Don’t Assume the Gospel


“Assuming the gospel is deadly. I’m saying that as clearly and bluntly as I know how. When the gospel is assumed, we begin to think that everyone who shows up at church is a Christian. However unlikely that may be, many people in churches behave as if that’s true.

That bad assumption leads to the next: there is no need to share, teach, or preach the gospel. Over time, confusion about the gospel grows: external actions are confused with genuine Christian faith. Morality becomes an expectation and not a response of love. The cross is treated merely as an example, not the place where God’s wrath and love uniquely meet. Eventually, the gospel is lost altogether.

This is a travesty in the Christian community. It is why Paul instructed Timothy to guard the gospel, you need to take a deep look at the sin of your heart. More seriously, if the gospel does not resonate in your heart, check and see that you are truly converted.”

–Mack Styles in Evangelism: How the Whole Church Speaks of Jesus (pages 90-91)

Leadership Resources International seeks to train pastors and church leaders in the US and worldwide to study the Word of God in depth using a variety of hermeneutical principles. Learn more about our Training National Trainers Program or how you can help the worldwide spread of God’s Word!

For more resources, Christian encouragement, and stories of God’s work, follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle Plus, and YouTube

Author: Kevin Halloran


The Most Popular Psalms in the Bible


The Psalms are a unique part of the Bible because of the raw emotion and beautiful imagery used by the psalmists to communicate with God. Our hearts resonate with the words of the psalms in a different way than other Scriptures because they give us Spirit-inspired words directed to God that we can’t express on our own.

Many of the Bible’s most beloved and quoted chapters are from the Old Testament book of Psalms.

We thought it would be helpful to have a list ranking the most popular Psalms¹ along with their corresponding author, category², and cross-references for further study.

We pray that your study of the psalms will cause your heart to echo with the words of Psalm 119:47, “I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.”

For more biblically-saturated resources, Christ-exalting encouragement, and stories of God’s work around the world, follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle Plus, and YouTube, or subscribe to our FuseLine email list.

The Most Popular Psalms in the Bible

Cross Reference
7 Psalms 001 Unknown Wisdom Psalm
33 Psalms 002 Unknown Royal Psalm Quoted in Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5, 5:5
19 Psalms 003 David Prayer of Lament 2 Samuel 15-17 – David flees from and battles Absalom
25 Psalms 004 David Prayer of Lament Quoted in Ephesians 4:26
26 Psalms 005 David Prayer of Lament Quoted in Romans 3:13
44 Psalms 006 David Prayer of Lament / Penitential Prayer Quoted in Matthew 7:23
56 Psalms 007 David Prayer of Lament
20 Psalms 008 David Song of Praise Quoted in Matthew 21:16; Hebrews 2:5-8; 1 Corinthians 15:27
64 Psalms 009 David Prayer of Lament
83 Psalms 010 Unknown Prayer of Lament Quoted in Romans 3:14
70 Psalms 011 David Confession of Trust
72 Psalms 012 David Prayer of Lament
40 Psalms 013 David Prayer of Lament
78 Psalms 014 David Prayer of Lament Quoted in Romans 3:10-12
47 Psalms 015 David Temple Entry Liturgy
37 Psalms 016 David Confession of Trust Quoted in Acts 2:25-31, 13:35
81 Psalms 017 David Prayer of Lament
18 Psalms 018 David Royal Psalm 2 Samuel 22 – David delivered from enemies and from Saul
22 Psalms 019 David Song of Praise/Wisdom Quoted in Romans 10:18
27 Psalms 020 David Royal Psalm
29 Psalms 021 David Royal Psalm
28 Psalms 022 David Prayer of Lament Quoted in Matthew 27:35, 46; Mark 15:24, 34; Luke 23:24; John 19:24; Hebrews 2:12
1 Psalms 023 David Confession of Trust
16 Psalms 024 David Temple Entry Liturgy Quoted in 1 Corinthians 10:26
17 Psalms 025 David Prayer of Lament
67 Psalms 026 David Prayer of Lament
3 Psalms 027 David Prayer of Lament
49 Psalms 028 David Prayer of Lament
65 Psalms 029 David Song of Praise
34 Psalms 030 David Song of Thanksgiving
15 Psalms 031 David Prayer of Lament Quoted in Luke 23:46
32 Psalms 032 David Song of Thanksgiving / Penitential Prayer Quoted in Romans 4:7-8
42 Psalms 033 Unknown Song of Praise
11 Psalms 034 David Song of Thanksgiving Quoted in 1 Peter 2:3, 3:10-12; John 15:25
10 Psalms 035 David Prayer of Lament
90 Psalms 036 David Prayer of Lament Quoted in Romans 3:18
6 Psalms 037 David Wisdom Psalm
76 Psalms 038 David Prayer of Lament / Penitential Prayer
88 Psalms 039 David Prayer of Lament
23 Psalms 040 David Song of Thanksgiving Quoted in Hebrews 10:5-7
48 Psalms 041 David Prayer of Lament Quoted in John 13:18
36 Psalms 042 Sons of Korah Prayer of Lament Quoted in Matthew 26:38
95 Psalms 043 Unknown Prayer of Lament Quoted in Mark 14:34
115 Psalms 044 Sons of Korah Prayer of Lament Quoted in Romans 8:36
79 Psalms 045 Sons of Korah Royal Psalm Quoted in Hebrews 1:8-9
14 Psalms 046 Sons of Korah Song of Praise
100 Psalms 047 Sons of Korah Song of Praise
123 Psalms 048 Sons of Korah Song of Praise
129 Psalms 049 Sons of Korah Wisdom Psalm
73 Psalms 050 Asaph Prophetic Oracle
8 Psalms 051 David Prayer of Lament 2 Samuel 11-12 – Nathan confronts David about adultery with Bathsheba; Quoted in Romans 3:4
121 Psalms 052 David Prayer of Lament 1 Samuel 22:9-19 – Doeg tells Saul that David went to the house of Abimelech
119 Psalms 053 David Prayer of Lament
85 Psalms 054 David Prayer of Lament 1 Samuel 23:19 – The Ziphites tell Saul that David is hiding among them
53 Psalms 055 David Prayer of Lament
58 Psalms 056 David Prayer of Lament 1 Samuel 21:10-11 – The Philistines seize David in Gath
84 Psalms 057 David Prayer of Lament 1 Samuel 22:1 (or 24:3) – David flees from Saul into a cave. Same as Psalm 142
140 Psalms 058 David Prayer of Lament
106 Psalms 059 David Prayer of Lament 1 Samuel 19:11 – Saul sends me to watch David’s house in order to kill him
141 Psalms 060 David Prayer of Lament 2 Samuel 8:1-14 – David’s victory over Transjordan
71 Psalms 061 David Prayer of Lament
61 Psalms 062 David Confession of Trust Quoted in Matthew 16:27
54 Psalms 063 David Confession of Trust 2 Samuel 15-17 or 1 Samuel 23:14-15 – David in the desert of Judah
120 Psalms 064 David Prayer of Lament
116 Psalms 065 David Song of Praise
103 Psalms 066 Unknown Song of Praise
102 Psalms 067 Unknown Song of Praise
82 Psalms 068 David Song of Praise Quoted in Ephesians 4:8
89 Psalms 069 David Song of Praise Quoted in John 2:17
52 Psalms 070 David Prayer of Lament
51 Psalms 071 Unknown Prayer of Lament
113 Psalms 072 Solomon Royal Psalm
41 Psalms 073 Asaph Wisdom Psalm
146 Psalms 074 Asaph Prayer of Lament
138 Psalms 075 Asaph Song of Thanksgiving
149 Psalms 076 Asaph Song of Praise
127 Psalms 077 Asaph Prayer of Lament
118 Psalms 078 Asaph Wisdom Psalm Quoted in Matthew 13:35; John 6:31
150 Psalms 079 Asaph Prayer of Lament
144 Psalms 080 Asaph Prayer of Lament
124 Psalms 081 Asaph Song of Praise
55 Psalms 082 Asaph Prayer of Lament Quoted in John 10:34
50 Psalms 083 Asaph Prayer of Lament
63 Psalms 084 Sons of Korah Song of Praise
125 Psalms 085 Sons of Korah Prayer of Lament
69 Psalms 086 David Prayer of Lament Quoted in Revelation 15:4
145 Psalms 087 Sons of Korah Song of Praise
132 Psalms 088 Sons of Korah Prayer of Lament
86 Psalms 089 Ethan the Ezrahite Royal Psalm
35 Psalms 090 Moses Prayer of Lament
2 Psalms 091 Unknown Confession of Trust Quoted by Satan in Matthew 4:5-7; Luke 4:10-11
46 Psalms 092 Unknown Song of Praise
114 Psalms 093 Unknown Song of Praise
108 Psalms 094 Unknown Prayer of Lament Quoted in 1 Corinthians 3:20
91 Psalms 095 Unknown Song of Praise Quoted in Hebrews 3:7-11, 3:15, 4:3, 5, 7
110 Psalms 096 Unknown Song of Praise
135 Psalms 097 Unknown Song of Praise
126 Psalms 098 Unknown Song of Praise
142 Psalms 099 Unknown Song of Praise
12 Psalms 100 Unknown Song of Praise
94 Psalms 101 David Royal Psalm
104 Psalms 102 Unknown Prayer of Lament / Penitential Prayer Quoted in Hebrews 1:10-12
13 Psalms 103 David Song of Praise
57 Psalms 104 Unknown Song of Praise Quoted in Hebrews 1:7; Matthew 13:32; Mark 4:32; Luke 13:19
87 Psalms 105 Unknown Song of Praise
131 Psalms 106 Unknown Song of Praise
45 Psalms 107 Unknown Song of Thanksgiving
133 Psalms 108 David Song of Praise
38 Psalms 109 David Prayer of Lament
98 Psalms 110 David Royal Psalm Quoted in Matthew 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42-43; Acts 2:24-25; Hebrews 1:13, 5:6-10, 7:17, 21
112 Psalms 111 Unknown Song of Praise Quoted in Revelation 15:3-4
59 Psalms 112 Unknown Wisdom Psalm Quoted in 2 Corinthians 9:9
92 Psalms 113 Unknown Song of Praise
139 Psalms 114 Unknown Song of Praise
109 Psalms 115 Unknown Song of Praise
60 Psalms 116 Unknown Song of Thanksgiving Quoted in 2 Corinthians 4:13
97 Psalms 117 Unknown Song of Praise Quoted in Romans 15:11
21 Psalms 118 Unknown Song of Thanksgiving Quoted in Matthew 21:9, 39, 42; Mark 11:9-10, 12:10-11; Luke 13:35, 19:38, 20:17; John 12:13; Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7
9 Psalms 119 Unknown Wisdom Psalm
117 Psalms 120 Unknown Pilgrim Song
4 Psalms 121 Unknown Pilgrim Song
107 Psalms 122 David Pilgrim Song
74 Psalms 123 Unknown Pilgrim Song
99 Psalms 124 David Pilgrim Song
111 Psalms 125 Unknown Pilgrim Song
66 Psalms 126 Unknown Pilgrim Song
24 Psalms 127 Solomon Pilgrim Song
80 Psalms 128 Unknown Pilgrim Song
136 Psalms 129 Unknown Pilgrim Song
96 Psalms 130 Unknown Pilgrim Song / Penitential Prayer
122 Psalms 131 David Pilgrim Song
148 Psalms 132 Unknown Pilgrim Song Quoted in Acts 2:30
30 Psalms 133 David Pilgrim Song
143 Psalms 134 Unknown Pilgrim Song
147 Psalms 135 Unknown Song of Praise
75 Psalms 136 Unknown Song of Praise
39 Psalms 137 Unknown Prayer of Lament
68 Psalms 138 David Song of Praise
5 Psalms 139 David Prayer of Lament
101 Psalms 140 David Prayer of Lament
105 Psalms 141 David Prayer of Lament
130 Psalms 142 David Prayer of Lament Same as Psalm 57
77 Psalms 143 David Prayer of Lament / Penitential Prayer
43 Psalms 144 David Royal Psalm
62 Psalms 145 David Song of Praise
128 Psalms 146 Unknown Song of Praise
93 Psalms 147 Unknown Song of Praise
137 Psalms 148 Unknown Song of Praise
134 Psalms 149 Unknown Song of Praise
31 Psalms 150 Unknown Song of Praise
Showing 1 to 150 of 150 entries


Bonus: Top 25 Popular Bible Verses from the Psalms

1. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

2. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1

3. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2

4. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

5. “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4

6. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!” Psalms 103:1

7. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”Psalms 46:10

8. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalms 46:1

9. “O LORD, you have searched me and known me!” Psalms 139:1

10. “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalms 127:3

11. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalms 23:1

12. “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” Psalms 19:7

13. “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.” Psalms 14:1

14. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalms 27:1

15. “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein…” Psalms 24:1

16. “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Psalms 51:5

17. “The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”” Psalms 110:1

18. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalms 91:1

19. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalms 51:10

20. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalms 119:11

21. “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalms 90:2

22. “I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.” Psalms 2:7

23. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalms 19:14

24. “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalms 139:14

25. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalms 23:4

Leadership Resources International seeks to train pastors and church leaders in the US and worldwide to study the Word of God in depth using a variety of hermeneutical principles. Our training instructs preachers on eight books of the Bible, including the book of Psalms.

Learn more about our Training National Trainers Program or how you can help the worldwide spread of God’s Word!

¹Popularity measured with the Google Keyword Planner Tool’s monthly search predictions 05/14
² Categories used come from Psalms (New International Biblical Commentary) by Craig C. Broyles
³ Ranking used with permission from (

Author: Kevin Halloran

Charles Spurgeon on Ministry and the Power of the Holy Spirit


The following is a quote from Charles Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students:

“In order to the holy and useful exercise of extemporal speech, the Christian minister must cultivate a childlike reliance upon the immediate assistance of the Holy Spirit. “I believe in the Holy Ghost,” says the Creed. It is to be feared that many do not make this a real article of belief. To go up and down all the week wasting time, and then to cast ourselves upon the Spirit’s aid, is wicked presumption, an attempt to make the Lord minister to our sloth and self-indulgence; but in an emergency the case is widely different. When a man finds himself unavoidably called upon to speak without any preparation, then he may with fullest confidence cast himself upon the Spirit of God. The divine mind beyond a doubt comes into contact with the human intellect, lifts it out of its weakness and distraction, makes it soaring and strong, and enables it both to understand and to express divine truth in a manner far beyond its unaided powers. Such interpositions, like miracles, are not meant to supersede our efforts or slacken our diligence, but are the Lord’s assistance which we may count upon at an emergency. His Spirit will be ever with us, but especially under severe stress of service.”

Leadership Resources International seeks to train pastors and church leaders in the US and worldwide to study the Word of God in depth using a variety of hermeneutical principles. Learn more about our Training National Trainers Program or how you can help the worldwide spread of God’s Word!

Author: Kevin Halloran

Seeing Jesus Christ in the Old Testament Book of Jonah

Seeing-and-Finding-Jesus-Christ-in-the-Old-Testament-book-of-Jonah1When most people think of Jonah in the Bible, they think of the reluctant prophet who ran from God’s missionary call and was then swallowed up by a fish.

I think of my Sunday school’s flannel graph of Jonah and the great fish. Who could forget a man spending three days inside the belly of a sea monster?

As great as that story is, only remembering the “fish story” part of Jonah means we miss the larger picture of what Jonah is really about.

Jonah is a book about God’s sovereign control over earthly events, our need to repent of selfishness and hypocrisy, and His loving and gracious heart for repentant sinners.

The themes of this book, like every Old Testament book, point to the main focus of the whole Bible: the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Seeing Jesus Christ in the Old Testament book of Jonah will greatly aid us in understanding Jonah and how Jesus could refer to Himself as, “something greater than Jonah” (Matthew 12:38-42).

Comparing and Contrasting Jonah and Jesus

1. Jonah was a prophet preaching a message of repentance (Jonah 1:2, 3:1-4). Jesus was a prophet preaching a message of repentance (Acts 3:22; Mark 1:14-15).

2. Jonah ran from the difficult calling God gave Him (Jonah 1:3). Jesus perfectly obeyed the Father’s will and went to the cross.

3. Jonah slept on a ship during a storm caused by his own disobedience and offered up his life to save those on the ship (1:4-12). Jesus slept on a ship during a storm, calmed the storm, and would later offer up His life to save those who were disobedient.

4. Jonah claimed to fear the Creator God who had authority on earth (Jonah 1:9). Jesus is the Creator God with the supreme authority over all the earth (John 1:3; Matthew 28:18).

5. Jonah spent three days inside the belly of a great fish because of his own sin. Jesus spent three days inside the belly of the earth because of our sin.

6. Jonah knew that “Salvation belongs to the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). Jesus’ name means “Yahweh saves” and He is the only source of salvation from the Lord (Hebrews 5:9; Acts 4:12).

7. Jonah despised God for showing grace toward repentant sinners (Jonah 4:2). Jesus modeled God’s grace toward repentant sinners (Luke 19:10).

8. Jonah lacked concern for the salvation of people from other nations (specifically the Ninevites). Jesus loved the world so much that he gave his life to ransom people to God “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

9. Jonah was angry enough to die because of God’s grace toward sinners (Jonah 4:3). Jesus was compassionate enough to die because of His love for sinners (1 John 3:16).

10. Jonah cared exceedingly about a plant that provided him comfort (4:10-11). Jesus cared about a whole multitude of people enough to deny himself and His comfort to reconcile them to God (2 Corinthians 5:18).

Are you more like Jesus or Jonah?

God’s grace made Jonah angry and flee from the presence of the Lord. He didn’t want to share about a gracious and merciful God to a bunch of sinners who didn’t deserve it. Only after a series of miracles does Jonah decide to obey God, and when God uses Jonah’s actions to save a whole city of people–Jonah is furious.

Jesus is strikingly different than Jonah. He humbly followed His Father’s will and shared His heart for rebels–enough to give His live to save them.

Does that describe you? Do you share God’s heart for the lost, or do you reluctantly and half-heartedly perform the ministry God has given you?

If you find yourself like Jonah, you are not alone. We can easily become jaded in our evangelism and our heart toward unbelievers–but don’t forget that God’s slowness to anger and amazing grace extends to you as well. Repent of your Jonah-like attitudes and ask God for His heart for the world and for the strength to carry out the ministry He has given you. Colin Smith shares the following prayer that you can make yours today:

“Lord, make me less like Jonah and more like Jesus. Save me from being the kind of person who cares more about my comfort, my reputation, and my success than I do about the people You are calling me to serve. Help me to keep all of my dreams on Your altar and be ready at all times to respond with faith and obedience to Your call.”¹

Leadership Resources International trains pastors in the US and all over the world to preach the Word of God with the heart of God and proclaim Christ from all of Scripture. Learn more about the work God is doing through His Word in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

If you want to help us proclaim God’s name among the nations, join us in our ministry by making a donation, becoming an Anchor Church, or praying for our work around the world.

Author: Kevin Halloran.

¹Jonah: Navigating a God-Centered Life. Colin S. Smith

Devotional: The Christian Life is a Race by Tom Newton

Every Thursday, one of our staff members shares a short devotional thought from the Bible. This audio is from when Pastor Tom Newton shared his thoughts titled, “The Christian Life is a Race” on running the race of the Christian life based on the following two passages:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2


TNT Honduras Update: Stirring a Passion for Fellowship and Teaching the Word


Earlier this year, Leadership Resources returned to Siguatepeque, Honduras, to begin our second year of training with pastors from the Central American Churches of Honduras. LRI staff members Patricio Paredes and Paul Adams, along with guest teacher Juan Torres, led the brothers through a workshop on Genesis 1–11. The workshop focuses on introducing the concept of Biblical theology – seeing smaller parts of Scripture in light of the overall story and message of the Bible.

We saw good, steady growth among the brothers. The guys engaged well with the truths they discovered from the book of Genesis. They also expressed deep appreciation for the fellowship that has formed among the group. We continued to be encouraged by their heart and motivation to take this training out to other pastors throughout their respective areas of Honduras.

We estimate that through 2nd- and 3rd- generation training, they are reaching about 150 pastors with training in how to study and teach the Bible faithfully.

Two Short Testimonies from our Training in Honduras:


Omar (in the white t-shirt) and his wife have both been greatly impacted by TNT.

One pastor, Omar, had the following to share about how LRI’s Training National Trainers program is something that has impacted his wife and their ministry together:

“I thank God for the fellowship and the relationship we have between brothers…

…when the week of this training is coming, I get very happy. I get very enthusiastic, and I share with my wife, and I tell her, ‘We have a great time with these brothers.’ And even my wife gets excited. She prepares all my clothes for the next day.

When I used to go to other trainings at another seminary, she told me, ‘No, prepare your own clothes.’ But when I come to this training, she always has my clothes ready, and very neat.”

While Omar shared this, one of the other trainees chimed in, “Maybe it’s because other trainings were only two days long, and now you’re leaving for a week!” After the laughter died down, Omar continued with the following:

One of the reasons my wife gets excited and motivated – I have shared with her when we leave here how we treat each other… And when I pass on this training there [by training others], my wife is the coordinator of the kitchen. She feeds the pastors, and she feels joy in doing that.”

TNT has made a huge impact not only on Omar’s skills in the Word, but in his love for his brothers in Christ. Omar’s wife loves the transformation she sees in her husband and she can’t help but want to serve the men who Omar passes his training on to. Praise God for using His Word to amplify this couple’s ministry together!

Another great story of God’s work comes from Pedro, the oldest member of the group.


TNT has given Pedro the desire to teach the Bible with his remaining time on earth.

Pedro said concerning our time in Genesis:

“…I’m going to be honest, in the years that I’ve studied the Bible, it’s just now that I’ve discovered why is Genesis so important…”

Pedro continued to explain how being trained by LRI is fueling a passion to teach God’s Word for all of his remaining days:

“…all of my classmates here are younger than me. But my view from now on is, that the time that God gives me to stay on this earth will be for teaching the Word of God correctly, studying the Bible how it is meant to be studied, always using our framework correctly. So, … I don’t know how many years God is going to give me…, but if He’s given me this opportunity…I should share what He’s teaching me.”

We thank God for His faithfulness in our training and in the lives of those we train like Omar and Pedro.

God is raising up men all around the world who are hungry for the Word of God and eager to train others in the Scriptures. We can’t continue in this ministry alone–we have had to tell some men eager for training that we cannot come and train them in the Word due to a lack of funding.

Will you consider partnering with us in ministry to strengthen the worldwide church with the Word of God? You can play a part in the movement by making a donation or sponsoring a group with your church

Please contact us for more information about our programs, how you can help, or how you can assemble a training group in your area.


“This was the first expository message I have preached–in many years of ministry.”


“Why should we spend three days in this training?” Phil, one of our trainees, asked on our first day of training (Phil’s name has been changed for security purposes). It is common to have skeptics early on in our training because people don’t know what to expect.

Phil was with his group in a security-sensitive region of Central Asia going through a “Taste and See” trial-run of our training that studied the book of Ruth. As an influential leader of the group, he wanted to make sure our training was worth everybody’s time.

Our trainer calmly replied, “You’ll just have to wait and see what God does over the next few days.”

The rest of that day and the next, Phil and the group of twenty other pastors dug into the Scriptures, learned important principles for studying Scripture, discussed the importance of communicating God’s word over our words, and practiced their expository sermons in front of the group.

When it was Phil’s turn to deliver his message, he made a stunning confession:

“This is the first expository message I have ever preached–in many years of ministry.”

Hearing this confession from one of the group’s leaders impacted the whole group and helped set the tone for the rest of their training by cultivating a deeper reverence for God’s word and proclaiming it faithfully.

Many preachers in Phil’s culture stand in front of their congregations and preach their own thoughts and opinions. This made “staying on the line” of Scripture a revolutionary and transformative thought for Phil and many others in the room.

After time of prayer and hearing powerful testimonies of God rescuing from sin, we closed our Taste and See session by asking pastors if they would like to commit to four years of biannual training in biblical exposition in our Training National Trainers program.

Phil enthusiastically jumped at the chance for more training in handling the word and expository preaching and said, “Sign me up!”

This is just the beginning of God teaching and transforming his shepherds in Phil’s country to faithfully minister his word. Please pray for Phil and his fellow pastors as they begin their training.

Your church can make a difference by sponsoring a training group in one of our regions. Find out more about our Anchor Church Program.
Help the worldwide spread of biblical ministry by making a donation to Leadership Resources.
Connect with other church leaders in your area through our Fellowship of the Word program.


6 Observations from the Prayer Requests of the Apostle Paul


Scripture teaches us about prayer in many different ways: statements of fact, commands, parables, and by providing the prayers of many great prayer warriors to learn from. One of those warriors is the Apostle Paul.

Paul included many prayers for others in his epistles. Only a few times does Paul ask for prayer for himself, but in those requests we are able to learn the heart of Paul and see how to best pray for those in ministry. (Paul asks for prayer several times in the following passages: Romans 15:30-33; 2 Corinthians 1:10-11; Ephesians 6:19-20; Philippians 1:19-20; Colossians 4:2-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2; Philemon 22.)

Why did Paul ask for prayer and what can we learn from his requests?

6 Observations from the Prayer Requests of Paul

1. Paul believed prayer to be powerful, effective, and necessary.

Even though Paul was an apostle and one of the greatest missionaries the world has ever seen, he knew his own weakness and utterly depended upon God. Paul knew that he could not on his own make his ministry effective or escape from those seeking to destroy him–so he asked the church for prayer so God could intervene and do what he could not. This is why he often asked for prayer.

“…I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance…” Philippians 1:19

2. Paul knew that when we pray for someone in ministry, we join them in ministry.

“…strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf…” Romans 15:30

Paul sets up this prayer request with the strongest possible appeal, “I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf…” Paul appeals to our common Lord (Jesus Christ) and our common love (which is the Spirit’s fruit) because he knows that those in the body of Christ should care for one another.1

When we pray for other believers in ministry, we strive with them in God’s work. God uses our prayers to propel others to greater heights and effectiveness in ministry–heights and effectiveness that would not be there without the prayers of faithful friends.

3. Paul desired to serve the church and fellowship with the church.

A love for his brothers and sisters in Christ emanated from the Apostle Paul who was the spiritual father of many. Several times Paul showed his deep desire for fellowship and time with those he ministered to.

Paul wrote in Romans 15:31-32, “Pray that…my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed.” He also asked in Philemon 22 for Philemon to prepare a guest room for him just in case their prayers were answered and he was able to visit. Paul held serving and fellowshipping with the church as a top priority.

4. Paul asked for prayer to have a bold and clear proclamation of the Gospel.

The gospel was of first importance for the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:3). His gospel focus comes out in his personal prayer requests.

He requests prayer for the right words in sharing the gospel (Ephesians 6:19), to proclaim the gospel without fear (Ephesians 6:20), clarity in communication (Colossians 4:4), doors to be opened for the gospel (Colossians 4:2), and that God’s word would speed ahead and be honored (2 Thessalonians 3:1). He doesn’t want to leave any room for miscommunication but rather prays and requests prayer for the gospel to “run” through his ministry.

This focus shows the deep compassion and eternal focus of Paul–something we would all be better to emulate.

5. Paul requested prayer to be rescued from wicked men.

Paul endured beatings, imprisonments, shipwrecks, and faced constant danger (2 Corinthians 11:25-28). He often had a target on his back due to opposition from the Jews, Gentiles, and false teachers, and constantly coveted the prayers of the saints. This is why Paul asked several times to be “rescued from unbelievers” (Romans 15:31) and “delivered from wicked and evil men” (2 Thessalonians 3:2). He later tells the Corinthians that their prayers for him will help deliver him from deadly peril (2 Corinthians 1:10-11).

He does not pray condemnatory prayers or imprecatory psalms against his enemies, but rather seeks deliverance from them. God answered many of these prayers, but ultimately did not prevent Paul’s death. Our sixth observation helps us see why:

6. Paul submitted his requests to God’s will.

Paul’s request in Romans 15 asks for prayer to be with the Romans “by God’s will…” (15:32). Even as an apostle with apostolic authority, Paul knows that his prayers need to follow the pattern taught by Christ, who taught his disciples to pray “Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10) and himself prayed, “but not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).

Not all of our plans are answered as we would like. But like Paul, we can trust God and his perfect will to work things for the good of those who love him and the good of the Kingdom.

May God conform our hearts and prayers according to His will!

Will you pray for our ministry at Leadership Resources International?

  • Please pray that God’s word would speed ahead and be honored as we launch pastoral training movements worldwide (2 Thessalonians 3:1).
  • Pray that God would keep our trainers, trainees, and staff safe from opposition and danger in travel.
  • Pray that God would help our training in biblical exposition serve the church and lead to mature Scripture-saturated disciples and churches.
  • Pray that our training sessions would continue to bring a needed fellowship around God’s Word and transformation to pastors and church leaders.
  • Pray that God’s will would be done as we grow our US ministry and pastoral training and that he would continue to provide needed staff and financial resources.
  • Pray that God would continue to allow LRI staff members to treasure one another as we live and lead as servants.

1 John Stott in The Message of Romans, page 388

Bible Verses & Quotes on Pastors and Preaching the Word


Leadership Resources is passionate about preaching and teaching the Word of God. We train pastors in the US and around the world in biblical exposition with the goal to equip pastors and church leaders to preach the Word of God with the heart of God.

Our pastoral training equips pastors with the tools and encouragement they need to faithfully study God’s Word and deliver its life-giving message to their congregation. By digging into Scripture with hermeneutical principles, learning biblical theology, and applying Scripture to our lives, we are able to make God’s Word more accessible–and transformative– to preachers and their congregations. For more information on Leadership Resources and our work, browse our website or contact us.

For great preaching resources, Christian encouragement, and stories of God’s work, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

Bible Verses about Preaching

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:1-2

“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.” 1 Timothy 4:13 NIV

“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” Colossians 1:28-29

“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” 2 Corinthians 4:5

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

“…for the good hand of his God was on him. For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.” Ezra 7:9-10 ESV

“But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:23-24

Preach-the-Word-in-Season-and-Out-of-Season-2-Timothy-4-2“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

“Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” Acts 20:26-27

“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:16

“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15

“The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” Psalm 119:130

Quotes about Preaching and Sermons

“Preaching is truth mediated through personality.”
― Phillips Brooks

“A prepared heart is much better than a prepared sermon. A prepared heart will make a prepared sermon.”
― E.M. Bounds

“I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.”
― Richard Baxter

“Where the Word of God is rightly handled, the voice of God is heard.” —David Jackman (see context)

DL-Moody-Quote-on-Preaching-Sermons-and-Jesus-Christ“The work of preaching is the highest and greatest and most glorious calling to which anyone can ever be called.” Martyn Lloyd Jones

“Too many of our sermons share the recipe, or the menu, but not the meal; and our people go away hungry.” Warren Wiersbe

“The heart of Christian worship is the authentic preaching of the Word of God.” —Albert Mohler

“Authentic gospel preaching always engages people with eternal issues.”
― Colin S. Smith

“Some preachers use the Bible the way a drunk uses a lamppost—more for support than for illumination.” David Helm

“Preaching Christ does not mean merely to preach his doctrines, but to preach him as the object of supreme love and confidence.” —Charles Hodge

“The authority of preaching is not heightened but lost if the preacher forsakes his place behind the Book.” —Edmund P. Clowney

“If I had only one sermon to preach it would be a sermon against pride.”
― G.K. Chesterton

“The preaching that this world needs most is the sermons in shoes that are walking with Jesus Christ.”
— D.L. Moody

“Called to preach!…commissioned of God to teach the word! A herald of the great King! A witness of the eternal gospel! Could any work be more high and holy? To this supreme task God sent his only begotten Son.”
—W.E. Sangster

“My grand point in preaching is to break the hard heart, and to heal the broken one.”
— John Newton

“To attain simplicity in preaching is of the utmost importance to every minister who wishes to be useful to souls.”
— J.C. Ryle

Quotes about Preaching the Word / Preaching Christ

“To preach Christ is to feed the soul, to justify it, to set it free, and to save it, if it believes the preaching.”
― Martin Luther

DA-Carson-on-Preaching-and-Studying-the-Bible“There is no long-range effective teaching of the Bible that is not accompanied by long hours of ongoing study of the Bible.” ―D.A. Carson

“A failure to preach Scripture redirects people from a God-centered perspective to a man-centered perspective. It tends to undermine confidence… in Scripture.”
― John MacArthur

“It matters to God what is preached. And it matters to Him how it is preached. No man is free to preach whatever and however he so chooses.”
― Steven J. Lawson

“A man who first tried to guess ‘what the public wants,’ and then preached that as Christianity because the public wants it, would be a pretty mixture of fool and knave.”
― C.S. Lewis

“Unfortunately, preachers who distort God’s Word are all too common today. Sometimes this springs from a sincere desire to soften hard hearts, but hearts aren’t changed by compromise.”
― Alistair Begg

Once the necessity and the fruitfulness of the method is recognized, however, no worthy workman in the Word can refuse the effort it requires. He is called as a scribe of the kingdom to bring forth treasures new and old, and any labor that issues in a fuller preaching of Christ has its reward.
― Edmund Clowney

“No sermon is of any value, or likely to be useful, which has not the three R’s in it; ruin by the fall, redemption by Christ and regeneration by the Holy Spirit. My aim in every sermon, is loudly to call Sinners, to quicken saints, and to be made a blessing to all.”
— John C. Ryland

“The more fully that the gospel is preached, in the grand old apostolic way, the more likely is it to accomplish the results which it did in the apostolic days.”
― Horatius Bonar

“To those who preach: A sermon without Jesus is like a hospital without medicine. Sin is the deadly disease, Christ the only cure.” —Steven Lawson

Bonus Resource: 6 Characteristics of Apostolic Preaching in the Book of Acts

“When we preach or teach the Scriptures, we open the door for the Holy Spirit to do His work. God has not promised to bless oratory or clever preaching. He has promised to bless His Word.”
― Billy Graham

“If I only had one more sermon to preach before I died, it would be about my Lord Jesus Christ. And I think that when we get to the end of our ministry, one of our regrets will be that we did not preach more of Him. I am sure no minister will ever repent of having preached Him too much.”
― Charles Spurgeon

“The preaching of Christ is the whip that flogs the devil. The preaching of Christ is the thunderbolt, the sound of which makes all hell shake.”
― Charles Spurgeon

“The motto of all true servants of God must be, ‘We preach Christ; and him crucified.’ A sermon without Christ in it is like a loaf of bread without any flour in it. No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching.”
― Charles Spurgeon

“All Christian preaching should be the exposition and application of biblical texts. Our authority as preachers sent by God rises and falls with our manifest allegiance to the text of Scripture.”
― John Piper

Quotes about Pastors/Preachers

“We must not offer people a system of redemption, a set of insights and principles. We offer people a Redeemer.”
― Paul David Tripp

“Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God; such alone will shake the gates of hell.”
― John Wesley

“A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God. A word spoken by you when your conscience is clear, and your heart full of God’s Spirit, is worth ten thousand words spoken in unbelief and sin.”
― Robert Murray McCheyne

“A minister may fill his pews, his communion roll, the mouths of the public, but what that minister is on his knees in secret before God Almighty, that he is and no more.”
― John Owen

“With their doctrine they build, and with their lives they destroy.”
― Augustine

“Your task, O preacher, is to make sure that you are faithful to the text, that you are faithful to the proclamation of that gospel, that you are faithful to set forth the whole counsel of God, and then step back and let it happen.”
― R.C. Sproul

Leadership Resources International seeks to train pastors and church leaders in the US and worldwide to study the Word of God in depth using a variety of hermeneutical principles. Learn more about our Training National Trainers Program or how you can help the worldwide spread of God’s Word!

image credits: Adam Dimmick and 55laney69

Infographic: How Big is Africa? The True Size of Africa Compared to Other Continents

How big is Africa? The infographic below shares the true size of Africa compared to other continents. Follow the link at the bottom to expand or download the image.


Click here to see the full sized image.

Learn more about our pastoral training program Training National Trainerswhere we work, and how to get involved.

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