Sunday, June 27, 2010

Discussion Questions from 06/27/2010 Sermon at WBC

This morning I preached from Luke 17:11-19. The title was "Weren't The Other Nine Doing What They Were Supposed to Do?" You can watch or listen to it later this week here.

I am leaving for Zambia later this afternoon, so will not be preaching tonight or next Sunday, July 4th. I do, however, urge you to think through some of the implications of the text and message from today. Here are some questions for further thinking and consideration:

1. Why is it that this passage isn't primarily about thanksgiving?

2. Read 2 King 5:1-19. What are some parallels between the two passages?

3. Why do you think Luke alludes to a passage like the one in 2 Kings?

4. What does it mean that Jesus IS the Word of God (see John 1:1, 14)?

5. Does the healed leper who returns to Jesus disobey Jesus' command to go to the priest(s)? Why not?

6. What does it mean that Jesus is the final, ultimate High Priest?

7. What does it mean that Jesus healed 10 men of their disease, but only one of their eternal, sin problem?

8. The last thing Jesus says in this passage is, "Go your way, your faith has made you well." Whyt is that phrase so beautiful regarding eternal salvation and being right with God? How have you tried to 'be well' with God by your works? What do you find yourself doing that is an effort to 'get God on your good side'?

9. The one Jesus heals is a Samaritan. He obviously heals those that do not look like Him or like us (here in North American Arkansas!). What does that say about His heart to heal foreigners?

10. How does your life reveal that you love and want to see Jesus save and heal those who do not look like us? In what ways do things need to same? In what ways do you need to repent and aggressively and intentionally do some other things?

Fathers Who are Serious about Their God-Ordained Responsibility - Part V

Calling all Fathers!!!!

Okay, so I am sorry for the delay on this last one for anyone who noticed. I intended on doing it Friday, but... Then I intended on getting to it Saturday, but...

Please scroll down for Parts I, II, III, and IV of this series.

So here goes. The more I have thought about it, the more I want to say. There are literally thousands of ways to be 'radically intentional' about making disciples of Christ with and for your children ('to the glory of Jesus Christ'!).

  • You could sing with them - my kids LOVE the VBS the CD and sing it with them (or purchase some kids praise CD's and listen in the car).

  • You must let them see you read and love and cherish the Bible. This is one of the most profound impacts my dad has had on me - EVERY MORNING I saw him reading and loving the Bible!

  • You could watch sports with them (or other 'family-friendly' things) and talk through ways someone might or might not display godly, Christ-like character.

On and on the list could go. I leave you (for now) with two interrelated challenges for all dads:

(1) Carve out TIME with your children. Spend time with them. ALOT of time with them. No one has EVER said, 'man, I wish I had spent more time at the office rather than being at home with my family.' Someone may be at the office longer and/or later than you. Someone else may get the 'workaholic' award. Let them get it! You go and let your kids give you the 'best dad in the world' award!

(2) Practically live out Deuteronomy 6 with your family. Read it. Study it. Intentional think through ways you can talk with your kids throughout the day about the ways and purposes and things of God. Ask God for wisdom in doing this and to remind you to do this. He will hear and obey and honor the request. It's not JUST about taking them to church with you. It's not JUST about reading the Bible once a week with them. These things are important for sure. However, if they don't see how it plays out through your life (model the Gospel) and in conversation (talk about the implications of the Gospel), the other things just might become another ritual for them.

If you are saved and God has blessed you with children, He has empowered you already (see Ephesians 2:10) with the skills and tools and wisdom to obey Ephesians 6:4.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fathers Who are Serious about Their God-Ordained Responsibility - Part IV

Calling All Dads!!!!

Another way dads can fulfill their responsibility to obey Ephesians 6:4 is to visit this web-site and share with their kids a different unreached people group and pray for God to work in that area.

Global Prayer Digest is a web-site designed to have the church pray for a different unreached people group every day of the year.

Here is an example from today's prayer topic:

Lematang People
by GC

“Aanjay, there are jobs in the city!” Matius announced. “This could be a chance to build our own future.” When they married, the Lematang custom required Matius (his name meaning “gift of God”) to move into his wife’s home. That would have been okay except that Aanjay’s older sister already had precedence. So Matius and Aanjay discussed how they could build their own future together. Matius had learned of a company exploring for oil and natural gas in an area within the traditional Lematang lands of southern Sumatra. “This could be our chance,” Aanjay agreed. The young couple began to make plans to get jobs with the company.
Generally, the Lematangs live as a community. Their houses face the roadway, which encourages people to visit with each other. Agriculture serves as their primary income and employment. Leaving the home village is rare, but acceptable. Even in another location they remain part of the group. When Matius and Aanjay move to the city, the people of their village will expect them to return for community activities and group decisions. Even if they leave Sunni Islam to follow Christ, they could still visit their home, but they would no longer be members of the community.

Pray that Christ-followers would heed God’s call to give out His Word to people working in the new industries coming to Sumatra. Pray that God would reveal His ultimate gift to the Lematang people.

Also, with each day's prayer topic, GPD offers a daily devotional you might want to share with your children as well.

Dads, this is just another easy and simple way to help your children know of the needs around the world and get them on God's agenda in praying for the world to turn to Christ and give Him the glory that is due His awesome name!

For your own personal devotion, dads, I encourage you to read Luke 10:2 and think about how God may use you (as you fulfill your God-given obligation) to pray with and for your children to go into the harvest field.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Two Wonderfully Done Adoption Videos

Get your kleenex ready...I'm just sayin'.

Fathers Who are Serious about Their God-Ordained Responsibility - Part III

Calling All Fathers!!!!

This is the third of a five-part post on how fathers can practically do Ephesians 6:4 and bring their children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Part I is here and Part II here.

Another intentional action fathers can take with their children is to either (1) ask their children about what they learned in Sunday School; and/or (2) talk with them about some of the points of Sunday's sermon. [This is assuming that fathers are taking their children to church on Sundays...if not, dads, start by doing that!!!!]. Much curriculum that comes through WBC includes a information sheet for parents that aids in prompting further discussions with their kids about what they learned while they were in church. If your child is old enough to participate in a Sunday morning/evening worship service, take notes during the message and jot down good questions in the margins that you can ask your child later. This allows you, dad, to (a) intentionally pay attention to the message; (b) let your child see that you take the message from the Word of God seriously; and (c) prepare for instructing your child spiritually all at the same time! Depending on the age of your child, perhaps challenge them to take notes during the message and jot down questions they have for you as they think through what the Bible passage is teaching.

Another thought, that goes along with this, is to talk to your children each afternoon/evening of Vacation Bible School about the Bible lesson for the day. Ask them what they learned and help walk them back through the story for the day. This will help solidify what they have already heard that morning and allow you to talk through some implications with them on a more personal level.

Again, dads, this doesn't take much effort AT ALL. It just requires us being radically intentional about seizing God-given and already available opportunities to further our children along in the things and ways of God.

For your own personal growth: Read Ephesians 6:1-4 and jot down in your own words what your job is (as a father). Ask yourself, "Since this primary way God has designed for my child to grow spiritually, what needs to be adjusted or rearranged in my life to make this a priority?"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Two Recommended Books from Sunday's Sermon

Sunday morning, in my message to fathers, I recommended two books for men/husbands/fathers.

The first was The Masculine Mandate:God's Calling to Men by Richard D. Phillips

Mohler on Manhood and Fathers

Yesterday, Al Mohler did a radio program on the necessity of fathers. You can listen and/or download it here.

The blurb from his web-site:

"'Are Fathers Necessary?' This is the question posed by Pamela Paul in her latest article in The Atlantic. Relevant data demonstrates that Ms. Paul is not the only person asking this question. Largely marginalized by the culture, the importance of Fatherhood is now being questioned more and more widely. On today’s program, Dr. Mohler discusses this trend and calls Christians to ensure their thinking about Fatherhood is in accord with the Word of God."

Today, he posted an article on manhood that serious Christians need to take a look at. You can read it here.

His conclusion:

"For Christians, the importance of this article is even greater. God intended for men to have a role as workers, reflecting God’s own image in their vocation. The most important issue here it not the gains made by women, but the displacement of men. This has undeniable consequences for these men and for everyone who loves and depends on them.

"The failure of boys to strive for educational attainment is a sign of looming disaster. Almost anyone who works with youth and young adults will tell you that, as a rule, boys are simply not growing up as fast as girls. This means that their transition to manhood is stunted, delayed, and often incomplete. Meanwhile, the women are moving on.

"What does it mean for large sectors of our society to become virtual matriarchies? How do we prepare the church to deal with such a world while maintaining biblical models of manhood and womanhood?

"The elites are awakening to the fact that these vast changes point to a very different future. Christians had better know that matters far more important than economics are at stake. These trends represent nothing less than a collapse of male responsibility, leadership, and expectations. The real issue here is not the end of men, but the disappearance of manhood."

Fathers Who are Serious about Their God-Ordained Responsibility - Part II

Calling All Dads!!!!

Yesterday I mentioned a brief and simple way to get started getting in the Word with your kids.

Today let me offer another very easy and simple suggestion that will help bring your children up in the ways and purposes of the Lord.

Ask them once or twice a week (or more!) how you can pray for them? Once they respond, then say a quick prayer for them regarding what they mentioned. That's it! A quick and simple way to get in their world, spiritually, and point them to God. You might want to do this after your family worship time (see yesterday's post), or just random times throughout the week (before bed, in the morning before they go to school, after supper, before an event/activity in which they are involved, etc.).

What this will do is it will (1) let them know you care for them and want to take their requests to God; (2) hear you pray for them...thus have a model for them in prayer; (3) allow them to see how God answers the prayers you pray; (4) perhaps open a door for dialogue about some things your child is working through; (5) perhaps give you an opportunity to pray a biblical truth that you have discussed with your child for them in a particular situation.

All of this (and probably much more!) can happen with a simple question: "How can I pray for you?" It's just a matter of intentionally doing it. So, get busy praying for/with your kids!!!

I also encourage you today to read the first couple of chapters of the book of Proverbs and jot down some things you from the text regarding the parents' responsibility in educating their children spiritually.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Get Platt's 'Radical' for $2.49!!!!

For the next 72 hours, is offering David Platt's Radical for only $2.49.

Click here to go directly to the link.

Through July 2nd, they are offering virtually all of their audio books for $7.49.

Get a hard copy of Radical here.

Fathers Who are Serious about Their God-Ordained Responsibility - Part I

Calling All Fathers!!!!!!

Yesterday morning at WBC, I preached to fathers for the first half of the message. Basically, all I did was call all of us who are dad's to repent of our failure of and commit to fulfilling our God-given responsibility to lead our families in the things of the Lord. See Ephesians 6:1-4 and Colossians 3:20-21.

Every day this week (Monday -Friday), I plan to help dads be practical in carrying this out and fulfilling what they committed to the Lord yesterday during the service.

For today, let me just begin this series of posts by urging dads not to think this is something that requires hours each day to do and a seminary degree to be able to pull off. It doesn't It requires intentional planning and obedience, but it really doesn't take that much time.

If you have never led out in a time of 'Family Worship' with your family, I would suggest starting something one night a week. You choose what is the best time for you and your family. It might be immediately after supper. It might be right before bed. It might be in the morning before, during, or after breakfast. But start with choosing a time and aim for about 10 minutes.

Once you have done that, one idea would be to either read a chapter of The Jesus Storybook Bible if you have smaller children (older children will love it too!); or read a different Proverb each week if you have older children. After you read, perhaps ask a question like, "what stuck out to you as I read?" and let them talk.

Don't make it more difficult than it is. Keep it simple, just take the initiative and do it!

I will type more tomorrow, but for now, read Deuteronomy 6 and jot down what responsibilities you are given as a dad and think through how that could work out practically in your life and in your home and family.

Discussion Questions from 06/20/2010 Sermon at WBC

Yesterday morning I did something a bit different from the norm. I preached two sermons in one and I took a break from Luke's Gospel. Being that it was Father's Day, I wanted to address fathers and being that we were beginning the process to nominate deacons for the upcoming rotation, I wanted to challenge the congregation to look for a particular kind of man to serve the next 3-year rotation.

You can watch/listen to the message here later in the week (be's VBS week here at WBC!).

The Scripture references used to challenge fathers were Ephesians 6:1-4 and Colossians 3:20-21. The one I used to address the kind of deacon to look for was Acts 6:1-7.

Here are some discussion questions to further the application in your own heart/life:

1. Why do you think Paul highlights fathers as being the ones to lead out in bringing their children up in the ways of the Lord?

2. Did you have a father who led you and your family in the ways and instruction of the Lord? What did he do?

3. What are some ways you can improve on this with your own family?

(See blog posts this week: "Fathers Who are Serious about Their God-Ordained Responsibility")

4. How was it that the church in the book of Acts was able to continue to experience growth despite obvious issues?

5. Have you prayed for whom God might have you nominate? Is he a man who meets the biblical qualifications (see Acts 6:1-7 and 1 Timothy 3:8-13) AND who is willing to 'think outside the traditional church box' in order to make disciples?

A MUST Read from Jerry Rankin!!!!

Jerry Rankin posted an article this morning that gets at the heart/root of the matter relating to what happened last week at the SBC in Orlando. You can read the entire article here. I urge you to do so. Below are some strong quotes from the article that I want to highlight here:

"All afternoon messengers to the SBC attentively followed the debate, passionately concerned about the outcome of recommendations by the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force. It was the highest attendance in eight years and a clear majority endorsed changes that should enable us to impact lostness across America and around the world.
"Yet, that night as the time for the IMB report approached it seemed that half the convention center exited. Did they really not care to hear what was being done to reach unengaged people groups and celebrate the impressive response to the gospel being seen overseas? Are they unconcerned about what their missionaries are doing as they go out on their behalf to labor in threatening and hostile areas to fulfill the Great Commission? The next night’s attendance of those hearing the North American Mission Board report was the sparsest crowd of any session.
"Was all our discussion and emotional dialogue about the priority of the Great Commission just rhetoric? It was often stated that everyone is for the Great Commission. There may be disagreement about how we should do it and to what extent changing structure and processes can help us make progress in the task, but is our commitment just in principle and doesn’t really represent the focus and concern of our lives?"

And again....

"Much of our debate centered around concern that Great Commission giving would undercut CP as if we were blind to fact it is already being eroded. I was distraught to hear strong support for deferring these actions in order to study the impact it would have on our programs and entities. It would have been one thing to advocate further study to discover how we could accelerate reaching lostness, but to be more concerned about OURSELVES and OUR PROGRAMS…! During the next year more than 20 million people among 6,000 unreached people groups will die and go to hell while we act out of concern that we may not be able to continue our programs. God help us."

"No, whether or not we have a Great Commission Resurgence won’t happen as a result of the vote last week in Orlando. It will be determined as churches gather for budget planning this fall. It will be decided by people in the pew deciding to be faithful stewards. It will happen when we have a church membership who have done more than just take comfort in having escaped the penalty of hell themselves, but their lives are so transformed by the unmerited grace of God they will be sharing it throughout their community and finding ways to lead their church to be involved in taking the gospel across North America and the world." (emphasis mine)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Report and SBC Resolutions

Tonight during WBC's regularly scheduled quarterly business meeeting, I spoke to what took place at the Southern Baptist Convention in Orlando, FL this past week.

One of the main items up for discussion was the Great Commission Resurgence.

The recommendations (along with their full report) voted on by the convention this week can be read and/or watched here.

The resolutions voted on and approved by the convention can be found here.

You can read about the new SBC President, Bryant Wright here, here, and here at his church's web-site.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ronnie Floyd's Final Word on the Week's Passing of the GCR

You can read the whole article he posted here.

His challenge(s) to the convention now that it passed:

"The Southern Baptist Convention has issued the final word - they affirmed the GCR recommendations overwhelmingly. The SBC entities will now begin to implement the will of the convention. We must pray for them. The Convention was clear - let’s make the changes as recommended, and we must present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and make disciples of all th
e nations. The Holy Spirit of God is our power to see this vision fulfilled. It is time for us to come together in love for the sake of the Gospel."

And again,

"Let’s take the challenges in the report and personalize them into our lives, our families, our churches, our state conventions, and our SBC entities. It starts with me. It starts with you. Show your church the GCR five-minute video on a Sunday morning. It will challenge them."

Father's Day Special At!!!

Right now, through Father's Day, has Don Whitney's Family Worship available for download for only $2.49!!!!

Click here and, when prompted, type in FATHERS610 to receive the special rate/discount.

Whitney's work is very solid and a good practical guide for father's who aim to intentionally lead their families spiritually.

In addition, is currently having their twice-yearly sale on all of their resources. You can download virtually all of their books for $7.49 until July 2nd!!!!

And don't forget that each month offers a free download. This month is Francis Chan's Forgotten God.

Click here and get to reading... I mean listening!!!

Reflections on the Southern Baptist Convention

A few key leaders from the SBC have written some good summaries and challenges related to the recent Southern Baptist Convention meeting held in Orlando, FL. Below are the links to the articles and a blurb or two from each.

Jerry Rankin (current President of the IMB...retiring end of next month) - "The Morning After"

His concluding paragraphs are intriguing:

"We still have a long way to go, but new values and a renewed vision have been indicated. The election of Bryant Wright as president defied the usual CP litmus test of candidates. All the candidates had a passionate commitment to missions, but a president was chosen who actually started a church that has grown to mega-proportions, an innovator who has been willing to challenge traditional methods, and one who is not intimidated about bucking the system if it reaches people who need Jesus.
"Prayers and support for the Great Commission Resurgence have been evident. The unified and courageous recommendations of the task force and the gracious but passionate leadership of Johnny Hunt has brought us to the precipice of a new future. But voting for the GCR has by no means produced a resurgence of anything. It remains for our prayers and commitment to be devoted to the implementation that must follow."

A portion (relating to the GCR):

"But passing these resolutions is a symbolic statement that we recognize that local churches are going to exercise increasing discretion in how and where they give, and that Convention structures are going to have to adjust to that new reality. Please note that our passing of this resolution did not create that kind of “independent” giving, we simply recognized it. The reality is that in the flat world we live in, churches are going to increasingly give to things they know about and can be more personally involved in. If the SBC refuses to recognize that, we will find that the amount of churches engaging in the Convention is going to rapidly decrease. We’ll spend every Convention hearing various institutions argue about how to get larger pieces of a shrinking pie. Some (who were well-meaning) tried to argue that sanctioning this type of designated giving will destroy the SBC, which is built on cooperative, undesignated giving. Quite the contrary, I believe..."

The Florida Baptist Witness is a wonderful (in my opinion) resource for unbiased news stories that happen around the SBC. This week they, of course, posted some helpful articles summarizing the events surrounding the convention:

Click here for a listing of their specialized reporting on the convention.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Discussion Questions from 06/13/2010 Sermon at WBC

Yesterday morning I preached from Luke 17:1-10. The title was, "Fighting and Forgiving Sin: Rudimentary Christianity." You can watch or listen to it here (hopefully later today, there have been some technical difficulties Lisa Love is currently working on).

Here are some discussion/evaluation questions to help you think through and apply these words from God Himself:

1. Read through Luke 17:1-10 without the headings above particular passages (in other words, read it as if it had no headings, just straight through, verses 1-10). Now, go back and rewrite what you think is going on in your own words.

2. Why did Jesus not tell them how to have 'more' faith when they asked for it in verse 5?

3. What was Jesus' point in telling them that if they only had faith the size of a mustard seed then miracles would happen?

4. Was Jesus being mean and promoting rude manners in verses 7-10? If not, then what was He communicating? How do verses 7-10 mesh with Jesus reply to their request for more faith in verses 5-6?

5. If fighting sin in your own life and actively helping a brother or sister repent of sin in their lives and forgiving those who hurt you unconditionally are 'natural' effects of following Jesus, could you consider yourself a Christ follower?

6. If feeding your soul on the Gospel (believing in, embracing, trusting in the truths of what God has done, is doing, and will do for you in Christ) is the key to fighting sin and forgiving people, can you see a direct connection between your practice of each (in other words, can you see a direct connection between your feeding on the Gospel and your fighting sin/forgiving people?)?

7. What sin is present in your life that you need to fight today?

8. Is there anyone in your life you know needs to be confronted (lovingly and humbly...go back to number 7!) and urged to repent of their sin? Do you have someone in your life whom you will allow to confront you and check you on sins you may be blind to in your own life? Who can you ask to do that?

9. Is there any unforgiveness in your heart toward someone? How can reflecting on the Gospel help bring deep rooted change in your heart toward that person?

10. Read this article by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Dwell on option #4 in her article. How can what she prescribes help you in your relationships today?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Recommended Books from E-Family June 9th, 2010

Last night, I recommended several books for parents who want to be 'radically intentional' about making disciples of Jesus under their own roof.

Here are the titles, with links to

**If you do not have this one, get it first!!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

E-Family Case Studies - June 9th, 2010

The topic for tonight's E-family teaching was "Christians and Sports." The aim was to help parents and their children think together on how they can both be a Christian and think biblically while participating in sports.

To further think through and apply some of the principles we learned tonight, I want to encourage parents and children together to examine two separate case studies from sporting events in the news.

Below you will see links to two articles. Parents, I encourage you to read one article, then answer the discussion questions with your children. Then, read the second article and answer the same questions. The first case study is a positive example to think through with your children, and the second is a negative example.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are some of the positive/negative character traits demonstrated in this story?

2. Would Jesus be pleased and honored by this behavior? Why or why not?

3. What would I have done if I had been the player?

4. How would I, as a player, talked to my coach/manager about the situation?

5. How could I demonstrate that what ultimately matters is not sports, but the glory and worship of God?

6. Can Jesus forgive the one(s) who did wrong in this story? How do you know?

7. Can Jesus forgive you of times you haven't behaved in a proper manner?

Another interesting link is here where Albert Pujols apparently gives a child a bat for getting hit off of one of his home runs. What can Pujols' character teach children?

Also, click here for some additional evaluation questions for parents/children to ask themselves regarding sports and its relationship to Christianity.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Discussion Questions from 06/06/2010 Sermon at WBC

Due to being out of town this past Sunday morning, I only preached once at WBC. I preached the Sunday night service, continuing the summer series entitled "Lord, Teach Us to Pray."

My text was Ephesians 3:14-21. You can watch and/or listen to the message, and download the outline here (link should be up soon...Jeff Gibson preached the morning services).

Here are a few discussion questions to help you think through/apply the message further:

1. For what reason does Paul bow his knees to the Father and pray (see Ephesians 2:11ff, especially 2:19-21).

2. What is the first request Paul makes on behalf of the Ephesians?

3. Why does Paul ask this of God?

4. What is the second request Paul makes on behalf of the Ephesians?

5. Why does Paul ask this of God?

6. How would your life be different if you genuinely and supernaturally grasped the reality that Christ Jesus dwells in your heart? Or if you believed you were and/or could be filled with all the fullness of God?

7. What does this teach us about what is the right way to be motivated to obey God?

8. How can you know for certain that God is committed to answering this prayer?

9. Who are five different people you can pray these things for each day this week?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Helps for Parents from the Al Mohler Radio Program

Last week, Dr. Mohler talked about Parental Authority on his radio program. Click here to listen and/or download.

Tuesday, he talked about how parents can help prepare their children financially when it is time for them to 'lauch' into the world. Click here to listen and/or download.

Two Great Articles Today at Baptist Twenty One

J.D. Greear writes to young Southern Baptists who care about reaching the world but not so sure about the Convention. His article is here.

At one place, he writes:

"I have chosen, and our church has chosen, to remain an active part of the SBC. I have served on the Great Commission Task Force (GCRTF) for the past year, working at the request of the President to dream about strategies for greater missional effectiveness for our Convention. For me, this has had, and has, nothing to do with saving a Convention. God may or may not choose to use and preserve the SBC in the future. The SBC is merely a tool that God has used to assist His churches in accomplishing the Great Commission. The “tool” for the task is not the point, the task itself is, and if the tool ever gets in the way of the task, we should discard the tool and pursue the task. But I believe that there are some things about the SBC that are very strategic in this day and hour for the forward progress of the Great Commission, and I believe that it would be both unhelpful and unwise to walk away from it yet. So all this, for me, is about the Great Commission, and us together getting it accomplished in the world."

Greear closes with this challenge:

"So, to my younger Southern Baptist friends, this is why you need to come to Orlando. You need to affirm this movement in our Convention toward the priority of church planting and the centrality of the local church. This is an historic hour.

"My heart is full of confidence. God did something 20 years ago in the Southern Baptist Convention that was almost unheard of and has no counterpart in American religious history: He brought us back from the swamp of liberalism. The conservative resurgence was, in every way, a move of God. I cannot believe that He did that just to let us die in the wilderness of missional ineffectiveness. What God starts, He is always willing to finish. The naysayers have already prophesied the doom of our Convention—just like they did in Nehemiah’s day, in Jesus’ day, and in the early church. But they were wrong then, and they are wrong now.

"But we need your help. Do not commit the sin of Meroz, whose tribe was cursed because he did not come “to the help of the Lord” when the battle was being fought (Judges 5:23). I’d urge you not to be caught on the sidelines in this strategic hour of battle.

"Please, let’s be together in this movement in Orlando.

"So there it is… To our church planting teams in Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Africa… this is for you guys. We’re expecting great things from God, and attempting great things for Him. Believe together with us, OK?"

Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! I say again, "May his tribe increase!"

Bio of David Platt who will be on the Baptist Twenty-One panel at the SBC next week. Here.

And yes, I am signed up for panel and plan to take in all of it.

The GCR In a Nutshell by Trevin Wax

For anyone who is interested in what is going on in the Southern Baptist world and what will be the main agenda at the SBC next week (in my opinion) at the Convention in Orlando, Trevin Wax has put together a helpful piece summarizing the main points and key factors involved in the discussion/debate.

Click here to read his helpful summary.

His conclusion:

"At the fundamental level, the GCR Task Force recommendations are about how we can best cooperate in pushing back lostness. Some of the recommendations are missional; others are about SBC culture. Some are about ministry priorities; others are about stewardship and structure. Regardless of one’s point of view, it is our Christian duty to assume the best in our brothers and sisters, seeing in each another the sincere desire for Southern Baptists to be good stewards of God’s money."

Two Interesting and Helpful Summer Reading Book Lists

Al Mohler and Christianity Today have provided lists for those interested in being intentional about reading over the summer.

I strongly encourage anyone reading this blog to turn off the TV this summer, find a bottle of water, sit outside in some shade, and curl up with one or more of the books from these lists.

Don't Waste Your Summer!

Here is Dr. Mohler's list (more 'secular biography' in nature).

Here is the list from Christianity Today (more theological in nature).

Download Francis Chan's 'Forgotten God' for Free!

This month, Christian Audio's free download of the month is Francis Chan's Forgotten God.

Click here and follow instructions. Put the code "JUN2010" in the coupon code box.

Click here to get the print version from Amazon.

Thank you Christian Audio!

Discussion Questions from 05/30/2010 Sermons at WBC

This past Sunday, May 30th, WBC observed the Lord's Supper in the morning two services, and continued our series "Lord, Teach Us to Pray" in the evening service.

Sunday morning, I stayed with Luke's Gospel and made the connection with how observing the Lord's Supper helps us obey what Jesus says in Luke 17:1-4 (in particular, verses 3-4).

You can watch and/or listen to the message here.

Some questions to aid in further application and understanding:

1. What are the three main commands Jesus gives in Luke 17:3-4?

2. Why does Jesus seem to be so adamant that his followers 'pay attention to themselves'? See verse 1.

3. What does verse 2 reveal about what Jesus thinks of sin? Are there any actions or things you allow that might be causing 'little ones' to sin?

4. What is your personal strategy to fight sin for the summer?

5. Are there any brothers or sisters (in the Lord) that need to be lovingly rebuked by you in the hopes that they might repent? How well are you doing at receiving loving rebukes from fellow believers? Do you have someone(s) in your life that can be this for you?

6. What was Jesus' point about forgiveness in verse 4?

7. How can observing the Lord's Supper aid with each of these commands? How is it that, in reality, on the Gospel can bring about true obedience to these shocking commands?

Sunday night, I continued the message on prayer from Ephesians 1:15-23. You can view or listen here.

Some questions to aid in your applying and understanding this text:

1. Read Ephesians 1:1-14. What is the main purpose of God in doing what He does for us (see verses 6, 12, and 14)? What is the connection between God's ultimate purpose in our lives and Paul's prayer in verses 15-23?

2. What are the two main requests in the text? (See verses 17 and 18)

3. What does Paul praying these things for believers imply about our need? (In other words, how will getting wisdom and revelation and hope and power actually come?)

4. Why does Paul pray that the Ephesians have a spirit of wisdom and revelation?

5. What does having a heart that understands the hope that awaits do for a soul?

6. Meditate on the 'power' verses in Ephesians 1 (verses 19-21). What do you think Paul is getting at when he speaks of resurrection power and 'all-authority' power?

7. Why does Paul close the section out with a word to the Ephesians about God doing this for the church? What does this imply about the nature of the church? What does this imply about the work of the church?

8. How can you develop a prayer list that includes these requests for other believers?