Monday, January 30, 2012
Guided by the Voice of God, part 3
Read your bible more and more
A Father's Covenant (I needed this reminder as a dad)
What is essential to being a Christian? from Jonathan Edwards
Christianity without Discipleship is Christianity without Christ (good stuff)
Don't Give up on the Evening Service (thought this was interesting)
Guided by the Voice of God, part 2
4 Quick Questions about Studying the Bible
The reality of being "in Christ Jesus"
8 Ways to Approach the Bible
Monday, January 23, 2012
America's most common surgical procedure
Church Gatherings (thought this was very interesting)
How to lead when your leader isn't leading well
8 Ways to live as a Pro-lifer under a pro-choice president
eBook on Abortion (in case you are interested)
Your Jesus is too Safe (interesting take on Christian Radio)
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I have just finished a chapter in John Piper’s book Brothers, We Are Not Professionals where he offers some arguments against selective abortions. Here they are:
- God commanded, “Thou shalt not kill.” [kill is the word murder here]
- The destruction of conceived human life--whether embryonic, fetal, or viable--is an assault on the unique person-forming work of God.
- Aborting unborn humans falls under the repeated biblical ban against “shedding innocent blood.”
- The bible frequently expresses the high priority God puts on the protection and provision and vindication of the weakest and most helpless and most victimized members of the community.
- By judging difficult and even tragic human life as a worse evil than taking life, abortionists contradict the wide-spread biblical teaching that God loves to show His gracious power through suffering and not just by helping people avoid suffering.
- It is a sin of presumption to justify abortion by taking comfort in the fact that all these little children will go to heaven or even be given full adult life in the resurrection.
- The bible commands us to rescue our neighbor who is being unjustly led away to death.
- Aborting unborn children falls under Jesus’ rebuke of those who spurned children as inconvenient and unworthy of the Savior’s attention.
- It is the right of God the Maker to give and to take human life. It is not our individual right to make this choice.
- Saving faith in Jesus Christ brings forgiveness of sins and cleansing of conscience and help through life and hope for eternity. Surrounded by such omnipotent love, every follower of Jesus is free from the greed and fear that might lure a person to forsake these truths in order to gain money or avoid reproach.
"Beware of anything that competes with your loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for him. It is easier to serve than to be drunk to the dregs. The one aim of the call of God is the satisfaction of God, not to do something for him. We are not sent to battle for God, but to be used by God in His battlings. Are we more devoted to service than to Jesus Christ?"
A classic text from which this truth derives is Luke 10:38-42. It is the narrative of Mary and Martha. Martha is scurrying around preparing the meal while Mary is sitting at Jesus' feet listening and hanging on His every word. When Martha complains, Jesus says that Mary has chosen that one thing that is necessary and it will not be taken away from her.
Another way to say this I believe is a quote by John Piper: "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisified in Him."
Another passage that my mind is drawn to is John 15:1-8 - abiding in Christ - remaining in him - then out of that abiding in him, fruit is bourne.
How about you?
Monday, January 16, 2012
I read this from Oswald Chambers this morning:
"The call of God is not a reflection of my nature; my personal desires and temperament are of no consideration. As long as I dwell on my own qualities and traits and think about what I am suited for, I will never hear the call of God. But when God brings me into the right relationship with Himself, I will be in the same condition Isaiah was. Isaiah was so attuned to God, because of the great crisis he had just endured, that the call of God penetrated his soul. The majority of us cannot hear anything but ourselves. And we cannot hear anything God says. But to be brought to the place where we can hear the call of God is to be profoundly changed."
What struck me this morning was the reality that "the majority of us cannot hear anything but ourselves". Wow! We are so in tune in our culture of finding ourselves and listening to our inner voice that we forget the only voice that matters, God's.
Jesus told us to abide in Him--a consistent communion with himself by the Holy Spirit.
For many people, the extent of their Christianity is a one hour a week ritual without any communion with Jesus Monday through Saturday. But, I wonder, is that even real Christianity, biblically? Probably not, maybe an emphatic absolutely not!
Oh, that our souls would yearn for the voice of God in a culture that is constantly beckoning for our attention. May we long for the "voice of truth" from the one who is the truth.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Goal of Christian Living
Tim Tebow's Fire (this is funny--that was one of my favorite songs in the 80s)
10 Reasons Your Kids Might Not Think you are fun (funny!)
The Post-program Church, part 1 (interesting read)
The Post-program Church, part 2
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
That is something we see in the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king in exile when his brother came back to the capital city. Nehemiah questioned his brother about the situation in Judah concerning Jerusalem. Here is the report: “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”
The hearing of this devastation drove Nehemiah to prayer. In Nehemiah 1:4-11, we have a summary of what Nehemiah was praying in response to what he heard. There are several elements of his prayer that we can apply to our own prayer lives.
Nehemiah calls on God in praise.
Nehemiah calls on God in intercession.
Nehemiah calls on God in confession.
Nehemiah calls on God in remembrance.
Nehemiah calls on God in petition.
Sometimes a proper assessment and evaluation of our situation is in order. We need someone to be “straight up” with us. All the sugar-coating and the positive spins will not be helpful. It can actually be harmful if we neglect the reality of what we are facing.
Nehemiah did not ignore the reality of the crisis, yet he knew where to turn in the midst of it. And that was turning to the Lord--”the God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those love him and keep his commandments.”
What crisis are you facing today? What difficulty are you facing? Where are you turning?
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
How does the reality of being a citizen in God's kingdom get fleshed out in daily life - in our families, in our churches, at our jobs, with our friends? How is the reality of King Jesus reflected in the choices that I make everyday with respect to time?
I was at a leadership workshop the other day where we were talking about time management. One of the many things I got out of it was the idea of "investment"--I've heard it before but sometimes it takes a different context to make certain things stick.
Investing time as an expression of worship and obedience to King Jesus.