Bought by the Blood

June 16, 2011

Moms Are Missionaries

I usually like to think of my audience as primarily dads, but this quote for the moms is to great to pass up

At the very heart of the gospel is sacrifice, and there is perhaps no occupation in the world so intrinsically sacrificial as motherhood. Motherhood is a wonderful opportunity to live the gospel. Jim Elliot famously said, “He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Motherhood provides you with an opportunity to lay down the things that you cannot keep on behalf of the people that you cannot lose. They are eternal souls, they are your children, they are your mission field.

You can read the rest at the Desiring God blog here

April 7, 2010

Pure Gospel Gold

Filed under: Gospel,Missions — cubsfan1980 @ 2:09 pm
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The gospel is God the Father’s irrepressible commitment to redeem his pan-national trans-generational family, and restore his broken creation through the person and work of Jesus, and the power and presence of his Holy Spirit

The gospel is the glory-story of how God the Father is redeeming a people from every single race, tribe, tongue and people group for a life of worship service in the new heaven and new earth. All of this is being accomplished through the person and work of his Son, Jesus, and the power and presence of God the Holy Spirit.

The gospel is the doxological drama in which Jesus, the second Adam, servant-Savior and loving Lord, is redeeming his pan-national Bride and making all things new, to the glory of GodThe gospel is the unfolding story of God’s contra-conditional love for an ill-deserving people, and for his beloved and broken creation-a story which has Jesus as its hero, the nations as its characters, the world as its storyboard, and the new heaven and new earth as its goal.

The gospel is like a great song: It has a lyric to be known theology, a music to be loved doxology and a dance to be learned mission. Indeed, the gospel calls for informed minds, en-flamed hearts and engaged feet.

The gospel is God’s passionate, joyful, covenant commitment to make all things new through the person and work of his Son, Jesus, and by the power and presence of His Holy Spirit. “All things” include both a people and a place-the Bride of Christ, and the new heaven and new earth. We dare not emphasize one of these to the exception of the other.

Read the rest at On Earth as it is in Heaven » Blog Archive » What Is The Gospel?.

January 22, 2010

A Missional Way for the Pro-Life Passion

Filed under: Abortion,Gospel,Missions,pro-life — cubsfan1980 @ 11:38 am
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Lots of pro-life news and links are going out today with this being the 37th anniversary of the Roe V. Wade decision.  If you read anything, I would highly recommend Jared Wilson’s article “The Gospel-Driven Church: A Missional Way for the Pro-Life Passion.”

The five parts to a missional way for the Pro-Life Passions are

  1. Gospel-Centered Preaching
  2. Reframing the Abortion Discussion
  3. Creating Cultures of Adoption and Rescue
  4. Prophets, not pundits
  5. Technology, technology, technology
  6. Love

January 19, 2010

Evangelism Is Not Something We Do

Filed under: evangelism,Matt Chandler,Missions,Suffering,trials,Trusting God — cubsfan1980 @ 3:03 pm
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Matt Chandler recently preached on missions and evangelism.  His perspective on how missions relates to his recent diagnoses of brain cancer is really convicting.

Mission is about the reign and rule of God…Evangelism isn’t something we do, it is the lenses by which we see the entire world.  We don’t do evangelism, our whole lives are about the rule and reign of God almighty…Six weeks ago when I found out malignant brain cancer I began a whole new set of relationships that in the end are about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the rule and reign of God.  I met a neurosurgeon and I am not going in thinking, “This is a neurosurgeon,” but instead I think, “The Lord is crossing my path with a neurosurgeon.  If he is a brother I will try to encourage him.  If not, I will try to reveal faith in Christ and the cross of Christ to him.”

-Matt Chandler

December 3, 2009

Why and How To Read The Bible

“We talk about the problems of ‘applying the Bible to our lives,’ which often means modifying the Bible somewhat adjectivally to fit the assumed ‘reality’ of the life we live ‘in the real world.’ What would it mean to apply our lives to the Bible instead, assuming the Bible to be the reality – the real story – to which we are called to conform ourselves?” – Chris Wright

October 12, 2009

Jesus Authorizes Our Mission

This is one of this inspiring quotes about mission that fires me up and is great encouragement about being bold for Jesus.  It is from Chris Wright’s book, “The Mission of God.”  The emphasis is mine.

The whole earth, then, belongs to Jesus.  It belongs to him by right of creation, by right of redemption and by right of future inheritance – as Paul affirms in the magnificent cosmic declaration of Colossians 1:15-20.  So wherever we go in his name, we are walking on his property.  There is not an inch of the planet that does not belong to Christ. Mission then is an authorized activity carried out by tenants on the instructions of the owner of the property.

Suppose you are a tenant resident in your house or apartment and you are challenged about your right to be installing a new kitchen and bathroom.  Provided you can point to the written instruction of the owner of the property to attend to the matter on his behalf, your action is authorized.  If the one to whom the property belongs entrusts to you his purpose of renovating his property while you live there, then your “mission” is an authorized cooperation with and implementation of his or her “mission.” You are legitimately carrying out what the owner wants to be done on his or her own property.

So our mission on God’s earth is not only authorized by its true owners, it is also protected, nurtured and guaranteed by him.  We go in his name.  We act on his authority.  There is therefore no place for fear, for wherever we tread belongs to him already.
There is no place for dualism either.  We know of course that the Bible also affirms that the evil one exercises a kind of lordship and power over the earth.  But he does not own it.  His claim to do so, and to have the right to give it to those who worship him was exposed as fraudulent by Jesus in his wresting with temptation in the wilderness.  Whatever authority Satan exercises is usurped and illegitimate, provisional and subject to the final limits set by the earth’s true owner and Lord, the Lamb who reins from the the throne of God (Rev. 4-7).

October 5, 2009

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Proverbs 9:10

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.
-Psalm 130:3-4

“What does this mean?  It means that filial fer, the fear of a son for His father, is produced by God’s love for us.  More exactly, it is the result of discovering that the God whom we thought of with slavish, servile fear, the holy righteous, terrifying God of judgment and majesty, is also the God who forgives us through Jesus Christ.  He is just, yet he justifies the ungodly (Romans 3:26; 5:6).  He is righteous, yet he counts sinners as righteous.  One reason why we know so little of such filial fear is that we do not appreciate the Gospel!  If we would grow in grace so that we fear God like this, we must first return to the Gospel, and to the meaning of the cross…Filial fear is always the grateful response of sinners who have become saints.”  Sinclair Ferguson on the above verse.

There are two kinds of fear that we can experience.  The first kind of fear is one that we typically think of when it comes to fear, that of dread and worrying of if we can measure up to God’s approval.  This is servile fear, from servile we get servant or slave, this is a fear for those that are working to pay off someone they are underneath.  The other kind of fear is filial and it means reverence and awe.  The latin of filius is “son” and that is where this type of fear comes from.  It is in reference to how a child fears their father and because we have been forgiven through the blood of Christ, this allows us to experience filial fear with God.  Sinclair Ferguson says about this kind of fear:

“It is that indefinable mixture of reverence and pleasure, joy and awe which fills our hearts when we realize who God is and what he has done for us.  It is a love for God which is so great that we would be ashamed to do anything which would displease or grieve him, and makes us happiest when we are doing what pleases him.”

Yesterday I talked about how our standing with God never changes.  The way we walk in fear of God can change our experience of God.  We were created for intimacy and communion with God, but sin brings a barrier between us and God.  Through Christ death on the cross that relationship has been restored, but it won’t be fully realized until we are in Heaven.  While in this life, our walk with God will have varying degrees of closeness based on how we fear Him and if we choose closeness with God or closeness with the world.  The more I fear God the closer my friendship with Him. “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,” Psalm 25:14

We were not given grace to remain stagnant in it, but we were given grace to grow in it (2 Peter 3:18).  As we grow in grace we will be made more like Christ and our intimacy with God will increase.  Experience is very subjective and not always the best measure of if we are growing in the fear of the Lord.  Some effects of fearing God that we can be on the lookout for that will positively impact our experience of knowing God are as follows:

If I am fearing God I will grow in my desire to live a life of obedience.  “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)”  My life will be characterized by wanting to bring pleasure to God.  Ultimately I will place my hope in finishing the race well and hearing “Well done good and faithful servant.”  The smile of God will be more important to me then the praise of the world.  Children are called to respect and obey their parents and I am called to respect and obey God.  “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13).”

On the flip side of that, fearing God will mean not wanting to displease God or grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).  I will desire to put death to sin as sin blocks my view of God and feeds me lies about God’s love for me and who He is.  If I believe the promise of God and what He has done for me through the cross then I will seek to lay aside everything that hinders me from knowing Him more fully (Hebrews 12:1).  Fearing God means fiercely doing battle with my sin so that I can make my Father proud and give Him no reason to grieve over me.

Fearing God changes how I view the circumstances of this world.  If I fear God then I have nothing to fear in this life.  He is my stronghold and refuge, if He can save me from the hopeless situation that my sin had me in, then I can have hope no matter what I am facing.  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1).”  When I fear God my perspective is changed and I see that if God is worthy of awe and reverence then He is also worthy of my trust.  Just a child trust their parents for everything, I can trust God for all that I need.  “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. (Proverbs 14:26)”

We have the privilege of being considered sons and daughters of God because of His awesome and unconditional love.  We were orphans with nothing good to contribute to God’s family and no merit of our own, but God freely chose us to be His own.  Our status before God saved us was dead in sin with nothing desirable to offer, but God didn’t bring us to life because of what we could bring to the table, but only by His grace did He regenerate us.  The reality of what God has done for us should transform how we view our blessing of knowing and communing with Him because we are completely undeserving.  His praises should ever be on our lips because He has given us everything.  My fear of God should be evident by how I proclaim His love for sinners because of what He has done for me.  As a child likes to look up to and brag on their parents I should do the same thing with God .

Psalm 111
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
8 they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!P
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
8 they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!

October 3, 2009

Amazing Love

Filed under: cross,God's love,Missions,Psalms — cubsfan1980 @ 1:08 pm
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I just came across this great meditation on Psalm 18:19 that I wanted to share with y’all.  Psalm 18:19 says, “He rescued me because He delighted in me.”  As we look at this verse the question we have to ask is does God love and then save or does he save and then love.  The reason why we answer this question correctly is because it shows that God’s love is unconditional.  God can love anyone and that should motivate us to take the gospel out to those around us and loving people who are different then us and seem unlovable.

It’s not a case of Christ loving the saved me (though of course He does). But it’s the radical gospel truth that Christ has loved me at my putrid worst. He doesn’t clean me up in order to love me. He loves me and so cleanses me through His atoning death.

Which means when I ask myself, ‘Does God love me?’ – I can look to the cross alone. I don’t have to check my own saved status. I don’t have to worry whether the cleansing has taken sufficient effect to allow me entrance into His affections. I can simply look at Christ crucified and say – God loves me. There is His demonstration – a love for sinners at war with Him. He has not fixed His love on me at my best. He has fixed His love on me at my worst.

My salvation – won through His blood alone – proves His love for me. His love is not a bonus for the godly but is specifically aimed at enemies. Such love is the very ground of all He does. If I’m looking at the Son lifted up on the cross then I’m seeing God’s love for me because there I’m seeing my salvation. This salvation in Christ is infallible proof of God’s immovable, inexhaustible and unfathomable love for me.

You can read this at Glen’s blog

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 12, 2009

AIDS in South Africa

Filed under: AIDS,Gospel,Missions,Thabiti Anyabwile — cubsfan1980 @ 3:00 pm

Gospel preaching is the first tier of AIDS ministry in South Africa–not orphan care or hospice. And that’s because AIDS is the only epidemic known to man that can be controlled by behavior. If people have their sexual behavior brought under the Lordship of Christ, it could change the impact of AIDS radically.

via Pure Church: Insightful.

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