Resources to Help You Grow!

Submitted by First Brethren on Wed, 08/31/2022 - 2:58pm

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”- Psalm 119:105

If you’ve been around the Church for longer than five minutes, you’ve probably heard how important it is to read the Bible on a regular basis. I’ve spoken about much the American church has been damaged because so many Christians don’t know what the Bible says. Yes, reading the Bible is important. But an important question we should also ask is, “What should we read?” There’s a lot in the Bible; what should I be reading right now?

I mean, as parents we’ve encouraged our kids to read over their summer break rather than just playing video games or watching TV. But I doubt few of us would be pleased if our children took up our suggestion but came home from the library with copies of books we wouldn’t approve of. “What” can be as important as “if”. And when it comes to the Bible, we should read it in ways that build our faith and knowledge, not just as an item to mark off on our To-Do List.

A couple of weeks ago we rolled out our partnership with Right Now Media. The reason that I am so excited about this partnership is that it gives us access to quality Bible-based teaching, that allows us to engage God, and Scripture, in new ways, and on demand. Think of it as a tool box full of new and useful tools.

Have you always wanted to know how the Bible fits together as a unified story? Or how to interpret the various types of writing in the Bible? There are some great videos that teach you that. Have you been interested in reading a particular book, but would like someone with expertise to help you see the things you might miss? There are video series that cover specific books, taught by some of the world’s best teaching pastors.

Want to learn how you can make your grandparenting role a ministry? Try “Grace Based Grandparenting” by Tim Kimmel. Would you like to know how to answer the questions of the atheist at work that says Scripture can’t be trusted? J. Warner Wallace’s “Cold Case Christianity” videos can help you there. Looking for more depth in your devotional time? Laurie Short’s series on the Lord’s Prayer might help. The point is there is material for people of all ages, covering all sorts of topics, including mental health, dealing with loss, parenting, and wrestling with difficult social issues of our day from a biblical perspective.

I’m excited we can offer this to our church and community, but I also need to make something else clear. WATCHING VIDEOS IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PERSONALLY READING THE BIBLE. As Brethren, we believe that the Living Word (Jesus Christ) is illuminated within us when the Inner Word (the Holy Spirit) interprets the Outer Word (the Bible). The videos are intended to enhance our spiritual life by giving us resources provided by Spirit-filled teachers and arranged by topic, but it will not help us really grow if we start watching the videos and stop reading the Bible for ourselves. My hope and prayer is that these videos, whether through small group study, leadership training, or personal study, will give us a greater hunger for God’s Word, bring us greater knowledge of the Bible, and help us to better apply the Scriptures to our lives, that we may be better equipped for the mission God has for us as individuals and as a church.

So back to the question I asked earlier. What is it you need to be reading right now? What area of your spiritual life needs to be growing right now? Do you need a study on prayer? On sharing your faith? On overcoming your past? My goal is to resource you to grow. As your pastor, I’d love to talk to you about where you want to grow, and help you find the resources to help you. Please let me know how I can help.

Until we all reach maturity,

Pastor Jeff