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Showing posts from January, 2007

A morning psalm

A morning Psalm... Psalm 31:1-24 NAS For the choir director. A Psalm of David. 1 In Thee, O LORD, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed; In Thy righteousness deliver me. 2 Incline Thine ear to me, rescue me quickly; Be Thou to me a rock of strength, A stronghold to save me. 3 For Thou art my rock and my fortress; For Thy name's sake Thou wilt lead me and guide me. 4 Thou wilt pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me; For Thou art my strength. 5 Into Thy hand I commit my spirit; Thou hast ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth. 6 I hate those who regard vain idols; But I trust in the LORD. 7 I will rejoice and be glad in Thy lovingkindness, Because Thou hast seen my affliction; Thou hast known the troubles of my soul, 8 And Thou hast not given me over into the hand of the enemy; Thou hast set my feet in a large place. 9 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also. 10 For my life is spent with sorr

There is help out there...

Any Takers? :=)

The humanity of Jesus Christ diminished?

Something I have observed in recent years of being in churches, classes, conversations, conferences and other venues is that the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is emphasized, and RIGHTLY SO . However, I wonder if while we are emphasizing this right (and absolutely necessary) doctrine of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, that we have neglected the important and just as necessary doctrine of the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, this morning in my quite time, I read Mark 1. A few verses from this chapter read: Mark 1:12-13 12 And immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness. 13 And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan ; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. A few things to note quickly here: 1. The wilderness is not a fun place to be - especially for 40 days without food, drink or company. It is barren, it is hot, flies are everywhere - this is not a nice, warm, fuzzy 40 days of easy-going-l

Date Night Baby! :=)

Last night my most beautiful fiance and I went to our favorite restaurant for a dress-up "date night." We had a blast. Then we drove in the rain to the Cheesecake factory. We had a great time eating a fabulous pasta dish and then we got our favorite cheesecake, white chocolate peanut butter truffle . It was awesome! She's beautiful eh?

Don't Dwell On Your Past

We're all sinful. We all have a wicked past before we came to Christ. Everyone who has ever lived is a wretched sinner deserving the wrath of an angry God for all of eternity. Yet there are some whom God has graciously chosen to call to Himself. Yet the lives that we lived before we came to that saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ was one filled with sin, anger, rebellion, hatred to God and hostility to God. Edwards gives this piece of advice to new converts and it is needed to be heard by many today: "Do not dwell on the past, think of Christ" Edwards is saying here. Don't dwell on your past. Whatever that may have entailed. Whether you were just a loving peasant boy or the worst of prostitutes; whether you were a bellboy at a nearby hotel or whether you were a drug addict and a drunk; whether you had a nice, homely well-to-do marriage or whether you were physically beating your family up and cheating on your wife with the neighbor next door, Edwards says - do

Humility...Where Has It Gone?

We return, once again, to the wonderful advice from our beloved mentor and hero of the past, Jonathan Edwards. He gave advice to new converts. Another piece of advice from him to these new believers in Jesus Christ is: "Come to the things of religion in great humility" Edwards is profound in this statement, yet very basic. Let me take just one passage of Scripture, break it down and show you what I mean: 1 Peter 5:1-4 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. In this text, Peter gives fellow elders and sh

The Most Fabulous Fiance In The Whole World

and I've got her :=) Elizabeth, I am wild about you. I am so excited to marry you and spend our lives together serving the Lord, honoring him, doing ministry together and growing together in Christlikeness. I love you babe! May 12 is just too far away. You are the best complement for me. The Lord is good!

The Plea for Expository Preaching

THE MANDATE OF EXPOSITORY PREACHING The Gospels, Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation provide many examples and exhortations to preach the truth in fulfillment of God’s will. As a reminder of the apostolic legacy and reaffirmation of the scriptural authority for Bible-based preaching, five significant mandates are representative of the larger number of passages. Matt. 28:19-20 --”Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 1 Tim. 4:13 --”Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.” 2 Tim. 2:2--” And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Tim. 4:2--” Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patienc

What Do You Do With Your Leisure Time?

Again, in Ryken's book, Worldly Saints , he says this profound statement: "One of the best tests of whether a person is generously educated is what he or she does with leisure time" (p.170). I read this and had to set the book down and ponder. What do I do with my spare time? Do I really have spare time? Though it may see oftentimes that I don't have spare time because I am so busy, I really do have a lot of spare time. Everyone in the world has the same amount of time in a day - 24 hours. No one has one minute more, or one minute less - but only 24 hours; that's it. What do you do with it? If you sleep 8 hours a night, that leaves you with 16 hours in a day. If you eat for a total of two hours a day, that takes you to 14 hours in a day. If you then exercise for one hour every morning, that takes you to 13 hours in a day. If you read your Bible and pray for one hour a day that then leaves 12 hours in a day. So what do you do with the rest? What do you do in you

The Puritan View of Reading the Bible

I was reading in an excellent book yesterday by Leland Ryken, Worldly Saints . He made this quote regarding the Puritans and their view of Education, "The way to foil Satan, according to the Puritans, was to educate people to read and study their Bible." I think it would benefit us greatly to take this piece of advice to heart. Think about it. If there is one thing that our culture - even the contemporary "evangelical" culture - is ignorant and apathetic to, it is the Word of God. The idea of "hiding the word of God in our hearts so that we may not sin against God" (Ps 119:11) is a lost and foreign concept to us today. Think about it: The way to foil Satan - that is, the way to resist the devil, to stand firm against his lies, his schemes, his deceits, his temptations - was to not just have people read the Bible, but to educate people so as to both read and study their Bible . If we really understood the content in the pages of Scripture, I think

Inerrancy is Imperative

Today in my historical theology class, we learned about Quenstedt. He was a man who held firmly to the doctrine of inerrancy. Here's a brief sketch of this man and his belief: J. A. Quenstedt (1617 – May 22,1688) (See Bromiley, Historical Theology , 318 ff.) o Wrote Theologia Didactico-Polemica sive Systema Theologicium o Along with other Lutheran scholastics, he systematized the doctrine of Scripture: o Inspiration extends to everything recorded in Scripture, even the historical and what seems trivial o Inspiration is verbal : “The Holy Spirit not only inspired the content and sense, or the meaning of the words . . . but the Holy Spirit actually supplied, inspired, and dictated [**by dictation, Quenstedt is not referring to the modern theory - which is wrong - that the writers were merely and only the writers of Scripture. In other words, that they were simply "mechanical devices."] the very words and each and every term individually (I,

Don't Make This Mistake

oops... 1. Don't let worry kill you - let the church help. 2. Thursday night - Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow. 3. For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs. 4. A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow. 5. The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth Into Joy." 6. The eighth graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7p.m. The Congregation is invited to attend this tragedy. 7. Evening massage - 6 p.m. ***8. During the absence of our pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when J.F. Stubbs supplied our pulpit. :=) 9. Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa will be speaking tonight at Calvary Memorial Church in Racine. Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa. 10. Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can

Keep Fighting Against Sin

Edwards's next piece of advice to new converts is: "Struggle over the remainders of sin in your life" Edwards here is saying to these new believers in Jesus Christ that they will struggle with sin for the rest of their lives, but to keep fighting. Sin is an ever present sin that will never fully be conquered in our mortal bodies. The Apostle Paul notes his own struggle in his Christian walk: Romans 7:14-21 14 For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not wish to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that it is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I wish, I do not do;

Orthodox Jewish Family Caught in Traffic As Shabbat Approaches

Read this article from the Jerusalem Post about an Orthodox Jewish man and his son who were caught in traffic and had to pull over their car because they could not drive on the Sabbath - according to Jewish law. But then keep reading until a "born-again Christian" couple picked them up and took them homoe. Read about the impact this couple brought to this Jewish family. May we have more born-again believers with as much gentleness, care and love as this couple in NYC. Read the article HERE .

Evangelism Linebacker

I don't know if you've seen this, but it is actually pretty funny. It is called "The Evangelism Linebacker". It's only 3 1/2 minutes long. Click HERE to watch it. There is a sequal that came out. It is called "The Christmas Linebacker." Not too shabby. Click HERE to watch this one. :-)

Pine Over Your Sin

As we have engaged in this series of Jonathan Edwards's advice to new converts , the next piece of advice that Edwards gives is thus: "Pine over you sin" What does this mean? Let's break it down and hopefully get a grasp as to how we can change and grow in our Christian walks. The word "pine" (as a verb) means to yearn deeply; suffer with longing; long painfully. It also means to suffer grief or regret over. A synonym is "to languish." Edwards gives advice to new believers in telling them to suffer with agonizing pain over your sin . Why would anyone need to pine over sin? 1) Yahweh God is "The Holy One" (Is 45:11) and to be holy is to be absolutely free from sin. He is righteous (Ex 9:27). Thus, God is absolutely perfect. Unable to be tainted with any form of sin. He cannot associate with sin in any way. 2) We as humans are sinners ( Ps 143:2; Rom 3:23; 1 Kings 8:46; Ecc 7:20) and are unable to enter into the holy presence of the

Saved from Hell

For some, this title " Saved from Hell " may be a bit much, but did you know that in the life of Christ, he spoke more on hell than He did on heaven . This is Jonathan Edwards' advice to new converts. He says: "Do not forget the pit out of which you were drawn" What does Edwards mean? He is simply saying that believers must recall the glory of salvation. Not only the beautiful reality that we will be with the Lord Jesus Christ and see Him face to face for all of eternity (1 John 3:3), but on the other hand, believers were saved from the terrifying wrath of God for all of eternity. Listen to a few Scriptures that speak of hell: Matthew 5:22 22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, ' Raca ,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Matthew 10:28 28 "And do

Apply What You Hear On Sunday Mornings

So, we often hear the line, "It is the preacher who is to exposit , give theology, teach and apply the text to my life." Though this is true (and every aspect just given is so), it is not fully true. Sure it is the preacher's responsibility to apply the text so as to drive the point home in the lives of his hearers. Furthermore, we are taught in homiletics (preaching) class not to leave our study until we have finished the message. The message is never finished until there is clear application to be heralded. But, is that the end of it? Is it simply the hearer's responsibility to show up on Sunday morning, hear a sermon and go home? Does it require more? My answer is " Yes. " Edwards would agree. His third advice to new converts is this: "Make personal applications when you hear sermons" . So, may I ask you, when you hear a message preached, what do you do with it? Do you listen, think to yourself, "that was nice," or "that was v

Attend to Prayer

Yesterday we began a series in which we will observe Jonathan Edwards' advice to new converts. We saw yesterday his first piece of advice was: to be diligent in the things of religion . Today we'll see his second piece of advice to new converts: Attend to Prayer . Think of this, if there is advice that Edwards could think of to encourage new believers in the Messiah as well as to help equip them to grow in Christlikeness and mature in their Christian walk, the second on his list is to pray, diligently. Let's discuss this and prove it Scripturally. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 17 pray without ceasing; Ephesians 6:18-19 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, Psalm 5:2-3 2 Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my G

Jonathan Edwards in his Advice to New Converts

I hope over the next few posts to lay before you these insights one by one with biblical references to encourage and challenge your own heart, as they have mine. Edwards offers these insights on the spiritual life. Specifically, he gives this advice to new converts, but I think they are applicable to all and worthy of reflection in all of our hearts: The first piece of advice is: Be diligent in the things of religion. 1 Timothy 4:13-16 13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed upon you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. 15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. Though we recognize that th

Glorifying God

Today in my class at seminary, Dr. Hannah said, what does it mean to glorify God? His answer: To glorify God means that God sees something of himself in his fallen creature. Furthermore, True spirituality is not about lineal productivity, it is all about reflecting the Glory of God. That means, manifesting the character of God that he has put in you by His spirit. So, once again, I ask you, are you living a life glorifying God? Does God see something of His Divine Self in YOU? May that be the driving ambition of our soul/spirit every day. God help us.

How Much Is Required To Be Saved?

I recognize I am opening a theological issue that brilliant scholars, theologians, pastors and lay persons have grappled with over many centuries, but it is my goal over the next few posts to just tap the ice as to what biblically is required for a person to be saved. Really, the question is a wrong one. Anything that is required, or could ever be required , has been fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ on the Calvary's Cross. For He Himself said: John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished! (Gk. tetelestai )" And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit. It must be remembered that anything that is ever required in purchasing one for salvation is not in need to be performed. Rather, it has been completely fulfilled. That fulfillment has come through only One - namely, the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. He finished the work of redemption and salvation. He is the author and perfector of our faith (Heb 12:2). But, as far a

An Example to Students?

In recent CNN coverage, an Ivy league professor is now charged and convicted of the murder of his wife. CNN says: A University of Pennsylvania professor was charged Monday with beating his wife to death in their suburban kitchen after she told friends she planned to divorce him. And furthermore, Robb was charged with first- and third-degree murder, possession of an instrument of crime, tampering with evidence and lying to authorities. And here is more devastating news: The couple have a 12-year-old daughter. Could you imagine this 12-year-old daughter with a father who just beat her mommy to death. The CNN news said, Ellen Robb's injuries were so extensive they initially thought she was killed with a shotgun blast to the face. Could you imagine this girl with no mother anymore. Her father is now in prison. She is left with the permanent mark and reputation that she is from the "family whose husband killed his wife." What kind of example are we setting for our children the

The Imminent Return Our Lord

Have you thought about the return of our Lord and Savior today? I was in class and I was convicted in the opening prayer. We hadn't even gotten in to the lecture material yet for the course, and I was already convicted. In his prayer, Dr. Mayhue prayed at least twice about the quick and imminent coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Are you living NOW in light of eternity? I am reminded of Jonathan Edwards's 19th Resolution: Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump. So I ask you again as I have asked myself throughout this day: Are YOU ready for the imminent return of the Lord Jesus? Maranatha (1 Cor 16:22)

The Glory of God Made Practical

Click here to hear an excellent sermon by one of the most brilliant scholars I know, Doug Bookman. Once you are here, do 2 things: Under Search For : Type in TMC Chapel Under the second Search For : Type in Bookman Then scroll down till you see his sermon on "The Glory of God." It is a worthwhile listen. He not only defines the Glory of God biblically, but also gives practical application as to how to glorify God in living life.

2007 Verse

Yesterday I posted my verse for last year and today I want to take the opportunity to post my verse for the upcoming 2007 year. Ezra 7:10 10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel. There is probably no greater example of a great preacher in the Old Testament than the man Ezra. The text here gives three requirements to being an effective preacher: I. The Effective Preacher Must Study the Law II. The Effective Preacher Must Practice the Law III. The Effective Preacher Must Teach the Law Though these three points are crucial and important, the order is just as important. Ezra had it right. Any other order will not suffice. First, it is absolutely imperative that preachers (and for the sake of application, everyone) study the Law. This requires reading your Bible. Everyone has one. Old Testament and New Testament. Both inspired. Both authoritative. Both inerrant in all history, science, geography an

2006 Verse

Psalm 19:14 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. Over the course of this past year I remembered this verse that I had chosen to be my "verse for the year." It was a reminder to me not only to watch what comes out of my mouth, but also my heart's affections as well, that they may be fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ. I wanted to remind myself that meditations of the heart will inevitably produce action. So, it was my goal for the year to have as my constant meditation the things of the Lord so that my action in life would reflect Christlikeness. Furthermore, this verse reminded me that Yahweh is my Rock in hard times as well as my Redeemer. Yahweh has provided salvation and is my "goel," my Redeemer. It is only through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross that I can have eternal security.

Jesus, Head Over All Things

Ephesians 1:22-23 22 And He [God, the Father] put all things in subjection under His [God, the Son's] feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. This text is amazing. Notice what the text does NOT say: "He made Him head of the church which is over all things ." Now notice again what the text DOES say: God made Jesus Christ the Son, as Head ( kephale ) over all things, and God gave Him as Head over all these things, to the church. Kephale here has the idea of superiority, source or authority. Jesus Christ is the absolute authority over all things. This authority is given to Jesus Christ and Him alone. This authority over all things is NOT given to the church, of which Jesus Christ is a part of. No, rather, this authority is placed to Him with which it is due, the Sovereign and Ruling Lord Jesus Christ. He has authority to do that which He wills, with whomever He wills, whenever He wills all

Walking With God

Genesis 5:22 22 Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. Genesis 5:24 24 And Enoch walked with God ; and he was not, for God took him. Genesis 6:9 9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God . We see from these Old Testament texts that these two men, Enoch and Noah, were men that were characterized as ones who walked with God . Could it be said of you today that you are one who is characterized as walking with God. Do you live life day to day in sweet fellowship with God? Do you lift up your soul/spirit to the heavenly arena in prayer to God? Do you commune with God? May it be said of us that we, as New Testament believers through the power of the Holy Spirit and the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, are those who walk with God.