Bought by the Blood

February 25, 2009

Links

Last week I posted a video of a 12 year old girl giving a speech on abortion.  You can read her story here.

Christina points out that in American culture today parents want to know if their kids get a tattoo, but not if their teenager commits murder.

Unfortunately I can’t afford the Logos Bible Software, but I am getting the word out to help Mark Driscoll with sermon transcription.  Read more about their efforts here.

John Piper calls Romans 8 “The Great Eight,” find out more here about how it contains “The Himalaya’s of the Bible.”

This website appears to have some great resources for marriage.  I look forward to digging into it more.

Zach has posted some great tips from Mark Driscoll on how to do family devotionals.  I look forward to implementing these in the future.

Ray Ortlund has some excellent points on what we should do if we want to be used by God.

I am curious if baseball reference dot com will modify their stats pages to reflect the steroid era, so we can see a player’s career average for their career and then also for years when they have confessed or are under suspicion of steroid use.  I wonder what this page would look like if they did that.

As always, don’t forget to check out Koinonia on Wedensday’s for their review of “The God I Don’t Understand.”

February 24, 2009

Teaching Your Kids Sexual Purity

Filed under: Affection,Daughter,sexual purity — cubsfan1980 @ 2:41 pm
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Depending on what time I leave for work I sometimes tune in to the Focus On The Family daily broadcast.  This morning’s broadcast was on teaching your kids sexual purity, which you can listen to here.   In the past I was discouraged about listening to the program because they only had it available for streaming and not for podcast or downloading.  As of recently, all of Focus on The Family radio is now available via podcasting, this definitely makes a difference in my listening because if I don’t hear the whole thing in my commute I can always listen to more later at my convenience.

I have posted before about fatherhood and affection and how it relates to purity and discipline.  The correlation between purity and affection from dad was made really clear in this podcast.   Something I learned from the podcast is it takes 8-10 meaningful touches a day for someone to thrive.  This is even true for teenagers.  If our kids are not finding this affection at home, then they will find it somewhere else.  The co-host then went on to tell a story from a counseling session where a father and daughter had their relationship deteriorate because of a lack of affection and when the daughter felt distanced from her father she sought out unhealthy affection from her boyfriend.

They also talked about how kids growing up today are in the age of the death of innocence. We must be proactive in the area of pornography because the average child will accidentally see it by the age of 10.  We need to teach our kids how to discipline their minds to go to good things when temptation comes.  There are times when I can’t control what I see, but I need to control how my mind reacts to it.  Our kids need to train their thoughts to think about sex in a biblical way, so they are ready when they are bombarded with sexual images and a culture that exalts the idol of sex.

A couple interesting quotes from the program are below:

“25% of young girls who have sex move into an emotional depression”

“kids can’t just be told how far is too far, but what to do when in those situations.”

February 21, 2009

The Bible and Abortion

Filed under: Abortion,Genesis,Jeremiah,Luke,pro-life,Psalms — cubsfan1980 @ 3:54 pm
Tags: , , ,

At the Real Choices blog Christina writes about the scriptural basis for being pro-life.  It’s a great look at Scripture and how God is active at creating life in the womb.  To deny that abortion is murder is to deny the truth of what Scripture says.  It is to kill the image of Christ as what we do unto the least of these we do unto Christ.

“If we search the Bible for signs of when God first begins to love each of us, we see that His love is eternal — that it preceeds our existence. But how are we, who live within the limitations of time, to live out that love to one another? We can not act in love toward those who, from within our prison of time, do not yet exist, except to be prepared to welcome our fellows when they arrive in this finite world, to live out their lives among us. To countenance abortion even in theory is to prepare to reject those who God holds in His mind, who He already loves with His perfect love. And to practice abortion in reality is to reject our brothers and sisters, in a very real and concrete way, by killing them. In doing so, we sin not only against our brothers and sisters by breaking the Commandment against murder; we sin against Christ by killing Him in them, for as we do to them, we do to Him.”

You can read more here.

February 19, 2009

Living for God’s Glory

Filed under: cross,God's Glory,Jeremiah,Psalms — cubsfan1980 @ 8:42 pm
Tags: ,
They exchanged the glory of God
for the image of an ox that eats grass.
-Psalm 106:20

I am presented every day with two ways to live.  I can either live for the glory of God or I can exchange the creator’s glory for a created thing.  Every day I am bombarded with the temptation to choose my own glory or the glory of the things of this world.  Choosing to glorify God is eternal, seeking my own glory and the things of this world is temporal and has no lasting value.  I can live with God on the throne or I can live with myself on the throne and seek to live for this life only.  All things that God has called me to I can view as a means to the ultimate end of glorifying Him or I can choose lesser ends based on what my eyes can see.

By exchanging God’s glory for an idol I commit two evils.  First, I forsake God, I have considered Him worthless and spit in His face.  When I chose idols I stiff arm the Alpha and Omega and turn my back on Him.  Second, I have replaced Him with that which has no benefit or gain.  Anything that I replace God with will never satisfy and is a cheap imitation that will always leave me yearning for something higher.  In God I find life, joy and peace through His love displayed for me on the cross, when I look somewhere else other than I got all I am guaranteed to find is disappointment (Jeremiah 2:13).

I have been bought at the price of Christ blood, therefore I should do all things for God’s glory.  God gave up His Son, so that I could be brought from death to life.  I was His enemy and not even seeking Him, but He sought me out and took the initiative to bring me into a saving relationship with Him.  Since He offered up His Son for me, my life should be an offering of thanksgiving to Him.  Christ dieing for my sins at the cross displayed God’s glory by putting all of His wonderful attributes on display, therefore I should die to sin so that I can display God’s glory through my thoughts and actions.

February 18, 2009

Links of the Week

Filed under: Abortion,pornography,pro-life,stimulus,The God I Don't Understand — cubsfan1980 @ 2:12 pm
Tags:

Wednesday is now officially link day!

I’ve already blogged through three quarters of the book, “The God I Don’t Understand,” and I will finish blogging on it soon.  Until then, be sure to follow the folks at Zondervan publishing who are blogging through the book.  You can check it out here.

The stimulus bill has been in the news for weeks now and was finally passed.  If you are curious on how effective the stimulus package will be then you definitely want to follow this website http://www.stimuluswatch.org/

I have tried to judge the Obama administration in a charitable li ght, but it’s been much harder after finding out about his nominee for Deputy Attorney General

The pornography industry has a big stake in defending itself against legal challenges and restrictive laws, and it has been stunningly successful in doing so.  One of the leading legal defenders of pornography has been David Ogden, a lawyer who can only be described as a First Amendment extremist, who has even argued against laws against child pornography.

President Barack Obama has nominated David Ogden as Deputy Attorney General of the United States.  This nomination is both ominous and dangerous.  Given David Ogden’s high visibility in defense of pornography, this nomination sends a clear and unmistakable message.  The pornography business will have a friend in high office in the Department of Justice.

You can read more here

Real Choice exposits 1 Peter 4:9 and shows where the church has failed in the mission of saving unborn children.

On the topic of links, here is a great video from a 12 year old, that my lovely wife brought to my attention.

February 17, 2009

All we need is love

Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power. -Psalm 106:8

The reason God saved Israel and the reason He saved you and I is because of His grace. My salvation is solely on the basis of God’s undeserved favor. There is nothing I could do to deserve God’s love, but He freely gives it to the ungodly, so that by faith they can find redemption and be reconciled to Him. In my natural state God and I are enemies, I would never reach out to Him and seek to be in relationship with Him. Before God gave me a new heart I was dead in sin and transgressions, like all dead people, I could do nothing to move towards God. God did all the work in raising me up to new life and opening my eyes to see my need for Him and His great worth. Without God acting I would never have salvation, it is all because of Him that I am in union with Christ.

The way that I am saved is completely outside of my self, it is the power of God working through Christ death on the cross. God’s power is infinite and unimaginable. At the dawn of creation He spoke the heavens and earth into existence, He never lifted a finger or did any work but by His breath all things were made. Kings and nation are raised up by the power of God and brought low by Him as well, all world powers do not get power from their working, but from God’s mercy that grants all things to all beings. God’s power is a means to display His glory so that all creation might come to a saving knowledge of Him. God’s power is what breaks a sinner’s heart of stone and makes it like flesh so that we can live transformed lives to the praise of God’s name. His power has defeated sin and death, so that we may have new life and life for Him.

Why has God displayed His power like this to sinful man that has no interest in Him (Romans 3:11-12)? It is for His name’s sake. If God were ever to look for a reason in you and I to save us, He would never find any. In Old Testament times when a covenant is made between two parties it is ratified by both members, but in God’s covenant with Abraham, only God participated in the covenant (Genesis 15:17 and Hebrews 6:13-15). You and I are temporal, God is eternal, therefore, God finds His highest reason love sinful man not in us, but in Himself. God coming to save us is not on the basis of our belief or on us loving Him first. God loves us because He is love, mysterious and unfathomable love that has no end(Deuteronomy 7:7-8). It is because of us that He loves us, but because He is love. His name is love and so He loves us (1 John 4:16).

February 16, 2009

R-E-P-E-N-T, find out what it means to me

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
-2 Corinthians 7:10

Repentance is a gift from God and is not possible without the aid of His Holy Spirit.  To repent means to turn from my sin and to turn my gaze toward God.  This is a continual process and there will never be a day of my life where I am not walking through repentance in at least one area of my life.  A predecessor to repentance is viewing my sin the way that God does. My sin grieves God, therefore, I too must grieve over my sin.  I need to pray that the Holy Spirit will increase my hatred of sin.  There is no sin greater than mine and if the apostle Paul could call himself the chief sinner, then where does that leave me?  My sin is chief, not because of what I’ve done, but because of who I’ve sinned against.  God, loves me with an infinite love, a love so great that He would send His Son to die in my place to resolve the offense of my sin.  If my sin causes such a great rift between God and I that it would require the death of His Son, then I should hate the cause of that rift.  If it wasn’t for my sin then Jesus would not have needed to go to the cross.

I cannot make any excuses for sin.  Looking for a way to justify sin is a sure sign of worldly grief.  If I am more aware of how my sin affects myself or others instead of how it defames God then I have worldly grief.  Proper grief over my sin brings back to God and allows me to see His holiness and how He cannot have sin in His presence which is why Jesus had to die.  Worldly grieve over my sin only directs me to myself and this world while taking me further away from the cross.  With worldly grief I grow desensitized to how all sin is an abomination because it is an attack on a holy God.  This only leads to atrophy of my sin and a hardening of heart with a final result of spiritual death.

If I truly am saved, then I will live out my salvation in a manner that shows that I take my sin seriously (Philippians 2:12).  I can never be content with my spiritual growth, but always seek to strive and grow into greater Christ likeness.  This means mortifying my flesh and never ceasing from doing battle with the sin nature that is within me.  If I am truly repentant, than I will constantly be growing in my awareness of who God is and how I fall short of He commands.  The only proper response to this is to run like one seeking a prize and not stopping until I reach the finish line (1 Corinthians 9:24).  I need to be strengthened by the grace that is in Jesus Christ so I cannot be distracted from my calling and please the One who has bought me with His blood (2 Timothy 2:1-6).  I want to be ready for Christ return and live in a manner that I am not ashamed when He comes back.  I know that if I have turned from my sins and forsake this world, but live in anticipation of Christ return, then “there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day (2 Timothy 4:8).”  That is why I discipline myself to turn from my sins and turn to Christ.

February 15, 2009

Fruit of the Word

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
-2 Corinthians 7:1

As Christian we are called to cleanse ourselves of every defilement of body and Spirit.  We have been washed by the blood of lamb, so sin’s mark is gone and we are now identified with the lamb of God, pure and holy and for Him.  The cleansing of self is something that we do as part of sanctification, the continual process of putting off sinful thoughts and actions and replacing them with that which pleases God.  This is only possible through washing with the water of the word.  Through God’s Word we are renewed and able to view all of life through the lens of the Gospel.  God’s Word allows us to see who God is and how to reflect His image.  By daily being in His Word we know what God’s revealed will is and how to live in obedience to Him.  Without His Word and applying it to life then we cannot free the body and spirit from that which so easily defiles it.

Application of God’s Word is what brings holiness to completion.  If we read God’s Word and do not apply it, then we are like a man who looks in the mirror and walks away and has forgotten what he saw.  Without application of God’s Word we deceive ourselves and do not receive the full benefits of what God intends for us through His Word.  We are called to act on God’s Word and if we do this we will find blessing.  God’s word is like a seed and by applying it, it is able to take root in our hearts and bear fruit.  If we truly fear God, we will hide His word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him.  (James 1:22-25, Psalm 1:2-3, Psalm 119:11).  God intends for His word to change us, but it cannot do that if we are not investing in it.  He doesn’t want His word to just to hit the surface level, but to penetrate deep down into our hearts.

It is because of the promises of God that we seek holiness through applying God’s Word to our lives.  He lives in our hearts and has promised to dwell among us.  We do not deserve this nearness to Him and it is a privilege to live for Him.  He is committed to being our God and this is not based on any good in us, therefore we should commit ourselves to Him and living to please Him.  On the basis of Christ sacrifice He has welcomed us into His blessing, so with our lives we should seek to give Him blessing, honor, praise and glory.  Since we have redemption purchased on Calvary by Christ blood we are now sons and daughters of the most high king.  Like all children, our goal should be to grow and mature and be like our Father.  Because of this great adoption our primary calling is to reflect the image of God by fearing Him and walking in holiness (2 Corinthians 6:16-18).

February 14, 2009

Glory be to the God of all Provision

These all look to you,
to give them their food in due season.
-Psalm 104:27

In times of want and in times of plenty I look up to the One who holds my life in His hands.  He cares for the flowers and the sparrows, so I can be confident that He cares for me.  He is the provider of my daily bread.  He give me strength and breath to have energy to go work.  He gives me wisdom to know how to accomplish the task that are before me.  He gives me favor with those I work for so that I can continue to bring home a pay check.  There is nothing that I can do to provide for myself.  I am totally dependent on the Lord who reigns above.  He is the One that my provision comes from.  In due season He gives me food and everything that I need.

If he were to turn His face away, there is no way that I would be able to stand.  Because of His favor that I have through Christ sacrifice for my sins, I am able to be one of His adopted children.  He looks on me with pleasure and delights to do me good because I am one of His own.  He has bought me at the price of His own beloved Son.  If He would do that for me, then I can rest assured He will do all else for me.  On my own, I am weak and power less and can do no good deed and can provide nothing for myself.  In God is where I place my hope, I find myself in a safe place when my hope is in Him.  If my hope is in myself then I have ample reason to worry and fret.

At the cross I have peace with God because my sin has been taken care of through Christ atoning work.  God wants me not to just have that peace at the spiritual level, but also in my present day to day life.  Since my greatest need has been met, I can trust in God to meet all my other needs.  If my mind goes to God and what He has already done and what he is capable of doing in all of life’s circumstances then He will keep in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).  He does not intend for me to become anxious about the cares of this life.  Instead, He desires for me to lay my cares before Him so that I may rest in the peace that surpasses all understanding knowing that He will supply every need of mine according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7&19).  To Him be the glory for His rich provision!

February 13, 2009

The contradiction of Christianity

as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. -2 Corinthians 6:10

The Christian life is in essence a contradiction. There is nothing about it that makes sense if we view it logically. We are not following after a leader who will lead us to earthly wealth and happiness. We are following after a leader who was hated and crucified by His own people. Jesus even gave us the guarantee that since those He came to save hated Him, we can be assured that we will be hated also (John 15:18-24). Our hope is not in this life, but in the life to come. We deny ourselves in this life, so that we can glorified in the next life. The things that the world glories in we count as loss (Philippians 3:7-8). All of our eggs are in one basket and that is Jesus Christ, if He hasn’t been raised from the dead, then all of this is in vain and we are to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).

If Christ is raised from the dead, then in Him we have life to the full because He is the one who defeated the power of death. He is our peace with God because He has made a way for us to be right with God. He has given us immeasurable joy because no earthly trouble can compare to the Heavenly hope we have. Our joy is found in knowing that we are accepted and secure in the One who loved us enough to die for us when we were undeserving. He has given our lives meaning and purpose by taking us from the path of futility that we were on and giving us the privilege of being in union with Him and living lives that matter for eternity. Apart from Jesus nothing else matters and our lives have no point, it is all vanity. Once we are in Christ we are part of God’s mission and live for an honor and glory that is eternal.

As ambassadors of Christ, carrying forth God’s ministry of reconciliation we will face sorrow, but in that sorrow we can rejoice because we know we are only sojourners and our home is a place where there are no more tears and pain. Our hope is not in wealth and riches. Any earthly gain we have we will give it away for the sake of the Kingdom to come. Possessing little that this world considers of value, we have that which surpasses all in worth, redemption and eternal life. With this free gift of salvation we can make many rich by proclaiming the good news. There are people out there dieing, needy and hungry and we have the answer to what their souls desperately yearn for. Physically, we have nothing this world would want, but spiritually we possess everything because our sins are paid for. Oh Lord, open our eyes to see the hurt and pain of those that don’t know you. Give us boldness to preach this message which might be foolishness to the world, but to those you’ve called it is a feast for the starving beggar.

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