Bought by the Blood

August 19, 2010

Pursuing Greatness

Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made him who knew no sin to become sin so that in him, we might become the righteousness of God.” If you’ve been around awhile, you’ve heard me say this, Luther calls it the great exchange. All of our sin, idolatry, narcissism, pride, jealousy, envy, me-ism, all of it, which is sin, goes to Jesus, and he dies paying the penalty for our sin. And he gives us, in addition, reckons to us, imputes to us his righteousness.

This means that you and I now possess, through faith if we are the children of God, the righteousness of Jesus, the perfect, sinless, obedient, selfless, worshipful, imaging life of Jesus. It’s reckoned, credited to our account. So now we want to pursue greatness, not for an identity, but from our identity in Christ. We want to pursue greatness, not for our righteousness, but from the righteousness that is given us by Jesus. Not for our glory, but from the glory of God. Not for God’s approval, from God’s approval in Christ. Not for the love of God, but from the love of God.

Greatness is pursued by the children of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells them in newness of life, greatness of life, rich or poor, living or dying, healthy or sick, succeeding or failing to the glory of God and the good of others by the grace of God through the power of the Holy Spirit, which is our joy, which is our joy. – Mark Driscoll

via Mars Hill Church | Luke’s Gospel: Investigating the Man Who Is God | Redeeming Greatness.

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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.

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

July 31, 2009

Friday is for Fathers

Filed under: Daddy Dates,Mark Driscoll,parenting — cubsfan1980 @ 10:01 pm
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Driscoll on Daddy Dates

“I can still recall one occasion when I was doing a wedding in the California Napa Valley. Before the wedding, I took some time to take my daughter Ashley on a shoeless walk through the vineyards as I was dressed in my suit and she was looking cute in a dress. She was nearly three years old at the time and as we held hands and walked, she looked at me and said, “Daddy, some day I will be married.” I said, “Yes, you will, sweetheart.” I then asked her, “How will you know who you are supposed to marry?” She said, “You and mommy will help decide,” and then she giggled. As her father, I am called by God to be the biggest man in her life until her husband earns her love and my approval. Every girl needs a Christian daddy who loves her, snuggles with her, encourages her, compliments her, protects her, and enjoys “daddy dates” with her where they go out to have fun together.”

-Mark Driscoll

Obviously, Miya is not old enough for daddy dates, but do any of the dads reading this blog have any favorite daddy dates they have done with their daughter(s)?

July 24, 2009

Friday is For Fathers

“The thoroughness of Paul’s mission practice is that he was not content merely with evangelism and church planting but was concerned to build mature communities of believers who could think biblically through the ethical issues they faced in the ambient religious culture.  His pastoral and ethical guidance to his churches was thus as much part of his missional task as his evangelistic zeal, and just as theologically grounded to.” Chris Wright

According to Mark Driscoll in his free e-book “Pastor Dad,” every dad is a pastor to his family.  Therefore, the above quote, although it is directed to church planters, missionaries and pastors can have very real application to fathers.  If I am in paid ministry I should never view the job complete if someone gives a verbal commitment to Christ.  Anthony Bradley shares in the book Glory Road his testimony of how there was much confusion for him early on as he had no discipleship.  The same is true for father’s, our kids must be discipled and this is not a task that we should leave up to the church, but do ourselves as the church equips us for this work.

Paul didn’t want his converts to just attend church.  Actually, in the New Testament church there would be no casual attenders because just to do that would be risking their lives.  A Christian father’s vision shouldn’t be for his family to be casual church attenders.  Instead they should be taking part in community to grow in spiritual maturity so that they can discern what is God’s good, acceptable and perfect will by being transformed by the renewing of their mind through the preached word (Romans 12).  The father must lead in example by applying the word and and standing up for Biblical truth.

Father’s let us not be content to have our family be lukewarm even if we are on fire.  May God give us hearts like Paul’s for those that we are called to shepherd, hearts with a zeal for seeing lives transformed by the power of the Gospel.

June 21, 2009

Letter to my daughter by special guest Mark Driscoll

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Mark Driscoll’s book, “Death by love: Letters from the cross.”  One of my favorite chapters is “My Daddys is a pastor: Gideon’s Unlimited Limited Atonement.”  This is a chapter that Driscoll wrote to his youngest son about the cross and his need to accept Jesus as Savior.  This letter to my daughter is pretty much word for word from Driscoll except for where I inserted Miya’s name for the place of Gideon.  This section truly does echo my heart for Miya and probably rings true for so many Christian parents.

“Upon holding you for the first time, I thanked Jesus for all the benefits and blessing that have come in your life and mine through his death and resurrection.  I also prayed, as I have every day since, that you would place your faith in Jesus and also benefit from his saving work on the cross, which he suffered in your place for your sins.  I pray you will live in the power of his resurrection with the new heart and all the newness of life that it brings.  I pray that you would be not only my daughter but also God the Father’s daughter with whom I can pray, read scripture, and serve Jesus in joy.  For this to happen, you must live as a Christian woman under the lordship of Jesus, because the line to heaven is single file.

Your mother and I are walking the path of faith into eternal life with Jesus and want nothing more than to see each of our children with us walking personally with Jesus.  Therefore, as your pastor-dad, I am imploring you not to take for granted the person and work of Jesus, merely enjoying his general benefits while neglecting his saving benefits, or borrowing the faith of your Christian family without having your own.  I cannot mediate between you and God, but Jesus can.  He can and will forgive your sin and give you a new heart and a new nature with new appetites for holiness, and he will not only bless you in this life but also in the life to come…

In some ways, you were born into a family and a nation that is akin to the Old Testament nation of Israel.  There, the most holy day of the year was the day of atonement, which foreshadowed the death of Jesus on the cross.  On that day, the entire nation was called to repent of sin and trust in God for salvation from sin and its effects.  In many ways, everyone who was a member of that nation was blessed by living among a people who worshiped God.  Yet, in addition to that there was an expectation that each individual would also confess his own sins and have his own personal faith in God.  In this way the Day of Atonement was a blessing to all in a general way, and a blessing to those who repented of sin and trusted in God in a particular way.

As a member of our family and church and nation, you have been born into a world with many blessings that are the consequence of Christ and Christianity, just like the Old Testament Israelites.  But those blessings will be in vain if you are merely part of a Christian family and church without yourself being a Christian who has received Jesus’ death as the source of your life.

Miya, you know that your daddy love you with all of his heart.  You need to know that Jesus loves you even more, and he showed it on the cross.  You need to live in light of that defining, transforming, illumianting and empowering truth.”

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 4, 2009

My favorite Mark Driscoll Sermon

Filed under: Mark Driscoll,parenting,Song of Solomon — cubsfan1980 @ 2:20 pm
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In light of the events of this past month, I think “I Was a Wall” is my new favorite Mark Driscoll sermon.  At the end of the sermon Driscoll does an interview with his oldest daughter where he ask her what daddies can do to raise their daughters in a Biblical way.  I have listed those out below.  

Driscoll on things daddies can do to help raise their daughters in a Biblical way
1)pay attention. Don’t ignore her, know her moods and disposition.  Initiate talk and touch.  
2)Spend time alone with daughter.  Go on daddy-dates
3)Pray for your daughter
4)Pray with your daughter
5)Read the Bible to her
6)compliment her

You can read more about this particular message at the Mars Hill website here

April 24, 2009

“Porn Again Christian” discussion

I am having the men in my small group read Mark Driscoll’s book “Porn Again Christian.” This is something that I’ve been wanting to do with them for a while since this book was made available for free online.  Below is the discussion that I prepared for them on the book.

At the end of Chapter 1 Driscoll says:

“God is honest and forthright about the truth and his people must not be so prudish as to try and speak in ways that are holier than their God. In our age of lewdness and perversion we, like our Father, must avoid crassness, while wisely and boldly speaking frankly about the joy and beauty of sexual intimacy when it is confined by the loving directions of the God who created both us and our desires. And, we must refuse to speak in sanitized clinical euphemisms like calling adulteries “affairs,” fornication “dating,” and perverts “partners” because God uses frank words for deplorable sin so we will feel its sickness without anesthesia.”

-Do you see lust as deplorable and sickning as God does? What does it look like to have a right reaction toward this sin?

-Do you view yourself as committing adultery against your future wife when you look lustfully at a woman?

In chapter 3 Driscoll states:

“However, throughout history men have been prone to obey the letter of the law on these matters, while violating the spirit…Practically, this all means that only you and God truly know your heart and, rather than trying to obey legalistic rules, you must be honest about the lusts in your heart and reduce those triggers that stimulate you.”

-very specifically, what does it look like for you to violate the Spirit of God’s commands about lust?

-What are your triggers and how do you fight them?

-Did chapter four change or inform the way you think of the dangers of pornography?

-How did chapter four help you think of what “beauty” is?

-Driscoll says in chapter four “In creation, we see the wise pattern that for every man his standard of beauty is not to be objectified, but rather it should simply be his wife. ” Since you guys are single, what does that mean for your standard of beauty?

-Can masturbation be separated from sexual thoughts? Why is this question important?

-What do you learn from chapter 7 about why and how to fight lust and sexual sin?

-in chapter 2 Driscoll talks about fear of the Lord and uses many verses to help us view sexual sin the way God wants to view it. Does anyone have any questions about these verses? Pray through each verse for greater conviction for ourselves and the singles ministry at CLC

These are the verses that Driscoll uses in chapter 2:

  • 1 Peter 4:3
  • 1 John 2:15-17
  • 1 John 3:9
  • 1 Corinthians 5:9-11
  • 1 Corinthians 10:8
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

March 24, 2009

Homosexuality and the Gospel

In my last blog post I asked the rhetorical question about justification for abortion.  Abortion is one of the easiest sins to stand up against because even without Scriptural truth speaking out against it there is still no reason to accept this as a way of life.   Although many opponents to abortion lack compassion, the pro-life movement truly is one of compassion as it seeks to save both a child’s life and a mother’s soul.

An area of truth that I find harder to stand-up against is that of homosexuality.  When you take out the voice of Scripture it seems like a reasonable lifestyle to a secular culture.  How do I tell those that I know are homosexual that their lifestyle and relationship is wrong if all they are living for is this world?  What compassion can I offer if that is the way there made and have no hope to change in the Gospel?

I was listening to the Focus On the Family Daily broadcast this morning and a mother was talking about her wayward son who currently is in prison.  The last time she hugged him is when he told her he had to sleep underneath a bridge that night as he was on the run from the law.  The mother could have let him sleep at her house or provided a way out, but tough love required that their must be consequences for the son’s actions.

Listening to this story gave me a picture of what speaking  out against homosexuality should be.  It should be a loving act because there are consequences to pay for sin.  Even if those consequences are not realized in this life, they will be realized when God comes to judge the world.  The reality of the matter is that there are many consequences in this life such as STD’s and relationships that will not last and missing God’s design for marriage.  If I truly love those that I know who are homosexual I will speak the truth in love.

Proclaiming that homosexuality is a sin is only a partial truth.  The ultimate truth that they need to hear is of their fractured relationship with God  and that they need to turn from ALL sin, chiefly unbelief, and believe on the atoning death of Jesus and live a life that reflects that.  Speaking out against homosexuality, or any sin for that matter, cannot be done apart from the Gospel.  The truth of the matter is that without the Gospel we are all in the same boat as homosexuals.  This is a story that I posted on my first blog from the life of Rich Mullins

I remember one time Beaker and I were hiking on the Appalachian Trail, and he met some friends of his, so I walked into town.  It was about a five-mile walk from the campsite down the trail…,down into town.  And when I got there I went into a restaurant and I was having a steak, and this guy started talking to me and we had this great conversation.  We were having a good time, and he said, “Hey look, it’s dark and it’s five miles up to your campground. Why I don’t I drive you up there?”

And I said, “Hey, Great!”

And so we got in his car, and just as we pulled out from under the last light in that town, the guy said, “You know what, I should probably tell you that I am gay.”

And I said, “Oh, I should probably tell you that I am a Christian.”

And he said, “Well, if you want out of the car…”

And I said, “Why?”

And he said, “Well, I’m gay and you’re Christian.”

I said, “It’s still five miles and it’s still dark.”

Then he said, “I thought Christians hated gays.”

I said, “That’s funny, I thought Christians were supposed to love. I thought that was our first command.”

He said, “Well, I thought God hated gays.”

And I said, “That’s really funny, because I thought God was love.”

And then he asked me the big one. He said, “Do you think I will go to hell for being a gay?”

Well, I’m a good Hoosier, and I puckered up to say, “Yes, of course you’ll go to hell for being gay.” I got ready to say that, but when I opened up my mouth it came out, “No, of course you won’t go to hell for being gay.” And I thought to myself, Oh my God, I’ve only been in New Hampshire for one week and I’ve already turned into a liberal! What am I going to tell this guy now?

Then I said to him, “No, you won’t go to hell for being gay, any more than I would go to hell for being a liar. Nobody goes to hell because of what they do. We go to hell because we reject the grace that God so longs to give to us, regardless of what we do.”

None of us accept the grace of God on our own, but we need the Holy Spirit to regenerate us so that we can hearts to love God.  We need Jesus if we are to be right with God.  We need Jesus if we are to live lives that please God.  God’s grace is offered freely through the cross and homosexuals and heterosexuals both are needy sinners that need to come to the cross if they want any hope of being saved.

“Our position on homosexuals is that they need Jesus. Our position on heterosexuals is that they need Jesus. Our position on married people is that they need Jesus. Our position on single people is that they need Jesus. Our position on fornicators is that they need Jesus. Our position on virgins is that they need Jesus. Our position on tall people is that they need Jesus. Our position on short people is that they need Jesus. Our position on right handed people is that they need Jesus. Our position on left handed people is that they need Jesus. Our position on young people is that they need Jesus. Our position on old people is that they need Jesus. Our position on Chevy drivers is that they need Jesus. Our position on Ford drivers is that they need Jesus. Our position on mac users is that they need Jesus. Our position on PC users is that they need Jesus. Our position on country/western fans is that they need Jesus. Our position on hip-hop fans is that they need Jesus. Our position on football fans is that they need Jesus. Our position on basketball fans is that they need Jesus. Our position on rich people is that they need Jesus. Our position on poor people is that they need Jesus. Our position on educated people is that they need Jesus. Our position on uneducated people is that they need Jesus.” – Mark Driscoll

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