KJV was requested by the host church – It had been a while 🙂
John 11:14 “Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe.
John 11:35 “Jesus Wept”
What is Jesus glad about in verse 14? That “he was not there” Glad that he was not there to prevent Lazarus’ death! Not there to heal him of his sickness! Jesus says he is glad he was not there. Let this verse alone sink into your theology. God has something greater in mind for us than only healing or even preventing us from dying – Something so much greater in his mind that he says something as seemingly calloused as “I am glad I was not there” to heal and prevent death.
So what is this thing Jesus so passionately wants for us? Continue reading “Why Did Jesus Weep?”
“God is not served by human hands as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. ”
Been thinking about this text for a while. Lots of implications but I’ll just give you a little of what I’ve been mulling lately.
God is not as interested in my activity for him as my faithfulness to him. I tend to think the other way…”maybe I haven’t been as faithful as I would have wanted, maybe I haven’t loved him the way I should, but at least I did _____ activity for him. I really helped him out there.” Continue reading “Does God Need My Service?”
You don’t have to have your eyes open very wide to realize there is something horribly wrong in the world. I recently picked up a book given to my oldest son Steven by his teacher – Mrs. Copley. It is titled simply “Night” and the book describes the horrors of a young Jewish boy by the name of Elie Wiesel trapped in Nazi concentration camps. The book describesJewish captives being forced to dig their own graves while Nazi soldiers shot their children and then the parents themselves. Elie had a mentor by the name of Francois Mauriac whom he asked to write the forward of his book describing his experience. Mauriac in attempting to understand what young Elie had to endure wrote,
“Let us try to imagine what goes on in his mind as his eyes watch rings of black smoke unfurl in the sky, smoke that emanates from the furnaces into which his little sister and his mother had been thrown after thousands of other victims.”
The thought is unfathomably awful. Continue reading “Grace is Practical”
How to Love God Part 2
John Bunyan: “When God brings sinners into the covenant of grace, he doth first kill them with the covenant of works, which is the moral law, or ten commandments.”
To sum up yesterday’s post I argued that the main work of the law is to reveal God’s holiness and righteous standard and to then apply that standard of holiness to us in order to show our sinfulness. I proposed that even the command we think of us a softer New Testament command, namely to love, actually comes from the Old Testament and Jesus’ interpretation is even more difficult. I also said that the law of God is not able to change us by itself, but that its main job is to reveal to our hearts our sinfulness and push us to Christ for righteousness that comes through faith. Continue reading “How to Love God – Part 2”
To the extent the Law of God is made attainable with statements like
– do your best and God will do the rest – we not only cheapen what the law says we lose grace in the process.
The law clearly says “your best efforts” are not going to be sufficient – more than that they are only going to serve to condemn you. God is not saying for us to do what we can and whatever we can’t do he will make up the difference. Instead he is saying our best efforts are tainted with sin and instead of calling us to work our way up to him by doing better he calls us to Faith in the Perfect One. Continue reading “Do Your Best and God Will Do The Rest?”
‘Twas the night before Christmas – no not the one with tinsel and bows and Christmas trees – the one over 2000 years ago. Almost no one knew what was coming and even those that had an inkling did not understand the magnitude of the moment.
For most people it was just an ordinary night. No baited breath for what presents might be opened the next day. No day off work. Just an everyday day. The world was teetering on the edge of the most remarkable event in its history Continue reading “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”
If we shine the light too brightly that Christianity is mainly about personal transformation – we create a hierarchy that encourages people’s natural inclination to push their sin underground and pretend to be more than they are. If we, instead, shine the light brightly on the beauty of Jesus – His Holiness – His Compassion – His Glory – His Grace – His Work on the Cross – His Resurrection – His Rescue of Sinful People perhaps we in church would quit our introspective, self-focused, navel gazing, and our mask-wearing, self-deceptive posturing. We could lift our gaze outside of ourselves to worship and glory in a God who loves sinners. We could focus our energies on knowing Him and delivering the same good news we have received to our friends. And then perhaps true transformation would occur as well.
The law is like a man in a sailboat with a sailing instruction manual. He knows what proper sailing is – He may even possess a lot of technology to aid him in sailing. But his knowledge and tech cannot move him across the water. Only wind can do that. So we must stop preaching the law for change. We must stop running to the law to make us good sailors. Only the gospel can fill our sails with wind. The grace of the Father in rescuing sinners by the blood of Jesus is the good news – is the gospel. Oh Spirit, breathe your wind in our sails!
I had this picture come to mind on Sunday while in church.
You remember the scene in the movie Hook with Robin Williams where he has met the Lost Boys and he sits down at the end of a very long day to what he thinks is going to be a glorious meal, but when the lids come off there is nothing. Peter is starving – dying for something to eat, but he can’t see the food. We are like this sometimes.
At the center of the good news of the gospel is Jesus Christ.
The ultimate benefit of the gospel is not that we can now do good works, or that we won’t go to hell, or even that our sins our forgiven as great as all those things are– the ultimate benefit is Continue reading “The Ultimate Benefit of the Gospel”
Dean Koontz: “Everyone talks about justice, but there can be no justice where there is no truth, and these are times when truth is seldom recognized and often despised.”
If you grew up in a conservative Christian culture like I did you probably feel as if the world is coming undone. Continue reading “The Cross Speaks”
There is one way and only one way that we are sanctified and that is by beholding the beauty and glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Continue reading “Beholding the Beauty and Glory of the Lord”
There is a God who if you “be good” he will help you feel good = Moralistic Therapeutic Deism NOT the Christian Gospel.
Instead Christianity says
There is a God, who seeing the evil of mankind, sent his own Son, Jesus, as a man to suffer and die in their place so that all who are willing to abandon their own goodness and bank their lives on the goodness of God, will obtain a great treasure – Jesus Christ himself.
This does not mean that life will be easy or you will feel good all the time. What it does mean is that nothing in this world – terrorism, poverty, divorce, loneliness, suffering, even death itself – is able to separate you from the love of God.
1) Jesus is our destination – Knowing Him is our highest good and joy. He is what our souls were designed for and crave. Rom 5:11 Continue reading “The Gospel – Destination to Inception”