Bought by the Blood

June 24, 2011

What I Will Tell My Kids About Gay Marriage

Here I Stand

The problem with the way that many conservatives, including evangelicals, defend marriage is that they’ve dumbed it down to a point where when it is stood up against society’s current redefining of marriage there is hardly any recognizable difference.  Marriage, as God designed it is to be a picture of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32). In a secular society, that is not always the case especially since everyone does not have the same worldview. Marriage, in America is quickly deteriorating from what God intended, with many people living together and having sex outside of marriage, the growing popularity of no-fault divorce and how pornography and infidelity run rampant.

In light of all of this, is it correct to say “anything goes”? Because of the separation of church and state should we just take the mindset that marriage is a state institution and it is up to individual states to decide? My fear is that if I do that, then I won’t be salt and light, which is why it is important to know what I believe and why.

The Bible is the solid ground on which I stand and form my convictions, all else is sinking sand. These convictions may make me sound judgemental and condemning, but my hope is that any judgement or condemnation someone sees me passing is the same judgement and condemnation that I deserve, but because of Christ free grace and rich mercy that all who seek to be crucified with Christ and find their life in Him may be free from any judgement or condemnation.

What’s Love Got To Do With It

Many people believe that marriage should be for two people who love each other and it doesn’t matter their gender.  I am not going to argue with that statement, because it is a great proposition.  Instead, ponder this, what does it matter if a person gains marriage, but loses their soul (Mark 8:36).  If we think that a couple, straight or homosexual, having the right to marry will complete them then we have set the bar far too low.  To quote C.S. Lewis “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”  If someone doesn’t have the opportunity to marry the person they love, then they may be momentarily missing out on something.  Ultimately, marriage is nothing compared to knowing Christ. “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8).” By promoting any marriage not built on Christ, whether straight or homosexual, it does not matter how much love there is, there will be no eternal value in it.

The Culture Wars

Obviously, I would not stop a non-Christian couple from marrying.  I can imagine your reaction being that if a homosexual is born that way, then it is unfair that I would support laws that would stop them from marrying someone they loved.  In all honesty, I have trouble supporting laws that outlaw same-sex marriage because legislation is not the answer.  The law has no power to bring a person to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and without a relationship with Him how can I expect them to deny their desires?  I have friends that are homosexual and in same-sex relationships and marriages.  I have never told them that what they are doing is wrong.  Also, I have never outright supported their choice.

The media, our society and the political machine wants us to believe that a culture war is going on right now.  I believe that Jesus would scoff at the idea of a culture war.  I am not at war with any homosexuals who choose that lifestyle.  They do not need me telling them that they need to change.  They need to see the love of Jesus and that His grace is greater then all their sin.  If Jesus was walking the earth right now, it would probably be the homosexual couples and not the conservatives that He would spend His time with.

Jesus does not see people as straight or homosexual, but he sees all people as sinners who need a Savior.  Rules and laws will point out that we are sinners.  Rules and laws can go no further then bringing about shame and I fail as an ambassador of Christ if all I do is point to people’s sin without pointing to the Savior.  No one who comes to Jesus has to make a drastic life change before they come and as His representative I do not have to force people to change instantly when they come to Jesus.  The result of coming to Jesus is crucifying the flesh and no longer walking according to its passions and desires, but that always comes after faith and never as a condition (Galatians 5:24-25).  Straight people, homosexuals, all are free to come to Jesus and and find the satisfaction their soul has been longing for.

Does It Really Get Better

Many of you reading this, are probably familiar with the “It Gets Better” campaign.  Part of me wholeheartedly agrees with that campaign, with the ideal that people will grow up and mature so that others don’t have to fear being bullied, have the ability to visit a loved one in the hospital and not be ostracized by family and friends for being who they are.  Even if that day comes, things may temporarily be better, but ultimately there will be a day where we will all have to stand before God and give an account.  Hell is a real place, it is a place of eternal destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:9), a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30), and torment (Luke 16:23).  Any human rights that homosexuals gain to make this life better will not compensate for God’s holy wrath that He will pour out on sinners in the life to come.

It isn’t just homosexuals worthy of burning of eternally, but it is everyone. No one does good, no one chooses God (Romans 3). Every single person is born with a heart that is sinful and no one deserves to go to Heaven, except for Jesus who lived a perfect and righteous life and died on the cross to atone for the sins of gays, straights, liars, murderers, thieves, gossips, etc. Yes, that is condescending and judgmental, but it is filled with hope. It is gloriously beautiful because it means that salvation is not up to us and that we don’t go to Heaven because we do good things or live a “right lifestyle” but it is only because of the merits another.

Former homosexual and current evangelist Sy Rogers once said, “People doesn’t go to hell because they’re gay; they go because they’re separated from God.  Heterosexuals don’t automatically go to heaven; they go to hell too.  The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality; it’s devotion to God and a holy lifestyle.”

In the book, “An Arrow Pointing Towards Heaven,” about the life of Rich Mullins, Rich tells the following story and I believe it truly gets to the heart of the matter.

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.”

What Will I Say

I titled this post, “What I Will Tell My Kids About Gay Marriage.”  Some time in the future my children will ask me about gay marriage and human rights.  I can’t tell you today what I will say, most likely I won’t repeat all 1,800+ words to them that you just read (if you did read all of this, thank you and I’d love your thoughts). I know that it will be a message of grace because that is what everyone deserves even when we don’t see eye to eye.  It will be a message of acceptance because homosexuals are not second class citizens.  It will be a message of love because “we love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19).” It will be the message of the cross because homosexuals need the cross just as much as I do.

[9] Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, [10] nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. [11] And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

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December 5, 2009

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, – 1 Timothy 6:15

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.

For God to be blessed means that He is infinitely happy. He is sovereign and all that He purposes is accomplished (Isaiah 46:9-10).  All that God does is for His pleasure and delight (Psalm 115:3).  Even if something He ordains does not seem like it would please Him we have to remember we only have a limited perspective and the  ultimate end that He has in mind will glorify Him.  God does not need you or I for Him to blessed, we are not a blessing to God, He has all He needs in the Godhead to be supremely happy for all eternity (Isaiah 42:1).

We call God blessedness because He is the greatest blessing that we have.  The greatest joy that we can have is to be found in God, no other joy compares to knowing Him.  He is our great reward and His love is better than life (Psalm 63:1).  There is no human being that has lived who was happier than Jesus.  Jesus gave us the description of happiness in the beatitudes when he said who the blessed are and only He has perfectly lived out the beatitudes.

Only through Jesus can we have joy and have it to the full.  James Montgomery Boice once stated, “The blessing of God in an individual life begins with the forgiveness of sin.”  The Gospel is the good news that Christ has paid the penalty for our sins, there is no more striving or work that we must do to earn God’s blessing, but it is freely given to us  (Romans 9:16).  The Gospel opens our blinded eyes so that we can see God as the jewel of great worth (Matthew 13:45-46).  The greatest good and highest enjoyment we can have is knowing God and this is only possible through Christ death bringing us near to God by His blood (Ephesians 2:13).

October 19, 2009

Trusting God with Finances

Filed under: Boice,Finances,Greed,Habbakuk,Matthew,Trusting God,Unbelief — cubsfan1980 @ 9:52 pm
Tags: ,

Below is a great quotes by James Montgomery Boice that was written over 20 years ago and still rings true today especially in light of today’s economic climae.  It is definitely an area that I am seeking to apply the truth of God’s word to in my own life.

Woe to him u who heaps up what is not his own—
for v how long?—
and w loads himself with pledges!”
7  Will not your debtors suddenly arise,
and those awake who will make you tremble?
Then you will be spoil for them.
8  Because you have plundered many nations,
all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you,
for the blood of man and y violence to the earth,
to cities and all who dwell in them. – Habbakuk 2:6-8

Greed is a natural but destructive characteristic of the one who will not trust God.  If a person trusts God, he does not need to be covetous of more and more material possessions.  The Lord is the portion of the righteous.  Besides, the Lord amply supplies his need.  The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of God’s provision for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field and asked: ‘if that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown in the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?…Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well’ (Matt.6:30, 33). If a person trusts God, he does not need to acquire more and more possessions, since he knows God will provide what he needs.  If he does not trust God, then the need for things becomes a burden.  This world is an insecure place, and the individual is insecure within it.  So he works to get more and more in the hope that if he only has a little more land or stocks or capital, he may get by…

In the beginning, the person who is trying to build security with things probably intends to be quite honest in doing it.  But, somehow, what is acquired is never enough, and he therefore finds himself resorting to questionable and eventually to dishonest practices in the quest for more.  The verses also talk about this person’s “debtors,” suggesting that a person like this easily overextends himself and eventually falls prey to the collectors.  This is quite contemporary.  The people of the Western World are more in debt than they have ever been, and many are losing houses or other tangibles to collectors.  Many are going into personal bankruptcy.  These facts are testimonies to the truthfulness of God’s Word and proof of what happens when a person or nation rejects God and lives without Him.

October 2, 2009

Friday Are For Fathers

Filed under: culture,Matthew,parenting — cubsfan1980 @ 12:47 pm
Tags: , ,

I’m going to raise a dork. Which is different from naïve, don’t misunderstand, she’s going to be like Matthew 10:16, shrewd as a snake and innocent as a dove. And if you’re making different decisions with your kids, please don’t hear this as an attack. I’m new to being a dad, am by no means a pro, don’t have all the answers and am really only writing about the two kids with my last name. Who will be dorks.

I hope I don’t help create one of these sheltered Christian girls that just goes insane when they get to college, but I promise you that I’m going to do everything I can to keep my kids young, out of the loop as far as the world goes and maybe even dorky.

via Stuff Christians Like: #629. Raising Dorks.

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

August 19, 2009

Doctrine of Adoption Discussion Outline

What two states do we see Adam and Eve?
A: Pre-fall and Post-fall

Describe the difference between their relationship with God before and after the fall?
A: Adam and Eve had an intimate relationship with God with nothing hindering their communion. Their was no sin and they were not ashamed to be seen as they are by God.

How is it possible for us to have that same kind of relationship with God?
A: Through adoption by means of redemption (you can’t have one without the other.)

for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Galatians 3:26-4:7

What have we been redeemed from?
A:The curse of the law, the power of satan and demons, the influence of our sinful flesh and spiritual death

What have we been redeemed to:
A:Living transformed lives by the power of the Spirit, forgiveness of sins, freedom from our sin nature, newness of life, hope of eternity and a resurrection body.

“What christ redeemed us from is the law, with its deadly curse. This is why it was necessary for him to be born under the law. What qualified him to redeem us from the law was the fact that he kept it perfectly. Indeed, everything Paul has said so far about Christ’s coming- his timely arrival, his eternal deity, his true humanity,and his perfect obedience – qualified him to be our redeemer. John Stott writes, “So the divinity of Christ, the humanity of Christ, and the righteousness of Christ uniquely qualified him to be man’s redeemer. If he he had not been man, He could not have redeemed men. If he had not been a righteous man, He could not have redeemed unrighteous men. and if He had had not been God’ Son, He could not have redeemed men for God or made them the sons of God.” But Christ did redeem us, and he did it as the perfect God-man who died on the cross to save sinners…Christ’s coming had an adopting purpose as well as atoning purpose. God sent his Son to make us all his sons and daughters. Christ accomplished our adoption as well as our redemption. It would be enough for God to release us from slavery, to rescue us from our captivity to the law, and so to redeem us from its curse. But God did not stop there. Once Christ had gained our freedom, he gathered us into his family. He went beyond redemption, turning slaves into sons.
-Phil Ryken

What are 5 benefits of adoption that we see in this passage

Benefit 1
V.27 All are on in Christ!
What are the implications of this?
-God does not play favorites. He doesn’t look at our works and love us more or less based on what we accomplish. He loves unconditionally because of what Christ accomplished for us. Our standing before God is secure and will never change. We cannot disappoint God or lose His love, He is committed to us and loves us with an unfailing love!
-We are defined by being in Christ. We are not defined by what we do for a living, how much money we make, our appearance, our sex, etc. The only thing that defines us is our unity in Christ.
–> Ask people where they are tempted to find their identity?
–>Followup by asking how being one in Christ helps to fight that temptation

Benefit 2
v. 29 Recepients of the promise of Abraham
What is the promise of Abraham
-We are justified and made right with God. Our greatest need is taken care of.

Benefit 3
V. 4:3 No longer under bondange
Does anyone still in feel bondage to any reoccurring or besetting sin in their life? If they do, then take time to pray for them, encourage them to either share tonight or in their next accountability meeting

Benefit 4
V. 4:7 We are heirs
What are we heirs of?
All the promises of God are yes in Christ, we receive all blessings through Him and the hope of Heaven and the new earth where we rule and reign with Christ.

Benefit 5
v. 4:6 We have the Spirit
What role does the Spirit play in our adoption
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
-Romans 8:14-17

-The Spirit leads us in holiness by directing us to Christ
-The spirit reminds us of our standing before God and His love for us.

“The Galatians had indeed received the Spirit; and when they did, they also received the assurance that they were God’s sons. For God sent his Spirit as well as his Son. First, he sent His Son to make us hils children; then he sent us his spirit to let us know that we really are his children. The adoption that was accomplished by the Son is applied by the Spirit.
Here we are drawn into the mystery of the trinity. The one true God exists in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Adoption is the work of the Triune God. God the Father, just because he is the Father, is the one who adopts us. He did this by first sending His son to redeem us from bondage, so that we are no longer slaves but sons. Then the Father sent His spirit to convince us that we are indeed the sons and daughters of God.”
-Phil Ryken

Application 1
Romans 8:14-17 –> What practical application do people see in this verse Answer: Self image
How does the doctrine of adoption affect self image?
– Spirit testifies who we are. It speaks to truth to combat the lies that satans wants us to believe. Whenever we are more aware of our sin or circumstances we need to remember who we are in Christ, adopted as Sons and daughter of God.
–>Have someone read 1 John 3:1 When discouragement sets in take time to marvel and be amazed at the love that God has for you.
–>Based on Genesis 2:25 what can we discern about Adam and Eve’s self image?
-There was no shame and they see themselves as God saw them.

Application 2
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”

7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
-Hebrews 12:6-11

What practical application do people see in this verse Answer: suffering and trials prove God’s love for us.
What is God’s purpose in suffering and trial as His children?
-His discipline makes us holy and helps us to cultivate righteousness
-It reassures us of His love because he only disciplines those he loves
–>How do we see Adam and Eve in this application?
-They were image bearers and before the fall they perfectly bore God’s image. God uses trials and suffering to conform us more to His image.

Application 3
Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.

-Matthew 6:9

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
-Matthew 7:7-11

What application do we see in this verse Answer: As children of God we have confidence that He answers our prayers
How does the doctrine of adoption affect prayer?
-We have that same relationship with him that Adam and Eve did. There is no shame and we can approach him freely.
-If we ask, seek and knock then he will answer us. He is a good, powerful and wise father and has the power to answer our prayers and give us the best according to our infinite wisdom.

August 16, 2009

God’s love motivates our intimacy with Him

Filed under: Communing with God,God's love,Matthew — cubsfan1980 @ 7:33 pm
Tags: ,

I have much love for Francis Chan and really enjoyed His book “Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a relentless God.”  Here is an excellent quote from that book about we shouldn’t have a legalistic mindset for spending time with God, but instead be motivated by His love to meet with Him.

Image couretsy of 4nwleaders.files.wordpress.com

Image couretsy of 4nwleaders.files.wordpress.com

Over time I realized that when we love God, we naturally run to Him – frequently and zealously.  Jesus didn’t command that we have a regular time with Him each day.  Rather, He tell us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”  He called this the “first and greatest commandment (Matt.22:37-38).  The results are intimate prayer and study of His word.  Our motivation changes from guilt to love.

This is how God longs for us to respond to His extravagant, unedning love: not with a cursory: “quiet time” plauged by guilt, but with true love expressed through our lives.  Like my little girl running out to the driveway to hug me each night because she loves me.

-Francis Chan

August 11, 2009

A Missional Life

He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake. – Psalm 23:2-3

In these two verses we see a progression happening with God’s actions with the Psalmist.  God provides peace and rest for our weary souls by making us lie down in green pastures.  In the trials and circumstances of life He renews our eternal perspective by leading us besides still waters.  When we are under attack by satan and our flesh He restores us.  We are able to walk in righteousness because of His Holy Spirit working in us.  This is all possible because of the cross where Jesus died for our sins.  He does this to make His name great and to bring glory to Himself because of He is rightly deserving of all glory, honor and praise.

If we are truly God’s sheep, we will not make assumptions about our status in the flock (Philippians 2:12).  Instead, we will be diligent to make sure that we are counted among the sheep and not the goats.  This means making the choice of seeking God instead of the things of this world (Philippians 3:7-9).  When we make our time with God a priority we come to the green pastures and still waters that our souls were meant for.  Nothing can restore and make us whole like communing with God (Psalm 63:1-3).

Spending time with God will transform our lives and make us delight in the paths of righteousness.  Choosing righteousness is not supposed to be something we do begrudgingly, but only comes by God’s grace working through us as we exercise the spiritual disciplines.   By delighting in righteousness we become missionaries and ambassadors for God.  A life led in the path of righteousness is a life with a missional attitude that seeks to display the character of Christ to all (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).  Our salvation isn’t primarily for us, it benefits us directly, but it is for the purpose of benefiting others so that they may know the God who has saved us and so that we can be a blessing to them (Genesis 12:3).  That is why the sheep are called to clothe the naked, feed the hungry and visit the lonely; by doing these things God’s name is made much of us and the Gospel is made real to an unbelieving world (Matthew 25:31-40).

June 25, 2009

I pray Miya will have a heart like this

Filed under: Jerome,Matthew,Sacrifice — cubsfan1980 @ 8:25 am
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“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:37


“If my father were weeping on his knees before me, my mother hanging on my neck behind me, my brethren, sisters, and kinsfolk howling on every side, to retain me in a sinful course, I would fling my mother to the ground, run over my father, despise all my kindred, and tread them under my feet that I might run to Christ.” Jerome

June 17, 2009

Do not be deceived

Return, O faithless children,
declares the Lord;
for I am your master;
I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,
and I will bring you to Zion. – Jeremiah 3:15

Faith is a very personal decision.  We cannot have parents or friends with faith in Christ and believe that is good enough for us.  If we do not make it our own and have ownership of it, then we have no faith of our own.  The physical brothers and mother of Jesus could not claim blood as entry into the spiritual family of God (Matthew 12:46-48).  If we want to adopted into God’s family and chosen by Him, then we need to claim the blood of Christ as our only hope for God to accept us.  God desires a relationship with you and he knows your heart, therefore let your faith be authentic and do not try to cling on the coat tails of another person’s faith.

Not every member of the nation of Israel, was actually a descendant of Israel (Romans 9:6).  Abraham was called God’s friend, but his descendants did not follow in his footsteps.  There were jews in Jesus’ day who were deceived and thought they were doing God’s will, but they were actually doing the will of the devil (John 8:39-47).  In Joshua’s day, one family could not be comfortable with the fact that the leaders followed God.  Instead, each family must choose to worship and serve God, God was a corporate God but saving faith was not a corporate event (Joshua 24:15).

Let the reality of this truth sober you and make the need for obedience sink in.  God has no obligation to save whole families, people who go to church, or those who go through the outward motions.  Do not be deceived, God knows if your faith is your own or if you are hoping to be saved by association.  Salvation comes to those who sow to the Spirit and reap the fruit of righteousness.  Be on guard against false security, there were those in Jeremiah’s day who thought that if they were in a certain town or part of a particular family they would be saved.  God is not mocked and He is saving a people for Himself, those who give their hearts to Him, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life and keep it holy for Him who shed His blood for you.

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