Wednesday, March 30, 2011

read my latest article over at vassal of the king entitled: God's Love Expressed In His Hatred.
Jeremiah 23:24 — Do I not fill heaven and earth?

Though God be in all places, even in the heart of a sinner by His inspection, and in hell by His justice, yet He does not mingle with the impurity or receive the least hint of evil. Augustine stated, "the divine nature does not intermix with created matter, nor is contaminated by its impurities." No more than the sun shining on a dunghill is defiled or its beauty tarnished, neither was Christ, when He was among sinners, defiled, because His Godhead was a sufficient antidote against infection.

Excellent words by Thomas Watson. I believe he is spot on. If God is everywhere, shouldn't this also be a motivation for holiness?

Monday, March 28, 2011

As God is a Spirit, so the rewards that He gives His children are spiritual, and the chief blessings He gives us int his life are spiritual blessings, not gold and silver. He gives Christ, His love, and He fills us with grace. . . . Earthly crowns fade, but the believer's crown, because it is spiritual, is immortal; it is a crown that never fades away. . . . This truth may comfort a Christian in all his labors and sufferings here on earth; he gives of himself to the service of God and has little or no reward here. But remember, God, who is a Spirit, will give spiritual rewards in heaven: the very sight of the face of God, white robes, and weight of glory. Be not then weary of God's service here on earth. Think of the spiritual rewards that await His children in heaven, a crown of glory that will not fade away.
—Thomas Watson.

Judges 12:8-10 8 ¶ Now Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel after him. 9 He had thirty sons, and thirty daughters whom he gave in marriage outside the family, and he brought in thirty daughters from outside for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. 10 Then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem.

He had 30 sons and 30 daughters = 60 children (yikes that's a lot of names!). So much for the households that begin every child's name with "J"...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The bones are burning to proclaim Ps 119:161-168 this morning to our congregation. I pray God will use His word to draw deadened sinners to himself, convict slothful Christians, and to encourage those who are walking with Christ and in obedience to His Word.

"My heart trembles at your Word" (Ps 119:161).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I preached tonight on Revelation 3:7-13 - Jesus's letter to the Church of Philadelphia.

In this sermon:

1. I say why I believe we will not be here during the 7-year future Tribulation period of God's relentless wrath on earth.

2. I beg men to repent and believe in Christ so that they're not punished by Christ in hell.

3. I call them to hold on to Christ's Word because He is holy and true.

Listen here.
I firmly believe in prayer and I firmly believe in preaching. Thus, I heartily recommend these videos for you.

Friday, March 25, 2011

But CNN even picked up on this (how sad this is). Read the article by Stephanie Smith on Frequent Churgoers Frequently Fatter:

Frequent churchgoers frequently fatter

Young, religiously active people are more likely than their non-religious counterparts to become obese in middle age, according to new research. In fact, frequent religious involvement appears to almost double the risk of obesity compared with little or no involvement.

What is unclear from the new research is why religion might be associated with overeating.

"Churches pay more attention to obvious vices like smoking or drinking," said Matthew Feinstein, lead author of the research and fourth-year medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Our best guess about why is that...more frequent participation in church is associated with good works and people may be rewarding themselves with large meals that are more caloric in nature than we would like."

The new research, presented at an American Heart Association conference dedicated to physical activity, metabolism and cardiovascular disease, involved 2,433 people enrolled in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. The group was tested - at first between 20 and 32 years old - for various cardiovascular disease risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, and smoking. Those same tests were repeated in the same group over the next 25 years.

The results were mixed for many risk factors for cardiovascular disease, but as researchers analyzed the data, one disparity stood out. Those who reported attending church weekly, or more often, were significantly more likely to have a higher body mass index than those who attended infrequently, or never.

Kenneth F. Ferraro, author of similar studies linking obesity with religion, suggested that marriage may have played a role in the weight gain.

"The time period studied is when many Americans get married," said Ferraro, director of the Center on Aging and the Life Course at Purdue University. "We know that weight gain is common after marriage and that marriage is highly valued in most religious groups. Thus, one wonders if the results could be partially due to religious people being more likely to get married earlier and then gaining weight."

Those church potlucks probably don't help either.

"There's certainly a church culture around eating," said Erik Christensen, a pastor at St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square in Chicago, Illinois. "What I see among congregants in their 20s and 30s is they are very fit and what I see among congregants in their 50s and 60s is disproportionate obesity."

Christensen suggested that the virtual disappearance of church-sponsored baseball and basketball leagues may be part of the problem. He added that the decision to attend church is sometimes made at the expense of being involved in athletic or recreational activities.

But he kept coming back to that culture of eating.

"What's ironic to me is that in my congregation we are working on a childhood obesity initiative and spend a lot of time thinking about weight and food," said Christensen. "We sit and have a potluck and talk about obesity."

Yet another irony is the number of studies suggesting that religion and faith are actually beneficial for health. Recent studies suggest that a "relaxation response" in the brain among people who pray, meditate, or engage in otherwise relaxing activities may alleviate anxiety and stress. Stress is implicated in many illnesses. Other studies suggest an association between church-going and longevity.

"On the whole being religious has been shown by many studies to be associated with better mental health, lower smoking rates, lower mortality rates and better overall health status," said Feinstein. "There are a whole lot of things religious people are doing right, but it's just this specific area where there appears to be room for improvement."

The upshot of the new research, said Feinstein, is that knowing there may be an obesity problem among church-goers provides a captive audience for intervention.

"The real value of the study is not understanding why," said Feinstein. "What this study does is highlights a group that could potentially benefit from targeted anti-obesity initiatives. That's exciting because there is a lot of infrastructure already in place in religious communities."

Now, this is quite shameful. Because we are 'Christians,' that gives no license for us to be fatter—or care less about our bodies; if anything Christians should be those who care more and take care of their bodies (cf. 1 Cor 6:13).

Note how the Scriptures speak of this very important and relevant issue of obesity:

Proverbs 13:25 25 The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, But the stomach of the wicked is in need.

1 Corinthians 6:13 13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.

Let us remember that our bodies belong to Christ. We are called to control not only what we do in terms of our conduct but also to monitor how we treat the body that God has given to us. Let us not be 'mastered' by anything.

Let's not allow Paul's statement about the "enemies of the cross of Christ" that "[their] god is their appetite" (Phil 3:19) be true about us.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Steve Lawson says this so well:

Commenting on Psalm 96:10 — Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity."

"All believers should declare that God rules over all the affairs of men. In spite of any chaotic appearances to the contrary, in spite of the turmoil and threats of the nations, the world is firmly established. All events and developments are under the overruling government of God. Although evil temporarily escapes unpunished, God will judge the peoples with equity. This final judgment of all mankind should be declared to the nations (Acts 17:31), bringing about their repentance unto eternal life. Such a proclamation will surely yield new worshippers of God" (Lawson, Psalms 75-150, Holman Old Testament Commentary, 118).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pray for me. I have a topic that everyone struggles with—especially youth/college students. And this is precisely to whom I'm preaching tomorrow.

My title: Flee Sexual Immorality!
My text: 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
My power: not from myself but from God the Spirit
My goal: to be bold, blunt, persuasive, and very practical.

Pray for me.
“How could God let this happen?” This is the question that CNN posed to Rabbi Kushner & Franklin Graham. Here are the answers...

Rabbi Harold Kushner, author whose books include “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”

Whenever a disaster like this occurs, I go back to the Bible, to the First Book of Kings. Elijah, in despair over the situation in Israel, runs to the desert, back to Mt. Sinai to find the God of the Revelation to Moses.

"And lo, the Lord God passed by. There was a mighty wind, splitting mountains and shattering rocks, but the Lord was not in the wind. There was an earthquake but the Lord was not in the earthquake."

To me, that is the key: the Lord was not in the earthquake.

Natural disasters are acts of nature, not acts of God. God cares about the well-being of good people; Nature is blind, an equal-opportunity destroyer.

Where is God in Japan today? In the courage of people to carry on their lives after the tragedy. In the resilience of those whose lives have been destroyed, families swept away, homes lost, but they resolve to rebuild their lives. In the goodness and generosity of people all over the world to reach out and help strangers who live far from them, to contribute aid, to pray for them.

How can people do such things if God were not at work in them to lend a counterweight to a natural disaster?

Sadly, Even Franklin Graham's answer is remarkably unbiblical...

The Rev. Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief organization

I don’t believe God does want this to happen. I don’t think it was ever God’s intention.

We know that there are going to be storms in life. No matter what happens we need to keep our faith and trust in almighty God. And I want the people of Japan to know that God hasn’t forgotten them, that God does care for them and that he loves them.

We care and God cares, and we’re standing by them.

Bible-believing Christians must rise up and talk about God's sovereignty and God's holiness. Natural disasters are a consequence of the fall and yet all of this is ordained by God and part of His sovereign plan. God is not off the throne or out of control. Rather, he is supremely sovereign and absolutely and unequivocally enthroned!

This is the time for us to NOT be uncertain but to be bold in sharing with others that sin brings punishment—not on this earth—but in eternal hell. We must share with them the love of God displayed in Christ when He crushed His Son on the cross in the place of sinners who would believe in Him! This is the message hope and the gospel in times like these.

We must not speak of God 'not wanting this to happen' but rather we must point people to the mighty refuge and the only refuge from God's eternal wrath—namely, Jesus Christ!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hear it from the president of Fuller Seminary regarding Rob Bell's new book Love Wins:

But Richard Mouw, president of the world's largest Protestant seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary based in Pasadena, Calif., calls Love Wins "a great book, well within the bounds of orthodox Christianity and passionate about Jesus.

HT: USA Today

Thursday, March 17, 2011

According to tradition, some of the well-known prophets died quite brutal deaths:

1. Isaiah - he was cut in two by a wooden saw by the hands of the wicked Manasseh

2. Jeremiah - he was stoned by the children of Israel and slain

3. Ezekiel - the children of Israel dragged him by his feet over the rocks on a mountain until his brains gushed out.

This is only tradition. But isn't it interesting that these bold, fearless, and faithful men of God were tortured in such great ways? And should we expect an easy life as faithful preachers of God's Word? I don't think so.
This morning on my bus, I sat next to "Louisa" who was talking on her cell phone in another language. I noticed she kept saying: "thank you po." If you know Tagalog "po" is a term of respect and courtesy. So when she got off the phone I asked her where she was from in the Philippines and we had a lengthy chat. She's Roman Catholic. I shared the gospel with her. She warmly opened up and we had a good conversation. I invited her to our church and to our mid-week study on Psalms after she told me she had gone through some hard times with health and surgeries in the family.

Pray that God works in her heart so that she may believe in Christ and be forgiven of her sins and be freed from Roman Catholicism.

Ephesians 1:7-8 7 In [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, 8 which He lavished upon us.
On Thursday, from 2:30-4:00 PM (Eastern), Southern Seminary will be livestreaming a panel discussion on Rob Bell’s Love Wins. I look forward to talking with and learning from Drs. Mohler, Moore, and Burk. I’m sure audio and video will be available on the site at some point after the event.
Thomas Watson said: what fools are they, who, for a moment of pleasure, drink a sea of wrath.

Sin gratifies for a moment but God’s wrath, if left unconfessed, lasts forever. How important it is to remember that sin lurks at every opportunity. It endeavors to pop its heinous face at every instance in our lives to tempt us and thrust us down as its companion to hell. Even as believers we must strive to flee temptations because of a healthy fear of dishonoring the glory and holiness of God. How wise we would be to remember that sin pleases for a moment but holiness benefits for eternity. Pleasures are gratified temporarily but godliness is befitting for us which will last eternally.

Hear the words of Watson again: what fools are they, who, for a moment of pleasure, drink a sea of wrath.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This is well worth the fourteen minutes. It is the great 20th c. preacher speaking about the great 18th c. preacher. What a treat to hear Lloyd-Jones address Mr. Whitefield.

Monday, March 14, 2011

We do what we call family worship every night after dinner. (If we'll be unable to eat dinner together then we do it after breakfast.) This is an element of our day that is absolutely essential. Family worship for our family consists of three elements:

1) Singing
We begin our time of family worship by singing a song/hymn that we know so that we can consider the truths of the gospel in song. We also try to teach Kiah these songs as well (Amazing Grace, Trust and Obey, Go Tell It on the Mountain, etc.).

2) Reading
Then, we have a time where we read through God's Word. We're currently reading through the Book of Proverbs. This does numerous things. First, it allows us as a family to read and study God's Word together. Second, it teaches Kiah to sit in one place for a few minutes without being distracted—especially when God's Word is being read! And third, it gives us opportunity to study the Word of God together so that if there are questions we can ask and answer them together.

3) Praying
Our family worship time concludes by praying. Each person gives a prayer request (including Kiah) and then I write them all down on a piece of paper. Then we pray for these requests. Kiah always begins our time of prayer (and he really prays!). This teaches Kiah how to pray and to express thanks to God in prayer. And not only that, our family worship time in prayer models for him the importance of prayer (and corporate prayer) and the how to of prayer. Now, when we have visitors over, Kiah prays because that's just what he's been doing (he did this last night when we had a friend over for dinner).

I know of two other couples who have implemented family worship as of late and they find it extremely helpful, encouraging, and spiritually-stimulating. If you are not doing regular, daily family-worship with your family I strongly exhort you to begin this habit with your family!
Here is an interview that a TMC grad had with Dr. Varner about his recent commentary on James that was just published. Enjoy!

[CK]First off, thank you Dr. Varner for taking the time to answer a few question. If you can, can you tell the readers a little bit about yourself, where you teach, where you did your graduate work, where you pastor, etc.?

[DrV]I was saved at the age of 17, did my undergraduate work at Bob Jones University, then went on to receive my M.Div. and Th.M. (NT) at Biblical Seminary in PA. Along the way I also picked up an M.A. in Judaic Studies at Dropsie College and an Ed.D. in theological education from Temple University. I teach at The Master’s College and also pastor the Sojourners Fellowship at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA.

[CK]You have recently published a commentary on James. What attracted you to James and what makes your work stand out amongst many well written and useful works on James?

[DrV]I preached through James as a pastor, but what prompted the commentary was an invitation from Stanley Porter to contribute a commentary on James to a Linguistic Commentary on the NT. After two of the volumes were with the editor, the European publisher canceled the project, so Stan released me to seek another publisher. It is distinct from other good commentaries because it is one of the few commentaries applying discourse analysis consistently to the text.

[CK]Briefly, can you explain what Discourse Analysis is and how it is helpful for tracing the flow of thought?

[DrV]Discourse Analysis looks at a text as a whole “discourse.” It is best defined simply as an examination of grammar above the level of the sentence, where most traditional analysis ends. It pays attention (1) to the devices an author uses to “glue” together his discourse like cohesion, (2) to stress the most important points he is making by prominence and peak, and (3) to develop the linear flow of his argument by repeated grammatical functions and/or words.

[CK]Some commentators have understood James to be a collection of sayings (i.e. Dibelius). How does a commentary like yours, which argues for unity in James, answer arguments like these?

[DrV]I believe Dibelius was entirely wrong in viewing James as a haphazard collection of disconnected sayings. My discourse analysis shows that James had a consistently applied idea of the Jewish “two ways” schema that is portrayed in what I call his “peak” paragraph: James 3:13-18. There James portrays a bi-polar contrast between wisdom from above and anti-wisdom (wisdom from below). I believe that such a schema is stamped then on every other paragraph of the book. The readers, addressed as “brothers,” must choose to follow the Divine way or the human way. Each paragraph is opened by “brothers” plus an imperative command or a rhetorical question that provides the topic which is then applied within the paragraph.

[CK]I personally enjoyed your chapter on “A New Perspective on James.” What is this new perspective, and why did you include this as an appendix in your book?

[DrV]I am not offering a new perspective on James’ theology, like that in the new perspective on Paul. I am suggesting a new perspective on the absolutely important role that James played from roughly 42 AD until his death in 62 AD. I argue that he was not only the head of the Jerusalem church, but that he was recognized as the head of world Christianity. If someone asked a Christian leader during this time, “Who is in charge of this ‘Jesus movement’?,” he would be pointed to James. James has too often been viewed simply as a foil for Paul’s teaching. I argue that everyone, including Paul, recognized James as the human head of the church.

[CK]As a pastor yourself, how did the needs or your flock influence your writing a commentary of this nature?

[DrV]Those who hear me preach know that I strongly emphasize application in my messages. The life-relatedness of the Scriptures is very important to me. The strong practical bent of the book of James appeals greatly to me. It is not hard to apply James. He is already doing that when he writes!

[CK]Who are some of your greatest influences?

[DrV]My seminary professors, Tom Taylor and Gary Cohen, and my pastoral mentor, Bob Vandermey. CHS Spurgeon’s autobiography was crucial to me. But I don’t want to forget my aunt and uncle, Buz and Rainy Reece, to whom I dedicate the commentary.

[CK]I know that you are currently working on another commentary on James to be published by Logos Bible Software. Do you have any other projects coming down the pipe?

[DrV]I am under contract with that European publisher to produce a scholarly commentary on Jude and 2Peter. I have finished a 105,000 word devotional commentary on the Psalms. Zondervan is looking at it right now. I am also researching to write a chapter on early Jewish Christianity to be part of a volume responding to the radical Bauer/Ehrman reconstruction of heresy and orthodoxy.

HT: Theological Musings

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I believe in a future 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ on earth—literally and physically. Part of the believer's hope in glorification, when believers are perfected with new physical bodies, is that we will share in the Messiah's royal reign and we will serve His kingdom purposes on earth (Matt 19:28; Luke 22:30).

1 Corinthians 6:2 - do you not know that the saints will judge the world? We will have the privilege of ruling and reigning with Christ (cf. 2 Tim 2:12).

Let us long for that future day when we will:
1. behold our Savior face to face
2. serve our Savior for all eternity
3. worship our Savior with unceasing joy
4. reign with our Savior as vice-regents who do His bidding.

Praise the LORD. What a hope we have!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Just went to Alex Montoya's seminar at the Shepherd's Conference on Preaching with Passion. Man am I convicted. Here are some quotes that I typed out. (Many of them have abbreviations in them as I tried to type out what he said word for word.)

A holy minister is an awesome weapon in the hand of God (Robert Murray McCheyne)

“If it’s human I will try to convert it” -- Alex Montoya.

The power (=unction) doesn’t begin in the pulpit, it begins in your closet, in your daily living; when you’re on your knees playing w/ your kids; talking w/ your wife; living for God and having God control your life.

When we are convinced of God’s Word, we won’t LACK passion.

The bible is a biblia, a book, and it has an answer to every ailment in the human life.

“The pastor needs to be the sharpest knife in the drawer.” -- Montoya.

You can never be overprepared for God’s ministry.

“You’re the chef, as you’re cooking, you’re slurping and eating along the way, so when you deliver the goods, you’ve already eaten.” -- Montoya

Preach & teach a sermon that’ll keep you awake on Saturday night.

Preach a sermon that oozes out of your heart.

“To love to preach is one thing, but to love those to whom we preach is quite another (Lloyd Jones)

Preach with a moist eye because of your love for your people.

Be the best preacher possible. Be the expert on the BIble in your Church.

“preachers must become GOSPEL maniacs. Preacher must be captivated and REcaptivated by the LORD Jeesus Christ”

Don’t be a carcass in the pulpit” -- Montoya.

When the pulpit dies the pew dies.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Watch Rick Holland preach it up this morning at 9am (PST). Watch it live here.

I heard he's preaching on 1 Pet 5:1-5. Should be great!

Then MacArthur preaches at 10:45. You can watch that too.

Tonight Al Mohler will preach at 7pm.

Looking forward to a day to fill my heart and mind with God's enduring truth.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I have a friend who would answer positively to this question. I disagree with him. Here are my reasons why.
I need to be reminded of this. Often. And my guess is that you do too.

O Fountain of all good,
Destroy in me every lofty thought,
Break pride to pieces and scatter it to the winds,
Annihilate each clinging shred of self-righteousness,
Implant in me true lowliness of spirit,
Abase me to self-loathing and self-abhorrence,
Open in me a fount of penitential tears,
Break me, then bind me up;
Then will my heart be a prepared dwelling for my God.

Then can the Father take up his abode in me,
Then can the blessed Jesus come with healing in his touch,
Then can the Holy Spirit descend in sanctifying grace.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Joel Beeke also believes in it. The Bible overwhelmingly speaks of the existence of eternal hell for all unbelievers who reject Christ.

Joel Beeke on Hell from Puritan Reformed on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

John Murray writing on John Calvin's view of Providence...

"For the believer the presence of God appears no less in the perpetual government of the world than in its origin . . . . But all events whatsoever are governed by the secret counsel and directed by the present hand of God.

Not a drop of rain falls and no wind ever blows but at the special command of God. Every year, month, an day is governed by a new and special providence of God. Chance and fortune do not belong to a Christian man's vocabulary. Events are often fortuitous to us because their order, reason, end, and necessity are hid in the counsel of God and are not apprehended by the mind of man. But they are not fortuitous for God—they proceed from His will."

Numbers 24:23 who can live except God has ordained it?

Ephesians 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tomorrow we have the privilege of remembering the gospel as we gather to worship our LORD. Here is the layout for the morning.

1. Man's Sin and Need for a Savior

1 Timothy 1:15 15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.

Sing: I Stand Amazed in the Presence of Jesus the Nazarene

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.


O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!

For me it was in the garden
He prayed: “Not My will, but Thine.”
He had no tears for His own griefs,
But sweat drops of blood for mine.


He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary,
And suffered and died alone.


When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
’Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of His love for me.


2. The blood of Christ that washes away our sin

1 Peter 1:18-19 you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

Sing: What Can Wash Away My Sin? (Nothing But the Blood)

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.


Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.


Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.


This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.


3. Jesus is our only Redeemer & Savior from sin.

Ephesians 1:7-8 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us.

Sing: There is a Redeemer

There is a redeemer,
Jesus, God's own Son,
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
Holy One,

Jesus my redeemer,
Name above all names,
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
Oh, for sinners slain.
Thank you oh my father, For giving us Your Son, And leaving Your Spirit, 'Til the work on Earth is done.

When I stand in Glory,
I will see His face,
And there I'll serve my King forever,
In that Holy Place.

Thank you oh my father,
For giving us Your Son,
And leaving Your Spirit,
'Til the work on Earth is done.

4. Jesus calls for full submission — we live boasting in Christ and in the gospel.

Galatians 6:14 14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Sing: All I Have is Christ

I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way.
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave.
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will.
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still.

But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross.
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me.
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose.
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

watch this EXCELLENT clip from Dr. Horner—one of my English profs at The Master's College:

Storm the throne of God regularly and relentlessly.

We find that Jesus commanded His disciples to pray “at all times” (πάντοτε) and to “not lose heart” (μὴ ἐγκακεῖν).

Luke 18:1 reads: Ἔλεγεν δὲ παραβολὴν αὐτοῖς πρὸς τὸ δεῖν πάντοτε προσεύχεσθαι αὐτοὺς καὶ μὴ ἐγκακεῖν (And he was telling them a parable so that they may always pray and not lose heart).

The parable goes as follows. There was a man in a city who didn’t fear God and didn’t respect man. He was a judge (v.2). There was, however, a widow in that city and she constantly came to him and asked this judge for legal protection from her enemies (v.3). To her chagrin, every time she came before the judge, he refused her offer to give her protection (v.4a). But finally, because of her persistence and because of her regularity in coming to the judge with the same request, he finally thought to himself, “Though I don’t fear God or care about humans, I will give her legal protection. For if I don’t, she will wear me out” (v.4b-5).

And the Lord draws this principle from the parable (=short story): if an unrighteous judge gives the requests of his people because of their constant and relentless determination to bring their petition before the judge, how much more will God bring about justice for his elect who “cry to him day and night” (v.7).

Here is the simple lesson Jesus teaches:

Pray regularly - pray at all times (v.1a).
Pray relentlessly - pray without ceasing (v.1b).
Pray expectantly - pray expecting God to answer (v.7).
Pray believingly - pray with an attitude of faith (v.8b).

Do you pray like this? If not, start now in applying the necessary changes to your life so that you begin to storm the throne of God regularly and relentlessly.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tonight I'm preaching on Psalm 94. It speaks of the way believers in God should respond to times when they are mistreated by the wicked. I just want to elucidate a few points that have spoken to my heart.

Verse 12:
אַשְׁרֵ֤י׀ הַגֶּ֣בֶר אֲשֶׁר־תְּיַסְּרֶ֣ נּוּ
יְהוָ֣ה וּֽמִתֹּורָתְךָ֥ תְלַמְּדֶֽנּוּ׃

Blessed is the man whom Yahweh disciplines; whom you teach from Your Law.

This verse reminds us that the man is blessed whom the Lord disciplines. This is not a punitive discipline but an instructional discipline (cf. Heb 12:4ff). This is the one whom the Lord loves. And thus, because Yahweh loves His own, He disciplines and instructs them for their good and for His glory. Sometimes this chastisement can be painful—and even unpleasant! Nevertheless, God is sovereign and we as His children must submit to His fatherly rebuke so that we would be adequately trained and growing in maturity.

Verse 14:
כִּ֤י׀ לֹא־יִטֹּ֣ש יְהוָ֣ה עַמֹּ֑ו וְ֝נַחֲלָתֹ֗ו לֹ֣א יַעֲזֹֽב׃

For Yahweh will not forsake His people; and His inheritance He will not abandon.

What an amazing concept! Yahweh will not forsake His own people! O How He loves them and how He cares for them! The notion that God could ever leave or forsake His people is utter blasphemy to even contemplate. Yahweh is ever-present with His people. He is their strength; He is their friend. What a joy to know that as we traverse through life—the good and bad times; the easy and hard times—God has not and he shall not forsake or abandon His people.

Verse 22:
וַיְהִ֬י יְהוָ֣ה לִ֣י לְמִשְׂגָּ֑ב וֵ֝אלֹהַ֗י לְצ֣וּר מַחְסִֽי׃


And Yahweh has become for me a fortress; and My God is the Rock of my Refuge

Not only is there a significant marker at the beginning of the verse ("has become") which is emphatic in the poetic genre but the psalmist boldly declares that it is the LORD who is a fortress and a rock and a refuge. That God protects His people can clearly be proven from Scripture—yes, from this verse! God is the One to whom His people can flee to in times of trouble. He will protect them. Under the shadow of His wings can we as His people find true shelter, shade, and security.

Let these truths resonate in your heart today as you serve the Sovereign King.
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