Saturday, August 30, 2008

This morning I woke up and had a great time in the Word on our front porch with my coffee and a beautiful scene of God's handiwork:
Psalm 19:1-6 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And
their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. 2 Day to day pours forth
speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are
there words; Their voice is not heard. 4 Their line has gone out through all the
earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a
tent for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; It
rejoices as a strong man to run his course. 6 Its rising is from one end of the
heavens, And its circuit to the other end of them; And there is nothing hidden
from its heat.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm convinced that Apologetics--though it is many-faceted--is pretty simple and straightforward. Here are six principles I'm giving in an upcoming Bible study that must be included when you want to share your faith with someone:

1. You must know Christ Yourself (2 Cor 13:5)

Hear Richard Baxter (16th century puritan) speak to this issue [to pastors, but indirectly, this applies to all Christians]: “See that the work of saving grace be thoroughly wrought in your own souls. Take heed to yourselves, lest you be void of that saving grace of God which you offer to others, and be strangers to the effectual working of that Gospel which you preach; and lest, while you proclaim to the world the necessity of a Savior, your own hearts should neglect him, and you should miss of an interest in him and his saving benefits” (Reformed Pastor, 53).

2. You must believe in the Sovereignty of God (Isa 46:8-10)

You cannot save anyone.
Your words cannot save anyone.
Your skillful presentation cannot save anyone.
Only God can save someone.

It is as Greg Bahnsen states: "A successful apologetic, being given according to Christ’s Word and Spirit, is a function of the grace of God, not human cleverness and wisdom" (Bahnsen, Always Ready, 85).

3. You must live a life Distinctly Different than the World (James 4:4)

4. You must actively seek to Initiate the Conversation (Luke 10:1-5; 2 Tim 4:2; Matt 28:18-20).

Ezekiel had to do this. He was called to proclaim God's message to a hard-hearted and stubborn people:

Ezekiel 2:4-5 4 "And I am sending you to them who are stubborn and
obstinate children; and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God.' 5
"As for them, whether they listen or not-- for they are a rebellious house--
they will know that a prophet has been among them.
5. You must believe that--in their heart--they Already Believe and Know that God Exists (Rom 1:20; 2:14-15).

Bahnsen notes:

It is God’s word which must be our ultimate and indisputable presupposition
in thought and argumentation, rather than independently supported “brute facts”
(ibid., 73).
And again:

The unbeliever should not be left with false pretensions: such as, that his
problem is merely a lack of information, or that he simply needs to correct some
of his syllogisms … The Christian apologist simply recognizes that the ultimate
truth—that which is more pervasive, fundamental, and necessary—is such that it
cannot be argued independently of the preconditions inherent in it. One must
presuppose the truth of God’s revelation in order to reason at all. (ibid.,
6. You must Know and Proclaim the Biblical Gospel (Gal 1:6-9)

a. God
He is Holy Judge
He is Loving Savior
b. Man
We are totally dead in sin
We are unable to save ourselves
c. Jesus
The perfect God-Man
Died for His own
Salvation comes to a sinner by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
d. Commitment
Being a Christian involves Sacrifice
Being a Christian involves Service
Being a Christian mandates Sanctification
Being a Christian requires Self-denial
Being a Christian requires Submission to God’s Word
e. Heaven/Hell
Eternal life in heaven is the narrow path for those who are saved
Eternal torment in hell is the broad path/way of life for most people in the world.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Today was a great day--plain and simple. I arrived at school at 6:45 this morning and was able to read through 1 Peter 1-2 which was a tremendous way to begin the school semester of classes. Then I had my two classes for the semester--Advanced Hebrew Grammar and Seminar in History of Israel: Methodological Issues. They will be fabulous classes with awesome professors.

Then at noon, I raced over to Pasadena to have lunch with an 'ol college buddy of mine. We actually went to Israel together and were roommates there! We went to this awesome Bar and Grill and got huge burgers (which now clues you in to my title of this blog). Over these juicy burgers, we talked authentic church ministry. I haven't had a conversation like this in a long time--heart to heart, man to man, brother to brother, honest heart before a honest heart--attempting to delve deep into the wonders of "practical ecclesiology." It was a fabulous time of manly encouragement and manly meat!

Then, I was going to go to Fuller seminary to get some library books that Master's doesn't have. Unfortunately, this just "happened" (in the already-planned-before-the-foundation-of-the-world Sovereign decree of God) to be the week that they're closed for remodeling! So, I then went to my third home (first is my house; second is the Master's library)--Starbucks! I was there for four hours working on my thesis--with a little success.

Then, I had a very important dinner appointment today with John Goldingay--an Old Testament and Hebrew professor at Fuller seminary in Pasadena. We met at a Pub and had a delightful time over a burger and talked about Psalm 93, Canaanite literature, Ugaritic, Mowinckel's (totally "speculative and purely conjectural") theory of the "Enthronement Festival of Yahweh" in the Royal Psalms, and shared testimonies. Not only all that, we talked about Israel quite a bit because--having lived in England most of his life and "closer" to Israel--he had been there numerous times! Again, I got a nice juicy (big!) burger with some excellent fries!

After a day of classes, Bible study, fellowship, burgers, fries, ecclesiological talks, and learning from a scholar much smarter than this puny 'ol self about Canaanite literature and its relationship to Psalm 93, I have come to the conclusion that it was a "marvelous manifestation of mutual encouragement and manly meat!"

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Bias of Biblical Accuracy

I am reading for one of my courses this Fall about the history of Israel. I must confess, I have a bias for biblical accuracy. It is so clear to me that 1 Kings 6:1 says:

Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

So, if we believe that Solomon came to be king in 970 B.C. (which isn’t disputed among conservative scholars). Therefore, the 4th year of Solomon’s reign would be 966 B.C. If you had 480 to 966 B.C. you come to a date of 1446 B.C. It is a very clear, simple, straight-forward verse which wasn’t intended to be speculative and certainly the author of Kings wasn’t “wrong” in his clear statement here. It is as Rasmussen says ("Conquest, Infiltration, Revolt, or Resettlement," in Giving the Sense, ed. by David M. Howard, Jr., and Michael A. Grisanti [Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2003], 152):

"Within the biblical text, the basis of the Early-Date Exodus/Conquest Model is 1 Kings 6:1, which implies a date of about 1446 B.C. for the Exodus and a date of 1406 B.C. for the beginning of the Conquest of Canaan under Joshua. This means that the period of the Judges stretched from roughly 1375 B.C. to about 1050 B.C.—the beginning of Saul’s rule.”

It really is straight-forward. But, I unashamedly confess my bias of biblical accuracy in this regard of Israel’s history.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A way to live and end up in hell

“We must warn sinners to avoid those ways that lead to hell. If you would not come to those extreme torments, you must not walk in those paths that lead to them (cf. Ps 1). There is but one path that leads to haven (Matt 7:13–14), but there are many that lead down to the bottomless pit. Beware, therefore, of those paths. Multitudes are going on in paths that lead directly to the chambers of death. I shall particularly mention some of them.

First, a way of drunkenness most certainly leads to hell. There are many that are in this way, and they are in the way to those great eternal torments that we have heard of. The Apostle tell us, 1 Cor 6:9–10, that drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God (cf. Gal 5:19, 21). A man that continues in this way, and ben’t [sic] changed from this court till he dies, he assuredly goes to hell … therefore beware of this as a way that leads to eternal torments.

Second, another way that leads directly to hell torments is a way of lasciviousness. A way of lascivious acting in various kinds and degrees, and of lascivious speaking, yea, and a way of indulging lascivious thinking. That is, those that live in an unclean way, whether in company or alone, they are going to those torments that we have heard of … 1 Cor 3:17, “IF any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy.”

Another way that leads to hell is a way of keeping bad company. That is, associating with the lewd, immoral, profane persons and being with them that are disorderly and vain in their conversation. I prove that this is a way to hell by the 13th of Proverbs at the 20th verse: “A companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Therefore, if you have addicted yourself to such company, you had best to forsake them, if you would not go to those terrible torments that have been proved shall come upon all wicked men. That is all the motive that I shall propose to you to forsake them: that you shall be damned if you don’t.

Finally, a way of Sabbath-breaking and of profaning God’s worship is a sure way to hell. Is not this a common thing amongst us? Are there not many amongst us—especially young people—that have no regard to holy time, but in their talk and actions trample God’s Sabbath under foot, and make no difference between holy time and other time? In Ex 31:14 we are told that he that defiled the Sabbath shall surely be put to death. That soul shall be cut off from the congregation. They were to be stoned with stones, which sort of death seems to be appointed more especially to represent God’s wrath poured upon the head of the sinner. And how many are there that not only profane the Sabbath, but profane God’s public worship on the Sabbath by an irreverent, indecent, rude behavior. All such as make this a practice are going to hell.

Adapted from my reading this morning: Jonathan Edwards, The Torments of Hell: Jonathan Edwards on Eternal Damnation. Ed. by William C. Nichols (Ames, IA: International Outreach, 2006), 173–75.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mohler has a blog today on the declining American belief in the existence of hell and the Bible's clear description and portrayal of it.

The fact that I'm teaching through Revelation and we're studying the bowl judgments tomorrow night causes me to appreciate all the more these stalwarts in the faith who unswervingly uphold the doctrine of eternal damnation of the unsaved - like Mohler.

Read his post here.
From one of my heroes:
Today I'm requesting prayer for the couple pictured below.
This past week they were arrested and put into prison for being followers of Jesus. This was the same couple whose 8-year old daughter was brutally murdered several years ago because she came from a family that loves Jesus. (Her headless body was discovered in a well.)
Acts 4:1 says, "While they were speaking to the people...." That's all the apostles had to do to get into trouble. That's all they had to do to get arrested and imprisoned by the civil authorities. Just share the love of Jesus with others. But God sent an angel and released them! And why did God do this? So that they could go back again and "tell the people the message of the new life" (Acts 5:20)!
Here's what I'm saying, friends. Please listen carefully. God is looking for disciples who will live for Him sacrificially. People who love their enemies. People who do good to those who persecute them. People who love those who hate them. And here's the most amazing thing about it all: As much as God loves this wonderful couple, He loves their persecutors -- He loves their daughter's murderer! -- to the very same degree. I'll put it plainly: If you do not love the enemies of Christianity, you are not my brother. That's because you are not a Jesus-follower. If you are not willing to be martyred to share Jesus' love with the persecutors of Jesus, you are not a Christian. Don't tell me about your church membership. Don't tell me about your tithing. Don't tell me about your perfect Sunday School attendance. Do you love Muslims? (This is not a rhetorical question. Please answer yes or no.) Do you love Iraqis? Do you love Iranians? Do you love Hispanics? Do you show it? Do you prove it by your deeds? I write in my forthcoming book The Downward Path of Jesus:
Radical disciples of Jesus embrace those on the other side of the dividing walls of hostility in our world, even including our "enemies." Christianity transcends all boundaries – cultural, racial, political, geographical, natural, even national.
Do you really believe that? If so, while you are praying for this precious couple in Jesus as well as for their persecutors, it might also be a good time for you to remove those idolatrous American flags from your sanctuaries and get real about the Body of Christ. Friends, Jesus is not an American. He's not a Democrat or a Republican. He's a foot washer. Are you? Am I?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

From Don Carson:
“Granted that ‘preaching’ or ‘proclaiming’ in the Scriptures is not
restricted to something done behind a wooden pulpit between 11:00 and 12:00 on
Sunday mornings, it is nevertheless hard to avoid the strength of this emphasis
on proclamation in the New Testament. The reason for the emphasis lies in the
message itself. God has taken action, and the good news is announced, it is
proclaimed. God is not negotiating; he is both announcing and
Done properly, preaching is simply the re-presentation of God’s
gospel, God’s good news, by which men and women come to know him. Thus preaching
mediates God himself. Many preachers, afraid of being thought arrogant, avoid
talking about preaching. They prefer to think of what they do as ’sharing.’ In
some limited contexts, doubtless there is nothing wrong with ’sharing.’ But
something important is lost if we never speak or think of preaching and
proclamation. That is our job, our calling.
It is not arrogant to re-present
as forcefully as we can God’s gospel; it is simply faithful stewardship.
Further, if we focus on the powerful proclamation of the gospel, we shall be
less likely to be seduced by siren calls to soften the sheer non-negotiability
inherent in preaching.”
HT: Unashamed Workman

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I found this quote today and I like it:

"From Eden to the final explosion of His eschatological wrath, a strange
paradox exists: God is busily working to save sinners from His own wrath."

Monday, August 11, 2008

The “Small Sins” Displease God, Too

Today I went to Carls Jr. (it is the West Coast’s version of Hardees) for lunch and after I ordered my food I waited patiently until they called my number so I could return to church for a meeting. As I was waiting for my number to be called, a homeless person walked in. It was very evident he was homeless. He was pushing a wheelchair with his goods contained in a basket underneath the chair. I saw him approach the self-serve soda machine and he pulled out a large McDonald’s soda cup (it had obviously been used before) and refilled his soda cup with their soda. Then he put that in a bag and put it under the wheelchair seat in his basket. Then, he proceeded to pull out a large plastic bag and fill it up with ice from the soda machine. Finally, he pulled out a water bottle and filled that up with water. After he finished filling his containers, he then pushed his wheelchair out the front door and went on his way.

I stood there stunned for a moment. Then I went up to the cashier and told her that that person just came in and filled up three different containers with their goods without paying even one penny!

She responded to say, “Oh, I know.” After standing stunned for a brief moment at her blowing off the issue, I repeated myself, “He just came in here and took your goods without paying for them and walked out.” Again she repeated herself, “I know, it’s OK.”

I thought to myself – disgusted inside – that homeless person walked in and, without even hesitating for a second, stole from Carls Jr. On top of that, the worker at Carls Jr. could have cared less that someone came in and stole from their store. Immediately I thought of David when he wrote:

Psalm 101:3–4 3 I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me. 4 Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil.

How God must hate our attitudes when we think of “small sins” as insignificant. O how God must despise it when we commit acts of disobedience and blow it off as if it “simply just happens.” I was angry inside because that man came in and stole from Carls Jr. But then I began to think of my own heart and life and how I often offend God – even without even knowing it at times – and think so lightly of my sin against a holy God.

Was it only a soda that the homeless man stole today? Yes. But, a “small sin” is still a “sin” against an infinitely holy God who absolutely hates sin (and, consequently, sinners). It is my prayer that Psalm 101:3–4 would be true of us – that we would hate sin, hate lawlessness, and earnestly desire to not even let the “small sins” creep into our lives.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Forgive me if I seem to have this topic of eternity on my mind, but I have noticed that since I have been preaching through Revelation and, consequently, doing much reading on heaven and hell, my life has changed -- for the better.

Currently, I'm reading through Jonathan Edwards on the Torments of Hell by William C. Nichols. It's (can I say) a good book. It is scary, humbling, terrifying, and provoking my evangelism desires all the more. At any rate, Nichols gives a great page on modern-day preaching and how preachers are so apt to refrain from saying hell but are quick to speak of it as "separation from God" or "that other place." Hear Nichols speak to this issue:

[Pastors] make the misery of hell to consist principally in the punishment of loss. They shall be cast out of God's sight and shall not have God's favor as others shall. One of the most common phrases which can be heard when the subject of hell is addressed in today's church is the description of hell as "separation from God." This is somehow supposed to communicate the horrors of hell in a more gentle, politically correct way, so that people get the message that hell is really bad, but are not offended at the minister or his description of hell. Perhaps the object of such preaching is to retain the minister in the good graces of the parishioners, so that they will continue to give their money to the church, and not leave and go elsewhere.

Such "doctrine" might be called "hell-lite." It is part of the "don't offend anyone" mentality of our culture, and, as a result, people begin to think in their own minds that hell is really not all that bad.

Many modern evangelical leaders have jumped on this bandwagon with the result that it is difficult to hear today's preachers speak of hell as anything other than "separation from God." ... If such preaching is meant to strike terror into the hearts of the ungodly or perhaps stir up within them a desire for God, it won't.

The vile and wicked men of this world and even the religious church attendee want nothing more in this life than to be separated from God. They would love it if God would leave them alone and separate Himself from them forever. The unconverted have no burning "thirst for God that cannot be quenched." They hate God and wish He did not exist at all. To be separated from Him for all eternity would be their greatest joy and happiness, especially if no physical punishment were doled out to them for their endless acts of sin, and rebellion, and willful rejection of His laws and authority during their life on earth. Separation from God is exactly what the wicked of this world long for.

One may also question the theological accuracy of such a statement as "separation from God": for how can anyone ever be separated from an omnipresent God? Edwards believed that both saint and sinner would spent eternity "in the immediate presence and sight of God." This is confirmed in Revelation 14:10-11, which tells us: "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever (p.134-35).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm studying now for Sunday's sermon on Acts 6. I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey of study through the book of Acts thus far.
Here is where my preliminary study consists...
Continuing from yesterday's post, I conclude with part 2 of my Bible study on How to handle your money:

a. Principle: Proverbs 27:12 12 A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, The naive proceed and pay the penalty.
b. Guys: 1 Timothy 5:8 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
c. Women: Titus 2:4-5 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. (cf. 1 Tim 5:10.)

a. Yes we know that: Proverbs 16:9 9 The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.
i. But at the same time, we must be wise and plan accordingly.
b. Proverbs 21:5-6 The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. 6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
c. Proverbs 13:16 16 Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool displays folly.

a. Note first about retirement: The only reference in the Bible to retirement is found in Numbers 8:25, which concerns the retirement of the temple priests or Levites. That is not much biblical justification for the multibillion dollar retirement system America has built (
b. Proverbs 13:16 16 Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool displays folly.
c. Prov 6:6-8: So, according to Proverbs 6:6-8, workers need to lay aside some surplus in higher-income-earning years so that the latter years can be spent in peace.

a. Proverbs 16:3 3 Commit your works to the LORD, And your plans will be established.
b. Proverbs 24:3-4 By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; 4 And by knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.
c. Proverbs 21:5 5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.
d. Proverbs 27:12 12 A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, The naive proceed and pay the penalty.
i. Cf. Luke 14:28-30 – calculate before you start building.

Some Biblical Convictions
1- Learn to be content: 1 Timothy 6:6 6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment.
2- Give God a chance first: Psalm 37:7 7 Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
3- Avoid hasty speculation: Proverbs 28:22 22 A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth, And does not know that want will come upon him.
4- Evaluate every purchase: 1 Corinthians 10:31 31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
5- Don’t be deceitful: Proverbs 19:1 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool.
Proverbs 20:7 7 A righteous man who walks in his integrity-- How blessed are his sons after him.
Proverbs 20:17 17 Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
6- Seek good Christian counsel: Proverbs 13:20 20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm. (cf. Ecc 9:14-16.)
Luke 16:10-11 10 "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. 11 "Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?

This outline for my Bible study was adapted from Jim Rickard's Stewardship Services ministry. Check it out here.
Also see Crown Ministries for a host of articles that may serve you in great ways!

Monday, August 4, 2008

More than a few people have asked me to publish a recent Bible study I gave on "Biblical Budgeting: How to handle your money." I trust this will be profitable for many who check this blog. Since I cannot assume that people know how to handle their money (even if you're a college student with not a lot of money!), I thought it wise to give some biblical principles to guide people in need of this important teaching:

The importance of biblical stewardship
Materialism is not having nice things.
It is not driving a nice car, etc.
Materialism IS your attitude towards it all
It is not a possession issue, but an attitude issue.
The desire to want more.

Note these Credit Card Statistics (Source: Reader’s Digest, August, 2007)
Over 200 million credit cards used every day (691 million dollars total)
In 2001, over $670 billion charged on credit cards
In 2007, 1.8 trillion charged on credit cards
Presently, there is over $800 billion owed on credit cards.
There is an average 17% interest rate
There is an average of 5 credit cards per household
60% of people carry unpaid balances from month to month

“We will never handle anything less significant than money, nor more outwardly indicative of our inward spiritual condition” (Jim Rickard).

Matthew 6:21 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart
will be also.

Note: In 85% of divorces, the reason has something to do with money.
Whenever you value something too much, whatever happens to it happens to you. For example, if your car breaks down; then you break down.

Here are 2 worldly (sinful) attitudes regarding money:
1. Keep God out of it – it is mine anyway!
2. My ego is supreme and should rule!


a. 1 Corinthians 16:2 2 On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.
b. 2 Corinthians 9:7 Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.
i. God set the example for us!: 2 Corinthians 8:9 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
c. Psalm 37:21 21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
d. Proverbs 3:9 9 Honor the LORD from your wealth, And from the first of all your produce;

a. Proverbs 13:11 (ESV) 11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
b. 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. 7 Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
c. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. 2 On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.

a. Proverbs 21:20 20 In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.
b. Don’t get into debt:
i. Conclusion to the article: “Ten Ways to Save Money” on the website: Debt-free living is still God's plan for His people today. The blessings of becoming debt free go far beyond the financial area. They extend to the spiritual and marital realms as well. No one who is financially bound can be spiritually free. The effects of financial bondage on a marriage relationship are measurable in the statistics of failed marriages. Therefore, God's people need to make saving money and debt freedom top priorities in their families.

a. 1 Timothy 5:8 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.
b. Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, 7 Which, having no chief, Officer or ruler, 8 Prepares her food in the summer, And gathers her provision in the harvest.
c. Proverbs 21:20 20 There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man swallows it up à this is the principle of learning to save for the unexpected (cf. Prov 6:6-8).
i. Cf. Prov 27:23

a. Proverbs 22:3 3 The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, But the naive go on, and are punished for it.
b. Don’t take out debt for pleasure items à stereo, video games, clothes, etc.
i. 1 John 2:15-17 15 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.a. Proverbs 22:3 3 The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, But the naive go on, and are punished for it.
b. Don’t take out debt for pleasure items à stereo, video games, clothes, etc.
i. 1 John 2:15-17 15 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
i. If you are in debt: read the article: “Getting Out of Debt” on the website.

Part 2 will follow tomorrow.


This outline for my Bible study was adapted from Jim Rickard's Stewardship Services ministry. Check it out here.

Also see Crown Ministries for a host of articles that may serve you in great ways!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Here is my sermon outline for today. I trust it'll be an encouraging (and convicting!) time for us all...

Job 42:1-6 Then Job replied to the LORD: 2 "I know that you can do all
things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. 3 You asked, 'Who is this that
obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not
understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 "You said, 'Listen now,
and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.' 5 My ears
had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise
myself and repent in dust and ashes."

Here are three encouraging truths to realize so that your joy in the Lord and your fervency to serve will increase all the more.

I. God’s Power Cannot be Rivaled (17-21a)

II. God’s Salvation Cannot be Hidden (21b-32)

What was their message?
1. Obeying God is priority (29)

2. Jesus is alive! (30a)

3. He died on a cross (30b)

4. He is at the right hand of God the Father (31a)

5. He gives repentance and forgiveness (31b)

6. The Holy Spirit lives within believers (32)

III. God’s Will Cannot be Overcome (33-42)

Concluding Application:
Ø How can you specifically give these “Words of Life” to someone this week?
Ø Think of one area where you can change to be more obedient to God just as the Apostles were.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Man naturally has no other principle to direct and govern him in his actions, but only self-love … this being the only principle he has to govern him, all that aman is prompted to pursue is his own private and separate interest. Then he will have no sincere regard at all to the glory of God or the good of others.

All sinfulness can be traced to selfishness as its source. Men never act from any worse than selfish motives.

Thomas Boston wrote: “Man was created, directly looking to God, and turned into himself; and, like a traitor usurping the throne, he gathers in the rents of the crown to himself … they seek not God, but themselves … the unregenerate, though most insensible of it, are under the power thereof, and whithersoever they turn themselves, they cannot move beyond the circle of self.

The devil loves himself above all other beings in the universe, and seeks for men to imitate him and follow him by exalting themselves in the place of God, and living to please themselves (The Torments of Hell: Jonathan Edwards on Eternal Damnation, Ed. by William C. Nichols [Ames, IA: International Outreach, Inc.] 2-3).
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