Posted by: theedwardsfam | January 5, 2012

Youth Ministry – Theology Is Back

I just read this article on the Christian Post website and couldn’t be more excited about its content! Read the whole thing here.

A couple of excerpts:

“We tend to underestimate the brain power of teens,” Greg Stier told The Christian Post. The church has often thought youths weren’t ready for or didn’t care about theology and the deeper meanings of their faith.

But now key leaders in youth ministry are looking for more strategic approaches to reach teenagers. Stier said they are realizing “the importance of theology and making sure teenagers not only understand but also embrace their Christian faith.”

Stier believes that if youth ministry is truly going to change they need to give teenagers the resources to share the cause of the Great Commission and engage their faith.Some of that involves getting teens to understand the theology behind their faith, and to raise the bar for them, rather than dumb it down.

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Posted by: theedwardsfam | January 5, 2012

10 lame excuses for not sharing your faith

Greg Stier wrote the common excuses below. I would encourage you to read more thoughts by Greg here.

Note: Greg has more resources on how to share your faith than anyone I know…and they are FREE! :)

1. “It’s the pastor’s job, not mine.” (According to Ephesians 4:11,12 his job is to equip you to do the work.)
2. “I don’t know what to say.” (There are plenty of resources out there to help you!)
3. “I just live the gospel with my life.” (Good, now open your mouth and declare the good news!)
4. “I’m waiting for the perfect timing.” (There’s no such thing!)
5. “I don’t have the gift of evangelism.” (Well, I don’t have the gift of mercy but I still should show mercy!)
6. “They could reject me.” (No, Jesus said they will reject you…at times anyway.”
7. “I have bad breath.” (Testamints!)
8. “I don’t know how to bring it up.” (How about just ask, “What are your spiritual beliefs?”)
9. “I’m terrified.” (So am I. So was Paul! Let’s ask God for boldness like he did! Ephesians 6:19)
10. “They may ask me a question I don’t have the answer to.” (You don’t have to know all the answers. You just need to introduce them to the One who does!)

Posted by: theedwardsfam | January 4, 2012

Resolutions (Not the New Year’s kind)

Many people think that the New Year means it is time to start a new hobby or new diet. Maybe it is…but I think God has more in store for your life this year than what the average person considers a “New Year’s Resolution”.

God wants to transform your life so that you can “see and reflect the glory of the Lord” more in 2012 than ever before.

Here are 4 ideas:

1. Start by praying thanks to God for all He did in your life and through your life in 2011!

2. Pray and ask God how He wants to transform your life to reflect His glory better in 2012. These 10 Questions can REALLY help get your brain thinking!

3. Consider this article by Paul Tripp on Trading One Dramatic Resolution for 10,000 Little Ones.

4. Read through Jonathan Edwards’ 70 Resolutions. He wrote them over a 6 year period of time. (In order here. They are categorized here.)

Posted by: theedwardsfam | January 3, 2012

Jonathan Edwards’ 70 Resolutions

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards

“Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.

Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.

2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new invention and contrivance to promote the aforementioned things.

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances don’t hinder.

12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.

13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.

14. Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.

15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger to irrational beings.

16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

18. Resolved, to live so at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.

19. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.

20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.

21. Resolved, never to do anything, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.

22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power; might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.

23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God’s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.

24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.

25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.

26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.

27. Resolved, never willfully to omit anything, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.

28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.

30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.

31. Resolved, never to say anything at all against anybody, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.

32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that in Prov. 20:6, “A faithful man who can find?” may not be partly fulfilled in me.

33. Resolved, always to do what I can towards making, maintaining, establishing and preserving peace, when it can be without over-balancing detriment in other respects.

34. Resolved, in narration’s never to speak anything but the pure and simple verity.

35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved.

36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it.

37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent, what sin I have committed, and wherein I have denied myself: also at the end of every week, month and year.

38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord’s day.

39. Resolved, never to do anything that I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or no; except I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.

40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking.

41. Resolved, to ask myself at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly in any respect have done better.

42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.

43. Resolved, never henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’s, agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12.

44- Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it.

45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion.

46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eve: and to be especially careful of it, with respect to any of our family.

47. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented, easy, compassionate, generous, humble, meek, modest, submissive, obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable, even, patient, moderate, forgiving, sincere temper; and to do at all times what such a temper would lead me to. Examine strictly every week, whether I have done so.

48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of.

49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.

50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world.

51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned.

52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.

53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer.

54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it.

55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments.

56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether ~ have done my duty, and resolve to do it; and let it be just as providence orders it, I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty and my sin.

58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity.

59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times.

60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination.

61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc.

62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty; and then according to Eph. 6:6-8, do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man; “knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord.”

63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time.

64. Resolved, when I find those “groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom. 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those “breakings of soul for the longing it hath,” of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be wear’, of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness.

65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton’s 27th Sermon on Psalm 119.

66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.

67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.

68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help.

69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it.

70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.”

Posted by: theedwardsfam | January 3, 2012

Advice from Jonathan Edwards

Rick Holland posted this a few days ago. I thought it was definitely worth passing on to others since many of my friends don’t know who he is…unfortunately!

In Jonathan Edwards’ little booklet called Advice to Young Converts, he gives this simple advice for hearing sermons.

When you hear sermons, hear them for yourself… Let the chief end of your mind be to consider what ways you can apply the things that you are hearing in the sermon. You should ask, What improvement should I make, based on these things, for my own soul’s good.

How different our Sunday conversations and considerations would be this year if we put this to good use.

There is much more to be taken from Edwards’ Advice to Young Converts. This is good read for the beginning of the year. Here is the complete text of the booklet…

 

Advice to Young Converts by Jonathan Edwards

Dear Child,

As you desired me to send you in writing some directions on how to conduct yourself in your Christian course, I will now answer your request. The sweet remembrance of the great things I have lately seen at Suffield, and the dear affections for those persons I have conversed with there, give good evidences of a saving work of God upon their hearts and also incline me to do anything that lies in my power to contribute to the spiritual joy and prosperity of God’s people there. And what I write to you, I would also say to other young women there who are your friends and companions and the children of God. Therefore, I desire you would communicate it to them as you have opportunity.

One – I would advise you to keep up as great a strife and earnestness in religion in all aspects of it, as you would do if you knew yourself to be in a state of nature and you were seeking conversion. We advise persons under convictions to be extremely earnest for the kingdom of heaven, but when they have attained conversion they ought not to be the less watchful, laborious, and earnest in the whole work of religion, but the more; for they are under infinitely greater obligations. For lack of this, many persons in a few months after their conversion have begun to lose the sweet and lively sense of spiritual things, and to grow cold and flat and dark. They have pierced themselves through with many sorrows, whereas if they had done as the Apostle did in Philippians 3:12-14, their path would have been as the shining light, which shines more and more unto the perfect day.

Not that I have already all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:12-14)

Two – Don’t slack off seeking, striving, and praying for the very same things that we exhort unconverted persons to strive for, and a degree of which you have had in conversion. Thus pray that your eyes may be opened, that you may receive your sight, that you may know your -self and be brought to God’s feet, and that you may see the glory of God and Christ, may be raised from the dead, and have the love of Christ shed abroad in your heart. Those that have most of these things still need to pray for them; for there is so much blindness and hardness and pride and death remaining that they still need to have that work of God upon them, further to enlighten and enliven them. This will be a further bringing out of darkness into God’s marvelous light, and a kind of new conversion and resurrection from the dead. There are very few requests that are not only proper for a natural person, but that in some sense are also proper for the godly.

Three – When you hear sermons, hear them for yourself, even though what is spoken in them may be more especially directed to the unconverted or to those that in other respects are in different circumstances from yourself. Let the chief intent of your mind be to consider what ways you can apply the things that you are hearing in the sermon. You should ask, What improvement should I make, based on these things, for my own soul’s good?

Four – Though God has forgiven and forgotten your past sins, yet don’t forget them yourself. Often remember what a wretched bond slave you were in the land of Egypt. Often bring to mind your particular acts of sin before conversion, as the blessed Apostle Paul is often mentioning his old blaspheming, persecuting, and injuriousness, to the renewed humbling of his heart and acknowledging that he was the least of the apostles, and not worthy to be called an apostle, and the least of saints, and the chief of sinners. And be often in confessing your old sins to God. Also, let this following passage be often in your mind:

Then, when I make atonement for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the sovereign LORD. (Ezek. 16:63).

Five – Remember that you have more cause, on some accounts a thousand times more, to lament and humble yourself for sins that have been since conversion than those that were before conversion, because of the infinitely greater obligations that are upon you to live to God. Look upon the faithfulness of Christ in unchangeably continuing his loving favor, and the unspeakable and saving fruits of his everlasting love. De, spite all your great unworthiness since your conversion, his grace remains as great or as wonderful as it was in converting you.

Six – Be always greatly humbled by your remaining sin, and never think that you lie low enough for it, but yet don’t be at all discouraged or disheartened by it. Although we are exceeding sinful, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, the preciousness of whose blood, the merit of whose righteousness, and the greatness of whose love and faithfulness infinitely overtop the highest mountains of our sins.

Seven – When you engage in the duty of prayer, come to the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, or attend any other duty of divine worship, come to Christ as Mary Magdalene did. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. (Luke 7:37-38)

Just like her, come and cast yourself down at his feet and kiss them, and pour forth upon him the sweet perfumed ointment of divine love, out of a pure and broken heart, as she poured her precious ointment out of her pure, alabaster, broken box.

Eight – Remember that pride is the worst viper that is in the heart, the greatest disturber of the soul’s peace and sweet communion with Christ. It was the first sin that ever was, and lies lowest in the foundation of Satan’s whole building. It is the most difficult to root out, and it is the most hidden, secret, and deceitful of all lust, and it often creeps in, insensibly, into the midst of religion and sometimes under the disguise of humility.

Nine – That you may pass a good judgment on your spiritual condition, always consider your best conversations and best experiences to be the ones that produce the following two effects: First, those conversations and experiences that make you least, lowest, and most like a little child; and, second, those that do most engage and fix your heart in a full and firm disposition to deny yourself for God and to spend and be spent for him.

Ten – If at any time you fall into doubts about the state of your soul under darkness and dull frames of mind, it is proper to look over past experiences. Don’t, however, consume too much of your time and strength in poring and puzzling thoughts about old experiences, that in dull frames appear dim and are very much out of sight, at least as to that which is the cream and life and sweetness of them. Rather, apply yourself with all your might to an earnest pursuit after renewed experiences, new light, and new, lively acts of faith and love. One new discovery of the glory of Christ’s face, and the fountain of his sweet grace and love will do more towards scattering clouds of darkness and doubting in one minute than examining old experiences by the best mark that can be given for a whole year.

Eleven – When the exercise of grace is at a low ebb, and corruption prevails, and by that means fear prevails, don’t desire to have fear cast out any other way than by the reviving and prevailing of love, for it is not agreeable to the method of God’s wise dispensations that it should be cast out any other way. When love is asleep, the saints need fear to restrain them from sin, and therefore it is so ordered that at such times fear comes upon them, and that more or less as love sinks. But when love is in lively exercise, persons don’t need fear. The prevailing of love in the heart naturally tends to cast out fear as darkness in a room vanishes away as you let more and more of the perfect beams of the sun into it:

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (I John 4:18)

Twelve – You should be often exhorting and counseling and warning others, especially at such a day as this: Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb. 10:25)

And I would advise you especially to be much in exhorting children and young women who are your equals; and when you exhort others that are men, I would advise that you take opportunities for it chiefly when you are alone with them or when only young persons are present.

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. A woman should learn in
quietness and full submission. (1 Tim. 2:9-11)

Thirteen – When you counsel and warn others, do it earnestly, affectionately, and thoroughly. And when you are speaking to your equals, let your warnings be intermixed with expressions of your sense of your own unworthiness and of the sovereign grace that makes you differ. And, if you can with a good conscience, say how you in yourself are more unworthy than they.

Fourteen – If you would set up religious meetings of young women by yourselves, to be attended once in a while, besides the other meetings that you attend, I should think it would be very proper and profitable.

Fifteen – Under special difficulties, or when in great need of or great longings after any particular mercies for your self or others, set apart a day of secret fasting and prayer alone. Let the day be spent not only in petitions for the mercies you desired, but in searching your heart, and looking over your past life, and confessing your sins before God, not as practiced in public prayer, but by a very particular rehearsal before God. Include the sins of your past life from your childhood up until now, both before and after conversion, with particular circumstances and aggravations. Also be very particular and as thorough as possible, spreading all the abominations of your heart before him.

Sixteen – Don’t let the adversaries of religion have any grounds to say that these converts don’t carry themselves any better than others.

If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matt. 5:46-48)

How holy should the children of God be! And the redeemed and the ones beloved of the Son of God should behave themselves in a manner worthy of Christ. Therefore walk as a child of the light and of the day, and adorn the doctrine of God your Savior. Particularly be much in those things that may especially be called Christian virtues, that make you like the Lamb of God. Be meek and lowly of heart and full of a pure, heavenly, and humble love to all. Abound in deeds of love to others and of self-denial for others, and let there be in you a disposition to account others better than yourself.

Seventeen – Don’t talk of things of religion and matters of experience with an air of lightness and laughter, which is too much the custom in many places.

Eighteen – In all your course, walk with God and follow Christ as a little, poor, helpless child, taking hold of Christ’s hand, keeping your eye on the mark of the wounds on his hands and side. From these wounds came the blood that cleanses you from sin and hides your nakedness under the skirt of the white shining robe of his righteousness.

Nineteen – Pray much for the church of God and especially that he would carry on his glorious work that he has now begun. Be much in prayer for the ministers of Christ.

Particularly I would beg a special interest in your prayers and the prayers of your Christian companions, both when you are alone and when you are together, for your affectionate friend, that rejoices over you and desires to be your servant.

In Jesus Christ,

Jonathan Edwards

Posted by: theedwardsfam | January 1, 2012

Jonathan Edwards Resolutions

Several times every year I am reminded by Jonathan Edwards that I can do nothing without Christ. At the beginning of his 70 resolutions, he wrote the following:

“Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ’ s sake.”

May we remember this as we strive to be more like Christ in 2012!

 

Posted by: theedwardsfam | December 31, 2011

10 Questions for New Years & more…

This post was helpful in looking back at 2011 and asking the right questions in 2012! You can read the whole thing here. I highly encourage you to do so!

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.

1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?

6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?

9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in 10 years? In eternity?

Posted by: theedwardsfam | December 31, 2011

Quotes 12.31.11

“Men, we bear a greater burden before God for the well-being of our families, who should flourish under our loving leadership.” Mark Driscoll

“Make sure your children know being a Christian doesn’t mean being a better person, but rather a dead person who has been raised to new life.” Elyse Fitzpatrick

“The Christian is a person who makes it easy for others to believe in God.” Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“No great evangelistic move of God has ever taken place without the rightful wedding of theology and evangelism.” Thom Rainer

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson

“I am guilty, but pardoned; lost, but saved; wandering, but found; sinning, but cleansed.” Puritan Prayer

“The beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“True gospel heroes are rarely found on stage, but more often in the front-line trenches of desperately unreached peoples.” David Sitton

“Good leaders create followers. Great leaders create leaders.” Rick Warren

“A missional church thinking outwardly usually is a healthy church inwardly.” Thom Rainer

“Those who think they are humble aren’t.” Thom Rainer

“It is better to read one verse worshipfully than multiple chapters dutifully.” Rick Holland

“Kill my envy, command my tongue, trample down self. Give me grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure, peaceable.” Puritan prayer

“There’s not one sinful, selfish or stupid thing we’ve done in 2011 which the gospel can’t redeem. 2012 looks good too.” Scotty Smith

“Unless there is within us, that which is above us, we will soon yield to what is around us.” Alfred Gibbs

Posted by: theedwardsfam | December 30, 2011

The Soul Winner – Part 7

Here is the last batch of quotes from The Soul Winner. I hope you were encouraged and challenged by C.H. Spurgeon to work harder and smarter for the goal of winning souls for Christ! I would encourage you to read the whole book!

(Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 if you haven’t read them yet).

“But I fear there are others who hands are slack, who are satisfied to let me preach, but do not themselves preach; who take these seats, and occupy these pews, and hope the cause goes well, but that is all they do.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 195)

“What bliss to see the once rebellious brought home to God, and heirs of wrath made possessors of heaven.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 208-209)

“If the kingdom is ever to come to our Lord–and come it will–it never will come through a few ministers, missionaries, or evangelists preaching the gospel. It must come through every one of you preaching it–in the shop and by the fireside, when walking abroad and when sitting in the chamber. You must, all of you, be always endeavouring to ‘save some.’” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 209)

“Let us never venture to speak for God to men, until we have spoken for men to God.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 213)

“Your one business in life is to lead men to believe in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, and every other thing should be made subservient to this one object; if you can but get them saved, everything else will come right in due time.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 214)

“You cannot pull people out of the water without stopping down and getting hold of them. If you have to deal with bad characters, you must come down to them, not in their sin, but in their roughness and in their style of language, so as to get a hold of them. I pray God that we may learn the sacred art of soul-winning by adaptation.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 215)

“You have not attained to the full development of the Christ-life in you unless you have commenced in some feeble way to tell others of the grace of God.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 218-219)

“His Word is, ‘Follow Me, not merely that you may be saved, nor even that you may be sanctified; but, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’”’” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 219)

“To reclaim the prodigal is well, but to save him from ever being a prodigal is better.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 252)

 

Posted by: theedwardsfam | December 28, 2011

The Soul Winner – Part 6

Here is the 6th batch of quotes! :) (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 if you haven’t read them yet).

“Some of you would never win souls in pulpits; it would be a great pity if you tried, but you can win souls in the workshop, and in the laundry, in the nursery, and in the drawing room. Our hunting grounds are everywhere: by the wayside, by the fireplace, in the corner, and in the crowd.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 172)

“The trappers of North America have to find out the habits of the animals they wish to catch, and so you will have to learn how to deal with each class of cases. Some are very depressed, you will have to comfort them. Perhaps you will comfort them too much, and make them unbelieving; and, therefore, possibly, instead of comforting them, you will need sometimes to administer a sharp word to cure the sulkiness into which they have fallen. Another person may be frivolous, and if you put on a serious face you will frighten your bird away; you will have to be cheerful, and drop a word of admonition as if by accident. Some people, again, will not let you speak to them, but will talk to you; you must know the art of putting a word in edgeways.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 173)

“You will bungle at first, and very likely drive sinners off from Christ by your attempts to draw them to Him.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 173)

“True lovers of men’s souls learn the art of dealing with them, and the Holy Spirit makes them expert soul-surgeons for Jesus.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 174)

“…the way to get sinners to Christ is to love them to Christ.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 174)

“I will tell you what is not wise, and will not be thought so at the last, namely, to go about the churches, doing nothing yourself, and railing at all the Lord’s useful servants.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 175)

“I would sooner bring one sinner to Jesus Christ than unpick all the mysteries of the divine Word, for salvation is the thing we are to live for.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 175)

“Did you never win a soul for Jesus? You shall have a crown in heaven, but no jewels in it. You will go to heaven childless; and you know how it was in the old times, how the women dreaded lest they should be childless. Let it be so with Christian people; let them dread being spiritually childless.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 176)

“Oh! The joy of knowing that a sinner once at enmity has been reconciled to God, by the Holy Spirit, through the words spoken by our feeble lips.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 183)

“We must school and train ourselves to deal personally with the unconverted. We must not excuse ourselves, but force ourselves to the irksome task till it becomes easy.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 193)

“The soul-winner must be a master of the art of prayer.” (The Soul Winner. Pg. 195)

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