Tag Archives: New Year
Friends: We are thinking about the incredible possibility that awaits us as we anticipate a brand new year — 2020. The expression “2020” reminds me of my first eye exam in high school — when I memorized the eye chart before going to the doctor’s! (I don’t know why). As we face this new year, we have the opportunity to focus on several priorities for our lives.
First, we can commit ourselves to becoming more like the Lord Jesus, Second, we want to focus on the truth that we are not to be conformed to this world. Third, we need to have a deep desire to get into God’s holy Word!
May I suggest a fourth priority for each of us in 2020? And it is that we would deeply care about the salvation of those around us. If we believe the gospel is true, then every person is headed either to heaven or to hell. Do we think about that truth as we meet people, engage with our co-workers and neighbors, and come in contact with total strangers?
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this issue. It’s the reason I recently wrote Unlike Jesus: Let’s Stop Unfriending the World. In that book I make the case that we are to be friends of sinners like Jesus was. And I challenge each excuse that many of us give for having only Christian friends, listening only to Christian music, and eating only Christian casseroles. [I’d be glad to send you a copy for around my cost, about $10 with shipping. Just let me know.]
Would you pray the following prayer with me? “Lord, I want this new year, 2020, to be different as I engage with lost people around me. Open my eyes, Father, to opportunities to share You with them, beginning with a bit of explanation about how I was lost. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Some of you are faithful readers of this blog.A few of you have stumbled on it by accident. I appreciate each of you and want to take today’s post to ask for your prayer for me and this new year! I’m so thankful that the Lord is using me in various ministries and you might want to know about a few upcoming events for which you can pray. Please let me know how I can pray for you.
Specific kinds of activities:
1. Writing projects:There seems to be good indication that I will have one (and possibly two) writing contracts for this year. Unlike Jesus: One Area in Which Jesus-Followers Excel is something I’ve worked on for a while. We need to become friends of sinners, like Jesus, don’t we? Another book, tentatively entitled With Friends Like These, will challenge us to develop deeper relationships with other believers as well as with those who don’t know the Lord. (I’ll announce on this blog when either of these contracts is nailed down). Please pray for clarity of thought and a clear guidance of God the Holy Spirit as I work on these two projects.
2. Speaking Opportunities: I am so grateful for the times I get to preach God’s Word or conduct serious study sessions on various theological topics. I’m hoping to present one or two workshops at the annual “Iron Sharpens Iron” conference at Emmaus Bible College in May. I’ve suggested several possible topics (the titles with brief descriptions are: “Learning to Be a Friend of Sinners Without Becoming a Friend of the World” Jesus’ being a friend of sinners (Mt. 11:19) and the command for us not to be a friend of the world (James 4:4) are often confused. How is it many of us need a refresher in Friendship 101? What is a biblical definition of the “world” and our place in it? “Theological Opposition: Where Should We Do Battle — and Why?” This is not the day for spiritual pacifists. As Chuck Colson used to say, “The battle is raging today all around, but many are perishing because we Christians have failed to engage the enemy at the point of attack. We not only flinch; for the most part we are not even looking in the right direction.” (Who Speaks for God?). Biblical guidelines for fighting false teaching will be discussed. “Battlin’ Brethren: Silly Squabbles Between the Saints” Learning to distinguish between the essentials of the faith and our own distinctives is crucial. The adage “In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things charity” was sadly violated by J.N. Darby and his compatriots in the early days of the Brethren Movement. Their legacy, unfortunately, continues. Some recommendations for reversing the trend will be given. “A Discussion of Greg Koukl’s Book Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions” In an increasingly hostile world, this book provides practical steps in sharing the gospel without becoming obnoxious or defensive. Tactics such as the Columbo Method, Steamrolling, and the Rhodes Scholar are explained by this prominent apologist from Stand to Reason).
3. Ministry/Missions Opportunities: Apart from several trips to work with the believers at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel in New Jersey, I’ll be speaking in a Chinese church on Easter Sunday (in English, of course!). There is a strong possibility that Linda and I will travel to Ethiopia to teach in a small Bible school there for a couple of weeks!
There will also be some opportunities to edit book manuscripts for others, plenty of tennis with my friends (some who are not yet “in Christ”), some Bible conferences, etc.
I appreciate you, my friend. And I deeply covet your prayers for me for this New Year!
Some of you faithful readers might be interested in my ministry schedule for the next few months. The old word “covet” comes to mind. I’d sure covet your prayers for these upcoming opportunities:
Dec. 28 through Jan. 8 — Linda and I will be in NJ visiting her 91-year-old Mom. I’ll be preaching at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel on those two Sundays. I’m looking forward to working with their leadership over the next few months. I’ll meet with their leadership team on Tuesday Jan. 2 to discuss a position paper on Marriage and Divorce, lead a midweek Bible study on Acts on Wednesday, Jan. 3, speak at a men’s breakfast there on Jan. 6, teach a Sunday School class on I-III John on Sunday, Jan. 7, then preach that Sunday’s message! Please pray that we work well together during that week and for my next scheduled visit to them (April 15-22).
The New Year: I will be working on developing two online courses for Emmaus Bible College. They are both on areas of theology and I am looking forward to contributing to their program. Please pray for clarity and wisdom as I work on these. I’m also quite excited to work with Biblical Eldership Resources in March and will be presenting two sermons on the preacher and the Holy Spirit!
Missions: I’m looking forward to teaching at South East Asia Bible College and Seminary in Myanmar (Burma) in August. We’ve not yet finalized the date. Please pray for that wonderful opportunity for me to contribute to their ministry and the education of their students. Their website is found at: https://www.southeastasiabiblecollege.org/
Writing: My retirement is giving me time to work on several projects. I’ve just finished my little booklet Ten Specific Steps You Can Take to Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better! Send me a check for five bucks and I’ll get one right out to you. Send me a note via snail mail telling me what you like about my blog and I’ll send you one for free! Address: Dr. Larry Dixon, 117 Norse Way, Columbia, SC 29229
I’m working on other projects which I’ll probably inflict on (I mean share with) you in a later post.
Theology Matters Conferences: I’ve developed a brochure on these weekend conferences. Topics include “Unlike Jesus: One Area Where Jesus-Followers Excel”; “Insight from a Blind Man: A Study of John 9”; “Friends Don’t Let Friends . . . Die! A Study of John 11”; etc. Drop me an email (with a post office address) if you want some brochures to pass on to your church’s leadership team.
Again, thank you for reading my blog. May the Lord encourage you in your projects!