Bought by the Blood

December 31, 2009

How To Advance God’s Kingdom

Filed under: humility,J.C. Ryle,Servanthood,Uncategorized — cubsfan1980 @ 7:27 am
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Image courtesy of kowalker.com

The world’s idea of greatness is to rule but Christian greatness consists in serving.  The world’s ambition is to receive honor and attention, but the desire of the Christian should be to give rather than receive, and to attend on others rather than be attended on himself.  In short, the man who lays himself out most to serve his fellow men, and to be useful in his day and generation, is the greatest man in the eyes of Christ…The men who are willing to be last of all, and servants of all, for Christ’s sake, are always few.  Yet these are the men who do good, break down prejudices, convince infidels that Christianity is a reality and shake the world.

-J.C. Ryle

December 30, 2009

What All Parents Should Resolve To Do

“The goal of parenting is to teach your kids to be independently dependent on God.  Their relationship with God isn’t all about us, but somehow we release them and tell them “You know you need to depend on God.  You understand you don’t need me anymore. You’ve got His Word, you’ve got His Spirit, now go!”

-Francis Chan

December 29, 2009

Character Vs. Comfort

Filed under: communion with God,Francis Chan,Sanctification,trials — cubsfan1980 @ 12:14 pm

In a recent sermon by Francis Chan he is talking about character qualities that are born by the Spirit’s work in us and he makes the convicting statement that we are too often more concerned with our circumstances that we are with our character.  He then goes on to this present this scenario that really challenges us on where our hopes and desires are.

2010 is coming up.  Let’s say, Jesus came in the room today and said, “2010 is coming, I’m going to give you an option. Plan A or Plan B.

Plan A: I can make 2010 a very easy and comfortable year for you.  Everything will go your way.  You want a great marriage, it will be there.  If you’re not married, the perfect mate will come.  You want a new job where you make three times as much as last year, you will get it.  You want everyone in your family not to get sick, you don’t want to get sick and have a six-pack, it will all supernaturally happen.  It is all going to be there.  At the end of the year you won’t be any stranger then in 2009.  You’re not going to be any closer to me, we won’t be any more intimate.  But it will have been a fun year.

Plan B: I am going to have you go through some hardships and it won’t be an easy year.  But during those times you and I are going to grow so close.  You will experience me like never before.  At the end of the year you will be this man or woman that is so far beyond where you are today.  You will have a steadfastness and strength you have never had before.  I am going to get you through it, but it will be tough.”

Which plan will you choose?

-Francis Chan

December 28, 2009

They Grow Up So Fast

Filed under: Family,Sacrifice,Urban Meyer — cubsfan1980 @ 12:34 pm
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I am almost 30 and a new dad.  Reading stories about Meyer’s retirement/unretirement to spend time with his family and prioritize his health remind me of my need for God’s grace because I know I can so easily go down the same path.  I am already seeing Miya grow up so fast.  It’s crazy to think that the process won’t get any slower especially as she starts to to talk and walk.

Saturday night, Meyer told The New York Times that oldest daughter Nicki rejoiced at the news of his impending resignation, saying, “I’ve got my daddy back.” Now it appears daddy is only back on temporary loan.

Last time I saw Meyer interact with his family was after Florida’s final regular-season game, a romp over Florida State in The Swamp.After addressing the media, he gave daughter Gigi a hug of unusual length. It was almost as if he were trying to squeeze days, weeks, months — maybe even years — of missed time into that single embrace.I thought of that Saturday night, when I heard Meyer was resigning.

I wondered if he felt like so many of us middle-aged fathers, watching your kids grow up and hoping you’re really an active participant and not just offering drive-by parenting while working your tail off. I found myself admiring him for walking away from the summit of his lucrative, insanely competitive profession for all the right reasons.

Read the rest at What does Urban Meyer really want? – ESPN.

December 24, 2009

God and Sinners Reconciled

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? Mark 8:35-37

In the beginning was God. He created all things and through Him all things were created.  He was eternally and infinitely blessed with there being nothing that could ever add to His happiness (John 1).  Despite all of this, God made Himself nothing and gave His all to save the souls of man.  He came down from His throne in Heaven and forfeited His perfect communion with the Father as well as all the attributes of the Godhead to rescue sinners.  By taking on flesh He was able to die our death and give up His righteousness so that our penalty could be His and we can have an inheritance greater than the whole world (2 Corinthians 5).

Although He was God, He took on the form of a helpless baby. His was a lowly status so that He could serve all mankind, to return to us the soul’s that we lost at the fall when sin and death took Adam’s helpless race into bondage.  Jesus embodied humility and this is evident by His life of obedience and submission to His Father’s will (Philippians 2).  He counted the cost and bore the scorn and shame of the cross to save sinners.  The Son of God gave up His life on the tree so that we could have it to the full.

Therefore how should we live?  The Christmas story calls us to be ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5). Our lives should be joyous ones because we have been given good news of great joy (Luke 2:10).  Every step we should take should be one of liberation because one who was fully God and fully man has broken the head of satan who enslaved us to unrighteousness and sin (Genesis 3).  Jesus lost His life so that we can gain ours, therefore we need to find our life in Him and be a people defined by His redeeming work.  Our greatest profit is the reward of being reconciled to God.   Christ was born in a manger on Christmas day, died on the cross in our place, raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so that we too might walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

December 22, 2009

Health Care Reform That Support Abortion Provides No Social Justice

Filed under: Abortion,Health Care,pro-life — cubsfan1980 @ 2:44 pm
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I have had minimal internet access since the infamous east coast blizzard of 2009 started.  I am just now getting caught up on reading about the senate health care bill and other pro-life news.  Below is an excerpt for one of the most amazing pro-life articles I have read in a while.

Health care reform is an issue of social justice. One of the primary issues, if not the primary issue of social justice, is the fundamental right to life. If you claim to be concerned with “social justice” you cannot, at the same time, be for the right to end the life of an unborn human being.

Social justice, if we listen to Senators Mikulski and Reid, concerns the whole of the human being—including his or her health care and access to that health care. Whole Life America recognizes and applauds the cry for human dignity that is inherent to the cry for social justice within the health care reform debate.

However, nothing could be further from social justice than an act which has robbed over 46 million Americans of their lives since 1973. If, as the senators would have us believe, this health care reform debate is in fact an issue of social justice then any part of it that sanctions stripping any member of our society of his or her fundamental rights—terminating someone’s life is such an act—cannot in good conscience be truthfully called social justice.

You can read the rest at: FOXNews.com – Abortion, Social Justice and Health Care Reform.

December 14, 2009

The Christmas Spirit

The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity – hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory – because at the Father’s will Jesus Christ became poor and was born in a stable so that thirty years later he might hang on a cross.  It is the most wonderful message that the world has ever heard or will hear.

We talk glibly of the “Christmas Spirit,” rarely meaning more by this than sentimental jollity on a family basis.  But what we have said makes it clear that the phrase should in fact carry a tremendous weight of meaning.  It ought to mean the reproducing in human lives of the temper of him who for our sakes became poor at the first Christmas.  And the Christmas spirit itself ought to be the mark of every Christian all year round.

It is our shame and disgrace today that so many Christians – I will be more specific: so many of the soundest and most orthodox Christians – go through this world in the Spirit of the priest and Levite in our Lord’s parable, seeing human needs all around them, but (after a pious wish, and a perhaps a prayer, that God might meet those needs) averting their eyes and passing by on the other side.  That is not the Christmas spirit.  Nor is it the spirit of those Christians – alas, they are many – whose ambition in life seems limited to building a nice middle-class Christian home, and making nice middle-class Christian friends, and bringing up their children in nice middle-class Christian ways, and who leave the submiddle class sections of the community, Christian and non-Christian, to get on by themselves.

The Christmas spirit does not shine out in the Christian snob.  For the Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor – spending and being spent – to enrich their fellow  humans, giving time, trouble, care and concern, to do good to others – not just their own friends – in whatever way there seems need.

-J.I. Packer

Dead, yet alive!

Spurgeon was particularly on the fire with today’s reading from Morning and Evening.  I pray that one day I am half the writer he was.

“I am crucified with Christ.”

Galatians 2:20

The Lord Jesus Christ acted in what he did as a great public representative person, and his dying upon the cross was the virtual dying of all his people. Then all his saints rendered unto justice what was due, and made an expiation to divine vengeance for all their sins. The apostle of the Gentiles delighted to think that as one of Christ’s chosen people, he died upon the cross in Christ. He did more than believe this doctrinally, he accepted it confidently, resting his hope upon it. He believed that by virtue of Christ’s death, he had satisfied divine justice, and found reconciliation with God. Beloved, what a blessed thing it is when the soul can, as it were, stretch itself upon the cross of Christ, and feel, “I am dead; the law has slain me, and I am therefore free from its power, because in my Surety I have borne the curse, and in the person of my Substitute the whole that the law could do, by way of condemnation, has been executed upon me, for I am crucified with Christ.”

But Paul meant even more than this. He not only believed in Christ’s death, and trusted in it, but he actually felt its power in himself in causing the crucifixion of his old corrupt nature. When he saw the pleasures of sin, he said, “I cannot enjoy these: I am dead to them.” Such is the experience of every true Christian. Having received Christ, he is to this world as one who is utterly dead. Yet, while conscious of death to the world, he can, at the same time, exclaim with the apostle, “Nevertheless I live.” He is fully alive unto God. The Christian’s life is a matchless riddle. No worldling can comprehend it; even the believer himself cannot understand it. Dead, yet alive! crucified with Christ, and yet at the same time risen with Christ in newness of life! Union with the suffering, bleeding Saviour, and death to the world and sin, are soul-cheering things. O for more enjoyment of them!

Read it at Morning and Evening: Daily Readings | Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

December 13, 2009

He Does All Things Well

Filed under: J.C. Ryle,Mark,trials,Trusting God,Will of God — cubsfan1980 @ 12:28 pm
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“And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well.” Mark 7:37

Let us remember it as we look forward to the days yet to come.  We know what they may be, bright or dark, may or few.  But we know that we are in the hands of Him who “doeth all things well.  He will not err in any of  His dealings with us.  He will take away and give – He will afflict and bereave – He will move and He will settle, with perfect wisdom, at the right time, in the right way.  The great Shepherd of the sheep makes no mistakes.  He leaves every lamb of  His flock by the right way to the city of habitation.

We shall never see the full beauty of these words till the resurrection morning.  We shall then look back over our lives, and know the meaning of everything that happened from first to last.  We shall remember all the way by which we were led, and confess that all was “well done.”  The why and the wherefore, the causes and the reasons of everything which now perplexes, will be clear and plain as the sun at noon-day.

-J.C. Ryle

December 8, 2009

16 Daddy Christmas Tips From Mark Driscoll

Filed under: Christmas,leadership,Mark Driscoll,parenting — cubsfan1980 @ 12:02 pm
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Mark Driscoll has 16 tips for dad to help us represent Christ to our families.  I’d highly recommend all the dads reading this to check it out.

“’Tis the season for Dad to drop the holiday ball, stress out as the money is being spent for presents, and miss yet another providential opportunity to lovingly lead his family. So, this blog is intended to help dads not fall into the same old rut of holiday humdrum, sitting on the couch watching football and eating carbs, but rather intentionally plan out the upcoming holiday season. Our children grow quickly and if we miss the sacred moments God opens up for us to connect with and bless our families, everyone suffers and we set in motion generations of missed opportunity.”

Read the rest at The Mars Hill Blog | Blog Archive » 16 Daddy Christmas Tips.

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