2016 End of Year
You are probably inundated with end of year support requests from ministries and organizations during this holiday season. Not be left out, here is ours. But please, don’t simply click away from this one. Would you please read it to the very end? I think you may discover why this support request is different than most of the others you will receive.
Disciple Daily was born in February of 2011. At the time, I had been serving as the Executive Director of a large Bible teaching organization founded by my Jewish friend and discipler, Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum. During the last couple of years at Ariel, I began to sense that my tenure there was coming to a close. God started using a number of events to move me from my comfort zone into more dependence on His daily leading. Just a few weeks before Disciple Daily was established, our King moved in a very definitive way to show Noemi and I what He wanted us to do.
Since the earliest days of my faith walk in 1971, I have been aware of two things:
- It is necessary for all people, saved and unsaved alike, to quickly grasp an understanding of God’s expansive plan for all He created as it is revealed exclusively in the Bible
- There is a critical need in the Church for all believers to be discipled through life-on-life relationships with proven and intentionally reproductive disciple makers.
I have been invited into the lives of men who have built these concepts and disciplines into me since the earliest days of my belief. Sadly, it does not appear that many self-identifying Christians are now being equipped in the way my disciplers taught me. Disciple Daily was created to address this deficiency.
Disciple Daily exists to train disciples who make disciples, one person at a time, one story at a time.
How are we accomplishing this? We went back to the Bible to d
iscover a strategy that is so old, it seems new. God is a storyteller. The story He tells is found in the narrative of the entire Bible, not just in the New Testament. It begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. The larger outer narrative is comprised of many events or accounts. Without apology, we call these accounts stories. These stories are true. The events they depict really happened, just as the author of the Bible recorded them. These are the primary historic events of our faith, events that every follower of Jesus should know and be able to give away to others who they are discipling.
We have formatted twelve foundation Bible stories for oral transfer. They are “Creation”, “Adam & Eve”, “The Fall”, “Noah and the Nations”, “Abraham”, “Moses”, “David”, “Hinge of History”, “Jesus”, “Birth of the Church”, “A Personal Story” and “Things To Come”. These stories support everything else taught in the Bible. Our storytelling disciple makers tell each one of these stories in under five minutes. Each story includes Scripture verses to be quoted in the right place among a number of required key story points.
The disciples that we train use these stories to open the doors to many practical biblical applications to 21st Century issues. They can be used to disciple the unsaved towards first belief in Jesus Christ. They are used to build biblical truth into the lives of new believers. Finally, they are very useful in equipping those who have not yet stepped into a disciple making lifestyle of their own to do so. Teaching these stories creates opportunities for one-on-one disciple making where people live, work, play, and worship.
What God has been developing here at Disciple Daily works! Because of this, God has now expanded our ministry far beyond San Antonio to points across the United States and around the world. Many of the people actively using our Stories of God strategy are overseas in Eurasia, the countries of the old Soviet Bloc nations of Central Asia and Eastern Europe. The majority of Jesus followers are sports coaches using their sport as a gateway to disciple making activity.
I was introduced to this group, the International Sport Coalition, by a young man I met during a pastors conference in Tajikistan. Early this year, he asked us to go to Uzbekistan to train about 100 underground disciple makers in the use our stories. The trip was scheduled for November 25 through December 6. This is a country where followers of Jesus are imprisoned for sharing their faith outside the doors of a state registered church. Those we trained were very responsive and excited to discover how to use this strategy in a place where people are heavily fined just for carrying a Bible. We are now in the process of identifying a coordinator for our storytelling strategy in this closed country.
Recently, our Stories of God were translated into Russian and produced as training videos for disciple makers throughout the Russian speaking world. We now have ministry partners in the countries of Georgia, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Russia and Moldova. We have a plan for training disciple makers to use our Stories of God strategy in every country of Eurasia and the Middle East. Invitations are on the table to train disciples in a number of additional countries over the next couple of years. We want to make these stories available in Hebrew, Arabic, and Spanish as quickly as possible. This will require financial resources that we do not currently have.
Most of what has been accomplished so far at Disciple Daily has been self-funded. Noemi and I have covered the cost of the developmental work through our own personal resources. We have a small number of faithful monthly supporters and a few end of year donors. We are grateful for each one of them. God has used them to supplement what we have been unable to provide. But to plan ahead, something more is required.
We are now asking God to provide 200 monthly partners who will commit to a minimum $30 monthly donation for the next three years. That is about one dollar a day, translating into $1,000 dollars over a three year span. With 200 people making this commitment, we will have all the financing needed for everything we believe God is calling us to accomplish in the next few years.
I am personally asking you to consider becoming a regular monthly partner in the work of Disciple Daily. Will you join of our financing team?
P.S. – Disciple Daily is a legally registered 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation. Your donations to Disciple Daily are tax-deductible.
Following the Come & See stage of their training the disciples left Jesus to return to their fishing. They were forced to confront the contrast between two totally different worlds. There they were, back at their nets, with visions of the Messiah swimming about in their minds. Jesus left each of these men thinking, praying, and struggling with the question, “What should I do next?” They were not sure when the decision would need to be made, but they knew that someday they would be forced to choose.
As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him. – Mark 1:16-20
When we consider all of the factors deterring the first disciples from pursuing a ministry with Jesus, we can see the same thing happening in our own lives today. It is incredible that any person would drop everything in their own world to follow Jesus, considering the present competition for our time. Work, organizations, family needs, and even church related activities compete for our time and attention.
When seeing the fisherman instantly dropping their nets to follow Yeshua, the salesman drools, the politician turns green with envy, and the psychologist scratches his head. The principle often repeated in the life of Jesus is, give people time to make solid decisions. Jesus didn’t rush his men. Consequently, like ripe fruit ready for picking, when the time came, they offered no resistance.
Gentiles know the writings of Jesus’ first disciples as the New Testament. Many Jewish followers of Jesus call them the Brit Chadashah, meaning “New Covenant”. Whatever you decide to call them, think of them as the Apostles’ Teaching. The books of Acts through Revelation make absolutely no sense without a thorough understanding of the life of Messiah Jesus. For this reason, Disciple Daily is building a complete series designed to teach the HIStory of Messiah’s life in chronologic order. Currently, Arlie Francis is teaching through this material every Sunday morning in San Antonio, Texas at Wayside Chapel Evangelical Free Church. Each lesson is recorded and produced as video for your personal study. They are also useful as material for small group and Sunday School lessons. Over time, this series will include accompanying teaching resources including lesson guides and Power Point slides. The video lessons are yours to use free of charge. The lessons on the life of Messiah Jesus are the centerpiece of the Follow Me stage of your discipleship training process at Disciple Daily.
Our Rabbi gives each one of us who are believers in Him a simple invitation. There are no hard-line ultimatums, no forced behavior. You can say “no” at any time to Yeshua. He doesn’t want any rash decisions from you. But, if you want to come along, now is the time to respond. This is your invitation to continue the adventure of making disciples of all nations.
“Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
As an appetizer for what is available in this series, here is “Eleventh of Nisan”. Enjoy!
The world did not come to an end on 12/21/2012.
This morning I met with a friend who I am working with on a project. As we sat down to work, he took a moment to tell me about something that had just happened. When turning into our neighborhood, he was listening to a local radio station. The on-air personality made a comment that caught his attention.
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.
Like most of people, I’ve been thinking about what has happened this year and making plans for the future. My friend’s experience has given me cause to pause. Sometimes I get so caught up in the activities and obligations of life that I forget to live in the here and now. But, will the future even come?
Following my morning meeting, I had a number of errands to run. The first item on my list was to make a stop at the post office. I found one envelope there that had been addressed by hand. I did not recognize the name or the return address. Getting into my car, I opened the envelope. A woman named Linda introduced herself. She is the daughter of a couple who has been supporting us financially. She informed me that her father, Elisha, had recently gone to his reward in the Lord. I had just spoken with Elisha a little over three weeks ago. We had made plans to stay in touch a little better. That time never came. And now, well, it never will. Elisha reminded me of my grandfather. They are two of the finest men I’ve ever known. Elisha and Mary were married for 59 years. Knowing this would be Mary’s first Christmas with out her life partner I decided to call her when my errands had been completed.
Then it hit me. Read more
Chronological Order of The Old Testament Books
Most of us think along a timeline. We read stories from beginning to end. When something happens in the storyline, we look to see how it affects what follows. If we read parts of the story out of order, the storyline itself becomes much more difficult to understand. The Bibles that most of believers in Jesus use demonstrate this potential problem.
Studying the books of the Bible in the chronological order in which they were written can yield a stronger grasp of the flow of biblical history. Removing the books from their historical context, students are left interpreting the Scriptures in light of their own personal perspective. This frequently leads to an improper application of what the Bible actually teaches. By having an understanding of the chronological order of the Old Testament, we can comprehend the purpose for the messages of the prophets and what was behind the other writings. The dates given for the book’s place in this order are not precise. They are provided to give you a broad based historical context of each book’s subject and content.
4,000 – 1,400 B.C. Torah (Law) + Job
Circa 6000 – 1804 B.C. (Key = “Beginnings”)
The Bible’s first book is about first things. Its fifty chapters sketch human history from Creation to the Nations (Chapters 1-11) and from Abraham to Joseph (Chapters 12 – 50). From the family of the Patriarchs will come the nation of Israel and ultimately the Messiah of the whole world, Yeshua.
(Key = “Sovereignty”)
Overnight, the many blessing of God on Job’s life dissolve away. The question of “why” is posed by Job’s friends and eventually from Job himself. Job was likely a contemporary of one of the Patriarchs.
Circa 1520 – 1440 B.C. (Key = “Redemption”)
Following 400 years of in Egypt, God called Moses to lead His people out of slavery and into freedom. The Mosaic Covenant, was the founding document of the nation of Israel and given at Mount Sinai after the Jews left Egypt.
(Key = “Offerings & Feasts”)
The way Israel was to worship God is the purpose of Leviticus. Detailing the offerings and feasts, Leviticus outlined how Israel was to served Jehovah in her worship of Him and be an example to all the Nations.
Circa 1440 – 1400 B.C. (Key = “Wandering”)
After receiving the Mosaic Covenant at Mount Sinai, Israel was told
to take the Promised Land. Because of their lack of faith, the
Exodus Generation died in the wilderness over a period of forty
years. Only those under the age of 20 at the time of the Exodus,
would enter Canaan, except for Joshua and Caleb.
Prior to entering the Promised Land, the Joshua Generation was
given a resummarization of the Mosaic Covenant, first received at
Mount Sinai by their parents. In Moab, Moses delivered three
sermons to Israel to remind them of The Law and what would be
expected once they were in The Land. The events of this book
took place over a period of about one month.
Key – Covenant
1,400 – 1,100 B.C.
The Jews Enter The Promised Land
In this book we are told about Joshua’s assumption of his role as
the new leader of Israel following Moses’ death and burial on Mount
Nebo. Circa 1400 – 1390 B.C.
Key – Conquest
Through the lives of thirteen different judges the Jews experienced
seven recurring cycles of sin, slavery, supplication, and slavation.
Falling into the worship of the pagan idols of the people
surrounding them, God disciplined the Jews until they called out to
Him for help. Then God would deliver them from oppression by a
judge that He would raise up for that purpose.
Circa 1390 – 1100 B.C.
Key – Cycles
Ruth, a Moabitess, returned home to Israel with her mother-inlaw
following her husband’s death. Though not a Jew, Ruth believed in
the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Her misery and hardship
turned to blessing and propserity following her marriage to Boaz,
the great grandfather of King David.
Key – Kinsman Redeemer
1100 – 926 B.C. United Kingdom
Samuel was the last judge of the Jewish tribes. He annointed
Israel’s first two kings. Saul was first. While looking good on the
outside, he had no real heart for God. The reusult was that Samuel
then annointed David to take Saul’s place on the throne.
Circa 1100 – 1006 B.C.
Key – Transition
Soon after Saul’s death near Bet Shean, David began assuming
his role as Israel’s second king. For the first seven years he
reigned over !Judah from his capital in Hebron. Taking Jerusalem
by force, David reigned there for thirty-three years. Throughout
his life, David sought God zealously and confessed his sins quickly,
actions befitting “a man after my own heart” as God declared.
Circa 1006 – 966 B.C.
Key – United Kingdom
1 Kings 1-11
The first eleven chapters cover the reign of Solomon. Under his
leadership, Israel rose to the peak of her influence as a nation.
While Solomon experienced many great achievements, including
the construction of God’s magnificent new Temple, his divided heart
eventually led to a divided kingdom. Circa 966 – 926 B.C.
*Job, written much earlier is part of this collection.
(Key = “Worship”)
Written by Moses, Psalm 90 is the oldest song of the collection. The majority of the Psalms were written during the time of David. Others were written up to two centuries later.
Proverbs Wisdom can be defined as the skill of living rightly. Solomon wrote
this set of couplets that discusses the value of the pursuit of the
skill of wisdom.
Key – Wisdom
Ecclesiastes! Attributed to Solomon, this book records an intense search by the
Preacher for the meaning of life. Discovering that nothing could
provide fulfillment in hislife other except seeking God’s face and
will, the Preacher’s cynicism disappeared and was replaced by
hope and faith.
Key Word – Vanity
Song of Solomon! Despite having 1,000 wives and concubines, Solomon chased after
the beautiful Shulamite woman of this love song.
Key – Love !
926 – 586 B.C. Divided Kingdom
1 Kings 12 – 22! The second half of 1st Kings traces the histories of two sets of
kings and two nations filled with disobedient people and growing
indifference to God’s precepts and the message of His prophets.
Elijah began his prophetic ministry during this period in Israel, the
Northern Kingdom. Circa 926 – 836 B.C.
Key – Divided Kingdom
2 Kings 1 – 17! Elijah continues his ministry in the North and then replaced by
Elisha. Following continued and growing depravity, God removes
the Jews of the Northern Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians in
2 Kings 18 – 25! The closing days of the Southern Kingdom are recorded this portion
of 2nd Kings. Babylon took Judah and Benjamin into captivity in
586 B.C. Circa 836 – 586 B.C.
Key – Captivity
Prophets to the Northern Kingdom
Joel A great locust invasion of The Land is the focal point of Joel’s
warning to Israel. Circa 850 – 700 B.C.
Key – Day of the Lord
Jonah This prophet was really more of a prophet to Ninevah, although he
wasn’t interested in the salvation of the Assyrians. Few people
know much about Jonah’s ministry other than that he was
swallowed by a great fish, providing Jesus with an illustrative sign
of how long He would be in the grave. Circa 800 B.C.
Key – Revival In Ninevah
Amos As a rough country boy, Amos rebuked the sin of Israel
unflinchingly. He characterized Israel as a basket of rotting fruit, ripe
of God’s judgment. Circa 780 – 755 B.C.
Key – Judgment of Israel
Hosea Hosea’s life with Gomer parallels God’s continuing relationship with
Israel, even to this day. Hosea’s love could not be destroyed
regardless of Gomer’s unfaithfulness to him. While there are
consequences for Israel’s rejection of God, He will not stop loving
her either and will fulfill His unconditional promises to her.
Circa 760 – 710 B.C.
Key – God’s Loyal Love for Israel
Prophets to the Southern Kingdom
Micah While Micah made predictions of certain destruction of both Israel
and Judah, he only mentioned the names of Southern Kingdom
kings. !He warned of an attack by Assyria and also told the Jews
that Israel’s Eternal Ruler would come from Bethlehem.
Circa 740 B.C.
Key – Judgment & Restoration of Judah
Isaiah Isaiah had a long public ministry that extended through the reigns
of several of Judah’s kings. His identification of the Messiah to
come is unmistakable in what are know as the Servant Songs,
including Isaiah 53. He also presents a clear picture of the Trinity in
48:16. Circa 740 – 680 B.C.
Key – Salvation
Obadiah The shortest book of the Old Testament, Obadiah’s prophecy
speaks of Edom and the Day of the Lord. This book’s date is very
speculative. There are good arguments for placing Obadiah both
before and also during Judah’s captivity by Babylon. Circa 685 B.C.
Key – Judgment of Edom
Nahum In the 150 years following Jonah’s ministry, Ninevah returned to its
previous pagan and immoral practices. Nahum warns of the coming
destruction of Ninevah. Circa 666 – 615 B.C.
Key – Judgment of Ninevah
Zephaniah In the Southern Kingdom, periodic revivals broke out during the
reign of eight kings “who did what was right in the eyes of the
Lord.” Zephaniah’s prophecy may have played a role in revival
during the reign of Josiah. While it was delayed, judgment
eventually came with the crushing hand of God’s wrath.
Circa 630 – 620 B.C.
Key – Judgment & Restoration
Habakkuk Habakkuk and Jeremiah were contemporaries. Looking at the
wickedness of his native Judah, the prophet questioned why the
wicked prospered and when would God intervene with righteous
judgment. When God answered that a people even more corrupt
and evil than Judah would be His instrument of wrath, Habakkauk
reacted initially with shock and dismay, but followed by praise and
adoration. Circa 627 – 586 B.C.
Key – Faith
Jeremiah Jeremiah was one of the last prophets to warn Judah of God’s
imminent discipline during a long public ministry. An avalanche of
God’s wrath was coming, and Jeremiah was called to proclaim that
message over a period of forty years. Rejected and persecuted,
Jeremiah lived to see many of his prophecies come true.
Circa 627 – 586 B.C.
Key – Judah’s Last Hour !
Lamentations! This is perhaps the saddest book in the entire Bible. It was written
by Jeremiah after Babylon’s soldiers destroyed the city and razed
God’s Temple. The articles of silver and gold used in the worship of
God were carried back to Neubchanezer’s storehouses. The Ark of
the Covenant disappeared, and has not been seen since. As
dark as the hour was, Jeremiah looked to God’s promise to restore
the Jewish people to their land and to His arms. Circa 580 B.C.
Key – Lamentations
586 – 516 B.C. 70 Years of Captivity
Daniel Daniel presented a panoramic sweep of prophetic history that
began in his own time and looked forward to the end of days. He
spoke of the coming and going of the Babylonians, Persians,
Greeks, and Romans long before most of they were a force
in the ancient world. Daniel’s life showed that even in exile, God did
not forget or change His mind concerning the unconditional
promises He made to His chosen people. Through dreams and
interpretations, God told His people that His plans for them were
irrevocable. Circa 605 – 536 B.C.
Key – God’s Plan for Israel
Ezekiel From Babylon, Ezekiel’s visions ranged from horror to hope. He
condemned Israel’s self-serving shepherds while speaking of God’s
care and concern for the sheep of Israel who were being
manipulated and abused for their own selfish purposes. In the end,
like all of the rest of humanity, they would “know that I am the Lord.”
Circa 592 – 570 B.C.
Key – Restoration of Israel
516 – 400 B.C. Jews Return to the Land
Esther Ahasuerus is the Hebrew name for the Persian king, Xerxes.
The story of Esther’s life falls between chapters 6 & 7 of Ezra.
Zerubbabel had been allowed to return to Jerusalem with a first
wave of Jews from Persia. While God’s name never appears in the
book of Esther, His activity is seen throughout as He protected the
people who remained behind in the land of their captivity.
Circa 483 – 473 B.C.
Key – Providence
EzraThis book is a continuation of the narrative of 2nd Chronicles. It
tells the story of how God fulfilled His promise to return His people
to their Land following 70 years of exile. Ezra records the Jewish
return under Zerubbabel and the start of the building of the Second
Temple. It also speaks of Ezra’s own return to teach once the Jews
how to love and serve God again. The time between the two waves
of return is approximately 60 years, the time-frame of the book
of Esther. Circa 538 – 457 B.C.
Key – Temple
Nehemiah Identifying with and confessing the sins of his people, God prompts
Nehemiah to !formulate a bold plan to gain his release from his
responsibilities as the cupbearer to the king of Persia. He returned
home to Jerusalem to oversee the rebuilding of the city’s protective
walls. Overcoming resistance from both his kinsman and the
enemy’s of his people, the walls were rebuilt in 52 days!
Circa 444 – 425 B.C.
Key – Walls
Prophets During the Return to the Land
Haggai Sixteen years after the construction of the Second Temple began, it
was still not finished. While the project began with great ferver and
passion, affairs of everyday living soon crowded out the desire of
the Jews to complete the task. Haggai preached a powerful series
of small sermons to stir up their work again, and complete the
building of the Temple to provide Israel a place to worship God
according to His commands in the Mosaic Covenant.
Circa 520 B.C.
Key – Reconstruction of the Temple
Zechariah Similar to Haggai, Zechariah was commissioned by God to stir up
the people to complete the Temple that had not been worked on for
over twelve years. Without a rebuke and with encouragement,
Zechariah told the people that in order for their Mesianic King to
arrive, there must be a Temple. The project resumed as the people
stood on the firm promise of their soon coming Messiah.
Circa 520 – 470 B.C.
Key – Preparation for Mesiah
Malachi Malachi is the last book of what many call the Old Testament.
Having learned little from their recent captivity, the Jews back in the
Land return to their previous pattern of sin. Asking probing
questions and then answering them, Malachi points to the
hardheartedness of !Judah and curses all who practice the sins that
were so evident. With the end of Malachi’s ministry, it would be a
little over 400 years until Yochanan the Immerser pointed to
Yeshua to pronounce Him “the Lamb of God!” Circa 432 – 425 B.C.
Key – Appeal to Backsliders