Bought by the Blood

October 10, 2010

Being Made Holy

I read the following Oswald Chambers quote yesterday and had my world totally rocked:

To be a holy person means that the elements of our natural life experience the very presence of God as they are providentially broken in His service.”  You can read the rest of it here The Assigning of the Call | My Utmost For His Highest.

I love the implications of this.  It is saying 1)expect to meet God in the normal and natural experiences of life and 2)Look for God to be with you in Him providentially humbling you and breaking you so that you can be built up again into more of Christ image.  Definitely an encouraging word that I often need to be reminded of.

November 26, 2009

A Thanksgiving Poem

Filed under: Creation,cross,heaven,holiness,thanksgiving — cubsfan1980 @ 10:55 am
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I could never exhaust the praise
that king Jesus rightly deserves.
Words fail to express the Thanksgiving
Which is in my heart for your death on my behalf.

All glory, honor and thanks is Jesus’
For by His blood He ransomed people for God.
You are holy, holy, holy, there is none like you.
All creation is yours and by your will we exist.

When you bring your redeemed to the new heaven and earth
We will spend all eternity giving thanks for who you are
And that you have called us to yourself
So that we can be complete and satisfied in you.

November 22, 2009

Compelled by love

The ground of all our comfort and holiness, and perseverance in both, is laid in the shedding abroad of the love of God in our hearts; it is this which constrains us, 2 Cor. 5:14.  Thus we are drawn and held by the bonds of love.  Sense of God’s love to us will make us not ashamed, either of our hope in him or our sufferings for him.

– Matthew Henry on Romans 5:5

September 28, 2009

Matt Redman on God’s glory

Q. 7. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, everywhere present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

I’ve been wanting to write a devotional on the glory of God and haven’t gotten around to it yet.  I may still do that, but until I do, here are some excellent thoughts on the glory of God from Matt Redman!

Glory has to be one of the most used worship words these days (and for good reason) – but because of that, we need to be really clear about what we mean by it. For many people it’s one of those words we kind of know what we’re talking about conceptually, but would find it hard to express the meaning if were asked for a concise definition. That’s where Mr Piper comes in. I love the way he describes to us what the word ‘glory’ is all about:

“ The glory of God is the manifestation of his holiness. God’s holiness is the incomparable perfection of his divine nature; his glory is the display of that holiness.”

So in other words, the holiness of God is everything about God that makes Him matchless, perfect and high above all others – and His glory is the shining of that holiness. Or as Piper goes on to explain:

“ ‘God is glorious’ means God’s holiness has gone public. His glory is the open revelation of the secret of his holiness… The holiness of God is his concealed glory. The glory of God is his revealed holiness.”

I love that – it’s what inwardly and instinctively we already knew, but defined in a few concise sentences that really help get a handle on what we’re talking about.

via THE GLORY OF GOD | worshipcentral.

September 26, 2009

The Gospel and Ethics

Filed under: Chris Wright,evangelism,Gospel,holiness,Missions,The Mission of God — cubsfan1980 @ 11:23 pm
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“We either adorn the gospel or we are a disgrace to it. Our ethics (or lack of ethics) support (or undermine) our mission…There is great missional and evangelistic power in lives shaped by the standard of biblical holiness and goodness.” Christopher Wright

September 22, 2009

Sin

Filed under: holiness,links,sin — cubsfan1980 @ 8:42 am

Steve-Oh has a great story on his blog about how the seed of a fig tree will eventually grow and uproot everything in its path.  I love his application which I have copied below and how it relates to one small seed of sin can uproot progress into holiness.

Many times we ignore our sinful practices until they become dangerous to our spiritual life. For sin to flourish it must be nourished by the very person it is harming. May we always be alert to sin’s influence and rely on God’s help to conquer it.

via Quickie.

September 13, 2009

God Is Infinite

God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” – Exodus 3:14

Q. 7. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, everywhere present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

To ponder the infinite nature of God’s being is truly mind boggling. We are finite humans and cannot fathom what it means for God to not be finite.  I remember before I was a Christian one of the things I struggled with was the infinite nature of God.  Where did he come from, how did he come about to be?  His state of being God has always been and He has never been more or less of the God that He is right now.  There is no way to describe or define the infinite nature of God.  Just like how God is the Father from whom every Father gets its name, He is the being from which every created thing gets it being (Ephesians 3:14-15).

What a blessed thing that we trust in an infinite God.  We don’t trust finite man or any created thing, but our trust is in the infinite One who not only has heaven and earth at his disposal, but is the creator of heaven and earth.  The fact that God is infinite should motivate us in our pursuit of knowledge of Him since we can never exhaust the knowledge of who He is.  God’s infinite nature is summed up by Job’s friend Zophar in Job 11:7-9, “Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? It is higher than heaven —what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know? Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.”

We most clearly see the infinite nature of God at the cross. At Calvary the infinite justice and holiness of God is expiated when Jesus lays down His life for his sinners.  From before the foundation of the world God ordained that through His Son Jesus He would show His infinite love by propitiating His infinite wrath by Jesus atoning death.  Infinite grace and mercy is made available to sinners at the cross by the fact that for those that God has adopted they can never sin their way out of God’s covenant with them.  This has only be a brief overview and does not include all of God’s attributes, but for a more thorough analysis please see A.W. Pink’s “Attributes of God” and Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”.

September 8, 2009

Randy Alcorn on Twitter

This upcoming Saturday marks one year of me being on twitter.  One of my favorite persons that I am following is Randy Alcorn.Unfortunately, due to the size limitation that Twitter imposes I have not been able to repost a lot of his tweets.  I have definitely found them very encouraging and Gospel Centered, so I wanted to take a moment here to highlight some of my favorite tweets from Randy Alcorn.

Many speak of the problem of evil but not the problem of goodness. If evil provides evidence against God, isn’t goodness evidence for him?

One day I see Christ looking at us, stretching out His nail-scarred hands, asking, “Do these look like the hands of a God who did not care?”

Image is how we look on the outside. Character is who we are in the dark when no one but God sees us. It’s who we really are. Prov 16:2

Self-image should be based on God’s Word—you’re created in His image, redeemed by Christ, whether or not you live up to society’s standards.

There’s no shortcut to spirituality, no pill to make us godly. We become more Christlike only as we focus our gaze on Christ. 2 Cor 3:18

Jerry Bridges: Your worst days are never so bad you’re beyond the reach of His grace—on best days you’re never beyond the need of His grace.

Tozer: The will of God brings final happiness to those who obey but the most important matter is not how happy we are but how holy. Matt 5:8

If only we could see our situation clearly. Anything less than gratitude—unthinkable. He owes us nothing. We owe Him everything. Col 1:12-13

September 2, 2009

God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt

I am starting something new on this blog called, “Three Truths.”  Basically, in this section I take a section of Scripture and give three bullet points of wicked awesomeness that can be found in the Scripture.  Consider it a condensed version of the devotional that I usually write.

And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. 7 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God. – 2 Samuel 6:6-7

  1. I am so sinful that it would be better for dirt to touch the ark of God instead of me touching it.  How wretched and unclean I am if it is a greater offense for me to approach God then for the symbol of His presence to fall into the dirt.
  2. He is just and holy in all His ways.  When he struck Uzzah no one could bring a charge against Him and he has to answer to no one.  His ways are above ours and He  never does wrong.
  3. In Jesus God has come near so that man can touch Him and have our our sin done away with.  Through the cross there is a mean by which we can approach God and not ear his holiness destroying us.  By Christ sacrifice I am made holy and able to commune with God.

August 20, 2009

Physical Boundaries Discussion Outlines

Conviction:  Safeguards and precautions that we have put in place by faith, to aid us in seeking God’s grace and guard us from sinning.
Legalism:  Adding anything to Scripture that isn’t there for the purpose of gaining favor with God for fear of losing our salvation and applying/enforcing that standard on all people everywhere.

Why is it better to form principles off of conviction instead of legalism?

  • Conviction leads to strength
  • Conviction leads to humility
  • Conviction leads to repentance
  • Conviction is based on the heart
  • Legalism leads to doubts
  • Legalism leads to pride
  • Legalism leads to condemnation
  • Legalism is based on action

How do we come to convictions?

  • God’s Word
  • Examples of Others
  • Fearing God
  • Input from others
  • Prayer
  • Impressions/Ministry of Holy Spirit
  • Walking through repentance of sin

Four principles that should guard physical boundaries in relationships
1)Satisfying our hearts in God
Job 31:1
“I have made a covenant with my eyes;
how then could I gaze at a virgin?

Q:NIV uses “lust” instead of “gaze.”  where does lust come from?
A: Lust comes from the heart.  The first place we need to be concerned with as we set up physical boundaries is our hearts. (Matthew 5:27-30)
Q:How should we be active with guarding our hearts?
A:We need to seek to find complete satisfaction in God alone because lust will never satisfy us. (Jeremiah 2:11-13 and Psalm 37:4)

2)Righteousness
Romans 6:12-14
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Q:How are we called to act?
A:As instruments of righteousness
Q:How do we define righteousness?
A: Doing right comes from God’s holy standard.  Therefore, we should interact physically with our significant with a mindset of God being present and aware of what is going on in our hearts (Proverbs 5:21)
Q:What motivates this?
A:Grace and Christ sacrifice on the cross.  We are empowered through Christ death and resurrection to live pure.  We have been called to holiness and purity and God will not call us to anything that He won’t enable us to do.

3)Contentment with purity
Philippians 4:11
for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Proverbs 27:20
Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
and never satisfied are the eyes of man.

Q: Why is contentment important with physical boundaries?
A: We will never be satisfied with our level of intimacy.  We are wired to want more.  Just like the eyes are never satisfied, nor are the hands or lips.
Q:Why do we do if there is a problem with our boundaries not being fun?
A: There is never a problem with our boundaries.  The problem is always with our hearts.  We need to remember what Psalm 16 says about the boundary lines falling for us in pleasant places.  There is no place more pleasant to be than on the path to holiness.  Relationships aren’t about getting what we want and our pleasure, but giving God glory.

“We understood the progressive nature of sexual involvement.  Once you start kissing, you want to move on.  We didn’t want to start what we couldn’t finish.  When a man and woman’s lips meet, and their tongues penetrate each other’s mouths, their process of becoming one has begun.”Josh Harris

4)Defining proper context for physical intimacy.
Song of Solomon 2:7
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
until it pleases.

Song of Solomon 3:5
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
until it pleases.

Song of Solomon 8:4
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
that you not stir up or awaken love
until it pleases.

Q:What does it mean to not stir or awaken love until it pleases?
A:Hold off on doing anything physically intimate that can strengthen or arouse the desire for making love
Q:What is the purpose of physical intimacy in marriage?
A:In marriage physical intimacy is worship.  Outside of marriage, physical intimacy is about pleasure and becomes about objectifying the other person.
Q:what is the best way to gauge if the physical boundaries in place are stirring and awakening love before the proper time?
A:The question to ask ourselves is how can certain physical acts (kissing, cuddling, front hugs) bring us closer to God.  It is helpful to remember no one ever says after marriage that they wish they had been more physically intimate before marriage.

“They often ask where to draw the line for sexual activity outside of marriage.  What they are asking is how close they can to sin while still being without sin.  But there is already sin in their heart because they are seeking to get closer to sin and not closer to God.  The Bible says, “But among you there must not even be a hint of sexual immorality (Ephesians 5:3).”  Thus, the issue is now where the line is, but when the time is. That is why the repeated refrain in the Song Solomon is a warning not “Stir or awaken love until it pleases.” ” Mark Driscoll

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