Watch This!

Friday, November 20, 2009

John's got me SO pumped!

I'm so excited to see a post from John! YES! haha And the substance of the post is great! Just what I expected. Well, I've been inspired...

I've been walking around with a song running through my head for well over a week now, and I'd like to share it with you. I'm teaching it to my kids, and my oldest daughter was singing it the grandparents earlier. I love it! And I just found an amazing version of the song on the internet that actually includes yours truly. As a matter of fact, it includes the whole cast of this blog here, and I think you'll be blessed as you listen. First, here's the lyrics:

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

Great lyrics, huh? Now go listen to this powerful presentation of it:


Meditations on the Gospel (Part 1)

How do you view the Gospel? Do you think of the Gospel merely as something you trusted in the past? Or is it now simply the message you need to share with others in the future? God has done a mighty work in my life in regards to the Gospel studied, pondered and applied each day. Sanctification is impossible apart from the Gospel, thus I need the Gospel just as much today as I needed it June 16th of 2002. Here follows quotations from Gospel saturated men that have shepherded my soul and forced me to drink deeply of the Gospel every day. I pray these meditations will result in much fruit as you strive forward towards the goal of Christlikeness.

“I am your hell—and you are my heaven”

The mediatorial righteousness of Christ will answer to all the fears, doubts, and objections of your souls.

How shall I look up to God? The answer is—In the righteousness of Christ. How shall I have any communion with a holy God in this world? The answer is—In the righteousness of Christ. How shall I find acceptance with God? The answer is—In the righteousness of Christ. How shall I die? The answer is—In the righteousness of Christ. How shall I stand before the judgment seat? The answer is—In the righteousness of Christ.

Your sure and only way under all temptations, fears, conflicts, doubts, and disputes, is by faith to remember Christ, and the sufferings of Christ, as your mediator and surety, and say, ‘O Christ! you are my sin—in being made sin for me; and you are my curse—in being made a curse for me. Or rather, I am your sin—and you are my righteousness; I am your curse—and you are my blessing; I am your death—and you are my life; I am the wrath of God to you—and you are the love of God to me; I am your hell—and you are my heaven.’

- Thomas Brooks, A Cabinet of Choice Jewels

Making sense of your story

“It is only when I see what God is doing with the world through Christ, and for the glory of Christ, that I am able to see where I fit in the big storyline of the universe or in the little storyline of my own life.

The Apostle Paul’s words to the Romans are familiar passages of comfort for believers. ‘And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose’ (Rom 8:28). This verse does not mean, however, simply a cheery ‘What doesn’t kill you’ll make you stronger; hang in there.’ Instead, Paul says that the believer’s little story ultimately is a glorious one because it is part of a larger story, that I may be ‘conformed to the image of His Son, that He may be the firstborn among many brothers’ (Rom 8:29).

How do I know that my story ends happily? I only know this if I am found in Christ. But, if I am, then like all my forefathers and foremothers before me, I am free from condemnation, liberated from the curse, triumphant over death, the heir of the universe, the child of God in whom He is well pleased.”

—Russell Moore, “Beyond a Veggie Tales Gospel: Why We Must Preach Christ from Every Text”

In Our Place He Lived & Died

“God the Father entered into an eternal covenant with God the Son; he made Christ the head, the representative of the elect, as Adam was the head, the representative of all his seed. For these the Lord Jesus Christ undertook to fulfill the covenant of works. For these Jesus Christ died a painful, cursed, ignominious death; and by his obedience, and by his death, wrought out an everlasting righteousness for them.”

- George Whitefield, quoted by Steve Jeffery, et al. in Pierced for Our Transgressions (Wheaton, Ill.; Crossway Books, 2007), 193.

More to follow...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And they say they want EQUAL rights?

Well, James White has again posted another insightful entry on a topic that he has been on top of for a long time. The post has to do with the events happening now in the UK with the "gay rights" activists attempting to have civil union ceremonies performed in churches. He has some good things to add over at his blog HERE. I recommend his post to you.

Dr. White also links to the original article on his page, and I recommend reading that article too.

I have to say, this just seems downright ridiculous. How on earth can a group who is blatantly rebelling against Christianity and its long historical beliefs decide that it wants to storm the doors of these churches in order to have them bless something that they absolutely cannot even accept as valid? Why would this activist group even care what these churches think about their relationships? I would think that they would want to stay away from the churches rather than go to them.

On the other hand, the Bible says that those who reject God's rule over them will be judged in this way. And the judgment is their perverted sexual desires ruling them and causing them to bring more judgment on their own heads. And for those who think I'm merely spouting off bigoted slander, here's the passage in question:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, BECAUSE they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. [NOW WATCH THIS] For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
(Rom 1:18-32 ESV)

So, the Bible affirms this behavior as being the rebellion of creatures against their creator, and the extended vigor with which they pursue this rebellion is God's judgment upon them.

All this behavior coming from the extreme, radical gay activists is similar to the behavior I see from my children. Unless checked, my children will stomp their feet and deliberately disobey my commands just to spite me. They are naturally rebels. This is why it is so important to keep track of their actions and shepherd them in order that they don't end up rebelling against God and ending up eternally regretting it.

I see some gay people who are so extremely and overtly flamboyant and I wonder why they are so concerned with advertising. What I hope, though, is that we as Christ's ambassadors, who possess the only message of healing and reconciliation (II Cor. 5:20) will be willing to overlook these sinners' rebellion and attempt to befriend them in the hope that we will be given the opportunity to be used of God to pull them out of the fire and introduce them to their Savior. After all, we were all likewise rebellious sinners in need of this soul saving message, and we would be to blame and have blood on our hands if we neglected in any way to hold out this message of reconciliation for any reason--even if the sin we confront in the process makes us feel queasy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Where my homies at?!

If anyone recalls, I did invite a couple friends of mine to add some flavor to the blog a while back, but, as most can see, they are missing in action.

One friend is busy on the mission field, and the other is knee deep (shoulder deep maybe) in schoolwork; BUT I sure would like to get some contributions from them. Maybe we could get an update from the mission field with some testimony to God's awesomeness. Maybe we could get some updates and insight into a budding theologian's schoolwork and projects. Maybe these two fellows are hoarding the blessings and have no intention of sharing these things with us (one or two people who actually erad the blog).

Only time will tell...

Go check out the contrast...

I posted the first of these two videos on my Facebook page, but I'll settle for a link to the source where I first encountered them. THIS is a link to James White's blog where he has a powerfully preached sermon straight from the heart of the man who first preached it, and then he has another video by Joel Osteen which is obviously a much different message. It's worth the time to watch--especially the first video. I recommend both, though, because it's nice to exercise our minds in worship to God by being familiar with the false messages in order to keep a clear understanding of the power and clarity of the truth.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Spurred on to reflection

He gave His life as a ransom, I’m hyped and I’m dancing
When reciting my anthems of Christ, the Righteous Lamb who lights my lantern
Who else but the Lord of the nations
Can hype a heathen drunkard to write without even one word of self-glorification?
My feeble words- inadequate indeed to describe the Immaculate Seed
Destined to do miraculous deeds
At the age of twelve, he had the old heads amazed at His insights
Obeyed His parents, even though He created their wind pipes
A true Anomaly- and who can ponder the
Servant fighting the serpent in the desert with verses from Deuteronomy
Satan threw every obstacle at Him, but couldn’t fathom
The brilliant stratagems of the eschatological Adam
The uniqueness of His meekness is too deep to speak
And if you think meekness is weakness, try being meek for a week
Perfect humanity- yet bubbling with divinity
Fulfilling the eternal covenant within the Trinity
Excruciating suffering, infinite agony
Divine abandonment for the Inventor of gravity
No sin in His Majesty, He was a substitute
The fruit of His love was enough to scoop sin up from the root
The third day rose victorious- meaning history is
A play that God’s directing to make Jesus look glorious
We spit holy speech over beats to turn up the temperature
And no retreat though we seek the return of the Emperor!

"Obeyed His parents, even though He created their wind pipes?!" Every time I hear that line, I smile and consider the profundity of it! I love it! And how often do I reflect on thoughts like these? Not enough. Of course He created His parents' windpipes--He created their whole being! So why don't I take more time to reflect on little details of my Lord like this? I must not want to experience the blessing and joy that comes along with doing it. So, I guess that means that I'm stupid.

Well, I better work on that...

How about "Divine abandonment for the Inventor of gravity?" This is another classic line. Wow! God thought up all the minute details that we take for granted every day! Some might think this is a worthless, time wasting activity, but how worthy of our time and effort are the details of our Lord's life on this earth and His preexistence and transcendence and every other detail we can take the time to ponder over! These are worthy tasks that we should all consider taking the time to ponder over more often.

Of course, maybe I'm the only slacker on this area...

I love the fact that Shai Linne's songs are so well thought through. And I encourage everyone who is able to get online and purchase one or all of his albums because his songs are full of lines that are deep and so obvious at the same time. Many times I have listened and remarked, "Wow! Of course Jesus is _______! Why hasn't that affected me before?" Sometimes you just need to be reminded of His greatness, I guess. Well, at least I do. And if you'd like to be blessed by this lyrical theology, go check out his blog HERE to read some of his song lyrics, and get over HERE or HERE to pick up single songs or whole albums.

Oh, and consider one more thought from this song:

"The uniqueness of His meekness is too deep to speak
And if you think meekness is weakness, try being meek for a week"

Go on, try it. If you do, you'll appreciate even more deeply the task that He accomplished and hopefully be forced to worship Him often for the perfection that He achieved on your behalf. And it's a good thing, too!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Failure of Local Churches

I'm reading an amazing book called Dear Timothy. It's a clever concept written by a group of seasoned pastors as a series of letters to a young pastor who is just starting out in his first church. It has some great insights for anyone planning to go into the pastoral ministry, and I highly recommend it.

This post, however, is not meant to be a review.

I wanted to share a paragraph cited in the book from another book written by A.W. Pink. This is from Mark Dever's chapter entitled "Do the Work of an Evangelist" on page 163. Apparently, Pink was writing on a subject that is depressingly still relevant that was going on in Australia (his home?) in the 1920s. Allow me to share:

General religious conditions here are very similar to those which obtain in the USA. The vast majority of the churches are in a sorry state. Those that are out-and-out worldly are at their wits' end to invent new devices for drawing a crowd. Others which still preserve an outward form of godliness provide nothing substantial for the soul; there is little ministering of Christ to the heart and little preaching of "sound doctrine," without which souls cannot be built up and established in the faith. The great majority of the "pastors" summon to their aid some professional "evangelist," who, for two to four weeks, puts on a high-pressure campaign and secures sufficient new "converts" to take the place of those who have "lapsed" since he was last with them. What a farce it all is! What an acknowledgement of their own failure! Imagine C. H. Spurgeon needing some evangelist to preach the Gospel for him for a month each year! Why do not these well-paid "pastors" heed 2 Timothy 4:5 and themselves "do the work of an evangelist," and thus "make full proof of their ministry"?

That's quite a question. I thought nothing of the significance or the error behind the position of a full time evangelist who travels to many churches in order to preach revivals and what not until I was in Bible college. I noticed then that there really is no such office in the NT expressed in the way it is now, and I wondered about the validity of it.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who has pondered this, and I think that Pink may have been on to something.

I wonder what makes pastors think that they need to call on some professional "evangelist" when the pastor is to be the one doing the work of an evangelist and training his people to carry on that responsibility into their own lives (Eph 4:11-12). I know that the text in Ephesians names evangelists too, but not in the way that it is now expressed. Maybe it's due to the fact that it's been done for so long. Maybe it's because there are men training for this office and they need somebody to give em some work. I'm not really sure how it has come about, but I (and some godly men too) would like to know why.

I wonder if men leading churches today even care enough to start allowing God's Spirit to work through the faithful preaching of the word and attend to the responsibility of evangelizing people themselves. After all, it's not the visible results that your looking for--it's the faithful obedience that counts (or is it?).

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dramatized Exegesis