Living Faith

Growing our Thankfulness for God: The 10,000 Reason Journal
In his famous worship song, “10,000 Reasons,” Matt Redman sings the following lyrics:

“For all Your goodness
I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons
For my heart to find.”

For Christians, these are powerful lyrics that are both appropriate for and expected of a Christian. Our God is a God of infinite wisdom, power, goodness, mercy, and love (and countless other characteristics), so to honor God with 10,000 praises should be a relatively simple task. Yet, practically, thinking of 10,000 reasons to praise God would be a difficult task for many, no matter how much time one is given. While Redman’s selection of 10,000 is ultimately arbitrary, Christians everywhere would nevertheless
benefit by attempting to reach Redman’s number. First, Christians are called to abound with thankfulness and offer our praises to God freely (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Psalm 34:1; Psalm 147:1). Secondly, offering praise to God in this life provides a glimpse of what the Christian can expect in Heaven, when believers of all generations will sing God’s praises for all of eternity (Revelation 19). Thirdly, we offer our praise to God because He is worthy of such praise (Revelation 4:11). How then can we incorporate thanksgiving and thankfulness towards God into our spiritual lives in such a way that doing so becomes a lifelong spiritual discipline?

Enter the 10,000 Reasons journal. The 10,000 Reasons Journal inspired by the above lyric in Redman’s song, the 10,000 Reasons journal is a journaling exercise in which Christians write a pre-established number of praises of God each day until they reach the number 10,000. While the pre-determined number may vary from Christian to Christian, each praise should beunique to that day. This activity benefits Christians in numerous ways. First, requiring ourselves to reflect upon our day in order to praise God helps us to see what the prophet Jeremiah saw in Lamentations 3 – that the faithfulness of God renews daily. Reflecting on our day in search of praises also better attunes our heart towards God’s steadfast love for us in both the big and small moments of our lives. Secondly, as the Christian continues in this discipline, the journal then functions as an extended testimony of God’s power and work in our lives. As Christians begin to fill their journals, each previous page becomes an encouragement in times of hardship, as we are able to read about how God has delivered us or blessed us in times past, thus renewing the hope that God will again do so in our futures.

Finally, this journal helps to refocus us to our original purpose – to praise and glorify God. The journal helps redirect our eyes from the frustrations and bitterness that accrue within our soul throughout the day towards the goodness of our God and Father. While praise is not inherently sanctifying, pouring our out gratitude to God can be cathartic, as we acknowledge God’s goodness amidst the turbulence and volatility of our earthly lives.
May this idea be a blessing to you in our pursuit to glorify God in our daily lives.

Life Group Director and Missions Director at CCR

Steven Barker

Should I be Baptized Again?

Careful reflection on the baptism of Apollos’ disciples (Acts 18-19) sheds some light on who should be rebaptized. New Testament baptism was only performed once on an individual!  All Christian churches were part of the universal body of Christ recognizing “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,” and therefore new members who had transferred from other congregations were not rebaptized. 

However, to be meaningful, baptism required that the candidate had personal faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized ‘in His name’. In the case of the disciples of Apollos, this was not so and they were rebaptized as a result.  

Some have suggested that rebaptism should occur if the candidate in question didn’t have a proper understanding of what baptism meant at the time. However, the applicability of baptism does not depend on the depth and accuracy of understanding, but whether it is associated with conversion.  

In my view, rebaptism should only be performed on one of two grounds.  Either the church that baptized them was not a true Christian church, or the candidate did not at the time of their baptism have true faith in Jesus.  

If you feel that you fit either of the two criteria’s mentioned above, then according to the Scriptures you should be rebaptized with the understanding that it would not be a rebaptism, but his or her first only true baptism as a Christian.   If you are struggling to understand if you fit either of the two criteria listed above, please talk to a Pastor at Crossover Church and Lord willing he can help you discern how you can be obedient to the Lord in this matter.  

Kyle Hogg

Senior Pastor at CCR

Coincidence or Providence?

Our women’s Bible study group just finished up the book of Ruth. Despite its small size, Ruth is packed to the brim with themes worthy to be studied.
But for the purposes of this short post, I wanted to focus on the Providence of God seen in Ruth. Without mentioning God’s direct involvement in the narrative save for two times (Ruth 1:6; 4:13), the narrator weaves throughout the story a sense of coincidence and slim chances.

  • Naomi suddenly decides to return to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest. (Ruth 1:6)
  • Ruth just so happens to arrive in Boaz’s field to glean. (Ruth 2:3)
  • Shortly afterward, Boaz also just so happens to arrive at that field  and chances to have an abundantly favorable disposition towards her. (Ruth 2:4)
  • Against the odds, respectable Boaz is filled with tenderness and care for Ruth as she reveals herself to him at the threshing floor at midnight and promises to settle her situation in the morning. (Ruth 3:10-13)
  • When he goes to do so who should show up (as if on cue) but the nearer kinsmen-redeemer who has first rights to Naomi’s property and Ruth’s hand in marriage. (Ruth 4:1)

Why are all of these events so remarkable? I think it is because the narrator does not specifically mention the involvement of God within them. The events are presented as chance encounters or coincidental occurrences. This does not square with what we know to be true about the providence of God, which Jerry Bridges defines as: “His constant care for and His absolute rule over all His creation for His own glory and the good of His people.”

The narrator of Ruth forces the reader to grapple with the way he or she views the past, present, and future of their lives. So often we look at the circumstances we are in as mere chance, dumb luck or coincidental. The evolutionistic worldview in which we live declares that the universe came into being by a stroke of luck, and that human beings and the rest of creation are the results of a series of chance biological phenomenons bred into us over millions of years. Our existence and the course of our lives comes down to the roll of the dice.

But the book of Ruth declares a different worldview, one in which God is intimately and constantly concerned with the ordinary details of the lives of his children. Nothing escapes his notice and care. He is not only concerned but deeply involved: softening hearts, directing individuals to fields and giving life to the barren womb. He works within the actions of people to direct his good and glorious outcomes. We may roll the dice, but the numbers that appear and the circumstances they affect are from the Lord (Prov 16:33).

There are no coincidences within the Kingdom of God. Don’t be tempted to look upon something awful or something good and say that God has no good and lasting purpose for that event. When Ruth and Naomi arrived in Bethlehem, widowed, destitute, and vulnerable, they did not know how completely God would take them from emptiness to fullness. So also we do not know how God will work out the tragedies and triumphs of our lives. But we do know that we can trust the good hand of God, which works all things out for the good of those who believe in him and are called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28). We may not see the sweet fruit until heaven, but that is a reward worth waiting for!  

Alise Grant

Co-Women’s director at CCR