Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bible Plan for 2012 - Slackers and Shirkers

Download the plan here. 

Over the years Bruner’s Chapel Baptist Church has annually promoted numerous kinds of Bible reading plans, often designed to assist us in reading through the Bible in a single year. These have ranged from Dr. Grant Horner’s plan, reading straight through the Bible, reading chronologically through the Bible, etc. Each method we've promoted has had its advantages and we would still commend their use.

At the same time, plans like those named above frequently cause discouragement as our New Year's Bible reading resolutions give way to the unexpected X-factors of life which seem to encroach with a vengeance after a few weeks or months. I don't know about you, but I can't seem to find a command in the Bible giving special importance to reading all 66 books of the Bible in a year's time. Furthermore, trying to speed through a book like Proverbs could be positively harmful since its poetry was designed to be read slowly and thoughtfully.

Therefore, let me suggest a new kind of reading plan for 2012: 'The Bible Reading Plan for Slackers and Shirkers' (Isn’t that a catchy title?). Advantages to this plan include:

1. Removing the pressure to 'keep up' with getting through the entire Bible in a year.
2. Providing variety throughout the week by alternating books.
3. Providing continuity by reading the same type of biblical genre each day of the week.

In a nutshell, here's how it works:

Sundays: Poetry
Mondays: Penteteuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy)
Tuesdays: Old Testament history
Wednesdays: Old Testament history
Thursdays: Old Testament prophets
Fridays: New Testament history
Saturdays: New Testament epistles (letters)

The advantage of this plan is that it provides guidance as we read each day but does not put us on an internal guilt trip if we miss a day - we just pick up with the next reading on the day it happens to be. Also, this plan allows us to see the many interconnections between sections of Scripture.

Many Bible reading plans are good, but I find this one unusually helpful, for it combines two biblical values which seem to diverge in most plans: discipline and grace. Beginning this Sunday we'll have copies of the plan in the Sunday School office. 

Or Download one here. 

May God bless us as we enter a new year!
-      Bro. David Crowe

Thursday, December 22, 2011

If Jesus Had Not Been Born

The Following Post comes from Desiring God Ministries:

If Jesus had not been born:

-          This would not be the year of our Lord 2011.
-          We would never hear a single Christmas carol or Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.
-          We would have no such books as Tale of Two Cities, Dickens’s Christmas Carol, or even The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
-          We have no movies such as Ben Hur, The Cross and the Switchblade, Chariots of Fire, Narnia, and scores of others.
-          We would never have heard such songs as “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” “Fairest Lord Jesus,” “Joy to the World.”
-          It could be easily argued that the United States Founding documents would not be what they are.
-          The Wuaorani Indians of Ecuador would still kill white men instead of baptizing their children.
-          The Arawakan Indians of the Caribbean would still be cannibals.
-          Descendents of the Mayans in Chiapas, Mexico, would still sacrifice their children instead of teaching them to praise the true Creator.
-          Prophecies would remain unfulfilled, the serpent would not be crushed, we would not be delivered, and God would be a liar. Death would not be conquered.
-          The New Testament would never have been written.
-          There would be no mediator between God and man, for the man Christ Jesus would not have been born. We would remain dead in our trespasses and sins, the veil not yet rent.
But he was born! 

May the realization of the sweeping impact of his birth, life, death, and resurrection bring you a very Merry Christmas!

-          Bro. Dave

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Command from Heaven: Matthew 28:19. 20

(From Sumner Wemp)

We build big beautiful churches with cushioned pews, air-conditioned auditoriums, robed choirs, ‘and well-trained preachers and then advertise, “Come and hear,” when all the time God says, “Go and tell.” There is nothing wrong with all of these, if we are obeying the command, “Go ye therefore . . .“(v. 19). The Christian does not need to pray about whether to witness or not; the command has been given, it needs to be heard and heeded. “To refuse to witness of a saving gospel to a lost world day by day is nothing short of high treason, spiritual rebellion and in-excusable disobedience to God’s holy command” (Scarborough). God’s commands are not a smorgasbord to choose what one wants and leave the rest.

Who is to go? Who is to witness? “Ye!” “Don’t throw this verse to the missionaries like a bone to a dog and say, go to it. This means ""you"" as much as “My God shall supply all your need” (Phil. 4:19) means you. If every believer would claim this verse as much as he does Romans 8:28, the world could be evangelized in a few short years. Every baseball team could use the superb player who plays every position, never makes an error nor strikes out. The only trouble is, you can’t get him to come out of the grandstand and get in the game. Many want church growth without personal involvement.

Notice the command is to go to “all nations.” Of course this means every individual, for “the Lord . . . is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (II Pet. 3:9). He wants his gospel to reach “to the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Every believer should be concerned about getting the gospel to his neighbor, the service station attendant, the one next to him on the bus or train, the clerk in the store, the mailman.

Look what we are to teach new converts: “To observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (v. 20). The first thing commanded is “Go ye.” Too often it is made last! Teach doctrine but this as well. “He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me” (John 14:21), “and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3)."  

May we all be obedient to the command from Heaven this Holiday Season!

-          Bro. Dave

12 Biblical reasons for Christmas

The following comes from Desiring God Ministries. 

Below are 12 Biblical reasons for Christmas:
1.    “For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37).
2.    “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8; cf. Hebrews 2:14–15).
3.    “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).
4.    “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
5.    “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
6.    “God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:5).
7.    “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes on him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16).
8.    “God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).
9.    “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
10. “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against . . . that the thoughts of many may be revealed” (Luke 2:34ff).
11. “He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18).
12. “Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarches, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy” (Romans 15:7–8; cf. John 12:27ff).
May we shine forth the light of Christ as we go through this Christmas season!
-          Bro. Dave

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Six Styles of Evangelism Survey

Click here to download the survey to help you see what style of evangelism best suits you. (Note - the "Con" at the end of the survey relates to the "Direct" style.

Here are the six evangelism styles again:

The Six Styles of Evangelism

(1) Direct Style

Biblical Example - Peter - Acts Chapter 2
Characteristics - Confident; Assertive; Direct
Weaknesses - Can lack tact and grace
Examples - Billy Graham; Charles Spurgeon; Chuck Colson; Bill Bright
Possible Jobs - Visitation Leader; Initiative Street Evangelism

(2) Intellectual Style
Biblical Example - Paul - Acts 17
Characteristics - Inquisitive; Analytical; Logical
Weakness - Can get caught up in questions and not get to the Gospel
Examples - William Lane Craig; C.S. Lewis; Josh McDowell; Ravi Zacharias
Possible Jobs - Event Counselor; Visitation Leader; New Member Discipler

(3) Testimonial Style
Biblical Example - Blind man - John 9
Characteristics - Clear Communicator; Storyteller; Good Listener
Weakness - Can occasionally focus on self instead of Christ
Examples - Corrie Ten Boom; Reggie White; Joni Erickson Tada
Possible Jobs - Share Testimony at events; Visitation Leader/Partner; New Member Discipler

(4) Interpersonal - Relational Style
Biblical Example - Matthew - Luke 5:29
Characteristics - Warm Personality; Conversational; Friendship-oriented
Weakness - Can make friends but fail to share the gospel
Examples - Becky Pippart
Possible Jobs - Greeters; Fellowship Director; Visiation Leader; New Member Discipler

(5) Invitational Style
Biblical Example - Woman at Well - John 4
Characteristics - Warm Personality; Relational; Persuasive
Weakness - Can trust in other things for the responsibility of sharing the Gospel
Example - Ruth Graham
Possible Jobs - Event Developer; Visitation Partner; PR Person

(6) Serving Style
Biblical Example – Dorcas (no joke - her actual name is Dorcas) - Acts 9
Characteristics - Others-centered; Humble; Patient
Weakness - Can do a lot of serving but not talk to people about Jesus
Example - Franklin Graham; Mother Theresa; Jimmy Carter
Possible Jobs - Helping run events; Visitation Partner; Behind the scenes anything