Thursday, October 29, 2009

How Willingly Do People Go to Hell? :: Desiring God

How Willingly Do People Go to Hell? :: Desiring God

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Some thougths on the Sovereignty of God from Isaiah

I am in Isaiah in my yearly reading program (about a month behind!). The book of Isaiah describes God’s just judgments and his patient and enduring love toward his people, whom he chose to pour out his grace and mercy. Isaiah looks to a future king who will rule them and who will also be a servant. All of Israel’s kings were Messiahs in some sense but this King and Servant will be the ultimate King, not only for Israel, but for all the nations of the world.

Isaiah is continually reminding Israel that Yahweh is the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords; there is none like Him. He proves this by continually reminding them that Yahweh alone is sovereign. For instance, he says,

“I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things (45:7).”

This chapter starts out describing Cyrus as God’s chosen instrument to accomplish His purpose. The Lord is in control of history, he uses Cyrus for His own purposes. Cyrus will conquer nations and then help Israel rebuild. All this is to awaken faith in all the nations of the world and let them know that He is the only Sovereign and Savior. God not only saves Israel but uses pagan kings to accomplish his purposes! Here is the application. When things do not look like they are going as planned, that Gods purposes are not being fulfilled, we are to remember that He is still sovereign and that nothing is outside His control. In the next chapter, Isaiah describes how Israel has a tendency to give credit to idols for the work of God. Idolatry in our hearts leads to idolatry in our thoughts and actions.

"Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose (46:8-10).”'

Israel is commanded to remember and stand firm that God is unique and unlike the pagan gods they tend to worship. Only his counsel and his purposes shall stand. God can say something will happen because God makes it happen. If God is not absolutely sovereign over everything, He could not predict the future with any certainty and we could not trust prophecy to come true, nor his Word.

We, the people of God, are charged to remember and stand firm in this truth because in a world full of idolatry our clarity of God becomes eroded. Remember, you who follow Christ, God is in control of history and just because things don’t look like they are going Gods way does not mean they are not. That is true of our present economic and geopolitical landscape, as well as your life today! Do not look to anything but your God for hope, peace, and yes, even your security.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Meditating on Scripture

The poet, T.S. Eliot, once observed: “Everything we eat has some effect upon us. It affects us during the process of assimilation and digestion; and I believe exactly the same is true of anything we read.”

In other words, you are what you read. So reading without meditating is like eating without digesting. If you want to absorb the nutrients, you can’t just read scripture, you have to chew on it. You have to digest it. Meditation is the way we metabolize Scripture.

Are you metabolizing Scripture? I have to slow myself down, focus on my reading to meditate on what I am reading. This week I talked with someone about generating an appetite for God. I told them the main means by which God does that in our lives is the Bible, his word. But we cannot not just mindlessly read it and expect to be fed and nourished spiritually. We must think about what we are reading - engage with what the author is saying by what he wrote and what he means by what he wrote and then how that applies to me. That takes work! We can rake the ground for leaves or we can dig for gold. Digging take more effort but is more rewarding. We will never find gold raking for leaves.

Four Dangers Of Leadership Part Three - Pride

Four Dangers Of Leadership Part Three ? Pride :: Perry Noble | Leadership, Vision & Creativity

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Gospel-Driven Church: First World Problems

Problems third world citizens can only dream about.
The Gospel-Driven Church: First World Problems

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Bible verse ban spawns 'wave of support for Christ' (

God frequently uses persecution to advance his kingdom (Acts 8:1-4).
Bible verse ban spawns 'wave of support for Christ' (

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re: four dangers of Leadership, part one

I am going to be posting a series of four articles I am reading on leadership. This first one is on jealousy. I have been guilty of it at times and thought it would be good to reflect on for those I know who are in leadership. One way of combating jealousy that he does not mention is the sovereignty of God. If God is indeed blessing another's ministry, in His wisdom, he is doing it for reasons that are unkown to us for good reason.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Reflecting on Death

My oldest brother Scott died last night of cancer. It came upon him suddenly and viciously. By the time treatment began, it had the upper hand. So I am thinking about death and my own mortality. Death can help me to think more clearly by facing the fact that I too will eventually die.

Death reminds of my own mortality. I could die at any moment from cancer or a car accident. Every breathe I take is given to me by God (Acts 17:28).

Death reminds me that sin is the source of all forms of evil. Adam led the human race into our fallen and sinful condition. Everything terrible about this world is because of sin. Our selfishness, crime, hate, war, disease, fear, and envy and everything else is because of sin.

Death reminds me that my condition from birth is sinful and alienated from God. I need someone else to reconcile me to God and that is Jesus Christ.

Death reminds me that this life is short lived and eternity is forever. I am to live to enhance my eternal condition, namely joy, and fight against the tendency to live to enhance this short life.

Death reminds me that because of Christ and his death on the cross for my sin death has lost its sting. I am not afraid of death because to die is gain (Phil. 1:21b).

Death reminds me that the goal of beating cancer is not because I value this life as ultimate but because I value my spiritual life as ultimate. The former is only significant because of the latter. The only life worth living is one where I can honestly say, ‘to live is Christ (Phil 1:21a).’

Death reminds me that I do not grieve as one who has no hope (1 Thes. 4:13).

Dear friends, consider the claims of Christ. My life has never made more sense nor been more meaningful and more joyful since I became a follower of Christ.