Abide Above

The beginning of a new year in a important opportunity to prioritize our personal devotional life. We have a page on this site of helpful free resources arranged in daily readings. Not only is this convenient for the pastor, it is helpful to recommend to the disciple. Here is a sample article from None but the Hungry Heart: “Tranquil Trust”
 
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Prov. 3:5).
 
Restful trust is developed not so much by what the Lord Jesus does for us, but by who He is to us—and that necessitates fellowship.
“It is a wonderful thing to be so satisfied with the Lord Jesus’ company, that we can be tranquil about everything. You will often find that it is the one of the most anxious temperament who finds most in Him, when such an one begins to know Him. I remember when I used to think that I should be happy beyond conception if I were able to say, ‘I will fear no evil,’ ‘my heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.’ In order to reach this, you must find Him enough, without anything else. We all say that He is enough, but it is quite a different thing to know it practically. You can never prove the worth of anyone, until you are absolutely dependent on him.” -J.B.S.
 
“What do you need? Ask your Father about it. Instead of harassing your mind about it, present it to Him; and it is not said that He will necessarily give you what you ask, but He gives you His peace. You put your cares into His heart, and He will put His peace into yours.”
 
“Our Father’s purpose is an ‘eternal purpose,’ from eternity, embracing an eternity to come. He does not shape His thoughts according as circumstances arise, but the circumstances are controlled by His thoughts and plans. How blessed to know that He is absolute Master in all things; that even ‘He maketh the wrath of man to praise Him, and the remainder of wrath He restrains.’ It is the only thing that can give the smallest comfort in the midst of such a scene of confusion all around us.” -F.W.G.
 
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6).
 

Just Be a Friend

Just Be A Friend / Out Reach Groups
is a collection of articles dedicated to providing Evangelism & Discipleship helps to local churches to encourage their congregations to get out into their communities to share Christ wherever the need.

The Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20, is the New Testament Church’s Call to Service and to Faithfulness. This collection of articles is concise, brief and to the point. It’s purpose is to get a church’s congregation out into the community to just be a friend to others in Jesus’ Name through small outreach groups

It is extremely important to realize that this is not a campaign. Campaigns are good in that they cause us to carry out and practice what we should be doing and need to be doing for the sake of the Great Commission. But they are literally close dated … What we do justbeafriend.org has realized much more as a success for the Glory of God and His Kingdom’s Work as we make these truths a daily practice of our church’s daily walk 365 days a year every year. This emphasis has to come from the top down. From the pastor to the congregation.

https://justbeafriend.org/

Union with Christ

Ian Thomas’ books such as The Saving Life of Christ and The Mystery of Godliness continue to be accurate and dependable resources to share the message of the Exchanged Life. We believe this New Covenant perspective should be central to pastoral ministry. Thomas was used of the Lord to launch the Capernwray Bible Institutes in various countries. Derek Burnside teaches at the mother school in England. In this online video message, Derek speaks on the topic “I’m in Christ and He’s in Me” (John 14:20). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOoczLDCUOw

Modern Disciple

A couple of years ago I met a team from Long Hollow Baptist Church. I picked up a copy Rediscovering Discipleship: Making Jesus’ Final Words Our First Work by their lead pastor, Robby Gallaty, and Ed Stetzer. Robby emphasizes the value of adding a “D Group” to the local church’s disciple-making model. This group is a gender-specific group of about 3 that includes more accountability and intentionality. In Rediscovering Discipleship he relates this model to the disciple-making the New Testament and of John Welsey.

Last weekend I was in Nashville and had the opportunity to worship at Long Hollow. Pastor Robby was concluding a series on the basics of this disciple-making path–“Modern Disciple.” The messages include:

  • You Need the Church and the Church Needs You (1 Cor. 12:12-19)
  • Find Community (Acts 2:41-47)
  • Making Jesus’ Last Words Our First Work (Matt. 28:16-20)
  • Every Member is a Minister (Eph. 4:11-14)

You can view or listen to these foundational messages here: LongHollow.com

– JBW

New DVD album: How to Exchange Your Life

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How to Exchange Your Life for a New One by Dr. Phil Jones is an entry-level Bible study intended to reach and assimilate new church members. The booklet is available in the book store here. Grace Fellowship Int’l announces the publication of a new DVD album to accompany this booklet. These videos are about 15 minutes in length:
  • Sessions 1, 2: “Verify Your Salvation” – Dr. Phil Young
  • Sessions 3, 4: “New Life in Christ” – Dr. Dan Riley
  • Sessions 5, 6: “The Spirit-Filled Life & Victory” – Dr. Phil Jones
We pray that many small groups and churches will discover the strategic value of this outreach/initial discipleship kit. The DVD album is on sale for $39.95 at the online store or by calling 865-429-0450. Sample video sessions can be previewed at the How to Exchange Your Life for a New One resource page.

A Galatians 2:20 Testimony

What did my look like before the awareness of the Crucified Life?
  • I was indulgent and unrestrained.  Marked by these in some degree or another: anger, temper, gossip, discord, frustration, anxiety, worry, harshness, meanness, doubt, unbelief, rebellion, and disobedience.
  • My life existed without spiritual sweetness: no aroma; no magnetism; no authenticity; no glow; no victory; no rest; no fruit; no abiding; no surrender; no death to me.
  • For many of us on the outside all looks in order: our Christian dress, attendance, service, offerings, praise, prayers, devotions.
  • But all emanating from self-conforming and performing of the Christian culture.
  • We have replaced serving the world with serving God believing that in that service comes true spiritual growth, fruit and rewards.  
  • In other words, “The show had no glow.”
What does a life look like after the Crucified Life?
  • One full of agape love, joy, calm delight, peace of mind and spirit, enduring patience toward self and others, softness in manner , acting benevolently toward others without any thought of return, confidence and assurance in God, humility and genuine meekness, the ability to be spirit controlled in conversation and in the necessities and needs of life and in one’s relationship to God.
What has the crucified life done for me?
  • It has addressed one of the elusive questions on the Christian life, that being “How does one know that they are living a successful Christian life?”
  • It has addresses a very personal root problem in my past that being rejection.
  • It has placed the fruit of the Christian life in its proper biblical perspective.
  • It has freed me from the bondage of human gifting and has placed the results upon the Lord who fills, directs, empowers and engineers His work in and through me.
  • It has revealed a biblical nature of man that answers many related questions about our old life without Christ and the new life in Christ.
  • It has biblically provided both an objective and a subjective foundation to the nature of man.
  • It has provided a platform of transformation that transcends language, culture, generational placement and ethnic origin. 
  • It has reinforced the salvation side of the cross by reminding us of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It has also clarified the struggle of a self-identified life that can only be subdued by the reality of identification with Christ on the cross.
  • It has unveiled the crucified life of a believer as being grafted into the person and life of Christ and that the life of Jesus Christ can and should be appropriated and lived through a believer who is in Christ voluntarily, devotionally, practically and experientially. 

[Write Pastor Richard Scheer via the contact page. Explore these themes in the free Treasures of Truth course.]