Sharing Jesus Teaching Videos with Dr. Alvin Reid

SharingJesusWithoutFreakingOut_3D-01-1 2.png“How do you start meaningful conversations about your relationship with Jesus Christ? God gives you daily opportunities to share His love with others. You don’t have to look hard to take advantage of the right moments to help other people find the love and joy of Jesus in their lives. Do you feel nervous about the thought of talking to others about your faith? In Sharing Jesus without Freaking Out, you’ll learn how to incorporate biblical stories into conversations with the people in your life. You already have the gifts necessary to share God’s love with other people. You don’t need a memorized evangelism script or a tract handy. Simply relax, tell your story, and you might be amazed at how natural it can be to share Jesus.”

A few months ago I invited Alvin Reid to Fairview Baptist Church for our quarterly leadership training. In partnership with B&H Academic and The Baptist State Convention, this seminar on evangelism was recorded as a resource for Dr. Reid’s newest book, “Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out“.  I hope these sessions challenge you and encourage you like they did our church family.

The videos can be found here: 

Isaiah: Free Advent Devotinals


I recently wrote a series of devotionals through Isaiah for LifeWay.

Advent is a special and important time to reflect on the birth of Jesus and everything Jesus came to do. The goal for using the devotionals,

  • Draw your family closer around the birth of Christ
  • Help you develop fresh appreciation for why Christ came
  • Adopt a purpose- and mission-filled approach to the busy Christmas season.

I encourage you to not only use it for your family but to share it with other families in your study groups.

You can download them here. 

The Gospel of Jesus in Jonah


What does Jonah have to do with Jesus? Here is one thought…

“The good news of the gospel is that Jesus has provided a way of salvation. Jesus (though He did not deserve it like Jonah did) hurled himself into the storm of God’s wrath so that you and I might be saved. When Jesus sunk to the depths of death on our behalf, he made it possible for us to arrive safely on the shore of eternity. That is not only good news for us; it’s also good news for those around us.”

This is an excerpt from a reflection on the gospel of Jesus in the book of Jonah that I wrote for The Gospel Project. You can read the whole thing here.

The Bible Studies for Life “Disciple Thru” Event


This past week I have the privilege of participating in the The Bible Studies for LifeDisciple Thru” online event. The event consisted of several video teachings from pastors and church leaders. For a limited time, you can still watch the videos.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the event.

Eric Mason

  • In the Christian life, comprehensive discipleship is a core necessity. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • When you teach the core of the Christian faith, you cannot assume anything. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • Discipleship involves core training both theologically and practically. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We must preach the gospel robustly, but with accessibility and simplicity. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • Jesus in not an option in discipleship, He is the core of discipleship. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We are called to minister to people who are dealing with affliction, namely, the poor, the widows, the orphans. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • All things were made for Christ; therefore everything must be subdued and developed to help the needy. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We are called to disciple from the block to the boardroom. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We are called to preach the whole gospel to the whole person so that we can have whole people in the body of Christ. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We must develop principled pathways based on propositional truth to show how doctrine works out in every area of life. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We are called to made disciples who make disciples. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • God is unique and set apart, therefore God’s people are to be unique and set part as distinct in the world. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • As disciples we have been made holy by God, and yet we pursue holiness to reflect the image of God in this world. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • As God blesses you with resources, utilize those resources to bless those who God has placed in your path. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • How you treat others is just as much a discipleship issue as it is a sociological issue. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • Mission and discipleship are coupled in how we civically engage the sojourner among us. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • The truth of God’s word demands that we treat others with mercy and justice. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We gather the people of God to disciple them and scatter them into the world to be disciple makers. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • Discipleship should take place in our families, neighborhoods, and workplaces. @pastoremase #BSFL16

Chris Brown

  • Isn’t it frustrating when people’s actions do not line up with what they verbally “amen” in our churches? @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • The gap between what people say and what they do comes down to a lack of margin. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Where there is no margin, there is no ministry. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Too many of our people are intentioned for ministry, but they are not positioned for ministry. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • We are called to disciple people, even in their finances. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Regardless of salary, 70% of Americans live paycheck to pay check. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • 18% of Americans live worse than paycheck to pay check. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • The reality is, 78% of American Christians live broke or worse. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Over 1/3 of American adults are in the debt collection process. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Church leaders, we are called to model biblical stewardship to our people. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • We are called to manage God’s resources, His way, for His glory. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • We need to understand the difference between the worlds way of handling money, and God’s way of handling money. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Church leaders, we are called to teach God’s way of handling money. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • The world handles money with entitlement. God’s people should handle money with gratitude and contentment. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • When it comes to our resources, we need to believe that ALL things belong to God. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • God owns all things. We are simply managers and stewards. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • As managers and stewards, we are called to be faithful with what God has given us. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • So many people in our churches are aiming at nothing, and hitting it every time. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Did you know that it is possible to give cheerfully! @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Those who can be entrusted with little can be trusted with much. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • When it comes to stewardship, we have to tell people to, and teach them how. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • When our belief changes, it leads to a different set of actions, that lead to a different set of results. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • As Christians, we don’t worship the provision, we worship the provider. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16

Matt Capps

  • No matter how many precautions we take, or how much we prepare, hardship comes to each and everyone of us. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Hardship is no respecter of persons. Are you prepared? @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • At any point in our lives, we are coming out of hardship, facing hardship, or preparing to enter into hardship. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • We have been sold the lie that if God really loves us, our life will be easy – full of health, wealth, and prosperity. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • The secular view of hardship is that it is meaningless, an interruption to the victorious Christian life. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Facing hardship is not a matter of if, but when. As the Apostle Peter wrote, “When you suffer.” @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • The sad reality is that many saints are ill prepared to face hardship. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • As Christians we have a deep and robust biblical grounding to persevere through whatever they may face in this life. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • We need to learn how to disciple one another to prepare for, and persevere through hardship. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Christians should not see hardship as meaningless, but meaningful. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Christians should not see hardships as being an interruption, but an opportunity. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • God can and will work all things for the good of those who are called according to his purpose. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • In hardship, we must be ok with no explanation, with the truth that “the secret things belong to the Lord our God.” @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Our initial prayer in hardship should be, “God, how can I use this hardship for your glory.” @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • The opportunity for Christians is to glorify God in the midst of – despite of – the hardships we face. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • The victorious Christian life is not free from hardship; our victory in Christ is shown in our perseverance through hardship. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • One of the most powerful apologetics for the Christian faith, is an unshakable trust in God’s providential hand. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Sure, our hardship will drive us to our knees. But it will drive us to our knees in prayer. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Sometimes it takes hardship to bring you to the place where we see that Jesus is all you need. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Every hardship we face in the Christian life will only enhance our eternal delight in the life to come. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Christian, there is coming a day where mourning, crying, and pain will be no more. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • One day, we will look back and see that hardship showed us that God’s steadfast love is better than life. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • If you are ever facing hardship and you wonder if God loves you, look to the cross. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • If you are ever facing hardship and you wonder if God will deliver you through it, look to the resurrection. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • If you are ever facing hardship and you wonder if anything can stop the pain and darkness, look to the ascension. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • In the family of God we are able to care, and be cared for, to love and be loved, to encourage and be encouraged. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • The people of God, filled with the Spirit of God, armed with the word of God, can accomplish the mission of God. @mattcapps #BSFL16

Jackie Bledsoe

  • In our culture the basic foundations of marriage are confusion to people. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • In our culture, marriage is often devalued or treated as a joke. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • If God is the author of marriage, how does our view of marriage reveal our view of God? @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Regardless of the state of marriage in our country, we can hope in Christ. There is no confusion in Christ. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Christians, we have the perfect opportunity to point people to Jesus through our marriages. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • We want hearts and minds pointed towards Jesus because of how we relate to one another in marriage. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • We are called to bring God honor and glory through our marriage relationships. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Today in our churches, marriage is vastly underserved. It is not easy to find marriage ministries. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Church leader, are you modeling what God wants to do through marriage in your own? @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • What good has God done in your marriage? How you share that good news with others? @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Married people, what couples in your church can you invest in and pour in to? @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Model your marriage. Teach on marriage. Equip them for marriage. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Through healthy marriage, we can show people who God is and His love for us in Jesus. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • We need to reclaim marriage according to God’s original intent. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16

Jeremiah Johnston

  • There are two errors for Christians when it comes to the paranormal: fascination and ignoring it. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Our culture is fascinated with the paranormal world. Leader, can you answer questions related to it? @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • There were both miracles and exorcisms in the ministry of Jesus. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • In the ministry of Christ, we see God invading the kingdom of Satan. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • In the New Testament, Jesus’s name was so powerful that even paranormal priests recognized him. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • The paranormal is attractive and is normal in our society. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • The more education one has, the more likely that person is to believe in the demonic and paranormal world. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • 71% of American’s believe they have had a paranormal experience. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Only 28% of our young people say they have believed anything at church to help them with the paranormal around them. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • As soon as you open the door to demonic activity it becomes really hard to shut it. It is a slippery slope. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • The false gospel of a paranormal world is that life has no meaning. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Fascination with the paranormal will bring you into bondage and greater confusion. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Did you know that there are more than 300 psychics that are ordained as “Christian” ministers? @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • The demonic world preys on hurting people. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Only Jesus Christ can set me free. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Only in Jesus Christ can we find the true purpose for our lives. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • There is power and authority in the name of Jesus Christ. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Unbelief fears Satan as a lion. Belief tramples Satan as a worm. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • We need the light of Jesus Christ to shine in the darkness of our world. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • When it comes to the paranormal, lets recognize it and know how to respond to it. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16

Eric Geiger

  • How do you disciples someone through success? @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • Just as God uses trials and pain to sanctify us, He can also use success. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • Most of the people we lead are not going through deep pain, but seasons of success. How will you disciple them through it? @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • We need to remind each other that God is in control and gives authority and success. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • In seasons of success, we need to remind one another that it is a gift of God. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • If someone is experiencing success, it is only because God has chosen to bless them with success. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • The gospel tells us that all good things are because of God, not us. We do not bring anything to the table. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • The Christian faith is something we receive; it is not something we achieve. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • We need to remind one another that God is better than our seasons of success. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • God gives success. But God is better than success. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • God is more satisfying than the promotion. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • God is better than the great business deal. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • God is more liberating than anything this world offers. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • Success pales in comparison to the greatness of God. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • Sanctification through poverty: identity in the struggle. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • Sanctification through prosperity: identify in the gifts. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • We find our satisfaction not in the gifts of God, but in God himself. @ericgeiger #BSFL16

Jesse Campbell

  • When we minister to people through tragedy we must teach that God is ultimately sovereign. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • God always has purpose in tragedy. God can take it and write a story of healing and redemption. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • Tragedy often shows that our faith refined by fire may be proven genuine. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • We must call people to respond in tragedy like Job. Though God may slay me, I will hope in Him. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • Even when Satan attacks, our faith in God can remain in tact. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • Do we consider it pure joy when our faith is tested? @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • When we bring about our own tragedy, we must confess that it is against God alone that we have sinned. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • The central truth is that God redeems tragedy. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • God can work all things, even tragedy, for the good of His purpose. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • A moment in God’s presence will alleviate all the pain we have experienced in tragedy. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • God can build a beautiful testimony through our tragedies. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • God can take anything in our lives and use it to prepare us to minister to others. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16

Tony Merida

  • Most of our favorite meal times are with others. This is a great ministry opportunity. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • The reason we long for meals with friends is that we were made for these. We are headed to Marriage Supper of the Lamb. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • All of history is moving to a time when Christians will dine with the King. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • One of the ways we can minister to people is to practice hospitality. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Practicing hospitality is not about being nice, its about putting on display the kingdom of God. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • The whole story of the Bible can be told through a meal. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • God provides in the garden, God provides for Abraham, God provides during the exodus, God provides in the Promised Land. God is the ultimate host. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Meals are central, this is why Jesus came eating and drinking. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • In the gospel of Luke, Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Jesus never started a school or a program, he just ate with people. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Ministry through hospitality is something every Christian can do. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • We can strategically use every meal to put Jesus’ revolutionary Kingdom on display. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • The act of hospitality puts on display the gospel that we believe. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • The proper response to grace is always grace. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • The more we internalize the gospel of grace, the more we should demonstrate it to others. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Jesus brought us in and has shown us grace, we should do the same for others. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Effective ministry involves ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • How can we use our homes as a way to show mercy, communicate the gospel, and build community. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Lives are often changed by asking simple questions like “would you like to come over and eat”? @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Think of your home as a great means of ministry. @tonymerida #BSFL16

Jonathan Falwell

  • We need to recognize the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • The purpose of discipleship is to become more like Christ. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • Discipleship requires us to take deliberate steps. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • In the midst of life changing moments we need to stay firm in becoming like Christ. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • Do not let the winds of change and uncertainty stop us in our faith walk. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need our roots so deep in the faith that we stand strong in the winds of life. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need to be firmly rooted, established, and locked in the faith to stand strong in hard situations. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need a diligent and deliberate plan to remain rooted in the faith. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need a powerful prayer plan to stand strong in life change. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need a deliberate Bible study plan to plant our roots deep in the midst of life change. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • When we pick up God’s word, He speaks to us and to our life situation. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need a deliberate plan of dependence on God to remain firm during life change. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need to be in God’s word to remain completely dependent on Him. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need a deliberate plan of multiplication to help others remain strong during life transition. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16

Derwin Gray

  • To be a disciple means that you are a part of a story much larger than you. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • The greater story of discipleship informs and transforms how we live. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • We need to think of discipleship in the context of being God’s people, students of Jesus. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Making disciples of all nations means making disciples of all people across the sea and across the street. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Love God. Love Self. Love Neighbor. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • In the New Testament, multi-ethnic church was not just a model of doing church, it was the church. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • The essence of discipleship is about becoming mature in Christ. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • If you want to grow as a disciple you need to be involved in cross-cultural ministry. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • In others differences, we find ourselves, and others find themselves. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • A big part of discipleship is the art of listening to someone else’s story. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Understating someone else’s story allows you to walk in their shoes. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Until you have walked in someone else’s shoes, do not criticize them. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Learn others story, hear what God has done in them. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Proximity evolves into intimacy. It is hard to hate people up close. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • It is easy to hate others from a distance. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Jesus meets us at different stages of life to conform us to his image through the holy spirit to present us mature. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • God’s goal in discipleship is not information, but transformation. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16

Thom Rainer

  • We need to disciple our children with intentionality. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Every night, we should read God’s word to our children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Every night, we should pray with our children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Even when our children are teenagers, we should continue to disciple our children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • We should intentionally teach our children spiritual disciplines and the basics of the faith. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Some of our best times involved our children asking us spontaneous questions about the Bible. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Church leaders, our children need to see us share our faith. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Church leaders, take your children with you when you visit people. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Church leaders, model servant leadership and acts of kindness to your children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • We should disciple our children in formal and informal contexts. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Even on vacation, as you walk the beach, talk about the greatness of God’s creation. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Share with and teach your children the beauty of God’s creation. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Be transparent and authentic with your children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Pastors, what your children see in the pulpit needs to be what they see during the week. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Even in our humor, we can show our children the joy of our faith. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Laughter and joy is an important part of cultivating discipleship in your family. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Joy should shape your home as a safe spiritual haven. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Through our joy we can show our children that God is a loving Father. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Our children should see that we love our spouses. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • One of the greatest things that gives our children security is to see that we love our spouses. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • We will not do everything right, but God will use us to disciple our children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • The greatest opportunity we have is to disciple our children. @thomrainer #BSFL16

Trillia Newbell

  • Men and women are created in the image of God, created equal but different. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Because of sin, women are often objectified in sexuality. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Understanding the fall gives us a foundation for how it affects us. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Did you know that women ages 16-19 years old have the highest rate of sexual victimization? @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Sadly, sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • 1 out of every 6 women in the US have been raped or assaulted at some point in their lives. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Have you considered that your churches are full of people that have been assaulted sexually? @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Sexual victims need to be freed from their disgrace by the power of the gospel. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • When it comes to sexual assault, leaders must be prepared to care for victims through Caesar and the Church. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Our people are inundated with sexually explicit material. Are you prepared to minister to your people in this area? @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Sex was created by God and intended to be enjoyed in the context of marriage. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Because of sin, sex is distorted, twisted, abused and neglected. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • The Bible is clear. Christians are called to abstain from sexual immorality. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • God has called us to purity and holiness! @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Our sin not only affects ourselves, but it also affects others. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Whoever engages in sexual sin, sins against a holy and just God. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • We are called to exercise control over our minds and our bodies. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • We are called to think on things that are true, honorable, and pure. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • In our sex crazed society, we have to push against the culture and take captive of our own thoughts. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Do not buy the lie that you must be sexual to attract the opposite sex. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • We fight against sin because God is worth fighting for. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • We are created to bring God glory! @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • In our fight against sexual sin, we need to preach the gospel to ourselves and fix our eyes on Christ. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • As God’s children, we trust that saying no to sexual sin is the best that He has for us. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • We pursue righteousness and fight sin because of our love for Jesus Christ, and we are His beloved. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Remember there are people around you that are suffering at the hands of others, and are struggling with their own sin. @trillianewbell #BSFL16

Is Sunday School Still An Effective Ministry?

I recently sat down with The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina to talk about the role of Sunday School in church ministry. Here is one short video from our time together.

Free eBook from The Gospel Project and Ligonier Ministries

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Sign up to download the eBook here. 

In 2014, LifeWay Research and Ligonier Ministries partnered to learn what Americans really believe in seven key doctrinal areas—and the resulting study paints a sobering picture about the state of American theology.

The Gospel Project just released a new, free eBook, The State of American Theology: Knowing the Truth, Loving the Church, Reaching Our Neighbors, collecting the research and thoughtful essays from renowned theologians.

This was the last project I led at LifeWay before entering the pastorate. I am thankful to see it available online. The eBook features essays and articles such as:

  • Why Theological Study Is For Everyone by Jared Wilson
  • The Love of God by D. A. Carson

  • Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by JD Greear
  • The Marks of the Church by Mark Dever
  • All Nations and Church Planting by Ed Stetzer
  • The Pillar of the Truth by Steve Timmis
  • Not So Fast by Trevin Wax
  • Soli Deo Gloria by John Piper
  • Bible Believing. Bible Obeying by Burk Parsons
  • What Should We Say? by Jonathan Akin

  • Dealing with Doubt by Randy Alcorn

  • Lust and Chastity by Thabiti Anyabwile
  • Ordinary Christian Work by Tim Challies
  • Christian Parenting by Elyse Fitzpatrick
  • Pain: God’s Megaphone by Alistair Begg
  • A Teachable Spirit by Justin Taylor

  • The Blessings of Humility by Jerry Bridges
  • Sabbath Rest by Sinclair Ferguson
  • The Holy Love of God by R.C. Sproul
  • The Breath of God by Derek Thomas

  • Bearers of God’s Image by Trillia Newbell

  • The Biblical Evidence for Hell by Christopher Morgan
  • The New Heavens and New Earth by Dennis Johnson
  • What Is The Gospel? by Ray Ortlund
  • Preach the Gospel, and Since It’s Necessary, Use Words by Ed Stetzer
  • Only One Way by Bruce Ware

  • And many more…

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The Bible and Spiritual Formation


This blog was origionally posted at The Gospel Project.

Bible Reading and Spiritual Formation

We consume countless messages day in and day out. It has been estimated that the average American is exposed to more than 5,000 marketing messages a day—most of them involuntary. It’s also been estimated that most Americans voluntarily consume 9-11 hours of media a day. That is a lot of information consumed both voluntarily and involuntarily.

The messages we are exposed to tend to shape our thoughts, feelings, and decisions over time. As Christians, we believe that the Bible is the Word of God. Accordingly, it follows that lasting spiritual change comes from the prayerful study of God’s Word as God’s Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ (see Heb. 4:12).

Therefore, it is important that we take time to consider carefully how we ought to listen. I fear that far too many Christians allow God’s Word to pass through their eyes without changing their heads, convicting their hearts, or conforming their hands. So here are three intentional ways to approach Bible reading that will shape your spiritual formation.

Allow God’s Word To Change Your Head

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2

In Romans 1, Paul talks of the pagans who exchanged the truth of God for lies and were conformed to the patterns of the world. Implicit in Paul’s argument through Romans is that the present evil age still threatens the formation of those who belong to Christ. That which forms our minds affects our lives.

As our minds are made new as we “discern” God’s will through the study of God’s Word, we thus pattern our lives after God’s will. The first step in reflective Bible reading, therefore, is allowing God’s Word to register in your mind. The command “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” is just that—a command.

We must focus our minds on God’s word so that over time transformation will take place. So when we read God’s Word, our minds must be fully engaged. Being attentive requires self-discipline. If God is speaking to us through His Word, we should listen.

Allow God’s Word To Convict Your Heart

You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. – 2 Corinthians 3:2-3

In this portion of 2 Corinthians, Paul focuses in on the work of the Holy Spirit. In this passage, Paul contrasts the old covenant, in which God wrote on tablets of stone, to the ministry of the Spirit that writes on the tablets of the human heart when the word of God takes root.

The Spirit’s work of changing the Christian’s hearts is a result of the ministry of the Word. There is a spiritual connection between what’s in our hearts and what comes out in our behavior. In Luke 6:43-45, Jesus tells us that we live out of our hearts and uses the example of a tree. There is an unbreakable connection between the roots of the tree (heart) and the fruit of the tree (behavior).

In the Bible, the heart represents the center of our being. Out of the abundance of the heart our lives speak. God’s Word must take root in our heart for change in our behavior to take effect.

Allow God’s Word To Conform Your Hands

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. – James 1:22-25

The central theme of this section in James is everyday Christianity guided by “the word of truth.” James argues that true Christianity is characterized by deeply “hearing” and then decisively “doing” what God’s Word calls for. Being doers of the Word, and not hearers only is the only proper response to the Word of God.

Obedience to the Word is the mark of the true child of God. Looking intently at one’s face in a mirror and then forgetting what he was like demonstrates the foolishness of examining oneself in the mirror of God’s Word and then doing nothing about it. When one sees imperfections (as when looking in a mirror), common sense says something should be done.

If we are honest, there are times that we do not want to be obedient to God’s Word. However, the Bible wastes very little time on the way we feel. Pastor and author Eugene Peterson argues that we can act ourselves into a new way of feeling much quickly than we can feel ourselves into a new way of acting. Being obedient, even when we do not feel like it, will eventually reshape our hearts from seeing God’s commands as mere duty to enjoying them with genuine delight.

Strategies for Spiritual Formation in Bible Reading  

There is always something God wants us to do in response to His Word. We must allow God’s Word to change our heads, convict our hearts, and conform our hands. Here are a few strategies to let God’s Word richly dwell in you (Col. 3:16).

Prayerfully take notes as you read. This is an excellent way to stay focused while studying. It is also a valuable aid to memory. The physical act of writing something down helps to fix it in our minds.

Talk about God’s Word with others. We gain added benefit from studying the Bible when we talk about it with someone else. Moreover, working out the implications of a Bible passage in conversation with others can not only help reaffirm those truths in your own mind but can also benefit you by hearing the insights of others.

Allow the Spirit to search your heart as you read. In other words, apply Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” While studying God’s Word we should be asking the Spirit of God to search us at our very root, deep in our souls, and reveal sin and teach us godliness.

Events at 2015 The Southern Baptist Convention


Are you planning on attending the 2015 Southern Baptist Convention in Columbus? If so, here is a list of events happening during the annual meeting that would be worth your consideration. As you can see, they are organized by meal time…since we are baptist.

Monday, June 15th

Tuesday, June 16th

Wednesday, June 17th.

  • Breakfast: SBC Men’s Breakfast sponsored by LifeWay and NAMB, focused on how you can invest in the lives of the men of your church. The speakers include JD Greear, Matt Carter, Michael Catt, Mark Dance, Jason Ellerbrook, Michael Lewis. Register here.
  • Breakfast: Women’s Leadership Breakfast by SEBTS and NAMB. A panel discussion from gifted leaders who will share their expertise and wisdom about the importance of equipping for leadership. Panelists include: Lizette Beard (moderator), Denise O’Donoghue, Elicia Horton, Kathy Litton, and Selma Wilson. Register here.

Other Considerations

3 Deadly Turns From The Gospel

CCEGalatiansThis post is excerpted and adapted from the Christ-centered Exposition Commentary on Galatians (1:6-7). You can get the whole set in WordSearch right now for $69.95. Here are three important truths accompany a person’s tragic turn from the gospel, by Tony Merida.

When you turn from the gospel, you turn from God Himself

Paul says that the Galatians are turning away from “Him,” not merely from a set of principles. When you turn from the gospel, you are turning from the God of all grace. You are turning from the Christ “who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age”. Paul says he is amazed that the Galatians are turning from their Redeemer, the fountain of all grace. When you turn from the gospel, you turn from God Himself. Disbelieving the gospel is no small error. If you miss Christ, you will lose everything.

When you turn from the gospel, you turn from the grace of Christ

“The grace of Christ” is a synonym for the gospel (cf. 5:4). Remember, the Judaizers believed salvation was Jesus + circumcision and the requirements of the OT law. But salvation is not Jesus + anything. Why? Because salvation is by grace alone through faith in Christ alone. Notice how the words “called” and “grace” are together in Galatians 1:6 and in verse 15. The Galatians were called by grace, and they were called into the realm of grace. This type of call denotes God’s sovereign action and believers’ experience. When God calls you to Christ, you sense His power. You sense God dealing with you. Just as He called Abraham, Moses, and Paul, He calls sinners to Himself today. He calls us not because of any good in us but because of His grace.

When you turn from the gospel, you have nowhere else to go

Paul tells the Galatians that they are “turning to a different gospel,” but adds, “not that there is another gospel”. In other words, Paul says the false teachers’ message is no gospel at all. There is only one gospel. In all likelihood the false teachers were saying that their gospel was not different from what Paul taught. But Paul says, “Yes, it is.” There is nothing else like the gospel of Christ. Unfortunately, false teachers have been using the same “Oh, we believe in Jesus, too” line for centuries. But when you go deeper into the teachings of any cult, you realize that it presents a [another] gospel (cf. 2 Cor 11:3-4).

The point is that there is no other way to be right with God, to experience forgiveness of sin, apart from the gospel of Christ Jesus (see John 14:6-7). It is difficult for people to embrace the exclusiveness of the gospel when they swim in a sea of religious pluralism and philosophical relativism. We often hear, “All religions are equally valid, and there is no one truth.” But finding right relationship with God is not like selecting a deodorant. You may choose any of a number of antiperspirants to keep you fresh, but that is not the case when it comes to securing eternal life. Only one path to God will do: Jesus. He has no equal. He is not one among many religious leaders. He is the one and only Messiah.

It is possible to know Bible stories, and miss the Bible story.

There are great stories in the Bible…but it is possible to know Bible stories, yet miss the Bible story.” – Ed Clowney