Friday, October 31, 2008
What made us dead? "Following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience - among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind" (Ephesians 2:2-3).
After painting a picture of ourselves, Paul says "But God." It is His mercy that makes us who we are in Christ. I love later when Paul says, "so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God" (Ephesians 2:7-8).
In whatever task you do this weekend rejoice in the fact that God did not leave you dead in your sins. Rejoice that He did not leave you a child of wrath but instead covered you with immeasurable grace.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
"Jesus' teaching consistently attracted the irreligious while offending the Bible-believing, religious people of his day. However, in the main our churches today do not have this effect. The kind of outsiders Jesus attracted are not attracted to contemporary churches, even our most avant-garde ones. We tend to draw conservative, buttoned-down, moralistic people. The licentious and liberated or the broken and marginal avoid church. That can only mean one thing. If the preaching of our ministers and the practice of our parishioners doesn't have the same effect on people that Jesus had, then we must not be declaring the same message that Jesus did. If our churches aren't appealing to younger brothers, they must be more full of elder brothers than we'd like to think."
Christ Has Conquered All
Heavy laden, weary soul,
Bearing up a heart of stone,
His Spirit comes to dwell in you,
And Christ, the weight of sin assume.
All my guilt is cast on Christ,
And His righteousness is mine.
What guilt should weigh upon my head?
For Christ has cleared it all!
The sum of all my sacrifice,
Though joyful, fails to justify.
I cannot pay for grace that’s free,
Nor add to work that is complete.
Jesus paid it all for me!
This my ransom and my plea.
What debt I labor to repay?
For Christ has paid it all!
Through the law comes sin and death,
But faith is counted righteousness.
So I will trust in Christ alone,
My debt to pay, my sin atone.
And I stand in confidence,
Covered by His righteousness.
What shall become of boasting tongues?
For Christ has done it all!
Where O death is now thy sting?
Swallowed up in victory!
The Lord of glory reigns on high,
Sov’reign over earth and sky!
Yes, He triumphed o’er the grave,
And He comes again one day.
What lesser name shall draw our praise?
For Christ has conquered all!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tim does a great job in his book to summarize the key thoughts of each chapter.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
"We have got to realize as we fight this fight of faith and wrestle with these principalities and powers and face the assaults of the world and the flesh and the devil, that God is involved in it with us. We would never have been in it but for that. The ultimate battle is the battle between God and the devil, between heaven and hell, between light and darkness. That in turn should make us realize a further truth, that this campaign cannot fail, because God's honour is involved in it.
Lift up your minds and your hearts in the thick of the battle and call this to mind. You see the might and the power of the enemy and you are conscious of your own weakness. But say to youselves, 'This is God's battle, we are given the privilege of being in it and of fighting as individual soldiers, but God's honour is involved at every point.' 'Be strong in the Lord'; remember that He is there, and that it is His battle. This cannot be emphasized too much."
Thursday, October 23, 2008
- The degree of His sacrifice in saving us from the penalty of our sin.
- The degree of unworthiness that we had when He saved us.
We need to understand the magnitude of our unworthiness and sin in order to understand how great a sacrifice was paid. If we have no understanding of God's holiness and our wickedness then the Bible is just a bunch of words with no meaning. We must read the Word praying that the Holy Spirit would reveal the truth to us. We must understand what Christ has done on the cross. He willing laid down His life for those that hated Him (Romans 1:30). He defeated death on the third day so He could raise us to newness of life. Without the gospel we remain dead in our sin. John Piper says,
"Divine love is in the end: a passion to enthrall undeserving sinners, at great cost, with what will make us supremely happy forever, namely, His infinite beauty."
Thoughts taken from John Piper's book Fifty Reason Why Jesus had to Die
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
John Newton said, “By our repeated slips and falls into sin, we gain a more emphatic conviction of our own vileness and depravity; and we experimentally learn and feel our own weakness.” Later in this same letter Newton says, “This wretched state of sin and temptation, makes the thoughts of death and eternity desirable. Then this conflict shall cease! Then I shall sin and wander no more, shall see Him as He is, and be like Him forever!” I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend of mine about John Newton as I reading Newton’s letter this morning. My friend made the statement “John Newton seems to focus too much on his sin.” To that statement there is only one such rebuttal needed: “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see. T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed. Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me. He word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease, I shall possess within the veil, a life of joy and peace.” Unless we focus on our sin in light of God’s holiness we will never understand grace the way John Newton did.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
If you have time please go read or listen to this series by John Piper. It will greatly enrich your Christian walk or maybe I should say battle.
How to Kill Sin
Thursday, October 16, 2008
These words are very simple. A little child might easily understand them. They contain no high doctrine; they involve no deep metaphysical question; and yet, as simple as they are--the duty which these words enjoin on us, is of highest practical importance to all Christians.
Contentment is one of the rarest graces. Like all precious things--it is most uncommon. To practice contentment, is very hard. To talk of contentment in the day of health and prosperity is easy enough; but to be content in the midst of poverty, sickness, trouble, disappointments, and losses--is a state of mind to which very few can attain!
The fallen angels had heaven itself to dwell in, and the immediate presence and favor of God--but they were not content. Adam and Eve had the garden of Eden to live in, with a free grant of everything in it excepting one tree--but they were not content. Ahab had his throne and kingdom, but so long as Naboth's vineyard was not his--he was not content. Haman was the chief favorite of the Persian king--but so long as Mordecai sat at the gate--he was not content.
It is just the same everywhere in the present day. Murmuring, dissatisfaction, discontent with what we have, meet us at every turn. To say, with Jacob, "I have enough," seems flatly contrary to the grain of human nature. To say, "I want more," seems the mother tongue of every child of Adam.
Paul's direction ought to come with power to all our consciences: "Be content with such things as you have," not with such things as you once used to have--not with such things as you hope to have--but with such things as you now have. With such things, whatever they may be--we are to be content. With such a dwelling, such a family, such health, such income, such work, such circumstances as we now have--we are to be content.
Ah! reader, if you would be truly happy--seek it where alone it can be found. Seek it not in money, seek it not in pleasure, nor in friends, nor in learning. Seek it in having a will in perfect harmony with the will of God. Seek it in studying to be content.
You may say, that is fine talking--but how can we be always content in such a world? I answer, that you need to cast away your pride, and know your deserts, in order to be thankful in any condition. If men really knew that they deserve nothing, and are debtors to God's mercy every day--they would soon cease to complain.
Let me tell you why there is so little contentment in the world. The simple answer is, because there is so little grace, and true godliness. Few know their own sin; few feel their desert; and so few are content with such things as they have. Humility, self-knowledge, a clear sight of our own utter vileness and corruption; these are the true roots of contentment.
Let me tell you--what you should do, if you would be content. You must know your own heart, seek God for your portion, take Christ for your Savior, and use God's Word for your daily food. Contentment must be learned at the feet of Jesus Christ. He who has God for his friend, and heaven for his home--can wait for his good things, and be content with little here below.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I'm sick and tired of blending in
and never telling anyone how You set this sinner free
You found me living without hope
and then You drew me to yourself
and Your mercy made me clean
I will tell Your story
for the world to hear of Your great love
and how it rescued me
You came into the world You made,
and then died upon a tree to bring us back to You
You're like fire in my bones and like fire in my soul
and I can't hold You in anymore
What if nobody told me?
Where would I be without You now?
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I'll point you to the living water homie take a sip
Go to the pool of Siloam go on and take a dip
Come back with vision that's given by Him, who makes a switch
Though it would it cost Him, His enemies would cross Him
He called, and was dropping that knowledge like books falling
From Dallas to New Orleans, Philly to every city
Our vision is looking blurred we gotta see 20/20
Got ears but don't hear, eyes but don't see
Our God we don't fear, these rhymes are so we
Can peak off into the mind of God, He's holy
Our lives are so weak, but God is so He
Yeah He's perfect and flawless, He stands as the standard
His stance is grand, understand that He stands up
Always upright, we got a chance since the ransom
He paid at the cross, now let's find us some answers
What kind of God, would take some dudes and hand em
Eternal life for free, through the grace that He grants them?
By faith, we been changed, used to roll as His foes
But He rose and He chose, now we clothed in His clothes
It's kinda crazy, we all had ambitions of getting dough
He changed our character like an actor who's switching roles
This is to testify bout the God that we living for"
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wilberforce said, "This is the Christian love of God! A love compounded of admiration, of preference, of hope, of trust, of joy; chastised by reverential awe, and wakeful with continual gratitude." I must confess trust is a tough one. Many times over I read the promises God has for me and doubt. He promises to "never leave me or forsake me", "All things work together for good for those who are His children", "My grace is sufficient" yet I doubt. Clinging to God's promises without doubt is trust. We have to fight against our flesh and see God's promises as yes and Amen!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
-John MacArthur (Reckless Faith: When the Church Loses its Will to Discern)
This quotation was pulled from Tim Challies books The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment which I just finished this morning and would recommend to you all. We, as Christians, lack in this area.