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Tag Archives: friendship

One-on-One Online Bible Study: A Ministry Suggestion! (a new update)

Friends: How do we encourage and minister to other believers when we can’t be together face-to-face? One way that has encouraged me is to do a kind of online Bible study together. I’m not talking about buying some expensive curriculum or installing some new “app” or software on your computer. Here’s what my friend and I have done:

We read a chapter of Ephesians each week. That’s it! We read the chapter once each day and then send a brief email to each other on Sunday sharing a thought or two that we’ve gotten from our “study.” Granted, it’s not in-depth, but there is no substitute for the reading and re-reading of God’s Word!

So, just a thought — is there someone at a distance that you could discuss this idea of doing an online Bible study together? You’ve got 66 books in the Bible to tackle! Or you could follow a theme together (such as the glory of God or the parables of the Lord Jesus, etc).

I’m looking forward to the next topic or book my friend and I choose to read together. Want to try this idea with us?

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2019 in Bible study

 

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Another great clip from John Ortberg: A Friend of GOD!

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2019 in friend of God

 

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One-on-One Online Bible Study: A Ministry Suggestion! (an update)

Friends: How do we encourage and minister to other believers when we can’t be together face-to-face? One way that has encouraged me is to do a kind of online Bible study together. I’m not talking about buying some expensive curriculum or installing some new “app” or software on your computer. Here’s what my friend and I have done:

We read a chapter of Ephesians each week. That’s it! We read the chapter once each day and then send a brief email to each other on Sunday sharing a thought or two that we’ve gotten from our “study.” Granted, it’s not in-depth, but there is no substitute for the reading and re-reading of God’s Word!

So, just a thought — is there someone at a distance that you could discuss this idea of doing an online Bible study together? You’ve got 66 books in the Bible to tackle! Or you could follow a theme together (such as the glory of God or the parables of the Lord Jesus, etc).

I’m looking forward to the next topic or book my friend and I choose to read together. Want to try this idea with us?

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2019 in Bible study

 

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Audio Recording of “Unlike Jesus” (Chapter Four – “Before You Judge Me, Take a Look at Yo-Self!”)


Chapter Four – “Before You Judge Me, Take a Look at Yo-Self!”
1. How do you feel about criticism? Are you willing to get criticized by other believers for spending time with sinners?
2. Would you rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism?
3. What is one takeaway for you from the story of the prodigal son? Why did Jesus tell that story?
4. What do healthy churches do instead of criticizing those who spend time with “sinners”?
5. Feel free to go over the questions provided in the book for Chapter Four.

 

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Audio Recording of “Unlike Jesus” (Chapter Two – “It’s a Small World Afterall”)

I’m posting the audio of my book Unlike Jesus: Let’s Stop Unfriending the World. You might consider using these audio tracks in a group study on friendship evangelism.

I will provide a few study questions for each chapter that might be useful in leading such a study.

Chapter Two – “It’s a Small World Afterall”
1. How can we tell when our view of worldliness is more cultural than biblical ?
2. What are several helpful points you got from Witmer’s comments?
3. How would you define being “a friend of the world”?
4. What two areas of the Christian life did the Corinthians mess up?
5. What two mistakes do we make when we try to modify the behavior of unbelievers?
6. Feel free to go over the study questions at the end of Chapter Two.

 

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Audio Recording of “Unlike Jesus” (Foreword, Introduction and Chapter One – “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”)

I’m posting the audio of my book Unlike Jesus: Let’s Stop Unfriending the World. You might consider using these audio tracks in a group study on friendship evangelism.

I will provide a few study questions for each chapter that might be useful in leading such a study.

Foreword:
1. My friend, Dr. Allan McKechie, says some nice things about me. What’s his conclusion about the book?

Introduction:
1. How would it feel to be “unfriended” on Facebook? How have we unfriended the world?
2. Would you agree with many of us Christians could use a refresher course on Friendship 101? Why or why not?
3. Do you sense that you are “overstuffed” with Christian stuff?

Chapter One: “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
1. What strikes you in Matthew 11 about the criticism that Jesus’ culture levels against John the Baptist and Jesus?
2. Concerning the criticism of John the Baptist, if we were to choose a simple, austere, non-consumeristic mindset in our culture, wouldn’t people think we were crazy? Why or why not?
3. Do you agree with my discussion of Jesus as being “indulgent”? What do we learn about living in the world from looking at the habits of eating and drinking in the life of Jesus?
4. The categories of healthy and sick and righteous versus sinner — Jesus came for the latter in both cases.
5. What do we learn about Jesus’ perspective on sinners and tax collectors from the other references in this chapter? How do we treat those who are sin in their sins?
6. How ought we to treat a person in our church who refuses to repent of serious sin? What do we learn from Matthew 18?
7. What was the “central habit of our Savior” and how have we missed it?
8. Feel free to go over the study questions at the end of Chapter One.

 

 

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How Chess Is Sometimes Like Life!

I am an avid chess player. I did not say a good one. I lose internationally!  I have a number of chess games going on during the day on my computer with people all over the world.  The Brits seem to play a lot of chess.  But I’ve had games with people in Russia, India, Colombia, and . . . America!

What I appreciate about the website I use to play my games is that I can message or text the other player and he me.  I’ve had some amazing conversations about the Lord while playing chess with others.  My “handle” or name I use on the site is “theoprof,” so I get a lot of individuals asking me about . . . THEOLOGY!  I’ve even convinced a few to correspond with me off-site through regular email.

For those of you who play chess, you might be interested in a game I’ve got going right now.  Here the screen shot.  I’m playing black and I’ve just moved my pawn up to E3.  This is a rare move for me.  The pawn puts the king in check but it also opened up my bishop at G5 to threaten his queen at C2.  Unless I’ve missed something, he has lost his queen!

Sometimes I feel that way in life, do you?  My king is under attack and I’m going to lose my queen.  I don’t mean literally.

 

Here’s how I was able to take his queen (picture #2 on the left).  And the last picture is of my taking his queen.

I probably lost that game.  I don’t remember.  But, for me, it’s a fun way to connect with others.

What is one way you connect with others on the internet?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2019 in chess

 

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Some Thoughts on FRIENDSHIP — From an INTROVERT! ENEMIES of God!? (Part 2)

None of us likes to be told that we enter life as ENEMIES of God! But that’s the testimony of Scripture. True, every person is a creation of God and is made in the image of God. But as we saw in our previous post, CREATION does not equal REDEMPTION.

I’ve been studying Ephesians 2 recently and here is what we learn about our B.C. (before Christ) condition:

There are two, and only two, categories of human beings: (1) those who are by nature (and practice) belong to their father, the devil (Jn. 8:41; Acts 13:10), and (2) those who by conversion and redemption are now children of God (Jn. 1:12; I Jn. 3:10).

We dare not waffle on the truth of CONVERSION.  I heard of a very cautious clergyman in Detroit who once challenged his congregation with these words: “Dearly beloved, unless you repent of your sins in a measure, and become converted in a degree, you will, I regret to say, be damned to a more or less extent.” Biblical conversion moves one out of the category of enemy into the category of child, redeemed by the finished work of the Lord Jesus.

Let’s not leave those verses in Ephesians 2 too quickly. Notice some of the awful statements about our pre-conversion condition: “dead in your transgressions and sins”; you “followed the ways of this world”; you were “by nature deserving of wrath”; etc. Those expressions are the death-nail to human pride. When one says, “Yes, Lord, that is indeed my condition,” he or she is on the fast track to forgiveness and fellowship with God. And conversion leads to FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD!

 

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2019 in enemies

 

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Some Thoughts on FRIENDSHIP — From an INTROVERT! ENEMIES of God!? (Part 1)

What must it mean to be called a “friend of God”? If our view of God is low, then that expression means very little. But if we think of God as the Almighty Creator of the heavens and the earth, the One who sent His own Son to die for our sins, the One who grants us the very next breath of air in our lungs, then becoming His friend has to be the greatest gift one could ever have!

Atheism, of course, tells us that God isn’t real and any “relationship” with Him is pure self-deception. Militant atheists sometimes express their disapproval with posters like this one:

“But,” some might say, “doesn’t God love everybody? Aren’t all people friends of God? Don’t we come into the world as friends of God?”

Great questions! Here’s what the Bible teaches: Before conversion, we were not friends, but enemies of God! Romans 5:10 says, “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”

There is no spiritual neutrality, no religious Switzerland. We come into this world as wrath-deserving sinners who begin to practice our rebellion as soon as possible! Yes, we are children of God in the sense of CREATION. But creation does not equal REDEMPTION! The Apostle Paul calls his listeners on Mars Hill “the offspring of God,” but then calls them to repent and believe in Jesus! (Acts 17).

(to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2019 in enemies

 

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Door-to-Door Evangelism Today?


I’ve done door-to-door evangelism — and it is difficult! I admire the church that goes out into its surrounding neighborhood with a small gift (ours gave away a lightbulb), tells people about their services, and asks something like, “Is there anything we can pray for you about?” But even that is tough.

The better alternative is to get to know our neighbors, become a “friend of tax collectors and sinners” like Jesus was (Mt. 11:19), and begin to strategically pray for their salvation. Your thoughts?

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2019 in evangelism

 

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