Filed under: Devotions
by Caleb Hancock
Listening to John Piper recently, I was struck with what he was sharing. He reminded me that I am commanded to find my joy in God. Let’s get something straight. Most everyone hates to be told what or what not to do. Many would do the exact opposite when commanded to do something, just to spite the commander. We picture an insecure and domineering spirit who wants to subject us to their influence and power unjustly, simply because they can; much like the drill sergeant pictured above to new recruits.
But is God relating to us like that? How do we know how he relates to us? Let’s turn to what John Piper found in the Bible, God’s Word to us to find the answer.
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 33:1 Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.
Psalm 32:11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
“It’s commanded because what is at stake is not just our joy but the glory of God, the honor and reputation of God. If we do not rejoice in God – if God is not our treasure and our delight and our satisfaction, then he is dishonored. His glory is belittled. His reputation is tarnished. Therefore God commands our joy both for our good and for his glory.”
Do you find your joy in the Lord today? In the salvation that is wholly from Him, not based on what you have done, can, or ever will do? If not, remember that God, in His mercy and knowledge as our creator, knows that we will only be satisfied when we delight in Him, He commands us to rejoice in Him and in the gospel of Christ.
So, if you are a sinner that has been saved from what you deserve, if you have been covered with the righteousness of Christ based on grace and not on works, REJOICE IN GOD! HOW GOOD HE IS TO COMMAND US TO REJOICE IN HIM! HE IS WORTHY!
By Walt Alexander
For the past six weeks, I have been writing on courtship and this is the last post. This is the final – and perhaps – most important guideline to remember about courtship. Courtship is not about a set of rules. It is about pleasing God. We walk through guidelines and talk through criterion because we want to please God, not because we want to do everything right (according to the rules anyway!). That said, in every rule/criterion that I laid down, don’t look for perfection. Look for someone who is growing and you will find what you want!
So, in each of these six weeks (one, two, three, four, five, six)…
Is there anything I missed?
Is there anything you wished I had talked about?
Is there anything you were wondering about?
Have you been challenged by what we have talked about?
Filed under: Calling | Tags: am i called?, call to ministry, dave harvey, humility
by Mike Plewniak
For all the guys who attended our session with Bill at Vision Quest, I wanted to post some of the resources we mentioned.
First of all, here is the message by Dave Harvey about the difference between Godly ambition and selfish ambition.
Also, here is the booklet Dave wrote about the ministry and discerning the call to ministry. You can also download this book for free! Along with the book, here is the whole set of messages which I would encourage all you guys to listen to several times.
This booklet and messages walk thru: what it looks like to be a pastor, what the job of a pastor is, the character that is required for those desiring to be a pastor, the gifting that is required to be a pastor, and how to discern if this is something that God is calling you specifically to do. This material could not be more helpful for guys like you who feel something of this subjective call. Take advantage of these free messages and free book!
Finally, Bill highly recommended all of you read “Humility” by CJ Mahaney.
CJ writes: “The difference couldn’t be more stark. As sinfully and culturally defined, pursuing greatness looks like this: Individuals motivated by self-interest, self-indulgence, and a false sense of self-sufficiency pursue selfish ambition for the purpose of self-glorification. Contrast that with the pursuit of true greatness as biblically defined: Serving others for the glory of God. This is the genuine expression of humility; this is true greatness as the Savior defined it.”
Filed under: Thoughtful Thursday
“We are reminded yet again that an understanding of sin is preliminary to understanding the Gospel. The magnitude of our sin explains the necessary magnitude of Christ’s atonement.
As John Bunyan observed: ‘No sin against God can be little, because it is against the great God of heaven and earth; but if the sinner can find out a little God, it may be easy to find out little sins.'”
Dr. Al Mohler, discussing Cathy Lynn Grossman’s article “Has the ‘Notion of Sin’ Been Lost?”
Read Dr. Mohler’s thoughts on the article here.
Filed under: Coolness
By: Travis Evans
I found this video by Harvard Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Robert Lue that visualizes a lot of the inner workings of your body. Enjoy watching as these things take place in your body RIGHT NOW! (This is for all you science buffs!)
How many things can you identify? Isn’t it amazing what God has created?
Filed under: Devotions
by Caleb Hancock
I don’t know if you’re like me, but when I go to the beach, I am frequently wondering what else is swimming out there with me. It gives me two feelings. One, is that I kind of get the heebie-jeebies when I get out over my head and can’t tell what’s under me. Second, is that there is so much about the oceans that we, as humans, will never know or be able to control. Think about how much water is in the ocean! Think about how deep and vast it is. Think about all the creatures that it supports!
That should be a springboard, if we view it rightly, to think of how awesome and mighty God is.
And the best part is that he didn’t just make it and leave it, but he is sovereign over it today. He wills it to exist and sustains everything about it, from the largest of tsunami’s to the smallest ripple off of a clown fish’s dorsal fin. Our God is not impotent to create, and thankfully for those who have sinned, nor is he powerless to save.
So the next time that you are in a situation where you feel small, let that motivate you to think about how infinitely BIG God is, and yet he regards you!!!
1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
By Walt Alexander
Again, though we have spent weeks talking about this subject, I thought it might be helpful to walk through it once again.
So, who shouldn’t we court?
This is a somewhat random list of thoughts.
1. We shouldn’t court a non-Christian. Because we – as Christians – are forbidden by Scripture to marry a non-Christian (2 Cor 6:14-15), we should not court one. Again, this is a no-brainer.
2. We shouldn’t court someone who is stagnant in their love for and pursuit of God. Court someone who will challenge you to grow in godliness and will not be dead weight. Court someone who is continually growing in their knowledge of the Lord. You know who they are. They are the ones who stand out in a crowd. They are the ones who do not follow the patterns and the norms of this world and culture; they are far more passionate for another world. They rise early to be with the Lord and prioritize all things around the Lord.
3. We shouldn’t court someone who is a drifter. Drifters are people with many, shallow relationships who are uncommitted to a church. They are people who shirk at relational and church commitment. The problem, ultimately, is not merely that they are drifters but that their wandering, sinful hearts (like all of ours!) need the sturdy ground of the church. Left to themselves, they will drift and wander to their demise. Do you want to go with them?
4. We shouldn’t court someone whose life is not adorned with fruit. Now, yes, all people are sinners – including Christians – but do not court/marry someone who isn’t growing. Oftentimes – blinded by lust – we will overlook the lack of fruit in someone’s life. Do not do this! Run from them. You should love them and befriend them, but you should not court them.
5. We shouldn’t court someone who we merely like. Like is somewhat important but it is not ultimate. Like must be submitted to God’s rule. Properly submitted to God’s Word, we should be open and willing to court someone who we would not normally like but who is a Christian, growing in godliness, serving the church, and mature enough for marriage. Otherwise, many men, like myself, would not be married!