Thursday, December 30, 2010

This Week's Reading - Psalm 19

This Week’s Reading: Psalm 19

Hello Project Ezra, and Happy (almost) New Year! This week we will be reading Psalm 19. It is likely that at least a few verses of this chapter are familiar to most of you, as they are to me. But, as with so many other passages we have used for our weekly readings, the more you read the passage the more truth God reveals.

The first six verses tell us that God’s glory is evident to anyone who looks at His creation. This runs contrary to the idea that agnostics and atheists don’t accept the idea of God based on either the lack of or insufficiency of evidence for the God of the bible. His existence is clear, as clear as the sun in the sky. Those who deny Him are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).

If you keep this in mind, it will completely change the way your witness. I love apologetics, and thoroughly enjoy a good debate. However, you can’t argue someone into the kingdom of heaven. God certainly can, and does, use good arguments in the process of drawing people to Himself, but salvation is ultimately a supernatural act. It is God who takes out our heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh, and no one can come to Christ unless the Father draws them. So answer sincere questions, and try to be persuasive in your speech, but be sure to keep your focus on Christ and His gospel first and foremost. It is the gospel that is the power of God for salvation.

The rest of the chapter talks about God’s law, and looks at the law in a way that is totally contrary to the way most people (and probably many of us) tend to look at it. The law is presented not as a burden, but as a joy. It is a gift, given by God to help keep us from sin. It revives the soul, enlightens the eyes, and is pure and sweet. It is true and righteous, a treasure, more to be desired than gold. How different from our normal view of law!

This view of the law is a perfect gateway into the truth of the gospel. Although God gives us the law so that we may be made right with Him, it is not through obedience to the law that we are made right. The law was given to us to lead us to Christ so that we might be justified by faith. It is the mirror that allows us to see ourselves in truth, so that we might see our need for Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross.

As you read the passage and share the gospel, remind people that, whether they want to admit it or not, God’s existence is obvious to each and every one of them. And, since it is likely many are suppressing that truth in order to avoid the weight of God’s law, show its kindness. A good parent gives correction and disciplines his child, to bring them back into obedience. God’s law should lead us to repentance, not anger, or rebellion or despair. Encourage them to see their need, and to put their trust in Christ alone, so His sacrifice on the cross will cleanse their sin and save them from the punishment they so rightly deserve.

There is still time to sign up for the Ambassador’s Academy. I know I have mentioned this several times already, but it is such a life-changing experience, that I hope many of you will consider attending. Please apply today if you can. You can register here:

and you can watch the promotional video here:

Feel free to contact me directly if you had any questions or needed any further information. Have a fantastic New Year, and I pray you will join us again for Project Ezra in 2011.

For the praise of His glory,


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Project Ezra and the True Gift of Christmas

Hello brothers and sisters! We will be starting our True Gift of Christmas reading in just a couple days, and I pray that you all will consider joining us!

For those of you already finalizing your teams and getting ready to head out, thank you for your faithfulness! I would encourage you to decide who on your team will read which passage now, so they can go over it early. I know from experience that being familiar with the passage, and having thought about the setting of the passage and mentally placed yourself there, can make a huge difference in the quality and expression of the reading. We don't want any portion of the bible to sound dry or forced when it is read. Every bit of scripture is packed with meaning and nuance, and we should take the time give it the respect it deserves.

For those of you having trouble putting a team together, we will be praying for you, and don't quit! Even if you end up with only a couple of people, you can still do either the full reading, or even an abbreviated reading (although I recommend the full message if at all possible), perhaps of chapter 1 and chapters 18-21. It may seem strange that we are reading from a book that does not include the nativity story. But, while the story of Christ's birth is relatively well known, the connection to Christ's deity, as expressed in John 1, and His death and resurrection, recorded in chapters 18-21, tend to be neglected. They are just as much a part of the story, and people need to hear the whole gospel, the whole message of God's love, at Christmas. So if you need to trim your reading, those are the most essential points.

Finally, for those still on the fence, please join us. But even if you can't do the reading, please make sure to share the truth of the gospel during this season, and encourage others to do the same. Every day people are dying and walking off into eternity without Christ. We may have the unspeakable privilege of sharing the message of God's grace with someone and seeing them come to Christ. What better gift could there possibly be to give, or to receive, this year!

For the praise of His glory,

Friday, December 17, 2010

Project Ezra at UC Berkeley

This is from a recent evangelism trip to UC Berkeley as part of the Living Waters CAUSE project. I hope this is an encouragement!

For more information about evangelistic outreaches in the Silicon Valley area of California, check out

Thursday, December 16, 2010

This Week’s Project Ezra Reading - Job 38 and 39

This Week’s Reading: Job 38 and 39

Greetings Project Ezra! This week we will be reading Job 38 and 39. The message in these chapters is simple; God is God, we are not, and we would be wise not to question His will. When I was in junior college, I took a comparative religion class, and the teacher (clearly NOT a believer), talked about these chapters, and how God essentially “pulled rank” on Job. God didn’t answer Job’s questions, but reminded Job who had created him, and everything else, and who had the power and authority. At the time this bothered me a bit, and I wasn’t exactly sure how to respond. But, in retrospect, pulling rank was exactly what God did, and it was absolutely appropriate for Him to do so.

One trait that I have often seen in people I talk to who claim the name of Christ, but seem to have no understanding of God or His word, is this one. They acknowledge God, but they want Him to have just enough power to fix their problems, but not enough authority to run their lives. In reality, God created us, He owns us, and He can and does tell us exactly how He expects us to behave. Thankfully were serve a loving, gracious and merciful God, but too often we stop examining His attributes there. He is also holy and just, and will not leave the guilty unpunished. He is also sovereign, and is free to do as He pleases with His creation, whether we understand it at the time or not. Isaiah 29:16 says:

You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker,
"He did not make me";
or the thing formed say of him who formed it,
"He has no understanding"?

And in Romans 9:20-21 it says:

But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its
molder, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay,
to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for
dishonorable use?

Not always an easy truth to swallow, but God’s truth none the less.

So this week try keeping it simple:

God created and rules over everything that exists, whether we like it or now.

God gave us His law, and made it very clear, and every one of us has broken it

Go through the Ten Commandments, and show them they are guilty of breaking His law

God is a just judge who must punish sin, and His word states that punishment
will be eternity in hell

God is not only a just judge who must punish sin, but a loving father.

God demonstrated His love in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

If we do as the bible says, repenting of our sins and putting our trust in
Christ, He will forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


We are now just a week away from the True Gift of Christmas reading, and our numbers are pretty low. Please prayerfully consider participating, and sharing the event information with your friends. Check the last blog post for more details on exactly how the reading works, and be sure to let us know you are attending on the Facebook event, as well as letting us know your location. Some of our event reports from last year are linked below, in case you missed them. They will give you some idea about how others have participated.

Also, don’t forget to check out this video on the Living Waters Ambassador’s Academy. You can register for this life changing three day evangelism boot camp here:

and you can watch the promotional video here:

Feel free to contact me directly if you had any questions or needed any further information.

For the praise of His glory,


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Project Ezra and The True Gift of Christmas event

Project Ezra
The True Gift of Christmas event

Project Ezra is dedicated to encouraging, equipping, and mobilizing born again followers of Christ, from around the world, to read the Word of God in public, and what better time to do so than Christmas! Although many, if not most, cities and towns in our country have some kind of community Christmas (or “Holiday”) gathering or fair, these celebrations that have all the trappings of the Christmas season have often nearly or completely lost the essence of what the season should be; a celebration of the birth of Christ. Some cities have banned religious (Christian) displays such as Nativity scenes on public property, and those who have not have often pushed them to the periphery, or buried them behind piles of tinsel, pretty lights, and plastic Santas. Those of us whom God has called to public ministry need to be looking for creative ways bring the focus of the Christmas season back to where it belongs.

In an effort to do so, Project Ezra will, once again, be having a very special reading event for this, and we hope many more, Christmases to come. We are encouraging Project Ezra members to gather a team to read the entire Gospel of John in public in the weeks before Christmas.

First, choose a public area in your town or city at or near one of your popular Christmas events. This could be a fair, a parade, outside your local mall on weekends, or any other place that will draw groups of people. You know your area, so pick a place you would want to visit with your friends and family.

Get together a group of like-minded believers to participate with you. This is the ideal time to get additional people involved, since the reading will be long and can be easily divided up. Call Christian friends and family, and see about announcing it in church on Sunday.

Bring a small ladder or box to stand on, and consider making a sign stating the name of our group and what you will be reading for listeners who arrive mid-reading. You may or may not use amplification, depending on personal preference and local laws.

Be sure to spend time in prayer as a group before you start!

Read of the entire Gospel of John, front to back. Consider picking one translation that everyone will read from so the reading flows more smoothly. You also might want to consider printing the book in larger type and putting in into a binder that can be handed from one participant to another. If you will be out in the evening, consider the lighting level too.

If you have a more experienced open-air preacher in your group (or even if you don’t) consider following the reading with a simple gospel presentation

Make sure you have plenty of tracts and bibles to hand out!

The event is up on our Facebook page, and although we have a few dozen people signed up, we are praying for many more. Please let us know your thoughts and ideas for improving this outreach, and be sure to RSVP the event. We look forward to lots of pictures, video, and stories!

For the praise of His glory,


Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Reading, the Academy, and Revelation 3

Greetings Project Ezra! This week we will be reading Revelation chapter 3, which compares several of the end times churches. It discusses their reputations and outward appearances with those true, Godly perseverance and faith. It is a lesson that applies directly to many modern churches and church members, so I pray it will be a blessing to those who hear it.

Several of the statements at the beginning are based on ideas I frequently use when sharing my faith. I’m sure you’ve all met people who are disgusted by what they perceive as hypocrites in the church, and some who think all Christians are hypocrites (which is true to a point, since we all sin). However, no belief system should be measured by it’s abuse, but by the truth or falsehood of it’s basic claims. We want people who hear us to realize that either the word of God is true, or it’s not, regardless of any bad experiences in that person’s past, and regardless of whether they like your method of sharing the Gospel. The Gospel should always be about the message, never about the messenger.

We are getting closer to our True Gift of Christmas reading. Once again, for those of you who did not participate last year, the goal for this reading is to gather a team, head out to a public area in your city or town, preferably where Christmas or other holiday events are taking place, and read the gospel of John, front to back. It may seem a bit daunting to read such a large chunk of scripture, and you can certainly read a shorter portion if you are out solo, but I would encourage you to put together a group to do the entire reading if at all possible. It will not only be a blessing to those who hear, but an encouragement to you and the others that participate as well. The links below are reports from some of the teams from last year. Please take a chance to look through them if you can.

If you are already committed to participating in the True Gift of Christmas, thank you for being part of this special event! If you are on Facebook, please go to the event page here:!/group.php?gid=103701805742
and let us know you will be part of the event, and post your location so we can put a map together.

Finally, I would encourage you all to consider attending the Ambassador’s Academy in 2011. This 3 day evangelism boot camp, which takes place in the Los Angeles area and is taught Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron and the rest of the Way of the Master/Living Waters team, was an absolutely life-changing experience for me and many others. Whether you are an experienced street evangelist or someone who may be trying public evangelism, perhaps through Project Ezra, for the first time, you will come away from the Academy equipped and encouraged to share your faith like never before. You can take a look at the promotional video here:
and feel free to contact me directly if you had any questions or needed any further information.

For the praise of His glory,


Read Revelation 3

This message is not about me, so edit me out of this picture

This is not about my opinion, your opinion, or the opinion of anyone else you have spoken with.

I’m praying you will put these secondary things aside, and take a moment to look reality in the face, and see who you really are.

When you die, your reputation won’t matter. The mask you have shown to others and have hidden behind won’t matter. Only the truth will be left.

So listen to this revelation, received by John, regarding the end of the world, and see if you fit into one these churches.

God said to the church of Sardis, that they had the reputation of being alive, but were dead.

The people in Sardis had heard God’s word, but He indicates they had not repented. They knew the truth, but had not acted upon it in true, life-changing repentance.

Is your name written in the Lamb’s book of life, or are you play-acting?

If you know the truth, act on it!

God said to the church in Laodicea that since they were neither hot nor cold, He would spit (or vomit) them out of His mouth.

The Laodiceans were going through the motions. They looked OK, and professed to believe and to be good, but their lives were not real. Be real!

The true Christian life is one of zeal! If you are a believer, live like you believe it! Talk like you believe it! Walk like you believe it!

If you don’t really believe it, own up to the fact and live your life in honesty.

Professions on faith or empty actions will not save you. We are not saved by our works, but by repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:21)

What is repentance? It means to turn to change your direction, and in this case to turn from sin.

Sins moral crimes against a holy God, a God who is just and must punish sin


We are guilty before God, but He demonstrated His love in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


If you have repented and trusted Christ alone, it doesn’t mean every problem in your life will be fixed. But it does mean that, like the church of Philadelphia, you will have your name written in heaven, and through God’s power you will be able to patiently endure. God is faithful, and by His grace He will carry you through this life, and bring you into a right relationship with Him in the next life.

150,000 people die every day, most unexpectedly. Don’t presume on God’s patience. Please repent and trust in Christ while He has given you time.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This Week's Reading - Ephesians 2

Greetings Project Ezra! This week we will be reading Ephesians chapter 2. I’m actually shocked I didn’t pick this passage sooner. Some of the best known verses on salvation by grace through faith are in the chapter, and I think it’s going to make a great open-air reading. It also makes a very clear contrast between the old, worldly life, and the new life in Christ. I think we should attempt to highlight that contrast in our preaching. The passage also highlights God’s love and mercy very strongly, and shows God’s plan to glorify Himself through demonstrating His grace in saving us.

Ephesians also talks about God’s wrath, and although at first glance the ideas of wrath and grace may appear to be contrary, they are most assuredly not. Most people think lightly of God’s grace, because they don’t have a clear picture of what they are being saved from, and how powerful God’s anger and wrath actually is. When we realize how far we have fallen, and what we have been saved from, grace becomes that much more glorious.

Our reading outline is below. I have also posted the Facebook event for The True Gift of Christmas. I’ll be posting more information soon, but for newer participants this is a reading of the entire Gospel of John during the week before Christmas. Naturally that’s a bit tough to do along, so start gathering a team now, and be sure to post your location on the event page so I can put together a participation map.

For the praise of His glory,


Read Ephesians 2

Highlight comparison between new life and old life of Ephesians

All mankind are BY NATURE children of wrath
Men are dead in their trespasses and sins outside of God’s grace

Are you:
Following the course of this world?
Living in the passions of our flesh?
Carrying out the desires of our bodies and minds?

These are what the bible calls sin, moral crimes against a holy God.

We are under wrath because we have broken God’s law

Romans 1:18 - For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

Go through God’s law, reminding people that the purpose of the law is not to condemn (they are condemned already, John 3:18) but to give them the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:30) that we may be justified by faith (Galatians 3:24).

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God
But those same hands were nailed to a cross so our sin could be paid for.

Christ has reconciled us to God in one body, through the cross, abolishing the law of the commandments

God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, made us alive together with Christ

We are saved by grace, unmerited favor, and not by works

Through Christ we are brought near to God. He has broken down the dividing wall of hostility.

Jesus is our peace, and came and preached peace to those near and far.

Make sure you have made your peace with God. Turn from your sin and throw yourself on God’s mercy, and you will be forgiven.

Other Useful Verses

Romans 2:12 - For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.

Jeremiah 10:10 - But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.

1 Thessalonians 1:10 - and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Revelation 6:15-17 - Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"