Most Christians are aware that God’s Word, the Bible, can help in pressure-filled times of life. When the Apostle Peter said to Jesus, “You alone have the words of life,” he was only saying in advance what many have come to know by experience. Believer after believer can quote a verse that accompanied them through a time of sickness. Others can recall a passage shared during a funeral service bringing comfort to a broken heart.
What you may find surprising, though, is that a large number of the general population also turns to the Bible to help them deal with pressure. A 2013 survey by LifeWay Research and Bible Studies for Life found 25% of Americans had searched the Bible within the previous month to help them deal with pressure. When the timeframe is expanded to a full year the number rises to 42% of Americans.
Searching for and finding truth
This is significant because people are searching for the truth and are turning to the source of it! When two-fifths of Americans have, on their own, looked to the Bible to help them in the last 12 months, the door is already open. We need to walk through it with a focus on God’s Word as the unchanging source of help.
As General Editor of Bible Studies for Life, it was important to me that this curriculum be structured and written in a manner where people recognized that there is nothing in this world more important than knowing that God’s Word applies to every aspect of our lives. Bible Studies for Life has been designed to facilitate gaining wisdom from the Bible.
When under pressure people want to know “Does the Bible speak to my situation? Is there something in it that can help get me through this?” The answer is a resounding “Yes!” God’s Word is living and powerful. It speaks today. It speaks every time it is referenced in a worship service, on a street corner, in a phone call, or in a group of believers studying it together.
The living Word
The writer of Hebrews called God’s Word “living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). There is no area of life it cannot touch, and no time we cannot plunge into its rich pages to find help.
Consider the circumstances during which many Psalms were written: hiding from an angry king, hiding from an angry army, after deliverance from battle, while being oppressed by enemies, and various other troubled times. Yes, the Psalms are songs that lead us to worship, but they also point to the writer’s source of help: God’s Word. In Psalm 119 alone, God’s Word is described as many things like: instruction, His ways, precepts, statutes, commands, righteous judgments, decrees, and wonders. How can it be any less for us?
People will find rest, comfort, guidance and assurance in the Bible.
Yours for the Great Commission,
Ronnie W. FloydSenior Pastor, Cross Church Northwest Arkansas General Editor, Bible Studies for Life
Casual Christianity has become a plague in the church of Jesus Christ. Reaching the world with the life-changing message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ receives a yawn at times, rather than the movement it deserves. The world is yearning and crying for someone to stand up and tell the story of Jesus Christ.
While we can become so blessed by our own work in the world or even through our church, we cannot settle in this moment of time. This is a seasoned moment, a special moment, a one of a kind moment in the scope of history. If you confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior, trusting in Him alone for your salvation, then this is your time in human history. As all of us who have been changed by the power of Jesus Christ report for duty to our Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ, we must stand ready.
I Love To Tell The Story
Yesterday morning at our Pinnacle Hills and Springdale Campuses, we sang the old hymn, I Love To Tell The Story. It was an amazing moment as all of God’s people engaged in singing a hymn that many of them learned as a child, but the tune and lyrics grabbed the attention of all. It is an easy song to sing, therefore, masses cried out to the Lord wanting to tell the story of Jesus and His love.
As Evangelical Christians
As evangelical Christians, our missional vision is to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations. We believe this is the heart of Jesus Christ. We believe this is His Great Commission. At times, Satan detours us on to some of the side streets of life. Sometimes, it is the things of this world. At times, the distractions of our job or vocation, or even family, lead us down these side streets. Sadly, even some elements of Christianity get us off on side streets. Various matters begin to dominate our thinking from one issue to another and none of them really help us to keep our eyes on our missional vision.
This Week At Cross Church
This week at Cross Church we have a rare opportunity. We have the occasion to get off the side streets of life, or even of our Christianity. We have the opportunity to get back on the main roadway to fulfilling our mission of presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations.
Our Partnership With Southern Baptist Gospel Churches
Cross Church is a part of a vast partnership of 50,000 churches and congregations that comprise the Southern Baptist Convention. This convention of churches has two major mission-sending ministries:
*The North American Mission Board, which is based in Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia
*The International Mission Board, which is based in Richmond, Virginia
This week at Cross Church, the Board of Trustees of the International Mission Board, and the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention will commission 58 new missionaries who will serve outside of North America. Eighty-five percent of these missionaries will serve in level three countries, which are countries that are hostile to Christianity. These missionaries will leave their families, churches, jobs, and careers to pursue the calling of God to make disciples of all the nations. These 58 new, God-called missionaries will join 4,900 other missionaries who serve in 189 countries of the world through our International Mission Board.
Our Commissioning Service
This Wednesday, May 15 at 6:30 p.m., on our Cross Church Pinnacle Hills Campus, we will join in partnership with other churches and commission these 58 missionaries to their God-called places in the world. It is a one of a kind services, a lifetime opportunity, that none of you want to miss if you are near Northwest Arkansas. Most every one of us can prioritize our schedules and lives to participate in this tremendous moment in time.
Let’s Walk Away From Casual Christianity
It is time to walk away from the casual Christianity that declares “I don’t have time” or “I have an appointment” or “my child is doing this or that.” Developing a true legacy of faith, which is what IMB President Dr. Tom Elliff talked about with our people on Sunday, calls for a specific moment in time when everything changes. A new, definite moment when our direction and heart moved towards God in a new way.
I challenge you as your Pastor and friend, walk away from your normal Wednesday moments and schedules. Then, walk towards God and His heart:
Presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations.
Let’s walk together towards God and His heart this Wednesday night. This is our moment. This is our time.
Yours For The Great Commission,
Ronnie W. Floyd