Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cultivating Thankfulness

F. B. Meyer asks, “God, why is your hand ALWAYS on the other person?” Notice the emphasis is on the word “always.” Why does it seem that God’s hand is always on the oppressor? Why do we as the saints of God go through suffering and pain? If the Bible is true (and it is) and it tells us that God loves His people, then why does He let us go through tribulations? What makes it worse is when you do all that you can to follow God? You live right, you pray right, you spend quality time with God, you do all that you can to follow and serve God yet it seems that you are the one who suffers the most. It seems that the more you follow God, the more you look for the other shoe to drop. Why?

As we approach Thanksgiving, Asaph helps us how to cultivate thankfulness in spite of what our circumstances and situations may tells us. First, stop walking by sight (Psalm 73:1-14). Second, start walking by faith (Psalm 73:15-21). And third, start worshipping God (Psalm 73:21-28).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What is Love?

W. Harold Mare, in the NIV Study Bible, “The Greek word for this word [love] indicates a selfless concern for the welfare of others that is not called forth by any quality of lovableness in the person loved, but it is the product of a will to love in obedience to God’s command. It is like Christ’s love manifested on the cross.” This agape love is a total abandonment to the will of God to love others in spite of them being mean-spirited, cantankerous, hateful, spiteful, etc. We are called to love others just as Christ loved us and gave His life for us.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

John 3:16!

While preparing a lesson on the eternal security of the believer, I came across this great quote from Tony Evans book, Totally Saved. What a wonderful thought about the greatest plan of God: to redeem man from His sins and bring him into an eternal relationship with Him for His glory.

“For God so loved.” That’s the greatest degree.
“The world.” That’s the greatest company.
“That He gave.” That’s greatest act.
“His only begotten Son.” That’s the greatest gift.
“That whoever.” That’s the greatest opportunity.
“Believes.” That’s the greatest simplicity.
“In Him.” That’s the greatest attraction.
“Shall not perish.” That’s the greatest promise.
“But.” That’s the greatest difference.
“Have.” That’s the greatest certainty.
“Eternal life.” That’s the greatest possession.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Today's Biblical Preacher: A Servant

“Preachers are specially exposed to the danger of flattery. I fear the whole frame of mind in which some Christian people go to church is wrong. They do not go to worship God or hear God’s Word. They go to hear a man. So it is not the message to which they listen, but as if they relished some tasty morsel in their mouths. They say afterwards how much they enjoyed or did not enjoy it. But sermons are not intended to be ‘enjoyed.’ Their purpose is to give profit to the hearers, not pleasure. Sermons are not artistic creations to be critically evaluated for their form. They are ‘tools, and not works of art.’ A sermon is never an end in itself, but a means to an end, the end being ‘saving souls’… What matters, therefore is Christ Himself who is proclaimed, and not the men who proclaim Him. To think or act otherwise is not only to usurp God’s glory, but to jeopardize the preacher’s whole ministry, brinigng it first into discredit and finally to ruin.”

John Stott, Biblical Preaching Today, quoting Phillips Brooks, Lectures on Preaching.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Passion for Christ!

“Our external delights, our earthly pleasures, our ambition and our reputation, our human relationships, for all of these things, our desires are eager, our appetites strong, our love, warm and affectionate. When it comes to these things our hearts are tender and sensitive, deeply impressed, easily moved, much concern and greatly engaged. We are depressed at our losses and we are excited and joyful about any worldly success or prosperity. But when it comes to spiritual matters, how dull we feel. How heavy and hard our hearts. We can sit and hear of the infinite length and height and breadth and love of God in Christ Jesus, of His giving of His infinitely dear Son, and yet sit there cold and unmoved. If we are going to be excited about anything, shouldn’t it be our spiritual lives? Is there anything more inspiring, more exciting, more lovable and desirable in heaven or on earth than the Gospel of Jesus Christ? We should be utterly humbled that we are not more emotionally affected than we are in the church.” Jonathan Edwards

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Answers for Today

I am beginning a new series in our morning service on the book of Acts. Over the last few months, I have felt a need to teach and preach on a series related to speaking the gospel to our culture. It is nothing new to any of us to realize our great need to discover meaning in this life. So many have been touched by the economic downturn of our day, have witnessed the futility of our government leaders to provide answers, and have experienced the downsizing of jobs and the plunge of the housing market. What is going on and who has the answers? I believe that the Christian faith can supply those answers. I believe that the hope of our world lies in the message of the gospel. No other religion can provide that hope like Christianity. I was thinking about this hope when I came across a quote from Chuck Colson (How Now Shall We Live?, 136):

“For the secularist, death is like stepping off a cliff into a black abyss of nothingness. The Muslim faces a fearsome judgment, and for many Eastern religions, the prospect is equally grim: After death, the law of karma decrees that people must pay the penalty for what they have done in this life, being reincarnated according to their past deeds. But for the Christian, assured of eternity with the Lord, ‘To die is gain’ (Philippians 1:21).”