Bits & Pieces (7/31/13)

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.”

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Bits & Pieces (7/30/13)

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.”

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