Here at the Summit, we have an audacious goal of planting 1,000 churches by 2050. (By God’s grace, we have already planted 298!) One of the most bittersweet realities of planting churches is sending out your best leaders. One of the greatest benefits is getting to learn from them along the way. So we decided to ask some of our Summit Network pastors to give back a little share some of what God has taught them.
Every Monday throughout the summer, check in here for a dash of wit and wisdom from some of our Summit Network church planters. To find out more about how the Summit Network equips leaders to plant, grow and multiply gospel-centered churches, visit thesummitnetwork.com. Next up: Terry-Lee Kirkland!
–Chris Pappalardo, Editor
Three days into our family vacation and we were hopelessly lost. Just an hour earlier, we had been waiting to cross the U.S.-Canada border to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. The unforeseen problem was that once we entered Canada, we suddenly had no clue how to get there.
My phone’s GPS lost reception as soon as we crossed the border, and our car’s navigation system didn’t include maps outside of the U.S. either. The sources we usually relied on had instantly become insufficient to get us where we needed to go. Thankfully, we found a place off a nearby exit with free wifi. We compiled a makeshift atlas by taking screenshots of the entire route ahead of us. (How did people get around before phones again?)
While you might not be able to relate to the desperation that I had behind the wheel, you can probably relate to the feeling—going through your life with insufficient sources of direction.
You probably already know where I’m going with this. And I’ll go ahead and jump to the punch line: The Bible is sufficient for all of life.
If you’re a Christian, you get this. But if you’re anything like me, you often forget this. We cannot remind ourselves of this often enough: When we read the Bible, God speaks. The Apostle Paul told Timothy that Scripture was breathed out by God to make us complete. It is profitable for all of life (2 Timothy 3:16–17). When we thumb through the pages of Scripture, we are welcomed into the theater of God’s glory. He comforts the discouraged, calms the anxious, teaches the confused, and offers purifying grace to sinners.
In Psalm 19:7–10, King David gives six promises to every person who seeks God through his Word:
1. The Word of God revives the soul (19:7a).
Unmet expectations, conflict, and the daily temptations of living in a fallen world guarantee our spiritual fatigue. Listening to God revives our soul. When we fearfully await test results from our doctor, God reminds us that he is sovereign and good. When we feel undervalued or overlooked, God reminds us that we are his. When we are spiritually dehydrated from the circumstances of life, God’s Word is like a glass of cold water pressed to our parched lips.
2. The Word of God gives us wisdom (19:7b).
Despite what our academic achievements or carefully crafted resumes would have us believe, we need wisdom. An open Bible is a theological declaration that God knows everything and we do not. When we read our Bible, we take a seat before an eternal God who not only has more knowledge than us but is himself the source of all knowledge. He alone is all-wise, and he graciously reveals his wisdom through his Word.
When we read our Bible, we take a seat before an eternal God who not only has more knowledge than us but is himself the source.
3. The Word of God produces joy (19:8a).
David declares that the precepts of the Lord “rejoice the heart.” When we behold God’s mercy, patience, justice, and steadfast love through the narrative of Scripture, our hearts are flooded with joy. Scripture anchors our joy to the finished work of Christ and the reminder that our sins are, in the immortal words of Audio Adrenaline, somewhere “on the ocean floor.
4. The Word of God enlightens the eyes (19:8b).
Sin darkens our ability to see the path of life that is for our good and God’s glory. The Word of God is a light to keep us from stumbling. It gives us divine insight for honoring God in decisions about our career, marriage, finances, and future.
5. The Word of God endures forever (19:9a).
We’ve all made promises we haven’t kept. More often than not, I find myself making promises I simply couldn’t keep. Even our well-intended words rarely endure because our lives are ever-changing. Because God is unchanging, his Word never changes. There are no expiration dates on the promises of God. Not a single Word of Scripture was written in pencil. His Word endures.
6. The Word of God satisfies (19:10).
David praised God for his Word because it is more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey. We have the sinful tendency to be drawn to wealth and driven by our appetite. David had the riches of the throne but assures us that God’s Word is better than the counterfeit pleasures we often seek.
These six promises are an invitation to spend time with God in Scripture today. If the power of God’s Word can form planets, resurrect the dead, and calm the sea, then what could he do in your life this week? Read, listen, meditate, memorize, and immerse yourself in the Word.
Terry-Lee Kirkland is the lead pastor at The Oaks Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, which was planted through the Summit Network in 2017. He and his wife, Abby, have one son named Brooks. Learn more at theoakscincy.com.