Friday, January 26, 2007

Each 1 Reach 1

It is very exciting and satisfying as a pastor to hear that so many of the people of Living Hope are sticking with their reading and are walking in the Word. We have gotten a handful of reports that there are people outside of our church that are listening online and walking in the Word as well.
I know that God is going to do something amazing in and through the lives of the people that invest in reading the Bible. God makes the promise about what His Word will do in Isaiah 55.11, “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty.”
When God’s Word goes into a person’s life, something divine comes out. God’s Word accomplishes good things. Things we can’t plan for or know before they happen.
One of my prayers is that God’s Word will produce an opportunity to share the Gospel with our lost city. Over 65,000 people within a ten mile radius of Living Hope will not be in church on Sunday. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, we know many of them.
It is fortunate because we can do something about it. We can INVEST time, prayer and truth in them and then INVITE them to attend church or to know Christ.
How does this work? A school teacher eating lunch with her fellow teachers was catching up on her reading and was asked what she was doing. She shared how we were walking in the Word and invited those who don’t attend church to come. A landscaper was reading his Bible during break and a coworker asked what’s up and he invited him. A solon worker shares with every person who comes into the shop.
Someone might say, “well, I’m not outgoing or well versed in the Bible.” The key to inviting someone to worship or to know Christ is the same as inviting them to a restaurant you like. You share your previous experience, how you enjoyed it and how it blessed you. You could then say you ought to go and leave it at that, but if you are truly invested in the person with time, prayer, and truth you would say, “let’s go together.”
On Sunday February 11th it is my prayer that every family of Living Hope will be in worship with an unchurched guest they’ve INVESTED in and INVITED. Just imagine the excitement and joy as we lift our voices in praise to our God and sit under the teaching of God’s Word knowing that eternity for hundreds or more could be changed. Remember God has said that His Word “will not return to me empty.” If we will share the Word, God will bless the listener.
Let’s each one reach one!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Why the Bible?

We are giving an entire year to studying the Bible at Living Hope. I preach from the Bible every Sunday and throughout the week every week of my life. I have spent over a decade getting a formal education to understand the Bible. Men and women have given their lives to make the Bible available to others.

But why? What is it about the Bible that makes it so important? Why is it worth so much time? Why would a person die to enable others to read it?

When I was in college, I had a professor that was a good friend and mentor to me. I had one fatal flaw in his opinion. It drove him crazy that I would only consider an idea true or of value if it aligned with the truth of the Bible.

My professor said to me one day, “Jason, my prayer is that one day you will live your life on a broader foundation than just the Bible.” We then spent some time talking about what that would look like and I listened to what he had to say. Our conversation ended with me saying to him, “If I could find something that was a firm foundation like the Bible I would consider it. But there is no other foundation that I can stand on in life and death.” That is my conviction and my belief.

The Bible is worth reading. Preaching the truth of the Bible is worth my life. It is my life’s wok. It is worth the lives of God’s people to spread it throughout the world.

I listened to a sermon by one of my heroes Pastor Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland Community Church. Last week I challenged you to listen to Andy Stanley from Northpoint Community Church. Take some time and go to and listen to the sermon from 1/7/07 entitled “Introducing the Bible (True Stories)”. He does a wonderful job explaining the value and importance of God’s Word in our lives.

If you can, post why God’s word is valuable to you and why you read it and sit under the preaching of those who preach it.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Unbelievably Bold or Unbelievably Boring?

If you had to pick between unbelievably bold or boring, which would describe your prayer life?

I just got finished listening to an amazing sermon by Andy Stanley. I encourage you to listen to it ( Go to sermons and click on the 1.7.07 message “Asking Big”). I am going to require the staff to listen to it this week. Andy does a tremendous job of laying out how God wants us to pray.

The challenge I received from it is what I am passing on to you today. How do you describe your prayer life? Is it important? Do you have such a passion for something that you desperately need God’s blessing and intervention? Are you attempting to accomplish something so great for God’s Kingdom that unless God shows up, you are done for? Do you have the courage and faith to ask God to make your life count for eternity?

I have to spend a good amount of time each day in prayer. I’m not going to say how much because to some it will seem like a little and to others it will seem like a lot. The time I give to prayer seems like a lot to me. I have to schedule it in my day and I treat it like an appointment because unfortunately it will get pushed aside with busy work if I don’t.

While I am praying, I am desperate these days. I am desperate for God to revive Living Hope so that we can see thousands of people in South Central Kentucky get to God. I am desperate to see hundreds more Hopers connected in small groups. I am desperate to see Hopers give their time, talent, treasure, and temple to God as He has commanded in Scripture. All of this hinges on God. I can only preach and prod the people of Living Hope with what God’s Word says. God will have to produce the growth.

Each time I pray I find my blood pressure rising and my eyes lighting up. I picture what would happen if we saw hundreds saved, hundreds more growing in Christ through small groups, and the mission work that could and would be done if God’s people at Living Hope were willing to be obedient.

What about you? What are you desperate for? Is it bold or boring?

Take some time and think about it. If you have something you are truly passionate about then be bold and post it. I promise I will join you in prayer for at least one week and look forward to seeing how God answers the prayers you share.

Please join me in prayer for what I am passionate about – seeing people Get to God, Grow in Christ, and Give to Others!

Friday, January 5, 2007

The Goal Is Progress Not Perfection

This year we are on a journey through the Bible. “Walk in the Word” offers us the opportunity to know God in ways we never have before. By studying God’s Word, preaching through God’s Word, and discussing God’s Word in small groups we are going to see who God is. God has revealed Himself in Christ and through the Scripture. To know Christ is to know God and to know the Bible is to know God better.

As it pertains to your individual study, worship attendance, and small group participation realize you might miss occasionally. You also may not fully understand everything you read, hear, and discuss with others. That does not mean you need to quit. Just because you do not participate and understand perfectly does not mean that it is of no value.

Please understand that the goal is not perfection. We will not be perfect until we enter heaven. The goal is progress. We must all seek to be able to say what the Apostle Paul said.
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12-14)

So if you miss a day on your devotions don’t give up and don’t go back. If you miss Monday, January 8th on Tuesday read the devotion for January 9th. If you miss church, be there next Sunday. If you miss your group one week, go the next time. If you don’t understand something, pray and ask God to give you understanding and talk about it in your group. If you have a question that your group can’t answer, ask an elder, a pastor, or log a comment here and I’ll answer it.

Let me add one more thing. You may not be ready to read 4 chapters and a page of commentary. If I were to prioritize your study for you, I would say that if something has to go, the Carson book would be the first thing to go. Then reduce chapters down to as little as 1 chapter a day, if you need to.

Again, the goal is not perfection. The goal is progress.