Read how Jesus Christ changed Gerry’s life and delivered from the fear of leaving town! [May be have a kleenex handy.]
Archive for February, 2008
Al Mohler points to a disturbing trend that puts intense pressure on young girls. Again the culture is teaching us that physical beauty is to be a chief criteria for measuring one’s own value. As Christians we must be teaching our young girls the Scriptural truth such as Peter expresses here:
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands,as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.” (1 Peter 3:3-6)
Have you ever wished for another hour in the day? Well, what if God gave you a whole extra day?
Well, it’s February 29! How are you going to use it? One man thinks it ought to be a national holdiday (but doesn’t want the gov’t to move it to a Monday. This year it would at least give most a 3-day weekend!)
Oddly, enough I am not doing anything different on this day than I normally do–except catching up in some areas that I am behind in.
How about you, how are using the “extra day?”
“If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother; then come and offer your gift. (Matt. 5:23-24)“When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins (Mark. 11:25).
“We are all members of one body. ‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. (Eph. 4:25-26)
One of the lastest movements sweeping the country is “new atheism.”
Greg Koukl writes, “There has been an attack on religion.”
Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great—How Religion Poisons Everything
Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell—Religion as Natural Phenomenon
Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
Sam Harris, The End of Faith—Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason and Letter to a Christian Nation
These guys are really angry.
There’s really nothing new about the “new” atheism, except the attitude. The new twist: Theists are dangerous.
“Faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate,” writes Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion. “Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness.”
According to Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, religion is so bad it should be eradicated just like slavery was eradicated: “I would be the first to admit that the prospects for eradicating religion in our time do not seem good. Still the same could have been said about efforts to abolish slavery at the end of the eighteenth century.”
These writers have tremendous emotional appeal.
Two aspects of dealing with these new aggressive atheists (both are hard):
1. The argument
2. The interplay, the gamesmanship, the footwork
Regarding number two: I can dispatch a good portion of Christopher Hitchens’s analysis of religion with one statement: Ridicule (or sneering, or swearing) is not an argument. Hitchens regularly employs ad hominems, red herrings, hasty generalizations, ridicule, and fallacies of all sorts.
You will be hearing a lot more about the new atheism in the coming months ahead I am sure.
If ever there was utopia on the face of the earth for a few days, it seems like 2 Chronicles 30 would be a likely candidate for nomination! As I read this chapter I found great excitement and joy as God’s people gathered for and entered into worship! Verse 26 describes the festivities as “there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem.”
In this chapter God is praised for being gracious, compassionate and merciful.
As I read this chapter, I asked what kind of actions and attitudes were pleasing to God and how should I relate to God as illustrated in this chapter. I found many answers including these: obedience, consecration, faithfulness, tender-hearted, willing sevice, humility, confession of sin, gladness, wholeheartedness, skillfulness, celebration, and prayer!
Not every occasion for worship will leave us saying there was “nothing like this!” but cultivating these attitudes in our worship will make a huge difference!
It has been said, “If you were tried in court on the charge that you were a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
1 John is a great book by which you to really test your faith. I hear of so many Christians who affirm the faith of someone else who rarely fellowships with other believers, has to be coaxed to read the Bible, prays only when in troubles, and whose life resembles Jesus Christ’s life in hardly in any way. I know many professing Christians who likewise rarely read the Word, haven’t seen the need to fellowship with other Christians in worship for years, who don’t confess sin, who hold sustained grudges against other believers, and who don’t actively pursue righteousness–and yet they have no doubt that they are Christians.
I have preached through 1 John a few times and I have been convicted every time. I think it is healthy to take the tests of 1 John to heart and to evaluate one’s profession in light of this letter. John Piper most recently preached on this theme and here are 11 evidences he found for a living faith!
1. They keep God’s commandments (2:3-4; 3:24).
2. They walk as Christ walked (2:56).
3. They don’t hate others but love them (2:9; 3:14; 4:7-8, 20).
4. They don’t love the world (2:15).
5. They confess the Son and receive (have) him (2:23; 4:15; 5:12).
6. They practice righteousness (2:29).
7. They don’t make a practice of sinning (3:6, 9-10; 5:18).
8. They possess the Spirit of God (3:24; 4:13).
9. They listen submissively to the apostolic Word (4:6).
10. They believe that Jesus is the Christ (5:1).
11. They overcome the world (5:4).
Let’s make our calling and election sure.
“Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”–Jesus Christ in John 6:27
“Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.” —Helen Keller
“People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election.” —Otto von Bismarck
“Where the foundation is laid, God will be sure to put up the roof.”–Richard Sibbes
“God had only one Son without sin, but no sons without sorrow.”–Unknown
“There are some who are always talking about corruption, and the depravity of the heart, and the innate evil of the soul. This is quite true, but why not go a little further, and remember that we are ‘perfect in Christ Jesus.’ It is no wonder that those who are dwelling upon their own corruption should wear such downcast looks; but surely if we call to mind that ‘Christ is made unto us righteousness,’ we shall be of good cheer.
“There is nothing wanting in my Lord; Christ hath done it all. On the cross he said, ‘It is finished!’ and if it be finished, then am I complete in him, and can rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, ‘Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.’ ”–Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening
“God promises a safe landing but not a calm passage.”–Anonymous
“However matters go, it is our happiness to win new ground daily in Christ’s love, and to purchase a new piece of it daily, and to add conquest, till our Lord Jesus and we be so near the other that Satan shall not draw a straw or a thread betwixt us.”–Samuel Rutherford
“If one is to blaze a trail exalting God he will need to get tough in throwing out the idols.”–James Rosscup
“The first half of our lives we are romantic. The last half we are rheumatic.”—Vance Havner