Ben Russell – Associate Pastor


Growing up in East Tennessee, I came from a divorced home but had a great relationship with both my mom and dad where they strived to raise us with integrity and love. While we didn’t regularly attend worship, I heard the gospel through Twelfth avenue Church when I would visit family in Evansville. Through my Evansville family and the church, I was given biblical truth that I learned to respect but ultimately, I relied on my own understanding and self-righteousness. In college and into my marriage I concluded chasing after my own sinful desires, living for the approval of others, and being content to live in my sin and live under a false sense of security of being a church attender. In 2003 I heard a gospel message delivered online and while I had heard this message many times before, this struck me afresh. By God’s gift of grace through the work of Christ and his perfect life, burial, & resurrection I repented of my sin and trusted in Jesus as Lord and Savior. This was the first time I wasn’t just embarrassed over my sin and how it made me look but truly repentant over the fact that my sin had transgressed against a holy God. I was overwhelmed by gratitude as I realized that I would undeservedly stand before Him blameless one day. Since then, I have strived to live my life to His glory and by the power of His Spirit. God is good!


The Gospel & Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever (This book challenges personal evangelism with a focus on using truth, urgency, & joy). Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney (This book teaches the strength of using Scripture to make prayers fresh). Let the Nations Glad by John Piper (This read will help you craft a philosophy of ministry toward missions as a sender or goer). Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem (Great primer for anyone looking for a quick read on systematic theology). Transformational Discipleship by Eric Geiger (Discipleship is paramount and this book sets a good foundation for anyone looking for biblical discipleship) The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul (Great review of who God is, defining His holiness and how we are to respond to this reality). Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung (This is a helpful resource in understanding what the Bible says about itself and encourages you to grow in this knowledge).

Ben Russell - July 23, 2023

Mark 4:1-20

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