids in the application of those truths throughout the week.

Read the passage being preached this Sunday. Starting mid-week, beginning to read together the passage that will be preached the upcoming Sunday. Read with your wife, have her ask questions, discuss the details of the text. It will better prepare you both to hear the word preached on Sunday.

Pray with her for others. Men will better spiritually care for their wives if they don’t just pray for their wives, but teach them how to pray for others. We best accomplish this in our church through our membership prayer guides which is a daily schedule to which every member gets prayed for in a month. Take a day in that schedule and each of you pray for those on that particular day. It will cultivate a meaningful prayer time together and remind you both of your responsibility to pray for others besides yourself.

Pastors, be deliberate to equip the men in your church how most effectively to shepherd their wives and children. It will be the start of a long-term agenda to create a discipleship culture that will spread to the entire congregation."

Quotes from Platt and Alcorn from Yesterday's AM Message

David Platt from Radical (by the way, not sure for how long, but this book is on sale at Amazon for $5.51):

“The gift of grace (at salvation) involves the gift of a new heart. New desires. New longings. For the first time, we want God. We see our need for Him, and we love Him. We seek after Him, and we find Him, and we discover that He is indeed the great reward of our salvation. We realize that we are saved not just to be forgiven of our sins or to be assured of our eternity in heaven, but we are saved to know God. So we yearn for Him. We want Him so much that we abandon everything else to experience Him. This is the only proper response to the revelation of God in the gospel.” (parenthesis mine)

Randy Alcorn from his chapter (chapter 16 - "Dethroning Money to Treasure Christ Above All) in For the Fame of God's Name.

“What will happen to the affluent person or society that doesn’t rectify its materialism? Physics tells us the answer. The greater the mass, the greater its gravitational pull. The more things we own – the greater their total mass – the more they grip us, hold us, set us in orbit around them. Finally, like a black hole, they mercilessly suck us into themselves, until we become indistinguishable from our things, surrendering ourselves to the gods we’ve idolized….

“When we gaze upon Christ and see Him as He is, and allow ourselves to be transformed into His image, we automatically adopt a giving mindset. Through generous giving, we establish a new orbit around Christ, our primary treasure, who promises us heaven’s secondary treasures of eternal reward. Only as we give can we escape the gravitational hold of money and possessions.”

(By the way: Alcorn's chapter on money is worth the price of the book in and of itself!)

Discussion Questions from 10/17/2010 Sermons at WBC

Yesterday I preached from Luke 20:45-47; 21:1-4 in the morning and Isaiah 53:7-9 in the evening. Later today, you can watch and/or listen to the messages here.

Sunday morning's message was entitled "Why Are You A Christian?" Below are some discussion questions to further your thinking on the text.

1. The message opened with a clip of President Barack Obama answering why he is a Christian. You can watch the clip here. What is your opinion of his answer? Would you add anything to it? Would you take anything away from his answer?

2. Write out or share with someone why you are a Christian?

3. I said in the message that, based on the text, there seem to be three ways we can evaluate ourselves to see if we are indeed authentic believers. What were they?

4. What evidence is there in your life that you have a new, genuine affection for God?

5. What evidence is there in your life that you have a new, genuine love for people and a desire for serving them?

6. What evidence is there in your life that you see money as something God has given you in order to be a blessing to others and something to give away so you can enjoy more of the presence of God?

7. How can the upcoming Christmas season and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering be a means by which you demonstrate your affections for money have shifted?

Sunday evening's message was entitled "Philip's Gospel Tract." Discussion questions for this message are below:

1. Read Acts 8:26-39. According to Luke, Philip used Isaiah 53:7-8 to present the good news to the Ethiopian eunuch. Write out how you might have taken the same verses to present the Gospel to an unbeliever.

2. How is it loving that Jesus never opened His mouth while He was being led to the cross?

3. What can the last two phrases in Isaiah 53:9 teach us about Jesus' perfect righteousness? Why is this so important?

4. In verse 8, Isaiah says that Jesus' generation didn't understand what was going on. What was it that didn't understand? How is it that understanding what was actually happening is actually the good news of the Gospel for us?

5. Do you believe that Jesus was silent on His way to the cross? (See Matthew 27:11-14) Do you believe the people present really did not understand what they were doing? (See Luke 23:34) Do you believe Jesus really was buried in a rich man's tomb? (See Matthew 27:57-61) Do you believe these things even though Isaiah prophesied about them 700 years before they actually happened?

6. If everything mentioned in #5 actually happened, could it be true that Jesus really did bear the sin and guilt and punishment we deserved for our sins?

7. How does this reality change your life? Your marriage? Your parenting? Your work ethic? Your passion? Your desires? Your life pursuits?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stop What You're Doing....

....and watch this video RIGHT NOW!

Click here.


Together for Adoption Conference Summary Notes

The Together for Adoption Web-Site has put together summaries of all the talks at the recent Together for Adoption conference.

Click here for a list and links of all the talks.

One of the messages, by J.D. Greear, spoke on "The Gospel and Church-Centered Orphan Care."

The summary notes of his message are below:

Think about all the stats about adoption and foster kids that we hear all the time. That is not a number. It is a number of individuals who are created in the image of God who have the same needs that we do. When we reduce it to numbers we grow numb to what is really is.

These are real people. We can’t forget that. It is easy for our churches to be social clubs and be served. It is easy for us to gather around those who are just like us with our same interests.

Why is that our churches are known more for political posturing than for laying down our lives for those who are broken and in need?If we understand our liberation we will pursue those who have not been liberated. We will lay down our “rights” and our lives for those who are needy and have not heard about this Jesus. Once you get this you will naturally pour our your life for those in need. This will be your trajectory.

Our lives are not our own. We have been rescued, thus we rescue. The sign of our message for Jesus is our laying down our lives for those in need who don’t know him yet. When was the last time you amazed someone who doesn’t know Jesus with your generosity? This is how the world will learn that we are for real. It’s all talk until we act. What makes the church grow? What makes a cynical society look with wonder at the church? Love on display is the ultimate apologetic. Adoption is different than going to the soup kitchen.

This is a life for lifelong. Only God can sustain you when you take on another’s life. God has placed in the church the power to rescue the fatherless.

The apostles saw Jesus feed the five thousand. Bible says he did this to test them to see if they knew what he would do. They failed the test. Jesus takes the bread and fish and makes a “Hebrew Happy Meal”. (Direct quote). This scene would be burned in their minds and they would have to know that they can’t handle all those situations they would face, but they would know that God takes what they give and does more than they ever thought possible.

It will be the same for us.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Connie's (My Mom) Blog

Okay, so I am not supposed to call my mom "Connie," but I wanted anyone who was interested to be aware of my mom's new blog.

It is called "The Proverbs 32 Woman" (you can read why on her blog) and if you click here it will take you right to it. Or, type

She really does a great job writing her thoughts of present and reflecting on her time while her and my dad served as IMB missionaries in Ecuador.

Fair warning: She is retired now, has some extra time to type, and thinks alot about her kids.

Discussion Questions from 10/10/2010 Sermons at WBC

Okay, so yesterday I just plain had fun preaching at WBC. I am so grateful to God for Him allowing me the privilege of preaching to such an incredible and hungry group of people. Thank you Lord for Your Word and for WBC!

I am going to take a bit different approach to the discussion questions today and (Lord willing) in the weeks ahead. Instead of asking various questions about the sermon itself, I am going to ask questions to better help you apply the truth(s) mentioned from the sermon. My goal is to help you better think through what was discussed and take the truth(s) a step farther rather than rehash what was already communicated. For the one or two of you who look at these (okay, maybe that number is a bit high!), let me know what you think.

Yesterday morning, I preached from Luke 20:27-44. The title of the message was "Knowing the Scriptures, Yet Limiting God." You can watch and/or listen to the message here.

Here are some discussion questions based on the message's truths and implications:

1. Can you identify a doctrine you believed to be true at one time, only to find out later how unbiblical it was? What was it? How did it impact (negatively) your life? How has the truth impacted (positively) your life?

2. What is your normal pattern/routine for personal Bible reading/study?

3. What are your goals as you go to a text of Scripture to read or study it?

4. How would the Sadduccees' and scribes' lives have been negatively impacted by not 'seeing' the truth in the Scriptures?

5. What are some practical things you can do to better comprehend the Scriptures?

6. How can one be considered worthy to attain the age of the resurrection of the dead?

7. Are you considered worthy? Why or why not?

Sunday night, I preached on one of the most beautiful passages throughout Scripture: Isaiah 53:4-6. The title of the message was, "Was Jesus Afflicted By God Or Not?" Again, you can watch and/or listen to it here.

A few discussion questions to aid your application and understanding:

1. Was Jesus afflicted by God or not?

2. Sunday night, I read this quote from Steve Chalke and Alan Mann's The Lost Message of Jesus:

"The fact is that the cross isn’t a form of cosmic child abuse—a vengeful Father, punishing his Son for an offence he has not even committed. Understandably, both people inside and outside of the Church have found this twisted version of events morally dubious and a huge barrier to faith. Deeper than that, however, is that such a concept stands in total contradiction to the statement: ‘God is love.’ If the cross is a personal act of violence perpetrated by God towards humankind but borne by his Son, then it makes a mockery of Jesus’ own teaching to love your enemies and to refuse to repay evil with evil (pages 182-183)."

According to Isaiah 53:4-6, what is wrong with this way of thinking?

3. Can you know for certain that you can be at peace with God because of this text in Isaiah 53? Are you at peace with God? If not, why not? If so, how do you know?

4. According to Isaiah 53:5, how is one healed from sin and its affects? Are you being healed of sin and its affects now? If not, why not? If so, how do you know?

5. How can the truths presented in this passage aid in your love towards your enemies? Is there anyone in your life you need to forgive? If so, why haven't you forgiven them yet?

6. Do you find hope in the fact that for those who are 'in Christ' (trust that Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection accomplished everything necessary for salvation, having endured all the punishment for sin), God is totally and completely for them? How does this truth change the way you view hardships? How does this truth change the way you view uncontrollable circumstances to your life?

7. How is it that the fact that God did afflict His Son is a demonstration of His love?

Monday, October 4, 2010

"THINK" - Desiring God National Conference

I am grateful for the ministry of Desiring God for numerous reasons. One being that they provide video and audio of their conferences almost immediately after each speaker has presented his material. Being that it is difficult for me to get to Minnesota every time they hold a conference, I am especially thankful that they post these things FOR FREE on their web-site.

Their National Conference was this past weekend and included some remarkable and anointed speakers. The title of the conference was "Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God."

You can click here to listen, watch, or download the audio to your Ipod. So far, I have listened to Rick Warren's message on the "Battle for the Mind" and John Piper's message on "The Love of God and the Life of the Mind." I commend them both to you VERY highly.

Piper also wrote a book that was released just prior to the conference entitled Think. You can get it here or here.


Discussion Questions from 10/03/2010 Sermons at WBC

Yesterday morning I preached from Luke 20:19-26. You can watch and/or listen to the message here later today. Below are a few discussion questions to aid in further understanding and application (assuming you have heard or listened to the message):

1. What made the spies' question so tricky?

2. Why was Jesus' response so brilliant?

3. Rewrite verse 25 in your own words?

4. Read Genesis 1:26, 28; Romans 13:1-7; and 1 Peter 2:13-17. What are some things that come to your mind as you read through these texts?

5. Personally, how does your submission to earthly authorities reflect your submission to God's authority? How are you doing at paying taxes with integrity? How are you doing at honoring the President of the United States? How are you doing at obeying the speed limit? How are you doing at submitting to your authority at work? At home? At school? Would the lost world get a glimpse of how submission to God looks if they were to watch how you submit to earthly authorities?

6. What does it reveal about your heart if you get upset about paying taxes, or look for ways to sinfully avoid paying taxes?

7. What did Jesus mean when He said, "Give to God what is God's"? Have you done that? Are you doing it now? How can you give to God what is His?

8. If, in the future, Christians are required to pay taxes to the U.S. government to fund abortions, what should we do?

Sunday night, I had the incredible privilege of preaching from Isaiah 53:1-3. Again, later today, you should be able to watch or listen to the message here. Assuming you have watched or listened to the message, below are discussion questions to further help you think through the truths presented:

1. Why does Isaiah ask the two questions he poses in verse 1?

2. Can you identify at least 10 'Awkward' descriptions of Jesus from verses 2-3? How do these descriptions make you feel? Does it help make more sense of His being treated the way He was treated when He walked the earth over 2,000 years ago?

3. What did Isaiah mean by 'believed' from verse 1? What did he mean by 'arm of the LORD'? What did he mean by 'reveal'?

4. Is it possible to see Jesus as the power of God for salvation on your own intellect? Why or why not (see Matthew 16:16-17; John 6:44, 66-70; 2 Corinthians 4:4, 6)?

5. How will the unregenerate world respond to this message (see 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5)?

6. How do you explain the fact that Jesus was a "man of sorrows" and "acquainted with grief" (see Isaiah 53:3) and yet is full of joy (see John 15:11 and 17:13)?

7. What is the ultimate reason Jesus was despised, rejected, and hated? Why is this good news?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

President Obama: "I'm a Christian by Choice"

Click below:

I would love feedback/comments from anyone on this. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Destructive Dangers of 'Open Theism'

Sunday morning, I briefly mentioned (note warning #1 in the message as I contemplated the 'danger' of misinterpreting Luke 20:13) a belief among some evangelicals that God does not know the future and is as ignorant as humans about the future. This doctrine (heretical as it is!) is called 'Open Theism.'

As part of my devotion this morning, I was reading a chapter out of John Piper's Life is a Vapor. The chapter dealt with Open Theism and its dangers. Desiring God has this chapter on-line for free and I commend it to you. Go there directly by clicking here.

Below is a very insightful paragraph from his meditation:

"Therefore, we may be so angry with Satan and with evil people (which is legitimate up to a point), that we fail to ask whether our anger reflects an excessive attachment to what we just lost. But if, contrary to Open Theism, we must reckon with the fact that God's wisdom is the ultimate reason we lost our treasure, then we will be forced to do the very valuable act of testing our hearts to see if we loved something on earth more than the wisdom of God."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall is in the Air

Check out these amazing pictures of the Fall season around the world.

Jonathan Edwards on God's Glory in Nature

"[T]he Son of God created the world for his very end, to communicate himself in an image of his own excellency. . . .

So that when we are delighted with flowery meadows and gentle breezes of wind, we may consider that we only see the emanations of the sweet benevolence of Jesus Christ; when we behold the fragrant rose and lily, we see his love and purity.

So the green trees and fields, and singing of birds, are the emanations of his infinite joy and benignity; the easiness and naturalness of trees and vines [are] shadows of his infinite beauty and loveliness; the crystal rivers and murmuring streams have the footsteps of his sweet grace and bounty.

When we behold the light and brightness of the sun, the golden edges of an evening cloud, or the beauteous bow, we behold the adumbrations of his glory and goodness; and the blue skies, of his mildness and gentleness.

There are also many things wherein we may behold his awful majesty: in the sun in his strength, in comets, in thunder, in the towering thunder clouds, in ragged rocks and the brows of mountains. That beauteous light with which the world is filled in a clear day is a lively 1shadow of his spotless holiness and happiness, and delight in communicating himself."

Theodoret of Cyrus on the Divine Providence of Varying Seasons of the Year

"The Creator did not just divide the circle of the year into two, giving us winter and summer simply. We do not go from one extreme to another without any intermediate stage. Instead, spring and autumn afford us a mean temperature between the icy cold and burning heat...

"An excessively wet, cold winter does not succeed a very dry, warm summer, but spring, which participates in the heat of one and the cold of the other, effects the best mixture of the extremes and taking in hand, so to speak, these contrary elements-the cold of winter and the heat of summer-brings complete enemies into friendly agreement. As a result, our transition from winter to summer is made without difficulty. In a short time we get away from the cold of winter and approach the heat of summer without experiencing any injury from the rapid transition...

"Likewise in changing from summer to winter, autumn intervenes to prevent us from reaching the extreme of winter all at once and also to temper the extremes of heat and cold, providing another mean temperature and conducting us to this extreme by easy stages. Such is the care of the Creator for us. And thus He makes the changes of the seasons pleasant as well as endurable for us."

Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus from On Divine Providence

Discussion Questions from 09/26/2010 Sermon at WBC

Yesterday morning I preached out of Luke 20:9-18 - "Is the LORD's Doing Marvelous in Your Eyes?" Later today, you will be able to watch or listen to the message here.

Here some questions to help you better understand and apply the truth(s) of the passage:

1. Who was the parable spoken to (see Luke 20:9; and also Luke 19:48, 20:1))? Why is this important?

2. Who was the parable about (see Luke 20:19)? Why is this significant?

3. Having listened to the message, now take a few minutes to read Acts 7:1-53. Rewrite Jesus' parable in Luke 20:9-18 in your own words (see See Acts 2:22-36; 3:11-26; 4:8-12; 5:29-32; 10:34-48; 13:26-43 for more help).

4. The religious leaders would have believed and claimed to worship and love and know the God of the Bible - the God of Abraham, Moses, David, etc. Do you think they really did? Why or why not?

5. Bro. Matt gave two clues indicating what he believed the religious leaders really worshipped. After you read Luke 20:14 and Luke 19:45-47, what do you think it was that was their god?

6. We also believe and claim to worship and love and know the God of the Bible. But is it possible that we allow money to prevent us from obeying the leadings and demands of Jesus?

7. If Jesus were to lead us to sell everything and give to the poor, what would we do? What about adopt internationally? What about spend less at Christmas so more could be given for the Gospel? What about taking our family on an international mission trip next year? What about setting a cap on our salary and give everything else away? What do we do when Jesus makes demands of our money and comfort and resources? Do we obey, or do we want Him out of our life - which is actually rejecting the very God we say we love and worship???

8. How can you know if you really are worshipping the God of the Bible and not just a 'god' of your own making?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Books Referenced Last Night

Last night, during the evening worship service at WBC, I referenced 4 different resources. Below I have linked them all to for anyone interested.

[Dever's New Testament Series is also a very good resource - The Message of the New Testament: Promises Kept]

The ESV Study Bible by Crossway Books

The MacArthur Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Books

Discussion Questions from 09/19/2010 Sermons at WBC

Yesterday morning I was back in Luke's Gospel - Luke 19:45-48; 20:1-8. The title of the message was, "When Jesus Has Had Enough." You can watch or listen to it here.

The message had two main points and two application questions. The applications questions asked during the service yesterday will be the discussion questions for today.

They were/are:

1. What would Jesus see about you and your life regarding your being a blessing to the nations of the world? In other words, is your life being used to bless the nations, or to bless yourself?

2. What do you know to be true about Jesus and His Authority that you refuse to humbly submit to? In other words, is there any area of your life that you know you are refusing to obey? What is it? What are you going to do about it?

A final point that I made to conclude the message was that Jesus NEVER has enough with those eager to hear and embrace Him as their only hope. Which leads me to a final discussion question related to this message:

"How open are you to receiving the things of Christ?" Would Jesus' answer about your receptivity be the same as yours?

Last night, I began a 7-part series through Isaiah 52:13-15; Isaiah 53:1-12; and Isaiah 54:1-8. These are the verses I am challenging WBC to memorize for 2010.

The title of the series is called "By His Stripes, We are Healed."

Last night I preached through Isaiah 52:13-15 in a sermon entitled "Was Isaiah Out of His Mind?" Go here to watch or listen to the message.

Here are a few discussion questions to further your understanding and application of the text.

1. Who is the servant Isaiah speaks about in 52:13? How do you know this? Why is it important?

2. Can you find some other references to Jesus throughout Isaiah? Where?

3. Restate/Rewrite verses 13, 14, and 15 of Isaiah 52 in your own words.

4. Of the three verses, which surprises you the most? Why?

5. Of the three verses, which is most encouraging to you? Why?

6. Why does verse 14 have to happen before the exaltation?

7. How has God ordained that this message of slaughter and exaltation get around the world?

8. What are you presently, proactively, and intentionally doing to communicate this message?