Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Greece Summer Missions Project Support Letter

I want to bring you up to date with what is happening in my life. I am now
finishing up my sophomore year at Fort Lewis College. I'm taking a full schedule of classes (17hours), which keeps me pretty busy. When I'm not in class, I am spending my time being involved with our non-denominational Christian ministry on campus. 

The ministry I'm involved with is Master Plan Ministries (MPM) which is affiliated with Campus Crusade for Christ. The MPM staff were some of the very first people I met at Fort Lewis. They challenged me to use my time in college to grow spiritually and they also invested in me individually to do so.

Serving in this ministry and spreading the love of Jesus Christ has become my greatest passion. The more I serve others and the more I serve God, the clearer it is to me that I want to live a life wholly for God. There have been several opportunities put in place to grow me in this area. I have lead two bible studies this year, practiced public speaking, and spiritually mentored a couple guys.

Now, an unbelievable opportunity has come up! I get to go to Greece on a summer project sponsored by Campus Crusade. With support, I will be going to Greece May 23- June 30. There I will mix it up with Greek university students on campus and in coffee shops at the foot of the Acropolis. I will build relationships while at the same time be looking for opportunities to share Christ. There are also compassion ministries to the homeless Albanian refugees in the city I will be serving with.

A summer spent on something like this is invaluable. Few other environments can top this in developing spiritual leadership and ministry skills to equip me and others for campus outreach and ministry after college.

Greece summer project will be such a blessing to attend. In order to make this possible I need to develop a team of ministry partners... a group of people like you to give to make my trip possible. I need to raise $5,600 by May 16. This is a great opportunity for me to truly trust God. This cost includes: housing, meals, transportation, training materials, etc.

I wrote out this letter to ask you; Will you prayerfully consider partnering with me and joining my team by giving $100, $200, $300, or more? Of course, whatever amount the Lord leads you to give is the right amount.

All gifts to Campus Crusade for Christ are tax-deductible. You can give a gift on a secure internet account here: . Also, Checks can be made out to Campus Crusade for Christ (memo: Brandon Cox Greece). You can send them to: 

Brandon Cox 
FLC 7594 
1000 Rim Drive 
Durango, CO 81301. 

Contact me at or if you are interested in joining my support team or if you have any questions. 

More than anything, I need your prayers as I seek to follow the Lord by participating in this summer project.

Thank you for considering joining my team to help reach people for Greece.

Thank you,
Brandon Cox

God's Word is Truth

      Jesus is truth. Jesus is the only thing that truly satisfies us while we live in a sea full of lies. This biblical truth is solid. His Word and current statistics all point to the same place.
a.      I have the privilege to expand on that biblical truth by encouraging you about God’s Word; specifically encourage all of you that God’s word is Truth.
b.      We'll explore how God’s word is Truth, how we can live by the Truth, and the role that the truth plays in our lives
c.       To begin, I want share some context to this message by sharing a part of my life while I was not following the truth of God’s word.
1.       I became a Christian my junior year of high school. I trusted Jesus to be who he said he was and accepted to pursue an intimate relationship with him.
2.      See, I did the whole youth group, Sunday morning church, bible study thing. It was great, but it was only on the surface. I had no direction; I was pretty much “winging it”. See, I was not in God’s word seeking truth for my life. I tried to find direction everywhere but God’s word. I searched in discovery of myself, in parties, and in relationships. I came away emptier and I deeply hurt some people. People who looked up to me were led the wrong way.
3.      It doesn’t have to be like that, God is waiting expectantly to help Guide us. We have the gift of God’s word. So, finally I had to seek the truth in God’s Word for myself. I had to find direction. And I found it. I am now continually seeking the Truth in God’s Word.
     Introduction to the Bible:
a.      Before we go any further, I would like to say a few things about God’s Word. In a country with such great freedoms it is easy to take for granted our greatest gifts. The bible is truly a gift. This is a holy, God-breathed, collection of 66 books. It is illegal in 51 countries. And estimated 176,000 Christians are martyred annually by faithfully following the contents of the Holy Bible. The bible is printed in over 2200 languages, and is the best seller every year. It is the greatest story of love, betrayal, adventure, brotherhood, war, prophesy, miracles, wisdom, and of hope. It is the story of the beginning and of the end. It is a story of God and his love for all of us.
1.      To add to that: The bible is scientifically accurate. It makes many clear scientific claims about radioactivity, hydrology, astronomy, biology, physics, and many other areas of science, many of claims were well before their time.
2.      The bible is historically accurate. Archeology and history fully agree with the Bible.
3.      The bible is prophetically accurate. There are hundreds and hundreds of prophetic claims made in the Bible that have been fulfilled with dramatic accuracy.
4.      The Bible is textually accurate. There are thousands of copies of Biblical manuscripts that no text is in question.
      The Word is Truth:
              a. Let’s get into the word: (Jesus is the word and the word is truth)
                                                              i.      John 1:1, 14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
1.      From this foundational scripture, The Word is God, The Word is with God, The Word is Jesus, and The Word is truth.
                                                            ii.      A few chapters over, John 17:17 Jesus prays “Sanctify them with the truth; your word is the truth.”
1.      Here Jesus states clearly that the Word is truth and he prays for his disciples that they would be sanctified through the truth in God’s word.
a.      Hebrew word for sanctified means to separate from ungodliness and be dedicated to God.

b.      Another scripture that clearly states that God’s word it truth (All scripture is God breathed.)
                                                              i.      2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
c.       Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
                                                              i.      The Holy Spirit turns the scripture into Living Word.
1.      The Holy Spirit takes our thoughts, the attitudes in our hearts, and pierces us there. He knows that we are dealing with, and He will use the Word in light of that.
a.      When God is really working a concept of truth into my life, the verses I happen to read nail that specific subject. Have you ever been in church and it feels like that pastor is talking directly to you, because it is word for word what you and God are going through? That is likely to be the Holy Spirit using God’s word to actively interweave your life with God’s word.

d.      Isaiah 55:10-11 “As the rains and the snow come from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
                                                              i.       God has an awesome plan, when we read his Word he uses that, it’s always constructive, it will not return empty.

      So, Acknowledging the Word as truth is crucial, at the same time there is much more to the Christian life: We must live by the Truth and be seeking more Truth
a.      James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
                                                              i.      It is great to read and listen to the Word, but we must also live it out compared to accepting one thing then doing something else and lying to ourselves.
b.      Matthew 4:4 “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
                                                              i.      We are either starving or well nourished on God’s word. Reading his word should be our source of everything we do. We need to consume God’s word, metabolize it into action, and use its energy to fulfill God’s will...
c.       2 Timothy 2:15 Paul writes to a young leader, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
d.      1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 “Test everything. Hold onto the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”
                                                              i.      We need to know God’s truth and use it as a filter in life. To separate good from evil, to follow Godliness.
6     When we do live out and seek the truth, it will play a huge and awesome role in our lives.
a.      (Set u free)
                                                              i.      John 8:31, 36 “Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free…If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
1.      With knowing the truth we will be free from all the lies, worries, and burdens of the world.
b.      (Understand God’s will)
                                                              i.      Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
1.       By renewing our minds, filling our minds with truth

      Psalm119 reminds me that we should seek his word simply out of love for God.
a.      Dakota encouraged me about a week ago, that everything we do should be done simply because we love God, because he is worthy.
b.      I would love to read all of 119, but there are 176 verses, for times-sake I made a highlight reel. I encourage you to check out Psalm 119 in your own intimate time with God. …
      “I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. I rejoice in following your statuettes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your percepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees. I will not neglect your word. Teach me, O LORD; Give me understanding. I trust in your word. You are my portion, O LORD. Teach me knowledge and good judgment. I have put my hope in your word. Your word, O LORD, is eternal. Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. The unfolding of your words gives light. Trouble and distress come upon me, but your commands are my delight. Your statutes are forever right; give me understanding that I may live. You are near, O LORD, and all your commands are true. Let me live that I may praise you and may your laws sustain me."
a.      May we like this Psalmist and be passionate about God's Word. May our hearts be inflamed with a desire to know and live out all of God's truth through his amazing words!
 My personality loves challenges. I am taking this challenge for myself and I would like to encourage and challenge you right now.
1.      I challenge you to become a lover of God’s Word.
a.      to let the bible transform your life.
b.      To hide God’s word in your heart.
c.       Ask yourself: What legacy of faith will I leave behind?
d.      Also ask: Do my loved ones, friends, coworkers, and fellow students know how the Bible impacts my life?
a.      If you’re new this whole God and following Jesus thing, see my post "Why Jesus" at
b.      Everyone else, I pray you take these challenges serious. May you seek the truth in God’s word in all of your life, and in every circumstance. Once again may you be like the psalmist on fire with a burning desire for God’s word, may you leave behind a legacy of faith instead of going through the motions. May you know the Truth and may it set you free.
1.      Close in prayer 

Growth Boosters:

        [MY STORY]
a.       When I first came to college, I was not intentional about growing in my walk with God.
                                                              i.      I had most of Malcolm’s list in my life. Unhealthy relationship with a girl, sought for acceptance at the party scene, I had a load of un-confessed sins.
                                                            ii.      God’s help slowly removed those GROWTH BARRIORS, and he showed me some GROWTH BOOSTERS. That’s when I really started to grow. Those GROWTH BOOSTERS are what I am going to share with you tonight.
      I am right with you guys, there is lots of room for my life to better use these GROWTH BOOSTERS so I’m excited to grow along side you guys while we encourage each other.
a.       Side: We are all on different levels. All that matters is your next step.
                                                              i.      When I talk about Growing Spiritually, I’m talking about positive and continual development in a person’s relationship with God. Doing this will make become who God desires you to be.
1.      Developing this relationship with God, like any relationship, takes two-way communication, time, and prioritizing.
a.       []It is awesome to watch all of your growth; it encourages me more than you know. [Alex reading bible excitingly, Jake and Cameron getting excited to share the good news, angels and mortals, Encouragement].
                                                              i.      When I see that, I myself want to grow…
b.      I want to thank you all for encouraging me to grow, and as your brother in Christ I see it as a blessing to encourage you in your growth towards the Lord.

      JESUS is a booster
a.       Lordship (or making Jesus play a larger and larger role in our daily lives.)
                                                              i.      Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who love me and gave himself for me.”
                                                            ii.      2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!
1.       Living by faith will make us live more like Christ.
2.      When we accept Jesus into our hearts we are made new. We start to live less like our old selves and more like Christ.
b.      We already have everything we need for growth. Growth doesn’t magically start later (after college, marriage, once homework slows down…)
                                                              i.      2 Peter 1:3-7 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through thes he has given us his very great an precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires”
1.      One cool thing about God is he provides everything we need for growth. He prepares in advance our next step and puts everything in place for that step to happen.
                                                            ii.      Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”
1.      We can rely on Christ to keep developing us little by little so that we may be usable by Him.
                                                          iii.      John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches, if a man remains in me an I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
1.       With Christ we grow and become fruitful, without him we can do nothing.

      Another growth booster is THE HOLY SPIRIT. If we daily ask the Holy Spirit to control our lives, scripture says…
                                                              i.      John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
                                                            ii.      John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.”
1.      The Holy Spirit will help us in our growth, and help us follow Christ’s teachings.
                                                          iii.      2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the lord, who is the Spirit.”
1.      We are reflecting the goodness of God, He shines through us, and we ourselves are being changed little by little to be more like Christ.
      THE BIBLE is a booster
                                                              i.      1 Peter 2:2 “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in our salvation.”
                                                            ii.      Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but one every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
1.      We are either Starving/Growing spiritually. God’s word is our immediate food for spiritual growth.
                                                          iii.      Psalm 119:130 “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
1.      Gives us guidance and understanding
b.      Become familiar/Memorization
                                                              i.      Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like trees planted by streams of water, which yields fruit in a season and whose leaf does nit wither whatever he does prospers.”
                                                            ii.      Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
1.      Scripture talks about meditating day and night, and hiding God’s word in your heart, which is another way of say memorization.
a.       Ways to implement becoming familiar with the Word like this is to Daily ready your bible.
                                                                                                                                      i.      Attend at least one bible study
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Write in a Journal verses that stick out to you.
                                                                                                                                  iii.      My sister put a blank piece of butcher paper on her wall and every morning, she writes a verse on the wall. Then she sees those verses every day.
                                                                                                                                  iv.      The Old Testament talks about putting God’s word on your forehead and on your door frames. So decorate your room, make verse of the day your home page on your computer, or put a bible in your bathroom.
                                                                                                                                    v.      All I’m saying is find a way to become more familiar with God’s word and you will grow.

      PRAYER is a booster
a.       Confession
                                                              i.      1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
                                                            ii.      Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
1.      When we confess our sins to God, he removes us of sin and hindrances, to live and grow in the life he as for us.
b.      Communicating with God. Like any other relationship…
                                                              i.      Luke 5:16 “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
                                                            ii.      1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1.      Jesus sought for alone quality time to pray to God. We should strive to do the same, like we would do in any other relationship
a.       Example: date night.
b.      Yes, we should set aside intimate prayer time, but we should also pray continually.
                                                                                                                                      i.      Walking to class, at red lights, pray for a person as you talk to them, pray before each meal, pray when you wake up, when you go to bed. Make it a priority to build your prayer life with God and your Spiritual Grow will boost for sure.
c.       Praise/Worship
                                                              i.      In your prayer let God know how stoked you are about his goodness. Let him know when we sing worship.

      FELLOWSHIP is a booster
a.       Body (Stick together)
                                                              i.      Romans 12:4 “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we how are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
1.      We all make up the body of Christ. We all belong to each other. Without any of you we are not the same.
b.      Iron sharpens
                                                              i.      Proverbs 27:17“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
1.      Like I said earlier, seeing you guys grow it deeply encourages me to grow.
2.      To have you guys be there for me to grow, pray for me, encourage me, to not tempt me, all really builds me up. That’s what fellowship is all about.
c.       Be together:
                                                              i.      Accountability (kota and I), hang out with the body of Christ like a family, get involved with a Church, hang out with Christian friends.
  SHARING YOUR FAITH is a booster:
a.       Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks  
                                                              i.      If we are pressing into God and His word, it should come out in our conversations with each other and with nonbelievers.
b.      Acts 1:8 “ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit come on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 
                                                              i.      A part of wanting to grow ourselves, we should also share Who Jesus is and what he has done for us so that they may know him and grow in him also.

a.       I have only surfaced in all the ways to “BOOST” your spiritual growth. I have shared,
b.      To increase the role of Jesus in our lives, pressing into Him more, daily asking to be led by the Holy Spirit, allowing to Holy Spirit to change us little by little to grow to be more like Christ,
c.       to crave the bible as spiritual food, to use the bible as guidance, meditate on and memorize the bible, to become more familiar with God’s word
d.      to confess sins, pray continually, worship, praise, and thank God,
e.       To stick to the body of believers,  sharpen and encourage each other, spend time together
f.       To share out of the overflow of your heart who Jesus is to non believers
  The final scripture I want to share with you is
a.       1 Corinthians 15:58: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain”
                                                              i.       If we give ourselves full to Christ in order to grow nothing we do will be in vain or will be useless, it will all be beneficial to our spiritual growth and make us who God planned for us to be.
  I don’t know about all of you, but I’m ready to take the next step. I’m ready to ask God “What will you have me do, how can I start now to become to man or woman you have planned for me to be?”
a.       Let’s close in prayer: