Friday, September 26, 2008

When Will I; When Will We . . . ? RERUN

For a couple days now I've felt led to run this post again; and would really encourage you to give these some thought, and let me know what you would add!

When Will I (we) . . .

~Take more precious my relationship with Christ than my relationship with recurrent sin(s)?

~Find my Savior more lovely than I do my sin?

~Allow His kingdom to come and rule in my actions, and His will be done; rather than my kingdom and my will?

~Be as aggrieved by my sin as He is?

~Rather in my heart to aggrieve my sin, than to aggrieve Him?

~Be holy even as He is holy?

~Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness rather than only doing so when it's convenient or best suits my needs?

~Rather boast in the cross of Christ, instead of my job, my salary, the car that I drive, the house in which I live, or my family and its position in the community?

~Answer His call to die (to my sin), in order that I may truly live?

~Default in faith; rather than in doubt?

~Be more in love with Christ and the grace He's given, than in love with my sin?

~Rather be bound to Him, than demand my freedom to exercise my will?

~Be in such a state of antithesis with the world of man that it becomes the thesis of my life?

~See that everything this world has to offer is nothing when compared to His riches in glory?

~Live as a mere sojourner in this land, recognizing my residence is elsewhere?

~Daily live the truth that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world?

~Stop accepting (or acquiescing) to a paper mache crown when I've been promised one of gold?

~Stop substituting the truth for a lie?

~Choose to no longer be so reluctant to live by faith and not by sight?

~Give even a fraction of trust to God and His providence as I do to nearly any chair in which I sit without giving even a scintilla of thought as to whether it will hold and sustain, and not fail, me?

~Finally relinquish the driver's seat (or the remote control, eh guys?!) of my life to Him?

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou has brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory. Let me learn by paradox - that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. (The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, Arthur Bennett [Banner Of Truth, 1988])

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Life and Heart Development: What Are You Set On?

I'm reading Sinclair Ferguson's Sermon on the Mount, and am really digging it!

What a good, solid book.

Here's a question Ferguson poses - What is your heart set on as vital for your life and your character? What eight things do you most want to see developed in your life?

Now, before you read any further, write down your answer. . . . . OK, read on.

Ferguson then queries: How does your list compare with what Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount? He asks, "[d]oes the list include poverty of spirit, meekness, a hunger and thirst for righteousness mercy, purity of heart, a peacemaking spirit and a willingness to be persecuted for the sake of Jesus?" (Ferguson, Sinclair. The Sermon on the Mount, Banner of Truth Trust 1987, pg. 14)

How do you compare? Care to share?

Friday, September 05, 2008

What Should Be Our Response?

What is the state of the Church today (at least here in the west) that we have this, allow this, or put up with this from our pulpits or in our sanctuaries?

Are we - should we? - be saddened by this, ashamed of this, or sickened by it? And if so, what should be done about it?

What would the Puritans of old have said to this? How about John Owen? John Edwards? John Newton? Or more recent - A.W. Tozer, J. Gresham Machen, or Martyn Lloyd Jones?

First. A move of the Spirit, or the flesh? (1 Corinthians 14:33, 40 - For God is not a God of confusion but of peace . . . But all things should be done decently and in order.)

Or how about Mr. John "Oing, Oing, Okey Dokey Lord" Crowder? The first 1:50 minutes is all you need endure in order to get a taste of this "minister" of the gospel.

A sickening display by Mr. Crowder may also be seen here. (Matthew 12:31-32, Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.)

And then there's this feigned (and he should be ashamed!) attempt/ploy of appearing to move the people into a time of worship when all he wants is for them to get their shoes and sock off so they can spin them around in the air. Unbelievable!

For those of you around in the `80's, you may recognize that song from the group Dead or Alive, You Spin Me Round (Like a Record). And all this "worship" leader did was replace the word "baby" with "Jesus," saying, "you spin me right round Jesus, right round like a record, Jesus." What in the world does that mean? How does this song bring us any closer to an understanding of the Gospel?, of Christ and Him crucified?, of who Christ is and how He should be worshiped and adored?

Simple answer - IT DOESN'T!

UGH!, I could go on, but I'd rather hear from you.