What Does the Bible Say About Missions? | Influence Podcast


Many Christians begin the New Year with a renewed determination to read their Bibles. Their intention is good, obviously, but it needs to partner with understanding and action if it’s to do us any good. In his new book, Missionary God, Missionary Bible, Dr. Dick Brogden argues that the Bible has a missional message: God desires to bless all nations.

That’s the message I’m talking to Dr. Brogden about in Episode 241 of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Dick Brogden is an ordained missionary with Assemblies of God World Missions. He has ministered among Muslims in East Africa and the Middle East for nearly a quarter-century. Together with his wife, he is cofounder of Live Dead, a church-planting movement among people groups not yet reached by the gospel.

P.S. You can read my recommendation of the book at Amazon. As always, if you like it, please click “Helpful” on my review page.

P.P.S. This podcast is cross-posted from InfluenceMagazine.com with permission.

“Your Crown the Year with Your Bounty”


The year 2020 will not be forgotten soon, but it also will not be missed. Although it has been a frustrating time, its frustrations have fostered greater faith in God, who loves and cares for His people. That increased faith is what will and should be remembered.

Reflecting on 2020 and preparing for 2021, I have focused on Psalm 65:11, which says, “You crown the year with your bounty.” Psalm 65 comes as a relief after the 14 laments that immediately precede it. “Have mercy on me, O God” (51:1) gives way to “Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion” (65:1). Repeated requests for God to “hear” or “listen” to prayer (54:2; 55:1; 61:1; 64:1) result in a confident, “You who answer prayer” (65:2).

David identifies three reasons to praise the prayer-answering God in this psalm:

First, forgiveness. “When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave us our transgressions” (verse 3). This verse captures the great truth of the gospel that though we are a sinful people, God is a forgiving God. He always answers the cry of genuine repentance.

Second, creation. David turns from the personal to the global when he speaks of God “who formed the mountains by your power” and “who stilled the roaring of the seas” (verses 5–7). These actions remind us that God created the world with stability and order. If we rest in God’s “awesome and righteous deeds” (verse 5), we can remain calm amidst “the turmoil of the nations” (verse 7).

Third, providence. “The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it” (verse 9). In the dry Judean hills from which David reigned, water was a miracle, its presence or absence the difference between life and death. These verses remind us God is life’s source. Because of Him, “The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain.” His provision is yet another reason to “shout for joy and sing” (verse 13).

Because of Psalm 65, my prayer for life and ministry in 2021, both yours and mine, is this: Almighty God of love, maywe grow in the grace of Your forgiveness, focus on Your steadiness in the midst of our chaos, and trust in ever-greater measure that You will provide for our needs. Amen!

In this way, we will end 2021 not with 2020’s exhausted, “We survived,” but with Psalm 65:11’s joyful, “You crown the year with your bounty.”

P.S. This is my editorial in the January-March 2021 issue of Influence magazine, an HTML version of which is available here. It is cross-posted from InfluenceMagazine.com with persmission.

Why Honor Is Key | Influence Podcast


“The stories of honor contained in the Word of God start from the first verses in Genesis and continue to the last words in Revelation.” So writes Rich Wilkerson Sr. in his new book, I Choose Honor.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, George P. Wood, Influence magazine’s executive editor, talks to Wilkerson about why honor is the key to relationships, faith, and life.

Rich Wilkerson Sr. senior pastor of Trinity Church in Miami, Florida, and founder of Peacemakers, a Christian, nonprofit social services organization. His book, I Choose Honor, is just out from Charisma House.

P.S. This podcast is cross-posted from InfluenceMagazine.com with permission.

How God Turns a Mess into a Masterpiece | Influence Podcast


Last Tuesday, Rick DuBose began his tenure as general treasurer of the Assemblies of God (USA). I interviewed him for the Influence Podcast over at InfluenceMagazine.com. We talked about the process God uses to turn our messes–personally, congregationally, socially–into masterpieces. Take a listen!

Tuesday’s Influence Online Articles


Today, over at InfluenceMagazine.com:

  • Ed Stetzer asks, “Are You an Interventionist Leader?” I particularly loved this quote: “God didn’t call you to babysit. God called you to lead people so that they can be on mission.” Amen to that!
  • I review Winsome Persuasion by Tim Muehlhoff and Richard Langer. If Christians are going to engage the public effectively on hotly contested social issues, we need to think through the kinds of issues this book so deftly examines.
  • We note a Gallup poll that indicates Americans have complex views on creation and evolution: “Although Americans disagree about the age of the earth and the role of evolution in humanity’s development, three-quarters still say God was involved.”

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