Archive for September, 2009

Psalm 73 makes me consider my heart condition:

  • Do I envy the prosperity and possessions of others (especially the wicked)?
  • Do I ever doubt God’s goodness in my life?
  • Do I ever doubt the need for the pursuit of righteousness in my life?
  • Do I desire God above all earthly possessions?

(From Steve Lawson’s commentary on the Psalms)

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Is God enough?

” Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19, ESV).

Is God enough in your life?

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The Lord is at hand!

Paul commands us, “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone!”  What is the reason we should do this?  Because “the Lord is at hand.” (Philippians 4:5).

First, he could be saying, “You need to display gracious humility to everyone because the Lord could come at any time. And even if He doesn’t come soon, then you will see Him when you die!  He just said at the end of the last chapter, “”But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Philippians 3:20).

“But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know” (Matthew 24:48-50).

“For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4).

“not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25).

“You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James 5:8).

“Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.” (Revelation 1:7).

“I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.” (Revelation 3:11).

““And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”” (Revelation 22:7).

Paul could also mean “Let your gracious humility be on display for everyone because Christ is near you in that He indwells you.” The Psalms remind of us the nearness of our Lord:

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18).

“But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” (Psalm 73:28).

“But you are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are true.” (Psalm 119:151).

“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18).

Knowing Christ is near in this way as well as knowing that He is coming again is motivation enough, reason enough, for us to display gracious humility in all of our relationships with one another in the church, at home, and in this world.

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Jeff Williams is on his way to the International Space Station. He’ll be serving as flight engineer for Expedition 21; then staying on to serve as Commander on Expedition 22. Jeff is a graduate of West Point. He competed on the sport parachute team there. He is also an expert scuba diver and had a distinguished career as a test pilot and helicopter pilot. He has multiple degrees in aeronautical engineering and a master of arts degree in—get this—”national security and strategic studies” from the US Naval War College.  And he is a devoted follower of Jesus Christ and a good friend of Phil Johnson, pyromaniac extraordinaire.

You can read more about him here and learn about his current mission here.

You can follow him as he twitters from space or as he blogs about his journey as he blasts off from Kazakhstan today.

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Pursuing holiness

“For, until men feel that they owe everything to God, that they are cherished by his paternal care, and that he is the author of all their blessings, so that naught is to be looked for away from him, they will never submit to him in voluntary obedience; no, unless they place their entire happiness in him, they will never yield up their whole selves to him in truth and sincerity.”

– John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, Bk I, Ch. 2

HT:  Z

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Josh Harris:

Yesterday I preached a sermon about self-control from Proverbs 25:28 that says, “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” I focused on the issue of media, the internet, and today’s new technologies. I don’t think I’m the only person who would identify this as an area where it’s easy to lack self-control. I think a lot of us we could rephrase the words of Proverbs 24:33-34 about the sluggard and say, “A little web surfing, a little Facebook, a little folding of the hands around the smart phone and spiritual poverty will come upon you like a robber.”

Listen online or download the sermon here.

Pastor Don Devries wrote up some application questions based on the sermon that I think are good:

1. What things are you tempted to do instead of what you should be doing? What do you fill your time with that crowds out activity of eternal value?

2. Have you feasted so much at the table of the world that your hunger for the Lord (Matthew 5:6) has diminished and your first love (Revelation 2:4) has grown cold? What can you do to rekindle that love and hunger?

3. What allowable and permissible pursuits have you allowed to rob you of your service to God’s church and His kingdom? What would change look like?

4. What things have crowded your life that keep you from fruitfulness (like time in God’s word, prayer, fellowship, evangelism, etc.)? What steps of repentance do you need to take to begin the process of change?

5. Paul writes in Ephesians 5:15-16a “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time…” How can you cultivate wisdom in your use of time? How can you put the eternal pursuits above the trivial?

Click hear to listen to the sermon.

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Worry is a sin?

I preached on Philippians 4:6 this past Sunday and I stated “Worry is a serious sin.”

One child spoke with me later and with all sincerity said to me, “I never knew that worry was a sin.”

Out of the mouths of babes and young children. . . .

This innocent comment from a child makes me wonder how many of us adults though have never considered worry to be a serious sin.

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