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Showing posts from March, 2009

Are we such cowards?

Those ghastly corpses might well have affrightedRizpah!

"Then Rizpah, the mother of two of the men, spread sackcloth on a rock and stayed there the entire harvest season. She prevented vultures from tearing at their bodies during the day, and stopped wild animals from eating them at night." 2 Samuel 21:10

Isn't that how we should guard the true Gospel of Christ--at any cost to us personally?

"If the love of a woman to her slain sons, could make her prolong her mournful vigil for so long a period--shall we be weary of considering the sufferings of our blessed Lord? She drove away the vultures--and shall not we chase away those worldly and sinful thoughts which defile our minds? Away, you evil birds! Leave the sacrifice alone! Rizpah bore the scorching heat of summer, the night dews and the rains, unsheltered and alone. Sleep was chased from her weeping eyes--for her heart was too full for slumber. Behold how she loved her children! Shall Rizpah thus endure--and shall we…

A Conference not to miss!

I recently read a post questioning whether Christian Conferences are a good thing. That particular topic was very popular and that post received hundreds of comments expressing the pros and the cons of such events. I found this letter that C.H. Spurgeon wrote on March 10, 1890 to a member of the Pastor's College Association where he requested prayer for an upcoming conference. If his prayers were answered, that would have been a conference not to miss!

"Our hope is that brief addresses and short prayers will prove more fruitful than longer discourses might have been. If every brother who speaks is filled with the Spirit of God, we shall have no profitless talk; and if all who are coming would aim to be so filled, we should have a wealth of spiritual profiting.Personally I beg your prayers.

There is much to wear away the soul just now, and we need that text to be true in our experience ‘he restoreth my soul.’ I know that I need the visitation of the Lord to refresh my spirit. D…

So, you think you like Spurgeon?

The times—they be a changing!

Many are familiar with the ECT Accord (Evangelicals and Catholics Together) that was drafted and signed by Rome and by several well known evangelicals, such as, Chuck Colson and J.I. Packard. This document raised quite a stir in the Evangelical Community. If you have never heard about it; “google” it and learn.

We live in a time that has (for the most part) forgotten the “Reformation” and we are willing and ready to compromise the “Truth” because of ignorance of the “Truth”. We then convince ourselves that we are doing so in love.

The same people who have this (in their perception) loving attitude; may be shocked to read this excerpt for one of Charles Haddeon Spurgeon’s sermons preached on the following text. You may actually think Spurgeon was a “Hate-Monger” after reading this. But, that is simply because you have been indoctrinated into the “World’s” idea of love—not God’s. He preached this because he loved people, God, and the Truth. He loved Christ and…

"For the Lord, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God."—Exodus 34:14.

This is (more than likely) one of the passages that those who claim Christ as their Savior and yet enjoy laying in the bosom of many other "spiritual" lovers, will gloss over or ignore completely.

Do you wish this passage, and so many others like it, were not contained in the Word of God? Do you wish that the God of the Bible was different then He reveals Himself to be--because you do not really understand Him? He does not seem to fit the God that you want to worship and adore. O' you say you love Christ; yet you crawl into a spiritual bed with whomever kindles the sparks of your own imagination and rebellious heart.

Most of us know the pain involved with loving someone and being betrayed. God gives us these experiences so that we can better understand these passages and thus better understand His love for us and how that love can be tied to His jealousy for us. Although our capacity to love and our feelings of jealousy, as they are associated with love, are always…

How few can bear to be told their faults!

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." Jeremiah 17:9

The deceitfulness of the heart appears in the highest degree, when men overlook the real motives of their conduct, and mistake the workings of their own corruptions, "for the fruits of the Spirit of God.

That there is such deceitfulness in the world, none can doubt, who consider the dreadful enormities that have been committed under the sacred name of religion. In many cases, it must be acknowledged, these enormities have been committed by people who were conscious of the motives from which they acted, and who employed religion merely as an engine to attain the objects of their avarice or ambition. But in other cases it is no less certain, that men have concealed from themselves the motive of their conduct, and even mistaken the workings of their corruptions for the fruits of the Spirit of God.

Men in general, are so backward to acknowledge their faults, and so displeased with those who are so…

Do you pray like this? Do you pray for this?

How do we pray? How do you pray? Aren't most of our prayers "man-centered"--even "self-centered" and mostly temporal?

God is the most important person in the universe. More important than all others put together.All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness"(Isaiah 40:17).

That's why Jesus put this request at the beginning of the Lord's prayer: "Hallowed be your name."

The whole-souled act of hallowing God's name is the most important act in the universe. To "hallow" means to "sanctify" which in God's case means to set apart in your mind and heart as supremely great and beautiful and valuable.

"Hallowed be your name" means, "See to it that your name is hallowed. Use your infinite power and wisdom and love to stir up billions of hearts and minds to admire you and prize you above all things."


We ask him to fulfill this promise:

"I wil…

A Seasoned Soul

I do not think that I have ever read anything (and I read a great deal) that so accurately sums up and expresses my very heart like the following:

It is not a sign of a seasoned Christian soul that steady joy is untinged with steady sorrow. Or to put it positively, the seasoned soul in Christ has a steady joy and a steady sorrow. They protect each other. Joy is protected from being flippant by steady sorrow. Sorrow is protected from being fatal by steady joy. And they intensify each other. Joy is made deeper by steady sorrow. Sorrow is made sweeter by steady joy.

For the seasoned Christian soul, I do not see how it can be otherwise while people are perishing and we are saved. I do not see how it can be otherwise while these two passages are written by the same inspired man:


I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. (Romans 9:2-3)

Rej…

Just Spend One Day...

Just spend one day with the Risen Savior. Actually picture Him with you everywhere you go, hearing everything you say, seeing everything you do. With Him in the car with you on the way to work when that car cuts in front of you on the freeway; with Him at the office sitting right next to you and following you everywhere and listening to every word that proceeds from your mouth; with Him sitting right next to you at your computer at night. Just spend one day actually aware that Christ is with you seeing and hearing every move that you make and every thing that you utter.

Walk with Him by your side, talk to Him, ask Him for help and advice. Make yourself acknowledge His presence throughout your entire day.

Now, ask yourself these questions: Does that sound attractive to you? Do you actually want Him with you all day long--following you around throughout your entire day? Or, would you feel stifled? Would you want to shake Him off for awhile? Would He become a burden to you?

Do you think that God finds this Amusing?

I am driving home from a beautiful time of worshipping the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe and singing praises to my Savior and King. At a stop sign, I turn on KLOVE because (on occasion) they play wonderful worship songs and my CD player is broken, therefore I have limited music choices while in the car.

No song was playing. Instead, I hear the disc jockey laughing as she shares the following news article entitled "Top Ten Reasons to Go to Church" with the listeners. She thought that it was quite humorous and could really relate to reason #7 below. She then recommended that you read the entire list on KLOVE's website.

No, it was not written by David Letterman--that would be understandable. It was written by Bill Shuler, the pastor of the Capital Life Church in Arlington, Virginia.

So, last night I read about how youth are asked to "text message" their decisions for Christ on their cell phones at a "christian" concert and this morning I get to hear…

"TEXTing" a decision for Christ.

From "Alter Calls" to "Text Messaging". Yes, you read that right. At the Winter Jam 2009 at Rupp Arena, those in attendance where actually instructed to use their cell phones to text message a decision for Christ. Here is an excerpt from the Review:

Winter Jam, which made its second visit to Rupp in as many years is presented by New Song, who opened the evening after Dove Award nominee Francesca Battistelli, with a few of their hits, including Arise My Love. Hawk Nelson made an early appearance with a hyped up set that topped the first half of music.

Then evangelist Tony Nolan took the stage to deliver a message and a high-tech take on the invitation for people to commit to the Christian faith. No walking forward to Just As I Am, Without One Plea here. Winter Jam goers were told to text “Tony” to 38714, and they would receive a text with more information about where to go for information. Winter Jam organizers estimated 2,500 people responded to that invitation Satur…

The Benevolence of Rome

There is, I acknowledge, a sort of benevolence, which, greatly for the benefit of society, is to be found among those who are strangers to the saving power of the gospel.

But however useful this sort of benevolence may be in its own place, it falls short of that love to mankind which is the fruit of a living faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The common benevolence which springs from mere natural principles, refers chiefly to men's bodily needs, and temporal distresses. Whereas true Christian love, while it does not overlook these, aims at higher objects, and, deeply sensible how infinitely superior the concerns of the soul are to those things which relate only to a present life, directs its principal efforts to the spiritual interests and eternal salvation of mankind.

While the Christian philanthropist, then, mourns over the countless calamities of suffering humanity, he is still more deeply affected with the spiritual distresses of his fellow creatures. By holding up to our view…

When in Rome...

On occasion, I will visit the "Holy See" website and read the latest messages, letters and addresses given by the pope. For all who wear the name of Christ, I feel it is important to be aware of what is being shared on a global level by one of the most high profile and influential names representing "Christianity". The following is simply being shared to educate you regarding something that you need to be aware of. The lost world is very confused about what a "Christian" is and what a "Christian" believes and no wonder.

These are actual excerpts from addresses made this past week.

MEETING WITH THE BISHOPS OF CAMEROON
ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI
Church of Christ-Roi in Tsinga - Yaoundé
Wednesday, 18 March 2009

This was the end of his speech yesterday:

Dear Cardinal, dear Brother Bishops, at the conclusion of our meeting, I would like to say once more what a joy it is to be here in your country and to meet the people of Cameroon. I thank you …

Believe

"Faith leads us to believe in difficulties being overruled to promote success. Because:We believe in God, and in His Holy Spirit,We believe that difficulties will be greatly sanctified to us, and that they are only placed before us as stepping-stones to grander results.We believe in defeats, my brethren;

We believe in going back with the banner trailed in the mire, persuaded that this may be the surest way to lasting triumph.We believe in waiting, weeping, and agonizing; We believe in a non-success which prepares us for doing greater and higher work, for which we should not have been fitted unless anguish had sharpened our soul. We believe in our infirmities, and even glory in them;We thank God that we are not so eloquent as we could wish to be, and have not all the abilities we might desire, because now we know that 'the excellency of the power' shall 'be of God, and not of us.' Faith enables us so to rejoice in the Lord that our infirmities become platforms for …

"Struggling" with Habitual Sin?

Spurgeon has a word of warning for those who wear Christ's name in public and habitually sin in private (i.e. pornography "addiction" which is the most prevalent, habitual sin those in the church today are engaging in):

"Rowland Hill illustrated the folly of sinners, by the story of a butcher who was followed by the swine right into the slaughterhouse. As pigs are not usually in the mind to go where they are wanted, it seemed a mystery how these animals were so eager to follow their executioner; but when it was seen that he wisely carried a bag of corn with which he enticed the creatures onward--the riddle was solved at once. Unsuspicious of impending death--the hogs cared only for the passing gratification of their appetites, and hastened to the slaughter.

Just in the same manner, ungodly men follow the great enemy of souls down into the jaws of hell, merely because their depraved passions are pleased with the lusts of the flesh and the pleasures of sin which the…

How big is the Gospel to you?

On the heals of yesterday's post--


Our temptation is to think that the gospel is for beginners and then we go on to greater things. But the real challenge is to see the gospel as the greatest thing—and getting greater all the time.

Here is a simple exhortation:

Seek to see and feel the gospel as bigger as years go by rather than smaller.

The Gospel gets bigger when, in your heart,

Grace gets bigger;
Christ gets greater;
his death gets more wonderful;
His resurrection gets more astonishing;
The work of the Spirit gets mightier;
The power of the gospel gets more pervasive;
Its global extent gets wider;
Your own sin gets uglier;
The devil gets more evil;
The gospel's roots in eternity go deeper;
Its connections with everything in the Bible and in the world get stronger;and the magnitude of its celebration in eternity gets louder.
So keep this in mind: Never let the gospel get smaller in your heart. Pray that it won’t. Read solid books on it. Sing about it. Tell someone about it who is igno…

Bored but politely listening

I sat in church last night listening to a sermon on the Atonement and as I heard the pastor read certain scriptures about my Savior my heart and soul were stirred with deep affection, sorrow and delight. As I glanced around the room, it was as if everyone was listening to an old story that they had heard their grandpa tell a million times, and frankly, they were bored stiff, but politely listened.

On my way home, a great sorrow filled my heart and I pleaded with the Lord, "Please, please, Lord--revive your people".

At times, I feel very alone and wonder if anyone else is noticing this. As I was asking the Lord to show me if my spirit is too critical towards others or if my perspective is skewed, I received these quotes in a daily devotion. Thank you Lord for your caring encouragement and letting me know that others in the body are also seeing what I am seeing and writing about it.

“I ask myself, I ask you: where is the ‘Oh’ in our response to God? Where is the intensity of awe …

Why do you "love" the Word?

"Your Word is completely pure, and Your servant loves it." Psalms 119:140

Many love the Preached Word only for its eloquence and notion. They come to a sermon as to a performance,Ezek. 33:31,32, or as to a garden to pick flowers;but not to have their lusts subdued or their hearts purified. These are like a foolish woman who paints her face—but neglects her health!

Do we love the convictions of the Word? Do we love the Word when it comes home to our conscience and shoots its arrows of reproof at our sins? It is the minister's duty sometimes to reprove. He who can speak smooth words in the pulpit—but does not know how to reprove, is like a sword with a fine handle, but without an edge! "Rebuke them sharply!" Titus 2:15. Dip the nail in oil—reprove in love—but strike the nailhome!

Now Christian, when the Word touches on your sin and says, "You are the man!" do you love the reproof? Can you bless God that "the sword of the Spirit" has divided betwe…

Beauty in Brevity

I love it when so much can be said with so few words:

"Our Western culture has a small, worldly, culturally contaminated, self-centered, Christ-ignoring, God-neglecting, romance-intoxicated, unbiblical view of marriage where the main idol is SELF, its main doctrine is AUTONOMY, and its central act of worship is BEING ENTERTAINED!"

John Piper "This Momentary Marriage"

The Word and the Spirit

A life-giving stream for parched pilgrims!

(Arthur Pink, "The Word of Grace")

The Word and the Spirit are so intimately conjoined, that we are scarcely warranted in thinking of the one, without the other. The Word does not operate without the Spirit's agency--and the Spirit does not work apart from the Word.

It was by the Spirit's inspiration, that the Word was first given, for "holy men of God spoke, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21).

It is by the Spirit, that we are enlightened (Eph 1:17, 18), yet the Word is the means He employs.

It is by the Spirit, that we are sanctified (Rom 15:16), yet not apart from the Truth (John 17:17).

It is by the Spirit, that we are strengthened (Eph 3:16) as He causes the Word to dwell in us richly (Col 3:16).

It is by the Spirit, that we are comforted (Acts 9:31) as He applies the Divine promises to our hearts.

How appropriate, then, that the grand instrument employed by the Spirit of grace, should be termed &q…

The Pleasure and Joy of Obedience

I was 35 years old before God said to my soul, "Let light shine out of darkness," and made His light shine in my heart to give me the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. " I had heard the Gospel and intellectually understood who Christ was and what the Bible said that He accomplished on the Cross and yet had no interest or desire for Christ until that day in 1995.

My whole orientation changed after that glorious moment.

One year later, as I learned more about the Lord and His plan of redemption as reveled in His Word; and listened to the struggles of those who professed Him as their Savior, I grew more and more perplexed by a question. "Why do you love and obey the Lord?" and "Why don't you love and obey the Lord?" if you wear His glorious name?" I soon realized (by talking with many Christians) that there was much confusion about why one should obey the Lord and desire a life of holiness and obedience.

That …

Pride in the Pulpit

For a year now something has been haunting me, and it is just now that I have actually felt a desire to express my concerns.

Over the years, I have watched great men of God (who have been used mightily to preach and proclaim God's truth) slip slowly into a practice of using their popularity and following to push their own personal convictions regarding non-essential doctrines. They use the pulpit to preach themselves--to preach their own personal convictions regarding doctrines that great men of God have differed on throughout the history of the Church.

I want you to read this portion of a transcript from a conference that was attended by over 3,000 pastors and leaders; and, as you read it, picture any man (an elder in your church, a leader of a bible study or Sunday school class) saying these exact words and ask yourself if this would be a man you would be comfortable with leading your flock at your church. Here is what was said, verbatim:

“Now that leads to my title: `Why Every Sel…

Confident Men

I am always blessed when I come across the writings of a man who was born over 200 years ago and yet echos the very groaning of my heart and soul.

Horatius Bonar is such a man. He was one of eleven children, and of these an older brother, John James, and a younger, Andrew, also became ministers and were all closely involved, together with Thomas Chalmers, William C. Burns and Robert Murray M'Cheyne, in the important spiritual movements which affected many places in Scotland in the 1830s and 1840s.

In the controversy known as the "Great Disruption," Horatius stood firmly with the evangelical ministers and elders who left the Church of Scotland's General Assembly in May 1843 and formed the new Free Church of Scotland. By this time he had started to write hymns, some of which appeared in a collection he published in 1845, but typically, his compositions were not named. His gifts for expressing theological truths in fluent verse form are evident in all his best-known hymns…

The Treasure of Christ who is the Image of the Beauty of God

The goal of our creation was not simply that we might be happy but happy in appreciating God's own glory. Not in reviewing our own accomplishments or in the enjoyment of our own sensual appetites. Not in the development of a healthy self esteem or in the acquisition of a four bedroom home with a three car garage. We were made to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Nothing is more important than understanding this truth.

This inspiring work helps us see that beauty has the power to convince the inquiring mind of truth. The soul's contact with God's beauty elicits love and forges in us a new affection that no earthly power can overcome. Enjoying God in the revelation of His beauty is the solution to our struggle with sin, the catalyst for substantive and lasting change and is the soul's satisfaction, with which no rival pleasure can hope to compete.

So what is it about God that when known and seen and experienced empowers the human soul to feel sickened in the presence of s…

Think about this: "Why did she end her life?"

From an interview on the Today show:

“I just had a scan of the room, her closet doors were open and I walked over into her room and saw her hanging. The cell phone was in the middle of the floor.”

A mother finds her 18 year old daughter’s body hanging dead.

Most of us have heard of “texting” or “text messaging”; but have you heard of “Sexting”?

Last fall, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy surveyed teens and young adults about “sexting” — sending sexually charged material via cell phone text messages — or posting such materials online. The results revealed that 39 percent of teens are sending or posting sexually suggestive messages, and 48 percent reported receiving such messages.

And now Jesse Logan was going on a Cincinnati television station to tell her story. Her purpose was simple: “I just want to make sure no one else will have to go through this again.” The interview was in May 2008. Two months later, Jessica Logan hanged herself in her bedroom. She was 18…

Funny - No Mention of Accountability Groups Here

"...When the soul is exercised to communion with Christ, and to walking with him, he drinks new wine, and cannot desire the old things of the world, for he says “The new is better.” He tastes every day how gracious the Lord is; and therefore longs not after the sweetness of forbidden things,—which indeed have none.

He that makes it his business to eat daily of the tree of life will have no appetite unto other fruit, though the tree that bear them seem to stand in the midst of paradise. This the spouse makes the means of her preservation; even the excellency which, by daily communion, she found in Christ and His graces above all other desirable things.

Let a soul exercise itself to a communion with Christ in the good things of the gospel,—pardon of sin, fruits of holiness, hope of glory, peace with God, joy in the Holy Ghost, dominion over sin,—and he shall have a mighty preservative against all temptations.

As the full soul loatheth the honey-comb,—as a soul filled with carnal, ea…

Worshipping at the "Throne of Pornography"

When you are to resist a temptation, or to mortify a corruption--do not go out in your own strength, but in the strength of Christ. Some go out to duty in the strength of their abilities; and go out against sin in the strength of their resolutions--and they both come home foiled. Alas! What are our resolutions, but like the green cords which bound Samson! A sinful heart will soon break these!

Do as David when he was to go up against Goliath. He said, "I come to you in the name of the Lord!" So say to your Goliath lust, "I come to you in the name of Christ!" Then we conquer, when the Lion of the tribe of Judah marches before us!Thomas Watson

So men: You think that pornography is a battle? You do? O really? Okay, then take the words of Thomas Watson to heart and every time you feel tempted to click that mouse, say, "Hello pornography--I come to you in the name of Christ." I guess that makes it pretty clear that pornography is not a battle--it is an idol. You …