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Showing posts from June, 2010

full of God's food, ready for God's battle.

Just got home from the 2010 RESOLVED conference. I feel overwhelmed and overly-full from God's Word being faithfully and boldly proclaimed over the course of 3+ days of Bible teaching. It's conferences like this that I wonder to myself: I have so much to take in and apply to my life I need to take a week off from the daily grind and process everything . But that's not possible. So what I've decided to do is take ONE principle from each sermon and endeavor to apply it to my life. Conferences are great, but they're not the norm. Conference speakers can function (non-intentionally) as 'stars' but they are not your weekly pastor/shepherd. Worshipping with 3,500 other 25-30-somethings is awesome and heaven-like but it's not the norm. We must not be so used to the high level of conference music and teaching that we hold everything to the standard of RESOLVED. Don't compare your music group at home to ENFIELD. Don't compare your shepherd and faithf

God's control and sovereign working in our salvation.

I wholeheartedly concur with John Piper: We do not cause the new birth. God causes the new birth. Any spiritually good thing that we do is a result of the new birth, not a cause of the new birth. This means that the new birth is taken out of our hands. It is not in our control. And so it confronts us with our helplessness and our absolute dependence on Someone outside ourselves. ( Finally Alive , pg. 27) The painful things that come into our lives are not described by God as accidental or as out of his control. This would be no comfort. That God cannot stop a germ or a car or a bullet or a demon is not good news; it is not the news of the Bible. God can. And ten thousand times he does. But when he doesn’t, he has his reasons. And in Christ Jesus they are all loving. We are taught this sovereignty so that we will drink it in till it saturates our bones. ( A Sweet and Bitter Providence , pgs. 136-37) HT: desiringGod

a fitting reminder of God's power.

After losing his family, his wealth, his possessions, and his health Job recognizes that God is all-powerful and allowing these (seemingly bad) things to happen in his life. Hear what Job says: Job 12:9-10 That the hand of the LORD has done this, 10 In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind? But then note how Job continues in his discourse. The sovereign character of God exudes forth from the following excerpt: Job 12:13-25 13 "With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding. 14 "Behold, He tears down, and it cannot be rebuilt; He imprisons a man, and there can be no release. 15 "Behold, He restrains the waters, and they dry up; And He sends them out, and they inundate the earth. 16 "With Him are strength and sound wisdom, The misled and the misleader belong to Him. 17 "He makes counselors walk barefoot And makes fools of judges. 18 "He loosens the bond of kings And binds their loins with

the benefit of helpful critiques.

This has been a very busy week for me. The high point was today when I presented twice in my seminar course at Baptist Bible Seminary. The first presentation was on the role of dialogue in preaching and the second presentation covered Hebrews 1:5 and the use of the OT. The interaction with the guys is so great in this program. I appreciate the feedback. I appreciate their knowledge. I love their perspectives and viewpoints. They challenge me and make me think about my views. After my presentation this morning I met 1-on-1 with my professor for feedback and constructive critiquing. Not only is it helpful to get a critique after a 2-hour presentation for a PhD course but we need this kind of feedback and (helpful) criticism in our Christian lives. Really. Isn't this what Paul says? I Thessalonians 5:14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. The best way to help another brother or sister in his spiritual walk

PH11 - PhD In-Class Presentation — NT use of the OT

New Testament Use of the Old For my in-class presentation for PH11 (Interdisciplinary seminar), follow with me as I walk through the following five examples of how the NT uses the OT. Let's see if/how the author quotes from the OT and if he respects the OT original context. 1. Matthew 8:17 --> Isaiah 53:4 Matthew 8:17: 17 ὅπως πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος, Αὐτὸς τὰς ἀσθενείας ἡμῶν ἔλαβεν καὶ τὰς νόσους ἐβάστασεν. Isaiah 53:4 (MT): אָכֵ֤ן חֳלָיֵ֙נוּ֙ ה֣וּא נָשָׂ֔א וּמַכְאֹבֵ֖ינוּ סְבָלָ֑ם Isaiah 53:4 (LXX): οὗτος τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν φέρει καὶ περὶ ἡμῶν ὀδυνᾶται 2. Acts 15:16-17 --> Amos 9:11-12 Acts 15:16-17 (NT): 15 καὶ τούτῳ συμφωνοῦσιν οἱ λόγοι τῶν προφητῶν καθὼς γέγραπται, 16 Μετὰ ταῦτα ἀναστρέψω καὶ ἀνοικοδομήσω τὴν σκηνὴν Δαυὶδ τὴν πεπτωκυῖαν καὶ τὰ κατεσκαμμένα αὐτῆς ἀνοικοδομήσω καὶ ἀνορθώσω αὐτήν, 17 ὅπως ἂν ἐκζητήσωσιν οἱ κατάλοιποι τῶν ἀνθρώπων τὸν κύριον

A friend is FINALLY HOME.

This week we've been celebrating the spiritual homegoing of an elder in our church to be with the LORD forever. He and his wife were one of the young couples in our church with whom Elizabeth and I spent much time together. Today is Tyson's funeral service and though the last few days have demanded that I spend many hours on USAirways it is all worth it. The greatest joy about this situation is that Tyson is now in heaven because He has believed in the only way of salvation, namely, Jesus Christ and His sacrificial and substitutionary death on the cross for his sins. Moreover, it serves as a fitting reminder that my life is short. Tyson was 28 years old. I'm 27. What a sobering—yet needed!—reminder that God is totally sovereign over life and death, over heaven and hell, over the elect and over the non-elect, and over heaven and earth. For this, I praise God reverently and joyfully. Life is short. Heaven is long. Life is short. Hell is long. Reader, have you confessed your

11 year olds can have condoms -- for free in this school.

From FOXNATION: School to Provide Free Condoms to 11-Year-Olds A New England school district has approved a measure that will provide free condoms to elementary school students and direct teachers not to comply with parental wishes to the contrary. The policy, unanimously approved by the Provincetown School Committee does not include an age limit — meaning children of any age ask for — and receive — free condoms. The committee also directed school leaders not to honor requests from any parent who might object to their child receiving condoms. In other words mommy and daddy — you don’t have a right to prevent your 7-year-old from getting a contraceptive device. The policy does stipulate that kids must consult with a nurse or trained counselor before getting their sexual protection – and that upset some of the committee members, according to the Provincetown Banner. “I can see some kids opting out because of the conversation. I’m not against [the policy].

The Christian's best safeguard is knowledge.

The believer in Jesus Christ today is confronted with a multiplicity of heretical cults and thus we urgently need this kind of knowledge. "Christians should know the truth and the whole truth; they should be able to detect error, and recognize the times in which they live; they should know the dangerous world that surrounds them and that ever seeks to poison their minds, debase their affections, neutralize their testimony, and paralyze their faith." For this reason, then, Christian: Jude 1:3, 20-21 — ". . . contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints . . . you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life."

God's Sovereign Spirit Must Quicken a Soul for Regeneration to Take Place...

“The gospel is preached in the ears of all men; it only comes with power to some. The power that is in the gospel does not lie in the eloquence of the preacher otherwise men would be converters of souls. Nor does it lie in the preacher’s learning; otherwise it could consists of the wisdom of men. We might preach till our tongues rotted, till we should exhaust our lungs and die, but never a soul would be converted unless there were mysterious power going with it – the Holy Ghost changing the will of man. O Sirs! We might as well preach to stone walls as preach to humanity unless the Holy Ghost be with the word, to give it power to convert the soul.” HT: Colin Adams

see the face and glory of God!

"In Jewish tradition, no one was allowed to see God’s face nor speak the holy name. Here, however, the very ‘face’ and ‘name’ of God are manifested to the faithful prophets who have endured until the end. God’s glory—revealed only partially and proleptically before—has finally come to dwell fully among humans as they reign with God in the new temple. This reign of the saints is described as an eternal act of worship: they have been called to be a “kingdom of priests” (1:6; 5:10; 20:6), whose final and best witness is to join the heavenly creatures in praising God. In Revelation, prayer is both a prophetic act and the most powerful political posture" (Luke Timothy Johnson, The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation [Minneapolis: Fortress, 1999], 588).

I love my wife—dearly.

Validity of the Gospel of Mark

Update (6/10/10): Markan Priority is the view that many (=most) scholars hold that the gospel of Mark was composed first and that Matthew and Luke used Mark as their source material. The material that is NOT in Mark that is found in both Matthew and Luke can be found from a " hypothetical " source called "Q" (from German: Quelle [meaning "source"]). Essentially, this comes from a presupposition and an underlying assumption that the gospel writers could not have written their gospels independently from each other. The assumption is that because the synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are so similar in many respects that there had to be some inner-dependence between them. But, again, this is an assumption and, in my estimation, a assumption that is unpersuasive. I hold that all three synoptics (Matt, Mark, and Luke) were written independently of each other and that the Holy Spirit sovereignly guided each of their hands as they wrote. The overwhelming

Trials + Tribulation + Troubles = Sanctification by His Sovereign Hand

Samuel Rutherford writes: "I find crosses Christ's carved work that he marketh out for us, and that with crosses he figureth and portrayeth us to his own image, cutting away pieces of our ill and corruption. Lord cut, Lord carve, Lord wound, Lord do anything that may perfect thy Father's image in us, and make us meet for glory."

Prayer after a good day's work.

Praise God for two good days of PhD classes already. Merciful God, in whom is no darkness at all, we come before You at the end of this day. We thank You that You have given us strength for our daily work, and have guided us safely through this day. Bless what was good in our labour and conduct. Since You ordained that man should labour during the day and rest at night, we pray You to give us peaceful and undisturbed rest so that we may be able to take up our daily task again. Command Your angels to guard us and cause Your face to shine upon us. We cast all our anxieties on You, for You take care of us. Control our sleep and rule our hearts, in order that we may not be defiled in any way but may glorify You even in our nightly rest. Defend and protect us against all assaults of the devil and take us into Your divine protection. We confess that we did not spend this day without grievously sinning against You. In Your mercy please cover our sins as You cover the earth

the call to be a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Just to the left of my desk in my study I have a list of seven questions that keep me accountable. At the top of the list it reads: Questions to ask myself daily as I am in vocational ministry . Here are the seven questions: 1. Do I have a love for God's Word? 2. Am I willing to make the study of it, and the application of it, my life's pursuit? 3. Will I cultivate intimacy with God through prayer? 4. Am I willing to part with all sins for His sake? 5. Will I obey His voice, no matter what He asks? 6. Do I know the Lord Jesus well? 7. How much of my Christian life is really centered on Him? I looked that over again last night and this morning and prayed for God's abundant help (cf. Eph 3:20-21). Soli Deo Gloria .

can life bring too much for you to bear?

Rest assured. God is able to help and offers it to those who call upon Him. The Apostle Paul writes: Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us... The wonderful truth here is that God can "do far more abundantly beyond" (ὑπὲρ πάντα ποιῆσαι ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ) all we ask or even imagine . There is not a problem in life that takes God by surprise; There is not a hardship in life that is too hard for God to handle; There is not a trial in life that is too troubling for God to transform into a growing opportunity; There is not a furnace in life that is too hot for God to enter and carry us through till the end. God can do more than what you can imagine. Christian, do you know this? Do you pray to God and trust in His sovereign ability to answer your prayers?

Jesus can help.

Hebrews 2:17-18 — Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

what's the problem with the world?

Simple, says John Piper. Missions exists because worship doesn't. There is a disregard for the glory of God and a satisfaction in Christ among all peoples and cultures and nations on the globe. Paul hits it right on: For "THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU," just as it is written (Rom 2:24). The ultimate problem in the world is that... The glory of God is not honored, The holiness of God is not reverenced, The greatness of God is not admired, The power of God is not praised, The truth of God is not sought, The wisdom of God is not esteemed, The beauty of God is not treasured, The goodness of God is not savored, The faithfulness of God is not trusted, The commandments of God are not obeyed, The justice of God is not respected, The wrath of God is not feared, The grace of God is not cherished, The presence of God is not prized, The person of God is not loved. That's the problem with the world that we live in. From Piper, Let the Nations Be

The power of a testimony.

Your life story how God redeemed your soul from judgment and transferred you to the realm of His magnificent grace is a powerful tool in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even a thousand years before Christ, the psalmist recognized that there is power in a testimony: Psalm 66:16 Text: לְכוּ־שִׁמְע֣וּ וַ֭אֲסַפְּרָה כָּל־יִרְאֵ֣י אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר עָשָׂ֣ה לְנַפְשִֽׁי׃ Translation: "Come! Hear! And let me recount for you all who fear God what He has done for my soul!" Even the psalmist recognized that there is power in a story. How important it is for us to speak of the work that God has sovereignly wrought in our hearts. There is power in a changed life. There is power in a life transformed by God's grace from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Take advantage of God's work in your life and declare to others "what God has done for your soul!" Also in the psalm, v.7 highlights three attributes of God that are worthy of mention: Text: מֹ֘שֵׁ֤ל ב