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In my devotional this morning I was inspired by the content that Oswald Chambers put forth. He addresses an issue that is not discussed as much as it should be in the Christian world today. Chambers addressed the topic of how to get more connected with God. I paraphrased a few of my thoughts while reading it below. (you can read the entire devotional for yourself at www.utmost.org)

My vision of God is dependent on the condition of my character. If my character is flawed, so will my vision be. My character determines whether God’s truth can be revealed to me. 

Before you can claim to see the Lord, there must be something that is conformed to the likeness of God in you. This requires you to put God first in all circumstances before we can be in continual communion with Him.

As I was reading and thinking through this I couldn’t help but thinking of my life and those around me seeking a deeper relationship with God without knowing really how to get there. It would seem that in the midst of all the easy-going self-help / motivational sermons and bible studies that we have lost our understanding of what it takes to have a correct relationship with God.

[Side Note:  I say this because I listen to a lot of podcasts from across the nation and I read a lot of books and recently it seems that we shy away from the root problem of sin and the value of living a holy life. To be honest, it is troubling to me that the only place I seem to find any illusion to a commitment to holiness is found in the Scripture and in the writings of older theologians such as Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitfield, Moody, etc. or ones that are not as old such as Oswald Chambers or Bill Graham.]

Let us not be fooled friends, the Lord gave you grace for salvation to cover your sins and deliver you from the perils of torment. But He now expects you as Lord to follow Him and be holy unto Him.

“[13] Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. [14] As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, [15] but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, [16] since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16 ESV)

I am not saying that you will or are immediately perfect or sinless. Because we all still fall short of God and even Paul dealt with the struggles of sin in the flesh. (Romans 7) But even Paul while struggling in his sin knew that he could not keep sinning and be in right relationship with God.

“[6:1] What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? [2] By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? [3] Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? [4] We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

[5] For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. [6] We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. [7] For one who has died has been set free from sin. [8] Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. [9] We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. [10] For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. [11] So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
[12] Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. [13] Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. [14] For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:1-14 ESV)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we must realize that the Lord desires for you to be in correct relationship with him and that in order for this to happen we must stop sinning and replace that sin with His presence in our lives. It is the only way we can become closer to him.

Lord, correct my character so I can see you faithfully and you can reveal your truth to me. Lord remove my sin from me so that I can walk more faithfully to you.

Quotes on Living Holy Lives

Spurgeon – “Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”(read more here)

D.L. Moody – “Lord make me as holy as a sinner saved by grace can be”

Billy Graham – “holiness is God’s priority for our earthly lives. A disciple of Christ should always be careful not to place a higher value on being “happy” than on being holy. Yes, it gives our heavenly Father pleasure for us to have happiness, but not at the cost of our personal holiness.” (read more here)

John Brown – “Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervors, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills.”

AW Tozer – “The holy man is not one who cannot sin. A holy man is one who will not sin.

The true Christian ideal is not to be happy but to be holy.

The whole purpose of God in redemption is to make us holy and to restore us to the image of God. To accomplish this He disengages us from earthly ambitions and draws us away from the cheap and unworthy prizes that worldly men set their hearts upon.

The true Christian ideal is not to be happy but to be holy.

No man should desire to be happy who is not at the same time holy. He should spend his efforts in seeking to know and do the will of God, leaving to Christ the matter of how happy he shall be.”

What have you dedicated more time to this week? Your happiness or your holiness?

Do you have any scriptures or quotes that inspire you to be more holy in your walk with Christ? Post them as a comment for all to see.

"May I never boast except in the Cross"

[26] For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. [27] But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; [28] God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, [29] so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. [30] And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, [31] so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31 ESV)

As I was reading and studying this past week I came across this section of verses and God revealed a truth to me about His scripture that is speaking of revealing truth. (Ironic, I know.)

Often times, I have found that it can be hard to deal with people who are always in God’s word.

Now before you start to judge that last statement, hear me out.

I have found that when discussing God’s word, people can be puffed up or arrogant with their knowledge of God’s word. For example, you may have had a revelation from God’s word and when you go to share, they brush it off and tell you that they have learned that principle long ago or try to share with you spiritual time in their life that is just a little bit better. Which in some cases, quickly spirals into a competition of who has had the most powerful spiritual encounter with God. But most often just leaves you hurt and feeling like you were not listened to.

This scenario in my head creates the illusion of the listener as a spiritual freight train barreling down the tracks in the name of Jesus. All the while, ignorant of who was smashed and left on the side.

However, before we go too far, I am not saying that we should not be in God’s word. God’s word is paramount in every Christian’s life. We should teach it to our children. It should be written on our hearts. We should talk about is as we sit in our homes, as we go on our ways. It should be a sign to us of who God is and what He has done for us. (Deut 6:4-9)

So what am I getting at? you wonder…

As Christians, we must recognize the source as Paul dictates in the above scripture to the Corinthians. You see, that as Christians, we must recognize that God is using us, the ignorant, the weak, the foolish, to shame those who are wise according to worldly standards. That He (and only He) has provided for us salvation through Christ. And that He is the source of revalation to us.

God is using us to display His awesome power to those around us.

And when we start in on the spiritual conversations, we must not come in it to display our own piety or religious devotion but to boast in Him who has provided for us, revealed His word to us, given us the opportunity to share His revelation and glorify His Name. So as it is written “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

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As I was reading this morning through the Gospel of Luke I came across chapter 10 and the scriptures just started to jump out at me. Not in a literal way, but you know those times when you are reading and something just speaks to you and you have to stop and reflect on it a while.
And as I am reflecting on it now, Im not sure if it is the scripture entirely of a mixture of events and conversations over the past few weeks. Regardless, I found it very important and now Im writing about it for your pleasure, pain or for you to criticize.

In Luke 10 the chapter starts out with Jesus sending out the 72 (verses 1-12). These verses are incredibly important for those who are preparing for a life of missions because in these passages Jesus is giving instructions for those trusted 72 who will be going into the world for the mission of sharing the Gospel.

The first instruction is to pray for more laborers of the harvest (verse 2). As Christians we are called to pray for those who are in ministry as well as those who are to be called into ministry. Is there anyone around you that you should be praying for in this way?

The second instruction is to Go your way (verse 3). Now I am not sure how much time occurred between the first and second instruction or if those who were praying for laborers of the harvest are now the laborers of the harvest they were praying for. But I believe that we are far more likely to pray for others than ourselves. For example, I would be much more likely to pray for someone I know to go to Africa on mission than myself. But in this situation as in mine it is the prayer that brings us to the point of action. Through prayer our heart changes from our point of view to God’s point of view which moves us to correction. [I believe that Isaiah had this occur in his vision (Isaiah 6). He saw the lostness of his people and he was sent through a heart change.] As I have chased this rabbit, I wonder if that is part of the reason we have less missionaries than in the past? Maybe we are not praying for laborers of the harvest as much as we should?

The second part of the instruction contains both a warning and comfort. Jesus states “I am sending you out as lambs in midst of wolves.” In this I see that the first thing is, we are to take comfort in being sent out by Jesus. He knows where we will be, what we will be doing and who we may run into. Even if we are being persecuted Jesus knows and is there. The second is that we are to have no illusions as to the suffering and persecution we will face when we are sharing Christ. As lambs in the midst of wolves, I think we can all connect the implications of how the world will view us when we are living our lives as we are called.

The third instruction is to carry nothing with them but what is on their backs. I find this to be an issue of reliance. Jesus wanted those He was sending out to rely only on Him. This is a struggle that everyone faces in their Christian walk. I see this in the lack of time spent with God in some of the people I have talked with. They will tell you everything that has happened in the last week on the popular sitcoms but when you ask them to spend more than 10 minutes in the morning reading their Bibles you would have thought I shot their dog. If we were truly relying on God and not on other things would this be the attitude that is by far the majority of Christians?
[I am not trying to be judgmental here. I am as guilty as anyone else. I am often convicted of how much time I could be spending in the word verses how much time I do.]
Makes me wonder if we poled Americans on how much TV they watch per week in comparison to how much they read their Bible what the numbers would look like. Scary….

The forth instruction is found in the following verses. We are to look for a “house of peace” or often referred to as a “man of peace”. Someone who will let you into their house and is open to the message of God. This may be a friend that you have that you can share the Gospel with or it may be a stranger that you just met. Regardless we are to make inroads for sharing God’s message with those around us.

When (NOT If) we find a person of peace we are to minister to them and to share the Gospel with them.

If we do not find a house of peace or person of peace, we are to move on.
I find this very hard for me. I want to help all those I know and care for and I truly believe they want to be helped. Sometimes you can see that in their reasoning for not accepting Christ. [I have heard some say something like “If you truly believed what you are saying, you would do everything it takes to convert me.” I believe this a plea not for others that need help but for themselves because they know they are in trouble.] However, there is an old saying “you can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink” which applies here. We can share the Gospel until we are blue in the face but not all will hear and not everyone will see.
This is not because of something that we have done or God has predestined but rebellion in the person. The scriptures say that Jesus died for all our sins, not just some of our sins. (John 3:16-21)

Well I was planning on covering all of the chapter. I have more to tell but I am out of time for now and this is pretty long. [sorry] Until another day.

The other day in our Bible study, we went through the verses listed below and a few things jumped out at me that I thought I would share with you guys. 

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
(1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV)

Paul writing to Timothy, his son in the faith, is urging Timothy to live a godly life. Being a believer in the Bible and understanding that the Word has an application to my life, I feel that I should take on this charge that Paul has given Timothy in my own life.

As I examine my life I have to ask the question “if someone was to describe me now, would they use the word “godly”?” To be honest I am not sure they would. So how would I make this transition from where I am now to the “godly life that Paul charges in these passages?

But when I think of how this might apply, I find that the word godly can have so many presuppositions tied to it that everyone and their mom has a different view of what godly could mean or does mean to them.

So in the search for the true meaning of the word godly in order that we may align our lives to it, we must ask the same book that prescribes this charge as to what it means to live a life that could be characterized by the word “godly”.

Characteristics of the “godly” life

  • The “godly” are like God, set apart for His purposes.
    • Psalm 4:3 – But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him 
    • Psalm 86:2 – Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God
  • The “godly” will face trials and persevere because of their hope
    • 2 Timothy 3:12 – Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
    • 2 Peter 2:9 – then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials,1 and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,
  • The “godly” will do what is right in the eyes of God
    • Titus 2:12 – training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age

How this plays out in our lives.

  • If we are to live “godly” lives, we must be a follower of Christ.
    • To be set apart for His purposes, we must be devoted to Him.
  • If we are to live “godly” lives, we must read His Word, The Bible.
    • How can you follow Christ, if you don’t know what He says or commands?
    • How can you do what is right in the eyes of God if you don’t know Him?
  • If we are to live “godly” lives, we must focus on Him at all times.
    • This is how we persevere, by focusing on Him and not our problems.

 How we get started (The Tools of the Trade) (Do NOT take on all this at once. Think Baby steps, add one then another and then another. If something doesnt work, try something else and move on.)

  • Start start reading your Bible Daily with a Bible Reading Plan
  • Start reading a daily devotional
  • Start keeping a record of the things God brings to your attention
    • Scripture that jumps out at you
    • Song lyrics that speak to you
    • A quote that you enjoy
  • Start memorizing scripture
    • Flash cards are your friend. Punch a hole in them, put them on a key ring and keep them in your car.
    • Or get the App.
    • This can be intimidating but there is nothing like being able to recall scripture in hard situations. Plus you don’t want the 8yr old at church to be able to beat you at Bible drills.
  • Start listening to sermons on the drive
    • There are several great podcasts of sermons on iTunes for free and they update each week. So pick a few and listen on the way to work.
    • If you would like some recommendations for the ones I like, please let me know.

I hope and pray that this was informative for you and I now charge you to go out and live a “godly” life that we may please our Savior and show the world His grace.

I just got out of the first day of the Sola Scriptura or Sola Cultura conference at SWBTS and it was a great time discussing how scripture and culture collide.

I have attached my notes for those of you who could not go. I hope they are clear enough to get the main points. [Dr.Geisler was going so fast with so much good info. that I could not get it all down. A very brilliant man for sure.]

>Daniel 1-3 = Nebuchadnezzar takes Judah captive and removes the Hebrews that were gifted to become skillful leaders of Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom
>Daniel 1:7-8 = Their names are changed

+All their Hebrew names are the names of their God
+All their new names are names of Babylonian deity’s
+Most likely they are made eunuchs when placed in the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar

>How The 4 Captive Hebrews Respond

1- They Appropriated the Wisdom of the Host Culture (Daniel 1:4; 1:17)

+Ability to interpret visions and dreams was most important in the Chaldean empire
+WE MUST NOT AVOID THE CULTURE! But must appropriate the wisdom of the host culture.

2- They avoided moral compromise in the Host Culture (Daniel 1:8)

+ Daniel knew that it would require a purpose of heart to avoid spiritual compromise

+WE MUST SET OUR HEARTS ON THE MORAL PRECEPTS OF GOD!

3- They understand that they cannot do this without the intervention of God (Daniel 2:17-18)

+The Hebrew children understand that they cannot get through this without seeking God’s provision.

+WE CANNOT STAND ON OUR OWN PROVISION BUT MUST COME TO GOD FOR EQUIPPING!

4- They Praised God for His provision (Daniel 2:19-23)

+ WE MUST APPROPRIATE THE KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM OF THE HOST CULTURE THROUGH GOD’S PROVISION TO SPEAK TO THE PEOPLE!

5- They intercede for the people who are involved in the deception (Daniel 2:24)

+WE MUST INTERCEDE FOR THE CULTURE WE ARE MINISTERING TO!

-For Protection of the people

-For the limitations of the culture (if they do not understand the ways of God, how can they be faithful or true to God?)

6- They Boldly Affirmed the Adequacy of God in Faith (Daniel 2:28 – “There is a God in heaven who reveals secrets” Daniel 3:16-17)

+WE MUST BE WILLING TO STAND AGAINST WHAT IS UNHOLY AND UNGODLY!

+The Bible alone in Faith and Practice!

Session 2_Dr.Norman Geisler_Defending unchanging truth in changing times>The Problem– The Church the truth is not relative while culture says that truth is relative>The Solutions– Defend the truth

=Phil 1:16; Col 4:6; 1Peter 3:15; Jude 3

=We cannot effectively evangelize in our day without first pre -evangelize

-Our message does not make any sense unless there is a God
=How can we evangelize a world who is Non-Theistic?
-Almost half of the world is Non-Theists
>Relativism – Conversational Evangelism
=You cannot talk about truth without having an understanding of what truth is
=Process Theology – we are all in process and there is nothing stable, including truth
=Truth is/does…
– tells it like it is
– corresponds to reality
=Common arguments for relative truth
-”Truth is relevant” > Arn’t you proclaiming truth?
-”there is no truth” > is that absolutely true
-”maybe its true for you and not for me” > is that true for everyone?
=Everything demands absolute truth > If you demand absolute truth for everything, then why would you leave eternity up to relative truth
-your bank balance does not depend on how you feel about it
-a doctor cannot poison you just because you feel good about it
=The Law of NON-CONTRADICTION – you cannot have a contradicting reality > the Earth is round or is not
-you can have contradicting beliefs but no contradicting truth
>Pluralism
=Just as you wouldn’t argue with someone that is trying to save you from a burning building, you shouldn’t argue with God who is trying to save you
-Jesus Claimed it – John 14:6
-Jesus Proved it – No other religious leaders have done this!
1-Fulfilling Prophecies
2-Lived a sinless and Miraculous life
3-His Death and Resurrection
>Naturalism
=Objection =
1- Natural law is by definition a description of regular occurrence
2-Miracle by definition is a rare occurrence
3-Evidence for the regular is always greater than that for the rare
=Problem = Big bang theory
1-How many times did it bang? ONLY ONCE
2-Origin of Life? ONLY ONCE
3-Macro Evolution? NEVER
=If this were correct, and he was standing in front of the resurrection he could not believe it because it has not occurred more than once

Dr.Geisler has several new books out on Amazon and I am going to pick a few up once I have some time to read them. You can see them HERE.

Notes Pt2: Sola Scriptura or Sola Cultura Conference @SWBTS

Missions: A Few Things from #SENT11

This past weekend I attended the SENT Missions Conference with the SBTC in Houston. I was a great time to discuss how we as Christians can spread the Gospel to the ends of the Earth.

I have included some of my notes from the break out sessions, I hope that you can discifer them and get some of the hard-hitting points from the conference.

Workshop 1 Splashing Your Way to Kingdom Effectiveness – Ken Hemphill 

●      SPLASH – Show People Love and Share Him

●      When people get around someone who is on fire for Jesus, they should be splashed with water of the Holy Spirit

●      My Story + His Story + the Holy Spirit

●      Why?

○    There are less than 4% of Christians that share their faith

○    We have made evangelism a program of the church – faith, EE, etc.

○    We have made it a memory game for our church members – tract, program, verses, etc.

○    We have set social barriers up at drive people away – don’t know how to approach people to start the conversation

○    A program is needed to learn how to gossip Jesus in a secular culture

●      Wk1 – Show > how Jesus shows the Gospel through drawing people in with strange things and demonstrating the Gospel 

●      Wk2 – People > how Jesus connected with people on their level 

●      Wk3 – Love > how Jesus demonstrated His Love with no strings attached

●      Wk4 – And > how Jesus made the transition from showing the gospel to share the Gospel

●      Wk5 – Share Him > learning how to articulate the meaning of a personal relationship with Christ (personal story + scripture + Holy Spirit)

●      Outline

○    L =Love – Romans 5:8

○    I =Isolated because of sin – Romans 3:23

○    F =Forgiveness  of sin – Romans 6:23

○    E =Everlasting Life – abundant life john 10:10

○    A = Acknowledge > B = Believe > C = Confess

●      www.splashinfo.com

●      Who do you believe Jesus to be? Who is Jesus personally to you? > let me tell you who Jesus is to me

Opening Session – Landon Reesor

●      Being SENT is who we are as Christians. Not what we do.

●      John 17:14-18 > the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus

●      14- They are not of the world just as I am not of the world – we are now the people of God and not people of e world

●      14- I have given them the word and the word has hated them – there is a big difference between the world and us

●      15- I don’t want you to take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one

○    Why? Because we realize that the world does not really care for us and so we reject the world by building walls around us for protection

●      16- “In the world but not of the world” > you can never be of the world again! You have been changed!

○    “keep them from the evil one” >

●      17- “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” > for protection and preparation to live as missionaries

●      18- ” as you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” > just as Christ was sent into the world, so we are sent into the world to share the good news of the gospel

●      19- “and for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth” >Think of what Jesus left behind

○    We must be people of grace before we become people of truth = put aside the differences in denominations and focus on the gospel

○    We all have the same call to leave and share the gospel

○    What is God asking you to leave behind in order to share the gospel?

○    the hard part is not the going to share the word but the leaving of those you love

○    God will not show you what is in front of you without you letting go of what is behind you

○    There is joy and peace on the other side of saying yes to God

 

Workshop 2 – Crisis Moments Response > Knowing how to respond to Crisis – Thomas Brewer

●      What will your response be when CRISIS hits your community?

●      Our response will either push people closer to God or push them away from God

●      Your physical response can do more than any word you could ever speak

●      While assisting in a crisis, be aware of your body language and words you speak > you don’t have to speak

●      Planning and Discussing our response to certain crisis situations

○    Personal Property Loss – you can show how much you care by your willingness to help

                                          ●    How you can help others?

                                          ●    Provide services for others around you – water, electricity, food, laundry

                                          ●    Standing alongside of them

○    Death –

                                          ●    Provide services – food, paper goods, toilet paper, long-term food items that can be frozen

                                          ●    Cleaning the house before their company comes over

                                          ●    Yard work before their company comes over

○    Grieving –

                                          ●    Usually hits 5-7 days after the occurrence

                                          ●    Don’t be afraid to approach them even though you may be feeling – helpless, awkward, etc.

                                          ●    God calls us to respond to crisis and He will not allow us to slip up

●      Don’t NOT use phrases like

○    It was Gods will

○    God needed another angel in heaven

○    Things will get back to normal

○    I know what you are going through

●      Large Scale National Disasters

○    Before we do missions far away, we must learn to do missions outside our local church

○    Go through the correct avenues – Do NOT try to get things done on your own!

○    Do NOT make a promise that you cannot keep!

○    Do NOT let anger or language of an individual keep you from showing God’s love and grace!

●      How would you want someone to respond to you when you are in crisis?

●      When do I share Christ?

○    Look for opportunities but meet their needs first

○    Don’t practice the bait and switch

 

Workshop3 Interfaith Evangelism – Bruno Molina

●      We need to understand what we understand in order to defend our faith (1Peter 3:15- be ready; 2Peter 2:1- guard against false teachers)

●      We are commanded to preach salvation to all other people (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8) > evangelism (Ephesians 4:15)

●      Doctrines of Islam

○    Founder: Muhammad AD570-632

○    Authority: Koran

○    God: One person, no trinity

○    Jesus Christ: great prophet who ascended directly into heaven without the work of the cross (followers have corrupted his message)

○    Human Problem: Sin, disobedience to the law of Allah

○    Solution: submission to the law will bring mercy from God (just as we choose to sin against God, we can choose to follow God)

○    Life After Death: Heaven for the good and hell for the bad

●      Doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses

○    Founder: Charles T. Russell 1879

○    Authority: the NWT bible

○    God: Jehovah, Jesus, Holy Spirit is an impersonal force

○    Jesus Christ: perfect human made by God

○    Human Problem: sin separates you from God

○    Solution: faith and works based on JW rules

○    Life after Death: 144k JW’s to rule with Christ. Others live in paradise on earth. Hell is the grave and an end to existence.

●      Doctrines of Mormonism

○    Founder: Joseph Smith 1805-1840

○    Authority: KJV bible with Smith’s changes, the church of LDS, BOM

○    God: heavenly father and mother

○    Jesus Christ: the first heavenly father and mothers billions of spirit children and members of the godhead

○    Basic Human Problem: Adams sin was necessary so that humans could pass through mortality and become a god

○    Solution: faith, baptism, good works, temple ceremonies, etc. are needed to become God’s

○    Life After Death: celestial – faithful will become a god, terrestrial – faithful non LDS, telestial – unfaithful, bad, go to hell

●      Doctrines of Subjectivism

○    Everything is subjective to their own lives

○    “There is no truth” – then why would I believe your statement?

○    7 Fatal Flaws of Objectivism

                                          ●    You cannot state wrong doing

                                          ●    You cannot sate evil

                                          ●    You cannot state praise

                                          ●    You cannot claim justice

                                          ●    You cannot improve your morality

                                          ●    You cannot have a meaningful moral discussion

                                          ●    You cannot tolerance if there is no moral truth

●      Witnessing to People of Other Faiths

○    Be educated, know what you are talking about

○    Develop a relationship

○    See how committed they are to their faith – tell me how that impacts your life?

○    Explain why the Bible is reliable and true

○    Explain terms clearly – ask questions to see what they understand terms to mean

○    Focus on basic issues such as God, Jesus, Salvation, Etc. – don’t get caught up in life’s issues

○    Share your testimony emphasizing God’s grace

○    Explain the plan of salvation

○    Pray sincerely, be patient and trust the Holy Spirit to lead you in your witnessing

Workshop4 5 Milestones of Missional Churches – Eric King

●      Awaken – Awakening of the leaders and congregation to God’s heart, that all people’s need to know Him. It cannot be manufactured or coerced but must be a heart change made by God through His people. (2Chronicles 7:14)

○    missions are to glorify God, not just evangelistic efforts

○    Genesis 12:1-3 = Abrahamic Covenant was given that all people’s will be blessed

○    Our pastors and leaders must have enough love for the people to hold them to more accountability to live missionaly daily

●      Explore – are you being strategic to engage the place where you are to be intentional in the purpose that God had given you?

○    Acts 1:8 – not a command but a model of missional growth > local to international

○    4 questions

                                          ●    Who are we called to reach?

                                          ●    Where are they located?

                                          ●    How can we reach them?

                                          ●    With can we partner with to get it done?

●      Equip – Develop a strategy to engage the people group you have been called to

●      Engage – Engage based on end vision for the ministry. What do you want it to look like at the end of your term with them?

●      Multiply – How can we spurn them to move the blessing beyond themselves in order to multiply?

 

5×7 Gathering

●      Roy Mcclung

○    The Napkin Test – show your strategy on a napkin within 3-5 min

                                          ●    Starts in a relationship with Jesus – loving God

                                          ●    Go on mission out into the community with a partner – loving others

                                          ●    Move on mission to live for Him – making disciples

○    Missions is made of all 3 levels of missions and modeled by Jesus

●      Oksana Nelson

○    What is holding us back from going on mission?

●      Guest

○    How can we as Americans go about being prepared for sharing the Gospel without ever sharing the Gospel?

○    America is growing dark because we are alienating them with the gospel

○    We are happy as Americans to hide behind the walls of preparation

○    Because we are disobedient in sharing the Gospel, God is moving beyond our ways to share the Gospel

○    3 Steps of being a missionary

                                          ●    These people will not come to Christ until we come into their world and contextualize the Gospel for them

●      We must stop valuing time and money over people

                                          ●    We must assimilate with the culture to gain trust and share life with the people

                                          ●    We must give up our own culture

●      Enjoy their culture and give up your own

                                          ●    Pay the Price

●      Just as Christ paid the price on the cross we must pay the price as followers of Him

●      Bruno Molina – SBTC APOLOGETICS

○    We must Pray Furverantly – pray for salvation of the lost daily

○    We must Prepare Thoroughly – understand those you are witnessing to or the host culture, memorize scripture and be ready to share the Gospel

○    Promote the Gospel Enthusiastically – if you are not excited / happy about Jesus, neither will they be

○    Live Evangelistically – how can we help and serve the ones who are around you? Be intentional about opportunities to share the word

○    As ambassadors of Christ we must be dedicated to being evangelists

●      Caleb Cider

○    Outsourcing – good on short-term because of costs and ease but in the long-term we forget how to do things

○    Are we outsourcing the missions of our churches to missionaries so that we do not have to?

○    We as the church need to rediscover the skills at makes us missional

○    Missionaries feel forgotten on the field, like they are just competing for the churches attention

○    We need to change the way we talk about missions > not as a task or something to be solved > missions is not about solving something that can be outsourced

○    How do we get invested again in the work of missions?

○    Commissioning service right after Baptism > Commission them to teach the Gospel and Reach the Lost

○    This is not a chore but an identity > we are not Christian if we are not missionaries

○    We would not outsource our Worship of Jesus, so why are we outsourcing our Mission work?

Workshop5 Worship, Discipleship and the Glory of God – Matt Boswell

●      God has given us the cause of making disciples for Him

●      1Thessalonians 1:1-10

●      1Thessalonians 1:5 – 4 Marks of Effective Discipleship

○    Not only in word Root people in the word of God

                                          ●    Evangelical = proclaim the Word

                                          ●    We are theologians – we are to know God because we study Him because we love Him

○    But also in power – demonstrate the power of God through prayer

                                          ●    Prayer is needed for the work in the power of God

                                          ●    Raise the dead to life – salvation through evangelism

○    in the Holy Spiritonly through the Holy Spirit can people’s lives change

                                          ●    What does it mean to be lead by the Holy Spirit? Through the New Testament Jesus gives us a helper

                                          ●    It is the Holy Spirit at gives us the power to bring about the Gospel

○    And with full convictiondo we believe what we say? Do our lives reflect our beliefs?

                                          ●    Are you bowing before the glory of Christ? Are you focused on the Glory of Christ?

                                          ●    Passionate about what you believe! About leading people to Christ and making disciples!

                                          ●    What are you teaching?

                                          ●    How transparent are you to those around you? – to make disciples, we must stop playing games with sin

                                          ●    How are we modeling spirituality in our home? – we must show our family that our time with God matters and through that we will pass the torch of faith

●      If you can’t lead your family, how will you lead the church?

●      If you can’t teach your children, how will you teach Sunday school?

                                          ●    In isolation the worst decisions are made

●      1Thessalonians 1:6 – the next step

○    Became imitators of us and of the Lordfind a mentor and mentor another person

                                          ●    Is your walk with Christ worth imitating? Are you modeling a lifestyle for people, that is worth reproducing?

                                          ●    Who is speaking truth into your life?

○    Received the word in much afflictionour attention should be on the word of God

                                          ●    What comforts have been given up for your walk with Christ

●      1Thessalonians 9

○    Disciples turn from idols and push toward Jesus

Until there is complete regeneration in a place, there is no reason to leave that place to make disciples.

 If making disciples is the focus of God, why would leave when we could work where we are?