For me, I think that it is a great slogan for 2013. (It is at least a good background for January.)
When a person comes to see the doctrines of grace in the Bible, he is often amazed that he missed it, and he can sometimes become angry. He can become angry that he grew up in a church or home where they never talked about what is really there in Romans 8, I Corinthians 2, and Ephesians 2. They never talked about it -- they skipped it -- and he is angry that he was misled for so long.I understand that sentiment. There are so many passages of scripture that were never discussed or taught. I have seen this anger in me. I don't want to do things that might hinder others from seeing and savoring the greatest aspects of God's amazing grace, and I definitely don't want my attitudes to dim their glory. The author shared another Piper quote that really rang true:
I love the doctrines of grace with all my heart, and I think they are pride-shattering, humbling, and love producing doctrines. But I think there is an attractiveness about them to some people, in a large matter, because of their intellectual rigor. They are powerfully coherent doctrines, and certain kinds of minds are drawn to that. And those kinds of minds tend to be argumentative.
So the intellectual appeal of the system of Calvinism draws a certain kind of intellectual person, and that type of person doesn't tend to be the most warm, fuzzy, and tender. Therefore this type of person has a greater danger of being hostile, gruff, abrupt, insensitive, or intellectualistic.So I don't go into a Piper-quoting frenzy, I will stop there. I do appreciate how the author, through these quotes and through personal experiences and confessions, displays the typical dangers that seem to cloud the teachings of these doctrines. I was stirred, again, by the author's love, not of Calvinism, but of the Lord, to keep in mind God's wonderful grace.
The combination was too much for me. Gerstner, Edwards, the New Testament professor, and above all the apostle Paul, were too formidable a team for me to withstand. The ninth chapter of Romans was the clincher. I simply could find no way to avoid the apostle's teaching in that chapter. Reluctantly, I sighed and surrendered, but with my head, not my heart. "OK, I believe this stuff, but I don't have to like it!"
I soon discovered that God has created us so that the heart is supposed to follow the head. I could not, with impunity, love something with my head that I hated in my heart. Once I began to see the cogency of the doctrine and its broader implications, my eyes were opened to the graciousness of grace and the grand comfort of God's sovereignty. I began to like the doctrine little by little, until it burst upon my soul that the doctrine revealed the depth and the riches of the mercy of God.If I know you and you are interested in reading this book, and you have a Kindle, I think that I can "loan" this book. I have never tried this before, but I would be willing to give it a shot. Let me know.
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giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 5:20 ESV)But what really got me was when he started talking about whether or not God had anything to do with his disease. And then he said it... "I don't think God had anything to do with it." I can still hear those words ringing in my ears. I actually stopped my mp3 player and paused for a moment. I couldn't believe that he had said it.
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”Job didn't accuse God falsely. When he stated, "the Lord has taken away..." he was right! This may not seem like a huge deal to some, but I believe that understanding God's central role in all of my suffering is something that is not only theologically correct, it is something of immense encouragement while in the middle of the trial.
(and just in case you might think that Job got it wrong, the author quickly adds...) In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
(Job 1:20-22 ESV)
"... preparation will regularly kidnap their devotional time."Whoa. Absolutely guilty here. I have even purposely done that.
On January 4, 2011, on Twitter, Pastor John wrote:
Marriage. The roots are deep. The covenant is solid. The love is sweet. Life is hard. And God is good.
The quote is a rewrite of what Pastor John wrote in 2003 to Noël in the preface to his book Desiring God.
But when the quote appeared on Twitter in 2011, a woman named Patty Hurtarte copied it into her journal with no immediate purpose for it. But almost two years later she returned to the quote, used her artistic skill to turn it into a design, framed it and gifted her illustration to her pastor and his wife, Joshua and Shannon Harris.I found these words felt especially profound after my Ordination Ceremony this weekend. My wife has been with me every step of the way. She makes everything special.
The fetus, though enclosed in the womb of its mother, is already a human being (homo), and it is almost a monstrous crime to rob it of life which it has not yet begun to enjoy. If it seems horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man’s house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.[HT: Kevin DeYoung]
Lord, here I hold within my trembling hand,This will of mine - a thing which seemeth small;And only Thou, O Christ, canst understandHow, when I yield Thee this, I yield mine all.
I've been there. Had my will, my wants, my dreams, clenched firmly in my grip. I am sure to most, it wouldn't have seemed like much, but Christ knew. He knew that to yield this to Him was yielding everything. To finally release, lay it at His feet and say, "Lord, whatever you want. Even that." Those were hard words.It hath been wet with tears, and stained with sighsClenched in my grasp till beauty hath it none;Now, from Thy footstool where it prostrate liesThe prayer ascendeth, Let Thy will be done.
The Lord is our Light and our Salvation.
Who or what is there that we would fear?
The Lord is the Stronghold of Edgewood Baptist Church.
Is there anyone or anything that could cause us to be afraid?
When Satan tries to discourage us.
because of his desire to consume this Church,
He may bring all manner of enemy against us.
So much so that it will feel like an army in battle array against this Church.
But We will be confident!
And our hearts will not fear!
There is one thing that we are asking of you, Lord.
Just one thing that we are seeking after.
Our desire is your presence in this Church.
We pray that this will truly be the house of the Lord,
That we may live in your presence, not just today, but every day.
We don’t want to miss your beauty
or the beauty of your Gospel!
May we come here to gaze upon it all the days of our lives.
When days of trouble come, we know that safety is with You.
We run to you for shelter, comfort, and a firm place to stand.
Now Lord, we will lift up our heads to you.
Our sacrifice to you will be done with shouts of joy!
We will sing praises to you and mean it!
Please hear us Lord as we pray... As we cry aloud!
In your grace, Lord, will you answer the prayers of this Church?
You have said, “Seek my face.”
In obedience, We are answering this call.
Lord, Our heart is saying to you, “Your face, Lord, We will seek!
As we do this, Lord, do not hide your face from Edgewood Baptist Church.
Maybe you've been angry with one or all of us.
Lord, Please don’t turn away from this Church in Anger.
You have been our help.
We have turned to you again and again.
Lord, Please do not cast This Church to the side.
Please don’t forsake us.
David cries, “O God of my salvation!”
That is what you are to Edgewood. Our Salvation.
And we would seek salvation in no other!
There have been so many that have forsaken us.
But the Lord will absolutely take us in!
Teach Edgewood your Way.
Show us the level path.
The Enemy would have us go astray
He will speak lies to us, discouraging us.
Help us to stay on the right path.
We believe that we will look on the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living.
We will wait for the Lord.
We will be strong.
Our hearts will be courageous.
And We will wait for the Lord.
The “hole in our holiness” is that evangelicals don’t look particularly holy, and, despite the flood of gospel-centered discussions, there seems to be a greater focus on personal depravity than on the pursuit of holiness. Looking to right the balances, Kevin DeYoung presents a popular-level treatment of sanctification and union with Christ, helping readers to see what matters most—being like Jesus. He shows how one can be like Christ in being joined to Christ. The market is ready for DeYoung’s timely book, ready to avoid legalism and ambivalence, and they are ready for someone to articulate the inextricable relationship between grace and holiness.I absolutely agree with the basis of this book. In my own circles of friendships and acquaintances, I have seen this consistent slide towards a relaxed view of holiness. With many it has even been a, "We can continue in sin so grace may abound!" sort of view. Though most wouldn't admit this truth, their lives proclaim it day by day.
Visible from space, a smoke plume rises from the Manhattan area after two planes crashed into the towers of the World Trade Center. This photo was taken of metropolitan New York City (and other parts of New York as well as New Jersey) the morning of September 11, 2001.Click on through to read the rest. click here
Among all those who have been born of women, there has not risen a greater than John Calvin; no age before him ever produced his equal, and no age afterwards has seen his rival.At another time he said:
John Calvin propounded truth more clearly than any other man who ever breathed, knew more of Scripture, and explained it more clearly.From the author:
We now stand in the twenty-first century, almost five hundred years removed from John Calvin's time, but we find ourselves in an equally critical hour of redemptive history. As the organized church was spiritually bankrupt at the outset of Calvin's day, so it is again in our time. Certainly to judge by outward appearances, the evangelical church in this hour seems to be flourishing. Megachurches are springing up everywhere. Christian contemporary music and publishing houses seem to be booming. Men's rallies are packing large coliseums. Christian political groups are heard all the way to the White House. Yet the evangelical church is largely a whitewashed tomb. Tragically her outward facade masks her true internal condition.Though I don't agree with that exactly, mostly because we forget to factor in the global church, I think the author might be dead on when it comes to the American Church. More importantly, I believe that the remedy is not to be found in a program or a new Bible Study, but in the preaching of the Word. I will close with one more quote of Spurgeon's that the author also chose to end with:
We want again Luthers, Calvins, Bunyans, Whitefields, men fit to mark eras, whose names breathe terror in our foemen's ears. We have dire need of such. Whence will they come to us? They are the gifts of Jesus Christ to the Church, and will come in due time...
I do not look for any other means of converting men beyond the simple preaching of the gospel and the opening of men's ears to hear it. The moment the church of God shall despise the pulpit, God will despise her. It has been through the ministry that the Lord has always been pleased to revive and bless His churches.
An innkeeper's son is entrusted with a dragon egg, leading to a quest to restore the ancient race of dragons to their former glory.The setting was definitely medieval times. No description was given of the time or place. The kings and kingdoms are not mentioned in detail, but only in passing, focusing on the boy and his grandfather. Though there was definitely some predictable aspects of the story, there were also a couple of twists and turns along the way.
Pornography promises orgasm without intimacy. Video warfare promises adrenaline without danger. The arousal that makes these so attractive is ultimately spiritual to the core.
Satan isn't a creator but a plagiarist. His power is parasitic, latching on to good impulses and directing them toward his own purpose. God intends a man to feel the wildness of sexuality in the self-giving union with his wife. And a man is meant to, when necessary, fight for his family, his people, for the weak and vulnerable who are being oppressed.It is so valid and so important to understand that what we wrestle with is not flesh and blood, but principalities and power... We are in a spiritual warfare. If we don't recognize this, we become vulnerable to attack because of our naivety.
Moreover, these addictions foster the seemingly opposite vices of passivity and hyper-aggression. The porn addict becomes a lecherous loser, with one-flesh union supplanted by masturbatory isolation. The video game addict becomes a pugilistic coward, with other-protecting courage supplanted by aggression with no chance of losing one's life. In both cases, one seeks the sensation of being a real lover or a real fighter, but venting one's reproductive or adrenal glands over pixilated images, not flesh and blood for which one is responsible.Besides the importance of these words, especially as I attempt to raise my own boys into men, I absolutley admire Moore's ability to put to words things that I've thought in ways that make more sense than how I've thought them.
"Is not this then the very time when the door is wide open for the preaching of the Gospel?
The age in which we are living is so similar to the first century in many respects. The old world was exhausted then. The flowering period of Greek philosophy had come and had gone, Rome in a sense had passed her zenith, and there was the same kind of tiredness and weariness, with consequent turning to pleasure and amusement.
The same is so true today; and so far from saying that we must have less preaching and turn more and more to other devices and expedients, I say that we have a heaven-sent opportunity for preaching."
To read or listen to the previous entries in this series: Part 1 - Person NOT Program Part 2 - Body Member NOT Church Attender Part 3 - Exp...