Sunday, February 28, 2010
Let me tell you what I mean…
Let’s take sex, for example. Suppose a young guy and girl get together and start spending time with one another and decide that they want to have sex. They aren’t married, and they have no intention of getting married, but they don’t even consider that they should because everyone else in the world is having sex anyways. What’s the big deal? So, they take that step into sin, and they continue in it until they despise one another and part ways.
Now let me tell you what the big deal is…
The girl finds out that she’s pregnant, and since the guy wants nothing to do with the girl he decides to let her deal with it. “Get an abortion!” he replies. (Of course, this would be a sin as well) The girl decides to reject his “advise” and has the baby.
Now the girl has the burden (yet a blessing) of raising a kid on her own. She seeks child support from the ex, but this is nowhere near as helpful as having the guy around to take part in the kid’s life and help out with the many responsibilities. She has no time to go out or interact with her friends like she used to, so she doesn’t get to meet anyone else to have any kind of serious relationship with. She is lonely and tired and unfulfilled.
This affects the kid also. He wonders why his dad never comes to see him and what he did wrong or what is wrong with him that his dad doesn’t love him. He seeks acceptance by other male “role models” in his neighborhood and ends up being used by the older boys and gets in trouble by doing things for them that he shouldn’t be doing.
At the same time, the guy is struggling financially because of the raping of his paycheck by the child support agency. He wonders what the point of him working is anyways. His paychecks are so miniscule that he can never get ahead and wonders whether he should even worry about getting a good job or if he should just work under the table in order to avoid having to give up so much of his income.
This situation is just one example of the way in which sin can affect the whole life of many people. The most disappointing thing is that even though the guy and girl in this story will recognize their disappointment with the end result, they wouldn’t even consider turning away from the sin that got them into this mess to begin with. They will gladly go out and find someone else to jump into bed with in order to experience the pleasure of that act that doesn’t last long enough to make up for a lifetime of consequence. Not to mention the fact that the effects of the first sin could carry over into the relationships the kid has in the future.
This is just a great big mess.
I hope it’s obvious that God’s laws are a sure way to keep from having to deal with a ruined life. What I’m sure won’t be so easy for some to grasp is the fact that following God’s ways will ensure the most satisfaction and joy in this life. Then again, there’s no way for us to even come anywhere close to following these laws that God has given. However, God has given us real life examples like the one I just shared, and He has also given us His standard to show us that we fall short and are unable to do what we ought to do. Contrary to what some might believe, this is a good thing—if we recognize it.
The reason why it’s a good thing for us to know how far gone we are and how far off from the mark we are is because it shows how much we need something—or more properly, someONE to take care of this problem for us. I also tend to think that many people don’t realize that Jesus is the only one who EVER lived up to God’s laws and who gave Himself (and His perfectly lived life) as a substitute for everyone who will humble themselves by recognizing that they are not worthy but that they need Jesus to do for them what they can’t do for themselves. They apparently don’t realize that they can be changed progressively to want to do the things that please God and to be more like Jesus—the perfect one.
Finally, I’m sure that these people don’t realize that Jesus is the most valuable treasure that may be had in this life, and that He doesn’t cease to be the most valuable treasure in this life alone—He’ll be even more important when we pass from this life. Who would ever choose a moment of pleasure in exchange for a lifetime AND an eternity of pleasure and satisfaction and joy and completeness and TRUE HAPPINESS?
This must mean that people truly are blind. And to prove it, many of the people who have heard this message are going to close this window without confessing their sin and their dependence on Christ and will continue in their dead end (literally) ways. I pray that this isn’t the case for you.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
“Let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:33
God made Adam first and put him in the Garden with a job to do, a mission to fulfill. In the heart of every fallen man is the self-doubt that wonders, “Am I man enough to climb this mountain God has called me to? Can I fulfill my destiny?” A wise wife will understand that question at the center of her husband’s heart. And she will spend her life answering it, communicating to him in various ways, “Honey, I believe in your call. I know you can do this, by God’s power. Go for it.” In this way, she will breathe life into her man.
God made Eve from Adam, for Adam, to help him follow the call. In the heart of every fallen woman is the self-doubt that wonders, “Do I please you? Am I what you wanted?” A wise husband will understand that question at the center of his wife’s heart. And he will spend his life answering it, communicating to her in various ways, “Darling, you are the one I need. I cherish you. Let me hold you close.” In this way, he will breathe life into his wife.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I know it has been some time, but I plan to be consistent this time...no seriously!
Meditating in the Gospel is not optional...do we get that?
“The cross which is the object of faith, is also, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the cause of it. Sit down and watch the dying Saviour till faith springs up spontaneously in your heart. There is no place like Calvary for creating confidence. The air of that sacred hill brings health to trembling faith.”
- C. H. Spurgeon, All of Grace (Chicago, Il.: Moody Press, n.d.), 75.
“He was the eternal and only begotten Son of God, the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person. Yet he must descend from the throne of majesty, divest himself of his robes of insupportable light, take upon him the form of a servant, become a curse, and bleed to death for sin. Did ever sin appear so hateful to God as here? To demonstrate God’s infinite holiness, and hatred of sin, he would have the most glorious and most excellent person in heaven and earth to suffer for it. He would have his own Son to die on a disgraceful cross, and be exposed to the terrible flames of Divine wrath, rather than sin should live, and his holiness remain for ever disparaged by the violations of his law.”
- Thomas Boston, The Beauties of Boston (Inverness, UK; Christian Focus Publications, 1979), 91.
“The Cross is not simply a lovely example of sacrificial love. Throwing your life away needlessly is not admirable — it is wrong. Jesus’ death was only a good example if it was more than an example, if it was something absolutely necessary to rescue us. And it was. Why did Jesus have to die in order to forgive us? There was a debt to be paid — God himself paid it. There was a penalty to be born — God himself bore it. Forgiveness is always a form of costly suffering.”
- Timothy Keller, The Reason for God (New York, NY; Dutton, 2007), 193.
“The true Scriptural source of consolation, in the face of all that troubles us, is to keep steadily before our eyes the second coming of Christ.
We must grasp and realize the blessed fact that the rightful King of the world is returning soon, and shall have His own again; that He shall put down that old usurper, the devil, and take away the curse from off the earth.
Let us cultivate the habit of daily looking forward to the resurrection of the dead, the gathering together of the saints, the restitution of all things, the banishment of sorrow and sin, and the re-establishment of a new kingdom, of which the rule shall be righteousness.”
- J.C. Ryle, “Looking Unto Jesus”
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
This audio book review was made possible by the gracious generosity of the christianaudio.com reviewers program which supplied me with the copy for the review. Thanks guys!
This book is the key to knowing God's will for your life! Actually, the Bible is the key for knowing God's will for your life, but Kevin DeYoung displays the truth of this in this book quite well.
Apparently, there are many volumes published on the same subject, but as far as I'm concerned there doesn't need to be another. Seriously. How many times does it have to be demonstrated from God's word what God's straightforward desire for your life is? I mean, really? It seems quite clear that Pastor DeYoung has noticed the clarity with which God has addressed this topic, and I would recommend this book to anyone who has any doubts that it could be so simple.
From the outset, the narrator didn't seem to have enough variance in his voice to do DeYoung's writing style justice, but whether his voice grew on me or if the material itself was just compelling enough to shine through I ended up not in the least bit bothered by it. I think maybe the narrator was enjoying his job, and that may be why it progressively got better. Either way, I believe he did a good enough job to encourage me to listen to this again sometime in the future.
I also HIGHLY recommend this book to non-Calvinists and those who would call themselves Calvinists who don't take enough initiative on their own because of their persuasion that God is so sovereign that they don't really need to get involved in anything. Again, Kevin DeYoung does a superb job of dispelling the misconceptions held by both of these groups. I would be more clear as to how that is done, but that may discourage you from investing in this book and benefiting by it.
So, what are you waiting for? Don't just DO something--click the link and get listening:
Saturday, February 6, 2010
The unfortunate thing is that many Christians will never read this or ever consider what they actually believe (positive and negatively) about the Bible and how we got it and why it's important to consider these things. Fortunately for you, the reader of this post, you have the opportunity to read it by following this link:
Isn't it great that you have me looking out for your spiritual well being?
Well, my supervisor just gave me that call, so I gotta get off to work. Enjoy the edifying read!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Every one of them "were written" by God.
They were specifically formed "for you."
Do you love the Lord you God? Does He love you? Perhaps you were foreknown, predestined, called, justified and glorified by God Himself (Romans 8:29-30--notice how they all necessarily flow from the previous?).
By the way, I'm asking if you're saved...
If so, then stop worrying and complaining about anything you might be worrying or complaining about. It has been put there by God Himself in order to burn off the impurities in your faith and make you more like Jesus. So, as I'm telling myself this I hope you can also see the wisdom in rejoicing in your sufferings (Rom. 5:3-5) and the foolishness of you complaints.
May you not have too many slap your forehead moments...