Thankful To God!

Brad Cooper, student pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC, speaking to youth in grades 6-12 presented eternal realities as places hinging on partying.  Hell will be a place absent of parties while heaven will be where the party is.  Apparently, the eternal destination of young people depends not on whether they have repented of sins committed against a holy God and a desire to be with Him for eternity but whether you want to party or not.  No alcohol in hell but it will be flowing in heaven.  So heaven won’t be about Christ, it will be about us. If you want to party for eternity, choose heaven.

I have two responses to this foolishness. The first is sadness that this happens and that youth I know and care for are under this kind of influence.  The second is that I thank God for Aaron Butner, the youth director at Lakeview.  Aaron does not present the gospel in a way that appeals to the party spirit of the youth.  But he presents Christ, in all of his glory and splendor. He presents the gospel in realms of repentance of sins and faith in Jesus Christ and His righteousness as the only hope anyone has for salvation.  There is a further emphasis on pleasing God with your life and denying self to spread the fame of His name. In other words, from start to finish, it is about Christ and not about us.  I am thankful that my children are under his influence and grateful that the Lakeview youth, that I love dearly, are under his teaching.  At Lakeview, youth will get the true gospel that magnifies Christ and not self.   And I am thankful to God for that. We are fortunate that God has placed him at Lakeview.

You can see the video here at this blog.




The Tim Tebow Problem!

Don’t misunderstand me, I have absolutely no problem with Tim Tebow praising God after every score, praying on the sideline or giving God glory at the end of the game.  I really appreciate him doing that. My concern is with Christians who have elevated Tebow as the new poster boy of Christianity.

There are two reasons I am concerned. Firstly, we tend to set up humans as the ones we are to follow instead of following Jesus.  We are to primarily follow our Savior Jesus Christ and not human examples so much. My fear is that Tim Tebow becomes the model to follow instead of Christ.  Jesus said that we are to take up our cross, deny ourselves and follow HIM.  I commend Tebow for his stand but I am to follow Jesus not a football player.  I have noticed a lot of talk among Christians about Tebow while I hear little talk from the same people about Christ.  That concerns me.

The second reason I am concerned is I think we are setting up Tebow, ourselves, and Christianity for a fall.  Tim Tebow is human and he will fail. He is not perfect and will make mistakes.  Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon and on and on all great men of God– failed. What happens when Tebow fails?  What happens to all those who idolize Tebow when he falls? What happens to people’s perception of Christianity when he missteps? It is going to happen because he was born a sinner just like the rest of us and being a high profile sports figure he is going to be tempted in greater degree than any of us could imagine. We have done nothing but set up ourselves for failure.

But Jesus will never fail.  He lived perfectly on earth and rules and reigns perfectly. He never fails, he will never let you down and will never bring reproach on Christianity.  I wish we would point people toward Jesus, he is the example to follow, not a sports figure who is encumbered with sinful flesh. So appreciate Tim Tebow’s unashamed confession of Christ but don’t make him what he can not possibly be.

Bible Reading Plans for 2012

From Ligonier Ministries and Nathan W. Bingham

Many Christians take the beginning of a new year to evaluate their Bible reading habits, and then change or begin a Bible reading plan.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. — Psalm 119:105

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of Bible reading plans for you to choose from. Maybe this year you will read more of the Bible each day. Perhaps you’ll slow down your reading and instead spend more time considering what you read. Whatever it is you’re looking for in a reading plan, you should find it below.

52 Week Bible Reading Plan

Read through the Bible in a year, with each day of the week dedicated to a different genre: Epistles, The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy, and Gospels.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

5x5x5 Bible Reading Plan

Read through the New Testament in a year, reading Monday to Friday. Weekends are set aside for reflection and other reading. Especially beneficial if you’re new to a daily discipline of Bible reading.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

A Bible Reading Chart

Read through the Bible at your own pace. Use this minimalistic, yet beautifully designed, chart to track your reading over 2012.

Duration: Flexible | Download: PDF

Chronological Bible Reading Plan

Read through the Bible in the order the events occurred chronologically.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan

Four daily readings beginning in Genesis, Psalms, Matthew and Acts.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

ESV Daily Bible Reading Plan

Four daily readings taken from four lists: Psalms and Wisdom Literature, Pentateuch and History of Israel, Chronicles and Prophets, and Gospels and Epistles.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

Every Word in the Bible

Read through the Bible one chapter at a time. Readings alternate between the Old and New Testaments.

Duration: Three years | Download: PDF

Historical Bible Reading Plan

The Old Testament readings are similar to Israel’s Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament readings are an attempt to follow the order in which the books were authored.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System

Reading ten chapters a day, in the course of a year you’ll read the Gospels four times, the Pentateuch twice, Paul’s letters four to five times, the Old Testament wisdom literature six times, the Psalms at least twice, Proverbs and Acts a dozen times, and the OT History and Prophetic books about one and a half times.

Duration: Ongoing | Download: PDF | Facebook: The 3650 Challenge

Robert Murray M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan

Read the New Testament and Psalms twice and the Old Testament once.

Duration: One or two years | Download: Website

Straight Through the Bible Reading Plan

Read straight through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

Tabletalk Bible Reading Plan

Two readings each day; one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF
App: Accessible in the Ligonier App (iPhone / iPad & Android)

The Legacy Reading Plan

This plan does not have set readings for each day. Instead, it has set books for each month, and set number of Proverbs and Psalms to read each week. It aims to give you more flexibility, while grounding you in specific books of the Bible each month.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

Two-Year Bible Reading Plan

Read the Old and New Testaments once, and Psalms & Proverbs four times.

Duration: Two years | Download: PDF

In addition to your daily Bible reading, if you’re looking for devotional material that will help you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living, considerTabletalk magazine. Try it out for three months absolutely free.