Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Man, I haven't had a good laugh in a long time. This fixed that! I guess you have to know how crowded the NYC subways can be at times, but this blows the NY subways out! :=)

Monday, April 28, 2008

If there’s been one thing I’ve learned this semester in my effective sermon delivery course at seminary, it’s been to help people to not only apply the text of Scripture but we are to help them implement the text of Scripture. Let me explain.

It is one thing if from my pulpit I tell my people “Read your Bibles!” That’s application. They know what to do. But we – as preachers – must take this one step further. If we merely stop here that’s still insufficient. We must give them implementation helps. We must tell them how to do what they know they need to do. If we tell them to “Read your Bibles!” we must also tell them “How to read your Bible.”

In a sermon we could say, “Perhaps there is someone here who is struggling with their daily Bible reading. Perhaps the mornings are so busy and the alone time with God is crowded out with the normal engagements of getting ready for work, showering, eating, watching the news and, of course, sleeping late.” But what if we as preachers give them helpful (as practical as it gets) helps as to how they can change:

1) Get up 20 minutes earlier than you usually do and make your coffee and then read the Bible (tell them what to read; start with John, Psalms, etc).
2)Begin your prayer time praying through a psalm, praise God, confess sins to God, thank God, present your requests to God (A-C-T-S prayer).
3)End the quiet time with a prayer thanking God for the clarity of His word and commit the day to Him for His glory. Ask that He may use YOU for His glory in being a witness for Him wherever you find yourself throughout the day.

I hope this helps us bear in mind that we must not only apply the text for our hearers in the sermon but we must also implement it for them (or, show them how to implement it).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

J.C. Ryle notes:
All the simplicity in the world can do no good, unless you preach the
simple gospel of Jesus Christ so fully and clearly that everybody can understand
it. If 'Christ crucified' has not His rightful place in your sermons, and 'sin'
is not exposed as it should be, and your people are not plainly told what they
ought to believe, and be, and do - your preaching is of no use!


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I found this quote this morning in a colleague's paper; good reminder:

“Whereas the sinner lives in sin and loves it, the saint lapses into sin and loathes it. He cannot, being a sheep, enjoy the filth which the hog rolls in.”[1]

1 John 3:9 9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

[1] Douty, Union With Christ, 188.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

These are some notes that I took from my professor today in my "Effective Sermon Delivery" class at seminary. This was in response to a student's question as to whether preachers should use the 2nd person "you" in outlines and application or the 1st person "we" (to include himself) in the sermon. Here is what Dr. Jack Hughes said:

A preacher is not someone who is there among his congregation as someone who is just to share some concepts about God. He is there to preach w/ boldness, authority, the authority inherent in the word of God and to command people.

Paul says: “Prescribe (i.e. “command”) these things” – military connotations

Don’t fear using the 2nd person.

Yet, you don’t want to preach as someone totally apart from the congregation.

Cf. JC Ryle’s sermon – tons of “you … you… you… you”

When you’re preaching it is authoritative, bold, one-way preaching to them from the authoritative text.

I am commanded by God to teach w/ all authority, to teach the whole counsel of God and let no one disregard me”

It has nothing to do w/ you looking down upon people. That is not the case. If you are preaching God’s Word, you are speaking DOWN – from God – to them.

If you’re preaching God’s word, then tell them what they need to hear.

In Hebrews it says, “Today if you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts…” – well how do they hear? By a preacher.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I'm not sure if you saw Dr. Mohler's blog yesterday but it was phenomenal! He wrote on marriage and how it is to be for life and the key components for marriage.

Dr. Mohler says near the beginning of his article:
Marriage is about our happiness, our holiness, and our wholeness--but it is
supremely about the glory of God. When marriage is entered into rightly, when
marriage vows are kept with purity, when all the goods of marriage are enjoyed
in their proper place--God is glorified.
Our chief end is to glorify God--and
marriage is a means of His greater glory. As sinners, we are all too concerned
with our own pleasures, our own fulfillments, our own priorities, our own
conception of marriage as a domestic arrangement. The ultimate purpose of
marriage is the greater glory of God--and God is most greatly glorified when His
gifts are rightly celebrated and received, and His covenants are rightly honored
and pledged.
May we all read and be exhorted and recommitted to our spouses for the glory of God.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"To glorify God means to make His name famous. His honor and His reputation become more important than our own. It is equivalent to the following well-known purpose statements":

Deuteronomy 6:4 4 "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!

Matthew 22:39 39 "The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

Leviticus 19:2 2 "Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.

Galatians 5:6 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

Matthew 28:19 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

So, therefore, my brethren, go glorify God.

Source: Edward T. Welch, "Counseling Those Who Are Depressed," The Journal of Biblical Counseling 18, no. 2 (Winter 2000): 27.
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