Saturday, March 31, 2007

One Must Believe in Order to Understand

In spite of what you always hear…when it comes to the Word of God and God Himself…it is NOT true that "you will believe it when you see it" According to Scripture one must believe it in order to see it. Prov 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” In other words, the beginning (the first and controlling principle) of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Matthew Henry's Commentary comments on this verse: “in order to the attaining of all useful knowledge this is most necessary, that we fear God; we are not qualified to profit by the instructions that are given us unless our minds be possessed with a holy reverence of God, and every thought within us be brought into obedience to him.”

In order for one to understand he must first, not only believe in God, but fear God. The problem with the unbeliever is not lack of evidence it is one of rebellion or lack of fear. That is why I prefer Presuppositional Apologetics rather than Evidential Apologetics (More on that in future posts). Many think that the “atheist” just needs more proof that God exists. Romans chapter one makes it clear that “what can be known about God” has been made “plain to them” (Rom 1:19). You can give them more proof but they will continue to “suppress the truth” (Rom 1:18).

Whoever wants to come to a saving knowledge of God and interpret the very Words of God must FIRST believe that HE IS. Heb 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” In other words - I'll see it when I believe it. Faith is the precondition to a correct understanding of God’s Word. Augustine understood this when he wrote: “Understanding is the reward of faith; therefore, do not seek to understand in order to believe, but believe that thou mayest understand." (Homilies on the Gospel of John 29:6)

In Paul’s letter to Timothy he wrote: “And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim 2:15-16, 23-25) Notice, it is God who grants repentance (it is a gift of God) and repentance is required for one to “know the truth.” Before you can see it, you must first believe it!

Heb 11:1-3 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” Notice the phrase "by faith we understand…” Before you can see it, you must first believe it! We see it when we believe it. That means that our understanding, as well as our belief, is completely and totally dependent on the Sovereignty of God NOT our autonomous reasoning skills.

A Few Quotes From Our Forefathers

"The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty. A student's perusal of the sacred volume will make him a better citizen, a better father, a better husband." - Thomas Jefferson

"The Bible is the rock on which our Republic rests." - Andrew Jackson

"In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed." - Noah Webster

"The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His this we owe our free constitutions of government." - Noah Webster

"Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?" - Thomas Jefferson

"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almight God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor." - George Washington

"Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited.... What a utopia, what a paradise would this region be." - John Adams

"Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." - John Adams

Christ is the Substance of the Law

I got this from John M. Frame, Christ was not only perfectly obedient to God's Law, He was also the substance of the Law...

"Here I wish to say that Jesus is not only a perfect law-keeper (according to his humanity), but that according to his deity he is the one we honor and worship when we keep the law:

1. The first commandment teaches us to worship Jesus as the one and only Lord, Savior, and mediator (Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5).

2. In the second commandment, Jesus is the one perfect image of God (Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3). Our devotion to him precludes worship of any other image.

3. In the third commandment, Jesus is the name of God, that name to which every knee shall bow (Phil. 2:10-11; cf. Is. 45:23).

4. In the fourth commandment, Jesus is our Sabbath rest. In his presence, we cease our daily duties and hear his voice (Luke 10:38-42).

5. In the fifth commandment, we honor Jesus who has brought us as his “sons” (Heb. 2:10) to glory.

6. In the sixth commandment, we honor him as the life (John 10:10; 14:6; Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:4), Lord of life (Acts 3:15), the one who gave his life that we might live (Mk. 10:45).

7. In the seventh commandment, we honor him as our bridegroom who gave himself to cleanse us, to make us his pure, spotless bride (Eph. 5:22-33). We love him as no other.

8. In the eighth commandment, we honor Jesus as our inheritance (Eph. 1:11) and as the one who provides all the needs for his people in this world and beyond.

9. In the ninth commandment, we honor him as God’s truth (John 1:17; 14:6), in whom all the promises of God are Yea and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20).

10. In the tenth commandment, we honor him as our complete sufficiency (2 Cor. 3:5; 12:9) to meet both our external needs and the renewed desires of our hearts."

John M. Frame

Friday, March 30, 2007

This Is Abortion (graphic)

Kicking Down The Door

I’m sick and tired of people portraying and describing the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Alpha and the Omega, the victorious Son of God who reigns on the throne of heaven, as some effeminate, weak and neglected Arminian hippy that is just standing there knocking on the door and waiting for sinners to invite Him into their life and heart. Our view of evangelism has to change. Is Jesus really standing there, anxiously and helplessly, on the outside of the sinner’s heart? Is He powerless and stuck on the outside until the “decision” is made and the door is opened from the inside?

But, you might ask, what about Rev 3:20? It says this: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” The problem is that this verse has been ripped out of its context and applied to evangelism. It is a message to the elders of a church (the church in Laodicea). As David Chilton wrote: “He is not making a feeble plea, as if He did not rule history and predestine its most minute details… Nor is he speaking to people in general, for he is directing His message to His church; nor again, is he simply speaking to Christians as individuals, but to Christians as members of the Church. This verse cannot be made to serve the purposes of Arminian, subjective individualism without violently wrenching it from its context.” Chilton also wrote: “For it should be obvious that in this verse He is extending to the Church an offer of renewed communion with Himself.”

Rev 3:20 is not describing the door of anyone's heart. Jesus knocks at the door of that corrupt church of Laodicea. Christ does not knock at any man's heart and wait for permission to come in. God opened Lydia's heart - then she listened and believed. That is the irresistible power of His grace. He breaks down the door of the closed heart and makes us believe. Acts 13:48 says, “…and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.” Jesus is Sovereign, not man. He doesn’t need our permission to come into our heart. In fact, we cannot even come to the door when we are laying face down and dead on the floor. The sinner is "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1); "you being dead in your sins" (Colossians 2:13). Dead men don’t open doors.

In John chapter 6, Jesus stresses the absolute inability of the natural man to perform acceptable spiritual actions, including opening the door of our heart. In verse 44, He said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:44) We are not able to come to Him unless the Father “draws” us or drags us. I want a picture of Jesus kicking a door down in the same masculine way He overthrew the tables in the temple while chasing out the religious hypocrites with a scourge of cords. He’s the one who commands the wind and sea to be still…and it obeys. (Mk. 4.39) He speaks and the galley of soldiers falls flat on their backs. (Jn. 18.5-6) Thank God He rescues us from our own depravity and rebellion and brings (or drags) us into His loving presence.

We don’t need to open the door of our heart, we need a new heart. Ezekiel 36:26-27 says, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” Before we can respond we need to be resurrected. Before our heart can respond our heart must be replaced. In the famous picture, shown above, there is no door knob on the outside of the door. In other words, Jesus can't do anything until the door is opened from the inside. Yes, we need a picture of a masculine Jesus kicking down a door.

The Speck In Your Eye

One of the most well known verses, even among non-Christians, is "judge not." In an age of Postmodernism, the only absolute moral left is toleration (or "judge not"). "It's OK if you believe what you want to believe" they say, "but don't judge me for what I believe." Was Jesus really telling us to never judge anyone? Was He saying that His Law must not be used as a standard of judgment anymore? The following was written by Gary North and it sheds some light on this topic...

"Jesus was not denying the legitimacy of biblical law. On the contrary, He was affirming biblical law. We love God first; God commands us to keep His word; therefore, we must enforce the law on ourselves. We start with ourselves because we have more knowledge of ourselves and more responsibility over ourselves. This is the meaning of progressive sanctification. Jesus was not calling us to ignore biblical law; He was calling us to enforce it first on ourselves, before we enforce the same laws on others.

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. (Matt. 7:1-5)

Notice what he did not say. He did not say that it is all right to go through life with motes (small chips) in our eye. The eye is the most sensitive organ in the body. A mote in an eye could blind it, or seriously interfere with our vision. Jesus did not condone sin in any form. Sin is a horror; it jeopardizes our very existence. It should not be allowed to remain in your eye, and we are required by God to do what we can to help remove chips from our neighbors' eyes. We are to use biblical law to assist them. What Jesus was saying is that we need to be constantly on the lookout for motes in other people's eyes, so that we can help them remove them. But to accomplish this, we must first get rid of the beams in our own eyes. We must be able to go to the other person and tell him: "Look, I used to have a really bad beam in my eye, and it blinded me. But through the grace of God, I was able to remove it. I see that you're suffering from the same thing. Let me show you how God's word speaks to your minor problem, just as it spoke to my major one." In other words, "I've been there. I know what it is. It leads to blindness and agony"....

The context of the "Sermon on the Mount" shows clearly that the "judge not" passage is a call to dominion. It instructs us to begin with ourselves, so that we can then work to extend the principles and enforcement of God's principles to areas of life over which we have lawful authority."

Gary North, The Sinai Strategy: Economics and the Ten Commandments (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1986), pp. 310-312 .

Bahnsen - Stein Debate Pt. 1

This is an awesome debate between Dr. Greg Bahnsen (Christian) and Dr. Gordon Stein (Atheist) that demonstrates the power of Presuppositional Apologetics.

Bahnsen - Stein Debate Pt. 2

Bahnsen - Stein Debate Pt. 3

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Bible - The Mind of God

This is one of my favorite quotes on the Word of God. The author is unknown. Thank God for the Johns (John Wycliffe, John Huss and John Calvin), and other heroes with other first-names, for their part in getting this amazing book into the hands of God's people. I've had this in my Bible for many years but it would definitely be a good one to memorize.

"This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding; its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's character. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. Follow its precepts and it will lead you to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to glory itself, for eternity."

What Does That Bible Verse Mean To You?

The Real Teaching of State Schools

“Though you’re basically good, you’re ultimately a product of your environment. And that environment is telling you that you’re no good because your life (and the life of everyone else) is meaningless, pointless and futile. From dust you came and to dust you shall return. And in between, well…do good, although we have no measuring stick by which you may judge if you’re doing good or not. There are absolutely no absolutes. The one thing we know for certain is that nothing we know is certain. So, turn on, tune in and drop out. …if you want.”

Author Unknown

It's All About ME!


Grudem - Evangelical Feminism

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Myth of Neutrality

In this universe that God created there is not one speck of neutral territory. There is no neutral ground. The non-believer is not neutral and we shouldn’t be. Neutrality is a myth. Man was made to worship. He either worships the true God or he worships an idol. The question is not IF the non-believer worships but WHAT He worships.

In fact, according to Romans 1, there really is no such thing as a "non-believer." There are just those whom God has plainly and "clearly" made known His "his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature," (so that they are "without excuse") and yet they suppresses that truth in unrighteousness. (Romans 1:18-23) They are not innocent and neutral bystanders who don't have enough evidence to believe in God. They don't WANT to believe in God and they are in rebellion to Him.

Jesus said: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matt 12:30) Clearly, no one is neutral. You are either with Him or against Him. No one is on the fence. You are either a friend or an enemy of God. No one has a neutral cell in their entire body.

This philosophy of neutrality is why evolution is so acceptable. As Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Nothing is certain but change.” Everything is changing and evolving therefore you cannot be certain of anything. You cannot judge or be intolerant because nothing in life is certain or constant. You must remain neutral. The problem is that those who preach neutrality are not neutral. They want us to be neutral but they are not.

The call to toleration is simply applying the neutrality principle to moral issues. But as we know, the Christian is never given equal tolerance. We’re told to be more tolerant and yet we are not tolerated. As Tom Beaudoin, assistant professor of religious studies at Santa Clara University put it: “Generation X is not tolerant of an Intolerant God.”

We are told in Rom 14:23 that "...whatever is not from faith is sin.” There is no neutrality; it is a myth. We are also told in Scripture to "think God's thoughts after Him." We, as Christians, must THINK as Christians and not neutral observers. No area of life is neutral; even your intellect must surrender to the authority of God. This is why 1 Cor 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

You are either for God or against Him. As Greg Bahnsen wrote: " middle ground – men simply are not “neutral”. Men will either follow the world or the Word. They either have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16; cf. Eph 4:23-24) or a mind of futility (Eph 4:17). His thoughts are either “captive” to Christ (2 Cor 10:5) or “hostile” to Him (Col 1:21)."

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Learning to Count and Knowing What Counts

Learning to count, by itself, means nothing if you don’t first know what counts.
That is why true education, according to Noah Webster, “…comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations.” (Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary)

Gary North once wrote an article advertising a Christian college. The article showed a dejected father who had sent his son off to a secular college. It’s stated: “I spent $40,000 to send my son to hell.”

Even Martin Luther foresaw the danger of so-called "secular" education… “I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place their child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the word of God must become corrupt.”

17 Reasons God Made Man in Gen 1-3

I had my kids go through Genesis 1-3 on their own and find at least 3 reasons why God made man (or woman for the girls) in just those three chapters. They each found about five. It was a good exercise for them. I did it also and came up with seventeen. I’m sure there are more. I’m just amazed at how much you can learn in the first three chapters of the Bible.

  1. To reflect the image of God (“Let us make man in our image” 1:26)
  2. To be like God (“after our likeness” 1:26)
  3. To have dominion (“let them have dominion” 1:26)
  4. To be fruitful and multiply (“Be fruitful and multiply” 1:28)
  5. To work the land (“and there was no man to work the ground” 2:5)
  6. To be a temple of the Holy Spirit (“breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” 2:7)
  7. To have eternal life (“The tree of life was in the midst of the garden” 2:9)
  8. To obey God’s law (“the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” 2:9)
  9. To enjoy good food (“every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food” 2:9)
  10. To keep or protect (“put him in the garden of Eden to… keep it” 2:15)
  11. To have relationships (“It is not good that the man should be alone” 2:18)
  12. To exercise authority (“whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name” 2:19)
  13. To have and to hold a wife (“man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife” 2:24)
  14. To be pure (“the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” 2:25
  15. To walk with God (“they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” 3:8)
  16. To be the head of the family (“the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’” 3:9 – Eve sinned first but God went to Adam first as the head)
  17. To be forgiven and clothed with Christ ("the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them" 3:21)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bondage and Liberation of the Will

"...we allow that man has choice and that it is self-determined, so that if he does anything evil, it should be imputed to him and to his own voluntary choosing. We do away with coercion and force, because this contradicts the nature of the will and cannot coexist with it. We deny that choice is free, because through man's innate wickedness it is of necessity driven to what is evil and cannot seek anything but evil. And from this it is possible to deduce what a great difference there is between necessity and coercion. For we do not say that man is dragged unwillingly into sinning, but that because his will is corrupt he is held captive under the yoke of sin and therefore of necessity will in an evil way. For where there is bondage, there is necessity. But it makes a great difference whether the bondage is voluntary or coerced. We locate the necessity to sin precisely in corruption of the will, from which follows that it is self-determined.

(John Calvin, Bondage and Liberation of the Will pp 69, 70)

Old Jobs I have Had ;-)

  • I use to be a clock maker but I just needed time to unwind.
  • I use to work for a company that made lighters and matches... then I got fired.

  • For a while I worked at Campbell's soup factory... then I got canned.

  • I used to work for a factory that made fire hydrants, but you couldn't park anywhere near the place.

  • I use to work at a mortuary, till I got caught stealing like a 175 pounds of body parts. Bail alone cost me an arm and a leg.

  • I used to be a proofreader for a sky writing company.

  • I moved to Hawaii and got a job putting leis on people when they got off the plane... then I got laid off.

  • I use to be an astronomer but I got stuck on the day shift... which was horrible... you never discover anything good... look another cloud.

(OK, I admit, only a few of those are original)

Hymns or Praise Songs

This has been around the internet for a while but it's still pretty funny...

An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.

"Well," said the farmer, "it was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise songs instead of hymns."

"Praise songs?" said his wife. "What are those?"

"Oh, they're OK. They are sort of like hymns, only different," said the farmer.

"Well, what's the difference?" asked his wife.

The farmer said, "Well, it's like this - If I were to say to you: "Martha, the cows are in the corn"' - well, that would be a hymn. If on the other hand, I were to say to you:

'Martha, Martha, Martha, Oh Martha, MARTHA, MARTHA, the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows the white cows, the black and white cows, the COWS, COWS, COWS are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, the CORN, CORN, CORN.'

Then, if I were to repeat the whole thing two or three times, well, that would be a praise song."

Now, the rebuttal, so to speak:

The next weekend, his nephew, a young, new Christian from the city came to visit and attended the local church of the small town. He went home and his mother asked him how it was.

"Well," said the young man, "it was good. They did something different however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs."

"Hymns?" asked his mother. "What are those?"

"Oh, they're OK. They are sort of like regular songs, only different," said the young man.

"Well, what's the difference?" asked his mother.

The young man said, "Well, it's like this - If I were to say to you: 'Martha, the cows are in the corn' - well, that would be a regular song. If on the other hand, I were to say to you:

'Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by To the righteous, inimitable, glorious truth.

For the way of the animals who can explain There in their heads is no shadow of sense Hearkenest they in God's sun or His rain Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.

Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight Have broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed Then goaded by minions of darkness and night They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn have chewed.

So look to the bright shining day by and by Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn Where no vicious animals make my soul cry And I no longer see those foul cows in the corn.'

Then if I were to do only verses one, three and four and do a key change on the last verse, well that would be a hymn

Kingdom Victory or Sinking Ship?

The ascension of Jesus was not a vacation. Christ ascended up to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father far above all rule and authority and power and dominion (Eph 1:22). He must reign until all enemies are under His feet and the last enemy that will be destroyed is death (1 Cor 15:25-26). He is more than a Saviour on a cross. He is the resurrected King on a throne.

When He ascended into the clouds everyone was looking up into the sky for obvious reasons. But what I find very interesting is what happened when they were looking up… “And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven?” (Acts 1:10-11)

Even though, to us, that might sound like a stupid question, I think the two men in white wanted to make a point loud and clear. It was as if they were saying, “Men of Galilee, he’ll be back—but, in the meantime, don’t you have something to do? Didn't He tell you to DO something?" Didn't he give you an assignment? You saw the plane leave now get out of the airport and get busy. Jesus will come back but in the meantime “occupy” or “engage in business" till He comes. (Luke 19:13)

The problem with staring into the clouds and being worried about being “Left Behind” is that you can’t see what’s happening on earth. As the saying goes, “you’re so heavenly minded your no earthly good.” Some might object and say “this world is only getting worse… all we can do is look up and hope that Jesus might come to rescue us at any moment.” That’s just like the guy who said “You don’t polish brass on a sinking ship.” The problem with that phrase is that it assumes two faulty things. First, that the world is nothing more than a “sinking ship”; second, that “occupying” or “engaging in business” or rebuilding would be nothing more than “polishing brass.”

We should not inwardly rejoice when we see crime on the rise and wars abounding and the family unit collapsing. We should not see our world falling apart as progress. We should not have as our goal the complete collapse of civilization, a sign that Jesus might come to rescue us at any moment. We need to be about our Father’s business. We should be taking dominion and advancing His Kingdom in the earth. Why do you stand looking into heaven? Look around; make a difference; get busy! Christians are not called to be mere survivors but more than conquerors.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Good Questions...

  • Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
  • If a deaf boy swears, does his mother have to wash his hands out with soap?
  • If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?
  • If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is he homeless or naked?
  • If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
  • Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
  • Why are they called buildings, when they're already finished? Shouldn't they be called builts?
  • Why do banks charge you a "non-sufficient funds fee" on money they already know you don't have?
  • When two airplanes almost collide why do they call it a near miss?? It sounds like a near hit to me!!
  • Since Americans throw rice at weddings, do Orientals throw hamburgers?

Conservative Humanism or Rebuild?

In a sermon on Psalm 11 titled “Restoring the Foundations,” Joe Morecraft III says: “If we are going to win America back for our children, we must analyze and confront the critical issues before us as Christians and not simply as conservatives. Conservatism is impotent. Conservative humanism is as devastating to this republic as Liberal humanism —it just takes longer.”

Referring to the bad advice given to David by his friends —- that he should flee and not fight —Morecraft says they were… “…short-sighted, cowardly and despondent regarding their dangerous situation. They were not malicious enemies; they were cowardly friends, whose perspective was one of unbelief. Cowardice is always dangerous and deadly; and any advice to desert a post of duty is unwise and wicked.”

Morecraft also said: “So then, if the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? What should he do? What must he do?” Rebuild the foundations! Give all his life, resources and energy to the restoring of those foundations with the help of God. And for us today, this work must go on regardless of the difficulties, threats and set-backs.”

Slackers and Lighthouses

Prov 18:9 says, “Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.” Inactivity is equal to destruction. Inactivity is the evil twin brother of destruction. The problem, though, is that inactivity is hardly ever recognized as a sin because it is a sin of omission and there is no obvious evil act committed. Not working hard, according to Proverbs 18:9 is equal to sabotage and destructive behavior.

Many slackers spend all their time talking about how wicked the destroyers are. But, slackers are equal (twin brothers) to those destroyers. It is much easier to stand there or sit there and curse the darkness. It’s hard to actually build a lighthouse. Because building a lighthouse takes time, building a lighthouse takes commitment, building a lighthouse takes money, building a lighthouse takes dedication, building a lighthouse takes planning, building a lighthouse takes labor, building a lighthouse takes teamwork, building a lighthouse takes sweat, building a lighthouse takes frustration, building a lighthouse takes risk, building a lighthouse takes responsibility, building a lighthouse takes self-sacrifice. He who fails to build a lighthouse is equal to him who promotes the darkness.

Ecclesiastes 10:18 says, “If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.” America’s walls are sagging and leaking. We can sit there and curse the sagging and the leaking. We can sit there and complain about the sagging and the leaking. We can sit there and protest about the sagging and the leaking. BUT – the rafters are sagging and the house is leaking because of our laziness, because of our complacency, because of our passivity, because of our inactivity. Prov 1:32 – “For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them” This verse is just like the verse I started with (Prov. 18:0) about the twin brothers. The complacency of fools destroys them. Complacency brings destruction.“Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.” Doing nothing destroys just as much as doing something destructive.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Kolten's Birthday

Kolten was only the third kid in the history of my kids to become 13. He's becoming quite a man of God. He's my favorite oldest son. Tonight we are going to stay up late and play pool together. I hope he doesn't kill me again. I have to get up early and go get him a present because I haven't figured out what to get yet. Wow, I have 3 kids that are "teenagers." You might as well give me a walker and call me in the morning.

T.H.I.N.K. Before You Speek

I don't know who came up with this first but it's a nice acronym...

The “THINK” principle – Think before you speak

  • T – is it true
  • H – is it helpful
  • I – is it inspirational
  • N – is it necessary
  • K – is it kind
Remember, life and death are in the power of the tongue.

A Sin By Any Other Name

In the classic play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, Juliet says that famous line - "that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet." I say, calling a sin by another name helps it not smell so stinky. The Bible talks about sin bringing a stench and we would rather use more "air freshener" than get rid of the sin.

We love to "rename" our stinky sins !

  • We do that by ascribing the worst motives to others, while using other phrases (air freshener) to let ourselves off the hook.

    • If you do it, you're a liar; I just "stretch the truth a little."
    • You lose your temper; I have righteous anger.
    • You're a jerk; I'm having a bad day.
    • You curse and swear; I let off steam.
    • You're pushy; I'm intensely goal-oriented.
    • You're a hypochondriac; but I'm really sick.
    • You stink; I just have an "earthy aroma."
    • You have a critical spirit; I honestly tell the truth.
    • You gossip; I share prayer requests.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

"Can I come"

Whenever I go towards the front door of our house, on my way out, it never fails... I always here one of the following phrases from one or more of my kids: "where are you going?" and "can I come?"

R. C. Sproul Jr wrote: “My son always delights to run errands with me, another opportunity for both of us to learn. When you understand that school is all of life, there is more opportunity for the husband and father to be involved in the homeschool.”
(When You Rise Up – A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling)

Every Moment

Don't remember where I got this but it's good:

  • Happy moments, praise God.
  • Difficult moments, seek God.
  • Quiet moments, worship God.
  • Painful moments, trust God.
  • Every moment, thank God.

Become what you already are

One great passage of Scripture that is either loved or hated is Eph 2:8-10 - "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

In this passage we see a beautiful picture of monergism (Greek mono meaning "one" and erg meaning "work"). Salvation as the work of God alone, from first to last. We've been saved by grace through faith but even that faith is a gift (not something we earn) that no one may boast. But it also says we are created FOR good works. Works follow regeneration they don't earn it.

A similar passage is in Phil 2:12 - "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling..." We are not told to work for our salvation but to work out what God has already worked in us. Paul Jehle put it this way, "The whole Christian life, when you live it, is learning to become what you already are."

With the Loudest Voice

"If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point." Martin Luther

Along the same lines, Luther also said this: ""If we are correct and right in our Christian life at every point, but refuse to stand for the truth at a particular point where the battle rages--then we are traitors to Christ."

Our desperation for Christ

Every one by nature:
  • is a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3)
  • drinks iniquity like water (Job 15:16)
  • is depraved in mind (Eph. 4:17)
  • is blinded in heart (Eph. 4:18)
  • cannot hear the words of Christ (John 8:43-44)
  • cannot know the things of God (1 Cor. 2:14)
  • cannot please God (Rom. 8:8)
  • cannot do good (Rom 3:12)
  • is not righteous (Rom. 3:10)
  • does not understand (Rom 3:11)
  • does not seek after God (Rom. 3:11)
  • is worthless (Rom. 3:12)
I guess we do need Jesus.

Amazing "Self-Esteem"

A.W. Pink said, "Just as the sinner's despair of any hope from himself is the first prerequisite of a sound conversion, so the loss of all confidence in himself is the first essential in the believer's growth in grace."

Self-confidence is destructive to growing in grace. Many today, in the modern church, have gone from “Amazing Grace” to amazing “Self-Esteem.” We don't need more self-esteem or self-confidence, we need more self-denial and confidence in Christ. Jesus is not a genie in a bottle waiting to boost your self-confidence. He is God on the throne commanding you to die to yourself and rely completely and only on the finished work of Christ.

God Give Us Men

GOD, give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;

Men whom the lust of office does not kill;

Men whom the spoils of office can not buy;

Men who possess opinions and a will;

Men who have honor; men who will not lie;

Men who can stand before a demagogue

And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!

Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog

In public duty, and in private thinking;

For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.

Josiah Gilbert Holland

The Righteousness of God

The Psalmist reveals a great truth about God when he says, "righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne." (Ps. 97:2) In other words, He is Himself right and true... He is morally and ethically right, and He acts according to what is right. It is necessary to His very being and always distinguishes everything that He does.

But what is that standard of morality to which God conforms? What law is He obligated to? Be careful though... we shouldn't imply that God is bound to some abstract rule outside of Himself. To place Him under any rule outside of Himself is to make Him something less than God. The Sovereign God of the universe does not conform to anything or to anyone. He only conforms to Himself.

That "rightness" to which He is must adhere to is nothing other than His own nature and His own will. It is His nature and will that determine right from wrong. And when the Bible says that God does what is right, it just means that He is faithfully obligated to His own perfections. He always acts and only acts according to the very highest principle of justice… Himself

Righteousness is based on Lordship

  • Rom. 11:34-36 says…For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him? [In other words…And who could ever give him so much that he would have to pay it back?] For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”
  • John Owen said it like this… "The right, therefore, which God hath to act his righteousness or to act righteously towards others, is supreme and sovereign, arising naturally and necessarily from the relation of all things unto himself."

  • Thomas Manton put it this way… "In this respect God is wholly arbitrary, and hath no other rule but his own will; he doth not will things because they are just, but therefore they are just because God wills them."

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Christianity doesn't always have an easy button

"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." G.K Chesterton

For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Matthew 7:14

" Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Matthew 16:24

Friday, March 16, 2007

Are you keeping the Ten Commandments?

Have you put other gods before God?

  • Is He the #1 priority in every area, both private and public, of your life?
  • Do you keep Him first in your life?
  • Does your mind automatically drift toward something or someone else besides God during the day?
  • Is He Lord of all in your life?
  • Do you fear God and God alone?
  • Is your mouth monotheistic but your actions polytheistic?
  • Do you put yourself before God?
  • Do you put power or position or possessions before God?
  • Are you keeping the Ten Commandments?

Have you taken the Lord’s name in vain?

  • Do you use swearing or cursing in vain or apart from God?
  • Is your speech or living marked by profanity?
  • Have you used the curse that is worthy of death?
  • Is your speech, in reference to God, free of blasphemy?
  • Do you speak about God flippantly or disrespectfully?
  • Do you call yourself by His name (Christian) and live like a heathen?
  • Does your car have a fish on the bumper and a middle finger out the window?
  • Does your t-shirt say “Jesus” and your life say “Self”?
  • Does your worship say Allelu-Ya and your life say Allelu-me?
  • Are you keeping the Ten Commandments?

Do you commit murder?

  • Are you violent toward others in inappropriate ways?
  • Have you ever hated a friend or relative?
  • Have you ever called anyone you know an idiot?
  • Are you kind and considerate and accepting and understanding?
  • Do you have anger issues that control you sometimes?
  • Are you involved in self-destructive behavior?
  • Have you “murdered” someone’s reputation through gossip?
  • Does your work ethic violate the law against murder?
  • Do you promote and defend life in your sphere of influence?
  • Is there blood on your hands because of your silence or apathy?
  • Are you keeping the Ten Commandments?

Do you commit adultery?

  • Have you ever looked at someone, you weren’t married to, with lust?
  • Has your mind and thoughts always been 100% clean?
  • Have you ever looked at a magazine or a poster too long?
  • Men, have you ever kept looking at an immodest woman?
  • Ladies, have you ever dressed so as to get attention of men?
  • Have you ever watched a movie or TV show that you shouldn’t?
  • Have you ever lusted in the reading of a book?
  • Have you ever been on websites that you shouldn’t?
  • Are you faithful to your roles as a man or as a woman?
  • Is your marriage honorable in the sight of God?
  • Is your heart given to something or someone other than your mate?
  • Do you think on things are honorable and pure?
  • Are you keeping the Ten Commandments?
And these are just 4 out of 10

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My son Levi