Monday, October 29, 2012
In Tad Thompson's book: Intentional Parenting, he writes the following: The good news of Jesus Christ is not that you can become a better person. Or that God has given us the secret to wealth, purpose, and a peaceful life. Or that some special prayer is the "open sesame" for the gates of heaven. The biblical gospel can be understood by keeping in mind four essential elements that summarize its content: *God is the sovereign and holy Creator of the universe. *Man has rejected the sovereign and holy rule of God. *Jesus is the eternal Son of God who came to rescue sinners. *The gospel demands that all people respond in repentance and faith.
Friday, October 5, 2012
Through the Lord's grace, my friends: Danny Akin, Tony Merida, and David Platt have invited me to participate in a commentary series they are publishing. My portion will be: Christ-Centered Expositions of Ezekiel. Of course, after I was assigned Ezekiel I questioned the actual level of my "friendship" with those men! Currently, the goal is to have a manuscript to the publishers by December 2014. Fortunately, the only parts remaining for me to complete are...all of them! The first facet will be to study and prepare Christ-Centered expositions of Ezekiel to our faith family at Trace Crossing. The second phase will be to take those sermon notes and turn them into commentary chapters. The good news is that Ezekiel is a succinct, clear, and concise little ol' 48 chapter book! With a 10,000 word count limit, I'm aiming to maximize the content. Oh, and then there's that wheel in the sky keeps on turning thing that Ezekiel sees. No worries right? Well, pray for us. Pray for the study, the proclamation, and the formatting that lies ahead. As always, the purpose of studying Ezekiel is never just for information, but for transformation, so pray most importantly that God will use His Word to further conform our faith family to the image of Christ.
In January, the elders presented the following goals to Trace Crossing for 2012. By God's grace, some of these goals have already been achieved, while others are still works in progress. I'm posting them here today, so you can know what we have been and continue to be striving toward together at Trace Crossing in 2012. GOALS FOR TRACE CROSSING IN 2012 Because of the Gospel and in the power of the Gospel, we will strive to equip the members of Trace Crossing to live for the good of others and God’s glory. I. THE GOSPEL WORD *Strive to see each member be able to articulate the Gospel clearly and concisely (God, man, Christ, response). *Encourage daily thinking on the Gospel, so that Christ is the motive and means for all we do. *Complete our exposition of Ephesians *Complete our study in Luke, Genesis, and Acts in LifeGroups *Sing the Word, pray the Word, preach the Word in each worship service II. THE GOSPEL COMMUNITY *By the end of 2012, develop a regenerate church membership list. *Seek and develop additional LifeGroup leaders. Train, equip, and encourage LifeGroup leaders on an ongoing basis. *Help members identify and use their spiritual gifts. *Strive to see Titus 2 relationships develop where the older men are mentoring the younger men and the more mature ladies are mentoring the younger ladies. *Continue to encourage the once a month women’s meetings. *Develop a weekly men’s prayer time. *Continue to seek the Lord’s direction in location change. Emphasis upon giving to building fund. Clearly communicate our motives in moving. *Continue to model prayerful support of sister congregations *Have communication boards in the worship center that provide key information we want everyone to see and remember. *Develop welcome packets and process for after service *Develop a collegiate and young professionals ministry III. THE GOSPEL ADVANCING *Praying for each of our members to lead at least one person to Christ in 2012. *Help members identify gifts/talents/expertise that can be used to help train, equip and reach out to local neighborhoods (safety seminars, financial seminars, sewing classes, resume development, etc.) *Encourage cheerful and sacrificial giving to missions. *Send more Trace Crossing members on mission than ever before. *Continue to develop strategic global, Gospel partnerships *Continue to seek out areas of Tupelo where new works or specific ministries could help advance the Gospel. *Display maps of the world and Tupelo in our building and highlight areas where we’ve gone, where we give money to support, and where we are specifically interceding. *Complete documents for SEBTS to be able to house theological education at Trace Crossing. *Bless Tupelo in some tangible way through doing and giving.