A Pastor’s Challenge To You

challengelogo-angled-full-jpeg“The real test of our worldview is seen in what entertains us.” -Al Molher

This can also be said of our view of God. That in which we find our pleasure tells us much about how we personally view God. It is quite easy to determine if a person holds a high view of God or a low view of God based on the kind of entertainment they seek. A person that claims to love God yet fills their leisure time with television shows and movies that glorify sensuality, vulgarity, and self exaltation exemplifies holding a very low view of God. There is no pursuit of righteousness in desiring the things of the world more than God. And there is no love and fear of the Holiness of God.

This is not to say that all television and movies are bad. But the question we must ask is within our seeking of pleasure, is there any desire to fill our leisure time with the pursuit of the Lord? All good Christians verbalize that they aspire to be like Christ, but do we really mean that? The world today captivates our minds and robs us of  our time with television, movies, social media, and material pursuits. Is there ever a time in your day when you simply disconnect from all the lures of our culture and joyfully devote time to pursuing the knowledge of God?

John Piper once said that the best way to combat sin in your life is to love God more. The implication is the more you love God, the less you will love the things of the world. But in order to cultivate a love for God, there must be a natural separation from the things of the world. Intentional changes must be made in the things we pursue on a daily basis. You will never cultivate a love for God if you avoid filling your mind with the things of God.

The Apostle Paul had a love of books. In fact, when he was imprisoned in Rome, Paul wrote to young Timothy and asked him to bring some things to comfort him. His books were one of a few things listed.

“When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers.” 2 Timothy 4:13.

Besides the Bible and communion with the Lord, there is no better way to ignite a flame for the love of God than reading about things of God. Martyn Lloyd Jones once said that next to daily Bible reading, there was no better way to spend time than reading a good Christian Biography.  In choosing a book, not just any “Christian” book will do. In our selection choice, we want books that will point us to scripture, and direct our affections towards the Lord Jesus.

I want to issue a challenge and an invitation to those who are reading this blog.

My wife Lacy and I are about to embark on a journey in hopes of intensifying our passion for and knowledge of the Lord. We have chosen a few books to begin reading weekly, and have laid out a reading schedule to follow. We will attempt to read these books together, and hold one another accountable for our readings if our weeks get busy.

The goal is to read one chapter or in some instances two a per week, and to discuss them together at week’s end. If you choose to join us on this journey in seeking the Lord, I will list below the schedule we have devised as well as the name and author of the books we have chosen thus far. You can order all of the books from Amazon.com.

 

Reading List & Calendar

The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon: Steven Lawson

August 1 – Chapter 1
August 8 – Chapter 2
August 15 – Chapter 3
August 22 – Chapter 4
August 29 – Chapter 5
Sept. 5 – Chapter 6

What He Must Be To Marry My Daughter: Voddie Baucham (Family Discipleship)

Sept. 12 – Chapter 1
Sept. 19- Chapter 2
Sept. 26- Chapter 3
October 3- Chapter 4
October 10- Chapter 5
October 17- Chapter 6
October 24- Chapter 7
October 31- Chapter 8
November 7- Chapter 9
November 14- Chapter 10

The Holiness of God: R.C. Sproul

November 21- Chapter 1
November 28- Chapter 2
December 5- Chapter 3
December 12- Chapter 4
December 19- Chapter 5
December 26- Chapter 6
January 2- Chapter 7
January 9- Chapter 8
January 16- Chapter 9
January 23- Chapter 10
January 30- Chapter 11

Of course, we will add on to this reading plan as the months progress. Again, these are books that my wife and I desired to read and hold each other accountable for together to aid us in our joyful pursuit of the Lord. Granted, no book should ever take the place of the Bible. With any book we read, we are to be sure to have our Bible on hand as these books press us into and towards scripture.

Once again, I invite you to join us in this endeavor. And if you are led, devise your own reading plan with your spouse and commit to a reading plan and hold one another accountable. We all lead very busy lives, and the thought of reading a 200-300 page book can seem overwhelming. But as the old adage goes, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. It may cut down your television and social media time, but reading one chapter a week is extremely doable. Godliness is never attained without a conscious effort. Let’s strive together towards the goal of the knowledge of the Lord.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:14.

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