Bought by the Blood

August 29, 2008

Today In History

Filed under: marriage — cubsfan1980 @ 4:50 pm
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In 1920 Charlie “Bird” Parker was born

In 1936 John “Maverick” McCain was born

In 1958 Michael Jackson was born (yes, the man is 50)

Most importantly, on this day, in 1983, my lovely wife Laura was born!!!

My love,

I am so thankful for you and am overjoyed to celebrate your birthday with you over these next few days!  You are my best friend and there is no else that I want to be the mother of my children than you.  Your godly example provokes me, the women in our care group and I know that it will do the same for our kids.  Thank you for your heart to see our Savior glorified.  I look forward to walking through these next seven months with you as you carry our child inside of you!  God has gifted you with a compassionate heart and I am eager to see how that is transferred to our children!  You know I never need a special reason to celebrate your birth, but I am glad that today that others get to celebrate you as well.  You are deserving of honor and praise and a gift to all who know you!  Thank you for the blessing that you are in my life!

Love,

Me

August 25, 2008

My Standing Before Christ

Filed under: Bill Mounce,Justification,Legalism,Romans — cubsfan1980 @ 5:51 pm
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I don’t get as much time to read blogs as I’d like.  A new blog that I’ve enjoyed to read, but haven’t had time to delve into in-depth is a blog from Zondervan’s Academic publishing team.  Bill Mounce is a biblical greek guru and every Monday he does a post on the greek language, exegesis and related topics.  Today’s topic was on the correct translation of “nomos in Romans 3:27 and how the NIV misses the mark.  You can read more at Koinonia

My favorite part of this post was the application that Bill had about legalism and where our boast is.  I’ve posted it below.

“As we stand before Christ, all boasting is excluded. We did nothing to earn our salvation, to merit his righteousness. The “law of works,” the sinful notion that we can earn God’s favor through partial obedience to the laws of God, would only result in our sinful death. There would be no boasting. So justification is sola fide, we do nothing to merit it, it is all of faith, and so there is no boasting before God.

One of the dangerous trends in the Christian life is reflected in the words of Paul. “After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” (Galatians 3:3). It is so often the case that we come to the cross empty-handed, fingers separated, palms up. We bring nothing but a cry for God’s mercy and grace. But the trend is to forget how we began, to start thinking that some of the things we do in some way merit God’s favor, even his prior favor in saving us. We start to boast in what we are doing, in how good we are, and how much better we are than others. In fact, the boasting develops a stranglehold on us, excusing our sin in other areas of our life.

This is the essence of legalism: thinking that obedience in some areas earns favor with God and excuses sin in other areas. To all who are in this state, the words of Paul ring loud and true. There is no boasting. There is either works and death, or faith and life.”

August 11, 2008

New-To-Me Car

Filed under: Finances,Stewardship — cubsfan1980 @ 5:37 pm
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So the search for a new car has begun.  This will be a used car or a new-to-me car (NTMC).  After my Camry bit the dust last week I had a Dodge Dakota from Enterprise.  I was originally supposed to get a sedan, but all they had was the Dodge Dakota, yup, a big 4×4 pickup truck.  I didn’t have it for that long, but if I would have had it for longer would have loved to get my picture taken next to it.  Me in that big ‘ole truck was definitely a sight to see.

Currently, I have a 2007 Ford Focus.  It’s a little bit pricier then I would like.  I have seven days to take it back, so most likely on Wednesday I will return it.  I might try out a 2007 Kia Optima.  It is supposed to be larger then other Kia models and has gotten pretty good reviews.  We are looking at buying from Enterprise because we are pretty assured to get something of good quality.  Unfortunately, the selection isn’t that large and most of the cars they have are on the higher end of the price scale.  Prayer would definitely be appreciated in that endeavor.

August 5, 2008

Jonah discussion Outline

  • Mission: Our call to go
    • Jonah 1 & 2 “Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil [1] has come up before me.”
      • Who is Jonah?
        • A missionary…
      • Are we missionaries?
        • Why are we missionaries?  Matthew 28:18-20
      • Who are we called to be missionaries to? i.e. reaching out to neighbors, co-workers, family, etc.

        • How do you live out your call as a missionary?  Is there anyone in particular you are reaching out to?
        • Jonah struggled with the idea of being a missionary to the ninevites, is there anyone that if God called you to be a missionary to you would be tempted to flee?
          • Have a time for prayer
      • Why (in the general sense) is Jonah called to preach to the ninevites?
        • Because they are evil, i.e. sinners.
          • How should affect the way we view people who aren’t believers?

            • Everyone who does not know Christ is someone we should view as needing the gospel.  We should not be self-righteous or arrogant towards them because we were once in the same bought?
      • What does it mean for us to be missionaries

        • It means that we understand ourselves to be missionaries in today’s culture. Missionaries are those whose lives are constituted by a mission: to know Him and make Him known – this is our purpose, our goal, and our end in life. An ongoing relationship with God should result in a lifestyle that is God-centered and seeks to incarnate Christ.*
        • Accept the call of Christ to live out your life as a missionary amidst a culture that constantly tries to sell us a different purpose and a different vision in life. We are missional in that we desire to be the incarnate Christ immersed in the world without becoming a product of it. If we are going to be the incarnate Christ in today’s world, then our purpose, goal, and end in life will revolve around knowing God and making Him known.
          If we are going to be the incarnate Christ, then we will not try and sell people on a belief system made up of propositional truths…instead, we will convey Christianity as a way of life. Perhaps, we might just begin living life with people and see if they might also live life with us in hopes that they might find out in the living that this way of life is exactly what they need. Maybe this is why Jesus’ evangelism strategy with the disciples did not consist of a slick brochure but just 2 words, “Follow Me.” And, they did not follow Him initially because they knew Him to be the Messiah and Savior of the world. No, they found out in the living that this way of life, though incredibly difficult, was exactly what they needed.If we are going to be the incarnate Christ, then we will understand that the method and message of our mission are intertwined…in other words, the method in which we convey our message actually says a lot about our message.*

          • Have someone pray for the people we desire to reach
  • Repentance: Our goal in missions
    • Our goal in missions is for people to turn from their sins and look to God for salvation.  Turning from sin is not a one time activity, but a continual process as we walk through sanctification.  In two places we see repentance in the book of Jonah.
    • before we go there, what is the difference between revival ad repentance?
      • there is no difference, only that in revival the spirit’s work happens in greater numbers
      • Jonah 3:10 the people of Nineveh repent are justified
        • This is without a doubt the greatest spiritual revival in history.
        • What is notable about the ninevites revival?
          • They believed God and responded to His Word
          • They were humble (v.5-6) and turned from specific sins (v.8)
          • The ninevites knew that nothing they did could earn the mercy of God (v.9)
            • We do not need to be good, we need atonement!
        • What are the signs of genuine revival?
          • greater esteem for the person and work of Christ
          • greater grief over personal and corporate sin
          • greater regard and thirst for the Word and doctrine
          • greater manifestations of love and service toward others
        • What is the means of the ninevites revival?
          • The Holy Spirit working through the Word being preached
        • What is the biggest obstacle to the ninevites revival?
          • Jonah not going (Romans 10:15)
      • Jonah 3:1-3 Jonah repented of his arrogance and went to Nineveh.
        • Can anyone name the seven steps in the path to repentanc **
          • pray
            • establish dependence on God by praying for the Holy Spirit’s help in the presence
              • what encouragement do we receive from prayer in the task of repentance?
          • Identify the sin
            • define its practice in biblical terms
            • define heart motive in biblical terms
            • define the false belief behind the practice and motive
              • has anyone ever had trouble identifying sin and what did they do?
          • embrace the gospel
            • meditate on how your sin offends God.  cultivate sorrow
            • mediate on the fact that God sent Jesus to de in you place to overcoe the offense this sin created
            • pray. admit your sin to God and ask him to forgive on the basis of the cross
              • how is this helpful in turning from sin
          • take steps to stop
            • know what the bible says about your sin
            • create a plan to escape temptation and fight motive and actions
              • any examples, either from your own life or in general
          • replace your sin w/righteousness
            • put on Christ
            • replace the lie w/truth
            • repace sinful behavior w/righteous behavior
            • replace the sinful motive w/a motive for godliness
              • any examples, either from your own life or in general
          • seek fellowship as a means of grace
            • have someone hold you accountable
              • How have people seen this helpful in repentance?
          • review
            • step 1-5 daily
            • step 6 in accountability
        • What are the benefits to repentance?
          • the sooner you repent the fewer sins you have to pay the consequence for
          • the sooner you repent the more glory you may bring to God
          • the sooner we repent the sooner our hearts get softer
        • What do we learn about Jonah’s repentance in chapter 4?
        • pray through psalm 51
  • Sovereignty of God – Our Assurance to Go
    • What do we learn about God’s sovereignty in this story?
      • God’s purposes are always accomplished by any means He desires
    • Where do we see God sovereign in the story of Jonah
      • Jonah 1:4 & 15
        • He sends the storm and stops the storm
        • Have someone read Mark 4:35-39
          • Do we ever have to fear the circumstance of life?
      • Jonah 1:7 the lot falling on Jonah
        • Was it random that the lot landed on Jonah?
          • There is no such thing as chance, but the lot providencially lands on Jonah (proverbs 16:33
      • Jonah 1:13 increasing intensity of the storm as the men tried to row out of it
        • The strength of man is nothing compared to the power of God
        • What is practical application of this?
          • prayer for god’s empowering presence
          • be humbled by how much we are nothing w/out God
          • increased motivation for submission to God’s will and purpose because we cannot stop Him
            • anyone have any examples of this last point in their own life
      • Jonah 1:17 and 2:10
        • God delivers Jonah from drowning by being swallowed by the whale?
          • Does anyone have trouble believing this?  How would you respond if someone asked you to prove this story true?
            • Have someone read Mathew 12:38-42
            • The time that Jonah was in the whale is the same amount of time Christ was in the tomb, this was not by accident.
      • jonah 2:10
        • the fish does not deliver Jonah out anywhere, but on dry land.  When God delivers us,he always does it safely
      • Jonah 3:10
        • God softened the hearts of the ninevites so that they would repent.
          • This is the greatest miracle.  That any of us would love God and turn from our sins accept Christ from our sins is God’s work, none of us would do this on our own.
      • Jonah 4:5-7
        • God is sovereign over the plant that grows and dies and the wind and heat.
          • God is sovereignly providing comfort, loss and trial for Jonah.
          • What is our practical application of this?
            • We should thank God for all things, not only comfort, but loss and trial.
            • If possible, do worship at this point
  • Grace –  what we preach when we go
    • Jonah was confident in God’s grace coming to the ninevites which is potentially why in his message he didn’t include a call of hope or to turn
      • Did Jonah preach grace?  Jonah 3:4
        • Instead of giving a message like Jonah’s, in light of the cross, how would we share the Gospel?
      • Why didn’t he? Jonah 4:2 (have someone read Isaiah 55:10-11)
        • Does this make you confident when you preach the gospel?  Why or why not?
    • What is your judgement of Jonah?
      • God was had a gracious judgement towards Jonah and gave him a second change to preach to Nineveh (3:1)
    • After reading this book what is your attitude toward Jonah?
      • It is very easy to have a self-righteous attitude toward Jonah.
      • HAve some one read Luke 18:9-14
      • We are all like Jonah and the ninevites, sinners in need of mercy
      • How do you see Jonah being about us and our hearts?
        • If a prophet can become harderened to God’s priorities, mercy and love then how much more do I need to watch my own heart?***
    • Have someone read 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
      • What is God’s grace in our lives?
      • How do we respond to that grace?

*taken from http://www.davidcrowderband.com/band/crowder/tobemissional.php

**taken from John Loftness’s seven steps to repentance as found in “Not Even a Hint”

***taken from Mark Dever’s “Promises Made” sermon on Jonah

Other parts of this study was heavily influenced by a Bible Study that Brian Allred did at Westminster Presbyterian Church in the fall of 2003.

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