Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2007

Learning to Exposit

I'm off to the Expositor's Conference. I spend three days with MacArthur and Lawson. What could be better? :=)

New Young Generation is Skeptical of Christianity -- A Surprise?

Read what says introducing the n ew frontline article : As the nation’s culture changes in diverse ways, one of the most significant shifts is the declining reputation of Christianity, especially among young Americans. A new study by The Barna Group conducted among 16- to 29-year-olds shows that a new generation is more skeptical of and resistant to Christianity than were people of the same age just a decade ago. The article continues by noting: The study shows that 16- to 29-year-olds exhibit a greater degree of criticism toward Christianity than did previous generations when they were at the same stage of life. In fact, in just a decade, many of the Barna measures of the Christian image have shifted substantially downward, fueled in part by a growing sense of disengagement and disillusionment among young people. For instance, a decade ago the vast majority of Americans outside the Christian faith, including young people, felt favorably toward Christianity’s role in society

It's The Fire In The Bones...

Fire In My Bones That’s right. I have such a love for preaching the word of God that when I don’t, I feel like Jeremiah, when he says that if he were to not speak what Yahweh tells him to speak, “Jeremiah 20:9 Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it.” That’s exactly how I feel. I always want to preach. Tonight I preached at a rehabilitation center that I regularly go to. I preached from Mark 10:13-31 on being an inheritor of eternal life. I have been so encouraged over the last few weeks as I have been preparing for this message on the rich young Jewish ruler from this text. It is so rich! Furthermore, I am even more blown away by the way that Jesus evangelizes to this young man. I think a fascinating study would be to take a look at all the various ways (or methods) that Jesus shares the gospel with various people. It is so interesting how Jesus tailors the gospel (not the message, but the method) to

Evangelism, Witnessing, Soul-Winning – A Lost Cause?

Evangelism, Witnessing, Soul-Winning – A Lost Cause? I heard a message yesterday from a good friend of mine who is the president of a very well known organization. He shared his heart about the drastic decrease in numbers in missionaries who are being sent from the USA to foreign countries to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. He noted that we are in a serious recession in our overall giving towards missions here in the states. Furthermore, not only are we not sending missionaries to foreign countries as much as before, but now other countries are sending out more missionaries than we are. Foreign countries are even sending missionaries to US – here in the states! How sad is that. We are the wealthiest country in the world – overall. That is not something to pride about, yet it ought to humble us when we, as the church, look at the amount of money we give towards world missions. Do we, as members of a local church, even know who our missionaries are? Do we love them? Do we contact the

Respectable Sins -- Let's Confront Them

Jerry Bridges says: “In our human values of civil laws, we draw a huge distinction between an otherwise ‘law-abiding citizen’ who gets an occasional traffic ticket and a person who lives a ‘lawless’ life in contempt and utter disregard for all laws. But the Bible does not seem to make that distinction. Rather, it simply says sin – that is, all sin without distinction – is lawlessness” (p. 20). You can read a good review of Bridges' new book here .

The Issue of Authority

If there is one thing that I am in tune with these days -- especially being a Youth Pastor -- it is observing the lack of obedience (our oughright apathy!) to authorities. Thabiti Anyabwile gives a great article here on Question Authority . I recommend the read. It's very helpful. And boy, one that we all need to be reminded of.

Pray for the Piper's

John Piper's son, Abraham and his wife Molly, were planning to deliver their second child on Sunday, Sept 23 (yesterday) when they found out on Saturday, Sept 22 that there was no heartbeat. Ultrasound confirmed it. The baby was dead. Piper gives a brief blog about his thoughts and the events that transpired these past few days. Let's keep the family in prayer.

Church Growth -- Three Ingredients

It was not too long ago that I heard a pastor say that there are three main ingredients which are needed for a church to experience growth. I would like to post them here for our reflection: 1) Prayer I would like to elaborate on this for a moment. It is imperative, I believe, that a church be founded upon the spiritual discipline of prayer. Unless a church is communing with God in prayer, they will have no impact. For a church function without complete reliance upon the grace of God is pure speculation and pride, at best. May be be pastors, churches and members who are firmly committed to the necessary doctrine of prayer. May we spend much time communing with God in prayer as we labor and lift our shepherds, ministries, members, services and such up to the Lord in fervent and frequent prayer. 2) Holiness Little needs to be said here. Unless the church is pure, there is little hope that the church will have a great impact for our Savior. Is it any wonder why churches have little impa

The Need For Expository Preaching

These quotes are from an article by Bryan Chapell, “The Future of Expository Preaching.” I found them encouraging and challenging. May you hear the cry for the true proclamation of God's Holy Word as well... “ On the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus. The Old Testament figures appear in order to indicate that Jesus is the culmination of their message and all that they represent. As Jesus tells his disciples elsewhere, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms…Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:44-45). Thus, the expositor’s goal is to dianoigo and diermeneuo (“open” and “unfold”) the meaning of the Scriptures. Since their culminating and comprehensive purpose is to reveal the glory of Christ’s person and work, exposition cannot avoid him without abandoning Scripture’s aim " (p.75). " If Chri

Shepherding from Psalm 23

The Master Shepherd from Psalm 23 Psalm twenty-three is perhaps one of the most familiar psalms ever to be penned. David, a shepherd himself, wrote this psalm with many shepherding metaphors interwoven through this psalm. For my preaching lab in seminary yesterday, one man preached a message from this psalm giving us a picture of Jesus Christ as the Master Shepherd and how we must, as undershepherds, endeavor to imitate the shepherding as exemplified by God Himself. In this sermon, he listed fourteen marks of how we must imitate the Master Shepherd. For lack of time, I will list them and give a brief description under each. 1. We must make certain that we know that the Lord is our Shepherd. The Lord is my shepherd – Do we as pastors, teachers, elders and deacons even know the true Shepherd ourselves? Do we really know the gospel which we are declaring? Do we really love the Savior whom we are inviting others to savor? May we, as shepherds, make certain that we know and love the true an

I Love Thy Law -- Essay #3

I Love Thy Law, O God It is in this essay that I want to express my love for and commitment to God’s word. Perhaps there is no greater place to begin than in the one hundred and nineteenth psalm where the psalmist cries out in nearly every verse his love for, commitment to, reliance upon and the authority of God’s precious statutes. Psalm 119:16 I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word. This verse brings the whole psalm, all one hundred and seventy-six verses, to a single thought, namely, the utter delight of the Word of God by the man of God. The cry of my heart is the exact representation of the psalmists here Psalm 119. Because God’s word is holy, sufficient, inspired, infallible and comforting, we have as our command and demand to meditate on it. We shall find our hope, joy, delight and refuge in God in His word. For it is only in the Word of God that we have an anchor for the soul. It is in this brief essay that I want to express a few ways in which our love

Calvinism to the Glory of God

I found this excellent post today on how - at times - Calvinists can make the worst Calvinists. Read it here at Parchment and Pen.

A Good Legacy

I just read this quote regarding John Wesley: He died in 1791 after a long life of tireless labor and unselfish service. His fervent spirit and hearty brotherhood still survives in the body that cherishes his name.

Beware for Joel Osteen -- He does NOT preach the Biblical Gospel

You MUST watch this video of Joel Osteen preaching at Lakewood Church in Houston. He not only twists Scriptures and the Gospel , but he misses every single point of orthodoxy in his preaching here. It is a short 3 minute clip. I do not say this to bad-mouth Joel. However , I do say this because he is a heretic in sheep's clothing. He is a false teacher who seems to be preaching the gospel, but he is NOT preaching the biblical Gospel . Acts 20:29-31 29 "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. Titus 1:10-14 10 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers , especially those of the circumcision, 11 who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole f

More Money -- Never Enough

It's true. The more money you get, the more money you want. Count on it. Here's an example to verify this fact. From the Wall Street Journal : According to research published recently by the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies, the 20 highest-paid corporate executives earned on average $36 million in total compensation last year. The typical CEO of a Fortune 500 company didn't do quite as well, but at $10.8 million didn't do so badly -- that's more than 364 times the pay of an average employee. Forty years ago, top CEOs earned 20 to 30 times what average workers earned. The trend has ignited a flurry of attention in Washington. Last year the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered companies to reveal more detail about executive pay, ... So it proves true... 1 Timothy 6:9-11 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root

Christian Dating Non-Christians? -- Yes or No?

Opinion Journal , an editorial page from the Wall Street Journal has this article on " When Christians Date Outside the Fold ." It's kinda sad when the Wall Street Journal recognizes this sad tragedy and has to comment on it. Read the article here. Interesting.

You Who Work With Children -- God Bless You!

You gotta watch this three minute video of my buddy Dave and his wife Keara quizzing their kids after a VBS camp.... This is funny. WATCH IT HERE .

Happy New Year

It is 5768!

Excellence in Preaching

Calvin Theological Seminary has a great article out entitled: "Faculty Statement on the Nature of Excellence in Preaching." The thrust of the article is that excellent preaching is biblical , authentic , contextual , and life-changing . Amen! (I'm sure Calvin would agree here...).

God -- The True Source of Knowledge. part 1

Proverbs 30:4-6 4 Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son's name? Surely you know! 5 Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6 Do not add to His words Lest He reprove you, and you be proved a liar. These words struck me as I read them and want to work my way through the verses with you briefly: 1) Notice the rhetorical questions that Agur (the author of Proverbs 30) is asking: Who has ascended into heaven ? The obvious answer is NO ONE except God Almighty. 2) Again, Who has gathered the wind in his fists? No one, except God Almighty. We must realize that it is God who is sovereign over all the cosmic elements -- thus the Lord has access to wisdom. 3) Who has wrapped the waters in his garment ? Oftentimes we note that the sovereignty of God is often emphasized by means of his control

Case for Expository Preaching

Dr. Bryan Chapell is interviewed giving " The Truth About Expository Preaching ." It is a great interview and one that is a MUST READ . In this interview at, Chapell defined expository preaching, talks about the 3am rule, and really, sums up his book Christ Centered Preaching in just a few short paragraphs. This is a good reminder for those of us who are committed to sound and accurate exposional preaching. Here is a clip to wet your appetite: An expositor is solemnly bound to say what God says. In an expository message we relate precisely what a text of Scripture says. A more technical explanation—an old one that I hold to—is that an expository message gets its main points and its sub-points directly from the text. A textual message gets its main points from the text but its developmental components elsewhere. A topical message gets only its topic from the text and could be developed according to the nature of the topics rather than the text. An e

Two Essential Attitudes in a Successful Marriage

Two Essential Attitudes in a Successful Marriage In this article I am by no means saying that these are the only two essential attitudes that can make a marriage function. But what I am saying is that with the many commands and attitudes that must be enveloped in a Christian marriage, these two must be evidenced. The two key attitudes that I am referring to are self denial and self-giving. Allow me to deal with each one individually so we may be those who have these essential attitudes in marriage for the honor and glory of God. The first essential attitude which I wish to bring to light is that of self-denial. This is, perhaps, one of the least found attributes that we find in contemporary marriages – even “Christian” ones. Self-denial instantly brings a shriek of discomfort because, at its heart, it means that we lower self and our own self-interests below those of another, namely, our wife. While discussing what love really is and how it is described in the Scriptures with some frie

Try and guess who this is

Anyone know who this is? :=)

Another Picture of Christ and His Bride

I am flying to San Francisco shortly for the purpose of seeing a good friend of mine get married. It is amazing to me that he is about to embark upon another lifelong illustration before a watching world as to what it means for Christ to be the husband of the bride. The illustration of Christ as our husband and his church as the beloved bride always intrigues me. Specifically, when Paul writes: Ephesians 5:25 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; Then he goes on to say in the next few verses as to the purpose of this sacrificial love: Ephesians 5:26-27 26 that He might sanctify her , having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless. The instrument that Christ uses to sanctify his bride is (get this...): 1) The washing of water with the Word (I take to be the Word o

Tribute to Dr. D. James Kennedy

My exposure to Dr. Kennedy came when I was in high school attending Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Missouri. I was introduced to the Evangelism Exposition program which is a good – I believe – way to share the gospel to the non-believer on the streets. The goal of EE is to get a gospel presentation out in its entirety in just a few minutes, but yet with the illustrations, Scriptures, examples, and applications it can be as drawn out as one would like to make it. I took the EE course while in high school and came across a handy way of remembering the five points of the gospel presentation – heaven, man, God, Christ and faith – on my hand using all five fingers. To this day, when I share the gospel, the EE gospel outline is more often than not the presentation that I’ll use – more or less. When I share my faith, I am immediately drawn to this EE method of sharing the gospel. Now I recognize that it is not all about the method and it is all about the message. At the sam

The Importance of Writing

This semester my seminary schedule does not require me to do loads and loads of writing. Therefore, I'm making it my goal to spend quite a bit of time writing on my own. One of the goals I have on this "writing kick" is to spend 30 minutes every Friday to write an essay on a topic that I'm interested in. My goal in doing this is to learn to write better. The Lord has so graciously given us the opportunity to write. May we use the skill of writing to the glory of God as we write articles, essays, letters and books to His ultimate glory. Writing is a means by which we can bring the message of redemption to a world that is lost and in such a desparate state of death. May we be men who are writers -- all to God's glory. I find that there is no better way to become a better writer than simply to write . So, that's my challenge to all of us. Write! Proofread. Correct. Then write some more!

Essay - Missional Marriage

A Missional Marriage When I think of marriage, my heart is drawn to the biblical text of Ephesians 5:25 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her. On the other hand, when I think of marriage as our culture views marriage, I think of a chapter title from Terrence Real’s book, The New Rules of Marriage, entitled “Are you getting what you want from marriage?” or “How to give in order to get what you want.” Now, these are two stark contrasts in looking at the issue of marriage. I want to propose an idea that has been perusing through my brain as of late. That is that marriage ought to be a missional marriage. Let me clarify by defining my terms. I am of the conviction that the husband and wife’s greatest responsibility is to be an emblem, an example, a type, a representation of the love that the Lord Jesus had for His church. It’s that simple. Simple? Really? Jesus Christ had a mission. When he came to earth - as in our youth group, we h