8 Books for Dads

 

 

Photo Credit: Kalexanderson via Compfight cc

 

  1. For those who don’t like to read:
    “You Have What it Takes: What Every Father Needs to Know” by John Eldredge
  2. For those who like to read history:
    “Seven Men and the Secret of Their Greatness” by Eric Metaxas
  3. For those who feel like they are starting from scratch:
    “Manhood Restored: How the Gospel Makes Men Whole” by Eric Mason
  4. For those who feel trapped by their past:
    “Redemption” by Mike Wilkerson
  5. For those who need a marriage tune-up:
    The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller
  6. For controlling Dads:
    “Grace Based Parenting”  Tim Kimmell
  7. For passive Dads:
    “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp
  8. For those who are bored with work:
    “God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life” by Gene Edward Veith Jr.

For more information about Grace Bible Church, visit begrace.org.

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3 Ways to Prepare for Easter

Photo Credit: [noone] via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: [noone] via Compfight cc

Easter is the anniversary of Christ’s resurrection from the dead.  This year we will celebrate the Resurrection on Sunday April 20, 2014. We traditionally welcome more visitors on Easter than on any other Sunday throughout the year. Since it’s a special day, we offer an extra service at sunrise and we offer a video overflow room during the other morning services.

We always love to share Jesus with people who don’t know Him, and Easter is our largest opportunity to do that.  I’d like our church to be unified in seeking to love our community well. Let’s try these three ways to prepare for Easter at Grace Bible Church.

1) Fast and Pray for 40 Days

Starting today, there are 40 days until Resurrection Sunday. This 40 day period is often called “Lent” (for the “lengthening” of days in the spring). Let’s spend these 40 days praying for others to see and follow Jesus. Fasting is a great way to focus our prayers. Fasting is not to punish ourselves. Fasting is giving something up temporarily to recognize that Jesus is our ultimate joy. If you have never fasted before, I recommend that you start small.  You probably shouldn’t give up all food for 40 days. Perhaps you could skip one meal per day, or give up a certain type of food. The idea is to turn your heart to Jesus in prayer every time you miss whatever it is you are giving up.  Many fast from food, but you might give up TV, coffee, or Facebook.  Again, the point is not how uncomfortable you can make yourself, the point is to run to Jesus in prayer.  Will you spend the next 40 days fasting and praying for our friends and neighbors to follow Jesus?

2) Invite Your Friends to Church

Invite someone who is not following Jesus to visit church and hear about Him. Our worship services are designed to remind us that Jesus is better than anything else. The Holy Spirit uses the proclamation of Jesus to change people. In Romans 1:16, Paul says, the gospel…is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes”.  The Gospel has the power to push competing loves out of our hearts. Our gatherings are designed to remind disciples of the greatness of Jesus, but also to help people consider Jesus for the first time. Have you invited anyone to church lately? Will you consider doing it this Easter? 

3) Tell People About Jesus

Find an opportunity to share Jesus with someone who does not know him.  Do you understand the basics of the Good News?  Jesus offered himself as a substitute for sinners like us.  Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23 show that we are sinners, but God is gracious.  He gives us the righteousness of Christ by faith in His work on the cross. Have you shared this news with others?  A great way to start is by being a good listener.  If we love others well, we will care about what they think and how they see the world.  Listen well and share the Gospel.

The resurrection of Christ is our guarantee of hope in a world of grief and pain.  Easter reminds us that our faith is not just an interest, but our very life. In 1 Corinthians 15:7, Paul says, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”  It’s a big deal!  Let’s spend the next 40 days praying that Jesus will be more evident in our lives as well as in the lives of those around us.


For more information on Grace Bible Church, visit begrace.org.

New Music: The Lord is a Fortress (Psalm 46)

 

New music for this Sunday! “The Lord is a Fortress”, based on Psalm 46.

Chord Sheet: http://goo.gl/leWzHW

Lyrics:
Come, fix your eyes, stand and see what God can do
He lays undone all the armies of the earth
Oh, raise His song, Who stills the battle cry

The Living God will come as surely as the dawn
The world of darkness melts away before His voice
Oh, praise the One who dwells in endless light
His rescue comes: behold the King on high!

The Lord is a fortress,
His joy will be our strength When trouble comes,
Our God is coming too,
Oh, stand, sure and faithful,
When waters rise and mountains fall to dust
Our God will not be moved

The Lord of Armies is our help— our strength and shield
Kings and their kingdoms fall before Sovereign One
So rise and come, lift up your voice and cry,
Oh, shout as one, “Behold the King on high!”

Be still and know that He is God
Over all the nations
Be still and know that He is God
Over all the earth
Be still and know that He is God
Sing among the nations
Be still and know that He is God
Sing in all the earth

For more information about Grace Bible Church, visit begrace.org.

Love God, Love His Law

love-god-love-his-law

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
– 1 John 5:1-5

My favorite children’s catechism asks the question, “How can we glorify God?” And the answer is, “by loving him and obeying what he commands.” Loving God and obeying his commandments are deeply intertwined together. We obey God’s commandments because he first loved us. We obey God’s law because he has accepted us. We obey God’s will because he has given us his Spirit. We obey him because we love him. To obey God’s law for any other reason leads to either self-righteousness and pride (legalism) or bone-crushing burdens (guilt).

As Christians we need to delight in God’s law. The Psalmist says in 119:97, “O how I love your law!” At least 10 times in that one chapter the Psalmist talks about how he delights in God’s law. However, we must remember that salvation is progressive. We become more like Christ day by day. And before we were found in Christ we hated God’s law. We loved the darkness because our deeds were evil (John 3). So our love for God’s law is also progressive. The Psalmist prays in 119:32, “Give me understanding, teach me, and enlarge my heart that I might follow you.” He is constantly asking God to teach him the commands and to give him understanding of his precepts.

As faithful believers we need to pray for an enlarged heart, to understand, and be taught God’s commands. Can we truly love God while ignoring his commands? The apostle would say no. If we love God, we will obey him.

The good news is that when we obey God out of our love for him, we find that his commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). We often think of God as a cosmic killjoy, as if he is up in heaven looking for fun to extinguish. But this is a false picture of who our God is. What is truly burdensome is our sin. Think of the burdens in your life. I can guarantee you that if you trace your burdens back to its source you will not find obedience to God’s law but rather disobedience. We can delight in keeping God’s commands not only because it is an expression of love to him, but because they make our present life sweeter and more satisfying.

John does not over-simplify the relationship between a believer and sin. He acknowledges that for the rest of our time on this earth we will be in a constant struggle with this world. We will continue to be tempted. We will continue to fall. However, if we have faith we will not be overcome by this world and its temptations. 1 John 1:4-5 says that it is we who have faith in Jesus Christ that will overcome this world.

How do you know if you are being overcome by this world? Here are some of my personal assessment questions:

1. What are your heart’s desires? What do you long for?

What do you want more than anything in this world? Is it temporal or eternal? Let’s not waste our life on things not worth living for.

2. Are you resolved to be rich and to have things of pleasure and luxury?

This is a difficult question to answer with the truth. It is difficult because we always know someone with more money than we have and we say, “that is their problem, not mine.” Wealth is relative. It is not how much money you have but how you spend what you have. Are you always wanting a little more because you “deserve” it? Will you be happy if you could have just a little more? Are you going into debt unnecessarily?

3. Are the things of God always trumped by the things of this world?

Look at the way you spend your time as an assessment of your priorities. What is first to be bumped off of your calendar when conflicts arise? Which activities are you willing to sacrifice, and which are you committed to? If what you ought to do is habitually being overcome by what you are doing then there is a good chance you are being overcome by this world.

The good news of the gospel is that we have victory in Jesus. He has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). No temptation has come to us for which he has not provided us an escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). Therefore let us flee from sin and diligently seek holiness. May we not abuse his grace, but may we love him by delighting ourselves in and keeping his commands.

Resource List on the Topic of Sexual Assault

Resource-List-Sexual-Assault

As a part of our recent sermon discussing the topic of sexual assault, we wanted to provide a list of resources that we hope will prove helpful in dealing with this issue. We pray that this information will provide Christ-centered hope and wisdom for those who have suffered from sexual abuse as well as anyone with a heart to counsel or protect others.

Books

  • The Wounded Heart, Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Dr. Dan B. Allender
    Sexual abuse knows no religious or social boundaries. The Wounded Heart is an intensely personal and specific look at this form of abuse. Dr. Allender explores the secret lament of the soul damaged by sexual abuse and lays hold of the hope buried there by the One whose unstained image we all bear. Includes information about false memory issues.
  • Rid of My Disgrace by Justin S. Holcomb and Lindsey A. Holcomb
    Justin and Lindsey Holcomb outline an approach for moving from destruction to redemption. While avoiding platitudes and shallow theology, Rid of My Disgrace combines biblical and theological depth with up-to-date research. This book is primarily written for those who have been assaulted (either as children or adults) but also equips family, friends, pastors, and others to care for victims in ways that are compassionate, practical, and informed.

Audio

  • The Wounded Heart Complete Seminar Recorded Live on CD
    The Wounded Heart CD Seminar is an honest and hopeful journey into the damage of childhood sexual abuse. No matter if you have been abused or not, this is a Seminar that will help you face with greater integrity and hope the reality of living in a fallen world with a God who intends to speak the final word of hope.

Web Links to Articles

 Counseling and Conference Events

  • The Allender Center: Conferences & Workshops
    The Allender Center exists “to train counseling professionals and lay workers in trauma and abuse therapy, and to provide hope, healing and transformation opportunities through conferences and workshops.”
  • Austin Stone Counseling
    The mission of Austin Stone Counseling is, “To glorify God by providing gospel-centered counseling for individuals, couples, and families in the church, our city, and around the world.”

Training and Information for Parents/Volunteers

  • MinistrySafe
    Contact Jim Wilson or Holly Holden to get the training.
  • GRACE: Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment
    GRACE is a non-profit organization made up of highly trained and experienced multi-disciplinary professionals who seek to educate and empower the Christian community to identify, confront and respond to the sin of child abuse.


For more information about Grace Bible Church, visit begrace.org.

GBC Staff Book Recommendations

Over the course of the year our GBC staff reads a number of books. Here is a short list of their favorite reads from 2012 that we would recommend to you.

David McMurry’s list:

  1. The Cure by John Lynch
  2. Redemption by Mike Wilkerson
  3. Bloodlines by John Piper
  4. The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler
  5. A Praying Life by Paul Miller

Stephen Watson’s list:

  1. Gospel Centered Discipleship by Jonathan Dodson
  2. A Sweet and Bitter Providence by John Piper
  3. The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller
  4. Tempted and Tried by Russell Moore
  5. Redemption by Mike Wilkerson

Chris Webster’s list:

  1. Redemption by Mike Wilkerson
  2. Let the Nations be Glad by John Piper
  3. Christ-Centered Worship by Bryan Chapell
  4. Pursuing Christ. Creating Art. by Gary Molander
  5. The Air I Breathe by Louie Giglio

Jim Wilson’s list:

  1. Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud
  2. Redemption by Mike Wilkerson
  3. The Cure by John Lynch

May this next year be a year full of good reading.


For more information about Grace Bible Church, visit begrace.org.

Gospel-Centered Ministry, Part II

Last week I wrote a blog about what it means to be gospel-centered. In that entry I asked the questions, “If you were asked to share the gospel could you do it in a clear and concise way?” and, “What verses would you use to support your points?” This week I thought I’d take a moment to share some of the points and verse I’d use in sharing the gospel with someone. Here they are in quick succession:

  • God is Holy (Deuteronomy 32:3-4)
  • —God created all things (John 1:3)
  • God created man to be in relationship with Him (Genesis 1-2)
  • Sin separates all of us from God (Romans 3:23; 6:23)
  • God sent Jesus into the world to save us (1 Timothy 1:15; John 3:16)
  • Jesus died for our sins (Hebrews 9:22)
  • Jesus was resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
  • We can know God through belief in Jesus and repentance of our sins (Romans 10:9)

Remember, we are all commanded to share the gospel with our actions and our words. Let us show our love for Jesus by obeying him.


For more information about Grace Bible Church, visit begrace.org.