Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Challenge, Part 1

Each year as pastor of Brushfork Baptist Church, I have issued a New Year’s challenge to the congregation. This year is going to be different. This year, I am not just going to issue one challenge. This year I’m going to issue a series of challenges. Over the past year, we have been corporately praying almost weekly for God to pour real revival on us. As we look around, we see problems outside of our walls that we can’t fix. We can’t program the problems away, we can’t work them away, we can’t even love them away. We are far too small and the problems are far too great for us to handle. It has nothing to do with the size of our congregation or the size of our budget. It has to do with the size of our pride and our lack of reliance on God. So this year, my challenge is going to be threefold.

First, I am issuing an upward challenge. This will be our commitment to exercise and improve our spiritual disciplines as the church gathered and the church scattered. The first part of the upward challenge is for the members of Brushfork Baptist Church to read the Bible through in 2009. Once again, I will provide a reading plan that you can use or you can develop one on your own. If you desire, the church will provide you with a MacArthur Daily Bible or you can purchase one on your own.

A second part of the upward challenge is to memorize a key Scripture passage each week. I will list the passages in the bulletin, on the blog, in the Banner and the Deacon of the Week will read it each week. I intend for me and my family to be more faithful in this area this year as well.

The third part of the upward challenge is to increase our commitment to corporate and individual prayer. We will continue our focus on corporate prayer on Wednesday evenings and will include special seasons of prayer throughout the year. At the same time, each of us individually needs to commit to setting aside seasons of dedicated and focused personal prayer. I challenge each of us to list and pray for the lost as well as the sick and afflicted. And I challenge each of us to pray for God to bring us revival and give us Mercer County—not for us, but for His name’s sake.

Tomorrow I will list the outward challenges I am issuing for 2009.


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