Archive for September, 2008

Tim Challies offers biblical counsel as to how divine sovereignty and human responsibility affects our evangelism.

Al Mohler tells why Roe v. Wade should be overturned.  Read his article and then the reactions to it!

Dave Ramsay in reference to all the economic news: “we’re going to make it. We’re going to be fine. Take a chill pill.”

Tony Woodlief talks about medical decisions we face at the end of life. He frames “a debate that most of us will participate in by the end of our lives—when to say no to the chemicals and equipment promising another day or week of unpleasant existence.”

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Worry is serious

We live in an age of anxiety!  Think about it:  how often did you worry this last week?  Based on the lifestyles of many Americans, it would not be inappropriate to describe our lives as “hurry, worry, and bury.”

But worry is a serious problem.  Based on his study of the Word of God, Wayne Mack describes why worry is so serious in his book Down, but not Out.

  1. Worry is serious because is it a universal and common problem, therefore we easily rationalize it. But worry is a sin!  (Matthew 6:25-34; John 14:1, 27; Philippians 4:6-7)
  2. Worry has serious consequences such as it can lead to depression, doubt, distrust. The devil can use worry to devour us.  Worry crowds out the Word of God.  It can even cause serious physical problems. (Proverbs 12:25; Luke 12; 1 Peter 5:7-8; Luke 8; Proverbs 14:30)
  3. Worry is useless and unnecessary.  It is a complete waste of time and energy (Matthew 6:27-29)
  4. Worry is unbecoming of a child of God (Matthew 6:31-32)
  5. Worry is the fruit of the root of unbelief (Matthew 6:31-33).  It questions God’s truthfulness, sovereignty, sincerity and sufficiency (Psalm 103:19; Daniel 4:35; Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Hebrews 13:5-6; Isaiah 41:10)
  6. Worry is an attempt to usurp the sovereignty of God (see Nunbers 11:10,14)
  7. Worry is evidence of pride (1 Peter 5:6-7)

So there is never a situation or a circumstance that requires or excuses worry (Jeremiah 17:7,8; Psalm 85:8; 29:11; Isaiah 26:3).  If you have the Spirit of God within you (and you do if you are a Christian), then you don’t have worry because part of the fruit He produces is peace (Galatians 5:22).

So rememeber, the antidote to worry is peace.  Peace comes from God (Philippians 4:6-7). We can’t fully understand this peace because it is “beyond understanding.”  B

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Justin Taylor and DG recaps a message where Sinclair Ferguson suggested 20 resolutions regarding our words from the book of James–given Jonathan-Edwards style–that we need to make if we are to live a God-centered, biblical life.

1. I resolve to ask God for wisdom to speak out of a single-minded devotion to him. (1:5)

2. I resolve to boast only in the exultation I receive in Jesus Christ and also in the humiliation I receive for Jesus Christ. (1:9-10)

3. I resolve to set a watch over my mouth. (1:13)

4. I resolve to be constantly quick to hear and slow to speak. (1:19)

5. I resolve to learn the gospel way of speaking to both rich and poor. (2:1-4)

6. I resolve to speak in the present consciousness of my final judgment. (2:12)

7. I resolve never to stand on anyone’s face with the words I employ. (2:16)

8. I resolve never to claim as reality in my life what I do not truly experience. (3:14)

9. I resolve to resist quarrelsome words as evidence of a bad heart that needs to be mortified. (4:1)

10. I resolve never to speak decided evil against another out of a heart of antagonism. (4:11)

11. I resolve never to boast in anything but what I will accomplish. (4:13)

12. I resolve to speak as one subject to the providences of God. (4:15)

13. I resolve never to grumble. The judge is at the door. (5:9)

14. I resolve never to allow anything but total integrity in everything I say. (5:12)

15. I resolve to speak to God in prayer whenever I suffer. (5:13)

16. I resolve to sing praises to God whenever I’m cheerful. (5:14)

17. I resolve to ask for the prayers of others when I’m in need. (5:14)

18. I resolve to confess it whenever I have failed. (5:15)

19. I resolve to pray with others for one another whenever I am together with them. (5:15)

20. I resolve to speak words of restoration when I see another wander. (5:19)

You can now listen to it or download it. It was an excellent, edifying, and encouraging message.

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“Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.” (Proverbs 1:5-6, ESV).

” Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,” (Proverbs 1:8, ESV).

” My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;” (Proverbs 2:1-2, ESV).

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;” (Proverbs 2:6, ESV).

“So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words,” (Proverbs 2:16, ESV).

” Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight,” (Proverbs 4:1, ESV).

“Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many.” (Proverbs 4:10, ESV).

“My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.” (Proverbs 4:20, ESV).

“Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.” (Proverbs 4:24, ESV).

” My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge.” (Proverbs 5:1-2, ESV).

“For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil,” (Proverbs 5:3, ESV).

“And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth.” (Proverbs 5:7, ESV).

“I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors. I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.”” (Proverbs 5:13-14, ESV).

“if you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth,” (Proverbs 6:2, ESV).

“A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech,” (Proverbs 6:12, ESV).

“haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,” (Proverbs 6:17, ESV).

“a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:19, ESV).

“to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.” (Proverbs 6:24, ESV).

” My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you;” (Proverbs 7:1, ESV).

“to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.” (Proverbs 7:5, ESV).

“With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him.” (Proverbs 7:21, ESV).

“And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth.” (Proverbs 7:24, ESV).

“Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right, for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.” (Proverbs 8:6-8, ESV).

“The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” (Proverbs 8:13, ESV).

““And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways.” (Proverbs 8:32, ESV).

“Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.” (Proverbs 10:6, ESV).

“The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.” (Proverbs 10:8, ESV).

“Whoever winks the eye causes trouble, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.” (Proverbs 10:10, ESV).

“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.” (Proverbs 10:11, ESV).

“On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.” (Proverbs 10:13, ESV).

“The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.” (Proverbs 10:14, ESV).

“The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool. When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is of little worth. The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.” (Proverbs 10:18-21, ESV).

“The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.” (Proverbs 10:31-32, ESV).

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Ligonier Ministries is having a conference for pastors this weekend. Here are some of the questions they answer and their summary statements.  I would guess most of us have asked or have had others ask us these questions.

Has science disproved God?

Why does God allow so much evil and suffering?

Questions about Intelligent design, God’s wrath, dispensationalism, God’s wrath, and withholding medical treatment from someone who is dying

If God is sovereign how can man be free?

Is Jesus really the only way?

Other questions regarding

  • Calvinists and Arminians
  • Double predestination
  • Dealing with Mormons
  • Birth control

Should the church embrace post-modernism?

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Preaching and politics

Some pastors will preach politics this Sunday.  I won’t be preaching tomorrow, but every Sunday I do I want to preach Christ not politics!

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Pure Church has excerpted some lengthy but thought-provoking thoughts from a sermon Lloyd-Jones preached on marks of a true Christian. The Bible exhorts us to make our calling and election sure and to examine ourselves to make sure are faith is genuine.  Here are the links.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

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As I finished thinking about Psalm 51 in a concentrated way, I was struck with how David ended his prayer in a unique way. He asked God after all of his confession and pleas for forgiveness to bless His people in Zion.  He asked for God to prosper and build up Jerusalem so that throngs of people would come and glorify God with true worship and sacrifice to God.  In other words, he asked God to bless His people so that they would live for His glory even more.

How often do we pray for God’s blessing, but not with a view of God’s glory but rather for our own comfort.  We pray. . .

  • God give me wisdom at work (so I can make more money and acquire more power).
  • God alleviate my financial woes (so I have more money to spend on the pleasure and possessions that will make me happy).
  • God help my children to be more respectful (so that my evenings will be more peaceful so I can get the things done that I want to get done).
  • God work in the life of my wife (so I can finally experience the marriage of my dreams).
  • God give me a better relationship with my neighbor (so he will like me enough to make his dog quit trampling my flower beds).
  • God please heal my body (so that I can do the things that I love to do).

So much of our prayers has nothing to do with God’s glory.  In fact, many of our prayers are actually asking God to endorse our pursuit of self-focused glory.

When we pray, let’s  appeal to God’s glory as David did!

Ask yourself:

  • How much of your prayer is dominated by requests that have to do with visions of your glory?
  • What changes in your prayer would take place if your prayer was shaped by a desire for God’s glory!

Again, I would highly recommend Paul Tripp’s book Whiter than Snow if you want to meditate more on Psalm 51.

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Hymn for Lord’s Day Eve

This the Power of the Cross by Stuart Townsend and Keith Getty

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the pow’r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Ev’ry bitter thought,
Ev’ry evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

Now the daylight flees;
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
“Finished!” the vict’ry cry.

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death;
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This, the pow’r of the cross:
Son of God – slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.

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From the Stand to Reason blog:

GE, which developed the 4D ultrasound imaging technology, has a website of images that follow the timeline of the unborn’s development from six weeks to birth.  It’s a fantastic window into the womb to see the human being, bring to life the formerly unseen, at stake in abortion.  These pictures are worth 1000 words, but use the words as well to explain the value of these children.

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