Ministry Toolbox

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

This classic passage on progressive sanctification magnifies the role of the Bible in our Christian growth. The “witnesses” that surround us are the men and women of faith spoken about in Hebrews 11, including Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Joseph, and Moses. They are not witnesses in the passive sense of sitting in Heaven and watching us run the race of faith. They are witnesses in that they testify to us about the character, work, and plan of God in the believer’s life. How do we know what they witness to us about God? Through God’s Word we learn about them and how God worked in their lives to help them grow and to accomplish His divine purposes through them.

As these men and women “witness” to us about God, we can “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,” and we can “run with endurance the race that is set before us.” With this in mind, the Biblical narrative of these men and women becomes very important. Learning from those who have gone on before us, as recorded in the Word, is part of God’s plan to help us become more like Christ in the process of sanctification.

To underscore the importance of examining the role models of Bible men and women of faith and to encourage our church family’s development in progressive sanctification, I am preaching month-by-month through a series of Biblical biographies. In conjunction with this series, I am challenging adults of all ages and children to read biographies of men or women whom God has used recently to impact the world for Christ. By doing so, our people will be able to observe God’s calling and working in the lives of these choice servants. The accompanying chart (see below) shows my preaching schedule and suggested reading.

I pray that through this exposure to godly men and women of faith, we as a congregation will be more committed to pursuing the character, work, and plan of God.

Duke Crawford, Pastor
Calvary Baptist Church
Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

Becoming More Like Christ Monthly Series Preaching

PreachingBiographyBooks
February
AbrahamJohn BunyanThe Hidden Smile of God by John Piper
  John Bunyan: The Tinker of Bedford by William S. Deal
March
PeterHudson TaylorThe Spiritual Secret of Hudson Taylor by Howard Taylor
  Hudson Taylor: Deep in the Heart of China by Janet and Geoff Benge
April
RuthAmy CarmichaelA Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot
  Amy Carmichael: A Life Abandoned to God by Sam Wellman (Barbour Publishing)
May
MosesGeorge MüllerGeorge Müller of Bristol by Arthur T. Pierson
  George Müller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans by Janet and Geoff Benge
June
JoshuaJohn NewtonThe Roots of Endurance by John Piper
  John Newton: A Slave Set Free by Irene Howat
July
EstherCorrie Ten BoomThe Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
  Corrie Ten Boom by Sam Wellman (Barbour Publishing)
August
ElijahCharles SpurgeonSpurgeon: Prince of Preachers by Lewis A. Drummond
  Charles Spurgeon by Dan Harmon
September
DanielJim ElliotThe Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot
  Jim Elliot: One Great Purpose by Janet and Geoff Benge
October
DavidJonathan EdwardsJonathan Edwards: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought by Stephen J. Nichols
 David LivingstoneDavid Livingstone: Missionary and Explorer by Sam Wellman (Barbour Publishing)
November
PaulWilliam CareyWilliam Carey by S. Pearce Carey
  William Carey: Obliged to Go by Janet and Geoff Benge
December
MaryFanny CrosbyHer Heart Can See: the Life and Hymns of Fanny J. Crosby by Edith L. Blumhofer
  Fanny Crosby by Bernard Ruffin (Barbour Publishing)