Book Review: Led to Lead by Marty Berglund

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When you think about leadership books, sometimes it’s synonymous with the name John Maxwell or a powerful book written by J. Oswald Sanders. Most likely they will draw leadership lessons from characters in the Bible. It could be from the life of David, Solomon, Nehemiah, and of course from our Lord Jesus Christ. But I havent yet encounter a leadership book entirely centers in the life of Moses. “Led to Lead” is fill to the brim look at the faith AND leadership of Moses. I put the emphasis on “and” because both faith and leadership goes hand in hand especially with Christian leaders. With its 22 chapters, I think every aspect of faith and leadership are tackled in an easy to read manner. Journey along this book as it discuss relevant issues pertain a Christian.

This book has a nice and informative content, very inspiring to everyone not just for leaders but also to every believers. When I start reading this book, I feel that I can’t stand up until I finish it till the end. My favorite favorite chapters in “Led to Lead” are Chapter 7, 8, and 15. I learned here that in times we don’t know our future “Don’t Give Up” because in times like this, when we can’t see what instore in the future, it’s a great opportunity to trust God. We need to “Get Prepared” and always willing to obey, rely on God’s plan and when we trust in His plan in our life we could share it to other people this marvelous things God did to our life. When we want to be “Happy in Following God”, we need to take heed to His plan and be ready to listen to His voice.

“Led to Lead”

The Greatest Need of Man Answered and Settled by God Part 3

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Praise is due to you,a O God, in Zion,

and to you shall vows be performed.

 

O you who hear prayer,

to you shall all flesh come.

 

When iniquities prevail against me,

you atone for our transgressions.

 

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,

to dwell in your courts!

We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,

the holiness of your temple!

 

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,

O God of our salvation,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

and of the farthest seas;

 

the one who by his strength established the mountains,

being girded with might;

 

who stills the roaring of the seas,

the roaring of their waves,

the tumult of the peoples,

 

so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.

You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

 

You visit the earth and water it;

you greatly enrich it;

the river of God is full of water;

you provide their grain,

for so you have prepared it.

 

You water its furrows abundantly,

settling its ridges,

softening it with showers,

and blessing its growth.

 

You crown the year with your bounty;

your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.

 

The pastures of the wilderness overflow,

the hills gird themselves with joy,

 

the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,

the valleys deck themselves with grain,

they shout and sing together for joy.

–Psalms 65:1-13

 

Salvation

The first thing we will tackle is salvation as one of the greatest need of man that God settled. Let’s look again the verses in Psalms 65 that focuses on salvation:

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,

to dwell in your courts!

We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,

the holiness of your temple!

 

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,

O God of our salvation,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

and of the farthest seas;

Psalms 65:4-5

With the abundance of spirituality in the world, one still can’t find the one true assurance that people are looking for. There will always be religious rituals that man can do, yet it does not give answers everyone is searching for. Sadly, many cling to it even if the answers are unclear. Yet the God of  the Bible settles it once and for all that we may find peace.

Looking back to Psalms 65: 4-5, it echoes some of words Jesus gave in John 6, on how the Father draws his elect to him for salvation:

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:44

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. John 6: 39

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. John 6:37

Also in the very lips of Jesus as he pray in agony in the garden:

I am pray ing for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. John 17:9

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. John 17:24

With salvation met by God, we should put in mind that salvation is from God alone and we have no part of it. Springing out of that truth it brings forth assurance because of the giver (God) and not the receiver (us) is the one who is giving the assurance of that salvation. This assurance gives us peace that whatever happens we are in God’s hand.

Another aspect of this salvation since we are His children, we will bear fruit and this fruit will remain:

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. John 15:16

With that verse we can say that God is so gracious to us. He already purchased our salvation by the death of His Son. Now we should answer this question: are you His child already? Do you want your greatest need to be met by God and find assurance? Listen to what God has to say on John 1: 12:

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,John 1:12

Next week we will tackle the next important need of man that God already answered and that is prayer. Till next time. God bless!

The Greatest Need of Man Answered and Settled by God Part 2

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Praise is due to you,a O God, in Zion,

and to you shall vows be performed.

 

O you who hear prayer,

to you shall all flesh come.

 

When iniquities prevail against me,

you atone for our transgressions.

 

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,

to dwell in your courts!

We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,

the holiness of your temple!

 

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,

O God of our salvation,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

and of the farthest seas;

 

the one who by his strength established the mountains,

being girded with might;

 

who stills the roaring of the seas,

the roaring of their waves,

the tumult of the peoples,

 

so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.

You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

 

You visit the earth and water it;

you greatly enrich it;

the river of God is full of water;

you provide their grain,

for so you have prepared it.

 

You water its furrows abundantly,

settling its ridges,

softening it with showers,

and blessing its growth.

 

You crown the year with your bounty;

your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.

 

The pastures of the wilderness overflow,

the hills gird themselves with joy,

 

the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,

the valleys deck themselves with grain,

they shout and sing together for joy.

–Psalms 65:1-13

 

What God Gave Us

Last week we had an introduction on Psalms 65, and like what I have said the song gave us the two important things man needs. As we check that psalm, it is a psalm of thanksgiving. What better way to be thankful for that give thanks to God’s precious gifts to man.

Remember that game show “Who Want’s To Be A Millionaire?” The mechanics of the game is to answer questions with a corresponding cash prize that reaches 1 Million dollars. In the initial rounds the questions are easy. As the contestant goes to the succeeding rounds, the questions gets tougher. The higher the cash the difficult the questions are. When contestants find it hard to answer difficult questions, they are given “life lines”. Life lines help contestants not just in those sticky situations but also keep them in the game.

If we look at what God gave us to our greatest needs it will pale in comparison to any  “life Line” this world can offer. Meeting our needs required God the Son to go to this world and to die at our place. As a result sinners can access God. Not being able to access to God is the greatest tragedy of all. But on the flip side, access to God is the greatest need that God answered to sinful men. Now let’s check out the two needs and in the coming weeks, we will focus on each of them.

Salvation

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,

to dwell in your courts!

We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,

the holiness of your temple!

 

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,

O God of our salvation,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

and of the farthest seas;

 

Prayer

O you who hear prayer,

to you shall all flesh come.

 

When iniquities prevail against me,

you atone for our transgressions

Next week we will check the salvation as one of the greatest need God gave to man.

The Greatest Need of Man Answered and Settled by God Part 1

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Praise is due to you,a O God, in Zion,
and to you shall vows be performed.

O you who hear prayer,
to you shall all flesh come.

When iniquities prevail against me,
you atone for our transgressions.

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,
to dwell in your courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
the holiness of your temple!

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas;

the one who by his strength established the mountains,
being girded with might;

who stills the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples,

so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

You visit the earth and water it;
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide their grain,
for so you have prepared it.

You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.

You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.

The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,

the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.
–Psalms 65:1-13

Introduction
While having my daily meditation, my reading came to this chapter. It was a blessing to me that I shared it as my message on our prayer meeting. Because the chapter was so good, I didnt concentrate on just one text but the whole chapter. I can see the goodness of God providing man the ultimate answer he needs.
Psalms 65 is a psalm of thankgiving for the providencial goodness of God. The chapter reaks with why God is good and praise worthy. As we study further, this psalm gives us the glimpse of what man is really longing for. As man looks for meaning and purpose we can see that God already gave it. Man by nature is sinful and doesnt want anything that has to do with God may trample these precious gifts. He might not need it because he find it worthless. Only the power of God can open the spiritually blind men to see these treasures.
If we look at the world, we see all unplesant things that get us down. Man is searching for some sort of relief for these miseries. The world may say “Love is all we need” or “Peace is the answer” yet those answers cant fill the void.
A Christian knows better on what is the real answer. God provided His children the lasting and satisfying answer that this world cant offer. Psalms 65 made mention the two important things that God gave to man which are salvation and prayer. Having these two, God responded an end to the search which brings comfort and assurance.
Next week we shall discuss the two greatest need of man that God provided already.

Study The Book: Delighting Grace Interviews Jacob D. Gerber of 19Baskets

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Recently read Jacob D. Gerber’s “5 of the Best Free Bible Study Tools” which is very helpful. His websites http://www.freedailybiblestudy.com articles and podcast are superb. I got the chance to meet him over Tweeter and asked a few questions about Bible Study.

Delighting Grace: What is a Bible Study and how important is it to a Christian?

Jacob D. Gerber: At its most basic, a Bible study is when we open up God’s word in the Bible to read it, ask questions about what we are reading, seek out what God is telling us in his word, and then respond to what God has spoken through prayer, faith, and obedience. 

Since Christianity is first of all a relationship with God through Christ, then studying God’s word is of primary importance. Put simply, we cannot know God unless we listen to him speaking. Just like I cannot have a relationship with my wife (or, at least, not a good one!) unless I talk with her—both listening to her and speaking to her—so also we cannot have a good relationship with God unless we listen to him and respond to him.

Delighting Grace: How do you conduct a Bible Study?

Jacob D. Gerber: A Bible study can happen with an individual, but it’s a very beneficial thing to study God’s word with other people in a group. That way, we can help each other to better understand what we are reading, and we can also help encourage each other to apply what we are learning to our lives as we seek to follow Jesus as his disciples.

To conduct a group Bible study, then, here are a couple of quick tips. 

First, make sure that at least one person prepares to lead the discussion. It’s much better if everyone can prepare, but it’s hard to study the Bible deeply if everyone is reading that passage cold for the first time when you meet together.

Second, work hard to get to what God is actually saying in his word rather than on your own thoughts and feelings. This can be difficult, but it’s important to keep in mind that God has actually spoken, and that we are more interested in what he has to say than what we have to say.

Third, don’t forget to pray, and especially to pray that God himself would guide you into truth by his Holy Spirit. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to lead us into the truth and to bear witness about Jesus (John 15:26–27, 16:13; 1 John 2:20, 5:6–12), so ask God to be faithful to keep that promise as you study his word—he loves to keep his promises!

Delighting Grace: If you’re conducting one for unbelievers, how do you place the gospel in every Bible study you do for them?

Jacob D. Gerber: I think that the two most important aspects of doing a Bible study with unbelievers is (1) to make sure that you explain difficult concepts as you go, and (2) to keep Jesus Christ as the center of your conversation. And frankly, I think that these two factors are important even when your Bible study is filled with believers!

First, always make sure that you aren’t going too fast or using jargon words in your Bible study. I once did a Bible study with an unbeliever who stopped me to ask what all the numbers on the page of the Bible he was using meant! I hadn’t even considered that someone might not understand chapter and verse numbers, but it was a good reminder not to take anything for granted.

Second, keep in mind that the Bible isn’t merely a collection of stories to entertain us or rules to legislate us but that it’s the unfolding revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything in the Bible points to him in one way or another, so if you get through a Bible study and never talk about Jesus Christ and him crucified, then you’ve missed the point! Again, pray that God would illuminate the gospel of Jesus Christ as you study his word.

Delighting Grace: What should the participants expect in a Bible study?

Jacob D. Gerber: Participants should expect to study the Bible seriously. That means that sometimes ideas may get challenged (although we should always challenge ideas with kindness, love and zeal for the truth!), and that we may not have time to talk about every bunny trail, distracting idea that pops up. Instead, we want to see Jesus as we open God’s word together.

Delighting Grace:How do we prepare for Bible study?

Jacob D. Gerber:Ideally, participants would prepare for Bible study by reading the passage ahead of time, and especially by praying. I confess that I always have to remind myself to stop and pray because there is a part of me that really believes that I’m smart enough and spiritually sensitive enough to read the Bible on my own. 

God teaches in his word, though, that only the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ as we read God’s word (2 Cor. 3:7–4:6), so we need to pray that God will do just that!

Delighting Grace: For you what book or verse in the Bible should we study first in a Bible study?

Jacob D. Gerber: This really depends on the needs and maturity of the group, but it’s great to start with Jesus. Maybe begin with the Gospel of Mark, and then the Gospel of John. Then, I also think that 1 John is a fantastic book to study to learn more about what it means to follow Jesus as a disciple (I’ll say more about that in question #9).

If you want to start at the beginning of the Bible and work your way through, you may enjoy the daily Bible study meditations I write. You can subscribe for free at http://freedailybiblestudy.com/

Delighting Grace: How does a Bible study differ from a worship service or Sunday school class?

Jacob D. Gerber: A Bible study and a Sunday School class are pretty similar—both of those events involve studying God’s word in a group to learn more about Jesus.

A worship service is different, though, in that God meets with his people in more ways than through simply the reading of his word and prayer. In a worship service, God’s people still read his word and pray, but we also worship God through giving, through hearing God’s word preached, through the sacraments (baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and through singing. A worship service is a dialogue where God speaks and then we respond in more ways than in a Bible study.

Delighting Grace: What is 19Baskets and how do we benefit from it?

Jacob D. Gerber: 19Baskets is my publishing company, and the name derives from the leftovers of the two feedings that Jesus gave: when Jesus fed the 5000 (Matt. 14:13–21), his disciples gathered up 12 baskets of leftovers, and when Jesus fed the 4000, his disciples gathered up 7 baskets of leftovers (Matt. 15:32–39). The theme verse of 19Baskets is John 6:12: “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.”

Accordingly, the goal of 19Baskets is to help pastors and Bible teachers to gather up the fragments of their teaching ministries into a more permanent, written form. So, in my case, the book I wrote about discipleship according to 1, 2, and 3 John was a gathering up of the fragments of a sermon series I had preached.

My hope is that 19Baskets can help ordinary pastors to write solid, valuable books for the benefit of their congregations and beyond for years to come, rather than allowing their sermons to be lost in time.

Delighting Grace: Can please tell about your book and invite our readers to check it out?

Jacob D. Gerber: Absolutely! My book, That You May Know: A Primer on Christian Discipleship is a close, careful study of 1, 2, and 3 John. It’s written to serve as a helpful devotional commentary for an individual’s study of God’s word or for a small group of people. In it, I’ve tried to avoid being so topical as to neglect the text of Scripture itself, and I’ve also tried to avoid getting mired in technical details that only a handful of Bible scholars would find interesting.

I want it to be helpful and beneficial for the average Christian who wants to know what God’s word says about following Jesus.

You can download the first two chapters of the book as a sample here:

http://freedailybiblestudy.com/sample-that-you-may-know

And you can get the book on Amazon here:

http://www.amazon.com/That-You-May-Know-Discipleship/dp/0692292632/

May God bless you richly in Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit as you study his word!

Delighting Grace: Thank you pastor. God bless you!

(Jacob D. Gerber is the Assistant Pastor of Preaching and Teaching at Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Lincoln, NE. He lives in Lincoln with his wife, Allison, his daughter, Evelyn, and his son, Zachariah. You can find him on Twitter @jacobdgerber)

Marianito “Nitoy” Gonzales is a 30 something blogger who wears many hats. But his passion is to preach the gospel and make God know to all men. He blogs at Delighting Grace (https://delightinggrace.wordpress.com). You can reach him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

The King’s Comics: Delighting Grace Interviews Art Ayris of Kingstone Comics 

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Finally, Kingstone Comics hits the Philippine shores with gorgeous artworks and unforgettable stories that teaches the Bible. We are praying and looking forward for the impact of these great graphic novels that it may shed biblical and eternal perspective to its readers. We recently chat with Kingstone comics founder and CEO, Art Ayris,and we talk more about Kingstone Comics:

Delighting Grace: What sets Kingstone graphic novels among other Christian comicbook companies and their products?

Art Ayris: We are alike in that we all want to reach people with the gospel of Christ. Maybe what sets us a little a part is that we have a passion to become the Marvel of the faith market.

Most of our artists have worked with Marvel and DC so it has a decidedly western comic style flair.

Delighting Grace: How is like working with Randy Alcorn and Ravi Zacharias? Can you tell us the process on getting them aboard in a different format of their works?

Art Ayris: Both men are top shelf individuals whom God has used to reach multitudes of people with the gospel of Christ. Randy Alcorn actually came to our booth at a Christian retail show and we found out that he was a comic book fan! We told him we had a passion of doing a comic on heaven and hell and who better than Randy Alcorn?

When he has an opening in his writing we did a project together and he and his team have been a  joy to work with. With Dr. Zacharias, one of our investors supports his ministry and connected us.We actually did the licensing agreement with random House and then Dr. Zacharias was with us at the International Christian Retail Show. He is a brilliant communicator and we look forward to doing more projects with him.

Delighting Grace: What is your favorite comicbook of Kingstone?

Art Ayris: The Last Convert of John Harper by Kingstone Comics

Delighting Grace:  Who is your favorite superhero?

Art Ayris: Probably Captain America

Delighting Grace:  What is the hardest part in producing a comicbook with a Christian story?

Art Ayris: Trying to get the right artist on the right project. When you hire an artist it Is very much like hiring a director for a film. You have to trust they can really deliver the goods.

 Kingstone has rosters of writers and artist that worked for comicbook companies like Marvel and DC.

Delighting Grace: So whats the difference between working for your company and the secular ones?

Art Ayris: A lot of the ones that work with us are believers (thought not all). The believers see their work having a more eternal impact through Kingstone. One of our top guys who was a top guy at Marvel said he thought his current project was the most important he had ever done.

Delighting Grace:   If you are given a opportunity, which secular comicbook title would you love work on?

Art Ayris: Don’t really have a passion and vision for that. All the vision we have is within Kingstone. We are a very focused team.

Delighting Grace: Can you tell us a typical working day on Kingstone?

Art Ayris: We start at 6:00 for prayer time, 7-8:30 for answer e-mail, fulfill orders  9-5. I work as a pastor 6 to 11 to answer e-mails, edit and write comic books, sales etc. Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 11 PM each day. Sunday we  worship and relax.

Delighting Grace:   Please invite our readers to check out Kingstone and what are other projects to look forward from you?

Art Ayris: The Kingstone Bible is coming out over the next six months, The Apostle and the Revelation in about 2-3 months. Love to have people follow us on @kingstonecomics and @artayris and to like Kingstone on Facebook. We are very happy and excited to have our comics there in the Philippines.

Delighting Grace: Thank you pastor. God bless you and Kingstone Comics

Marianito “Nitoy” Gonzales is a 30 something blogger who wears many hats. But his passion is to preach the gospel and make God know to all men. He blogs at Delighting Grace (https://delightinggrace.wordpress.com). You can reach him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

 

Comicbook Review: Babylon by Art A. Ayris and Mario Ruiz

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Now we come the last graphic novel for our Comicbook January (and I hoping there will be more of this kind to review).” Babylon”  is a biblical and historical fiction of the story of Daniel (check the below the pages for the chapters and verses it came from).For some biblical and historical fiction may raise eyebrows but as you read this graphic novel, Art Ayris is very careful in handling the different element of the story.  Follow his life from the Fall of Jerusalem to his predicament in the lion’s den. See how he is faithful to God in any circumstances he is facing. Not only that but it also highlights God’s faithfulness to Daniel as he serve three kings in his lifetime. God used Daniel to show how merciful He is even to the enemy of His chosen people.

Art Aryis story telling is superb and he made it easy to digest the story. One thing though, he left out the prophetic parts of the Daniel and concentrated to the narrative. Of course, we all know the Book of Daniel is the Revelations of the Old Testament. Nevertheless, the story is engaging.

Mario Ruiz did a good job on the artwork. He made the highlights of the story unforgettable. Some panels contain the usual images that have been used in other format of the story of Daniel but there are a few surprises in store for the readers as well.

“Babylon” is a good read for those who are in the faith and wants to have a visual of the story. Enjoy this comicbook and share it with others to help them appreciate the Book of Daniel.