Being a great teacher or student of the Bible is about learning to ask great questions. Tyler Ellis has made this easier than ever his new book, Question Everything. Unbelievably the book has a question for every verse in the New Testament. You may think I’m joking, but you can check it out HERE on amazon.
Think about your children, what are all the needs they will have in their lifetime? Physical, Social, Emotional. In “The Sensation of Being Somebody”, Maurice Wagner suggests that all these needs could be grouped into three categories.
How do people go about trying to gain acceptance, security, significance?
All of these are really good things; things we consider blessings. But can we really depend on these to meet our primary needs?
What happens if a relationship fails? Or what if we lose our job or our savings? What if our children don’t turn out the way we hoped? What if the new pastor changes the church we love?
Only, in and through a personal relationship with Jesus can these greatest needs be permanently satisfied. Our faith relationship with Christ is brought into reality through His promises in the Scripture. 2 Peter 3:3-4 reads,
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Below are just a few of these promises. Memorize these and remind yourself and your children that Christ is the truth, not our feelings, and in him all of our needs have been and will be meet.
- 1 John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
- Romans 8:35-39 “ Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ”
- 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
As most everyone in our area knows, my beloved Golden Eagle Football team had a perfect winless season in 2012. That’s right 0-12. At one point in the season I wanted to blog, Facebook, or tweet, and make some derogatory comments about “The Fall”, but really I couldn’t find adequate words to describe what it was like going from 12-2 in 2011 to 0-12. However sights and sounds from a cold wet week in Hattiesburg are already showing the changes in attitudes that have come with our new coaching staff. Watching this video challenges me.
Watching this caused me to ask questions about the level of my spiritual hunger. Do I desire God enough that when it’s raining on the inside of me, when I’m dreary and don’t feel like it, that I will rise up go out to Jesus. Will I open up the Word and turn up the music and allow God again to remind me that “I am not my own.” We have a choice here. We can either let our emotions determine our Spiritual life, or we can make a determination to push through the resistance of the things that keep us from growing. It make take extreme measures, but let’s get moving. I’m ready to get on the road, back to the top. -TD
For the past few years we’ve been teaching our kids the Shorter Catechism from the book “Training hearts Teaching Minds”. This week’s Catechism is about Justification. I can’t tell you how important it is that we understand Justification. I’m convinced that most Christians (me included) only get the “Jesus paid my debt part.” If only could fully understand that His righteousness is now ours- that changes everything!
From Page 111 on Justification.
How can God accept us as righteous in His sight when we are not righteous at all? “He does so only because He counts the righteousness of Christ as ours.” Imagine that you need a great deal of money from something important. However, not only do you not have a great deal of money you are deeply in dept. Along comes your friend who has worked hard for years to build a big savings account in the bank. He feels sorry for you and offers to pay your bills. Now you are no longer in debt. This is something like Jesus paying for our sin by His death on the cross. Now we no longer owe God anything for all our sings against Him.
However, just because your friend paid your debt does not mean that you have solved your problem. You still need a great deal of money and you have absolutely none. So now your friend does something else for you. He has your name added to his bank account so that now you can use all his money. This is something like Jesus living a life of perfect obedience to God in our place. He is the One who is righteous. He is the One who did the obeying, but all His righteousness is credit to us. God counts the righteousness of Christ as ours.
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Sermon Notes from: Proverbs 12:12-27
INTRO: Spoken words paint a picture of a possible future. They are prophetic in guiding our lives and the lives of others. The goal of this message is one to help you understand just how important words are; how they ultimately determine the direction of our live. The goal is also to challenge you to use your words to encourage and build up others
• The God who speaks created creatures who speak.
• In the beginning how did God spoke the world into creation (Gen 1)
• Then sends Christ as the Word made flesh (John 1:1-3,14)
• Jesus demonstrated the power of words by using his words to build up the down cast, rebuke the self-righteous, heal the sick, open blind eyes, and raise others from the dead. He would speak over them and things would happen. When we are dealing with words; we often fail to understand the power of these words.
Proverbs Chapter 12:12-27 – Just Sayin’
The Power of Spoken Words
What you say will trap or save you. v 13
- What we say has a way of coming back to bite us.
Examples of being trapped by your words
- Parents threating kids, but no action taken
- Religions Teachers trying to trap Jesus
What you say will reward you. v 14
- What you say determines what you receive.
- Spoken words paint a picture of a possible future. They are prophetic in guiding our lives and the lives of others.
- The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Prov 18:21 (NIV)
- We all have thought coursing through our minds. We’ve learn this summer that not all our thoughts originate in our own minds. Thoughts can come into the mind from the dark side, the spirit world, Satan and his forces. However once we start to speak those words we take a step toward making those e words a reality.
- Our words guide our lives “When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boast.” James 3:3-5 (NIV)
What you say will build-up or tear-down others. v17-18
FBV 18 Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Prov 12:18 (NIV)
You may not beat your wife, you may not beat your children physically, but reckless words pierce like a sword?
- You are stupid
- You are good for nothing.
- You are just like (insert losers name).
You are BAD.
But we dress up our tear downs with Just Sayin or Bless their Hearts.
But the tong of the wise brings healing.
Now this passage turns toward some things that we need to ask ourselves about our words. We want our words to paint a promising future for ourselves and for others around us. There for we must ask ourselves these questions.
3 Questions to ask yourself in order to speak wise words that heal.
Is what I’m saying true? v19,v22
- Women: Lie most about their weight and their age
- Men: Lie most about their age and their income
- Many People lie about church Membership.
God would rather have you truthful about your faults, than lying about your strengths.
If we were all honest there are times when we lie. Now we have “great reasons”, we don’t’ want to hurt someone. Or we don’t’ want others to think badly of us so we lie. Unfortunately from some of us this has become such a habit that we no longer see this. God character is true. He stands against thoughts that lie. But I’m a Christian. IF you are a Christian you will be convicted about your lying. Allow God to change that it you. When you speak, speak the truth in love.(Eph 4:15)
Is what I’m saying few? v23
The average American opens his mouth 700 every day and utters around 3500 each day. Some of you more, some of you much more, and some of us less. But we are a verbal culture. Before the development of writing as a technology people learning verbally. History, Culture, trade was taught not using books , buy passed on from one generation to the next by speaking.
Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. As good as you are you can’t talk and listen as the same time. Using few words allows you to be a better listener, and practice the ministry of presence (Just Being There). Being in someone’s life. I’ve visited with families who have lost children, who have lost parents, who have lost jobs, who are dying and the best thing to say is very little. Just be there.
Eccl 5:2 Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
- Is what I’m saying due? v25
There are people in your life waiting for your words. Words of encouragement. Word to build them up. Words of the wise that bring healing.
- The Bible tells us at the culmination of history “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil 2:10-11 (NIV)
- “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:8-10
- Spouses are waiting for words.
- Kids are waiting for words.
- Coworkers are waiting for words.
- Parents are waiting for words.
- Brothers and Sisters are waiting for words
The difficult ard part about these messages is not being a hypocrite. The power of message is not in hearing, but in doing. So in prep for this part I had to make some phone calls this week. And as I stepped out in obedience. I started calling some of the people in my life for whom words were due.
Who do you to need to call or sit down and talk with this week?
What word do they need to hear and you need to say?
Allow God to use this!
Let your words be true, let them be few, and let them be due.
There’s a BIG difference between “believing in God” and “believing God”. This importance cannot be over emphasized!
I’m concerned for those who build a religions image around “believing in God”. I suppose we all begin our spiritual journey with a general idea of “believing in God”; but if we truly believe there is a God ; wouldn’t we desire to know Him more?
A person doesn’t have to read the Bible or go to church to believe in God. But if we do believe in Him; wouldn’t we want to invest our time in things to help us know more about Him? It seems to me that our behaviors confirm our beliefs and if we believe there is a God we will seek him through the church and through the scriptures. And as we grow spiritually we will move from simply “believing in God”, to “believing God”; His word, His character, and His leading in our lives. This is what it really means to have faith IN God.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)
Recently I’ve been a part of conversations and heard stories about Christians, who are potentially over-reacting to others who say that we shouldn’t take the Bible literally. I’m certainly not a scholar on the issues of Biblical interpretation, but I want to attempt to bring out one point that may make peace with some who are being branded as Heretics.
When we hear others say that we shouldn’t take the Bible literally, we need to ask them a few questions to determine exactly what parts of the scripture they are referring to. I’m not saying that some parts are the scripture are not inspired. I believe, as 2 Timothy 3:16 states that, “All
Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” I also hold to the verbal-plenary theory of inspiration for scripture.
However, we must remember that while the scriptures record exactly what God inspired, that some of what God inspired was intended to illustrate. And by nature some of these illustrations contain metaphors. The scripture is comprised of different genres that involves narratives and poems; songs and wisdom writing, personal letters and apocalyptic text. These varieties of text demand that we consider what is being said from God, in light of how it was communicated by the human writers. The Gospels are full of Jesus using parables (stories) and metaphors “the kingdom of heaven is like…” to get his point across. Often, after using some of these stories, Jesus would tell his disciples the literal meaning behind the stories.
I am aware that there are those out there who are saying that the entire scripture shouldn’t be taken literally and that is Heresy, but there are definitely passages where the writer/speaker themselves were not intending to be literal within the context of what was being communicated. So, In the future, when political candidates, family, friends, or co-workers say that we shouldn’t take the Bible literally, we should just ask them, “What Parts?” they are referring to. It’s their answer to that questions the will help us understand exactly where they are coming from.
Feel free to comment to continue this discussion or to clarify something I have written. To HIM be glory.
[This was reposted from July 2008)
I wish someone had reminded me five years ago that my current season of my life would soon be changing. I think sometime we get so focused on where we are that we forget where we are going.
There are times when we are entering a new season. Maybe starting new job, beginning a marriage or having a baby. With these seasons come excitement, expectation, and some anxiety.
At other times we find ourselves in the middle of life’s seasons. These seasons can seem long and can start to seem like they will never end. Work, tending to children and the daily grind of life can keep us from thinking about what’s ahead.
Finally, there are the closing of life’s season. Fall is my favorite time of year, yet it reminds me that winter is on the way. What is alive today will soon pass and the current season of life, whether filled with difficulty or joy, will soon pass away.
What matters today is that we live with one eye on eternity. There, the temporary seasons of this life will pass away and all that will remain is that one eternal season where we stand in HIS presence and enjoy HIS Season forever.
“And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:23-27
We are a little over 24 hours way from Hurricane Isaac making land fall somewhere along the Gulf Coast. This morning, August 27th, my scripture reading just happened to be in Proverbs 27. In this chapter I noticed three verses that apply directly to practical storm preparation. God’s wisdom is timeless and relevant each day of our lives. I hope these verses help you in your storm preparation.
- Verse 1 – Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
Only God knows how things will play out. We often look at the news and assume the experts know what will happen. The closer the storm gets to land, to less room they have for error. We should not confidently state our plans for tomorrow, it may not turn out as we think.
- Verse 10 – Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend, and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.
This is very practical wisdom, but can easily get lost in a day where we have withdrawn from our neighbors. The one thing we discovered from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was our neighbors. In an emergency situation we need to rely on those close by as oppose to family how may live far away. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Verse 12 – The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.
It’s easy to allow a previous experience to make us complacent about oncoming danger. We can wrongly assume because a previous experience didn’t harm us, that a similar experience will not as well. The prudent SEE the danger coming and make preparation, but not the simple. The simple think to themselves they will not be affected and ultimately it is their lack of vigilance that cost them.
“There is no one else. I just don’t love you anymore.” Over the last several years I’ve heard this from friends whose spouses were giving up on their marriage. IN EVERY CASE, it was discovered later that there WAS “someone else”; even though it was being denied at the time. If you are married you have to be off the market, if you expect your relationship to last. I thought I would repost this blog from August 2008 titled, “Marriage and Divorce: What’s love got to do with it?”
Let’s say the in a world of 6 billion humans, there are 50,000 people you could have met and fallen in love with. Then, let’s say that out of that 50,000, there is an inner group of 500 you could have a far superior marriage with. And a still smaller group of, say, 50 that would be the cream of the crop. And then, there is one of that number with whom you could have the best marriage imaginable. Okay, you’ve got the picture – a lot of concentric circles.
Now, just for the sake of making a point, let’s say here is Fred who gets out of school, takes a job, and one day meets Edna. They are attracted to each other, fall in love, and begin to make wedding plans. They visit the pastor and announce to him, “We want to get married.” And the pastor, being a pretty sharp fellow says, “Why? And they naturally answer (what else?) “We love each other.” To their surprise, the pastor says, “What’s that got to do with it?” “Uh, how’s that?” asks Fred. “Fred and Edna,” the minster says, “There are 49,999 others out there you might have fallen in love with. Just because you love someone does not mean you marry them.” But his point passes right over them and they become Husband Fred and Wife Edna
Then, let’s say within 3-7 years, Fed and Edna have moved to another city and in their neighborhood, Fred meets Louise. Well, spars fly. Fred has just encountered one of his inner circles of 50. (Are you with me now?) He is hooked. Boy, is Louise special. He thinks about her day and night, and soon becomes aware that she feels the same way. Psychologists tell us there is something called ‘the expulsive power of a new affection.’ What that means is that a new love blows the old one out of the water. Compared to the way Fred now swoons over Louise, he is convinced he never did actually love Edna. “At least,” he says to himself, “not in the way a man out to love a woman.” (Remember the roles could be reversed it could be Edna infatuated with another man.”
So eventual, Fred drops in on the pastor and says, “I want to get a divorce.” The minister asks, “Why?” Fred says, “Because I don’t love Edna anymore.” (No one ever admits to the pastor they’ve fallen in love with someone else. No one, ever.) And the pastor still on the ball and to the point, asks, “What’s that got to do with it?” Fred sits there bumfuzzled, wondering why this preacher doesn’t understand simple logic. Doesn’t everybody know you get married when you fall in love and get divorced when you fall out?
“Fred” the pastor continues “You don’t get divorced because you don’t love each other anymore.” “If the two of you are genuine disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, then the only question is, “What is the will of God? That’s it. If you decided that it is God’s will for you to get married, then that takes care of all the people you will be meeting and feeling attracted to in the future. They are not God’s will for you and therefore are ‘off limits’ to you, and you can get on with your life.
The story goes on to point out that marriage is a covenant between God and a Husband and a Wife. It is not based on feelings but on commitment. Love is an act of the will that flows out of the commitment, not the determining factor of the commitment. So remember the vows you’ve spoken before the Lord and do not break the covenant you establish with the spouse of your youth.