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1-16-21 – Pastor Ben

Today is Saturday, and that means we may have an extra few minutes to ‘Selah’ with God in His Word. As you read through Psalm 16 today, why not read it over a few times and meditate on how faithful the Lord is in your life right now.

David spent many days preaching the gospel to himself. In Psalm 16, we see the persecuted David choosing once again to find refuge in his Lord. Even through adversity, David had disciplined himself to focus on and trust in the Lord. Over time, David’s heart was calibrated for praise. Here, we see him reminding himself of all the ways the Lord has been good to him. By the end of the Psalm, he has broken out in prayer and worship because of all God’s promises! As he reflects on God’s faithfulness in his life, he takes confidence in God’s future plans for him.

As we learn from David’s example, we notice that Psalm 16 contains several helpful checkpoints that are vital for the Christian life as well:

  • V. 1-2 Is the Lord my refuge, my first and favorite above everything and everyone else?
  • V. 3 Do I truly love, delight in, and identify with my Christian brothers and sisters?
  • V. 4 Do I set aside distractions and competitors, to declare there is no other Savior but the Lord?
  • V. 5-6 Do I trust Him to have full control of my estate, His blessings, and my future?
  • V. 7-8 Is His presence and counsel a steady reality in my life?
  • V. 9-10 Do I well up with joy and strength when I recount the truths of the gospel and Jesus’ resurrection power? (Acts 2:25-28; Acts 13:35)

Derek Kidner comments on this Psalm, “The refugee of verse 1 finds himself an heir, and his inheritance beyond all imagining and all exploring.” Because of all that Jesus has done, we can agree with David on every word of this Psalm and direct our praise to our Lord!

1-15-21 – Pastor Chris

In Psalm 15, David confronts one of the greatest delusions in hearts of countless self-identified Christians, the delusion of compartmentalization. For many people, there is a church/faith compartment, a family compartment, a work compartment, a hobby compartment, and so on.

While we may desire for each compartment to exist independently, in the Christian life, every compartment touches the others.

David addresses this delusion of compartmentalization in Psalm 15. He reminds us that our relationship with God depends on our relationship with others. Who we are in our social interactions affects our ability to abide in Christ.

The great call of the Christian life is to apply our faith in every area of our lives. We pursue fallen brothers and sisters because we were pursued. We forgive because we are forgiven. We treat others respectfully because we recognize the image of God in them. We deal with others fairly because Christ commands it.

To resist the application of faith in these temporal and human dimensions of our lives is to despise the presence of God. We forsake His fellowship when we ignore His instructions.

As you read the Psalm today, perhaps you (like me) will find it profitable to ask:

  • What areas of my life do I prefer to segregate or compartmentalize away from my faith?
  • What part of my life would I be embarrassed to invite Jesus into?

Questions such as these illuminate areas of growth and provide accountability for our hearts. They unmask delusion and promote clarity. These questions promote fellowship, not only with one another, but with the Father.

Lord, thank You for abundant mercy. You are sufficient. You are good. You are my source and strength. I choose to give You access to every area of my life. Show me the areas that I have tried to hide from You. Amen.

1-14-21 – Mark Stauffer

In my experience, it seems that many people who do not know the Lord still think of themselves as “mostly good” people. If in their own minds they recognize the existence of an afterlife, they even think they are “good enough” to make it on the right side of the line when a supreme being judges them against some random standard such as the rest of humanity. There was a point in my life I thought that too!
 
Paul knew people who thought that. In fact, he quotes this Psalm in Romans 3 as he leads up to a verse we often memorize, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I’ve heard more than one preacher say, “You have to understand the bad news before you can accept the good news!” At some point, if we are saved, we accepted the truth of this. As Isaiah wrote, we realized that all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.
 
Here’s the thought for the day: Praise the Lord, He is merciful!
 
The same understanding that led to my repentance as a lost person now leads to my gratitude and praise as a saved person. I was dead in my sin, heading towards a future separated from God as a just punishment for my uncleanness. But hallelujah, by His grace, He reached into my heart and taught me to trust in Jesus that by the blood He might extend His mercy on my life!
 
I invite you to join me in praising and thanking the Lord for His mercy! Last Sunday night we sang, “I was dead in the grave, I was covered in sin and shame. I heard mercy call my name; He rolled the stone away!” This coming Sunday night, we will sing, “Praise the Lord! His mercy is more! Stronger than darkness, new every morn, our sins they are many, His mercy is more!”
 
There are so many things to thank and praise God for. (It’s a good thing we’ll have all eternity to do that.) This is one topic in particular that should be easy for us to get excited about! Take a moment today to reflect on where you were when God spoke into your life and how His mercy has transformed you. You may even find yourself singing praises!

1-13-21 – Pastor Dylan

Do you feel forgotten? Do you feel alone? Do you feel defeated? If you are not feeling that now, there is no doubt that at some point during your lifetime, and most likely during this pandemic, that you have felt forgotten, alone, and defeated. This morning, we find King David in that same spot in Psalm 13. 

In this Psalm, we find David in desperation, fearing for his life, and feeling as if God had abandoned him. The last year has brought those feelings on for a lot of us. This pandemic keeps dragging on, many around us fight for their lives, events are cancelled, businesses are shut down, holidays look different, and our government is in turmoil. It is easy to look around us and feel alone, forgotten, and defeated. 

Yet, I am encouraged to see that even a man like King David struggled with these feelings and needed to cry out to God for help, and I am challenged deeply by the final two verses of the Psalm:

“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” 

Wow. Englewood family, is this how we respond to adversity? As a Christ follower, we do not have to pretend like we have it all together; we don’t. However, we follow the only One who does! When circumstances arise in our lives that cause feelings of loneliness and defeat and we feel as if we have been forgotten, we can rest in our relationship with God Almighty! So, as you begin your day,

  1. Trust in God’s steadfast love! 
  2. Rejoice in the salvation you have in Jesus! 
  3. Sing to the LORD because He has dealt bountifully with you! 

1-12-21 – Pastor Charles

What an encouragement it is to me to hear from so many of you that are reading and using the “Everyday in the Word” one year Bible reading plan for 2021. I know you personally will be blessed as you read, meditate, memorize, and obey the Word of God daily, but also, the family of EBC will be blessed.

In today’s reading, one of the passages of scripture is Matthew 9:18-38. For this E-Connect, I will spend sometime on Verses 37 and 38 of Matthew. The Lord Jesus tells His disciples two facts:

  1. The harvest is plentiful.
  2. The workers are few.

And then, He tells them what to do in light of those two facts. He said, “beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

So today, I encourage you to spend some time thinking about and praying through the two facts that Jesus said about the harvest. Then, I encourage you to do what He said in light of the plenitude of the harvest and the shortage of workers. Jesus said ask the Lord of the harvest fervently and with urgency for Him to send out more workers into His harvest.

There are a few resources and ways available that can help you with your beseeching:

  1. There are apps available for your smartphone and PC such as, IMB Pray, Pray ASAP, NPL Prayer.
  2. Praying for the UUPG that we as a church highlight each week with your family as well as your personal time alone with God.
  3. Join our virtual prayer time each week on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM.
  4. We have materials and resources available in the Global Hall of our church building like the booklets “Loving the Lost of the World Thorough Prayer” that you can pick up and use in your prayer time.

These are just a few, but they will surely help you tremendously with your beseeching for more workers into His harvest. Thank you for taking the time today to beseech our Lord for more workers.

1-11-21 – Pastor Jordan

Jesus pursues sinners. We see that in Matthew 9:9 when Jesus calls Matthew to be His disciple. Matthew was a tax collector, despised by almost everyone. Tax collectors were considered to be the scum of the earth because they would charge more than necessary in order to line their own pockets.

Yet, Jesus chose a tax collector to follow Him. He chose a sinner. When Jesus approached Matthew, He issued a simple command, “Follow me.” It’s astounding enough that Jesus would choose Matthew out of all of the people in the crowds He was teaching. But, what happens next is almost as astounding. 

Matthew, perhaps confused and caught off guard, got up, left everything he had, and followed Jesus. Tax collectors were quite wealthy, so he was leaving behind a life of wealth for a much different life. On top of that, once he left his job as a tax collector, it would be almost impossible to find employment anywhere else. He is a great example of giving his life to Jesus. He literally gave up everything, his entire livelihood, in order to be a disciple of Jesus.

Matthew’s story should cause two different reactions from us. First, we should be reminded that Jesus called us to follow Him. How wonderful that news is! Secondly, it should remind us that we can’t be casual followers of Jesus. It truly is a laying down of a life in order to be His disciple. It’s a blank check kind of commitment. Matthew immediately threw a banquet in celebration of Jesus’ invitation. He invited other tax collectors and sinners to come and eat with Jesus. He could not keep this news a secret!

Today, be reminded of the life-changing call of Jesus on your life to be His follower. Celebrate this today! Also, take inventory of what following Jesus has cost you. Are you willing to sacrifice? Are you willing to do whatever it takes? Are you willing to obey whenever Jesus commands? Are you willing to go anywhere Jesus says to go?

1-10-21 – Pastor Gene

It shouldn’t surprise any of us that there is a clear correlation between idolatry and anxiety. Jesus implores us to resist the way of the idolater. They worry, and they grow anxious, chasing after their wants and needs at the expense of those things that are eternal. Their faith is in their abilities and in their resources, which are limited by availability and time, limitations that no idol can overcome. They strive to fulfill their desires, supposing that the fulfillment of those desires will bring peace and satisfaction.

After we have caught what we sought, then what? What do we do when the object of our desire is caught? How does it impact the Kingdom of God? Does it make a difference in eternity? Often, many an anxious moment is spent envisioning ways to prevent what we sought from being taken from our grasp.

Jesus has another plan.

Matthew 6 is a prescription. No, it’s not a pill, a cream, or even a therapy. This prescription will read a little different from what your physician might issue. This prescription is a call. It’s a call to move our eyes from the endless needs before us and place our eyes on the One who has the resources to meet those needs. The prescription for worry and anxiety is not to be found in simply not worrying. Attempting to not worry is akin to asking the birds not to sing. Attempting to not worry only exacerbates worry. No, the key to anxiety and worry is found in what our hearts are seeking. The prescription might read something like this. 

Diagnosis: Anxiety.
Prescription: “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

Diagnosis: Worry.
Prescription: “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

The result? Jesus promises to provide for us all of our daily needs. He will give you what you need, just when you need it. What a promise! The One who has at His disposal unlimited resources promises to distribute those resources to meet our needs. No need for worry, Jesus is faithful. He is the good Father. No good Father would allow His child to go without.

What about our wants? Suppose Jesus doesn’t meet our wants? The One you trust with your eternity will change your wants to line up with His wants. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Trust Him.

1-9-21 – Pastor Ben

As we read through Matthew 7 in today’s Bible reading plan, we reach the end of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. What an epic and sweeping summary of the life of discipleship! As you’ve read with us the past couple days, you know that Jesus sat down to focus His instructions on His disciples here. He was giving them the full terms of what it looks like in practical daily life to obey His call to “Follow Me.” If you are searching for a manual in following Christ, you could camp out here in Mathew 5-7 for a year and only begin to explore the depths of what it means to follow Jesus, to live a holy life, and serve Him with God-pleasing motives. What a good place to start for a D-group in seeking areas for accountability.

The Sermon on the Mount quickly reminds us that when Jesus calls us, He calls us to a life that is impossible for us to live in our own strength. The good news of the gospel reminds us that Christ has done for us what we could never do. Through Christ, the righteous requirements of the law are already fulfilled in us (Rom. 8:4)!

Through His indwelling Spirit, He empowers us to live by His commands. At the same time, He makes His commands a blessing for us rather than a burden. Even as we fall short, He supplies the same grace that saved us to sanctify us and draw us back near to Him.

As you read through the Sermon on the Mount, in what areas does the Lord convict you?

In what areas, from His teaching, do you notice where He has grown you this past year?

As we worship Him today, thank Him for revealing both areas of sin and also growth through His righteousness. Let’s move wisely ahead with His fear and also His great comfort in how He has secured our eternity by the cross!

1-8-21 – Pastor Chris

This verse is one of the more familiar verses in my storehouse. I, like you, can run the risk of passing over the familiar verses without giving them due attention, thinking that I have already considered everything worth considering. Today, however, I took a moment to pause and reflect on seeking FIRST.
 
Jesus has just finished teaching on worrying about basic provisions: food and clothing. He makes the argument that God feeds ravens and clothes the flowers of the field, and that we are of greater value than either birds or flowers. He goes on to state that God knows of our every need and implies that since God knows of our needs, He will certainly meet those needs. Therefore, we can turn our FIRST attention to God’s Kingdom. The basic needs of our lives are important, but the greater importance (since God already has knowledge of that need and will provide for it) is the rule and reign of Christ in the hearts of men (i.e. the Kingdom).
 
Pursuing Kingdom FIRST is a step of faith. Can I trust my God to meet my needs? If so, do we?

1-7-21 – Mark Stauffer

Our daily reading in Psalm 7 today begins with, “Lord my God, I take refuge in You, save and deliver me from all who pursue me.” David always seems to be writing about his enemies! Often, as I read the Psalms, I find myself feeling glad that I don’t have aggressive opposition laying siege to my home or chasing me into a cave. Do I even have any real enemies?
 
I have three obvious enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. But, according to James 4:4, there is a multitude of opposition out there! After all, there is no kingdom of Mark! I am a citizen of the Kingdom of God. So, His enemies are my enemies.
 
And, that brings me to what Jesus tells us today in Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
 
There are many forces and factions around us that have chosen to be friends with the world system. Like David’s enemies, most of them would pursue us in order to lead us into temptation, discourage us, tarnish our testimony, or defame our Lord. How do we respond? Maybe we surround ourselves with nothing but Christian friends and influences to attempt life in a bubble? Maybe we take to social media to engage them in fierce debate? Or, maybe we just cast shame on their wicked ways!?
 
No. Jesus says love and pray. These are action verbs. I can’t begin to tell you what that will need to look like in every situation, but I can share one great piece of motivation with you. That sinner who has chosen friendship with the world and is an enemy of God – that was me and that was you before God’s grace washed us clean and restored our fellowship with Him. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
 
So, that relative pursuing an ungodly lifestyle doesn’t need to be talked out of it; they need God’s grace. That friend struggling with addiction doesn’t need condemnation; they need the power of God in their life. That leader with the political views that run contrary to God’s law doesn’t need to change their mind; they need to submit to God’s authority. I don’t need my enemy to quit pursuing me or change so that they think like me, talk like me, look like me, or vote like me. I need to be obedient to the command of my Lord to love them and pray that they will meet and receive Jesus.
 
That you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous. – Matthew 5:45

1-6-21 – Pastor Dylan

Today is my third wedding anniversary. As I sit here, holed up in a cabin in the mountains with my beautiful spouse, I cannot help but be incredibly grateful for God’s sovereignty this morning. As I reflect on how a firefighter from central Arkansas and a college student from eastern North Carolina could meet in Ecuador, end up marrying, and serving here at Englewood, my mind is blown. Holly and I could have never planned things the way they ended up, but we can look back and see God’s sovereign work in all of it to bring about His plan. 

Why do I tell you that? Because 2020 has reminded all of us how little control we actually have over the circumstances of our lives. There are more people struggling with anxiety and depression right now than ever before. When things seem out of control, we have the tendency to stress and worry, bringing about anxiety and depression. However, hear this beautiful truth from the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount this morning:

Jesus promises that the end will not come until all of the Law (God’s Word) comes to pass. Think on these truths about God’s Sovereignty this morning. 

  1. God has an ultimate divine plan of redemption that has remained unchanged since the foundation of the world. 
  2. God is in complete control of every circumstance and makes use of all things to see His plan to completion. 
  3. God has so chosen you (assuming you are a Christ follower) to be a critical part of this divine plan.

Father, I rest in Your sovereignty today. I trust that You are not only the author of creation, but that You are the sustainer of it as well. You hold all things together and are orchestrating everything to accomplish Your ultimate plan of redemption. Help me to trust in Your sovereignty and to be a useful tool in Your divine tool belt to accomplish Your purposes. 

1-5-21 – Pastor Charles

Happy New Year, and welcome to the first full week of 2021. Because of 2020, we are more aware that our plans can change. I am personally more aware of how quickly things can change and how drastically my plans and life can change. I am also more aware of how much I need daily guidance from the Lord. Reading Psalm 5, you quickly discern that David was in need of guidance and protection from His Shepherd and King. I have been so blessed over the years by the preaching and writing of Dr. Johnny Hunt and his words on Psalm 5 have encouraged me many times. So, I want to share them with you.

“When you are going through difficulty, do you find yourself slowing your pace, speaking words that are heavy, and listening intensely?

There are times we feel as though we have everything under control; however, at other times we sense an overwhelming need for the Lord to take His rightful place as King and God. When this happens, there seems to be an awakened depth to our sinfulness before a righteous Judge. If it were not for our Lord’s mercy endued here, we would be overcome by our own wickedness and shortcomings.

This chapter contrasts the wicked and the righteous. One cannot stand in His presence without His righteousness and mercy. Those who can stand before Him are ever aware that it’s because of His mercy they are not consumed. This will lead us to rejoice and shout for joy in His defense of us, and we will bless His righteousness.”

So, as we enter and start this new year, let us quickly trust the Lord and spend time in His Word. We do not have any idea of what 2021 will bring to each of us, so let us trust and obey the only One Who is able to guide us through the days ahead. As you read today’s Bible reading from the Everyday in the Word reading plan, take time to pray back Psalm 5 to the Lord and meditate on His Word.

1-4-21 – Pastor Jordan

Our Everyday in the Word Bible reading plan this year includes reading in the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. It’s important that we read, understand, consider carefully, and put into action the truths we discover each day. Today, in Proverbs 4:5, we receive a command to “get wisdom.” Wisdom does not come passively. It comes with a price. Gaining wisdom takes work. 

My prayer for Englewood in 2021 is that our church family would gain wisdom daily through the reading of God’s Word. Also, as Proverbs 4:5 says, we should remember God’s Word. That’s why we are memorizing 12 important passages as a church family this year. In order to gain wisdom as we read Scripture, we need to slow down and process what we have read. It’s tempting to breeze through Bible reading so we can check our box for the day. If we do that, we will fail to gain wisdom. We need to meditate on God’s Word. Memorization is one of the best tools we have to help us do that. 

We can easily get busy and forget to work toward gaining wisdom. That’s why it’s important to be in community together. Let me encourage you to do your Bible reading and memorization with your Connect Group or join together with your family or a group of friends. Talk about what you have read together, and hold each other accountable to getting wisdom from God’s Word on a daily basis.

Most people stop their Bible reading plan sometime in February each year. If we are reading the Bible to check off a box, or we are expecting to gain wisdom easily and quickly, we will soon find our time with the Lord to be boring and lifeless. I want to encourage you to bathe your time with the Lord in prayer. Ask Him for wisdom as you read and study His Word. His Word is living and active. If we read it with expectation, it cannot be boring. It will be life giving, and as a church, we will individually and collectively grow deeper in our relationship with Jesus!

1-3-21 – Pastor Gene

“Wisdom is found only in truth, and truth is found only in Jesus” is axiomatic for the believer. A few years ago, I shared a charge with a graduating senior class which is applicable to all of us. Here is a short excerpt:

Know what you believe and why. You own your worldview. You own your faith. You own your beliefs. Seek wisdom from the One who gives generously. Parents, pastors, and teachers have all invested in you, but now is the time for you to take ownership and live out your faith.

Soon, you will be making bigger and more significant decisions on your own.You will need to make wise choices.You have the responsibility of making wise decisions.You will be accountable for the path you find yourself following.

Know the truth so well that you can easily spot the lies. Jesus told Nicodemus three times in John 3, “I tell you the truth.” In John 14:6, Jesus declares, “I am the Way and the Truth.” Truth is readily available for those willing to obtain it.

Be advised, truth is not popular and will often be called hate, exclusive, intolerant, and narrow. Because you have the waist belt of truth wrapped around you, stand firm when the attacks come. Stephen stood tall, looking up while being stoned; Daniel didn’t “take a knee” in the lion’s den. You, stand tall and stand firm.

Why is it so important to know the truth?

  • When science tells you man is the result of random chance, not of God, you will not believe the lie.
  • When peers or professors tell you God is no more than a fairytale, you will not believe the lie.
  • When culture tells you to gain all the money and stuff at all cost, you will not believe the lie.
  • When your friends tell you that cheating & lying is good and healthy, you will not believe the lie.
  • When the media and Hollywood tell you that purity is old fashioned, outdated, and not possible, you will not believe the lie
  • When culture tells you that killing an unborn child is a “right,” you will not believe the lie.
  • When Hollywood tells you marriage is not rational, just live together, you will not believe the lie.

Strive to be men and women of honor, integrity, purity, and wisdom. They are fast becoming rare commodities. Make yourself available to God, and He will use you in ways you cannot begin to imagine.

1-2-21 – Pastor Ben

Where do you turn for answers when you need to solve a problem? Who are your go-to people who can help out when you have a need? How do you determine a course of action and follow it through to completion? Spiritually speaking, the beginning of our journey to truth and understanding is that we cry out to the Lord for help! We don’t know where we are going or where we are headed without Jesus.

Reading in Proverbs 2 today, we see that the first verses give us several conditions to gaining true wisdom and direction for our lives. The Proverb begins with a series of If-Then statements. What a powerful place to start into a new year.

The prize here is the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God. And, no one finds these without desiring them strongly. If we want His wisdom and understanding for life, we must desire these, ask Him for them, and also actively seek them out. The Lord told Jeremiah that His people would seek Him and find Him when they searched for Him with all their heart (Jer. 29:13). The Lord loves to act on behalf of His people. And those who long to know Him will be filled with wisdom and depth of understanding. 

Just like Christian from the story The Pilgrim’s Progress, we are each on a journey frought with challenges, temptations, and deceptively good-sounding lies. It is only as we fear the Lord and gain His wisdom that we will have the soundness and resolve to consistently choose the right course. We must learn the skill to discern God’s will in the midst of a lot of good sounding options. Thankfully, on the road of life, when one of His children makes a wrong turn, believes a false claim, or just gets stuck, the Lord is able to help. He is the one who redirects us, reorients us, and rescues us on this journey when we call out to Him. As the Lord delivers us from every trial, He calls us again to stand up and continue walking the path with Him, trusting His Word, and applying the lessons He has taught us along the way.

How will the chapter of 2021 read in the story of our lives? What setbacks will we encounter? What victories will we win with Jesus? How will we have grown closer to Him and more like Him? Who else will we bring along with us?

As we begin a new year, let’s cry out to Him for wisdom. And, as He gives us understanding, let’s be disciplined to choose to live each moment His way. Let’s treasure Him and seek to walk in the wisdom only He can give.

Lord, give us Your grace to “inhabit the land,” and also the integrity with You to “remain in it” (v.21).

 
 

1-1-21 – Pastor Chris

Happy New Year! On this first day of 2021, we are reminded that life is a gift. None of us deserve today, or any day for that matter; yet, God has entrusted it to us. The idea of “entrusted” means that God has exercised trust in us that we will manage the gift of the day well. One thing is certain – today will be what we make it.

As we begin a new year, we also begin a new Bible reading plan together as a church family. What a PRIVILEGE to have access to the Word of God. We pray often as a gathered church for entire people groups around the world that do not know of Jesus, have no Scriptures in their language, and have no churches in their cities, while you and I have easy access to numerous resources. We can read the Scriptures in dozens of English translations and even in the original language with some training. What will you do with what has been entrusted to you?

The verses above appear in a certain context. They were written as an instruction to Timothy (and all of us by extension) in light of the fact that his world was becoming increasingly self-centered and God-averse. Against the backdrop of this ever-darkening outlook of humanity, Paul instructed Timothy to continue in the teachings that had been entrusted to him from childhood. The word “continue” is the Greek word meno, meaning remain or abide. It is familiar to us as it is the instruction of the Lord to us in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (emphasis added)

In the same way that our fruitful living (John 15:5) is tied to our abiding in Christ, our ability to stand firm in godliness in the world where we live is tied to abiding in the Scriptures.

Let me add two more caveats:

  • I have never met a person who grew in faithfulness and blessing in Christ that did not have a disciplined approach to Bible reading.
  • Second, if our God saw fit to reveal Himself to us through Holy Scripture, what exactly was it He desired and designed for us to know in His Word?

Perhaps you’ve read through the Bible before. If so, you’ve likely already committed to doing it again with us this year. However, if you have never undertaken the discipline (or haven’t yet completed a plan that you started), let me invite you to join me as we read through the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs together this year. WHAT IF God had a word for you and me this year and wanted to reveal it to us through our corporate reading plan? Would we allow Him to speak to us? Would we chase after Him together?

If you prefer (as I often do) to read from a traditional paper copy of the Scriptures, there are reading plan reminders and (wait for it) memory verse cards for every month available throughout the campus. You can also access these as well as a number of other tools for those who prefer to use the EBC App or the Bible App. You can access them easily at this link: https://englewoodbaptist.com/everyday/

If you want to be part of a group that reads together on the Bible App, I am starting a group there as well. Simply click on these links to join my group (limited to the first 150 people). 

Psalms and Proverbs:
https://bible.com/p/36932342/835459d3039e1ddf031798d2519fbafb
 
New Testament:
https://bible.com/p/36932307/596e50a462d300fe7f287be35c9075cb
 
The other pastors will likely start groups as well. You can start your own group! What if you started a group and invited your Connect Group, your soccer team, or your Facebook friends to join you?

Church, I LOVE YOU, and I am excited about all the Lord has in store for us TOGETHER in the coming year.