Marks of a Christian Summer Study

This Summer's Combined Study is "Marks of a Christian."
We will study 13 marks/characteristics of a Christian - the Fruit of the Spirit and several other Christ-like qualities.

Each class will be designed to 
  • help you understand a mark better
  • know how to pray regarding that mark
  • equip the church to live that mark out.

Here is the schedule
    June 2... Humility 
    June 9... Love
    June 16... Joy 
    June 23... Peace
    June 30... Patience  

    July 7... Courage
    July 14... Purity
    July 21... Faithfulness
    July 28... Selflessness

    August 4... Kindness
    August 11... Goodness
    August 18... Gentleness 
    August 25... Self-Control


Senior Breakfast 2024

At the end of this post, I included two great songs, "Promises" and "His Glory and My Good," that tie this all together.

I want to begin this devotional with a harsh truth.

Seniors, this day is not about you.
Parents, this day is not about your child or you.
This day is about God and his love and faithfulness.

Hello!  My name is Dave Rodgers.

I attended Penn State for my first two years as an undergrad. 

This is my wife, Krista, a lifelong Ohio State fan who was born and raised in Ohio.
Attended Cedarville University in Ohio.

When we moved to Toledo, I learned I needed to pick a team to root for in THE GAME; for family peace, I chose Ohio State over Michigan.

This is our then eighth-grade son, Josiah, a hardcore Ohio State fan who is now...

I am planning to attend the University of Michigan this fall. 

Some things don’t go as you expected.  BUT WE ARE EXCITED FOR JOSIAH!

I want to share another one of those “Some things don’t go as you expected” stories.

In 2017, we moved here so I could take a pastoral position.  Things didn’t go as planned.  In the summer of 2018, I was no longer in that ministry role and was trying to figure out what God had next for me and my family.
Northpointe Christian families and teachers were a blessing and help at that time. 

I want to share one example; some graduating senior guys might remember this. 

Mr. Molda was coaching the middle school boys' soccer team, and he knew the Rodgers family was going through a challenging time, so at practice, he wanted to pray for the Rodgers family.  I am very thankful for the people who pray for me and my family. 

Mr. Molda called Nick Rogers up to pray for his dad, who recently lost his job. 

THE PROBLEM:  Nick is not my son, and Nick’s dad didn’t lose his job. 

This is a picture of Dave Rogers, R-O-G-E-R-S, and 
me, Dave Rodgers, R-O-D-G-E-R-S.

The kids and Mr. Molda recognized the mistake. Mr. Molda called Josiah up and prayed for our family, and I know many teachers and Northpointe families, including some in this room, and others who prayed for our family during that time.

Some things don’t go as you expected.

Whether that is a planned prayer time with a middle school boys' soccer team  OR
Moving your family to a new state only makes things work out differently than you thought.

But remember this: God needs to be trusted and lived for no matter what!!

I don’t want to spend the rest of my time telling family stories. 
I want each of you, SENIORS, PARENTS, TEACHERS, and ANYONE ELSE in this room to remember ETERNAL, ESSENTIAL life-changing truth.

Follow your heart is NOT THAT TRUTH. 
But you will hear it and similar messages in movies, songs, graduation cards, and many other places.

This world will tell you over and over again...

  • Do what you want to do.
  • You be you.
  • Follow Your heart.
  • There is nothing better than celebrating all you’ve accomplished.
  • What lies behind and before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
  • Your future is bright & your possibilities are endless. Best wishes as you follow your own path.

This morning, I want to tell you not to listen to Disney, romance novels, social media influencers, or self-help speakers and preachers.
Don’t listen to the world.

Listen to God and His Word.

Remember Biblical truths like Psalm 115:1

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory for the sake of your steadfast love & your faithfulness.

Don’t follow your heart.

Let’s pray and submit our plans to the God of the Universe. 
The one who created you.
The one who sent his son to die for you while you were his enemy.
The one who sent the Holy Spirit to help you live for God’s Glory, God’s way.

But you may be wondering, “What do I pray?”  “How do I pray?”

Pray the truth of Scripture.  Pray verses like Psalm 115:1

Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
but to your name, give glory for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness.

This morning and every day of your life, pray.

Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
but to your name, give glory for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness.

Remember, life may seem reasonable and okay when you live for yourself. It may seem fun fulfilling,
However, it can only be truly and eternally good when lived for God’s glory in Christ Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

So, on your graduation day, what is your next step? College, work, a gap year, or something else?

The best next step is to trust in God more.  It is to hope in Christ more.  It is to lean upon the power of the Holy Spirit more.  It is to remember a great Bible verse.

Psalm 115:1

Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
but to your name, give glory for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness.

Now, parents, on this proud day, whether it is your first child graduating or your last child, after 35 years at Northpointe.  If you desire to live out the Christian faith, and I pray that it is, but I know that might not be the case for everyone, I want to remind you what your God-given goal has always been and will continue to be.  I remember a quote from years ago that I keep returning to as a parent and pastor of children and family ministry.

“Our goal in parenting is not ultimately for our kids to get a great education, be great athletes, or find a great husband, a great spouse.  OUR GOAL IS FOR THEM TO LOVE A GREAT GOD.”

Parents, may that be our goal, and may Psalm 115:1 be our prayer for our children and us.

Not to us, O LORD, not to us,

but to your name, give glory for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness.

As we move to a time of prayer, NO, as we move forward in a life of prayer,
 let’s also remember Philippians 1:9-11 and how it ends.

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.


His Glory and My Good


Depravity and Assurance

This is the 1st of a series of 4 posts on the Assurance of Salvation.

Total Depravity.

What a pleasant way to begin!!
What a necessary way to begin.

Total Depravity does not mean you have done the worst things possible and you are the worst person.

No, Total Depravity is the fact that you are a sinner and unable to save yourself. 

Throughout Romans 1:18 - 3:20, Paul writes about the sinfulness of man.
Romans 1:18 - 32 focuses on the fact that Jews are sinners.
Romans 2:1 - 3:9 focuses on the sinfulness of Gentiles.
Romans 3:9 - 20 shows that everyone is a sinner.

So, isn't this post about assurance of salvation?

What is the connection between total depravity and assurance?

We are unable to have a right relationship with God in our strength.  Believers are united to Christ in God by the Holy Spirit.  God is the one who makes dead sinners alive and keeps them alive.  Perseverance of the saints is a fact because of what God has done.

We cannot save ourselves from our sin and we cannot keep ourselves safe.

We, the children of God, are called to respond to God's grace.  This response is in actions and passions.  Actions and passions give evidence that one's salvation is genuine.  Assurance of salvation requires two things: "sound theological instruction and clear practical guidance [through valleys of doubt]"  (Jeremiah Montgomery)

Paul Washer offers a helpful distinction between to doctrine of the perseverance of the saints - "When God has truly saved an individual, the same power of God that saved that individual keeps that individual to the end, keeps the individual from falling" and the doctrine of assurance - "How do you know you have believed?  How can you be sure that you have truly believed unto salvation?"

Question to guide us as we seek assurance
by Don Whitney

  1. Do you share the intimacies of the Christian life with other believers?
  2. Do you have a deep awareness of your sin against the Word and love of God?
  3. Do you live in conscious obedience to the Word of God?
  4. Do you despise the world and its ways?
  5. Do you long for the return of Jesus Christ and to be made like Him?
  6. Do you habitually do what is right more and sin less?
  7. Do you love Christians sacrificially and want to be with them?
  8. Do you discern the presence of the Holy Spirit within you?
  9. Do you enjoy listening to the doctrines of the apostles taught today?
  10. Do you believe what the Bible teaches about Jesus Christ

Resource List  (Each of these is available on Hoopla)

  • How Can I Be Sure I’m a Christian?  By Donald Whitney
  • 8 Ways Satan Tempts You to Question Your Salvation tinyurl.com/how-satan-tempts-you
  • Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by J.D. Greaear
  • The Gospel’s Power and Message by Paul Washer
  • Gospel Assurance & Warnings by Paul Washer


Go Tell It - Missions

This post contains quotes and lists from the first week of missions in the Go Tell It class - in italics - and brief explanations.

Missions is the work of the Local Church.

While mission agencies, denominations, and seminaries are helpful in the work of missions, we must remember that God's plan is for the local church to be at the forefront of this work. The local church is not just a supporter or a sponsor but an active participant in spreading the Gospel.

We see churches engaged in mission work in the Bible (Philippians, 3 John, and throughout)

. The church cannot delegate this responsibility to others.  

What does Trinity Baptist Church look for in mission work

  • focused on work aimed at planting and/or strengthening local churches
  • focused on work being done well theologically and methodologically
  • focus on work and workers with whom we could have a significant relationship.
The church, the truth, and involvement.  Our ministry involvement overseas is usually meant to help God's church grow.  Our ministry involvement in the statements is designed to help the church and our church. 

Local church responsibilities

  1. pray regularly for supported workers
  2. show hospitality during stateside visits
  3. be informed
  4. adopt a supported worker
  5. go on a short-term mission trip and support trips
  6. read up on global missions
  7. provide additional teammates

As a gathering of believers, our responsibilities include much more than just signing and sending a check.  The seven responsibilities are beyond financial support.

"The glory of the gospel - not the neediness of mankind - is the self-sustaining fuel for global missions."  Missions by Johnson

Remember, missions is about God.



Go Tell It

While many Evangelism classes focus on methods of Gospel presentations,  I want this class to focus on the church's disciple-making mission, the body of believers.

In combining missions and evangelism into one Go Tell It class, I hope the class will understand these two things are not programs, classes, committees, or merely a part of the church.  They must be in the culture, the DNA of the church.

The Go Tell It class "It is clear that you don't like my way of doing evangelism.  You raise some good points.  Frankly, I sometimes do not like my way of doing evangelism.  But I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it." 

 There are many different Gospel presentations.  Here are six of them.

7 Cs of History - answersingenesis.org/bible-history/the-seven-cs/
6  Life in 6 Words - li6w.com/gospel/
5 The Gospel Hand Presentation - evangelismexplosion.org/hand-presentation/
4  A Summary in 4 Words - God, Man, Christ, Response - www.9marks.org/answer/what-gospel/
3 Three Circles - www.namb.net/evangelism/3circles/
2  Two Ways to Live - twowaystolive.com/


Here are some additional online resources from the classes: