Monthly Archives: March 2012

A little of this and a little of that

Spurgeon on Depression over at Pyromaniacs, posted by Phil Johnson… Some years ago, I was the subject of fearful depression of spirit. Certain troublous events had happened to me; I was also unwell, and my heart sank within me. Out of the depths I was forced to cry unto the Lord. Just before I went away to Mentone for rest, I suffered greatly in body, but far more in soul, for my spirit was overwhelmed. Under this pressure, Read the rest Here

The Bible Meets the Modern Age: A Conversation with Former President Jimmy Carter by Albert Mohler… Today’s Thinking in Public program features my interview with former President Jimmy Carter. The conversation was remarkable, and I was honored to have this interview with the 39th President of the United States. The focus of the interview was on the Bible, a book that has framed President Carter’s life from his earliest memories. Even now, he remains the world’s most famous Sunday School teacher. Read the rest Here

The Works of His Hands… Some of you who read my blog daily might have already seen this, but I was held captive by His many works… Colonel (retired) Jeffrey N. Williams, an astronaut since 1996, has flown three space flights, including one mission aboard the space shuttle Atlantis and two expeditions to the International Space Station. He spoke at the Truth Matters Conference at Grace Community Church and spoke of God’s work from space, Read and watch the video Here

The Historical Evidence of the Existence of Jesus of Nazareth… Posted by Justin Taylor… Below is an interesting introduction to Bart Ehrman’s new Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. As a New Testament scholar who has specialized in the gospels and early Christianity and also as a skeptic, he was confused by the regular stream of questions about the existence of Jesus and was largely unaware of the internet skeptics who spill an enormous amount of pixels writing on this issue. Read the rest Here

Who do you think that I am? With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings. Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well. Read the rest Here. Printed copies of this tract are available for purchase.

“To be a follower of the Crucified Christ means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss.” Elisabeth Elliot

See more about this video below from David Murray A modern parable from Britain’s Got Talent

Finally this from Facets of Grace and Eddie Eddings

I LOVE this………..

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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The Work of His Hands

Colonel (retired) Jeffrey N. Williams, an astronaut since 1996, has flown three space flights, including one mission aboard the space shuttle Atlantis and two expeditions to the International Space Station. He spoke at the Truth Matters Conference at Grace Community Church and spoke of God’s work from space, The work of His hands

“Almost a hundred years ago, Benjamin Warfield, who you may be familiar with, wrote something I came across a little while ago, where he said, “A Christian sees God in everything.” And then he used an analogy of a window. And he says, “A window stands before us and you can look at the window and you can contemplate how it’s made. You can look at the defects in the window.” And sometimes I found myself looking at old windows in old buildings and watching the waviness, and you’ve done that, perhaps. The house I grew up in had…the original windows had waviness in it. So you can focus on the window. “Or you can look through the window and see the view on the other side.”

Now in order to give you a glimpse of the wonders of God’s creation from this vantage point that I’m talking about, I need to give you a perspective of what the vantage point is. So imagine yourself on the International Space Station, traveling seventeen thousand, five hundred miles an hour, orbits the earth every ninety minutes. If you were to ride on a rocket and get there, you’d get to orbit in about nine minutes and then typically it would take you about two days to catch up and dock with the thing. And then this place is your home. It’s about the size of a, on the inside, a large five bedroom home. It’s got a few windows, thankfully. That’s the best part, to be able to view the Earth. But imagine yourself there, imagine yourself going outside perhaps once in a while and hanging on to the outside and viewing God’s creation, we call Earth, down below. I call this “The Ultimate Sky Dive.”

Watch the entire video here

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Jesus’ death is both Sufficient and Efficient

I always get a sense of peace, hope and joy that overwhelms me around this time of year, that Jesus death was so sufficient that He loved the whole world John 3:16 giving Himself as a ransom for all 1 Timothy 2:5, 6 and takes their sins away John 1:29. We read that He was reconciling the world to Himself 2 Corinthians 5:19, 20. Christ was a propitiation for our sins and those of the whole world 1 John 2:2

Wait! Paul’s not going to let this go, seem like he’s adding a qualifier… Paul says “For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men” ok that goes along with what we just learned, but Paul can’t and won’t let it go, so he adds this qualifier “especially of believers.” 1 Timothy 4:10. Christ death on the cross was sufficient for all but efficient for those who are His (“especially of believers.”) How efficient and how precise? Well, He chose us before the foundation of the world Ephesians 1:4 and even from the beginning 2 Thessalonians 2:13 knowing the ones He has chosen John 13:18.

I know, but Jesus says whoever comes to Me I will not cast out and he will live forever John 6:37 John 6:51, He does, because it is a matter of faith, we still have to put our trust in Christ and receive Him by faith. ” Because as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” John 1:12 But you can’t separate verse 13 from 12 as many pastors do. The many who received Him have been born of God “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God John 1:13. The whoever that will come are the ones drawn by God John 6:44 and granted from the Father to believe John 6:65.

The angel of God told Joseph to call His name “Jesus,” Matthew 1:21 Why? “for he shall save his people from their sins.” All done by three words “It is finished” Through the precious blood of Christ, atonement has been effectually and irresistibly accomplished for those who are His. Justice was satisfied for God and He was both the Just and the Justifier for all who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, so repent and believe Mark 1:15. What a beautiful and amazing grace this is, to save a wretch like me.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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The Cross of Christ and Foreknowledge of God

“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know– this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. Acts 2:22-23

The KJB says “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:” Acts 2:23

This sound like to me that the holy trinity in heaven before foundations the world came together to sit on a counsel to predetermine a plan for human redemption and Christ was that plan and death was the cross, as Job says any plan and desire of God would be unstoppable and who can turn Him? He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does. Job 23:13 Just as it says in Isaiah 14  “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand” Isaiah 14: 24

J.C. Ryle asks a great question, What do you think about the cross of Christ?

“All Christ’s sufferings on the cross were foreordained. They did not come on Him by chance or accident: they were all planned, counseled, and determined from all eternity. The cross was foreseen in all the provisions of the everlasting Trinity, for the salvation of sinners. In the purposes of God the cross was set up from everlasting. Not one throb of pain did Jesus feel, not one precious drop of blood did Jesus shed, which had not been appointed long ago. Infinite wisdom planned that redemption should be by the cross. Infinite wisdom brought Jesus to the cross in due time. He was crucified by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.”

“If Christ had not gone to the cross and suffered in our stead, the just for the unjust, there would not have been a spark of hope for us. There would have been a mighty gulf between ourselves and God, which no man ever could have passed.”

“This is no mere question of controversy; this is not one of those points on which men may agree to differ, and feel that differences will not shut them out of heaven. A man must be right on this subject, or he is lost forever. Heaven or hell, happiness or misery, life or death, blessing or cursing in the last day – all hinges on the answer to this question: “What do you think about the cross of Christ?” (Quotes taken from J.C. Ryle The Cross: A Call to the Fundamentals of Religion.)

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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What I Learned In Church This Week

Say we came to church every Lord’s Day with our own personal interests in mind, like for instance, all of them. We have certain expectations like what Hymns to sing… I didn’t like that Hymn, the sermon was really good but! The pews are so hard. Again, somebody is in my seat, now where are we going to sit? The music is way to loud, too soft… What about me? What about my interests! What about my expectations when I come to church. I constantly have to remind myself this one overwhelming truth, It’s not about me! It’s about others and more importantly it’s about Him. There are many reasons why we come to church but a few come to mind. I love the introduction to the first epistle of John… He writes:

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life- 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us- 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. 1 John 1:1-4

After hearing the Words of life from whom ever brought the gospel to us with those beautiful feet and we believed…  We as believers now have fellowship with the Father and with Christ and all other believers throughout the church of Christ, we are never out of fellowship by salvation in Christ. Then there are these little assembly’s within the Body of Christ where we meet to fellowship with the Father and with Christ and with each other and that’s a beautiful thing!

Then why? Why do we come to church? Because we love Him and we want to praise Him and bless Him… I will tell of Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You. Psalm 22:22 Lift up your hands to the sanctuary And bless the Lord. Psalm 134:2 It honors Him on the Lord’s Day though we are not bound by the law, Christian have always honored God after the resurrection of Christ, called Lord’s Day Acts 20:7 Who’s Day? The Lord’s. I have often wondered what John meant when he wrote “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” Revelation 1:10 That’s deep fellowship with the Lord… This reminds me that I must be near Him and fear Him who is Holy Psalm 25:14 All this other stuff might be important but secondary to Him and Him alone.

Why do we come to church?  To stimulate one another to love and good deeds. We come to church to stir each other in Christian activity. encouraging one anotherHebrews 10:24, 25. Paul says to regard one another as more important than yourselves Philippians 2:3  We need each other, we need each others spiritual gifts  We are called to exercise them, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: Romans 12:5, 6 We are responsibly to use these God-given gifts as good stewards, and no gift is self-sufficient and no gifts are trivial or unnecessary. We come to church as one body in Christ, members of one another.

Why do we come to Church? To be taught the word of God by the leaders of the Church and to be led in worship by them. The writer of Hebrews again says Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with “joy and not with grief”, for this would be unprofitable for you. Hebrews 13:17 Paul reminds us to appreciate” those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 1 Thessalonians 5:12 For they refresh your spirit and should be acknowledge. 1 Corinthians 16:18 The leaders of the church give us instructions in the Lord, they exhort us, rebuke us, they love us and encourage us and strengthen us. Titus 2:15 1 Timothy 4:13 2 Timothy 4:2 We come to church to build and equip ourselves for the outside world, to always have an answer for the hope that is in us. 1 Peter 3:15

Christ died for the church Ephesians 5:25 and set up the local church for us who believe. Acts 2:41, 42 We are called to serve Him faithfully and those who are His.

So Paul says… Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. When we are doing that! The expectations that we have coming to church will be to praise Him and serve others, and everything else will work itself out.

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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MacArthur Monday

The Agony of the Cup (Mark 14:32-42)

“In the thirty-three years of our Lord’s life in this world, as God incarnate in human flesh, He had been constantly exposed to the sorrows of life, very well aware of them as He was aware of absolutely everything not only what was visible, and what was knowable outside of Him, but what He knew because He knew what the heart of man was like, meant that He not only saw people suffer, but He felt their pain. He understood the grief and the sorrow that goes along with a fallen world, sin, disease, unbelief, ignorance, rebellion, rejection, disobedience, suffering, poverty, loss and certainly death. He saw and felt all of those exigencies of human suffering, even gave temporary relief to them, showing His compassion as He healed people, cast demons out of them, raised the dead, fed the hungry crowds. This was a kind of temporary physical reprieve from the sorrows of life, for the brief three years of His ministry. It was also a preview of His Kingdom. He will return to establish an earthly Kingdom and in that Kingdom suffering will be severely mitigated and diminished. Sorrow will be diminished with it. Life will be lengthened. Health will be increased. But that will, even at its best, only be a preview of heaven where there is no sickness, no sadness, no crying, no tears and no death.”  Listen to the whole sermon below…

 ”The experience in the Garden, Satan’s hope is, will drive Jesus to say to the Father, “No, I can’t do it.” And if Satan succeeds in that, then hell is the only place people will ever live forever. Heaven will be empty. God’s Word will be untrue. The promise of salvation a lie. And Satan is really the sovereign. This is the great, great battle. This is the great battle. And no wonder the struggle was so severe that Jesus said, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death.”

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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The Preciousness of Jesus Christ

May Your love be the daily theme of my meditations, and the constant joy of my heart! I hope this would be the prayer of our hearts as we go to fellowship on todays Lord’s Day and worship the One we love!

This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, This became the very corner stone,” 1 Peter 2:7

O blessed Jesus, Your love is wonderful! It is the admiration, joy and song of glorified saints. The experimental sense of Your love on earth sweetens the bitterness of life and disarms death of all its terrors! It was love which moved You to bow the heavens, to come down and sojourn on earth, to humble Yourself, to take on You the form of a servant, and become obedient onto death, even the death of the cross! You pitied me in my lost estate.

You sought and found me when I sought You not. You spoke peace to me in the day of my distress, when the clouds of guilt and darkness hung heavy on my soul and I was brought to the borders of despair. You have borne with all my weakness, corrected my mistakes, restored me from my wanderings, and healed my backslidings. May Your lovingkindness be ever before my eyes to induce me to walk in Your truth. May Your love be the daily theme of my meditations, and the constant joy of my heart! Taken from John Fawcett Christ Precious.

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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A little of this and a little of that

Boundaries by Phil Johnson… We’re often told by gurus of church-growth and guardians of postmodern values in the evangelical community that we mustn’t erect “boundaries.” I gather from the way such comments are often bandied about that the word boundaries is supposed to have totally negative connotations. Honestly: I don’t see why. I can understand how worldly people… Read the rest Here

On Cars, Vows and the Slow Death of the Church by Carl Trueman… A friend just brought the following article to my attention.  It is worth reading and a reminder that the cultural influence of evangelicals is waning even as the noise within evangelicalism about ‘engaging the culture’ (whatever the verb and the singular noun may mean — who knows?) is increasing. One particular aspect of the article started my synapses firing: the idea of church shopping… Read the rest Here

Have you even wondered how The valley of dry bones in Ezekiel really means without being spiritualized? Pastor Jim McClarty talks about the necessity of letting the words of the Bible speak for themselves — especially when God interprets His own actions. Here he talks about Ezekiel 37:1-10 and the valley of dry bones and lets God interpret it for Himself starting in Ezekiel 37:11 where the vision is explained… Watch this video Here

Saturday morning cartoons always makes me laugh, thanks Eddie

The Challenges We Face: A New Generation of Gospel Ministers Looks to the Future by Albert Mohler… “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” [2 Timothy 4:7]  Writing to Timothy, the Apostle Paul was able to look back on his ministry and declare satisfaction that he had finished his course. Paul would be the first to insist that his entire ministry was evidence of the grace and mercy of God, but he was assured that, by grace, he had finished his race… Read the rest Here

I’m just wondering if all this Tebow Mania truly brings glory to God… The Evangelical world has embraced him, he does seem like a great kid.. The secular world has joked about him… But all for the glory of God? :(  Though the bible does say let your light shine before men “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 I get that! But does Matthew 6:5 come into the play? There have been many devoted Christians in sports that when they score or make a great play just hand the ball off to the ref with humility and go pray in their closet, I don’t know! What do you think?


Soli Deo Gloria

Lenny

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Judas Departs, Jesus Talks “Glory”

When Judas departs he misses out on eternal life with Christ and instead gets an all paid trip to hell with the evil one… But he misses out on something just after he departs that I would have loved to have been a part of,  Jesus talking about His glory. I was reading in the gospel of John yesterday chapter 13 where Satan and Judas have their own thing going on John 13:27-30. Satan has a deep hold on Judas as we learned back in verse 2 During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him,” John 13:2. Jesus knows all this and says “What you do, do quickly.” Judas listens and goes immediately and we read “it was night”. One writer says far blacker night in the soul of Judas than in the sky over his head.” Another writer says “a night of gloom and remorse that would never end. It is always night when men turn their backs on the Savior.”

I love what Jesus says in John 13:31 when he (Judas) had gone out, Judas you can’t hear this, this is for My disciple only! Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately. John 13:31-32 There is something really special here that I needed to get a handle on, five times glorify or glorified is used… How is God glorified in Him? And how will God glorify Him in Himself? We’re talking God’s glory here, Moses asked God to show him His glory Exodus 33:18 and He placed Him in a clef of a rock Exodus 33:18-23 because Moses wouldn’t be able to handle all of God’s glory only the back parts, as 1 Timothy 6:16 says “who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see.” So if no man can see God, how does this all happen?

Are we looking at Jesus deity here? God the Father was glorifying God the Son, and God the Son was glorifying God the Father and we know that before the foundation of the world this great plan of redemption was predetermined and planned by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit Acts 2:23, Ephesians 1:10 and 11.

It says “Now is the Son of Man glorified” How is God glorified in Him? I think the writer of Hebrews answers a lot for me… In Hebrews we read that we are to be fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God Hebrews 12:2. How did Jesus glorify the Father? Look what He accomplish on the cross “it is finished!” Jesus says in this very gospel of John that “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was John 17:4, 5.

In the first chapter of John we read this “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 How will God glorify Him in Himself? The disciples are seeing God’s glory revealed in Jesus, Jesus dwelt with His people, just as God tabernacled with His people… God glorifies Him in Himself as we look to the resurrection and the ascension of Jesus, Just as God’s glory was revealed at the cross, it was revealed at the empty tomb “He is not here, for He has risen” Matthew 28:6

Up, Up and Away! Having been glorified by the Son of Man, God has taken Him out of death and glorified Him in Himself, giving us great hope and joy as He says He’s coming back…  And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9, 10 and 11

How is God glorified in us? We fight for the supreme seat, we fight for our agendas, we minimize and compromise His word and do not do what He says John 14:15. It’s all about us… But God’s glory will be revealed in us when we die to ourselves, when we have a fear, awe and reverence for who God is… When we consider others more important than ourselves, Philippians 2:3 Romans 12:10 Galatians 5:26 and summit to one another out of reverence and fear of Christ Ephesians 5:21 Jesus goes on to say to His disciples… A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34, 35

What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever, Jesus said ”‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ But He added something for us to consider as we close ’YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ Matthew 22:36-39 Seeking the welfare of those around us… Even denying ourselves for the good of others.

Two great commandments to live by.

That is how WE glorify God!

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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The Valley of Dry Bones

Pastor Jim McClarty talks about the necessity of letting the words of the Bible speak for themselves — especially when God interprets His own actions. Here he talks about Ezekiel 37:1-10 and the valley of dry bones and lets God interpret it for Himself starting in Ezekiel 37:11 where the vision is explained.

The Vision Explained

11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. 14 I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,” declares the LORD.’” Ezekiel 37:11-14

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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