Friday, February 27, 2015

Be Strong and Courageous



The Call to Courage - Crawford Loritts
Joshua 1:1-9



1) Courage rests upon a clear assignment from God (v 1-4).
2) Courage rests upon the assurance of God's presence (v 5, 9).
3) Courage rests upon focused determination (v 6, 7, 9).
4) Courage is anchored by the word of God (v 7-8).
    a) Proclaim the Word ("let it not depart from your mouth").
    b) Meditate upon the Word ("you shall meditate on it day and night").
    c) Do all that is written in it.

 You have to be the destination where you want other people to arrive. 


If you would like to download the MP3 or Video of this message as well as the notes check out:
 http://www.desiringgod.org/conference-messages/the-call-to-courage

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"Ya, Rab, Yesua!" (Oh Lord Jesus!)

"Ya, Rab, Yesua!" (Oh Lord Jesus!) 

This is what the 21 Egyptian martyrs cried out 3 days ago as they were beheaded by ISIS terrorists.
Let's pray for an ISIS Saul - at whose feet lay the garments of these martyrs - who, on his way to his next religious assignment to cleanse the world of infidels, would be radically confronted by the living Jesus. Confronted, changed and forgiven by the blood of Jesus, and then sent to reach his people.

Spurgeon


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

HE ALWAYS MAKES THE FIRST MOVE

“We can never take God by surprise. We can never anticipate him. He always makes the first move. He is always there ‘in the beginning’. Before we existed, God took action. Before we decided to look for God, God had already been looking for us. The Bible isn’t about people trying to discover God, but about God reaching out to find us.

Many people imagine God sitting comfortably on a distant throne, remote, aloof, uninterested, a God who doesn’t really care for our needs and has to be badgered into taking action on our behalf. Such a view is completely wrong. The Bible reveals a God who, long before it even occurs to men and women to turn to him, while they are still lost in darkness and sunk in sin, takes the initiative, rises from his throne, lays aside his glory, and stoops to seek until he finds them.”

— John Stott
Basic Christianity

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Thoughts

Missionary vs. Consumer



It’s impossible to be a consumer & a missionary in the same neighborhood. We must choose whom we will serve, ourselves or others. By serving ourselves we reveal our atheistic sinful hearts. By living for others we show the goodness, glory, and great supply of our all sufficient God.

As followers of Jesus we have been freed of the burden of consumerism because we have been given all we need in Christ.

Jesus modeled this perfectly! For he was able to freely serve us, because all he needed on this earth came from his relationship with the Father. [John 4:32]

In turn, as we live surrendered lives in Christ we live devoted lives as servant missionaries in our neighborhoods. For this is what it means to light the world, for they shall see the brightness of our God through our dependence on his abundant supply.

This light is not shown through earthly means like money & status. But heavenly means like selflessness & sacrifice. It’s as they see us choose others over ourselves that they see the hope we have through King Jesus.
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I found this on the internet. I do not know who penned it but I like it:

"Jesus said several times, “Come, follow me.” His was a program of “do what I do,” rather than “do what I say.” His innate brilliance would have permitted him to put on a dazzling display, but that would have left his followers far behind. He walked and worked with those he was to serve. His was not a long-distance leadership. He was not afraid of close friendships; he was not afraid that proximity to him would disappoint his followers. The leaven of true leadership cannot lift others unless we are with and serve those to be led."

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It doesn’t really matter if your theology falls under Calvinism or Arminianism. If your theology puts man & self at the center it’s postmodern humanism not biblical Christianity. 

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What Sanctifies Our Offerings? - Charles Spurgeon




And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord. (Leviticus 4:7)

The altar of incense is the place where saints present their prayers and praises; and it is delightful to think of it as sprinkled with the blood of the great sacrifice. This it is which makes all our worship acceptable with Jehovah: He sees the blood of His own Son and therefore accepts our homage.

It is well for us to fix our eyes upon the blood of the one offering for sin. Sin mingles even with our holy things, and our best repentance, faith, prayer, and thanksgiving could not be received of God were it not for the merit of the atoning sacrifice. Many sneer at “the blood”; but to us it is the foundation of comfort and hope. That which is on the horns of the altar is meant to be prominently before our eyes when we draw near to God. The blood gives strength to prayer, and hence it is on the altar’s horns. It is “before the Lord,” and therefore it ought to be before us. It is on the altar before we bring the incense; it is there to sanctify our offerings and gifts.

Come, let us pray with confidence, since the Victim is offered, the merit has been pleaded, the blood is within the veil, and the prayers of believers must be sweet unto the Lord.

Read More from Spurgeon

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Suggestions

People always ask me for book recommendations so I thought I would post a few of my favorites here.

Through New Eyes - James B Jordan

I love this book. I keep reading it, and every time I find a new nugget of truth. The first time I read it my mind exploded with new insight. I really can not explain how much this opens up scripture. Here is a quick quote from the book on OT darkness and NT light: 
“The moon established which day was the first of the month, and which was the fifteenth. Such festivals as Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles were set on particular days of the month (Leviticus 23:5-6, 34; Numbers 28:11-14; 2 Chronicles 8:13; Psalm 81:3). The moon, of course, governs the night (Psalm 136:9; Jeremiah 31:35), and in a sense the entire Old Covenant took place at night. With the rising of the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2), the "day" of the Lord is at hand (Malachi 4:1), and in a sense the New Covenant takes place in the daytime. As Genesis 1 says over and over, first evening and then morning. In the New Covenant we are no longer under lunar regulation for festival times (Colossians 2:16-17). In that regard, Christ is our light.”        

Desiring God - John Piper

I read this book once a year. 
 The primary message is this: not only is it our chief end as humans to desire God and enjoy Him forever, but is it God's chief end to glorify himself and enjoy himself forever. This book has been instrumental for me in understanding God's justice & mercy and how they play out perfectly together for his glory...even when it's hard to see or understand.

“The wisdom of God devised a way for the love of God to deliver sinners from the wrath of God while not compromising the righteousness of God.”

“Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing. And prayer is the turning away from ourselves to God in the confidence that He will provide the help we need. Prayer humbles us as needy and exalts God as wealthy” 



Bible Matrix: An Introduction to the DNA of the Scriptures - Michael Bull

I found Michael Bull by accident. I was filtering through websites about Jordan's Through New Eyes and found Bull's book Totus Christus. The book was no longer available in the states so I messaged him through his blog. He responded 5 minutes later and recommended his second book (drum roll) Bible Matrix which I bought for my kindle and later a physical copy because I underlined the crap out of it. Here is  the description from Goodreads:

Ever wish someone could give you a big handle on the entire Bible without years of study?Well, this book not only promises to give you that big handle-it will deliver on the promise. You should be asking, how is this possible?

The Bible is one story told over and over again, with many variations on the same theme. This structure is the Bible's DNA.This basic seven-point pattern is the heartbeat of the Creation. It is the cycle of a human day and a human life. It is the pattern of the Tabernacle. It is the process of agriculture. It undergirds the speeches and Laws of God. It orders the rise and fall of nations and empires. It is also the structure of our worship. It is the rhythm of Christ, and it will open the Bible for you like never before.   
AMAZON

Reading The Bible in 3D - Michael Bull

This is an EBook that I just got and I am excited to dig into it. I am actually looking at using it as a backdrop text for an intro to how to study the bible course. Here is the description from Amazon:

For most people, reading the Bible is like watching a foreign movie with no subtitles. The keys to understanding the book are hidden in plain sight, but we haven't been trained to see them.

The Bible is a story. Imagine if you could make sense of its weirdest bits using some skills you might have learned from watching a long-running TV series. The countless novels, movies and TV shows we enjoy employ exactly the same techniques to connect with people as the ones used by the authors of the Bible.

The Bible has a shape. Imagine being able to read it in 3D in the same way an architect interprets building plans, or a tailor understands suit patterns.
The Bible has a tune. Imagine being familiar with its basic "musical" themes so you know what is happening and where the story is going.

The Bible is art. Imagine being a curator who knows the reason for every curve of the sculpture, with a mind and heart shaped by its beauty.

The Bible is fun. Imagine being able to see when the author is making a joke or turning another Bible story on its head just to shock his audience!

Contemporary culture has been shaping us for a fresh look at the Bible. This amazing book has been biding its time, waiting for a new generation of visual thinkers who are profoundly savvy when it comes to story, poetry and symbolism.

This little book will give you your first glimpse of the potential of the structural and symbolic wonders in the Bible. It's time to open your eyes.