Resources

RESOURCES TO HELP YOU GROW IN CHRIST

The Apostle Peter urged the Christians of the first century to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  (2 Peter 3:18).  Here at Not For Itching Ears, we take that admonition seriously.  In the resources below, you will find ministries, books, web sites, and audio messages that can assist you in your Christian growth.

MINISTRIES

 

Desiring God Ministries:

Everything Desiring God Ministries does aims to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.  The DGM web site offers excellent, free audio messages, covering every topic, and spanning the 20+ year teaching ministry of Pastor John Piper. 

AUDIO MESSAGES

“The Cup”, C.J. Mahaney

What did it mean to the Holy One to bear away our sin? Overhearing Jesus’ prayers within the garden of Gethsemane provides the answer: it meant resolving to endure God’s wrath for our sin through the crucible of human weakness.  C.J. Mahaney walks his audience through Gethsemane in an effort to reveal exactly what that crucible involved, beginning with relational abandonment. He encourages a heart of gratefulness in the recognition of all Jesus suffered for our salvation.

“The Cry From the Cross”, C.J. Mahaney

The cross. “The subject is worthy of an angel’s tongue; it needs Christ himself completely to expound it… Abide hard by the cross, and search the mystery of his wounds.” –Charles Spurgeon. Where do you place yourself when you read the story of the crucifixion? It is impossible to understand the depth of sin until we realize that we were part of that angry crowd. This realization reveals the depths of grace.The centrality of the cross is evident throughout Scripture. It is always of first importance. In this message, C.J. Mahaney seeks to cultivate appreciation for and understand of the cross, so that his listeners will live feeling as if Jesus died only yesterday.

“Don’t Waste Your Life”, John Piper

God created us to live with a single passion: to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work, not to be made much of, but to make much of him in every part of our lives.

“Why Do We Sing?”, Bob Kauflin

What makes singing worship? Why does God command us to sing when we worship Him? The Bible teaches that God gave us singing to develop and deepen our relationship with him. Every believer has been given a song to sing for God’s glory. The Bible is filled with singing. Psalms, a book completely made up of songs, is the longest book in the Bible. In this message, Bob Kauflin guides worship leaders in a biblical study of the history and purpose of God-glorifying singing.  If you lead worship, you MUST listen to this message and the many other messages Bob Kauflin has given.  You will find them as free downloads at www.SovereignGraceMinistries.com .  There is a wealth of information and practical guidance here.

BOOKS

Living the Cross-Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney

What Really Matters? Have the extremities taken over and left the core of your faith forgotten? Do you get confused by what you feel versus what is real? Let dynamic pastor C. J. Mahaney strip away the nonessentials and bring you back to the simplest, most fundamental reason for your faith: Jesus Christ. This book is packed with powerful truth that will grip your heart, clear your mind, and invigorate your soul. 

A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David W. Bercott

 Interest in the ways of the early church has never been more intense. What did early Christians believe about the divinity of Christ? What were the beliefs of those who sat at the feet of Jesus’ disciples? Now, for the first time, a unique dictionary has been developed to allow easy access to the ancient material and furnish ready answers to these questions and others like them. David W. Bercot has painstakingly combed the writings of these early church leaders and categorized the heart of their thinking into more than 700 theological, moral, and historical topics to create A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs. Wonderfully suited for devotional or thematic study as well as sermon illustration, this resource offers a window into the world of the early church and affords a special opportunity to examine topically the thoughts of students of the original apostles, as well as other great lights in the life of the early church.• Collects relevant comments on key Christian concepts from prominent figures such as Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Clement of Rome, and Hippolytus.• Includes key biblical verses associated with a given topic.• Offers brief definitions of unfamiliar terms or concepts, allowing easy access to the ancient material.• Provides a “Who’s Who” of ante-Nicene Christianity to put in context the ancient Christian writers.• Discusses more than 700 key theological, moral, and historical topics.• Gives strategic cross-reverences to related topics.• Functions as a topical index to the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers.

Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came To Die, John Piper

 The death of Jesus is of foremost importance for the world. And the central issue of Jesus’ death is not the cause, but the meaning—God’s meaning. In this book,  John Piper has gathered from the New Testament fifty reasons behind the crucifixion of the Christ. Not fifty causes, but fifty purposes—in answer to the most important question facing us in the twenty-first century: Why did Jesus suffer and die?

The Cross of Christ, by John Stott

From one of the foremost preachers and Christian leaders of our day comes theology at its readable best, a contemporary restatement of the meaning of the cross. At the cross Stott finds the majesty and love of God disclosed, the sin and bondage of the world exposed.   More than a study of the atonement, this book brings Scripture into living dialog with Christian theology and the twentieth century. What emerges is a pattern for Christian life and worship, hope and mission. Destined to be a classic study of the center of our faith, Stott’s work is the product of a uniquely gifted pastor, scholar and Christian statesman. His penetrating insight, charitable scholarship and pastoral warmth are guaranteed to feed both heart and mind. 

The Story of Christianity, Justo L. Gonzalez

The Story of Christianity, Volume 1, is an informative, interesting, and consistently readable narrative history. It brings alive the people, dramatic events, and ideas that shaped the first fifteen centuries of Europe, such as the Spanish and Portuguese conquest of the New World. Historian Justo Gonzalez shows how various social, political, and economic movements affected Christianity’s internal growth.Gonzalez skillfully weaves in relevant details from the lives of prominent figures from the apostles to John Wycliffe, tracing out core theological issues and developments as reflected in the lives and struggles of leading thinkers within the various traditions of the church. “The history of the church, while showing all the characteristics of human history, is much more than the history of an institution or movement,” Gonzalez stresses. “It is a history of the deeds of the spirit in and through the men and women who have gone before in the faith.” The Story of Christianity demonstrates at each point what new challenges and opportunities faced the church, and how Christians struggled with the various options open to them, thereby shaping the future direction of the church.The Story of Christianity will serve as a fascinating introduction to the panoramic history of Christianity for students and teachers of church history, for pastors, and for general readers.

Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God, Bob Kauflin

Worship Matters is the first book from pastor, songwriter, and worship leader Bob Kauflin. In these 300 pages, Bob seeks to focus readers on the essentials of God-honoring worship, combining biblical foundations with practical application for the real world. Thirty-two chapters cover a variety of topics, each rooted not in cultural trends, but in unchanging scriptural principles.Bob covers a variety of topics, including the devastating effects of worshiping the wrong things, how to base our worship on God’s self-revelation rather than on our assumptions, the fuel of worship, the centrality of the cross, the community of worship, and the ways that eternity’s worship should affect our worship here and now. In every chapter he seeks to lead worshipers, not to cultural trends, but to unchanging scriptural principles.Worship Matters is for pastors, for worship leaders, and for anyone who wants to learn more about what it means to worship God.

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