Why We Teach the Bible the Way We Do

By “we” I mean the pastors and elders of Grace Community.

The world needs the church to be the church. In essence: to know what we believe, live it in and by grace and be willing to clearly and kindly share it.

This isn’t about a particular preaching or teaching style. This is about the substance. Whether fast or slow, verse by verse, or high flyovers, we must TEACH God’s Word.

I was reading this morning in 2 Chronicles 17

7 Also in the third year of his reign he sent his leaders, Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Michaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah. 9 So they taught in Judah, and had the Book of the Law of the Lord with them; they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught the people.

The text goes on to describe, in part, some of the result of teaching:

10 And the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, and they made no war against Jehoshaphat.

Just a couple of chapters before we get a quick synopsis of the times and why this stood out:

3 For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law.

Remember what the Lord told Joshua in 1:7-8

7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

I know the settings and parameters of the community of God were quite different in the Old Testament than we see in the New Testament church. 

We have similar emphasis given in the New Testament as well:

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Ti 3:16–17 

4 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 Ti 4:1–4

These verses need little commentary. Look around. The time isn’t coming, it’s here. I love and pray for my fellow pastors, teachers, and missionaries who are committed to faithfully teaching, often with much labor, the Scriptures we’ve been given. Join us at Grace each week as we humbly approach God’s great Word, currently in Romans, for a sobering look at His view of things. 

That’s where we learn grace. Where the gospel is clearly laid out. Where hope is promised.

Men’s Advance

I love that name. It’s not a retreat, it’s a huddle so we can ‘advance’.  Pray for the men of Grace as we join the men of Calvary Community for our first time at their annual event. I’m honored to teach from Colossians 3 on Saturday night.  Thanks for praying for us.

This Sunday, I’ll resume our study in Acts with the faith of Stephen in chapter 7.



3 Pots

A very thoughtful couple recently gave me this small fountain for my office.  They’ve been paying attention!

We’re all the middle pot.  For this to function the middle pot must both receive and give.  If you’re receiving and not giving, you’ll become bloated and not healthy. Think of the Dead Sea.  Water only flows into it.

If you’re giving and not receiving, you’ll run dry.  Imagine how long it takes for the fountain to cease flowing if the water from the top stops.  You can only give out what you’re receiving.

Who is speaking into your life?

And into whose life are you speaking?

Ministry – Am I receiving? Am I giving?

Truth – Am I reading, studying, learning? Am I sharing, teaching?

Relationships – Am I listening? Am I speaking the truth in love?

“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”  2 Tim 2:1-2


Teaching at the Bible College

We’re here in Sriracha teaching a few classes each day at the Bible College.  I really do love teaching the Bible and that is only highlighted when you’re teaching students at a Bible College.  Pray for these students as they are preparing for ministry and just like the rest of us are learning to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”

Snowy Flagstaff

It’s Monday morning and we’re soon on our way to the pastor’s conference to begin the teaching today through Thursday.  Yesterday we were able to visit another of the Children’s homes of Bahn Immanuel.  The young man that leads it was raised in the first one and now married with two kids is running a home in a small village not far from town.

I woke up early to see several messages on my phone.  The big snow has arrived in Flagstaff causing a few changes.  I’ve been thinking of you all and praying for you as the day is winding down for you.  Grateful for Laurie’s family visiting and helping her out in my absence.  Who doesn’t want to run a snowblower while vacationing on Spring Break?  Yikers.

Thanks for praying for us as we travel today and begin the conference.  I hope to check in this evening.

Requesting Prayer for Thailand

As many of you know, today I leave for a 15 day trip to Thailand with Pastors Paul Hayes and Dan Holgate both of Calvary Community in Phoenix.  We will meet up in just a few hours and fly to LAX, then begins our 18 hour flight to Bangkok, followed by another hour or so to our destination for the first week.  The three of us will be teaching a pastor’s conference the first week.

I’ve been to the doctors twice this past week, just dealing with the normal junk that get’s passed around this time of year. I’m praying the flight over will give some rest and not an irritation to those around me.

Pray for my sweetheart as she keeps things rolling here at home.  This might be the longest time we’ve been a part.  No matter how busy each of us are, it’s just not the same.

I’ll do my best to keep my blog updated throughout the trip. So, please watch for that, and pray for our time traveling and ministering to the pastors.

Teaching on Gifts of the Spirit

Tonight at 6:30 I’m teaching week two of our 4 week class on “Gifted for Ministry”. If you missed the first week, you can still come and jump in tonight. The purpose of this class is to help you understand how the Lord has gifted each of us with what we call ‘spiritual gifts’ and how we can best serve the Lord through our church. There is a $5 charge for the class and an optional book fee for our theology text, Understanding Christian Theology, for $32. I’ll have copies of last weeks notes and handouts for any that can join us tonight.

The Monday Night Classes that Grace offers are intentional teachings of what we call our essential doctrines and themes. Look for upcoming classes to choose from. Each class is intentionally designed to better equip our body in theology and practical living. Most classes are about 4 weeks long, so that you can continue going to your Grace Group without having to miss any sessions.

Sunday Night Thoughts

Wow. What a day. I love Sunday’s at Grace. Tonight I want to highlight a few things that are on my mind.

First, thanks to the Hospitality Team for an amazing lunch today. The place was packed out! It was awesome. Food was great and I’m thankful Sinagua has added more tables. It looked to me like you guys were all having a great time. Thanks for staying after church and enjoying a meal with “One Another”. Great job everyone. I hope you were encouraged.

We just finished our first Grace Group tonight. I already love our new group. If you haven’t joined a Grace Group yet, we’ll have all the updated information available for you this next week. There are Grace Groups spread around town on several different nights of the week. It is an awesome experience to get around the table or the living room and talk about what God is teaching us.

Tomorrow night I start a new class. As you know we’ve started these Monday Night Classes for teaching more doctrine and essential truths of Grace. The Classes are designed to average about 4 weeks long, some will be a bit shorter or longer. They all start at 6:30 and finish by 8. One of the main reasons we keep the classes to just a few weeks is so that you can do both a class and your Grace Group. If you are in a Grace Group and see a class you’d like to take, the design allows you to do both with only a few weeks of having two nights out. So, please don’t miss out on the classes we’re offering. We’re being very intentional about the class topics and the schedules. We’ve already had one on the Deity of Christ, one on Spiritual Growth and one on Biblical Finances. Many of the classes will be offered again.

So, tomorrow I’m starting a 4 week study on “Gifted for Ministry”. We’ll examine the biblical teaching on the Holy Spirit as a gift and the gifts He gives us. We’ll look at why the church is dependent upon the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given to individuals. By the end of the 4 week study, you’ll be able to identify how God has gifted you and how you can serve Him at Grace. I’m very excited about this and I just love the timing, especially how it fits with our recent study in John.

Most classes have fees and books. From here on out, any class that requires a theology text, we’ll be using one: Understanding Christian Theology. I have a few copies available tomorrow for $32. It’s a big book, and it’ll serve you well for years to come, especially in a variety of classes we’ll offer. For this class the book is NOT REQUIRED, but it is highly RECOMMENDED. I’ll have some handouts as well as some class notes. I believe the fee for the class is $5.

If you have any questions, let me know or call Bekah in the morning.

I really hope you’re finding your way to a Grace Group, or that you will this next week. I invite you to join me for class tomorrow night as well.

It’s been a great day. Thanks to all who serve Jesus at Grace in making it a welcoming place for some great ministry to be taking place. God bless you all, have a good night.

People of the towel

Yesterday was amazing @ Grace. At the end of a sermon from John 13 on the washing of the disciples feet by our Lord, we passed out towels to all who would commit to serving one another. I’d love to hear stories of how we’re actually serving the needs of one another. Can we pass on stories without boasting or drawing attention to ourselves? Jesus was simply teaching a lesson by ‘doing’. That’s all I’m looking for. Let’s teach one another by sharing our stories of how we serve the needs around us. Any takers?