Monthly Archives: September 2011

Worship In Truth

“We must worship in truth.  Worship is not just an emotional exercise but a response of the heart built on truth about God. “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth” (Psm. 145:18). Worship that is not based on God’s Word is but an emotional encounter with oneself.

     Erwin Lutzer- Pastor to Pastor

Soli Deo Gloria

Lenny

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Worship

“The foundation of worship in the heart is not emotional (“I feel full of worship” or “The atmosphere is so worshipful”). Actually, it is theological. Worship is not something we “work up,” it is something that “comes down” to us, from the character of God.”

Sinclair Ferguson- A Heart for God

Soli Deo Gloria

Lenny

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Ain’t a that Good News

I love this piece, we are singing this for our fall concert.  Hope you enjoy.

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Boston Red Sox and Repentance

If there ever was a team that needs to repent and beg for forgiveness to their fans and city that would be this years Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox are missing the playoffs after the worst collapse ever… I wanted to talk about repentance today as we talked in Sunday School this past week, but as a beloved New York Yankee fan I just wanted to share this epic news with you, in case you didn’t know! I love what Baltimore’s second basemen Robert Andino said after the game “End of season like this, to make Boston go home sad, crying, I’ll take it all day,” Yeah me too!I never thought I would enjoy the Yankees losing three straight to the Rays, but I did, and The RED SOX are GOING HOME and that’s a beautiful thing.

As is repentance, we learned in Sunday school what true repentance is and where it comes from. We read in Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? What gets a hold of me right away in this verse is God’s kindness and GoodnessGod is patient with the sinner and He delays His judgment so men will have time to repent. The theologians call it “common grace” like in Matthew 5:45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous, and in Acts 14:15, 16 and 17. He is so good and kind and this should lead us all to repentance, but sadly it doesn’t. But God is patient, literally means a long-temper person and the opposite would be a short temper person who speaks and acts impulsively and lacks self-controlThis is not GodHe is longsuffering, His wrath is slow, like on a really long fuse that is burning slowly giving men time to repent.

Repentance (metanoia) literally means “afterthought” or “to think after” and implies a change of mind. I shared with the class Paul’s great example of true repentance found in 1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, I hear this all the time about repentance… It’s a turning to God, but it’s more than that, it’s turning away from your life of sin and idols and turning to the true living God. Paul explains worldly repentance and godly repentance  in 2 Corinthians 7:9, 10

C H Spurgeon writes: “You are afraid of damnation, but you are not afraid of sinning. You are afraid of being cast into the pit, but not afraid to harden your hearts against God’s commands. It is not the soul’s state that troubles you, but hell. If hell were extinguished, your repentance would be extinguished. Be not deceived. Examine yourselves whether you are in the faith. Ask yourself if you have that which is “repentance unto life,” for you may humble yourselves for a time, and yet never repent before God.

We talked about how Jesus began His ministry in Galilee in Mark 1:15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” then before that with John the Baptist Luke 3:3 and 8 And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins… 8 “Therefore bring forth fruits in keeping with repentance. Then we have 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. I don’t want to get into what the words you and all “ means now, but if you are interested in getting 2 Peter 3:9 explained go HERE.

I went to my Logos 4 and here is what Louw and Nida define metanoia as “to change one’s way of life as the result of a complete change of thought and attitude with regard to sin and righteousness… Though in English a focal component of repent is the sorrow or contrition that a person experiences because of sin, the emphasis in metanoeo (verb form) and metanoia seems to be more specifically the total change, both in thought and behavior, with respect to how one should both think and act. Whether the focus is upon attitude or behavior varies somewhat in different contexts.”

Repentance is a change of direction in thought and behavior as in 1 Thessalonians 1:9 Turn away from your life of sin and turn towards the one true living God and He will save you, not by your doing but His. Thomas Watson said “By delay of repentance, sin strengthens, and the heart hardens. The longer ice freezeth, the harder it is to be broken.”

Repent and Believe!

Soli Deo Gloria

Lenny


 

 

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In The Beloved

onday night during Men’s group I was talking with another man about my shirt (see and click on photo to the left). Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6

I got to thinking about Ephesians 1:5, 6 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. I was struck with this one amazing thought, that I was accepted in the Beloved, I was accepted before I even knew of this savior and His name Jesus, I was accepted while I was still a wretch… NO, NO! not that I accepted the Lord but He accepted me in the Beloved. This all took place before I was born before the foundation of the world. I thought to myself “I am predestined” Me! little ‘ol me, well not so little in size but very little in significance. I was a walking dead man spiritually Ephesians 2:1 and He still by His sovereign choice, chose me regardless. I get it now, I love Him because He first loved me 1 John 4:19, I chose Him because He first chose me. John 15:16

Predestined is an interesting word (proorizo) means to mark out the boundary or limits of a place, thing or person in advance or before. Now I want to be clear here, I’m not talking about double predestination, that God elects some for Hell and some for Heaven, that is not taught in the bible, the bible says we all deserve Hell and all fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23 and the wages of sin is death Romans 6:23… But God chooses to save some by His grace and mercy. Simply put Predestined means to perform in advance. For me, instead of saying why God? Why choose some and not others? I’m ridiculously happy He chose me. I struggle with this for a very long time until Romans 9:19-23 got a hold of me.

See for yourself:

19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24  even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 25 As He says also in Hosea,“I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, `MY PEOPLE,’ AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, `BELOVED.’” 26 “AND IT SHALL BE THAT IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, `YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,’ THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF THE LIVING GOD.”

Who am I to answer back to God… “I am predestined” Accepted in the Beloved and for that I can only say It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:15-17

Soli Deo Gloria

Lenny

 

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What I Learned In Church This Week

There is so much I want to talk about… The Romans study was really good this week, we talked about true repentance. I think I’ll tackle that on Thursday. I was sitting quietly before the service started as I always do preparing my heart and mind to worship God, the noise around me makes that difficult at times. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s “Him” who we worship, that’s why we’re here, but it’s getting easier to focus on the God of the universe. You see I can’t just flip a switch and automatically start to worship Him, It really starts as soon as I wake up in the morning and sometimes even the night before! This is the Lord’s day, the day we come together to worship Him and Him alone. Just something to think about!

While I was sitting there a really sweet and kind godly sister from my Church walked up to me and said that the article I posted Saturday about Revelation 3:20 really convicted her and she just wanted to let me know. You know the verse where Jesus is supposedly knocking on our hearts waiting for us to let Him in. Now I often get e-mails from people about the content of my Blog and I often get encouragement from dear brothers to persevere through the persecution I get because of the truth I proclaim and I often get one of my church family to come up to me and say thank you for what you do… For making Him sovereign and center stage.

Revelation 3:20 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 will dine with him, and he with Me.

Tony from On The Box writes:

If you believe Jesus stands knocking at the door of the human heart, then you make sovereign the one who answers the door. I prayerfully long for the day when pastors, evangelists, and Christians in general will stop proclaiming a man-centered gospel by misusing Revelation 3:20 and drawing an emotional and often-times false response from the hearer. Jesus is not standing at the locked door of any sin-corroded human heart, longing to be let in. Jesus doesn’t need the acceptance of anyone. Everyone needs His. The context of the before-mentioned verse finds Jesus not speaking to the unsaved, but to a disobedient church. It is not an evangelistic verse, nor should it be used as such. Jesus never asked anyone to let Him come into their heart. He commanded people to repent and believe the gospel. And those who repent and believe the gospel–by the grace of God alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone–will be saved.

What really is happening here is the sovereign Lord is outside a professing and disobedient Church waiting to be let in by making Him sovereign and center stage… It’s not about you! He is patient and wants repentance from anyone from the Laodicean Church and I can only imagine He has this same idea with many professing Churches. Our desire should be that we’re standing at the door, confessing our sins and He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 or the professing Christian but not the possessing one is to repent and believe Mark 1:15 by His irresistible grace… I love this,  I will come in to him and will dine with him… A communion with our sovereign Lord that is not broken because of sin or our desire to esteem man. Isaiah 2:22 Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils; For why should he be esteemed? Revelation 3:19 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent… I will come in to him and will dine with him (vs 20)

Intimate fellowship with the Sovereign Lord is what we need, we need to cultivate a burning heart and make a fresh the gift that is in us 2 Timothy 1:6. The Lord Jesus urges the Laodiceans (a disobedient Church, a professing Church) to repent and have fellowship with Him and those people (anyone) who respond to Christ’s standing at the door, He promises to give the right to sit with Him on His throne and share His victory. Revelation 3:21. Fellowship and communion with Christ is what we need and He commands it, the Laodiceans on the outside looked very successful but it was not fruit that comes from abiding in Christ John 15:1–8. I want to thank my dear sister who came up to me as I was preparing my heart for worship, for her encouragement and for her passion for Christ and for the example she sets for me and the entire Church family. Jesus said ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me… therefore be zealous and repent and believe!

That’s what I learned in church this week

Soli Deo Gloria

Lenny

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Truth Balanced

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soli Deo Gloria

Lenny

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MacArthur Monday

I often hear that we need to be all things to them (the world) to get them to receive Christ… What does all things really mean?

Look at 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. 23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

John MacArthur Writes: “The notion that the church must become like the world to win the world has taken evangelicalism by storm. Virtually every modern worldly attraction has a “Christian” counterpart. We have Christian motorcycle gangs, Christian bodybuilding teams, Christian dance clubs, Christian amusement parks, and I even read about a Christian nudist colony.”

Read the entire blog series below from the Grace To You Blog

Soli Deo Gloria

Lenny

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Praise Him

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soli Deo Gloria

Lenny

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A little of this and a little of that

I recently read something from Thabiti Anyabwile that really got me thinking… He asks the question: Am I a Developing Leader?…  During sermon prep last week, I wound up scrounging through some old Bible study and discipleship material.  It was a fun trip down memory lane, thinking about the ways the Lord has used many faithful Christians to disciple me and recalling His wonderful grace through so many seasons of life. Read the rest Here

Every once in a while I like to check in to see what Bill Mounce has to say on Monday With Mounce… He writes: Was Paul Married [ἄγαμος]? (Monday with Mounce 111) This has always been an interesting question. In 1 Cor 7:8, Paul writes, “Now to the unmarried (ἀγάμοιος) and to the widows (χήραις).” It is clear that Paul is unmarried (1 Cor 7:7), but it is not clear that he is or is not a widower. Read the rest Here

Just A Thought (Stop Using Revelation 3:20) If you believe Jesus stands knocking at the door of the human heart, then you make sovereign the one who answers the door. I prayerfully long for the day when pastors, evangelists, and Christians in general will stop proclaiming a man-centered gospel by misusing Revelation 3:20 Read the rest Here

Very cool site… Rain makes everything better-Rainy Mood.com HT: NB

You might be seeing me in this!

Brian Regan on Italians and Irish

“The ultimate test of my understanding of the scriptural teaching is the amount of time I spend in prayer. As theology is ultimately the knowledge of God, the more theology I know, the more it should drive me to seek to know God. Not to know “about” Him but to know Him! The whole object of salvation is to bring me to knowledge of God… If all my knowledge does not lead me to prayer there is something wrong somewhere.”  Martin Lloyd-Jones

Rob Bell to Leave Mars Hill Church… Rob Bell has decided to leave Mars Hill Church, the Grandville, Michigan, megachurch he and his wife founded 12 years ago, to focus on a broader audience, the church announced today. Flickering Pixels author Shane Hipps will take over for Bell during spring 2012 after Bell finishes his series on Acts in December. read the rest Here

Speaking of Rob Bell… Bell Bottom Trousers from Eddie Eddings… Hey Eddie do you have any more for sale or are you all sold out?

1 Thessalonians 5:21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;

Soli Deo Gloria

Lenny

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