Fear of God Devotional: The Need to Prioritize Repentance in Our Preaching

What is a neglected doctrine in the preaching of American churches today?

Kevin Swanson explains in this video that a missionary recently explained to him that in Uganda, the emphasis of much of the preaching centered around repentance. What needs to happen in America is to prioritize the preaching of a message of repentance. 

Churches in America understand the grace of God, but they don’t understand the doctrine of repentance. The Great Commission calls us to preach a Gospel message that includes repentance. We have an imbalance when it comes to preaching a message of repentance. 

2 Timothy 4:2-4 (NKJV) – “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

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Fear of God Devotional: How Does National Repentance Begin?

How does national repentance begin?

Curt Daniels explains in this video that we see multiple examples of national repentance in the Old Testament. In these examples, individuals in leadership positions took the first step in repenting for national sins. 

Today, parents and elders should be doing the same. We ought to identify sins in the family and in the church and repent for them. National repentance begins first in the family and in the house of God. 

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NKJV) – “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Is Repentance Necessary to Come to Christ?

Is repentance necessary to come to Christ?

John Snyder explains in this video that repentance is absolutely necessary to come to Christ. Repentance is not just cleaning up one’s outward appearance. There must be a mourning for our sin, a turning from it, and an embracing of godliness. 

There is no room for both Christ and our sin. We must repent and turn away from sin. There must be a humility in the life of a believer that understands how spiritually weak they are. Believers must hunger and thirst after righteousness. 

Matthew 5:4-6 (NKJV) – “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”  

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Fear of God Devotional: The Distinction Between Worldly Sorrow and Godly Sorrow

What is the difference between worldly and godly sorrow?

Jason Dohm explains in this video that there is a clear difference between worldly sorrow and godly sorrow. Judas exemplified worldly sorrow. After he betrayed Christ, he was sorry and flung the money into the temple, but he then went and hung himself. His worldly sorrow literally resulted in his death. Godly sorrow drives you to repentance. It leads to salvation.

2 Corinthians 7:8-10 (NKJV) – “For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. 9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

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Fear of God Devotional: What Can Repentance Be Compared To?

What can repentance be compared to?

Joel Beeke explains in this video that repentance can be compared to a soldier marching in one direction and then doing an abrupt about-face and marching in the opposite direction. Similarly, when God saves a person, there is a new birth and that sinner leaves his old life behind. You leave the old life and sin no longer has dominion over you. 

This is a lifelong change. This is not just a one-time event in the life of a Christian. You keep striving after godliness and repenting for sin throughout your entire life.  

2 Timothy 2:22 (NKJV) – “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: What Does Repentance Look Like in the Home?

What does repentance look like in the home?

Dennis Gunderson explains in this video that it is such a great blessing to have one’s transgressions covered and forgotten. David spoke much about the blessings of God’s forgiveness. He also declares how he lived in misery when he tried to hide his sin.  

We as fathers must show a transparent spirit in front of our spouses and children about own struggles with sin. As we do family worship with our families, when sin is uncovered, we should see that as the providence of God and freely confess it in front of our families.

Psalm 32:1-2 (NKJV) – “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.”

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Fear of God Devotional: The Blessings of Repentance

What can we learn from David’s repentance from Scripture?

Rob Ventura explains in this video that there are lessons that we can learn from David’s repentance found in Scripture. David first says, “Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation.” There is forgiveness from God that we do not deserve.  

David continues and declares that he will teach others about the ways of God. After we have been forgiven much, we are to tell others about the ways of God. 

Psalm 51:12-14 (NKJV) – “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.”

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Interview with Kevin Swanson on Reading the Bible 2018

In this interview, Kevin Swanson of Generations says, “We are calling the year 2018 the year of the Bible. This is the year to read the Bible, to discover more of its truths, and to teach it to our children. We discuss Scott Brown’s new devotional book, “Journey Through the Bible.”

Also, consider this article, “The Tips for Reading the Bible as a Family in 2018″

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Fear of God Devotional: How Are We to Reform Our Lives?

How should we approach the subject of reformation today?

Anthony Mathenia explains in this video that there is a great need for reformation today. The greatest reform that we need is to go back to Scripture. We must look to see what Scripture says about everything. 

Families and individuals must go to the Scripture to see how God has prescribed that we live. How do we live in the church, home, and community? We must get back to the Scriptures and look only to the Scriptures with regard to how we will worship God and live our lives.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV) – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct[a] your paths.”

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24 Hour Sale on “Journey Through the Bible

Check out our one-day, 24 Hour Sale of  “Journey Through the Bible!” for $11.95 apiece – 70% off (limit one per customer). 

But, there is a catch: to get a copy of our book at this special, discounted price, you must sign up on our website, to read through the Bible in 2018. We will then give you this book at a price that is good only for 24 hours.  

Help your family love the words of the Bible by reading it to them in 2018. Go to ncfic.org/jttb to get your copy of “Journey Through the Bible.”

To receive this deal, add Journey Through the Bible to your cart and use coupon code “read2018”

As we approach 2018, here is a helpful article:   Ten Tips for Reading the Bible as a Family in 2018 

The sale starts Wednesday (20th) at 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM EST.

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Fear of God Devotional: How to Avoid Poorly Implementing Reformation in the Family

How can we poorly implement reformation in the family?

Gary Powers explains in this video that we can poorly implement reformation in our own family when we don’t think, pray, or study God’s Word before demanding change. 

As a father, we can just harshly demand that they act a certain way without explaining why. Leading by power is the lowest form of leadership. We must first model it in our own lives. We as fathers must look to the life of Christ and the patterns and precepts laid down in Scripture and teach others to do the same.

Ephesians 5:1-2 (NKJV) – “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”

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Fear of God Devotional: A Father Repents to His Children for Harshness

How should a father talk to his children if he is guilty of harshness or anger towards them?

Jeff Pollard explains in this video that there will undoubtedly be instances where a father sins against his children in some way. He needs to sit them down and tell them that he is sorry for what he did.

He must explain that there is no excuse for the way that he reacted. He must tell them that how he just treated them was sinful, even though the occasion might have demanded discipline. It is important to ask for their forgiveness and to seek reconciliation.

Ephesians 6:4 (NKJV) – “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

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Ten Tips for Reading the Bible as a Family in 2018

Let’s read the Bible together as families in 2018! I recently asked one of my grown daughters what was the most helpful thing we did in our family. She said, “Papa, it was those times we sat in the living room and read through the Bible.” For many years, our family read the Bible out loud together. We did it for about a decade. It gave our children a love for the Word of God, and it provided them with an understanding of the sweeping history of redemption from Genesis to Revelation. It showed them where they fit in the world.

Why do this?

David gives the most powerful argument in Psalm 19:7-11,

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.”

What is the value of a deep understanding of the Gospel?  What is the value of seeing the sweep of history?  What is the value of knowing the whole counsel of God?  What is the value of getting prepared to meet the trials and heartbreaks that are ahead? I believe that there is no better way to capture this value than to simply read the Bible as a family.

Here is my challenge: read the Bible with your whole family in 2018. Here are Ten Tips for Reading the Bible as a Family in 2018:

1. Resolve this issue right away: Can your children can handle it?

Can they? Yes! Don’t be intimidated by the fact that your children are young. They may not get everything out of everything, but they will get something out of everything. You will find that they will understand more than you anticipate. Remember that Timothy’s mother taught him the scriptures from the time he was a child, “from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures” (2 Tim:315). Remember that God’s people have gathered for many hours to hear the reading of the Word of God (Nehemiah 8:1). Also, remember that most of the Bible is narrative – stories that children can love. Children are fully able to sit down and watch a video for an hour. Certainly, that is proof positive that they can sit and listen to reading for 20-40 minutes.

2. Prepare a heart of gladness

The entire Bible points to, “good tidings of great joy which will be for all the people.”

Parents who have a love for the words of scripture are the most powerful leverage points in children’s lives. The more you love the Word of God, the easier it will be for your children to hear you read it to them. It is contagious when you love the words and the stories of the Bible, believing that they are “pure,” “perfect” and “holy.” God promises that those who delight in the law of the Lord are richly rewarded, He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:3).

3. Keep it simple

Don’t think you need to explain everything. When you are reading through the Bible in a year, there is no way you can carefully talk about and analyze everything in the chapters for each day. It’s simply too much material. When you are finished reading the chapter or the section, pick out one verse or one idea and talk about it. Be content with the big picture. I often asked questions like, “What was your favorite part?” or “What wonderful things did you see in His law?” (Ps 119:18).

4. Pick a consistent place and time of the day to read

Consistency is key. Why? Two reasons. First, we need orderliness to succeed, as the Psalmist said, So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12). Second, because everything in your life will wage war against whatever time you choose. The Devil will throw every trick in the book to get you to divert your family from reading the Bible, including your own family members. Select an unbreakable time. Sometimes we found it helpful to read the Old Testament in the morning and the New Testament in the evening to break it up. I highly recommend it. This helps you to declare His “lovingkindness in the morning,” and “His faithfulness by night” (Psalm 92:2).

5. Be a good tour guide

Take your family by the hand and walk them through the corridors of saving grace. Marvel in the people, the places, the eras and the personalities God included in the history of saving grace. These are the markers on the highway of holiness (Isaiah 35:9). Point to the beauty as you read. Cultivate a spirit of awe toward the words and the stories. For practical help, check out the book, “Journey Through the Bible” which is a quick summary resource to help you understand the purpose of each book of the Bible. As you journey, stand in awe at the beauty, truthfulness and practicality that is displayed.

6. Have everyone read

One of the things we did in our family was to have each person read five verses going around the circle. If we had children who could only read a few words, we had them read one, two or more words. If they were too young to read, we would read a few words and ask them to repeat them. It was one of our methods for teaching them to read.

7. Sing about it

Sing a hymn that communicates the message of the book of the Bible you are reading. Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him Psalm 105:1-2. In “Journey Through the Bible,” there is a recommended hymn for each book of the Bible. Singing drives truth home and is a blessing to the soul.

8. Anticipate being slowed down by child discipline

From time to time, your reading may be slowed down by discipline problems. Children sometimes disobey or have bad attitudes. They may be mean to one another while you are reading. These things need to be dealt with on the spot. If possible, it is helpful if one parent leaves with the erring child to deal with problem, while the rest of the family continues reading. Don’t let this discourage you. It is a normal part of life. Sin patterns providentially come to the surface on the road to holiness. I believe that these things happen in order for parents to confront sin so that children are freed from their rebellion. “Consider it joy when you encounter various trials,” James 1:2.

9. Choose a method for reading the Bible in a year.

There are many methods to choose from. Choose one, and start January 1, 2018. Our family used John MacArthur’s schedule. It usually took us between 20 minutes to an hour to read each day, depending on the age of our children, and how much discussion (or discipline problems) we had.

10. Catch up when you fall behind

I predict you will sometimes fall behind. Our family did – many times each year.  Don’t say, “We might fall behind so we shouldn’t try.”  It is usually a mistake to neglect a great thing for possible failure. Yes, you will fall behind from time to time. Life happens! Our family used different methods at different times when we fell behind.  Here are four ways the Brown family bounced back when we fell behind the schedule:

First, spread it out

Let’s say you’re 16 chapters behind. Add one extra chapter for the next 16 days and you’ll be caught up in sixteen days.

Second, grind it out

Just grind it out and read those 16 make-up chapters over a day or two.  Take a couple of hours and read, read, read.  Just “Git ‘er done!”

Third, listen up

Catch up by listening to an audio bible while you are driving or working around the house.

Fourth, jump ahead

Simply jump ahead to the section allocated for the current day in the schedule. Chalk it up to, “It’s not a perfect world, we are not a perfect family and sometimes we fall behind”.  BUT, we are not giving up!”

So, here’s the big question

Are your children ready for the trials ahead?  Do they know the true Gospel?  Do they have a big vision of God? Do they have a Biblical vision of His love, truth and mercy?

Reading the whole counsel of God is the best training for the future.

Don’t let your children leave home without it.

Scott Brown is pastor at Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, NC and the President of the National Center for Family Integrated Churches. He has just released a new book called, “Journey Through the Bible,” which is a practical help for people who want to understand all the books of the Bible.

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Fear of God Devotional: Is Repentance a One-Time Event?

Should repentance be a one-time event in the life of a believer?

Carlton McLeod explains in this video that he has heard of some churches that teach that once you are saved, there is no need for repentance. You can keep on living however you want. This is a very unbiblical position. 

Repentance is absolutely necessary for salvation but also a critical component of daily walking with the Lord. Repentance helps us to understand how sinful we are and how great our need is for a Savior. 

1 John 1:8 (NKJV) – “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

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Limited-Time Offer! Christmas Super Sale

We are excited to announce our Christmas Super Sale, where we are offering between 70% and 30% off most of our resources site-wide! This deal ends on Saturday, December 31st.

We are offering 70% off ALL of our CDs/DVDs and 30% off ALL of our books plus FREE shipping on any order over $25, guaranteed to arrive before Christmas if you place your order by December 19th and choose Priority Shipping at checkout.

Our goal at the NCFIC is to provide biblically-faithful resources for as many people as possible. This year, we are offering our best discount yet. If you already have some of these resources, please pass the info along to someone who would benefit from them.

Our new book “Journey Through the Bible” is now available for $28.00!

“Journey Through the Bible” came about from our family worship times as we read the Bible together as a family. This book is a compilation of notes I collected as I studied these books on my own and as I preached through them over the years. This is a wonderful resource for the family and will provide a roadmap for a father to take his family through the Word of God.

Check out all our resources!

This deal ends on Sunday, December 31st or while supplies last. To receive your order before Christmas, you must order by December 19th and choose Priority Shipping at checkout.

Let us resolutely bind ourselves together to rebuild what has been broken down in church and family, and fulfill the prophesy Isaiah prophesied:

“Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.” Isaiah 58:12

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