Bought by the Blood

September 3, 2009

Give Uganda Water

Three great truths about money…

With one special bonus application: $23 provides clean water for one person for the rest of their life.

Their silver and gold are not able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. They cannot satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it. For it was the stumbling block of their iniquity. – Ezekial 7:19

  1. Money has no eternal value.  It does nothing to endorse my standing with God.  My hope for eternity is based on God’s mercy to me through the cross and no earthly achievements.
  2. Money is not a basic necessity for this life.  “for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. (1 Timothy 6:7-8).” I do not need money to be content.
  3. I must always be on guard against the stumbling block of money.  Francis Chan once said, *”We in America are at a spiritual disadvantage because we are so rich.”  I shouldn’t ask how am I using my money, but if there are any areas where my money is using me.  William Wilberforce once stated, “Prosperity hardens the heart.”

*”If one hundred people represented the world’s population, fifty-three of those would live on less than $2 a day.  Do you realize that if you make $4,000 a month, you automatically make one hundred times more than the average person on this plant.  Simply by purchasing this book, you spent what a majority of people in the world will make in a week’s time.” Francis Chan in “Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a relentless God.”


June 29, 2009

How Salvation Puts Trials In Perspective

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy! – Psalm 130:1-2

The state of the Psalmist is not any different then yours or mine.  Any cry or plea that we made to God is made from the depths.  Due to the sinfulness of our fallen hearts, we can never reach up to God and any striving that we make will still leave us in the depths.  In our own strength and power we can do nothing to come close to God, therefore we need a mediator to bring us from the depths and into God’s presence.  If God were to come down to us and we didn’t have a mediator we would cry out like Isaiah, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts! (Isaiah 9:6).”

Thankfully, God has provided a mediator.  It is the man, Christ Jesus, He lived a perfect and sinless life which we could never do.  His life was offered up as a ransom to purchase us from the power of sin and death.  By the blood of Jesus we have been brought into a covenant of grace that makes us the recipients of His steadfast love.  Through this covenant we have been redeemed from the slavery of our flesh and our captor the devil that once held us prisoner (1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 9:15, 12:24).  We now have the Holy Spirit as a down payment of our eternal inheritance, the benefits of this we already enjoy because we have been lifted up from the depths and are seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3,13-14).

Even though we are seated with Christ above, emotionally the circumstances of life can still make us feel like we are in the depths.  At times like this we must be become the most talkative people that we know.  First, we have to talk to ourselves instead of listening ourselves.  We need to drown out the voice of our feelings and remind ourselves of the truth that if God would send His Son to die for us, how will He not do all other things (Romans 8:28).  We must also use our voices to speak to God and cry out to Him.  He is ready to listen and ready to answer our prayers.  He is rich in mercy and like all good fathers He is a protector of His children.

June 4, 2009

All is meaningless without Christ blood

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? – Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

We all need a proper theology for every day life. The work we do, what we find pleasure in, what we eat and drink cannot be separated from God. If we don’t have a grasp of how God relates to every iota of our living then our lives will be meaningless, a chase after the wind. To find enjoyment in life we need to see all things coming from the good and wise hand of God. With that view in mind we realize that we are only stewards and see our work, food, drink and everything as gifts from God to steward for His glory(1 Corinthians 10:31). No Father ever gives bad gifts, so we can rejoice in all He has given us.

If I see my work as coming from God, then I can be content in my work know that has his purpose to sanctify me and conform me to Christ image. It does not matter if I make little or an overabundance. What matters it that I know who God is and grow in godliness. In godliness there is great gain and that is the source of my contentment. My contentment is not found in material possessions because those are only temporal and passing. I brought nothing into this life and all that I have are given to me by God (1 Timothy 6:6-7). Like Solomon I only ask, “give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God. (Proverbs 30: 8-9)”

This kind of attitude cannot be cultivated apart from the cross. At the cross of Christ we see that Jesus is reconciling all things to Himself. All things, that includes my work, my leisure, my sleep, everything that compasses my life, there is nothing that is not reconciled and given a redemptive purpose through His finished work on the cross. Everything is created through Christ and for Him, in Christ the whole universe is held together. His blood shed for me opens my eyes to this higher reality and allows me to live for His glory. By living for His glory I am content with what may come because I know it’s not about me, but all about Him. Having peace through His blood gives my life meaning (Colossians 1:15-20).

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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