Archive for October, 2011

I shared an illustration on Sunday from Erik Raymond who was reminded of this from a recent podcast of The White Horse Inn:

Simply put, if you are an “and God” Christian then you think that God saved you after you have tried and perhaps in conjunction with your trying. However, if you are a “but God” Christian then you believe that God saved you in spite of your deadness, your inability to strive. That is, God saved you by himself, without cooperation from you. And further, he saved you from yourself and your sin.

It is this understanding of utter inability and total depravity that gives way to joyful tears of understanding of such terms as “mercy,” “great love,” “alive,” and “grace.” All of these terms are underscored by our inability and God’s sovereign, conquering grace.

Read the whole article here.

Read Full Post »

A prayer by Scotty Smith as a model for asking God for things beyond our own power and ability!

By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.Hebrews 11:11

Heavenly Father, I’ve always loved Sarah’s story, for I’ve laughed the laugh of unbelief many times myself (Genesis 18:10-15). I understand her incredulity. How could her barren womb possibly bring forth Israel’s next patriarch? She doubted you and then she lied about her doubts—and you loved her. And here she is, showing up in the “fall of fame of faith” in Hebrews 11—chronicled as a woman who considered you faithful to do what you had promised you would do. And thus, Isaac was born. There is no other God like you.

It’s always been about your great faithfulness, not our great faith. The only real hero in your story is Jesus—in whom all your promises find their “Yes!” (2 Cor. 1:20) And so we come to you today asking you to do things well beyond our power—looking to Jesus, not to ourselves.

There are things many of us are facing which, on the surface, seem just as unlikely, just as daunting, just as impossible as Sarah giving birth to Isaac. Bring much glory to yourself as you hear and answer the cries of our hearts, Father.

For friends whose hearts have grown indifferent, even cold towards you, we ask you to bring new life into the barrenness of their souls.  It’s hard to watch some of your previously faithful servants become disillusioned and disconnected. How does a cynical saint become childlike again? How can vain regrets be trumped by renewed affections? with Pour out your Spirit, Father, in the name of Jesus.

In church families under assault of the enemy, in the entanglements of pettiness, over their heads in messes—do exceedingly beyond all we can ask or imagine. Replace rancor with revival; gossiping with gospeling; armchair quarterbacking with bent-knee praying; a spirit of retaliation with the spirit of reconciliation. Pour out your Spirit, Father, in the name of Jesus.

On those of us facing ill-timed crises; anxious about rebellious children; wanting to flee dead marriages; fearful of acknowledging not-so-hidden addictions; mired in toxic self-righteousness; paralyzed by guilt and shame; entering major transitions; weak in the face of strong temptations… running out of money, time and hope… on us, pour out your Spirit, Father, in the name of Jesus.

“Great is your faithfulness, oh God our Father. There is no shadow of turning with you. You do not change and your compassion does not fail. As you have been, you will ever be. Great is your faithfulness! Great is your faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies we see. All we have needed your hand has provided, great is your faithfulness, Lord, unto us!” So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ strong and loving name.

Read Full Post »

Here are a few posts I have found helpful:

Read Full Post »

Weeping with those who weep

We are just starting a study of the book of Job in our Adult Bible Fellowship.

With that in mind, I would like to recommend you checking out a book on suffering by Luke Veldt entitled: Written in Tears: A Grieving Father’s Journey through Psalm 103. Luke and his wife lost their thirteen-year-old daughter suddenly one day, like Job lost all his children in one day.  Luke still grieves for his daughter even after two years.  But he chronicles his own journey of suffering and writes to help those who are working through deep pain in their lives as well as those who are friends of those who are suffering.

Interested?  Read Tim Challies’ review of this short book. You can even download the introduction and first chapter for free.

Read Full Post »

This took some courage to write this article–after all, it shows how even we, who are committed to a high view of Scripture, sometimes turn Scripture upside down and take it out of context.

Nathan “briefly consider one of the most well-known and often-quoted verses in the New Testament. In fact, it is one of the most popular verses in American evangelical culture today.

It has been printed on posters and inspirational wall art. A quick internet search reveals that you can buy key chains, rings, buttons, t-shirts, stickers, postcards, bracelets, handbags, and other Christianized trinkets with the words of this verse emblazoned, embroidered, or embossed upon them.

This verse even gained some notoriety among college football fans a couple years ago when a championship quarterback and Heisman trophy winner sported the verse on the glare-reducing strips he wore under his eyes.”

What verse is Nathan talking about?  Have you guessed it? Click here to find out and then read on to see how we often use this verse to teach something that is exactly the opposite of what this verse means in context.

Read Full Post »

Julie Lowe at CCEF offers biblical encouragement for shepherding and discipling our children!  Very helpful as it deals with issues such as:

“I can’t get my children to change!”

“My discipline isn’t working!”

“What should our goals be for our children?”

“Are you proactive or reactive as a parent?”

Read Full Post »

I would you to pray for those in Turkey dealing with the massive recovery efforts from the 7.2 earthquake that struck on Sunday, October 23.  There have been times of celebration such as when rescuers brought a 2-week old baby, her mother, and grandmother to safety as well as a 13-year-old boy was pulled from the debris after 5 days of being under rubble.  And yet so many are facing tragedy as they learn of the deaths of loved ones and face food shortages after the quake.

Click here for the Big Picture.

Also Thailand is bracing for more rains and flooding!

Please pray for this region of the world that is in great need of the gospel as well as basic human needs right now.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »