Monthly Archives: August 2010
There isn’t a Sunday that goes by I don’t look forward to going to church… to get refreshed by the word of God being taught and by the fellowship of other believers. There was a lot that happened this Sunday…. I will be co leading a new Study starting on September 12th… based on the story in Luke 15 the Prodigal Son, which I’m very excited to get going … but also sad that I will be leaving the Philippians study for a few Months.
We started to really promote this new study of the Prodigal Son… it’s going to be rich in truth… and my prayer is that people will put aside their presuppositions and come and learn the amazing story and truth behind this parable… This is Christ most memorable and most powerful parable. It is going to be based on the book by John MacArthur… A Tale Of Two Sons… which is rich in truth. As one writer and reviewer said ” consistent, methodical exposition of the passage and one that never misses an opportunity to provoke application.” Every body knows this story about the loving father and the prodigal son… But what about the oldest brother . Who is he? who does he represent in this parable? We will look into the cultural and historical aspects of this parable and the ending will surprise you and my even shock some… though the parable gives us an open ending… looking at it deeper will give us the answer.
We barely started to touch on these verses in Sunday school… Philippians 2:12-13 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
We clearly have a responsibility here to work out our Salvation. The “So Then” draws our attention back to Philippians 2:5-8 to the Lord’s example of humility and obedience… Paul now says… So then, my beloved… Here is a summary that leads to the “So Then”… conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ… make my joy complete by being of the same mind… do nothing from selfishness… let each of you regard one another as more important than himself… do not merely look out for your own personal interests… Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus… We must do something Philippians 2:12 is clear on that, but it would be impossible without God in us Philippians 2:13… and that’s next week… And that’s what I learned in Church yesterday.
Prettifying’ Darwin — A Timely Look at a Losing Strategy… The American literary critic Frederick Crews once spoke of defenders of evolutionary theory who attempt to make Darwinism appear more congenial to the Christian faith than it truly is. These defenders, Crews wrote, present a vision of Darwin and Darwinism that “is often prettified read the rest Here– By Albert Mohler
The Ministry of Rebuke Three parts… There are two kinds of Christians: those who like to rebuke and do it often and those who are scared to rebuke and never do it. The irony is both kinds of Christians are prone to sin. Read part 1 here… part 2 here… part 3 here– by Kevin DeYoung
Discerning Between Joy and Happiness… “Don’t worry—be happy!” From popular music to a cultural slogan, this adage is stated in the form of an imperative. It reflects the idea that happiness can be evoked by an act of the will read the rest here-by R.C. Sproul
Above Reproach… A small item I read in the news twenty years ago has stuck in my mind ever since. The Rockdale County High School Bulldogs basketball team of Conyers, Georgia, won their first-ever state championship in March of 1987, rolling over all their opponents. After eighteen years of coaching the team without a championship, coach Cleveland Stroud was ecstatic read the rest here-by John MacArthur
Give Us Men Who Know the Truth! Steve Lawson
To Judge or Not to Judge? (1 Corinthians 5)
Today, many church services are described as traditional or contemporary, based solely on the type of music contained in them. I personally gravitate toward a more “traditional” service, I love organ music and the complexity of some of the older hymns, especially those based on Bach’s chorales. However, I have no problem worshiping when other types of music are involved, as long as the music does not distract from the words and the words are Biblical. To me, the music is a vehicle for the words and should therefore take a backseat to Christ honoring lyrics. Whether you love the music of modern praise or Southern Gospel or classic hymns, that should not be allowed to cloud your judgment on whether a song is acceptable for worship. Only serious studying into the lyrics of that song can bring about the right conclusions.
Scripture does not say a lot about music but there are a couple of passages in the New Testament that speak about the topic:
Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Ephesians 5:18-21 “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
1 Corinthians 14:26 “What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.”
I especially like the last passage from 1 Corinthians, that when we as believers come together, everything done should be for building each other up in Christ. If a hymn, worship chorus, sermon, special music, drama, or any other part of the Sunday morning service does not build the believer, it should not be included.
Getting back to music, I found a list of criteria that was used when putting together the 2008 Baptist hymnal and I think it works well as a filter for all music used in a service.
- Does the hymn speak biblically of God?
- Is it God-honoring?
- Does the hymn present a biblical view of man?
- Does the song help us to cover the depth and breadth of our theology?
- Does the hymn call us to true discipleship, service, repentance, witness, missions and devotion?
- Does the hymn speak biblically of salvation?
- Does it engage the whole person – allowing a person to express his deepest feelings?
- Does the hymn emphasize that Christ is the Christian’s Lord, Master and King? (the idea of total submission)
- Is there a balance with corporate and individual response in worship? (immanence and transcendence)
- Does the hymn speak biblically about the church, the body of Christ?
Just like one can speak without thinking, one can sing without thinking, I know that I am guilty of doing that. Let us all make it our goal to think about what we are singing and do it for the glory of God.
A woman shared with me once that she had lived for 40 years in a marriage to a man who was just—wicked. She said, “All through those years, people counseled me to get out of that marriage. But somehow, God kept drawing me back to that vow I had made.” Then she said, “I’m so glad I waited. A year ago my husband finally got saved, and God is truly changing him.” And then she said, “You can’t believe the incredible changes God has brought about in my life as a result of that suffering.” Forty years may seem like eternity, but 2 Corinthians 4:17 tells us that our troubles are really only momentary, and that they are “achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all”. I don’t know how you may be suffering, but let me assure you that when it’s over, you’ll look back and say, “Thank you, Lord. You brought about eternal glory through my suffering.” With Seeking Him, I’m Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
How do Christians grow? Dr. R.C. Sproul teaches new and seasoned Christians the five crucial aspects of true spiritual growth. Just as any living organism has requirements if it is to grow and thrive, in the same way Christians have God-given requirements that are necessary elements if there is to be any growth in grace and godliness. In this book R.C. Sproul describes five spiritual “nutrients” crucial to spiritual maturity: Bible study, prayer, worship, service and stewardship. In the Introduction Sproul borrows the biblical metaphor of athletics and writes, “Christians are called upon to train, to make sacrifices, and to embrace certain disciplines in order to give God ‘our utmost for His highest.’ This book deals with five of those disciplines: Bible study, prayer, worship, service and stewardship. Read the rest of the book review here from Tim Challies. Check out the five short video introductions to each aspect below.