“The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith. The end of true faith is the beginning of anxiety.”–George Muller
Archive for September 24th, 2011
A powerful reminder for us in this world of “me-ism.”
Test yourself. What is your mindset? Do you begin with God and his rights and goals? Or do you begin with yourself and your rights and wishes?
And when you look at the death of Christ, what happens? Does your joy really come from translating this awesome divine work into a boost for self-esteem? Or are you drawn up out of yourself and filled with wonder and reverence and worship that here in the death of Jesus is the deepest, clearest declaration of the infinite esteem of God for his glory and for his Son?
Here is a great objective foundation for the full assurance of hope: the forgiveness of sins is grounded, finally, not in my finite worth or work, but in the infinite worth of the righteousness of God — God’s unswerving allegiance to uphold and vindicate the glory of his name.
I appeal to you with all my heart, take your stand on this. Base your life on this. Ground your hope in this. You will be free from the futile mindset of the world. And you will never fall. When God’s exaltation of God in Christ is your joy, it can never fail.
John Piper,excerpted from Did Christ Die for Us or for God?
I never knew who Ron Brown was until I read this article. He is the running backs coach on the Nebraska Cornhuskers (Divison 1)–who happen to be a pretty good football team right now. But he is also a “gospel fanatic” as one writer calls him. In other words, he is a Christian who wisely but consistently speaks and models the gospel within his everyday work.
So what happens when he talks about the Bible and speaks openly of his faith when one of his star running backs is a Muslim? Well, of course the ACLU and others want to jump on this right away and hype it up. But what really happens?
Read about this football coach who works hard at his profession but incorporates his faith into it as well. Here’s five lessons Erik draws from his example
Obviously God has been gracious to Brown. He gives him boldness, clarity and passion. Everything favorable in his life is a result of God’s grace. Therefore, we can make some helpful observations that translate to our lives as we aim to be faithful and attractive (that is, not repulsive or obnoxious).
1. He is consistently faithful. Coach Brown has been taking his lumps from religious watch dogs since he has been in the public eye. However, he continues to keep pressing on with faithfulness. The twin sisters of time and trial underline his faithfulness. There is a compounding impact.
2. He shows genuine love for people. Even people who don’t agree with him say that he cares about them. I have heard numerous current and former athletes speak of his fatherly affection towards them. This comes alongside the message.
3. He has integrity. When you are this loud people are watching. The fact that he is real (notice, not perfect) and practices what he preaches (faith in Christ) makes a huge difference. People see him and dissect him like game film. The guy is who he says he is. This is instructive and encouraging to us.
4. He listens. It’s obvious from this story that Brown listens to people. In another portion of the article it speaks to how Brown went to recruit Abdullah and spoke with his father. Can you imagine the trust and proven character for a head coach of a big time program to send the outspoken evangelical to go and recruit the Muslim kid? Coach Bo Pelini knew Ron Brown would listen. He knew he’d make an impact.
5. He views life as a stewardship. I have heard the coach say many times that he is where he is for a reason. He is going to use his platform as a gospel platform to make much of Christ. We could learn a thing or two here.
As believers we want to be faithful and attractive with the gospel. We don’t want to be repulsive and obnoxious. We don’t want to fumble the gospel. Coach Brown and his testimony of boldness, faithfulness, love and grace serve as an encouragement to us.
At Chick-Fil-A, I am often asked by the dining room helpers, “May I refresh your drink?” In most restaurants, they ask if they can refill your beverage, but for some reason at CFA it’s “refresh” your drink!
Tomorrow is the Lord’s Day!!! One of the great privileges we have as Christians is to meet with other believers. And a great, yet simple, responsibility we have is to encourage one another. That is we can “refresh” them. There’s great joy and power in doing this!
Case in point: Paul wrote about a co-laborer in the gospel called Onesiphorus who “refreshed” him. “You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains,” (2 Timothy 1:15–16, ESV)
Many people in your church are in need of a simple of word of encouragement. They need someone to refresh their spirit with a hopeful word. Some are going through seasons of adversity and just need a faithful loyal friend who will listen just for a few minutes, pray with them, and share a verse of Scripture or two. Some are lacking motivation in their ministry or Christian life and just need someone to support them or to let them know that they are making a difference.
Paul Tautages blogged about the power of encouragement and ends with this simple question: ”Tomorrow is the Lord’s Day? Who will you refresh?”
I’ve posted about this incredible miscarriage of justice already. It’s just inconceivable this is happening in our “civilized” society. Thankful for men like Albert Mohler and Mark Steyn who are speaking out against the story regarding Katrina Efferts killing her newborn baby and avoiding jail time.
We just concluded our missions conference at Garden Heights Baptist Church. Fresh in our minds is the exaltation of Jesus Christ by taking the Good News to the various peoples of this world. It’s easy to forget this in the hustle and bustle of life–even church life. Let’s remember today:
The church is sent into the world to witness to Jesus by proclaiming the gospel and making disciples of all nations. This is our task. This is our unique and central calling.
— Kevin DeYoung and Greg GilbertWhat is the Mission of the Church?(Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2011), 26