Friday, March 30, 2012

Exodus 3 and Mission Good Friday 4

Hello Project Ezra.  This week’s post starts with a prayer request for the family and friends of David Mann.  David, a fellow Ambassador’s Academy graduate, street preacher, and Project Ezra member, went to be with his Lord and savior due to a tragic car crash yesterday morning.  He was only 25, and was killed when another driver ran a red light.  Although I did not know David personally, he was known to many within the Biblical evangelism community, which tends to be very tightly knit, as a faithful herald of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  His Facebook page, still up as of this writing (, certainly shows where his heart was.  Please pray for comfort for those believers who knew him, and conviction his friends and family who did not.  Sometimes it’s this type of tragedy that can spur those who knew him to consider eternal things.  It can also be an excellent illustration of the shortness of life, and how we must consider eternity now.  I’m sure David would approve.

This week we will be looking at Exodus chapter 3, the story of Moses and the burning bush.  The account is familiar, and this week I would like to focus on who God declares Himself to be through His name.  He is the I AM, the one being who’s existence is within himself.  You may have been asked by skeptics “Who created God?”    But part of the definition of God is His eternality, that fact that He is not dependent on anything or anyone else for His existence.  Some may respond that they don’t believe in God, but of course it doesn’t matter whether they believe or not, or whether we believe for that matter.  What matters is what is true, and the Bible states that God has made the truth of His existence so evident that men are without excuse.  It also says that God’s word is powerful and active, and that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.  So, although philosophical or apologetic discussions on the existence of God can be and sometimes are appropriate when people have real questions (which is NOT always the case), we should trust in the truth that all men know God exists, and it’s through the preaching of the gospel and the truth of who He is that people will come to repentance and faith, not merely through good arguments or intellectual knowledge.

Finally, we are just one week away from Mission Good Friday, year four!  It’s amazing that Project Ezra is still going strong, with many faithful brothers and sisters in Christ participating regularly.  So far we are approaching three dozen participants signed up for this year, representing several continents and many countries.  Project Ezra is certainly an international group, which is a huge encouragement to me, as I hope it is to you.  But there is still room for many to participate.  In the past, we have had events with well over 150 people taking part, and it would be wonderful to see that happen again.  And Good Friday and Easter are perfect times to share the gospel.  So, tell your church family, email your friends and relatives who are believers, and post the event information on social media or your blog. 

You can access the basic group and event information here: 

Post your location on the event page or send me a message if you want to be added to the map.  Also, feel free to have your friends send me a Facebook message or email as well, if they have additional questions.

All for His glory!



Say I AM has sent you.

In this passage, Moses meets the God who is

God is the one being who has the reason for existence within Himself

He is the source of all existence

The only one who has always been, and creator of all things

No one created God.  Part of the definition of God is His eternal existence

Doesn’t matter whether you believe or not

God is real and true regardless of what you or I think

What will happen when you stand before that God?

God is a God of love and mercy

Demonstrated in the mercy and love He showed to Israel

Also a God of justice and wrath

Showed to the nation of Egypt

A holy God

Holy means perfect in moral character, pure, other than all we know or experience

Moses frightened to look on God’s holiness

Isaiah said “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5 ESV)

No evil or sin allowed in His sight

We are evil and sinful

Compare yourself by God’s holiness

Look at God’s law

SPECIFICS ON GOD’S LAW.  BRING CONVICTION OF SIN (Exodus 20, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Revelation 21:8, etc.)

Be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect.  None of us come close.

If God demands perfection, and we are not perfect, how can we stand before Him?

Through the perfection of another

Only one who was ever perfect, and holy

Jesus Christ, God in human flesh

God the Son humbled Himself, became man (John 1)

Lived the only perfect life, died the only perfect death

Perfect sacrifice for sin

Cannot pass over sin.  His justice must be satisfied.

Jesus, our one mediator and perfect sacrifice, paid our sin debt

Only mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ (1 Tim 2:5)

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.  (Colossians 2:13-14 ESV)

The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever. (Hebrews 7:23-28 ESV)

Died a horrible, bloody death on the cross to pay our debt

Rose on the third day, proving His power over death

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 ESV)

Turn from your sin and trust in Him today!

Turn to Him in repentance and faith, and you will be born again

Transformed by God from the inside out.  Will change your heart and desires

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.  (Ezekiel 36:25-27 ESV)

Don’t put it off

Life is short, and none of us is promised a tomorrow

you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (James 4:14 ESV)

150,000 people die every day.  One day soon might be yours

Turn to Christ while God has graciously given you time.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mission Good Friday - Year FOUR!!

This event marks the fourth year of the event that became Project Ezra.  Mission Good Friday was first conceived by Tony Miano just a week before Easter, 2009.  This Easter, I pray that the overflow of interest and enthusiasm that we saw then, we will see again.  Please be in prayer for the event, and please participate.  All it takes is a spot where the public gather, or with good foot traffic, a Bible, your voice, and your bold desire to bring glory to God through the saving of souls.  His word will never return void, so step out in faith and read the account of His incredible redemption of sinful man through the blood of His soon.  Please share this with friends, and post it wherever you can.  The text below is an outline of what Mission Good Friday is, taken from previous years.  If anyone has any more specific questions about how they can get involved, feel free to contact me HERE.


The mission is simple and can be accomplished anywhere.

This is a call to all Christians everywhere, whether or not you are a street evangelist.

Find a public place--preferably a place where people gather (the size of the crowd matters not). Climb atop a box. Open your Bible. And read Matthew 26-28 (that's right: all of it) aloud, using the voice the Good Lord gave you.

If you have never open-air preached, and you don't think you are ready to do so, then simply read the text with love in your heart--love for God and love for lost people. The Scriptures can speak for themselves. The Word of God is true, powerful, and entirely sufficient.

Open-air preachers: Read Matthew 26-28 as your springboard for heralding the Law and the Gospel.

Join me in bringing Good Friday to the people who likely will not darken the door of your church.

Think of it. Men and women around the world, in large cities and small towns, reading the Gospel to the lost.

Who's with me?!

Now, for our fourth anniversary, the challenge is the same. The book of Hebrews says:

Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

So let’s go out, and let the living and active word of God pierce the hearts of those in our community this Good Friday. If you are an active member of Project Ezra, or even if you are not, and challenge you not only to participate in our anniversary reading, but to invite others to participate with you. We will be reading three chapters, and it is easy to divide them up so multiple people can read. Also, please post this on your social networking profiles and email it to friends and family, and let’s let more believers know about Project Ezra. More and more, people are falling away from the Church. Inviting people to church is fine, but what if they won’t come? Then we need to go to them! The book of Romans says:

Romans 10:14 - How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

It is possible that through the reading of God’s word, and through public evangelism, you or I may have the amazing privilege of being the instrument God uses to bring the gospel to someone for the very first time, or be the encouragement he uses to draw someone to repentance and faith. Why would you not want to be part of that? What could be more joyous?

So start praying and preparing now. The event is up on the Project Ezra Facebook page now, and I will be making up a Google map for the event, so be sure to sign up for the event and post your location on the event wall.  I hope to start an new participation map, which will show where people are participating in Project Ezra.  This has been a great encouragement to people in the past, and I think it's time to start it again.  Also, please try to post all your pictures to the main page photo album in the future, so they will still be visible after the event expires. Let’s see how many people we can get to participate in our anniversary event and start into our fifth year strong. Thanks so much to all of you for being part of Project Ezra, and please pray that the group will continue to make an impact for the glory of God and the edification of his saints.

All for His glory!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Luke 7 – A Right Heart Before God

Hello Project Ezra!  This week we will be reading Luke chapter 7, and in addition to dealing with the issues presented within the chapter, I want to deal a bit with the issue of judgment.  If you have spent any time in public evangelism, or if you have even so much as stated your Christian beliefs to another person, you have likely been accused of being judgmental.  While at one point in our country’s history the text of John 3:16 was probably the best known passage in the Bible, now “though shalt not judge” is, though it is very seldom used correctly.  In fact, while reading 1 John open-air last weekend, I had someone walking by accuse me of judging.  To be clear, I had not shared the gospel, had not done any preaching, and had not even spoken to the young man.  I was simply reading scripture aloud, and because of that I was deemed “judgmental”.  And although the characterization was not fair, it certainly wasn’t surprising.  It wasn’t the first time I have heard such an accusation, and I know it won’t be the last.  In fact, it was almost a positive thing from one perspective, since I was only reading God’s word, and because it is true that judgment is of God, and His word, not of us.

So, what does this have to do with Luke 7?  Luke 7 gives us two good examples of people who had at least some level of understanding of their true standing before God.  While most people who will accuse of judgment are doing so pridefully, and out of a desire for moral autonomy, both the Centurion and the sinful woman spoken of in Luke 7 showed a measure of humility in the way they approached Jesus.  Although it is impossible to know the true condition of their hearts and whether their souls were regenerate, the fact that their humility before Christ moved Him to honor their requests certainly gives us an indication that they may have been.  Regardless, it is that heart of humility, a heart of stone that has been broken before God, that He will replace with a heart of flesh.  And it is that heart they we should hope to see in those we share the gospel with.

So, let’s be sure we are clear when sharing the gospel, with this reading and always, that although we cannot judge anyone, there will indeed be a day when all men and women will stand before God and give an account of themselves, not before us, but before their creator.  And on that day it will not matter what we think, and it will not matter what those we speak to think, about the truth or fairness of God’s standards, only what is true.  So the best thing we can do is to present as pure and unsullied a picture of the truth of God’s word as we can, so that those that hear will see themselves in truth, examine themselves to see if they are in the faith, and by God’s grace, perhaps turn from their sins and to the savior.

All for His glory,


Christians often accused of judging

Only one law giver and judge, one able to save and destroy (James 4:12)

Not here to judge, but want you to know there is a God who can and will judge

Do not judge by our standards, but by His

Examine yourself, in light of God’s word, to see if you are in the faith (2 Cor 13:5)

Don’t let pride get in the way. Pride comes before a fall (Prov 16:18)

Come before God in humility, as those in this passage

Passage shows two people who seemed to realize how they stood before God

Both came in humility, and God honored their requests

Centurion’s servant healed
                A heart for God, and for people
                Had faith that Christ could grant his request
                Came in humility
                Recognized Jesus’ authority

Sinful woman who anointed Christ’s feet
                Understood the depth of her sin
    Came in humility
                Loved much, because she was forgiven much

Both realized their unworthiness before God

Do you realize your standing before God?

God is holy.  Perfect, pure.  Cannot and will not allow anything impure or evil in His presence

Apart from Christ we are evil and impure, alienated and hostile in mind (Col 1:21) cannot stand before God

Even the prophet Isaiah, one of the holiest men in scripture, was fearful when He stood before God

He said “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5 ESV)

See what God says about sin, and compare yourself with His standard

James 1 says he who hears but does not do the word is like a man who sees himself in the mirror, then forgets what he looks like.

Look In the mirror of God’s law, and see yourself in truth

For the truth is those who willfully break God’s law will not enter the Kingdom of God, but will have their part in the lake of fire

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.” (Revelation 21:8 ESV)

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.  (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV)

Every one of us has broken these commandments, and is guilty before God


James 2:10 Says he who stumbles in one point accountable for all

God knows you heart, says if you love me, keep my commandments

If you know the truth and continue in sin, you have reason to fear.

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (1 John 1:6 ESV)

If Christ has not changed you, you have reason to fear, and likely don’t know Him

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:26-31 ESV)

God a just judge, will punish all sin completely

We have sinned, how can we escape judgment and wrath?

But just as the sinful woman in Luke 7 received God’s grace, so can you

Jesus forgives sin, not by ignoring them, but by paying for them

2000 years ago Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins on a Roman cross

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24 ESV)

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood (Revelation 1:5 ESV)

Jesus demonstrated His power over death with the widow’s son

Then demonstrated His power over death by rising for the dead

I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:17-18 ESV)

Through Jesus Christ, we are set free from sin and death

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  (Romans 8:1-2 ESV)

Our fine was paid, justice satisfied, so we could go free

How can that payment be applied to you?

Through repentance and faith in Christ alone (Acts 20:21)

Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, (Acts 3:19 ESV)

Only through Christ is your debt paid, so only through Him can you be forgiven

Have you done that?  Have you placed your trust in Christ, and Him alone?

If not, please do so today.  Life is short and none of us is promised tomorrow.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Acts 2 - It's ALL About Christ!

Hello all!  This week we will be looking at Acts 2 again.  We have looked at it one or two other times, and it is a very rich chapter.  As with many Biblical passages, we could come back to this one many times, maybe every week, and find something new each time.  This time, while preparing this week’s reading, I actually started putting the outline together expecting to expand on one topic, and ended up on a different topic.  I thought I was going to address the fact that our sin, as much as the sin of the Jews, is the reason Christ was crucified, which is true.  But as I was listening to the chapter via MP3 over and over again while I was at work, something struck me.  The central focus of the passage was not merely what Christ did, but Christ Himself!

Jesus Christ should be everything to the Christian.  As I have spent time studying God’s word, I have become more and more convinced that the nature and character of God, and of Jesus Christ in particular, must be the beginning and end of all our evangelism, and of everything else in our lives for that matter.  Every foundation we have for truth, creation, morality, salvation, and finally our eternal hope, has its genesis in who God is, and its completion in who Jesus Christ is.  But it can be so easy to get distracted from that truth.  I have found myself in witnessing encounters where I have spent huge amounts dealing with apologetics, philosophy, scientific probabilities, social issues, and a host of other things.  None of those things are bad in themselves, but they truly are secondary.  I’ve also let conversations become about me, and about showing my intelligence or protecting my pride.  Every time I head out to the streets one of my first prayers is that those thoughts will die, so when I speak Christ will be preeminent, and all that I do will be about God’s glory, not mine.  It’s a struggle, and I’m sure it always will be, but I will keep praying, as I hope you will, that Jesus Christ and HIS glory will be the focus.  I also pray that this outline will help encourage you in that direction.

All for His glory,


Peter telling the Jews about Jesus, we are telling you the same

Why does Jesus matter?  What’s the big deal?

Everything is about Jesus

Not just a good teacher, not just a good example to follow, although His is both

He is the center point of history

Everything in past looks toward Him, everything since looks back

This passage shows who He is and why He matters so much

The expected one.  The prophesied Messiah.  Emanuel, God with us

John 1 – In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.  And the word became flesh, and made His dwelling among us.

The creator of all humbled Himself and lived among His creation

David foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ

Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God


The risen one

Some say no one knows what happens after death.  Jesus knows

Jesus died and rose, and tells us what comes next

God raised Him up.  Not possible that death could hold Him

For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption.

Jesus raised up, we are all witnesses

Proved who He was, and demonstrated His power over death

John 10:18 - No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

Our advocate

We need an advocate because we are law breakers, deserving of punishment

1 Cor 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.”

We are rebels

Know the truth about God and our sin, and deny it, thus bringing God’s wrath

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.

And God is holy.  Will not allow evil in His presence

Revelation 21 says nothing unclean will be allowed into heaven.

Hab 1:13 - You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong,

We are unclean because of our sin

We can be made clean through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross

You and I are the reason Christ was crucified

Through the cross, the punishment we deserve was placed on Christ, and we can be made free

Isaiah 1:18 - Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

Colossians 1:19-22 - 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. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him

God has made Jesus, who you crucified, both Lord and Christ

He is now sitting at God’s right hand

Our one and only hope
Acts 4:12 - And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
1 Tim 2:5 - For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved

Acknowledge your sin, call on His name

Turn from your sin, and to Christ alone

Fix your eyes on Christ. 

John 17:3 - And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Do you know Him?  Call out to Him today, and He will make Himself known to you

Call on the name of the Lord, and you will be saved!