Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Thought for the Day

The death of Christ in our stead is the basis of His intercession for us. He intercedes for us on the merits of His sinless life, His sacrificial and substitutionary death, and the propitiation provided by His blood.

Romans 8:34
Hebrews 2:17
Hebrews 7:25
Hebrews 9:11-12,26
I John 4:10

Monday, September 08, 2008

God has Spoken

Through the ages God has spoken,
Spoken to His called out ones,
Promises that can't be broken
Culminating in His Son.

Through the ages God foretold us,
Telling of His eternal plan,
Giving us a hope so joyous
That He would come to us as man.

God has spoken to His loved ones
Through His prophets, in His Son,
Calling us out of sin's deep darkness
To the Light, Maker of the sun.

God is calling to salvation
Every tongue and every nation.
Hear him now your heart don't harden.
Call out to Him, receive full pardon.

God is calling, stop and listen.
Heed His call, live in His freedom.
Listen now with hearts wide open.
Receive His Word and His salvation.

For the ages which can't be counted
God has spoken what is to come.
A new creation where all is holy
No place for sin for all is holy,
Created anew, free from corruption.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Unexpected Confirmation

In addition to pastoring a new church start up, I also teach a men's group on Monday evening. This group is made up of men from different churches. Last fall we had a man attend that we all know and who is now back on staff at a local church. This particular church is the "hot church" in Midland and really focuses on being new and not your grandmother's church. During the session that evening I made the comment that it was not the job of the church to make people feel good about themselves. Well, you could see this man stiffen up immediately, and he began to make some comments to counteract what I had said. As you might guess, he did not come back.

Personally, I don't believe that the church/pastor is supposed to make people feel better about themselves, I believe that it is the church's/pastor's job to speak the truth and have the people see the truth about themselves and about God.

This morning I came across something that J.I. Packer wrote and it is good to see that someone as astute and respected as Jim Packer sees things the same way. He wrote....for the substitute product does not answer the ends for which the authentic gospel has in past days proved itself so mighty. The new gospel conspicuously fails to produce deep reverence, deep repentance, deep humility, a spirit of worship, a concern for the church. Why? We would suggest that the reason lies in its own character and content. It fails to make men God-centered in their thoughts and God-fearing in their hearts, because this is not primarily what it is trying to do. One way of stating the difference between it and the old gospel is to say that it is too exclusively concerned to be "helpful" to man--to bring peace, comfort, happiness, satisfaction--and too little concerned to glorify God. ...Whereas the chief aim of the old was to teach men to worship God, the concern of the new seems limited to making them feel better. The subject of the old gospel was God and His ways with men; the subject of the new is man and the help God gives him. There is a world of difference. The whole perspective and emphasis of gospel preaching has changed. ...part of the biblical gospel is now preached as if it were the whole of that gospel; and a half-truth masquerading as the whole truth becomes a complete untruth.

This was written in 1959. How prophetic for the American church today. If you have read Ian Murray's Evangelicalism Divided you can see how this played out in England in the middle of the 20th century and then jumped the pond to start the same cycle over here in the eighties. Where England is now spiritually is where the US will be shortly unless God intervenes. Will He? Let us be praying that He will.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Set Your Heart

"Set your heart on knowing God and He will reveal Himself through His word; set your heart on serving Him and you will not lack the opportunity to do so. But set your heart on nothing of spiritual consequence, and that is precisely what you will receive--nothing of spiritual consequence."

Sinclair Ferguson
"A Heart for God"
Page 125