RSS

Category Archives: God’s Word

You Are Capable (of great sin)

There but for the grace of God go I. (John Bradford)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

I am more than capable. So is everyone. If you deny it you need to repent for lying to yourself and everyone else. (Barnabas Piper)

This is good:

Shelve Your Shock.

Signature:2a0f6d0366f291694bd9cc422bff24b12e1d3afd88bc0ed09c9a8814df3c0837

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 11, 2014 in God's Word, Grace, Sin, The Church

 

Tags: , , ,

For Your Consideration 7.12.13

I received “God’s Favorite Place on Earth” by Frank Viola today! Very excited to dig in and offer a review in the coming days.

In the meantime,here are a couple of blog posts published at Desiring God that challenged and encouraged me this week:

If you have not read anything by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, you really must. This piece will give you a taste of not only her story, but her exceptional writing style. An excerpt:

The Bible is not some pragmatist’s paradigm. It is the double-edged sword that chiseled truth into my stony heart, rendering it new and with it, recreating me as a new creature in Christ, a daughter of the King. I have no personal sexual orientation to call my own after Christ chisels my heart anew — and neither do you. We have Christ orientation, an alien identity to which we claim no rights. Do we struggle with sin? Yes. Is temptation a sin? No. What distinguishes temptation from sin? Temptation clobbers you from the outside and lures you to do its bidding. Sin makes temptation a house pet, gets it a collar and leash, and is deceived to believe that it can be restrained by impositions of civility. What you do with temptation reveals Who owns your heart. How you talk about other people’s sin patterns reveals Who owns your heart.

Read the rest here in her post called, DOMA and the Rock.

The second, written by Jonathan Parnell, is Three Things We Should Know About God. And I confess, “Creator” was one of my three. Think of three things that come to your heart and mind when you think of God then read this post. I promise you will be thankful and encouraged. Here’s a sample:

When you think of God, do you think happy? Or do you think stern? Sadly, it is common for us to think of God as a negative caricature would depict him. Do you think of him frowning? Is he seething with anger like a capricious despot? Or do you see him who is glad at heart — glad in the glory of his Son and the communion that they share? Do we see him as the Father who said of Jesus, with no hesitation, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17)? Do we see him as the Father who delights to give us the kingdom (Luke 12:32)? Do we see him as the God who overflows with joy when a sinner repents (Luke 15:7)?

So long as sin exists, he feels indignation every day (Psalm 7:11). But at heart — who he is in himself — God is happy. To grasp this truth will work wonders in our souls.

Keep feeding your mind and soul with GOOD things. Drink deeply from God’s rich word, and never stop learning, seeking, growing, thirsting, following hard after Him.

Blessings on you this weekend!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

American Christians and the Government

There is no doubt that we are watching textbook tyranny unfold before us. The rights and liberties of American Christians, Americans without a voice, and now American conservatives in general, have been slowly and steadily stripped over the last two decades. Laws reflecting moral decline are in place largely because Christians and God-believing conservatives have done nothing, or at least not enough.

Perhaps some feel that a Christian’s business is about the Church and not the government. Politics are dirty business and we don’t want to go there. Some stick their head in the sand hoping it will all go away and God will wave His hand and make it all right some day. (He certainly will, but how terrible will be that wave!)

The country was founded on Christian principles by God-fearing men. Our constitution is not outdated and is meant to protect our freedom from tyranny, but there are those in power today who would like to label it antiquated and wipe it away.

MP900432988

We are called to be salt and light, yet where are we in this season, in these debates? We are told to be gentle as doves yet wise as serpents. Are we obeying? Do we know what is at stake? It seems clear to me that satan is behind the sinister goings on in our government and administrative pawns are playing in his hands. The battle is not with men and women, but with spiritual principalities and powers of darkness. We must pray. Pray for revival. Only a heart-change in the leaders of this country and its citizens will right this listing ship.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.  ~1 Timothy 2:1-6

But prayer is key but it is not the only thing we should do. We must not be silent. Our examples in God’s word show Jesus and His disciples speaking loudly and clearly to religious leaders and government officials. We speak by voting, we speak by writing and calling our elected representatives, we speak by sharing truth with others. We speak by refusing to go along with laws or mandates that are contrary to God’s word. We speak by defending the defenseless. We speak by our actions: Caring for the sick, poor, homeless, imprisoned as if each of them were Christ Himself.

This world is not our home. Let’s not be comfortable with it. May we not be found sleeping on the job!

 

Tags: , , , ,

Reading the Word

Like newborn babies, thirst for the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow in your salvation. (1 Peter 2:2)

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. (2 Timothy 3:16)

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. (Psalm 119:18)

MP900384755

There are many, many believers throughout the world who wished they had even a page of the Bibles we so take for granted in the West. I can’t count the number of Bibles I have, let alone the access to online versions, commentaries, concordances, libraries and more. Do we take for granted the very word of God or do we crave it like food — understanding that we do not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from God’s mouth? (Matthew and Luke 4:4) Do we long for the word of God like a thirsty soul in the desert?

In America, with all our technology, it is easier than ever to read the Bible daily and the whole Bible once or twice a year. It’s a good habit to have because God’s word does not return void — it accomplishes what He pleases (Isaiah 55:11). We’re nearing the first of a new year. May I encourage you to select a reading plan that will take you through the entire Bible (maybe twice) in this coming year? There are SO many to choose from!

This year I read the Bible chronologically. It was very cool to read it roughly in the order it was written — to read Psalms that David wrote next to the actual events he was living, and to read the book of Acts interspersed with the letters to the various churches visited. This year I have selected The Four Streams Bible Reading Plan which will go through the New Testament four times, the Old Testament once, Psalms twice, and Proverbs four times by the end of the year.

I love YouVersion and YouVersion for Mobile which has hundreds of versions in 100+ different languages.You can be reminded of your daily reading, share with friends, post to Twitter or Facebook, read your plan in the translation of your choice (I am going to read my 2013 plan using The Message this time). There are also Christmas and Advent plans that range from three days to one month to prepare your heart for our annual celebration of the greatest Gift ever.

The grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. (Isaiah 40:8)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 15, 2012 in God's Word, Priorities, The Journey

 

Tags: , , ,

How Much Do You Have to Hate Somebody to Keep the Truth to Yourself?

In the news this week is the atheist group, American Humanist Association, and their campaign to get teens and pre-teens to reject God via their new outreach site, KidsWithoutGod.com. Now that’s bad. And parents should be ever-the-more vigilant to help their children guard their hearts and minds and they teach them to how to love Christ with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. We should not ignore the schemes of the enemy or be silent about the very wrong messages bombarding us and our children a thousand times a day. Silence can be complicity.

Here are some words from a famous atheist, Penn Jillette:

“The only people I don’t understand are people that say they don’t care about the whole issue. I love evangelicals. One of the things I learned doing Penn and Teller: Bull—-! on Showtime for all those years is that Christians are really good. They’re really good people. You notice there wasn’t an anti-Muslim show that we ever did. We did a bunch of anti-Christian shows. That is the biggest compliment I can give. The fact that Christians will really believe…American Christians…will really, really believe in the marketplace of ideas. And I love the fact that there are people that talk to me after the show and pray for me and give me Bibles. I never understand the atheists that say it’s OK as long as they shut up. They believe that there is eternal life. They believe you can be saved. What could be more hateful than shutting up?”

But we should be doing more than not shutting up about God and the Way, the Truth and the Life, we should also be actively living it. Actions speak louder than words: Everyone knows it. Here is more from Mr. Jillette:

“I don’t respect [people who do not share their faith] at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward, and atheists who think that people shouldn’t proselytize — ‘Just leave me alone, keep your religion to yourself.’

“How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize?” Jillette asked. “How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? If I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that a truck was coming at you and you didn’t believe it, and that truck was bearing down on you, there’s a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”

How much DO you have to hate someone to put your light under a basket? To hide the salt? To withhold the life preserver from the drowning and the truth from the crowd shuffling its way toward the gates of hell? How much do you have to hate somebody to play church, to plant your butt in a seat on Sunday and forget for the rest of the week why you are actually left here on earth?

Mr. Jillette’s words sobered me. Do you know what else is sobering? 96.3% of the greater San Francisco Bay Area is un-churched. Over 96 out of 100 people I pass on the freeway, or in the grocery store, or at the mall don’t know what it means to live a life of freedom because of Christ’s saving grace. Let me never again see a fellow human being with my own eyes only, but with God’s eyes, and feel with God’s heart, which is to seek and save that which is lost.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Belief, God's Word, Missions, Obedience, Salvation

 

Tags: , , , ,

Equal Opportunity Destroyer

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

~ 1 Peter 5:8-9

Last week I read 20 Ways Satan May Seek to Destroy You This Week. A short but sobering post to be sure. I was prompted to read this after reading in a book that we should not to argue with the enemy or address him directly, but rather say “The LORD rebuke you.” More importantly, it is critical that every Christian recognize she or he is a target, every day–putting on the whole armor of God is not an option in this warfare.

This week I read a post by Tim Challies on Learning to Stand in this battle. This is an excellent piece on how exactly we practically “apply” this armor. The enemy not only wants to destroy individual believers but the work we do for God’s Kingdom, those that would come to know Christ because of us, the Christian vestiges of this country, and the spread of the Gospel throughout the world.

I strongly recommend reading both posts. Taken together, these should spur any believer to dig in deeper and be diligent to live out Ephesians 6, for ourselves and for the Gospel.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 20, 2012 in God's Word, Prayer, Spiritual Warfare

 

Tags: , , , ,

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

‎”Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow lights for fools the way to dusty death.” ~Shakespeare

“Please don’t say anything to me about tomorrow. Tomorrow is the word the Bible does not know. If you can find me any place in the Scriptures where the Holy Spirit of God says ‘tomorrow.’ I will step down from this pulpit and never step into it, or any other pulpit, for as long as I live. The Holy Spirit’s word is the word ‘today.'”             ~ Bruce Thielemann

We just completed session four in our “not a fan” book/DVD study. The key passage was Luke 9:57-62 where Jesus calls three different people to follow Him but each has something else to do first. They want to follow Him, but not right now. Maybe tomorrow. The second one, for instance, wanted to wait until his parents grew old and died and he collected his inheritance. Then he’d follow. The third one wanted to get his party on first.

What about us? After work isn’t so demanding, I’ll follow. When I’ve got my financial ducks in a row, maybe then. Once I’ve sowed my wild oats and settle down, then I’ll follow. But God says the time is now. He says, today if you hear His voice…

I’ve wasted a good many “today’s” because I said, “tomorrow.” Life is short—a breath. In Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper says:

“We waste our lives when we do not pray and think and dream and plan and work toward magnifying God in all spheres of life. God created us for this: to live our lives in a way that makes him look more like the greatness and the beauty and the infinite worth that he really is. . . . .Life is wasted is we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain. . . . The opposite of wasting your life is living life by a single God-exalting, soul-satisfying passion. the well-lived life must be God-exalting and soul-satisfying because that is why God created us. . . .What a tragic waste when people turn away from the Calvary road of love and suffering. All the riches of the glory of God in Christ are on that road. All the sweetest fellowship with Jesus is there. All the treasures of assurance. All the ecstasies of joy. All the clearest sightings of eternity. All the noblest camaraderie. All the humblest affections. All the most tender acts of forgiving kindness. All the deepest discoveries of God’s Word. All the most earnest prayers. They are all on the Calvary road where Jesus walks with his people. Take up your cross and follow Jesus. On this road, and this road alone, life is Christ and death is gain. Life on every other road is wasted.”

My prayer is to be a “today person” and remove ‘tomorrow’ from my thoughts and words. To not look back on the second half of my life and feel that it was wasted. Amen.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on January 21, 2012 in God's Word, Priorities, Purpose, The Cross, The Journey

 

Tags: , , , , ,