This last Sunday, we gave a number of things away that I believe are really helpful resources as we live on mission at Calvary, making more and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ. I thought it would be helpful to make sure you had access to them, in case you were unable to be there, or you were there but missed noting the ones we gave away.
First, we handed out the “Moving People to the Right” visual that we have been referring to for months now (click on image to download a .pdf). I walked us through the 4Es at the beginning of yesterday’s sermon in the hopes it would become more concrete to your everyday, and on the backside you will see listed the contexts where we live this out. You’ll hear more about those contexts this coming Sunday, and during our Wisdom series over the next four weeks.
Second, we handed out a new sermon schedule and reading card for our journey through The Whole Story over the next few weeks (click on image to download a .pdf). Please note that we’ve slightly adjusted the schedule from the previous card, so that this week your reading is in Proverbs, which I will then preach on this coming Sunday, August 12th. Also note that you’ll continue reading a Psalm per day in addition to that.
In addition, to spur us on to work the 4Es—engage, evangelize, establish, equip—into our speech and lives, I gave away some books for those who could answer a few questions at the beginning of the sermon. A number of you asked what those resources were, so here you go.…
Pastor Jon recommended this resource to fan the flame of our evangelistic efforts, and to supply ideas on how to naturally and confidently share the good news of the kingdom of God.
A major aim of The Whole Story sermon series is to establish and equip Calvary in our understanding of the big story of the bible. One of my favorite resources toward that end is this wonderful resource from Sally Lloyd-Jones. And don’t let the idea that it is a children’s bible keep you from buying and reading it. As Tim Keller has encouraged, “I believe that every Christian should read this bible.” You will find yourself encouraged and equipped.
A resource that pairs wonderfully with Jones’ work is this newer study Bible, put out by Zondervan, and edited by one of my favorite pastors and scholars, D.A. Carson. This bible takes a biblical theological approach (i.e., a more ‘story-like’ study) in the articles and notes supplied along with the NIV text of the Scriptures. It is an excellent resource for us as we make our way through the Whole Story.
One of the books I read every single week as I prepare the sermon for Sunday in the Whole Story series is this little volume by Tremper Longman. What it lacks in length, it makes up for in concise, understandable, and helpful introductions to each of the books of the Old Testament. Every chapter addresses an Old Testament book and deals with content, authorship and date, literary style, and how that book anticipates the Gospel; as well as providing additional resources for study, and discussion questions.
All of these resources are available at our Whole Story Resource Table and Book Nook in the lobby at our campus. I hope they will be helpful to you as you pursue our mission of making more and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ.
If you’ve been reading along in this little series—congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of the first week. As a reward to both of us, you the reader, and myself as the writer, I’ve decided to make Sundays a “Grace Day.”
Day Five: Be Attentive To Wisdom
While it is hard to nail down a precise figure (I looked at a number of studies), one large study pulling together a number of other studies reports: “To conclude, a close analysis of [the] Infidelity rate and its growth pattern clearly indicates that nearly one half of all married men and women are involved in extramarital affairs.”
Day Four: Orienteering
Many who know me are quite aware that I am indoorsy. It’s not that I don’t enjoy going for a run, a bike ride, or even a hike through the woods or in the mountains. It’s just that I don’t want to sleep out there. I believe God inspired us to create hotels and houses for a very good reason: to return to, enjoy, and sleep in. It’s a very important part of what separates us from the animals.
Day Three: A Heart of Wisdom
When we baptize someone at our church, we always remind our people that baptism is an outward sign of an inward reality. This picture of being lowered fully into the water and rising up again that happens on the outside for all to see, is a window into the soul of the baptized, revealing a heart cleansed, purified, and surrendered to Jesus, and thus saved, transformed, and made a part of the family.
Day Two: Our God Will Supply
It’s important we pause for a moment and look at the simple structure of Solomon’s book of Proverbs. The first nine chapters are extended descriptions of wisdom, largely in story form with instructions from a parent to a child, using at times images of “Lady Wisdom” and “Woman Folly.” They are there to explain two pathways, one that leads to a wise and good life, and one that leads to destruction. And these first nine chapters are there to help us see why we should care about chapters ten through thirty-one, which contain all the individual sayings of wisdom for which the book is famous.
Day One: The Fear of Yahweh
The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7, English Standard Version) I argued in yesterday’s post how God has hardwired wisdom into all of creation, and that wisdom is an applied skill in working with the grain of his design, and not against it, so that we may have a good life. An immediate question arises: if this is true, wouldn’t that mean a good life is available to all who recognize and pursue this, whether or not they believe in God?
Yesterday I preached the twenty-sixth sermon in The Whole Story sermon series, on the book of Proverbs. One of the main points of the sermon—because it is one of the main points of the book of Proverbs—is how wisdom is this thing that helps you see the way the world truly is, the way it works, so that you can live well inside of it. This is because wisdom is expertise and competence, it is applied skill, seen in the ways the Bible uses the word for craftsmen (Exodus 35:31), goldsmiths (Jeremiah 10:9), and sailors (Psalm 107:27).
This last Sunday, we made our way back into our Whole Story sermon series after a powerful four weeks taking a look at how we can help people ‘move to the right’, out of and away from the kingdom of darkness, and into the kingdom of the beloved Son. The sermon also served the purpose of kicking off our entry into the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament, with the story of Job as our first step in that journey.