A FoxNews article today states "Americans are overwhelmingly angry at the U.S. government and is nearly as let down by the lack of ideas from both political parties...Sixty-six percent of voters in a national poll said they're angry at the policies of the federal government, including 36 percent who counted themselves as very angry"
We are a sinful nation that have been led to idol worship over many generations of Ahabs and Jezebels (1 Kings 16-22) in our governments, media, and society as a whole. We have our Baals and Asherahs that we worship and adore...we simply give them different names: individualism, wealth, prosperity, independence, sports, entertainment, popularity, Hollywood, success, 'The American Dream', retirement, beauty, long life, relativism, etc.May we become a nation who doesn't merely seek political, social, economic, or military reform, but one who seeks SPIRITUAL REFORM through a repentance of our sin and a turning towards Christ alone. May we seek Jesus Christ in prayer and worship and allow His leadership to prevail instead of our own. Isaiah 1 "2 Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: 'I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner's manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.' 4 Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. 5 Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. 6 From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness— only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil. 7 Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers. 8 The Daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, like a hut in a field of melons, like a city under siege. 9 Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah!"
Some of you may have read this before, but it is a helpful (and convicting) reminder of how we might change some aspects of our day to day lives in order to spend more time with God!
Cell phone vs. Bible
"Ever wonder who at would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?
- What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
- What if we flipped through it several time a day?
- What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
- What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
- What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
- What if we gave it to kids as gifts?
- What if we used it when we traveled?
- What if we used it in case of emergency?
This is something to make you go....hmm...where is my Bible?
Oh, and one more thing...unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill....and no dropped calls!"
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates."
- Attendance Idolatry – Does your joy change when your attendance/giving changes?
- Gift Idolatry – Do you feel God uses you because you are so skilled?
- Truth Idolatry – Do you consider yourself more righteous than the ‘simple Christian’ because of your knowledge/experience?
- Fruit Idolatry – Do you point to your successes as God’s approval of you?
- Tradition Idolatry – Are you more committed more to traditions than for Christ?
- Method Idolatry – Do you worship your method as your mediator?
- Officer Idolatry – Are you motivated by your title?
- Success Idolatry – Do you desire to ‘win’?
- Ministry Idolatry – Do you walk with God only to help your ministry?
- Innovative Idolatry – Does it matter that your ministry be considered unique or creative?
- Leader Idolatry – Who other than Christ are you imaging? “First requirement of the Gospel is repentance. Anyone who doesn’t repent is a heretic.” J.I. Packer
The below video of Dricoll's message can also be viewed HERE
Romans 1:25 "they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator"
- “Across the next ten years, some churches will get better and better at doing the wrong thing – with excellence. For awhile, they will appear to be successful. Such churches will build buildings to support segregation – and they will do so with excellence.” (59)
- “Our churches’ values are exposed when the first questions after every ministry event are: ‘How many came?’ rather than ‘Did this event give a glimpse of the glory of God?’ ‘How many responded?’ rather than ‘Were the families and the church championed?’ ‘How many came forward in baptism?’ rather than ‘How will we disciple those who responded to become faithful followers of Christ?’” (62)
Scriptural Principles for Student Discipleship:
- Deuteronomy 6:4-9 - v.7 "Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."
- Psalm 78:1-7 - v.5b-6a"which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them"
- Ephesians 6:4 - "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord"
- Proverbs 1:8-9 - v.8 "Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching."
- Malachi 4:6 - "He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse"
- Luke 1:17 - "And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord"
- Proverbs 22:6 - "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
- Psalm 127:1-4 - v.3 "Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him."
- Proverbs 4:1-11 - v.10 "Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many."
- Colossians 3:20-21 - "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."
- 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 - "as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God"
- “We must equip parents with the tools and understanding to disciple their teens” (86)
- “Josh McDowell shares that 78% of churched teenagers say their parents shape their attitude and actions. These studies also show that parents have three times more influence over their students than pastors or youth group leaders” (112)
- “The average teen spends two hours at church per week. That is less than 2 percent of a teen’s time” (153)
- “Resource, Train, and Involve – It is our three-step strategy to ensure parents are no longer sidelined in our ministry.” (158)
- “offer them tools and encouragement in navigating the waters of raising an adolescent” (159)
- “Let’s get our parents and their children on the same page to encourage carryover at home” (161)
- Supports the formation and use of a Parent Leadership Team to “provide wisdom, information, encouragement, and perspective to the Student Ministry Leadership Team” (178)
- “If I could go back, I would seek to build disciples over building crowds. I would seek the applause of heaven over the applause of men and seek a biblical model that produces lasting fruit.” (199)
- “We must champion the parents and point teens back to mom and dad in tough times.” (216)
“The set of principles that guide my ministry are:
- Everything I do must honor God above all. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
- We are to be biblical stewards of everything God has entrusted to us. (Matthew 6:19-21)
- God has ordained parents as the primary disciplers of their children. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
- God has ordained the church to support, equip and resource families. (Ephesians 4:12)
- The goal of student ministry is to make disciples who seek to bring others into a relationship with Christ. (Matthew 28:19-20)
- The three primary needs of students and adults are alike: love and care, a model to follow, and truth to build their life on. (1 Peter 2:21)
- Effective student ministry co-champions the family and the church. (Acts 2:42-47)
- A biblical framework is always valued above cultural relevancy. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)” (122)
- There is clearly a problem in Student Ministries across the world as seen through four “gauges”: 1) student retention rates, 2) student baptism rates 3)student pastor tenures & 4) student Bible literacy (17)
- “The solution isn’t to kick the traditional student ministry up a notch; the solution is to reexamine how the Bible should guide our framework to develop students and encourage the parents and adults who influence them” (30)
- “Parent ministry needs to be thought through as thoroughly as student ministry “ (51)
- One study showed that students looking for (in order) opportunities to serve, deep conversations, missions trips, accountability, and more time in worship with “a desire for more games” coming in last (54)
- Another study showed "the most common reason students gave for attending church was ‘to better understand what I believe.’” (54)
- "Humility is the soil in which everything good grows in the Christian life. If that soil goes away, everything withers" - John Piper
- 1 Corinthians 15:10 "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. "
- Philippians 2:3-8 " 3Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
What example of humility we have in Christ on the Cross. In considering such a sacrifice for sin, how can we be anything but humble?
Video of John Piper's sermon below:
- Albert Mohler - http://www.albertmohler.com/
- BapstistTwentyOne - http://www.baptisttwentyone.com/
- Between Two Worlds - http://theologica.blogspot.com/
- Chuck Lawless - Biblical Church Growth - http://www.biblicalchurchgrowth.com/
- C.J. Mahaney Blog - http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/Blog/
- The 9 Marks Blog - Church Matters http://blog.9marks.org/
- Hershael York - http://hershaelyork.blogspot.com/
- Culturality & Missiology Blog - http://davidsills.blogspot.com/
- John Piper (Desiring God Blog) - http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/
- Ed Stetzer (Lifeway Research Blog) - http://blogs.lifeway.com/blog/edstetzer/
- Mark Driscoll (Mars Hill Church) - http://theresurgence.com/md_blog
- Russell Moore - http://www.russellmoore.com/blog/
- Thom Rainer - http://www.thomrainer.com/
In essence, with RSS feed readers (like Google Reader) you essentially get to create your own newspaper of sorts with the types of articles you like to read. I'm sure my Internet newspaper will change overtime, and maybe a new reading technique will eventually replace it, but I am enjoying the efficiency of Google Reader so far!
Proverbs 15:22 "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed."
Ecclesiastes 7:5 "It is better to heed a wise man's rebuke than to listen to the song of fools."
Ecclesiastes 8:1 "Who is like the wise man? Who knows the explanation of things? Wisdom brightens a man's face and changes its hard appearance."
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