Virtual Purity_t

 

Timeless principles dealing with the very timely threat of online temptation.

New Prayer Podcast

prayerOccasionally, we will group sermons together into a topical podcast. This is the case with our recent release of the, “Prayer” podcast. Currently, there are 6 sermons on prayer posted, eventually there will be over 15. As we approach Easter let’s focus our efforts on outreach and prayer – subscribe here.

Is Discipleship Dead?

There is an undercurrent of frustration for many men and women of this generation when it comes to discipleship. Many of us don’t feel like we were adequately discipled by the previous generation. This typically stems from the idea of an imaginary discipleship book that has everything we need to know in order to live life perfectly. We face life as if maybe 30% of those pages are completely filled in-  the parts pertaining to salvation, church membership, and moral absolutes. However, there are so many other pages that have blurred type, at best. We yearn for feeling “fully equipped.” For most of us, discipleship hasn’t been life on life, but rather analogous to a bee gathering pollen from a multitude of plants without knowing how to mix all of these substances together in order to produce honey. If only someone could compile a book that addresses every area of life from a biblical perspective, then one godly saint would take us on as a lifelong project with the goal of helping us process and apply this information – then and only then would we feel as though we have been properly discipled. The fact is that by the time all of this could be accomplished, we would most likely be too old to take on life projects of our own! All of the investment would die with us.

One of the reasons it is difficult to find a great discipleship curriculum is simply because it wasn’t mean to be strenuously codified. The moment you turn your discipleship strategy into a book, you de-personalize it. Jesus’s strategy was the epitome of organic. He simply invited men to, “Follow Me.” That simple statement is packed with insinuations. First, Jesus insinuates that he will be going somewhere. He doesn’t signify the ultimate destination to which they are to follow Him. Perhaps the destination is geographical, perhaps metaphysical, perhaps it is a state of maturity – or mostly likely it is all of the above. The command of Jesus to “Follow Me” also insinuates that He is the personal embodiment of all of the information that the disciples will need to know.

As we consider our role in the discipleship process, we must wrestle NOT with the questions, “Who has invited me to follow them?”, or, “Who is following me?”, but rather with the questions, “Who has taught me to follow Jesus?” and “Whom have I taught to follow Jesus?”. Considering both our personal discipleship and our discipleship of others from this perspective, the following statement is true: if we are devoted followers of Christ, we have been sufficiently discipled. We are equipped to begin, today, pointing a multitude of others Christward.

Personally, a great amount of my learning of Christ came from Christian media. In my youth, it was mostly radio programs. After coming to Christ while listening to Christian radio as a first semester college student, I went through the process of dropping all of my college classes between the hours of 8AM and 11AM, because I wanted to soak up all I could from the preachers of the Word. I had practically no human interaction with any of these men of God; however, each of them served to point me toward Christ and encourage me in His pursuit. Since that time, I’ve met dozens of godly men, most of whom were only in my life for a short time. Each, in their own way, showed me that Christ has the answers. Today, as a 39-year-old man, I am far from perfect, but more convinced than ever that my personal hope is wrapped up in the person and work of Jesus Christ. I turn to Christ and His word for direction in every aspect of my life. I teach my family to do the same. I teach everyone I interact with to do the same.

So perhaps discipleship is not as dead as I thought. Perhaps it’s defined poorly by our generation. If you are following Christ, you have been adequately discipled and are ready to begin influencing others as well. Whether you have been a Christ-follower ten minutes or ten years – you can begin today pointing others to follow Christ! This seems to have been the understanding of discipleship in the context of the early church. Christianity went viral because the infectious agent (Jesus) had only to take up residence within one healthy host (a Christian) in order to begin replicating and transmitting itself (via words) to other potential hosts. So by the time the virus had spread across the Roman Empire, the first followers were still in the process of maturity (Phillippians 3:13).

In conclusion, we do have a book – the Bible, which is the mind of Christ. Our goal is not necessarily to have a group of men following us and learning our personal strategies of Christian discipleship (although that is helpful). Our chief goal is to point as many people as possible toward Jesus with every opportunity. Some will be drawn in to our lives more deeply, but this is not the primary objective. The glory of God through Christ is the objective – follow Him.

OUTSIDER.001The “Reaching the Outsider” sermon series is one of the most important and fruitful series I’ve delivered in some time. You can listen via the links below or by subscribing to the Maximum Life Podcast.

 

Reaching the Outsider Sermon 1 – Phillip and the Ethiopian 

Reaching the Outsider Sermon 2 – The Conversion of Saul

Reaching the Outsider Sermon 3 – Eat the Alligator

Reaching the Outsider Sermon 4 – The Messy Gospel

Reaching the Outsider Sermon 5 – The First Missionary Journey

 

 

Devotional and Recipe

[DON’T MISS THE VIDEO AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST]

Dining is, quite seriously, a religious experience in our home. A friend of mine quotes his father as saying,

“I do not eat, I dine”.

I know exactly what he means! The greats have always viewed meals as special! Henry David Thoreau said,

“He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise.”

Meals are special. History can be understood as a series of meals from the first bite of forbidden fruit (Genesis 3) to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19) with one major meal, the Last Supper, in between (Matthew 26). Jesus’s strongest critics focused on when he ate (Mark 2), how he ate (Mark 7), what he didn’t drink (Matthew 11), and whom he ate with (Mark 2). According to most biblical historians, practically every service in the early church involved a meal.

So, it is not surprising that the primary discipling of our families is expected to happen around the dinner table.

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

We have found that there is no better place to disciple our children than around the dinner table. That is why we make it a priority to have an evening meal together at least 4 nights a week.

The conversation often turns to what God is teaching us, what we are studying in the Scriptures, and how we are trying to influence others for the Gospel. Recently, my wife and I wondered if there was a way to use that evening meal time to keep the Great Commission (Matthew 28), the mission field, and the work of missionaries in front of our children and in our regular conversation. We have created a tool to help to that end – we call it Meals & Mission.

My wife (Julie) is an incredible cook. She specializes in ethnic cooking. Since we are already in the habit of cooking one or two ethnic meals a week, we wondered what it would look like if we were more intentional in the selection of the meals. Seeking to find recipes from around the world that will allow us to circle the globe in the course of a year is our goal. Simultaneously, I will write a short devotional (2-3 paragraphs) that will communicate the climate of the missionary endeavor in that part of the world, introduce a missionary family, and give a few ways we can pray for the spread of the Gospel there.

From there, the idea began to grow. We figured, if we are going to go to the trouble to produce this material, we might as well seek to share it with you – the readers of my blog. So here is what we are attempting to produce at least once a month:

  • A recipe from a particular mission field
  • A short video that will teach you how to cook the meal
  • A devotion that you can print and read to your family

This will be a major undertaking for our already busy schedule. SO WE NEED YOUR HELP. We would like for you to consider sending us a recipe for an ethnic meal complete with a list of ingredients and instructions. Be sure to tell us where in the world the meal originated and, if possible, which people group you wish to focus on. We will do the research needed for the devotional, but if you have thoughts or resources to be considered, include those as well. You can leave your recipes, meal ideas, and devotional thoughts in the comment section below.

2a8a8d5e-69c4-427a-ba22-3bbb9b9935c3Now that you understand the context of what we are trying to accomplish, let’s begin with Episode 1 – Russia.

Mentoring Part 4 – Meditation B

The 2015 I-65 Super Conference

route 66 3_wide_t_nt

New Sermon Video – Ananias and Sapphira

This is one of the most enigmatic texts in the New Testament. This is the story of the first time Satan visited a Church and how God killed the couple who brought him.

Small Group Material

logoAt Capshaw we are in a study of the book of Acts. Following the lead of J.D. Greear and Summit Church, NC our entire small group ministry is studying the same material throughout the month of January for what we are calling our, “All In” series. This series is basically the first four sermons in the larger study of the book of Acts.

Since we have received so much freely, we would like to make what we have compiled available to any who could find it helpful.  Feel free to replace our logo with your church’s logo and use it as you see fit. All we ask is that you do not charge for the material.

Feel free to print the material or save it to your reading device.

Mentoring Video – Prayer

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