Friday, February 29, 2008
It behooves the biblical counselor to take this issue to heart and call the foolish man to turn from his simplicity and folly. Let it never be forgotten that “this ‘turning’ is a turning from loving ‘simple ways’ (1:22), that is, a life apart from Yahweh, to the ‘fear of the LORD’ (2:5) and his discipline (3:11-12). The ultimate motivation is spiritual. To love the Lord for His sake is the core of wise counsel (1:7; 2:5; 3:9-12).” The Scriptures really do contain all the information necessary to “life and godliness” (2 Pet 1:3).
May the practical and sobering words of Louis Goldberg be etched on our minds as we remember the centrality of the Word of God in all our counseling sessions:
Folly, however, does not even begin to satisfy the heart hunger of man, and
offers nothing to slake the thirst of the soul. There is nothing at her table to
help the morally inexperienced progress in discernment, understanding, and
spiritual maturity. All folly has to offer are some stale crumbs and scummy
And he concludes by warning,
For guests feeding on what folly has to offer, life becomes a dismal experienceNotes:
and death a time of horror. Eternity will yawn open to snatch its foolish
victims, and they will be separated from the Lord forever and ever. How can
anyone be so blind as to choose the consequences of such a revolting invitation
to partake of folly’s cursed crumbs?
 George M. Schwab, “Proverbs and the Art of Persuasion,” Journal of Biblical Counseling 14, no, 1 (Fall 1995): 12.
 Wayne Mack explicates by noting, “An in-depth study of its contents [2 Pet 1:3] is rewarded with insights into even the most complicated human experiences. What happens all too often in counseling, however, is that the counselor assumes that the Scripture does not speak to the particular problem of a counselee, and therefore, the counselor abandons the Word prematurely and seeks input from the ideas of men” (“Providing Instruction through Biblical Counseling,” In Counseling: How to Counsel Biblically [Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2005], 163).
 Louis Goldberg, Practical Wisdom of Proverbs (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications,
 Ibid., 111.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
1. This is the Lord's work, not ours.
2. Believers do not have the right to take authority in Jesus’ name over the forces of evil (Jude 9, 2 Pet 2:10-11)
3. Only unbelievers can be possessed by demons (Col. 1:13; 1 Cor. 15:54-57).
4. The gospel is the critical tool in dealing with demons (Rom. 1:16).
5. Believers are not immune from the clever satanic temptation and opposition (Job 1:6-2:10; Matt. 16:22-23; Lk. 22:31; 32; 2 Cor. 12:7).
6. Sometimes God uses Satan as an instrument of judgment or chastisement (1 Sam. 16:14-15; Lk. 22:3; Jn. 13:27; 1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Tim. 1:18-20).
7. Believers are are instructed not to rebuke
8. In sum, “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Cor. 16:13-14).
I think this is a significant issue because so often, in today's modern evangelicalism, people attribute nearly every sin issue to a "demon;" "That's the demon of L.A.," or "That's the demon in my refrigerator," or "The devil made me do it."
Listen to how Jay Adams speaks to the issue at hand:
“Demon possession or oppression affords a ready –made cop-out from personal responsibility . . . wallowing for any length of time in the morasses of self-absorption can virtually lead one to convince himself of the truth of what may have begun merely as a suspicion, a fear, a misrepresentation, or as a convenient excuse. In a short while, it can become a dominant theme around which the counselee builds his life . . . Thus, the equipment that God has given to the counselor is adequate both for evangelism (to take captives from Satan’s forces) and for edification (to punish all disobedience among such captives). There is nothing lacking. The enemy is powerful, but the mighty Counselor, under whom the Christian counselor serves, has subdued him” (The Christian's Counselor Manuel, 129-30).
Monday, February 25, 2008
Hey CCC Youth!!!!!
This is for you! In case you weren't at youth group last night, we have a 6 flags magic mountain trip planned and we want YOU to come. Here are the details:
Date: THIS Saturday, March 1, 2008
Time: Meet at CCC Parking lot at 9am
How much: $25 (you won't find tickets cheaper anywhere...guaranteed!)
Return time: Back to CCC at 7pm
Lunch info: We will go to our apartment and have lunch there to save $$!
Please call or email me today if you want to go!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Matthew 9:36-38 36 And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 "Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."
The three principles I glean from this text are as follows:
I. We must have compassion for lost people.
I notice as I read Matthew's gospel that Jesus had compassion (9:36; 14:14; 20:34) on people who were in bondage to illness, distress, and, most of all, sin. It says in v.36 that Jesus saw the peopel and he felt compassion for them.
How often do we see people living in distress, caught in the grasp of their sin, struggling to live life without the gospel of Christ and yet we neglect to show compassion on these people who are in desperate need for the saving gospel of Jesus Christ?
The second principle I see from the text is:
II. We must shepherd the confused people.
How often we forget this -- even as "professional shepherds" by vocation. People that are in distress and dispirited are those whom Jesus had compassion on. How quick we are (speaking from personal experience here, sad to say) to neglect a helping hand, a gospel-driven conversation, a sacrificial gift to those who are in confusion.
Jesus recognized that he was the true and ultimate shepherd for the people. Shouldn't we do the same? Shouldn't we model the actions of our Master Shepherd and have compassion and pity on those in distress rather than a self-righteous and prideful arrogance refusing to associate with such sinners?
III. We must be willing for God to send us into His harvest.
How quick we are to say "Amen" to the first few principles, but how many of us are really willing to go into the Lord's harvest? The harvest does not have to mean "overseas missions," though it can. It does not have to mean "Bible translation work," though it may. But what it means is that in your day-to-day life, you are going about in the Lord's earth showing this kind of compassion and shepherding by pointing (and warning!) people to the True Shepherd and His work done on Calvary for sins.
One thing I've been convinced at my time in seminary is this: I want to plan to go abroad and do missions but be willing to stay. It seems that oftentimes we have this reversed: I must plan to stay in America (comfy Christian lifestyle!) while willing to go abroad. I am convinced that the former is what us seminary guys ought to be convinced of.
May we look at our Savior and learn from our Master as to how we ought to have compassion for the lost, shepherd the confused and, finally, be willing for God tos end us into his harvest - anywhere.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
This happened to me last night. I went to a local rehabilitation center where I often go to preach (yes, only to preach, not to enroll for rehabilitation!) and preached last night on Mark 15:42-16:8. This was the same text I preached from Sunday night at church. I told them I had the joy of preaching through the whole book of Mark and wanted to give them the climactic event of the life of Christ.
At any rate, at the end of the hour-long sermon, one guy raced up to me and, after introducing himself, said "I have never heard the Bible taught that way before." I responded by saying, "What do you mean?" He replied, "You taught the Bible and made it very clear and understandable to me. You took each section and broke it down so I understand why God had that text there and what He requires of me as a result of that." I thought to myself, "that is the best comment I could ever receive."
How cool it is when we as preachers give God's Word in such a way that His Holy Spirit takes our frail words and makes them understandable to the listeners. Isn't that the duty of the preacher after all? It was a great reminder to me so that next time I hear a good sermon and am tempted to simply tell the preacher in passing, "Great sermon," that I would tell him that God's Word has been made clear to me and my responsibility to act upon what God requires of me is clearly imprinted upon my heart and mind. That is a memorable compliment for a preacher.
Nehemiah 8:8 They read from the book, from the law of God, translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
It is better to drive people away with the truth than to keep them
comfortable in their sin ... It is better to have them leave because they can’t
handle the heat when under conviction from the Holy Spirit than have
them sit in the pew living in rebellion being comfortable week after week year
after year only to end up in the unquenching heat of the flames of hell.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Saturday, February 2, 2008
"You're kidding!" you exclaim.
"Not at all!" I respond.
Darrin Patrick, pastor of The Journey church in St. Louis said this: "Yeah, I knew he used a Dell, but I never thought he would in public. It has really devastated many of our church planters."
Haha. It's just interesting that the guys are making jokes saying that the pastor is not cool or hip because he's using a Dell.