Archive for 2013

Dec 26

Help for Reading the Bible in 2014

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Gospel

Reading the Bible regularly is a really good idea. It’s even more important than eating regularly. As Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

With just a few days left until the start of 2014, we’re posting here some suggestions for how to read through the Bible in a year. Of course, there’s no Bible verse that suggests an annual plan for Bible reading. But, like reading the Bible regularly, it’s a good idea. At least once a year most of us need to take inventory and take some kind of action toward being more faithful with our intake of Scripture.

  • Chronological Reading Plan: Reading God’s Story: A Chronological Daily Bible, by George Guthrie is a unique resource. This Bible is published with a one year daily reading plan in mind, ordering the Biblical material chronologically along the Bible’s own narrative framework and includes a reading plan. George Guthrie has also published a one year chronological Bible reading plan, Read the Bible for Life.
  • The M’Cheyne Plan with Daily Devotional Commentary: For the Love of God is a two volume series of books written by D.A. Carson providing daily reading to supplement the M’Cheyne reading plan. This plan, named after its designer and Scottish minister in the 1800′s, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, takes you through the Old Testament once and the Psalms and New Testament twice in one year.
  • Several Places A Day: Crossway’s Daily Bible Reading Plan is available as a PDF form to print out as a series of bookmarks. This plan gets you through the Bible in a year, reading from several different places in the Bible each day. Crossway has published 10 reading plans to supplement the ESV, including RSS, email, audio, and print versions daily. Also, the Discipleship Journal “Bible Reading Plan,” by NavPress, takes you through the entire Bible by reading from four different places each day.
  • Just a List of Chapters: The Bible Reading Record, by Don Whitney, is a simple list of every chapter in the Bible. With this, you can read at whatever pace you like and keep track of what you’ve read until you’re through the Bible. This, of course, wouldn’t necessarily be a one year plan, but it could be. To get through the Bible’s 1089 chapters in a year, you need to read an average of 3.25 chapters a day, which comes out to about four chapters per day if you commit to reading five days each week.

If the Bible is new to you, or if you haven’t personally invested in knowing the Scriptures through regular reading, listen to Ryan’s sermon on Psalm 1, “If You Wanna Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life….” For the worlds most complete summary of Bible reading plans, read this post by Justin Taylor. And if you need some help reflecting on some of the spiritual dynamics involved in our struggle to read the Bible, check our Ryan Kelly’s article, “How’s Your Bible Reading Going?” Finally, for a list of helps in understanding the Bible as you read it, check out our post from last year, “Help for Understanding the Bible.”

Dec 18

“Exult in the Saviour’s Birth”: New Advent Song

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Songs

D.A. Carson and Matt Boswell have written a new song, “Exult in the Savior’s Birth,” which we’ve been singing through this Advent season. It’s a great song for pondering, revering, and adoring the incarnate Christ who is our King from Heaven. It’s available here as a free download.

Here’s an introduction to the song followed by the lyrics:


Verse 1
Shepherds watched
their flocks at night,
attending lowly sheep;
Now within a cattle shed,
a much stranger watch they keep.

Today, a Saviour has been born
and He is Christ, the Lord;
Placed within a humble trough,
this baby must be adored.

Verse 2
Pagan wise men from the East
seek out the infant King;
Trackless miles behind them lie
and now all their rev’rence bring.

They have come to worship Him
with spices and with gold;
Countless millions seek Him still,
who’s advent was long foretold.

Verse 3
For to us a child is born,
to us a Son is giv’n;
He shall reign in righteousness,
this Counselor King from heav’n.

The government will rest on Him,
He is the mighty God;
Prince of Peace, this gentle King
yet rules with a mighty rod.

Verse 4
Scriptures say that Mary’s boy
was born that he might die;
Angel voices burst in praise,
their harmony fills the sky.

Sing, “Glory in the highest heav’n!”
Sing, “Gracious peace on earth!”
Those on whom His favor rests,
exult in the Saviour’s birth.

Read, listen to, meditate, and pray through these words this Christmas. Click here to download the song for free.

Dec 12

Shop for Christmas On Amazon, Support DSC

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Administrative

Did you know that when you shop on Amazon you can also support DSC?

Amazon is one of the amazing success stories of the internet. With a long view for the growth of their business, they have become a primary way many of us shop for Christmas gifts and just about anything throughout the year.

This Christmas when you purchase gifts on Amazon, there are three ways to make around 5% of those purchases go to DSC.

First, you can search Amazon through the widget on our Resources page. Anything you buy having entered Amazon through that search widget will count for DSC.

Second, you can add a simple code to the end of a product page URL before you add something to your cart. Here it is: “/desesprichur-20”. Don’t include those quotation marks, just the forward slash and the text that follows. Save this little code somewhere handy and paste it into your browser as you make purchases across the year. Here’s an example of a URL link for an ESV Study Bible:

Third, and perhaps the easiest way to go about this, you can book mark this link in your browser and use it to get to Amazon. By entering Amazon via this bookmark you setup, all of your Amazon shopping will count toward DSC.

This is hardly the most important post we will publish to the blog this year, and this is hardly a substantive means for any of us to support the important work of God in the local church. But since we’re buying gifts anyway, and since this is quite easy to do, we thought we’d let you know.

Dec 4

“The Name Above Every Name” – Christmas Sermon Series

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Preview

In his letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul says of Jesus Christ that God has “exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name” (2:9).

It’s from this verse that our December series gets its name: “The Name Above Every Name.” The series begins tonight at our Lord’s Supper service and will take us through Christmas Eve, with the exception of this Sunday’s North Africa commissioning service.

In the first sermon, Ryan will preach from Philippians 2:1-11, and in the last sermon we will hear more specifically from Philippians 2:5-11. The two sermons in between will work from several places in Scripture to unfold the significance of two important and frequently used names for Jesus Christ.

December is a wonderful month to extend an invitation to friends and family to join us at church. Let’s pray for Christ’s name to be exalted in and through our church this December.

Nov 29

God’s Most Successful Setback

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

Timely, helpful, and free. That’s how we can describe a new book by John Piper, Good News of Great Joy: Daily Readings for Advent. It’s available here as a free download. Print it out, staple it, and set aside 5 minutes a day to read and pray.

Here’s the reading from December 16, “God’s Most Successful Setback”:

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” —Philippians 2:9–11

Christmas was God’s most successful setback. He has always delighted to show his power through apparent defeat. He makes tactical retreats in order to win strategic victories.

Joseph was promised glory and power in his dream (Genesis 37:5–11). But to achieve that victory he had to become a slave in Egypt. And as if that were not enough, when his conditions improved because of his integrity, he was made worse than a slave — a prisoner.

But it was all planned. For there in prison he met Pharaoh’s butler, who eventually brought him to Pharaoh who put him over Egypt. What an unlikely route to glory!

But that is God’s way — even for his Son. He emptied himself and took the form of a slave. Worse than a slave — a prisoner — and was executed. But like Joseph, he kept his integrity. “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” (Philippians 2:9–10).

And this is God’s way for us too. We are promised glory — if we will suffer with him (Romans 8:17). The way up is down. The way forward is backward. The way to success is through divinely appointed setbacks. They will always
look and feel like failure.

But if Joseph and Jesus teach us anything this Christmas it is this: “God meant it for good!” (Genesis 50:20).

You fearful saints fresh courage take
The clouds you so much dread 
Are big with mercy and will break
In blessings on your head.

Click here to download a fee copy of Good News of Great Joy.