An Ordinary Life together



In this series, “Joined and Knit Together,” we are casting vision and setting expectations for life at Hope Baptist Church. I would like to address the virtue and the power of an ordinary Christian life. God has given particular ways for His people to live. I would like to both explain and glorify the simple life that God calls His church to engage in. To become a church member is to enter into this simple world of rhythmic discipleship. This simple way of living is countercultural, but we are called to be strangers in a strange land. As the elders of Hope Baptist, we want our congregation to be deeply invested in that rhythm. We want them to make it the center of their life and the launching pad for everything else. To this end, I submit the following five categories of thinking:

I. The virtue of an ordinary Christian life engaged in the ordinary means of grace.
II. The current cultural environment fights against the ordinary means of grace.
III. The importance of the “regulative principle of worship.”
IV. The weekly rhythms of activity at Hope Baptist.
V. A call for the beautiful ordinary supply of God.

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Fear of God Devotional: Repentance in Our Children



How can we teach our children about repentance?

Joel Beeke explains in this video that when a child says that they’re sorry for doing something and there is no fruit to repentance, you as a parent should encourage your children to not merely say words but to ask God to help them truly repent and pray for repentance. 

We need to tell them that God alone can give true repentance. You as a parent ought to show your children what repentance looks like. It should be easy for a parent to come to a child and repent to your children. We as parents need to humble ourselves and be able to confess our sin to our children. 

Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV) – “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

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Fear of God Devotional: How Does Reformation Happen Today?



How does reformation happen today?

Rob Ventura explains in this video that when we say, “Semper Reformanda” we are not looking for something that we haven’t discovered yet. Rather, we are going back to the Bible. This is a key thing for us to keep in mind today. 

Reformation goes back to the Bible. It examines current practices in light of Scripture. We must be willing to go wherever Scripture takes us. No matter which topic is involved, we have to consider what Scripture says.

The Bible addresses all matters. We must open our Bibles, prayerfully consider whether our lives align with Scripture, and learn from those who have gone on before us. 

2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV) – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

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The Most Satisfying Food



Jesus life was shaped exclusively by the will of His Father, as we see in His interaction with the woman at the well. Not only is the conversation with the Samaritan woman the longest single running dialog in the gospels with an individual, she is the first recorded person in the Gospel of John who is born again. During this conversation, Jesus reveals His priority for His church. If you asked the average member in an evangelical church, what is the primary purpose of the Local church? What would you hear? In John 4:27-42, Jesus answers this question in no uncertain terms.

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Fear of God Devotional: What Does Repentance Look Like?



What does repentance look like in the life of a Christian?

Rob Ventura explains in this video that repentance is the continual disposition of the Christian. We see our sin and it saddens us. We are grateful that we can even repent because we understand that is a gift of God. 

Repentance in the life of a Christian is not penance. It is the movement of the heart towards God. It is a confession to God that we have sinned against Him and have done evil against Him and a plea for forgiveness. 

Romans 7:18 (NKJV) – “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.”

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Revivals and Reversals (2 Kin. 19 – 1 Chron. 10; John 7-10)



Jimmy Ferebee and I recently discussed the things we read over the past week as we are reading through the Bible. This discussion is about 20 minutes. Our hope is to give some practical insights for families for the reading from the past week in Kings-Chronicles and John.

You can view the webinar here.

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Fear of God Devotional: How Can Words Sometimes Indicate Repentance?



How can our words indicate if we are truly repentant?

Sam Waldron explains in this video that although of course it’s not the same in every case, merely saying “I’m sorry that you’re upset” or “Well, I apologize” is generally not an indication that you are truly sorry for what you did to the other person.

It is oftentimes necessary to say words like: “I have sinned” and “will you please forgive me.” If we shy away or abstain from using those words, it might be an indication of unrepentance.

James 5:16 (NKJV) – “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

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Fear of God Devotional: When a Nation Repents



What is the effect of a nation that repents?

Rob Ventura explains in this video that when a nation seeks after God and repents, they turn to God’s Word. They honor it. When a nation repents, God will hear them and forgive them. 

When leaders turned from their sin and followed after the Lord, they were a blessing to that nation instead of a blight. We need to pray for our leaders and pray for repentance. 

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) – “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 

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You May Believe: Intro. John



“Christ is the whole of man's happiness, the sun to enlighten him the physician to heal him a wall of fire to defend him the friend to comfort him the pearl to enrich him the ark to support him the rock to sustain him under the heaviest pressures…” Isaac Ambrose

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Fear of God Devotional: True Repentance Is Without Excuses



What is a characteristic of false repentance?

Joel Beeke explains in this video that a person who demonstrates false repentance never truly repents. You often sense it in the language of people. They say things like, “If I have done anything wrong, please forgive me.” The problem is that they are not acknowledging that they have sinned. When there is false repentance, there is always some holding back or an excuse.

Repentance is unconditional. There are no excuses. People who truly repent acknowledge that they have sinned. In the Gospel of Mark, we read about the blind man, Bartimaeus. God had mercy on him and healed him. Just like him, we are blind – spiritually. We need God to heal us. 

Hebrews 10:26 (NKJV) – “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.”

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Am I a True Worshiper



Jesus and disciples are making a bee-line to Galilee, going straight through Samaria when Jesus meets a Samaritan woman by a well. This is the longest dialog of Jesus with a single person recorded in the Bible. This conversation leads to revival in a city. In the text before us, we are midstream in the conversation with the woman. Jesus points out to her that the result of drinking brackish water is a brackish life of one failed relationship after another. Her life is rooted and grounded, not ln the love of God, but in the waters that she’s been drinking. And now Jesus explains to her the outworking of this great malady. The heart of her malady has to do with her empty worship. She has never experienced true worship in “spirit” and in “truth,” that comes from treasuring God above all else.

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Fear of God Devotional: How Does Reformation Happen in the Family?



How does reformation happen in the family?

David Eddy explains in this video the main way that reformation occurs in a family is through repentance. There is no greater beginning point than the repentance of the father. When the father really desires to follow the Lord, there is a natural outflow of change that will occur within the family. 

For instance, when the president of a nation goes in a wrong direction, the country will also go in the wrong direction. When fathers want to lead because they love the Lord and they want to live their lives in a way that would please God, that’s when you see change happen. 

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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Six Reasons to Worship Jesus



Who is Jesus Christ? Where did He come from? Why did He come? These questions will be answered as we will begin our exposition of the Gospel of John, with John 1:1-5. These are the first five verses of, what is called, the ‘Prologue.” These words set forth the identity of Jesus as the eternal Son, v1; the Son in communion with His Father, v1b; the divine Son, v1c; the creating Son, v3; the life-giving Son, v4; the unconquerable Light of the world, v5.

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Fear of God Devotional: How Churches Can Undermine Reformation in the Family



How can churches undermine reformation in the family?

David Eddy explains in this video that reformation is needed in the church and in the family. If the families of a church are not daily reformed, then attending church one day a week for an hour and a half or less is not sufficient. 

Merely going to church will not make a difference. Children pick up on the priorities of their parents. What can make the process of family reformation more difficult is if the family is fragmented both at home and at church. Sadly, many churches today attempt to splinter and segment the family. They undermine one of the greatest assets – that of a strong family that learns, prays, and grows together.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJV) – “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another,and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” 

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How Can I Feel Productive as a Mom?

Sometimes the many tasks of homemaking and motherhood seem unending, and many moms wonder if they will ever feel productive. Author Esther Engelsma says moms can feel productive if they change the way they think about their work. She helps readers understand that God's goal for moms is not centered on getting things done. Rather, God wants them to use time well, grow in sanctification, and glorify Him. With a warm, friendly style, the author shares from Scripture and practical experience the freeing truth of God's purpose for moms and their valuable kingdom work.

How Can I Feel Productive as a Mom?

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