Archive for February 21st, 2013

Have you grumbled this week?  Or have you just shared with people a realistic perspective or your informed opinion of the matter?

Last evening we discussed the issue of grumbling at our Midweek prayer meeting and Bible study as we also looked at the prayer of Moses in Numbers 11.  We saw that we are often so much like the Israelites in the wilderness.  Grumbling is powerful, it is contagious and it brings horrific consequences sometimes.  At the root of all grumbling is unbelief–unbelief in the goodness of God.  Another root of grumbling is pride. We often grumble when people or products don’t meet our expectations.  Grumbling starts often when we are inconvenienced and flows from thinking that we are very important people.

Grumbling distorts the past, the present and even the future.  It makes the past look rosier than it really is, portrays the present as more challenging as it really is, and views the future as bleak and unappealing.

What should we do about grumbling?  First, confess it in our own lives and thank God for his forgiveness for it.  We should also pray that God would protect our church from grumbling. Once it starts it often spreads quickly.  Just read Numbers 11 and see how persistent grumbling even affected godly people like Moses.  Instead of grumbling, we should thank God for what he has done in the past, trust Him in undesirable circumstances presently, and remember that for the Christian we have a better future ahead–in glory!  Finally we can be like Moses who interceded for people.  When we are truly praying and praying biblically we won’t have time to grumble.

I enjoyed reading Tim Challies interesting perspective on grumbling in his own life.  I would encourage you to check out “For You It’s a Sin, For Me It’s Service” which discusses how we often rationalize our grumbling in creative ways.

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Why does God accept our prayers?

I preached about this in part last Sunday evening.  God receives the prayers of His blood-bought children because of the sanctifying work of the Spirit and of the Son.  This quote deals with the latter:

What thing is that that maketh our prayer acceptable to God? Is it our babbling? No, no; it is not our babbling, nor our long prayer; there is another thing than it. The dignity and worthiness of our words is of no such virtue.

For whosoever resorteth unto God, not in the confidence of his own merits, but in the sure trust of the deserving of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and in his passion; whosoever doth invocate the Father of heaven in the trust of Christ’s merits, which offering is the most comfortable and acceptable offering to the Father; whosoever, I say, offereth up Christ, which is a perfect offering, he cannot be denied the thing he desireth, so that it be expedient for him to have it.

It is not the babbling of our lips, nor dignity of our words, but the prayer of the heart is the offering that pleaseth, through the only means of his Son. For our prayer profiteth us, because we offer Christ to his Father. Whosoever resorteth to God without Christ, he resorteth in vain. Our prayer pleaseth because of Jesus Christ, whom we offer. So that it is faith, faith, faith is the matter. It is no prayer that is without faith, it is but a lip-labouring and mockery, without faith; it is but a little babbling.

— Hugh Latimer Sermons Preached Before King Edward the Sixth Sermon #7

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For the first 30 years of his life, Jesus was boring. He was an unknown carpenter who wasn’t doing “big” things for God. He worked alongside his dad, using his hands to shape, shave, and tack together pieces of wood. He quietly studied the scriptures, and grew in stature with God and men. He didn’t have a public ministry. He didn’t write any books, go on a conference tour, adopt an orphan, give away 75% of his income, or go on multiple missions trips. He loved the Lord with all his heart, honored his mother and father, and quietly went about his work.

Was Jesus wasting his life? Absolutely not. He was doing exactly what God had called him to do. As his hands ran over rough planks of wood, he was quietly earning our salvation. Jesus, the lowly carpenter, the furniture maker, was as radical as they come. And for thirty years he was quiet.

You don’t have to leave home to be crazy on fire for the Lord. Jesus spent his first thirty years simply working and obeying. This tells me that it’s possible to be radical while changing diapers, or creating spreadsheets, or plowing snow, or doing whatever mundane task you are called to. For the Christian, there is no such thing as insignificant work.

Being radical for Jesus means obeying Jesus, loving Jesus, and proclaiming Jesus wherever we are, whether that’s in the mission fields of Cambodia or behind the counter at Starbucks.

–Stephen Altrogge in “Jesus Spent 30 Years Being Boring”

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I had a post about this yesterday.  Some of the ways that were mentioned yesterday are repeated again, but some are new in this post by Ben Reaoch. Here are his main points. Read the whole article for how he elaborates on each one.

  1. Pray for the victims (there are an estimated 27 million slaves in our world today)
  2. Raise awareness
  3. Don’t look at porn
  4. Use your gifts
  5. Men, take a stand


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“There are two difficult realities you must accept if you are to live faithfully as a Christian in the world. (1) You will have enemies. And (2) you must love those enemies. Jesus taught both things quite clearly. . . .

We need both. If you are going to be a faithful Christian in a fallen world you better prepared for people to hate you, and you better prepared to love them nonetheless. Even to the point of death.

Ours, of course, not theirs. That’s the way of Jesus. Tell the truth. Be hated. Love. Die. Live again.”

–Kevin DeYoung in “To Follow Christ is to Love Them When They Hate.”

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TMS lectures on-line

From September 2009 until last week, a group of approximately ten people from our church gathered every Wednesday evening to watch a theology lecture from The Master’s Seminary.  We watched four DVD sets of lectures covering every major doctrine of Scripture.  It was a rich time together.  The good news now is that TMS is expanding their course offering and making them available online. Here’s the announcement.  Enjoy

Earlier this month, The Master’s Seminary launched its Theological Resource Center (TRC) — an online hub for ministry-training resources. Because many pastors around the world will never be able to attend seminary in the United States, the TRC extends the resources of TMS and its partner ministries to those who cannot come to us. The website is designed for both personal edification and for use in a group settings.


The featured resource on the site is a growing library of video lectures taught by the TMS faculty. These lectures can be watched, free-of-charge, by anyone with an internet connection. The site currently contains seven full courses, consisting of 162 individual lectures. Over the next few months, the library will grow to include over 20 courses, offering hundreds of hours of seminary-level lecture content. When complete, this online video library will cover a wide range of topics including Bible Survey, Grammar and Exegesis, Systematic Theology, Historical Theology, and Biblical Counseling.

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