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?