Thursday, June 30, 2011

1st John on July 4th - Just a few days away!

Hello Project Ezra! We are just a few days away from July 4th, and I look forward to seeing what God will do with this event. It looks like we have a number of new folks participating this time based on the questions I have gotten and new members added to the group, and that is fantastic. I hope and pray the rest of you are inviting your friends as well. Although there is nothing wrong with going out on your own, and I have certainly done so many times, it is even better to have brothers and sisters in Christ to support you. If you know someone who you think might be interested but may be too scared, ask them to just come along and pray. If that’s all they end up doing, that’s fine. The prayer warrior is not in any way inferior to the open-air preacher, and that may be their gifting. If they end up talking to or handing tracts to people after the reading, that’s great too. But you might be surprised, and they might surprise themselves, when they end up reading, or even preaching.

There are many possible springboards in 1st John, and as usual for larger events, I want to encourage you to read and re-read the chapter, so you know it well, before going out, and prepare your own message if you plan to preach. There are some obvious points to preach on, such as:

Christ as the propitiation for our sins.

God is love, and our behavior reflecting that love.

Ongoing sin as evidence of false faith.

The unchanged life and ongoing sin as evidence of a possible false faith is a theme I have used many times, and I will likely use it myself on the 4th. But please be careful how you present it. This should not be looked on as an opportunity to climb on your soapbox and declare judgment on anyone different than you. Sadly, there are plenty of street preachers (unbiblical ones) already doing that. What we should do is encourage people to go back to the scriptures themselves, to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith, and to work out their salvation with fear and trembling, as God commands. The idea that we must strive to build up everyone’s self esteem is pervasive, and as the word tells us, every man will declare his own righteousness. But for those who will read or listen with a tender conscience, 1st John will stop them in their tracts, shut their mouth, and crush their self-righteousness. Whenever I share the gospel with a professing Christian, I recommend they read 1st John, along with the Gospel of John. If they are true believers, they will be blessed and encouraged. If not, they will be convicted.

I look forward to hearing your stories, seeing your pictures, and hopefully watching some videos too. Whether you are participating this time or not, please be in prayer for your brothers and sisters around the world as they go to the streets to read.

All for His glory,


for our Facebook group, go here:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Proverbs 1 – God’s wisdom and the Deception of Sin

Hello Project Ezra! This week’s reading is Proverbs, chapter 1. The chapter proclaims God as the true source of all wisdom and knowledge, speaks of the deceptiveness of sin, and talks of the consequences for those who chose to ignore God’s truth. It’s a good reminder that sin is always present, and that the promises it makes are tempting, but empty. It’s also a good reminder that God is not silent. He speaks clearly to us in many ways, and we only miss His voice if we choose to ignore it.

Please remember that the purpose of Project Ezra is to encourage you to grow in your ability to share the gospel. This outline is meant to help you with ideas and the flow of the presentation, but the presentation should be yours. If you are newer to the group and only read the chapter, that’s fine. And you can read the outline front to back if you like, and use that alone as your presentation. But I pray that over time it will become easier to add additional verses and illustrations to fit your audience and your evangelism style. If you do have any verses or illustrations that are particularly useful, please consider sharing them in the blog comments or on our Facebook page, so others can benefit too.

We are also just a week away from 1 John on July 4th, our next major reading. The Facebook event is up and we already have a couple dozen people signed up, which is great! There are very few times of the year where there will be as many major public events, or as many people out on the streets in most local communities, so this is a great Project Ezra opportunity. There is still time to invite your Christian friends to join you too, and the chapter can easily be broken into multiple parts. You might consider going to a local Independence Day Parade Parade before it starts. There will likely be plenty of people waiting with not much else to do. For our Canadian brothers and sisters, you can simply do your reading a couple days early for Canada Day. As for those outside of North America, my apologies and I’ll try to become more familiar with your holidays. :-)

The outline is below. I pray it will be a blessing.

All for His glory,


Proverbs was written by Solomon, through the inspiration of God, for our wisdom and instruction

Solomon tells us the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

He also tells us wisdom is crying aloud in the streets. God exists, and He has not been silent.

You may think I’m a fool for saying such a thing, and scoff at a claim that the bible is true.

But God’s word says scoffers delight in their scoffing, and fools hate knowledge

If you scoff at what I’m saying, ask yourself, what are your motives for denying or ignoring God?

Is it lack of evidence? Or is it a desire for independence and autonomy?

Since the beginning of creation man has been doubting God, and choosing to go his own way.

And today, every one of us has acted as a rebel, a criminal against God.

This is not an attempt to insult or offend you, but to encourage you to think these things through carefully. We are here because we care about you and your eternity.

I’ve been where you are.

The bible says we are to test all things and hold to that which is true. Don’t take them for granted, and don’t take my word for it. But don’t dismiss them carelessly either.

Test everything I say, but be sure to test your motives for rejecting what I say as well.

The wisdom of God is not the only voice crying aloud. The pleasures of sin cry out after us as well

Sin is deceptive. It promises rewards it can not deliver.

Sin can bring pleasure, but not true joy. The pleasures of sin are only for a season, and consequences are dire.

Ultimately, sin is offensive to God, and destructive to us.

We were created for a purpose, and that purpose is not simply to have fun and do what we want. We were not created to live and die by accident.

We were created by God to give Him glory and to enjoy Him forever. And there is amazing joy in serving and glorifying Him.

We were made in the image of God, as the pinnacle of His creation, to reflect that holy character. But His word says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The sin is breaking God’s law. The law tells us what sin is, so we will see our problem, and our need of God’s mercy. Look at God’s law, and see if you need God’s mercy.


In truth, every one of us knows we are guilty of breaking God’s law. God’s law is written on our hearts, with our conscience bearing witness, accusing or excusing us.

We often treat sins lightly, or assume that we are not too bad. You may say you have done your best, so God should overlook your shortcomings.

But God is perfect, and His standard is perfection.

Proverbs 1 says the simple are killed by turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them.

Romans 2:4-5 - Do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

God does not take sin lightly, and if you are continuing in your sin you are storing up wrath for yourself, and are bound for hell.

But God is not only a God of wrath and anger. He is a just judge, and will make sure that justice is satisfied. But God is also a God of patience, love, and mercy.

Ephesians 2:4-5 - But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved.


So how can we be made right with God? How are our sins made right by the blood of Jesus on the cross? Through repentance and faith in Him.

Repentance is turning from our sins. It is not perfection, but a change in our direction.

And we must trust in Christ alone, the one true and living God. He not only died, but rose again on the third day, as He predicted He would, and sat down at God’s right hand as our advocate, our lawyer for the Day of Judgment. He proved His power over death.

If we trust in Christ, we will be seen as innocent and set free, because our fine has been paid, and justice has been satisfied through Christ’s blood.

So, what will you do with the truth of God’s justice and mercy?

It could be that the only reason you are still alive today is that God is showing patience toward you.

Is any sin worth dying for? Is any sin worth an eternity in hell?

God says there will be terror and calamity for those who ignore reproof

So don’t let your pride destroy you, as it has so many.

And don’t let the lies of sin distract you, and convince you there is fulfillment outside of God.

Repent and trust in Christ today, and He will change you supernaturally. You will be born again.

And you will know the true joy of being in a right relationship with your creator, and knowing your sins have been washed away.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Selections from Psalms – Proclaiming the greatness of God

Project Ezra
June 18th, 2011

Hello Project Ezra! This week we will be reading a selection of verses and chapters from the book of Psalms. The Psalms I selected deal primarily with glorifying God for who He is and what He has done. The outline focus will be to take those truths and present them to explain why we preach the way we do and how we should respond toward God. I also spent some time focusing on the kind of claims made about God compared to the “what’s right for you, but not for me” attitude that is so prevalent these days. We need to be clear with people that the God of the bible is the one and only true God, and they will be responsible to Him whether they believe in Him or now. I hope this outline is a blessing.

All for His glory,

READ Selections from Psalms
Psalm 66: 16 Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
17I cried to him with my mouth,
and high praise was on my tongue.
18If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
20Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!

Psalm 99: 1 The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
2The LORD is great in Zion;
he is exalted over all the peoples.
3Let them praise your great and awesome name!
Holy is he!
4 The King in his might loves justice.
You have established equity;
you have executed justice
and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Exalt the LORD our God;
worship at his footstool!
Holy is he!
6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
Samuel also was among those who called upon his name.
They called to the LORD, and he answered them.
7In the pillar of the cloud he spoke to them;
they kept his testimonies
and the statute that he gave them.
8O LORD our God, you answered them;
you were a forgiving God to them,
but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
9Exalt the LORD our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for the LORD our God is holy!

Psalm 95: 1Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3For the LORD is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
4In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
5The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
7For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts

Psalm 96: 1 Oh sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth!
2Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
3Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
4For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
6Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
7Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
8Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts!
9Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth!
10Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity."
11Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Today we are proclaiming to you the God of the scriptures, the one true God

I want to be clear about the claim we are making, and the God we are talking about

God is not just an idea or a concept, meant to bolster our egos or soothe our worries

He is not true for me but not true for you.

Scripture says If Christ is not raised, eat and drink for tomorrow we die.

It says if our hope is only in this life, we are of all men most to be pitied.

The God of the bible is either real or He is nothing. But He is real.

Listen to what these chapters say about who this God is.

They say that the Lord God is great, and He is greatly to be praised

They say God is the creator, and that He is worthy of our praise

God reigns as our sovereign ruler. The scriptures say “Let the people tremble.”

He is a God of power, and is worthy of our obedience

Scripture tells us that God is holy. That means He is perfect, pure, and set high above all of His creation.

We are told to worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness

The true God is a God who hears our prayers

The true God is a God of steadfast love

Splendor and majesty, strength and beauty are His, and we are to declare His glory and His marvelous works. The reason we exist is to glorify Him

Do these descriptions look like your God?

The God described in the bible is different that most people’s conception of God.

And we must have this right, because God is a jealous God. He will not allow His glory to be given to another.

God’s word says that all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens

It says if you give your worship to false gods you are actually giving your worship to demons.

There is only one true God, and that is the God all of us will stand before one day, to give an account for our lives. For it is appointed for man once to die, and then face judgment.

We will all be judged. The one, true God loves justice, and He will judge the world in righteousness.

And God is not like us. Our standards are not His standards. His standard is not “better than my neighbor does”, or “I did my best” or “I never did anything really bad.” His standard is perfection

You will stand before a God who says that lying lips are an abomination to Him, and we all have lied.

You will stand before a God whose name is above all names, and you will know that you have used that name without proper respect, or even as a curse word.

You will stand before a God who gave sex as a gift, and for pleasure, but which He gave only to be enjoyed within the context of marriage. But every one of us has committed adultery, in our imagination if not in physical fact.

You will stand before a God that is more just, and more holy, than you can image.

You will see that the true God is not like the god you have created in your mind to suit yourself, and realize that you have committed idolatry.

These are only a few of God’s laws. Every one of us has broken most, if not all of them. God gave us His law as a mirror, to show us how we reflect His perfect, holy standard. Every one of us has fallen short.

If you say you have not sinned, you make God a liar, and His word is not in you.

If you say you know God, but do not follow His law, His word says you are a liar.

In truth, every one of us has rebelled against God, and we all are sinners, worthy of judgment and an eternity in hell.

Revelation 21:8 - But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."
But we don’t tell you this to bring you to despair. God is also a God of patience, of mercy, and of love.

God gave us a way to be made right with Him, not through our own efforts or good works, but through the work of another.

Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, fully God and fully man, and totally without sin, paid our fine.

We need grace, undeserved favor, and God provided grace through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

The cross is the ultimate expression both of God’s love, and of His justice.

There are only two possibilities. Either Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross will count as payment for your sins, or you will deny Him and reject Him, and pay for them yourself.

God’s word says He resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

It also says that now He commands all me everywhere to repent, and unless you repent, you will perish.

You need to come to God in humility, repenting, or turning from your sins, and putting your trust in Him alone.

Only by trusting in Christ alone, the living God, who takes away the sins of the world by satisfying justice with His own blood, can you be saved.

Please put your trust in Jesus Christ today, while he has graciously given you time.

Friday, June 10, 2011

June 11th, 2011 Reading - Job 28

Hello Project Ezra! Once again, I apologize for the late post last week. I was acting as a team leader for the Ambassador’s Academy in the Los Angeles area, and didn’t have the time I expected to complete the post. On the positive side, the Academy was amazing! I first attended three years ago, and it was a life changing experience. Last weekend I had the opportunity to see other lives changed, and it was truly a blessing. For those of you who have not attended or who are not familiar with the Academy, please take a few minutes to look at the links below. The first if for the promotional video, and second is the website where you can sign up. The last link is my reading for last week. It was filmed at the Santa Monica Pier, and boardwalk/amusement park, and was extremely busy. I hope these links encourage you.

This week we will be reading Job 28. This chapter contrasts the value of worldly riches and the lengths people go to obtain them with the one thing of true value in this life, the knowledge of God. Verse 28 says that the fear of the Lord is wisdom. Wisdom, simply defined, is the ability to put knowledge into proper practice in light of what is right and good. Since what is ultimately right and good is a reflection of God’s character, an understanding of His character is the ultimate in wisdom. It is vital that when we share the gospel, we help people understand this. Good and evil are not arbitrary decisions made by God, but reflections of who He is, since we were created in His image and for His glory.

I pray this outline will be a blessing. Although you could share the gospel simply by reading this aloud, and you are welcome to do so, this, like all our other readings, is meant to be an encouragement for you to dig into God’s word, to make sure that the gospel presentation is biblical (ALWAYS check everything against the word of God!), and to help build a foundation that will allow you to develop your own gospel presentations. The gospel message never changes, and that is the heart of the message. But the analogies and scripture verses (and there are many possibilities) you use to support that message can be tailored to your personality and your audience.

All for His glory,

What gives your life direction? What has value in your life? Is it earthly things, or heavenly things?

This chapter talks of searching and striving for precious metals and jewels, but asks if we also search for wisdom.

Wisdom can not be found in the physical world, and can not be bought with human riches. Wisdom is beyond the value of anything precious thing we know.

This chapter tells us that God understands the way of wisdom, and knows its place.

It tells us He knows everything and sees every end of the earth. He created and
measured the earth, and decreed the workings of nature. He also saw, declared, and established wisdom.

There is nothing more valuable than true knowledge of God, and no pursuit more wise than striving to obtain it.

Who God is defines the parameters of our world. More than that, who God is, and our relationship to Him, defines the parameters of our eternity.

The end verse in this chapter tells us that to fear the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding. If we are wise, we will understand who God is, and what our relationship to Him is.

And if we understand who God is, we will see that God Has given us His law, and that because we are rebels again Him and His law, because we do not reflect His holiness and goodness, and rather choose to go our own way, we stand condemned before Him.

You may believe yourself to be good, and so believe that God will overlook your sin. But God is perfect, and because He is perfect His justice will be perfect. He will perfectly punish not only murderers and rapists, but all who have done wrong.

He will punish liars. His character is truth and He expects the same from us.

He will punish thieves, regardless of the amount they have stolen or the amount of time since they have stolen. Time does not forgive sin, and the value of the item is irrelevant.

He will punish blasphemers, and will not hold those guiltless who misuse His name. His name is above all names, and should be given the utmost respect, but we often use it to express surprise or disgust.

He will punish adulterers, whether they have committed adultery in physical fact or in thought. God knows all thoughts, and our thoughts condemn us just as our actions do.

He will punish unbelievers, since His word says He has given ample evidence for His existence, and those who don’t believe are without excuse, and are choosing to suppress the truth of His existence.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 21:8 - But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."
God is a God of justice, hell is a very real place, and His wrath against us is deserved.

If this were all God’s word tells us of Him, we would have every reason to despair. But it tells us much more.

The prophet Isaiah tells us that He is a God of steadfast love and compassion. It tells us He is might to save. He tells us that He is the only God, the only savior.

Time after time, in the history of Israel, he was compassionate and patient to Israel, taking them back after horrible disobedience. Have you tried to deny God, or been in despair, because you believed He could never forgive you? That is not true!

But how can God be a God of justice, making sure sin is punished, and at the same time be a God of mercy and compassion?

God showed the ultimate expression of both His justice and His mercy in the cross of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, lived the only perfect life this world has ever seen. Then, He became the perfect sacrifice for sin.

Colossians 1:19-20 - For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

1 Thessalonians says Jesus Christ, who God raised from the dead, delivers us from the wrath to come.

God demonstrated His love in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. And now He commands all men everywhere to repent.

Turn from your sin today, turn from your rebellion, and trust in Christ alone. Jesus Christ, the only true, living God, is your only means for forgiveness. He is the only way you can be made right with God.

God says He takes not pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that they turn and live. So turn today, and live! Come to Christ in humility, throw yourself upon His mercy, and be saved.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Project Ezra 6/3/11 - 2 Peter 1 on the Pier in Santa Monica, CA

Hello Project Ezra! Sorry for the delay in posting last week's reading. As many of you know, I had the privilege of serving as a team leader for the Way of the Master Ambassador's Academy this last weekend. It was an amazing experience, but the days were long and I didn't get the computer time I needed to finish. However, Brad Snow from Living Waters was kind enough to video tape me doing my reading and preaching on the Santa Monica Pier in Southern California. I hope this will be an encouragement, and that you will be able to use this outline for future readings.

All for His glory,