FREEsources-The Master Plan of Evangelism


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“One living sermon is worth a hundred explanations.” -Robert Coleman

Jesus could have used just about any method to evangelize the world that he wanted. I mean, think about it. He could have just appeared to Caesar, converted him on the spot, and made the official religion of Rome (and thereby, the known world) Christianity right from the start. He could have been born a powerful member of the Sanhedrin, eventually becoming High Priest himself and leading the nation of Israel both in office and life. He even could have opened the mouths of animals or trees to preach for him or something equally and completely ridiculously supernatural…but he didn’t.

Instead, Jesus chose a group of nobodies from nowhere and trained them to be world changers. How did he do it? What was his secret? His “master plan” as it were. Well I’m glad you asked…

Robert Coleman’s classic “The Master Plan of Evangelism” is the resource on the intersection of discipleship and evangelism. He clearly and skillfully explains Jesus’ methods and shows how we can imitate them in our quest to be disciples of Christ. A book like this should be required reading in churches and groups everywhere!

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better resource than this and exponential.org is giving away an e-book of the updated edition of the book away for FREE! This updated edition is a companion piece to the original-Dr. Coleman summarizes each point in the original book and shares personal insights gathered in the 50+ years since he wrote the original.

You can download it here: Revisiting the Master Plan of Evangelism (you have to create an account with them, but it’s free to join).

Have you read “The Master Plan of Evangelism”? What were your thoughts? And what are other great resources on the subject?

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My Lighthouse-Rend Collective Experiment


Rend Collective Experiment is another of my favorites recently. I love this song off their most recent album in particular because of the imagery of God as our lighthouse: constant through the storm, always beckoning us towards safe harbor and guiding us through the storms. And also cause it’s just a really fun/catchy song. Enjoy!

Book Review: “Who Am I?” by Jerry Bridges


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“The vast majority of believers do not understand what it means to be ‘in Christ’ and to find their basic identity in him.” p. 95

“Who am I?” is one of the most important questions that we can ask ourselves, not just as believers but in general as humans. How we answer this question reveals how we view ourselves, the world, and our place in that world. While we ask this question (both explicitly and implicitly) all our lives, it’s an especially relevant question for college students and other young people who are making decisions that have the potential to affect the rest of their lives based on their answer to this question.

In this short book from Cruciform Press, Jerry Bridges gives an eight part answer to this question, answering from the perspective of what it means to our identity that we as Christians are “in Christ.” You could think of this book as “Identity in Christ 101”-what are the practical effects of identifying with God? What does that say about me and my place in the world that God made me, loves me, and purchased me with his blood to be adopted into his family?

Jerry distinguishes the eight facets of our identity in eight chapters:

  1. I am a Creature
  2. I am in Christ
  3. I am Justified
  4. I am an Adopted Son of God
  5. I am a New Creation
  6. I am a Saint
  7. I am a Servant of Christ
  8. I am Not Yet Perfect

While the whole book is excellent, of special note is his treatment of what it means to be justified. I can’t think of anyone who can more clearly explain both the realities and the practical ramifications of justification like Jerry Bridges can.

There are two plays on the word justified that may help us see this more clearly. You can think of it as meaning “just as if I had never sinned”…you can also think of justified as meaning “just as if I had always obeyed.” p. 36

My one issue with the book is his discussion of “calling” in chapter seven. Bridges (admirably) tries to combat the notion that those called to full-time vocational ministry have some sort of “higher” or “better” calling than those believers who are not called to such positions. However, immediately after saying that those not in active vocational ministry are just as called to their positions in the marketplace, he says that calling to a non-ministry vocation “typically…is mostly a matter of wise judgement” (p. 81). He distinguishes this situational judgement from the method of a minister’s calling, in which there “is often present to a more marked degree a subjective element involving the person’s perception of God’s will” (Ibid.). Perhaps he is simply observing rather than giving an imperative statement and perhaps it’s more the current view of calling that many seem to hold that I’m really at odds with. Either way, this is a relatively small quibble overall.

 

In summary, if you’ve never read any of Jerry Bridges’ books before, this is an excellent distillation of and introduction to his writings. And if you’ve already read some or most of them, you’ll recognize and appreciate his distinctive, simple, and deep communicative style.

This is a book that is an invaluable resource whether you’re reading these truths for the very first time or you need to be reminded in a fresh way what these truths really mean. Highly recommended.

What do you think of Bridges’ eight-part answer to the question “Who am I?” What would you add, what would you change/modify, and what would you take out?

Monday Morning Music- “Stay Alive” by Jose Gonzalez


I watched “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” over the weekend with my wife and a few friends. None of us had seen it before and we all enjoyed it!

The soundtrack was excellent and included this wonderful song by Jose Gonzalez. Happy listening.

FREEsources-The Kneeling Christian


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Let us never forget that the greatest thing we can do for God or for man is to pray. For we can accomplish far more by our prayers than by our work. Prayer is omnipotent; it can do anything that God can do! When we pray God works. -The Kneeling Christian

Do you believe that we can do more for and with God through prayer than through anything else that we can do? I know that I’ve heard many speakers and mentors share that thought and that I’ve nodded along in agreement each time.

But the reality is that my actions don’t mirror what I say I believe. Instead, they reveal what I actually believe: that I can do more by working, striving, trying, and attempting on my own.

It’s often far easier to agree to something intellectually than to live it out in our day-to-day lives. But I don’t want to live like that-saying I believe one thing and living a completely different way.

When man works, man works. But when man prays, God works.
-Don Allen

A few weeks ago Paul Worcester  spoke at a Navigator meeting at UC Davis on the subject of prayer. He shared that a book that had majorly influenced him on prayer was a short anonymous booklet called “The Kneeling Christian.” Since then it’s been on my list to read and I finally got around to finding it online.

I’m planning on starting it this weekend and (since it’s a FREE resource online!) want to invite you to read it with me! If you’re even the slightest bit interested in learning more about prayer, being challenged, and seeing if God has anything to teach you on the subject, go ahead and join me! The link below will let you download the same version of the book that I found online:

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 What has been the most influential resource or idea about prayer for you personally?

When is a Deserter Worth Dying For?


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You may have recently heard about the POW who has been released after years of captivity. Some people find this sort of news exciting, but others are quite upset.

Why would the release of a captive be a bad thing and not a good thing?

Because of the incredibly high price that was paid and the precedent it set.

You see, it not only cost an exchange of prisoners. For this prisoner to go free, the price that was paid included death. All this for a prisoner that was a deserter.

This prisoner did not deserve the price paid and it reflects VERY poorly on the Commander-in-Chief who allowed this egregious exchange. I mean, what kind of strategy is that to win a war? Rescue the ones who aren’t worth rescuing? Overpay in an exchange? Set a dangerous precedent??

I think you know EXACTLY who and what I’m talking about…

Wait, who is Bowe Bergdahl? And you thought I was talking about OBAMA?

 

In actuality, the prisoner I was referring to was YOU. It was also ME.

I’ll let Paul explain a bit:

Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. -Ephesians 2:12-13 (ESV)

You and I were slaves to sin (Romans 6:20). We were dead in our trespasses (Ephesians 2:1). We were unrepentant and rebellious, worth nothing to anybody. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us” (Ephesians 2:4) has “delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13).

Those of us who are in Christ now were behind enemy lines and didn’t deserve rescuing. But Christ died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). Before we judge Private Bergdahl and/or those who negotiated his release, let’s remember that we were in his position. And God chose to go after us.