Archives For Uncategorized

The End of Me - “God has called me to be a mother, yes, but first and foremost he has called me to live by faith in the new identity that he has graciously bestowed upon me. He has called me to believe that my life is hidden in Christ, therefore I am called ‘holy and beloved,’ and am counted among God’s ‘chosen ones’ (Col. 3:12). With the strength of the indwelling Spirit, I can now put to death what is earthly in me and ‘put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator’ (Col. 3:5,10).”

8 Email Mistakes You Make -  “I have put a lot of time and thought into the best email practices and have identified 8 dumb email mistakes you may be making (which is to say, 8 dumb email mistakes I have found myself making). Many of these mistakes apply to everyone, though some apply primarily to those of us who tend to sit at a desk most of the day.”

God Loves Us More When He Loves Us For His Glory - “God’s love for us, that makes much of us for his glory, is a greater love than if he ended by making us our greatest treasure, rather than himself. Making himself our end is a greater love than making us his end. The reason this is greater love is that self, no matter how glorified by God (Romans 8:30), will never satisfy a heart that is made for God.”

Sorry Kids: Back to School Means Back to Bedtime - “One of the odd characteristics of our time is our apparent need  for scientific verification of what we should know by simple common sense. Well, help now comes in the form of a research project undertaken by University College London. The bottom line—children with a fixed and consistent bedtime performed better on tests of cognitive ability.’

Nobody Ever Came to Christ Because He Knew Himself to Be Elect - A powerful truth to remember as we evangelize.

Christian Men Think Clearly Christianly - I don’t know how many readers are men, but I thought this post did a good job addressing how Christian men should differ in their response to an attractive women.

The Fine Art Of Selection – This is a topic that God has placed on my heart a lot over the past year. In fact, I was planning to (and may still) write about it. But this post from Randy Alcorn is excellent and contains a lot of sound wisdom regarding how we steward our time.

What Does It Mean To Abide In Christ? - “In a nutshell, abiding in Christ means allowing His Word to fill our minds, direct our wills, and transform our affections. In other words, our relationship to Christ is intimately connected to what we do with our Bibles!”

Has Secularization Made Us Smarter? - “Progress in sciences & technology is a step-by-step group effort across generations, with the baton being handed off repeatedly. The unthinking nitwits who repeat the self-inflated theory that we are the smartest people who have ever lived only make themselves seem dumber than if they had remained silent on the issue.”

You’re Awesome – But Not That Awesome - A great reminder that as humans we are special amongst God’s creations, but because we are fallen human, we’re not as special as we like to think.

A Baby Changes Everyone, Not Just Everything – “Watching our kids, we’ve been given a window into the nature of family and community. We are not lone individuals doing our own thing in this world. We are who we are because of the people around us. A baby brother has completed and fulfilled our other two children, enhancing the life of our family in ways I never expected”

The Complacent Christian - “If we assume this desire and concern is not merely feelings but action, it describes the very opposite of complacency. Zeal is like a flame that brings a pot to a boil—it causes our affections for God to come to a boil so that we pursue what delights him and fight against what dishonors him. Zeal is spiritual heat, spiritual energy that flows out through the godly characteristics of love, joy, hope, peace, and so on. It is not a grace on its own as much as it is a quality that affects every part of the Christian life, making us zealous in the way we love, zealous in the way we express hope, zealous in every area and every characteristic and every fruit of the Spirit.”

Free Resources – Christian Audio is offering a free download of Basic Christianity by John Stott’s this month (H/T). Ligonier Minsitries is offering  of In Christ Alone by Sinclair Ferguson as a free eBook. Logos is offering Heaven: Where It Is, Its Inhabitants, and How to Get There by D.L. Moddy as their free download of August.

How Were Old Testament Saints Saved? - “[W]hat if you lived during a time when Jesus hadn’t arrived, namely, the period of the Old Testament? Were you saved by your obedience to the Law? Did God just give everyone a “free pass” until Christ arrived? How did salvation work for those who were still waiting for the gospel of Jesus?” (H/T)

How To Get Kicked – “If you’re dead spiritually nobody is going to bother you. Satan isn’t going to bother you – he’s already got you. People won’t persecute you.  Sure, people will sin against you because that’s what all people do.  But try to do something for God and you’d better expect opposition.  Nobody kicks a dead dog. But once Jesus gives us life and we begin to serve him, Satan doesn’t like it.  And neither do lots of other people.  You’ll get flack sooner or later.”

The Purposes of the Heart – “I want to do the right things. I want to do the right things for the right reasons. In fact, I want to do the best things for the best reasons, the highest things for the highest reasons. Sometimes I know I do this. Sometimes I know I don’t. Most of the time I’m just not sure.”

When to Unfriend Someone on Facebook – I thought there was a lot of wisdom in this post about a very modern-day quandary.

Advice For Those Seeking Marriage – I haven’t listened to the complete broadcasts, but these excerpts are worthy of consideration for those seeking marriage. Links to the entire broadcasts are also provided.

Resolving Conflicts – Many different types of relationships are inflicted with conflicts. This post provides some helpful reminders of how Christians should resolve them.

Being Moved

August 2, 2013 — Leave a comment

When we hear a great piece of music or watch a compelling movie, we often talk about how we were “moved.” It’s an interesting choice of words since there was probably very little actual progression on our part. Our emotions may have been stirred, our thoughts may have been captivated, but it is likely that any migration was theoretical in nature. Our physical position presumably remained stagnant.

Christians often talk about those who don’t know Christ in much the same way. We ask that God would move in our hearts to reach the lost so that our motivation for spreading the Good News would increase. These petitions not withstanding, our attempts to manufacture a sense of urgency portends that we have little appreciation for how critical the subject is. After all, people don’t have to request a feeling of compulsion for leaving a fiery building. It’s a natural reaction to recognizing the exigency of the circumstance. Similarly, our stated desire to reach the lost shouldn’t only result in our emotions be heightened. Our feelings shouldn’t just move; our feet should. As Christians we are commanded to love God and to love our neighbor (Mk. 12:28-31). Both of these things will result in us telling others about what God has done in our lives, and what He desires to do in theirs. Both of them will result in us sharing the Gospel with those who don’t believe.

The danger is that if we are only concerned with our feelings, they won’t result in the requisite actions. We may be content with a heart that wishes for others to be saved, without doing anything to help ensure that this happens. People do not respond to the Good News of Christ because someone wishes that they would. They respond because the message of the Gospel was shared. God has the ability to do this without our help, but as children beloved by Him and desiring to serve Him, He graciously grants us the privilege of participating in this mission. If are satisfied with only feeling for those who don’t know Christ, we miss out on the joy that comes from watching others reptant and put their faith in Him.

It’s one thing to feel saddened for those who don’t know Christ; it’s another thing altogether to be willing to sacrifice our friendships and reputation so that they may hear of their need for a Savior. However this awareness (and hopefully a repentant response) will not develop simply because we are sorrowful that there are those who don’t know Jesus. We must be wiling to go to them, talk to them, and be intentional about displaying Him in their lives. It is fine if we ask that our hearts would be moved, but we should also make sure that we do.

“but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and lthe wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
- I Cor. 1:23-25

Dates, Doctrines & Dead People – “The deeper I have investigated the history of the church the more I have grown to appreciate the power and authority of the Word of God — because I have seen that power vividly illustrated in the testimonies of generations of believers. Scripture alone is the authority for all we believe and do; but history provides wonderful affirmation of the truthfulness of those foundational biblical truths.” (H/T)

Jesus Worked a “Secular” Job – “[I]f we stop and think about Jesus’ life, we see that he was doing so-called secular work as a carpenter or a fisherman for many more years than he was a preacher and teacher.”

The Joy of Discipleship – “Cross-carrying is not “happy go lucky” stuff. And yet, the love of Christ — love for Christ — for the Christian is seen as a more delightful experience than all the world’s charms and flesh-feedings. The very reason we take up our cross is not because dutiful religion is more fun than no religion but because we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, that taking up our cross is better; it’s more freeing, not less. The yoke and burden Christ offers is easy and light.”

Where Missionaries Are Sent From and Where They Go To – “The CSGC reports that ‘of the ten countries sending the most missionaries in 2010, three were in the global South: Brazil, South Korea, and India.” Other notable missionary senders included South Africa, the Philippines, Mexico, China, Colombia, and Nigeria.’ (H/T)

But He Is Not My Neighbor – “I think we’ve inadvertently taken the parable [of The Good Samaritan] and restricted the meaning of our “neighbor” in the other direction, thus doing the very thing Jesus is forbidding. We’ve come to think that our neighbor is only a person inextreme need — the person bleeding on the side of the road. But what about the person who is not bleeding on the side of the road, but has other, much smaller but still very real needs?”

Get Rid of These 6 Things – “Getting things done has always been difficult. Whether it is more difficult today than in days past is a matter of speculation and hardly worth the effort. What is clear, though, is that we have many things, some good and some bad, competing for our time and attention. I believe a key to productivity today is a willingness to exercise self-control by refusing a lot of the capabilities our devices offer us. Maybe you should consider getting rid of these 6 things.”

Kindle Deal: Tactics – I’m currently reading Greg Koukl’s Tactics and it is great. The Kindle edition is on sale for $1.99.

 

This post contains an affiliate link.

The Servant of the Lord - What does it mean to serve the Lord? A review of some Scripture on the subject.

So Who You Gonna Trust? - It’s tempting to try to figure things out ourselves, and develop our own solutions to problem. But as this post reminds us, that’s not what God has called us to do.

Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Modern Literature? - I admit – this article hits on a subject that I’ve briefly considered. But it gives a response that I had not.

8 Ways Satan Keeps You From Worship – “Satan wants to keep you from worshipping the One he hates. He wants to keep you from doing the right thing, whether that is spending time alone with the Lord in Scripture and prayer, attending and participating in public worship services, or any other thing that will draw you closer to the Lord. Here, courtesy of Thomas Brooks, are eight ways Satan will keep you from worship.”

A Feast Renewed - A profound reflection on Christ’s first miracle. You will likely not consider the wedding feast at Cana in the same way again.

The Beautiful “Must” – “We don’t like Jesus’ intrusion into our lives. We don’t like His outlandish claim of Lordship and dominion over our habits and thoughts. We don’t like His calls to complete trust and obedience. He forces His way into our houses, and it’s a bit uncomfortable. At least at first. But then, in retrospect, we find that this is an invasion of grace. Of love. Of mercy. It is an through His demands that we find true freedom and hope and joy.”

The Joy of Not Sinning - “Putting sin to death is never easy—life does not bring much that is the rare combination of easy and worth doing. Sanctification is no exception. Yet few things are more rewarding, more encouraging, than seeing victory over sin, seeing a pet sin begin to look ugly, seeing its power erode, seeing its prevalence diminish. Few things bring so great a sense of God’s pleasure and so great an opportunity for worship than not sinning in the face of what was once a near-irresistible temptation.”

The Urgent vs. Important - “At the end of our lives, when we look back, most of the seemingly urgent things will be long forgotten. What we will thank God for—or regret—is what we did about the important things.”

Amusing Our Youth to Spiritual Death? – “Teenagers are perfectly capable of learning doctrine. If our schools can teach our children chemistry and biology, physics and geology, algebra and geometry, political science and economics, then we can certainly teach them theology and apologetics, Christian ethics and philosophy.1 Why should we be satisfied with placating them with pseudo-theological drivel? It’s time for us to realize that youth ministries centered around activities instead of the Word are worse they ineffective; they are amusing our kids to their spiritual death.”

I Wouldn’t Forget If My Neighbor’s House Was Filled WIth Frogs…Would I? - A great post on our tendency to forget to thank God for His blessings, even when they are abundant and profound.

Should We Stop Saying “The Church Hurt Me?” - “Nothing makes us self-interested quite like pain. Hurt people act in self-protecting ways. Sometimes that’s lashing out. Sometimes that’s running away. Sometimes it’s both. Saying “The church hurt me” is often both–running away and lashing out. But the way of Christ is reconciliation and peace.”

The Toughest Conversation I’m Glad I Had – “I trust that on that last day when we all stand before that great judgment throne, the fear of man will be exposed for utter foolishness. The weightiness of eternity presses us into deeper dependence on Christ to do what he’s called us to do—while we still can. To be paralyzed by fear of human opinion, rather than stirred to declare the truth that can deliver from destruction, is a most saddening tradeoff.”

Sinner in the Hand of Angry Saints - “It is a great thing to rejoice in our standing as saints before the throne of God. It is a joyful thing to know that God’s peace with us is not dependent on nor grounded in our obedience to His law. It is, however, a bad thing to forget that though we are in Christ, sin has not yet been completely eradicated from our lives. It is a bad thing to forget that sin is a failure to do what God commands, or to do what He forbids. Let us, as He forgets our sin, forget its curse. But let us confess its presence. And let’s not, due to our truncated means of discourse, embrace a truncated theology.”

How Can We Tell When God is Really at Work – This post looks at four distinguishing marks that Jonathan Edwards identified that indicate God is working.

Weakness Is An Advantage - “God was breaking Elijah as a way of preparing to use him, and he is often at work in the same way in our lives. Someone we trust betrays us; or we lose our job; or we have a sudden decline in health. In all of this, God is at work—removing our idols, those areas of false trust, false joy, and false hope. Because if dependence is the objective, weakness is an advantage.” *(H/T)

The Wedding Vows 20 Years Later - I very much appreciated this heartfelt and honest look what wedding vows mean to one couple as they celebrate their 20th anniversary (and how it differs from when they first uttered those words.) (H/T)

Joy Cuts Through Everything - Dallas Willard defines joy as “a pervasive sense of well-being.” This video explains why.

Spend Your Day With Eternity in Mind – “Every day matters. Every hour matters. So spend it with eternity in mind.”

Doubting Your Doubts – “The answer to doubt is God. The answer to our questions about tithing, membership, gender roles, politics, sin, and any other aspect in life that gives us pause is God. The blight of our generation is that we believe we are god.”

How Jesus Exposed the Idol of Self-Glory – “Self-glory is revealed to be an idol in our heart when the Lord presents us with an opportunity to glorify him by speaking the truth about our convictions or our sins, yet we are unwilling to do it for fear of what someone else will think of us.”

I Hate/Love Being Busy – “We daily are rushing from this place to that, this appointment to that one, this activity to the next. We hurry, hurry, hurry until we finally drop at the end of a day and we lay down exhausted. While we might complain about the pace of our lives at a given moment, isn’t there that little piece of you that glories in your busyness? I know there is for me.”

Dallas Willard’s Granddaughter Eulogizes Him – This is old, but I still think it is worth viewing. It is very touching tribute for a grandfather that was obviously very loved.

The Big Question of Grief: Who Am I Now?  - I found this article put into words something that often isn’t considered in the midst of grief. Namely, when you have lost someone (or something), you become disoriented about what that means for who you are in light of this new reality (even for those who know that their grief is temporary in light of the Cross.) (H/T)

Is Your Child A Christian? - This is a question that every Christian parent probably wrestles with, and this article provides some helpful perspective to consider. (H/T)

Nine Examples of the Internet Changing Our World - We are kind of used to this whole Internet thing by now, but it’s helpful to recount at least some of the ways it has changed things. (H/T)

Two Kinds of Funerals – “The contemporary funeral deals with grief by indulging it, even feeding it. A successful funeral — with its heart-wrenching personal testimonials, its parade of mourners pouring out their anguish, the emotional manipulation of the congregation — works by creating an emotional catharsis. The upsurge of feeling can indeed feel cleansing. As at the ending of a tragedy, the emotions are purged. The bereaved feel drained. The aftermath, in Milton’s words, is “calm of mind, all passions spent.” The grievers really do feel better. But how different is a traditional Christian funeral.” (H/T)

Doubt Your Doubts – “The answer to doubt is God. The answer to our questions about tithing, membership, gender roles, politics, sin, and any other aspect in life that gives us pause is God. The blight of our generation is that we believe we are god.”

Two Kinds of Regret, One Kind of Hope - What’s the difference between godly and godless grief? This post helps articulate the difference as well as the different results that they produce.

Does Your Inside Match Your Outside? - “The word hypocrite comes from a word meaning actor. A hypocrite’s an actor, a pretender. He professes some value or belief but his private life does not match it. He’s not pure in heart.  So to be pure in heart means our words match our thoughts. Our outer life matches our inner life.”