Showing posts from August, 2014

Whole Soul Faith

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV) “Literally, “looking away.” We are to look to Jesus in a special way, a way that is different from the way we looked at the cloud of witnesses. The verb is in the present tense, so a continual acts is intended. In all that we do, in our profession and obedience, we are constantly to look to Christ… ‘Looking’ denotes an act of faith or trust, with hope and expectation. It is not just an act of understanding or considering what we are looking at; it is an act of the whole soul in faith and trust… So the Lord Jesus is not set before us here merely as an example for us bu

Running Blind

Christian endurance is generated and accomplished by looking to Jesus.  [soundcloud url="" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Enveloped in Peace

"When we accept the truth of what we really are and surrender it to Jesus Christ, we are enveloped in peace, whether or not we feel ourselves to be at peace. By that I mean the peace that passes understanding is not a subjective sensation of peace; if we are in Christ , we are in peace even when we feel no peace." - Brennan Manning, Abba's Child 

No Lack

"The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing." Psalm 34:10 Sometimes I feel like a young lion. I want and hunger. I desire to be at the next phase of sanctification. I desire the new. I am hungry for something... But it is in the seeking of Jesus that there is no lack. That all good things are, in the pursuit of our Savior. This is where I always want to be. Just back from a short vacation where I rested, and wrestled, with this thought. The want. The impatience of waiting on the Lord. But it is in the seeking of Jesus that we lack no good thing. Kiss the good things around you and be reminded. Pursue Jesus. That is your call and place of rest and good. Let's be about this today. Lacking no good thing sounds good to me, and I bet it does to you as well.

Not Alone

Our union with Christ in the resurrection. John 11:17-44.  [soundcloud url="" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]

True Obedience

"True obedience to God emerges when reverential awe and joyful gratitude flow together in the absence of the slavish fear of wrath." - Greg Forster, The Joy of Calvinism.

The Voice of The Gospel

Studying John 11 for tomorrow's sermon to our young adults on our union with Christ in the "resurrection and life," and I came across this gem: "That Lazarus is called back from death into life by the voice of Christ is a testimony of the gospel, that it is an effectual voice and, as Paul says, "the power of God unto salvation for all who believe."' - Caspar Cruciger Like Lazarus, apart from Christ we are hopelessly dead. We stink. There is no life in us whatsoever. Then there is this voice that calls us to come out of the grave. To move from death to life. This voice is the voice that upholds the very fabric of the universe at this moment and for all of eternity. The power of the voice is undeniable and irresistible. It is the voice of Jesus. It is the voice of the gospel. From hopelessly dead to hopefully alive, for all of eternity. Alive in a way that physicality doesn't matter. Violence may happen to us. Maybe even long life. Either way we are

The Gospel is God's Appointed Means

'"The gospel" is a phrase that Christians often use without fully understanding its significance. We speak the language of the gospel, but we rarely apply the gospel to every aspect of our lives. Yet this is exactly what God wants for us. The gospel is nothing less than "the power of God" (Rom. 1:16). In Colossians 1:6, the apostle Paul commends the Colossian church because the gospel has been "bearing fruit and growing... among [them] since the day [they] heard it." The apostle Peter teaches that a lack of ongoing transformation in our lives comes from forgetting what God has done for us in the gospel (2 Peter 1:3-9). If we are to grow into maturity in Christ, we must deepen and enlarge our understanding of the gospel as God's appointed means for personal and communal transformation ." - Bob Thune & Will Walker, The Gospel-Center Life study.

In Christ You Are Qualified by God

"May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light." (Colossians 1:11-12 ESV) Power, endurance and joy? Sign me up! Who doesn't want those things. And it is all according to Jesus' glorious might. These are entry-level things. But do I get that God the Father has qualified me? Are you sure it isn't my work and perseverance that secures my place in eternity? If not that, then surely it is my work that moves me up the ladder of reward in Heaven, right? Well no, on both accounts. It is the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints of light. It was not your perfection or obedience but instead because of Christ's perfection and obedience that God qualifies you to inherit what Jesus has. This is the reward for the ultimate of work, but work done by another. We don't lik

May the Mind of Christ, my Savior

My friend Dave Stone shared this hymn with our staff this week. May it encourage you.  May the mind of Christ, my Savior, Live in me from day to day, By His love and power controlling, All I do and say. May the Word of God dwell richly, In my heart from hour to hour, So that all may see I triumph, Only through His power. May the peace of God my Father, Rule my life in everything, That I may be calm to comfort, Sick and sorrowing. May the love of Jesus fill me, As the waters fill the sea; Him exalting, self abasing,This is victory. May I run the race before me, Strong and brave to face the foe, Looking only unto Jesus, As I onward go. May His beauty rest upon me, As I seek the lost to win, And may they forget the channel, Seeing only Him.

Making the Unknown Known

The final sermon in our Acts Apostolic Sermons Series. Acts 17:16-34 [soundcloud url="" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]

Dispassionate Hearing

"When truth comes, we must interact with it and appropriate it. One of the great sins of the church today is the dispassionate hearing of God's Word. Because of this, there are many who are spiritually ill, unable to comprehend the truths they once held dear. Only God can deliver his children from such apathy! "O God, help us not to consider your Word in a casual, unfeeling way. May our hearts burn with sacred truth - flames of the Holy Spirit that cannot remain within us but must overflow to others, drawing them into personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. May our grief over the idolatry all around us move us to speak and live the gospel, so that others will come into your precious kingdom. In Jesus' name, Amen." - E. Kent Hughes, Commentary and Prayer on Acts 17:16-34.

To Be a Babbler

The Apostle Paul is in Athens waiting for some friends but he can't just be a tourist. The classic city is teeming with idolatry and relics that only drive a numbing sense of nostalgia rather than an embrace of current realities. Paul is provoked to speak at every opportunity in the city. In the religious settings, in the marketplace and on the hill known for the proclamation of theories and the latest ear-tickling ideas. "So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection ." (Acts 17:17-18 ESV) What does this babbler wish to say? Babbler. Perhaps never a truer title for one that proclaims Christ. The label here is certainly meant to be derisive. To

Satan's Power

"Remember, the only power that Satan has now is to roar like a vicious lion the law's demands in your conscience and accuse you of irredeemable failure. He has no other power over you but to insidiously slander God's faithful love in your ears. Because Jesus was successful in his temptations, when Satan comes to accuse you (his name, Satan, means "accuser"), you don't need to try to defend yourself with your own record. All you have to do is recall the perfect obedience of the Son in your place and go on your way in faith." - Elyse Fitzpatrick, Found in Him

In Christ You are Sanctified by Jesus

I have a confession to make. I am not good at all at making myself better. I read all the books (cliff notes really) and blog posts on how to hack my life and get just that much better. I hear stories of "holy" people and I think to myself, "man I would love to be that good." But then I spend ten minutes with myself and it is abundantly clear; I have a long way to go and I am awful at making myself better. I am just not that disciplined. I too easily forget who I am and what has been declared over me. Then I read these words: "For he who sanctified and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers" (Hebrews 2:11 ESV). Did you see that? He who sanctifies and the one sanctified have one source. Jesus. Jesus is the sanctifier and source of sanctification. It is his work in me. The author of Hebrews does not say that Jesus provides help to those working out sanctification. He says, Jesus accomplishes, Jesus