By Kevin Parker
Baptist New Mexican
Below is an outline to use as a starting point to help you develop a full sermon about how God’s story changes people.
Scripture: Joshua 1:8–11
- God becomes visible to the world when He works through His people.
- Non-Hebrew people knew about and reacted to God’s work.
- People passed along stories of God’s work among the Hebrews for 40 years.
- The passage describes a process: God works; people hear; they react.
- The stories non-Hebrews heard impacted them intellectually and emotionally.
- God’s story overcame Rahab’s disregard for morality and authority.
- The combined effect of stories from the past and the near presence of the Hebrews melted the courage of Jericho’s people and “all” others.
- How is my obedience affecting the impact of God’s story?
- What do I know and believe, as a result of experiencing God?
- How does God’s story affect my feelings, thoughts and behaviors?
God’s story affects everyone.
Possible new Jesus Movement?
The All Nations Camp Meeting on the Coushatta Indian Reservation has come together for six nights a week since Oct. 3, 2019, to read the Bible together and pray. They now are on their second read-through of the Bible, a chapter or two or three each night, followed by discussion of what they just read. Someone(s) might talk about a “God-thing” that happened to them that day or week. Then, those who want to pray aloud [do so] until all grow quiet.
And that’s it. No refreshments (usually). No singing (usually). The most significant thing is that what typically is a small group — four or five, maybe a dozen or more — has continually returned night after night for more than two years.
When asked why, they can’t explain. They just want to; that’s all.
I mention this to see if God prods you to do something similar. This is how the Jesus Movement started: small groups that grew into a movement.
“Spiritual leadership … is proven through the lives of people who are more in love with Jesus because you decreased while he increased.”
Philip Nation, Thomas Nelson Bibles
“We glorify God for answered prayer — the remaining 12 hostages are FREE! Join us in praising God that all 17 of our loved ones are now safe.”
Christian Aid Ministries on the release of their Haiti missionaries.
“It’s so rewarding to be able to see, regardless of our capability and our strength, how [God] can use us to bring hope to people in crisis.”
Disaster Relief volunteer and member of Shawnee Heights Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.
Marriage problems tend to be rooted in fear, anxiety and worry by either one or both of the spouses. Fear typically results from some sense of recognized threat; anxiety is the resultant feeling of tension or uneasiness; worry reveals one is overly concerned and stuck in the frame of fretting. What to do? As God’s child, (1) depend on your Heavenly Father for help (Phil. 4:6–7); (2) honestly accept your problems (James 1:2–4); (3) focus on solutions rather than being fixated on the problems (Matt. 14:26–33); (4) allow biblical values to keep you straight (Matt. 6:25–34: one day at a time).
Morris Murray Jr.
“My heart for our church is we would be a faithful presence in the neighborhood to proclaim the gospel and serve our neighbors. That kind of witness will pay off in the long run. Ministry isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon.”
Member of Harvest Church in Treme, Louisiana
“Most churches throw events at men. That’s not what they need. They need substance. They need accountability. They need direction. They need strategy and mentoring.”
J. Shannon Eads
Author of “Winning the Fatherhood Game: A Playbook for the Five Scores that Matter.”
It’s a new year. A fresh start. Believer, don’t place yourself under the burden of trying to change the world. Love God, love neighbors and remain committed to everyday faithfulness. As God is at work in you, He will also be at work through you.
Nathan Finn via Twitter
Prayer is desired and required for persecuted believers (2 Thess. 3:1–3). Our prayers help struggling believers (Rom. 15:30–33). God works as we pray (2 Cor. 1:10–11). Spiritual battle requires spiritual weapons (2 Cor. 10:3–4; Eph. 6:10–18). The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective (James 5:16b–18).
From the Twitterverse
After 15 years, I pastor a church with 75 members with an annual budget of $103,000. Pastors, let no one measure the significance of your ministry based on the amount of people and money in your church.
Praying for God’s blessing upon those who have offended you is a part of the journey to authentic forgiveness.
Be quick to listen, and slow to speak. —James 1:19. If we all took this verse to heart when we talk about race, our conversations would be different.
People may not know it, but they are parched and thirsty for a specific word of encouragement. Be encouraging today, watch the refreshment happen right before your eyes.
Tyranny can come from the left or from the right. Both extremes show the same lust for power, the same moral fervor, the same grandiosity. Don’t recruit me for either one. I belong to Christ, to Christ alone. My soul is not negotiable. And that’s good for America.
Revival does not happen when a crowd returns to church. Revival is what happens when the church returns to Christ.
“If we are to take (2 Corinthians 10:5) seriously then we can’t be afraid of any thought if we are to bring every thought into captivity to Christ. We have to be aware of, open to, learning from, and engaging with all kinds of thought.” —Timothy George @BeesonDivinity
After having COVID recently, I still can’t taste anything. But like many of you, I keep eating, because I know it’s good for me. Sometimes I can’t taste the Bible, either, but I know I still need it every day. An unfeeling soul can still be fed.