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2018: Finding Your Way

For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous.

 -Psalm 1:6

 
 

WELCOME TO 2018!


Each year at FBC Arlington is packed with meaning and significance. There are always lessons to be learned as we reflect over God’s leadership in our lives in the previous year.


2017 was truly a meaningful year for us. We experienced both highs and lows as a church family and staff. Certainly, this year will be long remembered as the year we renovated our Sanctuary. It was quite a journey, to say the least. We managed the transition well—however, not without some pain, impact, and change. I hope we will garner all the lessons needed from this journey as we forge ahead toward all God has for us in this new year.


This past year has been a year of transition in many ways for us. We have implemented a new staff structure. We have experienced the departures of two Associate Pastors. We have crafted a new infrastructure for our mission ministry with a new staff member in place in global ministries.


We also have almost completed a holistic analysis of our governance structure and decision-making policies. We expect a recommendation from this task force in early 2018. Further, we have engaged in the most holistic analysis of our financial systems in at least several generations in our church.  
Finally, we ended 2017 by voting to proceed with the construction of a new Preschool/Children’s Education Building. We expect this project to begin in February of 2018.


We spent the entire year of 2017 exploring the nature of the Gospel. Scot McKnight led our entire church in a study of evangelism or “Gospeling” as he prefers. It was a rich and beneficial journey for our staff and church as we studied the meaning of the Gospel for 21st century believers.


In 2018, we are embarking on a different kind of adventure. Our theme for 2018 is Finding Your Way. We will explore how to find our way in various spheres of life during this year. Here are the themes to be addressed in my sermon plans:  

Finding Your Way . . .  

. . . through the Bible

. . . on the Jesus Way

. . . in Relationships 

. . . towards Spiritual Maturity 

. . . in Ministry 

. . . around the World 

. . . to Bethlehem 

Further, we have embraced three significant priorities to guide our ministry planning and the strategic development of our budgetary considerations. Also, we are engaged in a strategic analysis of our staffing priorities related to our goals. The three priorities are:


• Spiritual Formation – We are planning to implement strategies that will assist us in deepening the spiritual formation of our people. We have ideas to engage our people in curriculum, in ministry, in small groups— all aimed at spiritual formation. 

• Deepening Our Downtown Presence – The ministry context of downtown Arlington continues to morph with the amazing growth of our community. We are seeking to engage the people who live and work downtown with the Gospel. 

• Deepening Our Impact into the Broader Arlington Community – Our city is growing and changing. We have to become more intentional in our evangelistic and outreach efforts across the Arlington community.  

2018 is here! I am looking forward to this new year. I believe God has big plans in store for us. I am praying for us and our people as we all find our way on the Jesus Way!


Glorifying God by Following The Jesus Way! 


  

Finding Your Way . . . 

. . . Through the Bible 


January 7 – February 13, 2018

January 7, 2018


Finding Your Way
Psalm 1 

The Bible uses the imagery of “the way” as a metaphor for life. God has designed us to live a certain “way” that is consistent with His will. Jesus talked about a “way” that is narrow that leads to life. Jesus even referred to Himself as “The Way” that leads to the Father. God is paying attention to the “way” of His people. He wants us to find our way to His way so that we might live in a way that honors Him! 


Daily Bible Readings 

As we begin 2018 together as a church family, let’s dedicate our “ways” to God. Let’s ask Him to guide us on our way each day. We need His direction in the way we handle the situations of our daily lives. We need His wisdom for the way we live in community with others. Read these Psalms this week and notice the desire of the Psalmist to find God’s way in everyday life. I am praying for you this year to find your way! 

January 8:      Psalm 19 

January 9:      Psalm 25 

January 10:    Psalm 27 

January 11:    Psalm 32 

January 12:    Psalm 62 

January 13:    Reflection


January 14, 2018
The B.I.B.L.E.
Isaiah 40:6-8

Millions of books have been written throughout human history. However, one book stands alone—above all others. The Bible. The Bible is God’s Word. God’s Word is the timeless revelation of God’s will. His Word is eternal. The Bible is the amazing record of God’s self-revelation. Actually, it is a library of books spanning some 1500 years. Today, we will celebrate the beauty of the Bible and put it in perspective for 21st century believers.   


Daily Bible Readings 

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It is a Hebrew poem designed to communicate the majesty and order of God’s revelation through His Word. The poem is an acrostic. It contains 22 stanzas --- one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each stanza contains 8 lines that begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. It is a holistic expression of the authority, wisdom, power, usefulness, and grandeur of God’s Word. Take time each day to reflect upon the usefulness of God’s Word in your daily life. Ask God to speak to you each day as you read, pray, reflect, and apply His Word to your life. 

January 15:     Psalm 119:1-8 

January 16:     Psalm 119:9-16 

January 17:     Psalm 119:17-24 

January 18:     Psalm 119:25-32 

January 19:     Psalm 119:33-40 

January 20:     Reflection 

January 21, 2018


God’s Word is . . . God’s Word!
2 Peter 1:19-21 

There are many descriptive terms used by theologians in discussions about the nature of the Bible. One of those theological terms is “inspiration.” As Christians, we believe the uniqueness of the Bible is rooted in our understanding of how God inspired human beings to record His Word. The Greek word used in today’s text literally means, “God-breathed.” So, God’s Word is literally the breath of God! God’s Word is . . . God’s Word!   


Daily Bible Readings 

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It is a Hebrew poem designed to communicate the majesty and order of God’s revelation through His Word. The poem is an acrostic. It contains 22 stanzas --- one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each stanza contains 8 lines that begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. It is a holistic expression of the authority, wisdom, power, usefulness, and grandeur of God’s Word. Take time each day to reflect upon the usefulness of God’s Word in your daily life. Ask God to speak to you each day as you read, pray, reflect, and apply His Word to your life.

 January 22:     Psalm 119:41-48
January 23:     Psalm 119:49-56 

January 24:     Psalm 119:57-64 

January 25:     Psalm 119:65-72 

January 26:     Psalm 119:73-80 

January 27:     Reflection 

January 28, 2018


God’s Word is . . . Right!
2 Timothy 3:14-16 

As theologians have attempted to explain the nature of the Bible, they have utilized numerous terms. The discussion about the definitions of these terms often leads to serious debate. While those discussions are necessary and helpful, there is one place where most evangelical scholars all agree. The Bible is authoritative for God’s people. The Bible is not a book filled with suggestions and sound advice. It is the authoritative Word of the Living God!   


Daily Bible Readings 

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It is a Hebrew poem designed to communicate the majesty and order of God’s revelation through His Word. The poem is an acrostic. It contains 22 stanzas --- one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each stanza contains 8 lines that begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. It is a holistic expression of the authority, wisdom, power, usefulness, and grandeur of God’s Word. Take time each day to reflect upon the usefulness of God’s Word in your daily life. Ask God to speak to you each day as you read, pray, reflect, and apply His Word to your life.  

January 29:     Psalm 119:81-88 

January 30:     Psalm 119:89-96 

January 31:     Psalm 119:97-104 

February 1:     Psalm 119:105-112 

February 2:     Psalm 119:113-120 

February 3:     Reflection 

February 4, 2018


God’s Word is . . . Light!
Hebrews 4:12 

God has not left us to our own devices to somehow find our “way” in life. He has revealed Himself in His Word so that we might know Him and discover His way that leads to life. God’s Word is a trustworthy guide for all believers. His Word is truth that sheds light both within us and around us so that we might become His people, following His path, with His will at the center of our desires.  

 

Daily Bible Readings 

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It is a Hebrew poem designed to communicate the majesty and order of God’s revelation through His Word. The poem is an acrostic. It contains 22 stanzas --- one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each stanza contains 8 lines that begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. It is a holistic expression of the authority, wisdom, power, usefulness, and grandeur of God’s Word. Take time each day to reflect upon the usefulness of God’s Word in your daily life. Ask God to speak to you each day as you read, pray, reflect, and apply His Word to your life.


February 5:     Psalm 119:121-128 

February 6:     Psalm 119:129-136 

February 7:     Psalm 119:137-144 

February 8:     Psalm 119:145-152 

February 9:     Psalm 119:153-160 

February 10:   Reflection


February 11, 2018

God’s Word is . . . for You!

2 Timothy 2:15 

God’s Word is available for all of us. However, we must take the time to learn how to read, study, interpret, and apply the Bible to our lives. God’s Word is useful. It is powerful. It is God’s self-revelation. There is no way for us to find our way without its guidance. Today, we will focus on how to read and study the Bible for ourselves. The Bible is for you! 

Daily Bible Readings 

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It is a Hebrew poem designed to communicate the majesty and order of God’s revelation through His Word. The poem is an acrostic. It contains 22 stanzas --- one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each stanza contains 8 lines that begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. It is a holistic expression of the authority, wisdom, power, usefulness, and grandeur of God’s Word. Take time each day to reflect upon the usefulness of God’s Word in your daily life. Ask God to speak to you each day as you read, pray, reflect, and apply His Word to your life. 


February 12:      Psalm 119:161-168 

February 13:      Psalm 119:169-176
​  

Finding Your Way . . . 

. . . On The Jesus Way 

Easter 2018


February 14 - April 7, 2018

Ash Wednesday 2018
Life in His Name
John 20:30-31
 

Our annual journey to the cross and an empty tomb begins tonight. The Apostle John will be our guide for this trek this year. He was an eyewitness who experienced the life of Jesus up close. He chose to write his Gospel so that people might discover life in Jesus. Let’s pray that God will continue to breathe life in us as we journey together this Easter Season. Let’s also pray that He will use us to share this message of life with others.

Daily Bible Readings
February 14:         John 1:1-18
February 15:         John 1:19-34
February 16:         John 1:35-51
February 17:         Reflection
 

February 18, 2018
The Way of Glory
John 1:14-18
 

God has created each of us with the potential of reflecting His glory in our world. The challenge we face is the reality of sin and its consequences. As Paul surmised, “we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). However, Jesus shows us the possibility of glory in human flesh! He is our supreme example of glory. His Way is the Way of Glory.
 

Daily Bible Readings
February 19:         John 2:1-12
February 20:         John 2:13-25
February 21:         John 3:1-21
February 22:         John 3:22-36
February 23:         John 4:1-26
February 24:         Reflection
 

February 25, 2018

The Way to Life
John 3:1-21
 

Nicodemus was a Biblical scholar in his day. He was acquainted with the things of God. After hearing of Jesus, he recognized something unique was present in the ministry of this teacher from Nazareth. In fact, he respectfully pointed out to Jesus his belief that Jesus had actually been sent by God. Jesus quickly moved their conversation about His ministry to an invitation to life. That is what Jesus offers---life! His Way is The Way to Life!

Daily Bible Readings
February 26:         John 4:27-38
February 27:         John 4:39-54
February 28:         John 5
March 1:                John 6:1-24
March 2:                John 6:25-71
March 3:                Reflection
 

March 4, 2018
The Way of Provision
John 6:25-40
 

God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. His treasury in eternity is rich and full. He never bounces a check. He never over-promises. He is never short on resources. He is a God of provision. He sent His Son, Jesus – to demonstrate His love and His ability to provide for His people. Like manna in the wilderness, Jesus is God’s bread of life for humanity today. His Way is the Way of Provision.
 

Daily Bible Readings
March 5:               John 7:1-24
March 6:               John 7:25-52
March 7:               John 8:1-30
March 8:               John 8:31-59
March 9:               John 9
March 10:             Reflection
 
 

March 11, 2018
The Way of Protection

John 10:1-21
 

The Bible makes use of metaphors as a matter of course. Jesus often did the same. He referred to His followers as sheep. In first-century Palestine, everyone was familiar with sheep and their needs. Any sheep’s only hope for a stable, healthy, life was completely dependent on its shepherd. Defenseless and dependent, sheep need a shepherd. Jesus brilliantly uses this metaphor to help us understand that we are dependent upon Him for security and well-being. His Way is the Way of Protection.
 

Daily Bible Readings
March 12:             John 10
March 13:             John 11:1-37
March 14:             John 11:38-57
March 15:             John 12:1-19
March 16:             John 12:20-50
March 17:             Reflection
 

March 18, 2018
The Way of Service
John 13:1-17
 

It is very tempting to be a self-centered person in every respect. We all face the realities of the desire to take care of ourselves first. We can be very ego-centric in thinking, believing, and behaving. However, Jesus calls us to a life of service. He knows the blessing of serving others. He invites us to answer the call to serve. He modeled it for us in how He lived on earth. His Way is the Way of Service.

Daily Bible Readings
March 19:             John 13
March 20:             John 14
March 21:             John 15:1-17
March 22:             John 15:18-27
March 23:             John 16:1-15
March 24:             Reflection
 

March 25, 2018 - PALM SUNDAY
The Way of Love
John 17:20-26
 

How will our world know we belong to Jesus? Is it because we go to church? Is it because we refrain from certain behaviors? Is it because we dress or act in a certain way? Actually, Jesus prayed for us the night before He died. His eyes peered into the future in His prayer recorded in John 17. He prayed that we might be unified as a people. At the heart of this unity is the powerful force of love. His Way is the Way of Love.

Daily Bible Readings

March 26:                 John 16:16-33
March 27:                 John 17
March 28:                 John 18:1-24
Maundy Thursday:   John 18:25-40
Good Friday:            John 19
March 31:                 Reflection
 

April 1, 2018 - EASTER SUNDAY
The Way of Belief
John 20:1-10
 

We have no way of “proving” the resurrection of Jesus Christ today. However, there is a great amount of evidence that points to its reality. I don’t think you can explain all that happened after Easter Sunday without it. The resurrection of Jesus is at the heart of the Christian faith. And yet---it still calls for faith. We have to believe. John saw the empty tomb and . . . believed! His Way is the Way of Belief.
 

Daily Bible Readings
April 2:                 John 20
April 3:                 John 21
April 4:                 John 1:1-18
April 5:                 John 14:1-14
April 6:                 John 15:1-17
April 7:                 Reflection


  

Finding Your Way . . . 

. . . in Relationships


Spring 2018

April 8 - June 2, 2018

Introduction
Relationships – they can be so challenging! How much time is spent in counselors’ offices across our nation because of unhealthy relationships? How much pain has been endured by individuals because of the relational damage that has occurred in their lives?
 

On the other hand, we can find such affirmation and blessing through our significant relationships. Healthy relationships can bring great joy and fulfillment into our lives.
 

How can we discover health in those key relational areas in our lives? Where can we find healing for our wounds? Does the Bible have anything to offer us today as we navigate our 21st-century world?
 

This new series is designed to assist us in understanding the value of living in healthy, dynamic relationships that help shape us emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It also is a practical attempt to help us find our way in those relationships in real time. God has designed us to live in community and He has uniquely equipped us for relational living as human beings.
 

We will also read through the Book of Genesis as a supplement to this series. Why Genesis? Well – it is an amazing book filled with incredible stories of intrigue and complex relationships. Jealousy, sibling rivalry, arranged marriages, sacrificial love, parenting lessons, massive mistakes to be avoided in relationships ---- all of that and more is in this amazing book.
 

Further, the Book of Genesis sets the context for human existence in the presence of God. God designed human beings to live in a unique relationship with Him. And – He placed human beings in communal relationships with one another. So, it serves as a foundational text for any conversation about relationships from a Biblical perspective.
 

Join us for this series as you find your way . . . in relationships!
 

April 8: Core: Everything Starts with God – This is the fountain from which springs all healthy relationships. We become healthy people by living in communion with God. God has designed us to be relational creatures. He exists in eternity in relational harmony. He created us with both a desire and a capacity for relationships.
 

Sermon Text:
Genesis 1:26-2:3

 Daily Bible Readings
April 9:       Genesis 1:1-2:3

April 10:     Genesis 2:4-25

April 11:     Genesis 3

April 12:     Genesis 4

April 13:     Genesis 5
 

April 15: We are Family! – We are all a part of a family system. God’s design is for human beings to exist in family contexts. We cannot create ourselves! We are products of familial human relationships. The family is the most basic social and relational construct. We all contribute to the well-being of our families. Obviously, as Christians, we believe our families need to reflect a deep faith in God.
 

Sermon Text:
Acts 10:1-2

 Daily Bible Readings
April 16:     Genesis 6

April 17:     Genesis 7-8

April 18:     Genesis 9-10

April 19:     Genesis 11

April 20:     Genesis 12
 

April 22: Friends are Friends Forever – We need authentic friendships to guide and shape our emotional health. Friendships are the first relationships we learn to develop beyond our actual family. In those pivotal exchanges, we learn valuable lessons about life, others, and ourselves.

Sermon Text:
Proverbs 27:10
 

April 23:      Genesis 13-14

April 24:      Genesis 15

April 25:      Genesis 16

April 26:      Genesis 17 

April 27:      Genesis 18
 

April 29: The Dating Game – God created us with natural attractions. We learn to express ourselves in healthy relational dynamics as we court the affection of a significant other. There are also certain relational dynamics and many other factors that lead some to a life of singleness. God can be honored in our pre-marital or non-marital relationships.
 

Sermon Text:
2 Corinthians 6:14-18

 Daily Bible Readings
April 30:      Genesis 19

May 1:        Genesis 20-21

May 2:        Genesis 22-23

May 3:        Genesis 24

May 4:        Genesis 25
 

 May 6: Here Comes the Bride – Marriage is at the relational core of any society. God has instituted marriage and placed His hand of blessing upon it. In fact, marriage is a universal human phenomenon. It is found in every culture. And yet, it can be one of the greatest relational challenges for human beings. What message does the Bible have for married couples in the 21st century?

Sermon Text:
Ephesians 5:18-21

Daily Bible Readings
May 7:    Genesis 26:1-33

May 8:    Genesis 26:34-27:46

May 9:    Genesis 28-29 

May 10:  Genesis 30

May 11:  Genesis 31
 

May 13: Meet the Parents – Parental responsibilities are a blessing and a challenge! Parents cannot abdicate their strategic role in the lives of children. Parents play a unique, strategic, and irreplaceable role in the lives of their children. Christian parents can call on God’s help for this significant task.

Sermon Text:
Deuteronomy 6:1-9

 Daily Bible Readings
May 14:   Genesis 32

May 15:   Genesis 33

May 16:   Genesis 34-35 

May 17:   Genesis 36-37

May 18:   Genesis 38
 

May 20: Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go! – God offers us an opportunity to engage in meaningful labor. We must demonstrate emotional intelligence in our relationships with our colleagues. While we are honing our skills in our career development, we often are navigating social relationships at our jobs. Since we spend so much time at work, these relationships need to be as healthy as possible.
 

Sermon Text:
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

 Daily Bible Readings
May 21:   Genesis 39-40

May 22:   Genesis 41

May 23:   Genesis 42

May 24:   Genesis 43

May 25:   Genesis 44
 

May 27: You are a Witness – God uses people to reach people. We have opportunities to share the love of Jesus with others through our relational connections. We manage all types of relationships as human beings. In all arenas, God can use us to be witnesses to the Gospel as we engage people in everyday life. You are a witness! The question is – what kind of witness are you?

Sermon Text:
Genesis 41:41-45

Daily Bible Readings
May 28:   Genesis 45

May 29:   Genesis 46-47

May 30:   Genesis 48

May 31:   Genesis 49:1-28

June 1:    Genesis 49:29-50:26 

 
 

Finding Your Way . . . 

. . . in Spiritual Formation


Summer 2018

June 3 - September 1, 2018

Introduction
 

Spiritual Formation is at the heart of the Christian life. In fact, the journey of formation is actually the journey of transformation for believers. We will spend the summer of 2018 learning about the process of transformation.
 

Back in 2011, I spent an entire year preaching through Six Growth Areas: Learn, Obey, Share, Love, Trust, and Worship. We are going to revisit those topics again this summer. We will re-focus our attention on the subject of God’s transforming power at work in us so that we might be formed spiritually.
 

Let me remind us all of what we have learned from Psalm 1. Here are the three priorities illustrated in the Psalm 1 tree: Deepening our roots, Transformed along The Way, and Bearing life-fruit. This summer, we will be reminded of the importance of what it means to be transformed as we find our way on The Jesus Way.
 

Let’s seek to establish an atmosphere of expectancy and hope. We are going to build into this process an expectation that people are going to get better and healthier. We are going to seek to construct an arena for accountability without compromising the grace that is so deeply embedded in our DNA as a church. We will hope that God will guide us as a relational, healthy family into our greatest days of obedience and usefulness.
 

In his book, Practice Resurrection, Eugene Peterson elaborates on the natural connection between birth and growth. We speak of new believers as being “born again.” Growth should follow birth:
 

All of us are born. No exceptions . . . So, birth. Then growth. The most significant growing up that any person does is to grow as a Christian. All other growing up is a preparation for or ancillary to this growing up. Biological and social, mental and emotional growing is all ultimately absorbed into growing up in Christ. Or not. The human task is to become mature, not only in our bodies and emotions and minds within ourselves, but also in our relationship with God and other persons.
        -Eugene Peterson, Practice Resurrection, p. 1,
 

So, we are supposed to grow as believers. This is the consistent expectation of the biblical witness. God has redeemed us from our imprisonment and has freed us to live in a way that is worthy of our calling. We are now His children. He has justified us by His grace and He calls us into a life of sanctification. Theologian Shirley Guthrie puts it like this:
 

If I am asked whether I am a Christian, it is not enough for me to answer, “Yes. I am a sinner who believes that nevertheless I am accepted, loved and forgiven by God through Jesus Christ.” A Christian is not just a man who passively trusts God to accept him as he is, solve his problems, meet his personal and family needs, comfort and save him. He is a man who responds to God’s love, forgiveness and acceptance with thankful obedience in every area of his life. To be a Christian is not only to believe and receive, but to live and serve as a Christian.
        -Shirley C. Guthrie, Jr., Christian Doctrine, p. 330
 

So – I agree with Dr. Guthrie! The Christian life is about living, serving, being, doing, practicing, and becoming. It is a life-long journey of discovery and change. God is at work in us to transform us. He is working alongside us to conform us to the image of His Son. May it be so!
 

Daily Bible Readings
We will read a selection of Psalms in our Daily Bible Readings this summer. The collection of Psalms has long served as a worship manual for God’s people. It is a beautiful gathering of material that reflects the spiritual formation of its writers. We can hear the heart of King David as he journeys with God in his own process of formation. Other authors of the Psalms reveal various facets of spiritual formation in their writings.
 

So, I have chosen various Psalms to be read each week to enrich our journey together this summer. I will be praying for our church family as we experience God’s guiding hand on our lives as we seek to . . . Glorify God by Following The Jesus Way!
 

Finding Your Way . . . in Spiritual Formation
 

June 3:    Wardrobe Change – Spiritual formation requires intentionality. It is a process that occurs over the long haul of our lives. It is rooted in a partnership between us and God. We will spend our summer together focusing on this pivotal process in all of our lives. We will learn more about this mysterious partnership between us and God as we follow Him each day.
Sermon Text:     Colossians 3:1-17
 
Daily Bible Readings
June 4:               Psalm 1
June 5:               Psalm 2
June 6:               Psalm 6
June 7:               Psalm 24
June 8:               Psalm 28
 

LEARN
Spiritual growth does not occur in a vacuum. There are all types of factors that contribute to the development of the spiritual life of a believer. Without question, the need for knowledge – both informational and experiential – is essential for any believer to move through stages of spiritual maturity. We must learn some basic truths as Christians --- but, we must never quit learning! The quest for knowledge is to be a part of our entire journey of faith.
 

June 10:  LEARN: Life in Christ – This text is engraved on the wall in our Sanctuary. Obviously, it is a meaningful passage to our church family! In fact, we speak this text over the lives of everyone who joins our church. We believe it succinctly expresses the life we have discovered in Jesus Christ.
Sermon Text:     Colossians 2:6-7
 
Daily Bible Readings
June 11:             Psalm 32
June 12:             Psalm 33
June 13:             Psalm 34
June 14:             Psalm 40
June 15:             Psalm 63
 

June 17:  LEARN: Be Ready! – As we follow Jesus each day, we are to be constantly learning more about Him and the life He has planned for us. We are to be growing in our competency to express what is all means. Our confidence grows as we more deeply understand the Christian faith. This knowledge also finds expression in just how we live each day!
Sermon Text:     1 Peter 3:13-17
 

Daily Bible Readings
June 18:             Psalm 73
June 19:             Psalm 74
June 20:             Psalm 75
June 21:             Psalm 76
June 22:             Psalm 77
 

OBEY
One of the sure signs of spiritual maturity is obedience. Mature followers of Jesus understand the value of obeying the Master. Our confession of faith at baptism is “Jesus is Lord.” That means we have accepted Him as the Lord of our lives. Obedience in our everyday life helps to solidify that commitment and it exhibits our humility as believers.
 

June 24:  OBEY: Obedience Will Be Tested – The Christian life is actually a demanding life. It is not easy to follow The Jesus Way. Our faith will actually be tested from time to time. Sometimes these tests are sent from God to measure our faith. Sometimes they are just the trials of life that everyone faces. Regardless, we have to learn to obey our Lord in the face of trying times.
Sermon Text:     James 1:12
 

Daily Bible Readings
June 25:             Psalm 137
June 26:             Psalm 138
June 27:             Psalm 139
June 28:             Psalm 140
June 29:             Psalm 141
 

July 1:    OBEY: Obedience is Everyday – Obedience to God is not rocket science. We simply put into practice what we are learning. Obedience is one sure sign of spiritual maturity in the life of a believer. God’s will is always best and He desires for us to live in His will in our everyday lives.
Sermon Text:     James 2:14-26
 

Daily Bible Readings
July 2:                Psalm 50
July 3:                Psalm 51
July 4:                Psalm 144
July 5:                Psalm 145
July 6:                Psalm 146

 

SHARE
The Gospel is good news! In fact, the Gospel is good news worth sharing! Don’t you love to get good news? We all do. We even like to share good news. How often do we get to tell someone, “Hey—I’ve got good news”?? So, one aspect of our spiritual development is the discipline of giving witness to the Gospel. Jesus has commissioned us to share the good news. Let’s all pray that God will use us to share His good news with our world!
 

July 8:    SHARE: Unashamed of the Gospel – The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news! We are obligated to share this message with our world. We should be excited to do so. It truly is the message of hope and life for everyone. There is no reason to be ashamed of the message of the Christian faith. God has used it to transform us. He can use us now as messengers of this news so others can be transformed as well.
Sermon Text:     Romans 1:14-17

 Daily Bible Readings
July 9:                Psalm 103
July 10:              Psalm 104
July 11:              Psalm 105
July 12:              Psalm 106:1-23
July 13:              Psalm 106:24-48
 

July 15:  SHARE: Changed Lives – Evangelism is not a task reserved for the professionals! We are all a part of God’s great evangelistic plan for the world. We can all learn to simply share what we know to be true about Jesus. We can all improve in the area of just giving a verbal witness about our Savior.
Sermon Text:     Acts 8:26-40

Daily Bible Readings
July 16:              Psalm 108
July 17:              Psalm 110
July 18:              Psalm 111
July 19:              Psalm 112
July 20:              Psalm 115
 

LOVE
As Christians, God has called us to live together in community as believers and in relationship with the broader world. Often, our relational context with the broader culture is strained, to say the least. Non-believers often know us more for what we oppose than for how deeply we love! Jesus challenged us to be known by our love.
 

July 22:  LOVE: Love One Another! – Believers belong to a community of faith. We have been redeemed by the power of God and we now live together in the church. One of the hallmarks of the church family is love. We are to have a deep and profound love for one another!
Sermon Text:     John 13:34-35
 

Daily Bible Readings
July 23:              Psalm 130
July 24:              Psalm 131
July 25:              Psalm 132
July 26:              Psalm 133
July 27:              Psalm 134
 
July 29:  LOVE: What the World Needs Now – How do you define love? It may truly be beyond definition. However, the deep love of God that can flow through us can be described. This text is an attempt to describe that kind of love. Love is a verb! It is to be seen in action through the lives of God’s people.
Sermon Text:     1 Corinthians 13
 

Daily Bible Readings
July 30:              Psalm 16
July 31:              Psalm 30
August 1:           Psalm 41
August 2:           Psalm 142
August 3:           Psalm 143
 

TRUST
We all struggle with our selfish tendencies. Those struggles often lead to poor stewardship practices. Trusting God is a learned discipline forged on the anvil of real life! We must learn to put our everyday faith in God and believe He knows best. We also must learn to trust His provision. We are to live as stewards of His grace, His goodness, and His resources.
 

August 5: TRUST: Trusting that God Knows Best – It is so easy to live our lives selfishly. It is so tempting to live as if our lives don’t affect others! We are tempted to just go our own way. We are tempted to just take what we want without regard to others. God is calling us to a different type of life. His ways are different than ours. But – His way is the way to real life.
Sermon Text:     Exodus 20:1-21
 

Daily Bible Readings
August 6:           Psalm 23
August 7:           Psalm 25
August 8:           Psalm 27
August 9:           Psalm 31
August 10:         Psalm 37
 

August 12: TRUST: Giving to God’s Work – Because of our selfish tendencies, we are tempted to live life totally for ourselves. This can lead to a life disconnected from the blessings of sharing in God’s work. Poor stewardship is so often connected to a lack of trust in God. Poor stewardship practices often emerge from our selfish tendencies. The process of spiritual formation includes learning to trust God with all of our resources.
Sermon Text:     Exodus 36:1-7
 

Daily Bible Readings
August 13:          Psalm 38
August 14:          Psalm 39
August 15:          Psalm 43
August 16:          Psalm 44
August 17:          Psalm 62
 
WORSHIP
Foundational to all spiritual formation in the life of any believer is . . . worship! God has created us to worship Him. He has uniquely designed human beings to praise Him and give Him glory. Worship is at the center of our spiritual development. We are to worship God in our individual lives as a follower of Jesus and we are to worship Him in community with His people.
 
August 19: WORSHIP: God is to be Worshiped! – God is the Creator of the universe. All of creation reflects His glory. However, He has invited human beings to give unique expression to worship. He is a God of glory and is worthy of our worship. Let’s worship our God together!
Sermon Text:     Psalm 96
 

Daily Bible Readings
August 20:          Psalm 8
August 21:          Psalm 19
August 22:          Psalm 29
August 23:          Psalm 42
August 24:          Psalm 46
 

August 26: WORSHIP: Honoring God with Our Worship – God is a holy and righteous God. He is not to be approached without consideration. He is seated on His throne in glory. We are to approach Him with reverence, humility, and awe. Our worship is to honor Him in every respect.
Sermon Text:     Isaiah 6:1-8
 

Daily Bible Readings
August 27:          Psalm 47
August 28:          Psalm 48
August 29:          Psalm 96
August 30:          Psalm 98
August 31:          Psalm 100


  

Finding Your Way . . . 

. . . in Ministry


September 2 - November 3, 2018

Fall 2018

 
 

Introduction
 

Ministry is a part of Christian discipleship. God has gifted each believer for engagement in ministry. Staff members or “professional ministers” have the two-fold task of being involved directly in personal ministry --- and, being invested in equipping the saints of God for ministry.


Ministry is a shared experience in the body of believers. We all have roles to play. Sometimes the ministry expression is directly tied to our giftedness (e.g., teaching, administration, discernment, evangelism, etc.). Other times, we just engage ourselves in ministry that needs to be accomplished (e.g., greeting, ushering, visitation, hosting, etc.).  

There is a shared responsibility with regards to ministry. On the one hand, the church should offer meaningful opportunities for ministry for its members. On the other hand, church members should be proactive in ministry involvement. Church members should be willing to demonstrate initiative in finding places of service. Churches must be innovative and user-friendly, so its members can readily utilize their gifts in meaningful acts of service and ministry. 


This Fall, our church will be engaged in a conversation about ministry and service. Our goal is to realize 100% involvement in ministry at FBC Arlington! We want everyone to be invested in ministry. Christian discipleship and spiritual formation are not just based on “intake” of information. One aspect of our growth and development is the practical investment of our knowledge through acts of service. We learn . . . and we practice. 


We will read through the Book of Acts together in our Daily Bible Readings – supplemented by a few selections from John’s Gospel. We will be listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit as we read the incredible story of the birth of the church and the spread of the Gospel across the known world. The church was in the world and filled with the Spirit. May it be so again today! ​
 

Finding Your Way . . . in Spiritual Formation

September 2 

It is a New Day!

Acts 2:1-21
 

Pentecost was a true miracle of God! The Holy Spirit was given to the followers of Jesus in a new and distinct manner. The New Covenant had been established by Jesus and now the Spirit of God was given to seal that covenant in the hearts of God’s people. The Spirit would now forever baptize, seal, fill, equip, lead, convict, enlighten, and empower the people of God for the work of God’s Kingdom. 

Daily Bible Readings

September 3:      Acts 1 

September 4:      Acts 2:1-21 

September 5:      Acts 2:22-36 

September 6:      Acts 2:37-47 

September 7:      John 14:1-14 

 September 9

There is a New Place!

Acts 2:41-47

The Church became a local reality and expression in Jerusalem subsequent to the miracle of Pentecost. The response at Pentecost led to a new community built upon the Person of Jesus Himself and built around His teachings and practices. This new community was to be (and still is) animated by His Spirit --- the Holy Spirit. 

 Daily Bible Readings

September 10:       Acts 3:1-10

September 11:       Acts 3:11-26

September 12:       Acts 4:1-22

September 13:       Acts 4:23-37

September 14:       John 14:15-31
 

September 16 

We have a New Example!

Matthew 20:20-28

Serving others is not very glamorous. In fact, it can be a very humbling experience. However, God has designed us to live in community as servants. Our greatest example is Jesus Himself! He is our role model, our example, our inspiration, and our guide in service to others.  

 

Daily Bible Readings

September 17:       Acts 5:1-16

September 18:       Acts 5:17-42

September 19:       Acts 6

September 20:       Acts 7:1-29

September 21:       Acts 7:30-8:3
 

September 23

Discovering Your Unique Design

Ephesians 4:1

A cursory examination of the universe reveals the incredibly diverse nature of God’s creation. He obviously loves diversity. He has designed each human being to be uniquely formed in His image. Each of us must explore our own individual make-up as human beings. We will best flourish as believers when we live into our purpose for existence.

 

Daily Bible Readings

September 24:       Acts 8:4-40

September 25:       Acts 9:1-19

September 26:       Acts 9:20-43

September 27:       Acts 10

September 28:       John 15:1-17

 

September 30

Discovering Your Usefulness in the Church

Ephesians 4:1-16

God is at work through the church. He has uniquely gifted people for service in and through the church. You have been given an opportunity to live in community with other believers and serve alongside them in ministry. The same Holy Spirit has gifted all of us to serve together in unity and maturity.  

 

Daily Bible Readings

October 1:        Acts 11:1-18

October 2:        Acts 11:19-30

October 3:        Acts 12:1-24

October 4:        Acts 12:25-13:12

October 5:        John 15:18-25

 

October 7

Unwrap Your Present and Use It!

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Each one of us has been gifted to serve the church, the Kingdom of God, and the greater community. God’s gifting matches our unique design. He has designed us for a purposeful existence where we serve His interests. Our gifts are discovered and utilized best in community with God’s people.

 

Daily Bible Readings

October 8:         Acts 13:13-52

October 9:         Acts 14

October 10:       Acts 15
 

October 11:       Acts 16

October 12:       John 15:26-16:15

 

October 14
Humility is our Hallmark in Ministry

Romans 12:3-21

Our giftedness is not an excuse to be prideful or haughty. Our ministry is to be lived out in the body of Christ in the context of humility. We are to serve others through our giftedness.

 

Daily Bible Readings

October 15:       Acts 17

October 16:       Acts 18

October 17:       Acts 19

October 18:       Acts 20

October 19:       John 16:16-33

 

October 21

Serving Others is The Jesus Way

Luke 10:25-37

God has equipped each of us to uniquely serve His Kingdom. However, service to others is not necessarily always tied to our giftedness. As followers of Jesus, we are always to be ready to serve others in Jesus’ Name. It is The Jesus Way!

 

Daily Bible Readings

October 22:       Acts 21:1-36

October 23:       Acts 21:37-22:29

October 24:       Acts 22:30-23:35

October 25:       Acts 24

October 26:       John 17:1-19

 

October 28

Together in Ministry

Ephesians 4:1-16

The Apostle Paul paints a beautiful portrait of the church in Ephesians 4. As we bring this series to a conclusion, we are re-visiting this text to tie together all that we have learned.
God has designed us to live and serve together in the community of faith. We are blessed as we serve, and the church is blessed through our service. What a privilege to be a part of His divine plan! 

Daily Bible Readings

October 29:       Acts 25:1-22

October 30:       Acts 25:23-26:32

October 31:       Acts 27

November 1:     Acts 28

November 2:     John 17:20-26