Bought by the Blood

May 31, 2009

Don’t be shy and some housekeeping

Filed under: Uncategorized — cubsfan1980 @ 2:05 am

Dear blog readers,
That is a new way for me to start a post on here. As many of you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting links in a while. If you miss the links then look me up on facebook or twitter. This is just another place to post a link and I figure most people who read this blog are on one of those two mediums.

I did want to share one more link here. If you are looking for a good devotional, you should checkout http://devotionalchristian.com/ This website has many different devotionals from the internet all in one place. There appears to be a devotional here for everyone, no matter what your style is. This website also includes videos from John Piper as well as many others.

Lastly, do you miss the links? Consider this an open invitation to leave a comment if you’ve never commented before. Even if you have commented before, I’d love to hear from you. What do you link and dislike about this blog. I have edited the “about” section, so that readers can know more about the purpose of this blog. Don’t be shy, feel free to let me know who you are, I promise, I won’t bite.

In case you miss the old “about” section, here is what it said:

I was dead, but Christ blood made me alive.

I was alienated, but Christ blood brought me near.

I was a slave to sin, but Christ blood made me a son of the most high.

I was lost and homeless, but Christ blood found and has prepared for me a place in Heaven.

I was blind, but Christ blood opened my eyes and has shown me God’s glory in the cross.

I was worthless, but Christ blood redeemed me for God’s purpose.

I was condemned, but Christ blood exchanged my sin and shame for robes of righteousness.

I was alone and foolish, but by Christ blood the Father is my eternal friend and His Spirit guides me in truth.

I was fearful, but by Christ blood fear has been cast out because I know all things works for my good.

I was anxious, but by Christ blood I have the peace that surpasses all understanding because my mind is stayed on Him.

I was sorrowful, but by Christ blood I have hope for eternity that overflows into unending joy.

I was hateful and hating others, but by Christ blood I am a receiver of God’s love and a reflector of God’s love.

I was living for self, but by Christ blood I can put on servant hood and look to others needs above my own.

I was a complainer, but Christ blood has made me a worshipper who looks to the cross over my circumstances.

I was a child of wrath, but Christ blood has made me a child of mercy.

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May 29, 2009

The Spiritual Sluggard

Filed under: James,Proverbs,Thomas Manton,Word of God — cubsfan1980 @ 11:10 am
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The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth.-Proverbs 19:24

This verse is speaking about lazy people. The sluggard take laziness to a new degree. He will do a job halfway, this isn’t just the uninteresting monotonous jobs, but even the interesting ones likes eating. As I was reading this passage lately, a new type of sluggard came to mind, the spiritual sluggard. James speaks of the spiritual sluggard when he says:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. – James 1:22-24

The spiritual sluggard hears the word preached, but does not apply it. They hold the jewel of the gospel, but does not marvel it or prize it for its infinite worth. They are in the midst of a great church, but do not become fully engaged to reap the benefits. Just like there is no value in having your hand in a dish and not bring it up to eat; the same is true if we are in God’s Word, but don’t bring it to bear on our lives.

Thomas Manton gives these tips to avoid being a spiritual sluggard with the Word of God
1)Perform deep mediation into God’s Word. Do not glance, but look intently at it.
2)Give diligent inquiry to God’s Word. Do not be content your first thought, but pry into God’s mind revealed through His Word.
3)Be open to the spirit revealed through God’s word. Look to it to find virtue for your heart. (2 Corinthians 3:18).
4)Treat the Word of God with great affection. You will always remember that which you care for.

The Word of God is perfect and nourishes our souls more than the choicest food nourish our bodies. In James 1:25 the Word of God is referred to it as perfect. We should be the anti-sluggard when it comes to God’s Word. Manton goes on to give us the following reasons for prizing God’s Word so highly:
1)It makes us perfect. “The nearer we come to the Word, the greater is the perfect of our spirits. The goodness and excellency of the creature lies in conforming to God’s will.”
2)It directs us to God who is the greatest perfect, to Chris righteousness, in it we have perfect communion with God in glory.
3)It concerns our whole being and brings about true heart change.
4)God’s word is eternal and never changes. There will never be any revisions or improvements made to it because it is already perfect.
5)”It is pure and free from error.”
6)”It is a comprehensive rule. Whatever is necessary for knowledge, for regulating life and worship, for confirmation of true teaching, for refuting false teaching, it is all in the Word (2 Timothy 3:17).

May 28, 2009

Praying through the Sermon on the Mount

This last piece of more of a prayer. Reading Valley of Vision has really helped my writing in terms of writing prayers and not feeling constrained. When I write prayers I try to reach more of a honesty and a crying out. This poem is about being like Jesus and being free from this anxieties and worries of this world through growing in prayer.

Dear God, draw me close to you.
Help me to realize all of the privileges
Of being your adopted child through Christ blood.
Fill me with your Spirit,
So that crying “Abba” is second nature.
I want to talk to you naturally
And come in your presence with no pretense.
Make me delight in giving you thanksgiving and praise.
Aid me in being bold for asking great things of you.
You know my needs before I ask
And you are a trustworthy father,
So give me grace to be on guard against anxiety
By seeking you for all provision
Since I know you are faithful and will do it
For you have met my greatest need on the cross,
How can you not meet my lesser one.

May 27, 2009

Jesus, my treasure

Filed under: Deuteronomy,grace,Hope,John Piper,Peace,Sermon on the Mount — cubsfan1980 @ 12:45 pm
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Today’s poem is a continuation of yesterday’s poem.  Yesterday’s poem talked about the treasure that Jesus and I wanted to delve deeper into that concept.  It is so important that we realize that Jesus is the reward that we are seeking that he refers to in the sermon on the mount.  John Piper talks about this in “God is the Gospel”

The highest, best, final, decisive good of the gospel, without which no other gifts would be good, is the glory of God in the face of Christ revealed for our everlasting enjoyment.  The saving love of God is God’s commitment to do everything necessary to enthrall us with what is most deeply and durably satisfying, namely himself.  Since we are sinners and have no right and no desire to be enthralled with God, therefore God’s love enacted a plan of redemption to provide that right and that desire.  The supreme demonstration of God’s love was the sending of His Son to die for our sins and to rise again so that sinners might have the right to approach God and might have the pleasure of his presence forever.

On a slightly unrelated note, in Deuteronomy 28:1-15 God gives a list of blessings for obedience.  I read the list and it all sounds like really great things, but if I was an Old Testament Israelite, I would ask God to add two blessings to that list.  In the section where it talks about blessed shall be the fruit of the womb, I would ask that the fruit of the womb would produce non-stinky diapers and never fuss.  I am pretty sure that stinky poop is a product of the fall and when we have our resurrected bodies our digestive tracks will produce scentless stool.  Enough of this nonsense, I am surprised if you stuck with that last sentence and didn’t just skip right to the poem.

Jesus, I need more of you,
Make my heart yearn for you.
Wean me from this world,
So that my appetite is whetted for your word.
Open my eyes to see wondrous truths about you.
Enlarge my heart to desire you above all else.

Redeemer and Savior all glory is yours.
You are my rock and stronghold
Where I find peace and comfort.
All hope is found in your grace.

Your undeserved favor makes my life worth living.
I long to see you face to face,
So I can express my gratitude
For your precious blood that was shed
To make atonement for my sins.

Lord Jesus come quickly,
Make my faith sight.
End this battle with my flash
So that my joy may be unhindered
As I have you for all eternity.

May 26, 2009

His Coming Kingdom

This is the first of three poems based on the Sermon on The Mount.  I feel like the Sermon on the Mount is best summed up by 2 Corinthians 5:7 where it talks about how we walk by faith and not by sight.  In the Sermon on the Mount we are called to not look at outward appearances, but to look at the heart.  The primary objective of the Sermon on the Mount is to drive our eyes away from the kingdom of this world to the kingdom of Heaven.   We are shown how sinful we are and how much we need a Savior.  The rewards of this world pale in comparison to the Kingdom of Heaven and that is what this poem is about.

This life is passing away.
Nothing in it is certain.
All that it offers is temporal
But a higher prize awaits.

Jesus died to redeem a people,
Purchased by His blood to be holy,
Set apart to glorify Him
And love for His coming kingdom.

Therefore forsake all this world offer
Set your heart and passion on Heaven
Where Christ, your treasure awaits,
He is worth and His excellence is eternal.

May 25, 2009

Glory

I am currently reading through several books right now.  One that I am highly enjoying is “Death By Love” by Mark Driscoll.  In the chapter where he talks about Chris being our example, he spends a portion of it talking about God’s glory.  That led to me meditating and worshipping God for His glorious character.  Out of that came this poem.

Lord God, Heavenly Father, you are glorious.
The whole Earth is filled with your glory,
But man’s eyes have been darkened to the ruth
And forsaken your glory for worthless idols.

Jesus Christ is the radiance of God’s glory.
He is the image of the invisible God.
His mission is to give sight to the blind
And set the captives free
So that many may live for God’s glory.

Thank you for the cross
Where your glory is on full display.
At the cross justice and mercy kiss,
Jesus paid the price of God’s justice
By receiving the wrath we justly deserved
So that we can be covered in grace and mercy.

May 20, 2009

The Gospel

Filed under: Christ Righteousness,Creation,Holy Spirit,Incarnation — cubsfan1980 @ 10:19 am
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This is another poem that I wrote while meditating on Matthew 3.  I just started writing and this is what came out.

You do all thing exceedingly well.
Out of your wisdom and power
You brought all of creation in existence.
Father, you deserve all glory, honor and praise,
But I have lived for myself and turned from you.
In your abundant grace you did not give up on me,
Instead you sent your only and beloved Son,
A mystery in which you took on human flesh,
Living the life of perfect obedience that I never could
In which you are ceaselessly worshiped.
He died on the cross to atone for my sins
So that I can wear His righteousness
And have His Spirit dwelling within me
To give me power to live for You.
I don’t live for you under my own strength,
Nor do I do it perfectly,
But I wait for the day when Christ returns
To make me new so that I will never again sin.
While in this flesh I lean on grace
Knowing that I am forever forgiven and loved.

Nearness with God

Filed under: heaven,Matthew,Repentance — cubsfan1980 @ 12:05 am
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“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 5:17

The kingdom of Heaven is near.  It is not here yet, but it is close, within hands reach.  In this state of grace, I experience the kingdom of Heaven by drawing near to God.  Nearness with God and all of the blessings that come with that are available for those that are in Christ and seek His face.  My seeking His face will always be flawed until I am glorified.  On that day when I made new the kingdom of Heaven will  be made present and nothing will stop me from pursuing it.  Until then I repent and turn from my flesh.  I turn from this world and all it has to offer so I can see my Savior more fully.

May 18, 2009

Prayer for more of Jesus

Filed under: God's love,Holy Spirit,Hope,Matthew,Sanctification,Uncategorized — cubsfan1980 @ 10:43 am
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I was reading in Matthew three the account of Jesus’ baptism and several things struck me in this passage.  First, the infinite worth of Jesus.  John proclaims Jesus as the one whose sandals he is unworthy to untie.  Do I see Jesus that highly?  If I did, I think I would have high thoughts of him constantly instead of relegating him to the back of my mind at times.  Also, I was captivated by the role of the Holy Spirit to baptize with fire and sanctify.  I need to be more mindful of the Spirit and how I need Him like I need Jesus.  Lastly, I was struck by God’s love to send His only Son, the one He loves, to die for me.  This poem is a prayer for  more of the trinity in my life.

Jesus, I need to commune with you daily.
You are my hope and strong tower,
In you I find refuge and safety.

By your blood I have access to the Father
Who loves me with a steadfast love.
He is where I find meaning to life
And gain an eternal perspective.

Make your Holy Spirit overflow in my life,
So that I may know and walk in truth.
Fan the fame so I may be a burning fire,
As a beacon of light for your coming kingdom.
Spirit, sanctify me so I can be like Jesus.

May 17, 2009

Heaping Coals

Filed under: 1 timothy,Abortion,Hebrews,James,Obama,Romans — cubsfan1980 @ 5:58 pm
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There is a pro-life blog that I read and the author of the blog is live-blogging the pro-life protest in South Bend.  As I was reading about all of the arrest and the attitude of some of the pro-lifers there my heart wept as I wondered if God was pleased.  Paul tells Timothy in 1st Timothy:

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-4

As I said before, there is place before protesting and picketing, but if you know you will be arrested, is that leading a peaceful and quiet life?  Is disrupting the commencement service, which is supposed to be a joyful time for many considered “Striving for peace with everyone. (Hebrews 12:14)”  Although the protester mean well, it appears that they missed the big picture.  They are becoming more of a curse to those that they are against instead of a blessing.  Kindness is the key to your opponents heart.

To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” – Romans 12:20

No matter one told me they were considering protesting at Notre Dame and asked for  my advice.  If they did asked for my advice, I would have directed them to 1 Timothy 2:1.  I would have encouraged prayer, followed by more prayer, capped off with more prayer.  Prayer for Obama, prayer for mothers, prayer for society, there are so many areas that need to be prayed over in this country.  No true success or fruit will come without prayer.  Public and private prayer can accomplish much.  “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16)”

Aside from prayer a civil exchange of ideas probably would have accomplished much.  There is a reason why a recent gallup poll showed that more people in America are pro-life instead of pro-choice for the first time since 1995.  Consider the fact that the street preacher is usually the least effective means of outreach.  A two-way conversation is always more profitable than one side shouting at the other.

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