The Parables of the Kingdom – Resources

History is filled with many gifted teachers, but none quite like Jesus. Jesus used a variety of teaching methods; one of them was the use of parables. A parable was used to help illustrate a divine truth. Beginning June 27, we begin a series of messages on the “Parables of the Kingdom” from Matthew 13.
 
Below is a list of various resources that you might find helpful related to the “Parables of the Kingdom.”
 
  • List of the Seven Parables in Matthew 13 * Adapted from the Ryrie Study Bible 
1. The Sower
Matt 13:3–8; Mark 4:3–8; Luke 8:5–8
2. The Tares
Matt 13:24–30
3. The Mustard Seed
Matt 13:31–32; Mark 4:31–32; Luke 13:19
4. The Leaven
Matt 13:33; Luke 13:21
5. The Hidden Treasure
Matt 13:44
6. The Pearl of Great Price
Matt 13:45–46
7. The Dragnet
Matt 13:47–50
 
 
Blessings,
 
Pastor Steven


What Do Others See?

B. B. McKinney wrote many of the great hymns of the Christian faith. One of them is called “Let Others See Jesus in You.” In this hymn, McKinney writes that as believers go through this world, others will see what we are like by how we live. He uses the illustration that our lives are like an open book before the world.
 
This hymn often reminds me of 2 Corinthians 4:10. Paul wanted the life of Jesus to be manifested in his own life. The word manifested means “to make visible or known.” In other words, the death of Jesus was not simply a historical truth, despite its importance, but a daily reality in his life (see also Romans 6:8). A good example of this is found in Acts 4:13 where Peter and John were recognized as followers of Jesus.
 
If our lives are an open book for others to see, what do they see in you? Do they see the life of Christ?
 
Blessings,
 
Pastor Steven


The Lord’s Supper – 05/31/2021

We will be observing the Lord’s Supper on Sunday 05/30.  This is always a great opportunity to take time to reflect on the Lord Jesus’ sacrifice as we await His return in glory.  Below are a few scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments you can use to read and pray to prepare your hearts.  Additionally, we will be using 1 Peter 1:18-21 for the message before observance. 

Old Testament Scriptures

  • Isaiah 53:4-6

New Testament Scriptures

  • Mark 10:45; Luke 22:14-20; Romans 3:21-26

May the Lord bless you as you prepare your hearts to observe the Lord’s Supper.

Pastor Steven



Help From the Lord

It has been reported that approximately 40 million adults in America suffer from anxiety and worry.[1]  There are a lot of reasons for this, and no one is exempt from feeling this way from time to time.  You will also find that there is no shortage of solutions to this problem. 

The Lord offers us help when we experience times of anxiety and worry, too.  The Bible provides us with information on God’s redemptive plan as well as theological instruction, but it also provides us with help for daily living.

Below is a list of Bible verses that you can use or provide to others who experience anxiety and worry.

  • Psalm 94:19
  • Psalm 121:1-2
  • Psalm 139:23
  • Proverbs 12:25
  • Ecclesiastes 11:10
  • Matthew 6:25-34
  • Luke 12:22-31
  • Philippians 4:6
  • 1 Peter 5:7

Blessings,

Pastor Steven

[1] https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/facts-statistics.  Accessed May 2021.



Seeing and Hearing

According to PRB, the world population in 2020 was 7.8 billion.[1]  They estimate that it will likely increase 25% by the year 2050.  Do you ever wonder when hearing statistics like this does the Lord see or hear me?  Does He know what is going on in my life?  Does He hear me when I call to Him?

In Exodus 3, the Lord calls Moses after 40 years of shepherding in Midian (Acts 7:23) to be His instrument to deliver His people from slavery.  The Israelites were under Egyptian slavery and had previously cried out to God to deliver them (Exodus 2:23-25).  Although they had to wait, in Exodus 3:7 the Lord says that He had “seen” and “heard” their cries to Him.

The Lord’s compassion in seeing and hearing His people is evident in this verse.  In all the events of life, the Lord sees where you are and hears you when you call to Him (see Psalm 22:24; 34:4, 6, 15; 106:44; 145:19).

Perhaps you need to call out to Him today.  You can do so confidently knowing that He will see and hear you.

Blessings,

Pastor Steven

[1] https://www.prb.org/2020-world-population-data-sheet.  Accessed May 2021.



Three Tenses of Salvation – Part 4

In part 3, we looked at the second aspect of salvation that is related to the word “sanctification.”  This present aspect means “God setting the believer apart for Himself: positionally at salvation, progressively throughout life, and ultimately when the believer arrives in His presence in heaven.”[1]

Now we will look at the future aspect of salvation often called “glorification.”  Whereas the previous aspects of salvation save us from the penalty and power of sin, glorification once and for all removes the presence of sin from our lives.  Paul teaches this in Romans 5:9-10, Romans 8:28-30, Romans 13:11, and 1 Corinthians 1:30.

“This is our ultimate or future sanctification, which awaits our complete glorification with resurrection bodies (Eph. 5:26–27; Jude 24–25).”[2]

Hopefully, this brief look will encourage you and remind you of the great salvation we have in Christ.  Take time to thank the Lord for His great plan of salvation.  

Blessings,

Pastor Steven

*Part 1 = https://www.newhopesbc.net/three-tenses-of-salvation-part-1/

*Part 2 = https://www.newhopesbc.net/three-tenses-of-salvation-part-2/

*Part 3 = https://www.newhopesbc.net/three-tenses-of-salvation-part-3/

[1] Charles Ryrie, Basic Theology

[2] Ryrie Study Bible



Daily Walking with Christ (2021)

Recently, some of you have asked for some resources to help in your daily walk with Christ.  Below is a re-post that you might find helpful.

Pastor Steven Pace

April 2021

In recent sermons, I have mentioned the need for Christians to daily reflect on Jesus Christ.  This is something that will enable you to grow in Christlikeness.  It is hard to follow someone you do not know.  For several years, my practice has been to read the gospels constantly.  I always try to be reading one of the gospels.  This allows me to reflect on Jesus, who he is, how he responded to situations, etc.

Several people have asked me for suggestions on doing this.  Below is a list of ways and resources that may assist you in your walk with Jesus Christ.  The list is not exhaustive but has been a good source for me over the years.

Suggestions:

  1. Simply pick one of the four gospels and read it from beginning to end. Nothing fancy, but the simplest and best approach.  If you are new to reading them, try Mark or John first.  If you read a little each day, you will be surprised how quickly you will finish them.  However, do not just read them, take time to pray and ponder what you are reading.
  2. One of the best resources for studying the gospels is to have a Harmony of the Gospels. These are helpful on many fronts allowing you to study in detail the life of Christ. 
    1. The best is an older one by Robert L. Thomas – https://www.christianbook.com/nasb-harmony-of-the-gospels/robert-thomas/9780060635244/pd/063524X?event=ESRCQ
    2. Holman Christian Standard Bible A Simplified Harmony of Gospels – This version makes for a great read streamlining all the text in a good readable flow. The eBook version is available to – https://www.christianbook.com/holman-christian-standard-simplified-harmony-gospels/9780805494235/pd/94235?event=ESRCQ
  3. While I do not recommend this in place of Scripture, the next few are supplemental suggestions. These are good devotions on the life of Jesus.  https://www.amazon.com/Daily-Readings-Christ-Grace-Today/dp/0802456006
  4. If you drive a lot or like to listen to audiobooks, I have enjoyed this one a lot. The Story of Jesus – https://www.amazon.com/Story-Jesus-NIV-Experience-Seamless/dp/B005J31840
  5. Finally, a great in-depth study of Jesus and the Gospels. A great resource – https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Messiah-Survey-Life-Christ/dp/0830818847

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (John 15:4).

My prayer for you is that you will grow in Christ as you daily walk with Christ.

Blessings,

Pastor Steven



Broken Communication

Broken communication has been defined as “a failure to exchange information, resulting in a lack of communication.”  I read an article recently that stated 86% of employees say that communication problems cause many of the workplace issues they experience.[1]  A breakdown in communication causes a variety of problems not only in the workplace but in our own lives.

In Psalm 66:18, the psalmist describes how this occurs.  The psalmist has been describing the goodness of the Lord and how we should praise Him for all He has done.  The Lord had answered his previous pleas and petitions, so his heart was full of praise.  However, he states that a problem can occur that can cause the Lord not to hear (i.e., answer) our prayers.  What is it? 

The psalmist says that when we harbor sin in our hearts it causes broken communication with the Lord.  Thankfully, when we confess our sins the Lord will forgive us and restore the lines of communication.

Perhaps this is a good time to stop and confess any sin in your life.  Ask the Lord to cleanse your heart, and then praise Him for His goodness.

Blessings,

Pastor Steven

[1] https://blog.bit.ai/collaboration-statistics/.  Accessed April 2021.



Antichrist Resources

This past Sunday morning, we concluded our study on Antichrist.  Although we covered a lot of material, there is more you can learn on this important subject.  Below are some suggested resources should you want to study this topic in more detail.  I used some of these resources in preparation for our series.

Antichrist Resources:

  • Mark Hitchcock – Who is the Antichrist?
  • Ron Rhodes – Unmasking the Antichrist
  • Ed Hindson – Antichrist Rising
  • David Jeremiah – Book of Signs (Chapter 19)

End Times Resources:

  • Paul Benware – Understanding End Times Prophecy
  • Mark Hitchcock – The End

Blessings,

Pastor Steven



Patience Rewarded

If you are anything like me, I am not always the best at waiting.  In our modern world, this is exacerbated because of our many technological advancements.  Most things are instant, and we rarely wait long on anything.  Peter Marshall once said, “Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work.” 

God’s Word teaches us a lot about patience, and how it is related to both God’s promises and reward.  An example of this is found in Genesis 21:1-2. God visited Sarah and fulfilled what he had previously promised her back in Genesis 17:16. The time in between the Lord’s promise and fulfillment was about 25 years.

Trusting God to fulfill His promises is not always easy, but He does reward us when we wait on Him (see Hebrews 6:12; James 5:7-8).  We can trust the Lord to fulfill His promises knowing that He will reward us with the fulfillment as we wait patiently.

Blessings,

Pastor Steven