Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

If I could just keep the first part of the first resolution!

Happy New Year!

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edward (1722-1723)

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ's sake.

Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad's of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.

2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new invention and contrivance to promote the aforementioned things.

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances don't hinder.

12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.

13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.

14. Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.

15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger to irrational beings.

16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

18. Resolved, to live so at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.

19. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.

20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.

21. Resolved, never to do anything, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.

(Resolutions 1 through 21 written in on setting in New Haven in 1722)

22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power; might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.

23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God's glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.

24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.

25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.

26. Resolved, to east away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.

27. Resolved, never willfully to omit anything, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.

28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.

30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.

31. Resolved, never to say anything at all against anybody, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.

32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that in Prov. 20:6, "A faithful man who can find?" may not be partly fulfilled in me.

33. Resolved, always to do what I can towards making, maintaining, establishing and preserving peace, when it can be without over-balancing detriment in other respects. Dec.26, 1722.

34. Resolved, in narration's never to speak anything but the pure and simple verity.

35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved. Dec. 18, 1722.

36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.

37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent, what sin I have committed, and wherein I have denied myself: also at the end of every week, month and year. Dec.22 and 26, 1722.

38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord's day. Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.

39. Resolved, never to do anything that I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or no; except I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.

40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723.

41. Resolved, to ask myself at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly in any respect have done better. Jan. 11, 1723.

42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.

43. Resolved, never henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's, agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12. Jan.12, 1723.

44- Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it. Jan.12, 1723.

45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. Jan.12 and 13.1723.

46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eve: and to be especially careful of it, with respect to any of our family.

47. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peace_able, contented, easy, compassionate, generous, humble, meek, modest, submissive, obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable, even, patient, moderate, forgiving, sincere temper; and to do at all times what such a temper would lead me to. Examine strictly every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5,1723.

48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723.

49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.

50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world. July 5, 1723.

51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned. July 8, 1723.

52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.

53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer. July 8, 1723.

54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.

55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.

56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether ~ have done my duty, and resolve to do it; and let it be just as providence orders it, I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty and my sin. June 9, and July 13 1723.

58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May27, and July 13, 1723.

59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times. May 12, July ii, and July 13.

60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination. July 4, and 13, 1723.

61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc. May 21, and July 13, 1723.

62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty; and then according to Eph. 6:6-8, do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man; "knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord." June 25 and July 13, 1723.

63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time. Jan.14' and July '3' 1723.

64. Resolved, when I find those "groanings which cannot be uttered" (Rom. 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those "breakings of soul for the longing it hath," of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be wear', of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness. July 23, and August 10, 1723.

65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton's 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26, and Aug.10 1723.

66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.

67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.

68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help. July 23, and August 10, 1723.

69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. Aug. 11, 1723.

70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.

Aug. 17, 1723

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

True Repentance

From a sermon by C.H. Spurgeon entitled "Faith And Repentance Inseparable," delivered July 13, 1862.



HT: http://www.thedailyspurgeon.com

Monday, December 28, 2009

The BIBLE Driven Church (Jeff Noblit)



Full message can be heard here

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Meaning of Christmas


For many of us, Christmas is one of our favorite times of the year. It is nice to get a break from our normal routines and to spend time with our family and friends. Many families have special Christmas customs and traditions, involving decorations, meals, songs, and the exchanging of gifts with loved ones. All of these things are very nice, but is this the true meaning of Christmas?

It seems that every year the stores put up their Christmas displays earlier and earlier, and that each year there is increasing pressure to buy more and more expensive gifts. There also seems to be a competition to see who can put up the largest and most elaborate display of decorations. With all of these things, it is very easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas.

But as we strip away the layers of glitter, commercialism, and tradition that surround the celebration of Christmas, the holiday's true meaning becomes easier to see. Here we can see a star that reminds us of the star that the wise men followed two thousand years ago while seeking the newborn King. Who is this King? As the angels said to the shepherds, "Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11). Christmas is the day that we celebrate the birth of the Christ--Jesus the Son of God.

What was the reason that Jesus left his home in heaven to come to this world? Was it simply to do good works, or to leave an example for us to follow? No, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15). He came to deal once and for all with the problem of sin that separates every one of us from God. "But I'm not a sinner!" you might say. Have you ever lied? Have you ever had an impure thought? God's Word is very true when it says, "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

Yes, we are all sinners, and if judged on our own merits, would all come short of heaven. Sadly, many people don't realize that "Every one of us shall give account of himself to God" and that "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (Romans 14:12; John 3:36). But here is where the distractions of the holiday disappear completely and the true meaning of Christmas becomes clear to see. Christmas is all about God's great love for us and the priceless gift that He offers to all.

This gift, the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23), was purchased when Jesus, the sinless Sacrifice, died on the cross for our sins. Now He is risen from the dead and offers eternal life to everyone who will confess their sins to Him and trust Him as their Saviour. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). If you have never made Jesus your Saviour, do it now. Then you can celebrate the true meaning of Christmas!

Scripture verses quoted from the King James Version (KJV).

Source: Moments With The Book, www.mwtb.org

Monday, December 21, 2009

John Piper - Why Christmas?



Full video @: http://tiny.cc/OQn1b

Where Does the Story of Christmas Begin?

Listen to Albert Mohler answer the question: Where Does the Story of Christmas Begin here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Santa Preaches The Gospel




Movie script quotes with scripture references

"Sure. Well, I mentioned that Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus Christ. He was born about 2000 years ago, and the bible tells of how he was born in a manger." Luke 2:7

"In the book of Matthew it says of Mary, she will bear a Son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill, what the Lord had spoken by the prophet. Behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which means, God with us." Matthew 1:21-23

"Another name in the Bible given to Jesus is the Word. In the book of John it says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:1-3

"God is holy, and just. His justice, which is perfect, demands payment for sin which is ethernal punishment in hell. We deserve this punishment, because the bible says we are all sinners. So, Jesus was born of the holy spirit by the miracle of the virgin birth, and lived the perfect life we could not live." Romans 6:23, Romans 3:23, Matthew 1:23

"Exactly, and He took the punishment for our sin by dying on the cross. We know that Jesus sacrifice on the cross saved us, because God raised him from the dead on the third day." Isaiah 53:6, Romans 5:8, 1 Corinthians 15:3-5

"Well,Jesus said in Mark 1:15, to repent, and believe the gospel. This is how a person can be saved, and go to heaven."

"Well, you're just a make believe snowman. He loves people. As he says in the book of John. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

"To those of you who are listening, I pray that you will turn away from your sin, and believe this good news today. Then you will receive the gift of eternal life. It is the greatest gift you will ever receive. May the Lord bless you this Christmas season." Romans 6:23

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Truth of the Nativity by John MacArthur

The story of the first Christmas is so beloved that singers and storytellers across the centuries have embellished and elaborated and mythologized the story in celebration. However, most people now don't know which details are biblical and which are fabricated. People usually imagine the manger scene with snow, singing angels, many worshipers, and a little drummer boy. None of that is found in the biblical account.

Christmas has become the product of an odd mixture of pagan ideas, superstition, fanciful legends, and plain ignorance. Add to that the commercialization of Christmas by marketers and the politicization of Christmas in the culture wars, and you're left with one big mess. Let's try to sort it out. The place to begin is in God's Word, the Bible. Here we find not only the source of the original account of Christmas, but also God's commentary on it.

We can't know Jesus if we don't understand He is real. The story of His birth is no allegory. We dare not romanticize it or settle for a fanciful legend that renders the whole story meaningless. Mary and Joseph were real people. Their dilemma on finding no room at the inn surely was as frightening for them as it would be for you or me. The manger in which Mary laid Jesus must have reeked of animal smells. So did the shepherds, in all probability. That first Christmas was anything but picturesque.

But that makes it all the more wondrous. That baby in the manger is God! Immanuel!

That's the heart and soul of the Christmas message. There weren't many worshipers around the original manger--only a handful of shepherds. But one day every knee will bow before Him, and every tongue will confess He is Lord (Philippians 2:9-11). Those who doubt Him, those who are His enemies, those who merely ignore Him--all will one day bow, too, even if it be in judgment.

How much better to honor Him now with the worship He deserves! That's what Christmas ought to inspire.

Unvarnished Truth

Luke 2:7 sets the scene: "[Mary] gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."

That verse is explicitly concerned with a lonely birth. There were no midwives, no assistance to Mary at all. The Bible doesn't even mention that Joseph was present. Perhaps he was, but if he was typical of first-time fathers, he would have been of little help to Mary. She was basically on her own.

Mary brought forth the child; she wrapped Him in swaddling cloths; and she laid Him in a manger. Where usually a midwife would clean the baby and wrap Him, there was no one. Mary did it herself. And where usually there would have been a cradle or basket for the baby, there was none. Mary had to put Him in an animal's feeding trough.

When Christ entered the world, He came to a place that had some of the smelliest, filthiest, and most uncomfortable conditions. But that is part of the wonder of divine grace, isn't it? When the Son of God came down from heaven, He came all the way down. He did not hang on to His equality with God; rather, He set it aside for a time and completely humbled Himself (Philippians 2:5-8).

Unlikely Testimony

Luke 2:8-20 describes the experience of the shepherds when Jesus was born. Think about that for a moment. Out of the whole of Jerusalem society, God picked a band of shepherds to hear the news of Jesus' birth. That's intriguing because shepherds were among the lowest and most despised social groups.

The very nature of shepherds' work kept them from entering into the mainstream of Israel's society. They couldn't maintain the ceremonial washings and observe all the religious festivals and feasts, yet these shepherds, just a few miles from Jerusalem, were undoubtedly caring for sheep that someday would be used as sacrifices in the temple. How fitting it is that they were the first to know of the Lamb of God!

More significant, they came to see Him the night he was born. No one else did. Though the shepherds went back and told everyone what they had seen and heard, and though "all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds" (v. 18), not one other person came to see firsthand.

Scripture doesn't describe how the shepherds' search for the baby Jesus actually unfolded, but it's not unreasonable to assume that they entered Bethlehem and asked questions: "Does anybody know about a baby being born here in town tonight?"

The shepherds might have knocked on several doors and seen other newborn babies before they found the special Child lying in the feeding trough. At that moment, those humble men knew for certain that the angels' announcement was a word from God. After their encounter with Joseph and Mary and Jesus, the shepherds couldn't help but tell others about what the angels had told them. They became, in effect, the first New Testament evangelists.

The shepherd's story is a good illustration of the Christian life. You first hear the revelation of the gospel and believe it (Romans 10:9-10). Then you pursue and embrace Christ. And having become a witness to your glorious conversion, you begin to tell others about it (Luke 2:17).

May God grant you the life-changing spiritual experiences and the ongoing attitude of enthusiasm and responsiveness that causes you to tell others that you, too, have seen Christ the Lord.

Adapted from God's Gift of Christmas.

Source: http://www.gty.org
© 1969-2009. Grace to You. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Half a Gospel is no Gospel at all - Alistair Begg

Alistair Begg is the senior pastor at Parkside Church near Cleveland, Ohio. He can be heard daily and weekly on the radio program, Truth For Life.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Purpose Driven Life - John MacArthur



HT: http://watcherslamp.blogspot.com

What Happened At Christmas?

Pastor Mark Driscoll continues the series entitled: Luke: Investigating The Man Who Is God. This clip is taken from Part 7: The Birth Of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Merry Christmas” Rather than “Happy Holidays”?

Should Christians Care About Whether Retailers Say “Merry Christmas” Rather than “Happy Holidays”? by Ken Eastburn

To some, this may seem like a ridiculous question and to others this question is of the upmost importance. It is one that has recently been asked by an increasing number of Christians with the help of folks like Liberty Counsel and Focus on the Family. Liberty Counsel recently released their “Naughty and Nice” list indicating which retailers do not recognize Christmas (“naughty”) and which do (“nice”) as part of their Friend or Foe campaign while Focus on the Family launched a new website allowing consumers to rate how Christmas-friendly retailers are. That way, when we go shopping, we know it is going to be with a retailer who doesn’t offend us by saying “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings.”

After all, if we’re going to indulge our consumerist greed on the occasion of the birth of our Savior, we need to make sure we’re doing it with those retailers who say words we like, right?

Well, now that I’ve said that, you probably guessed that my answer to the question is, “No, we shouldn’t care.” But if you’re on the other side of the fence, allow me to explain why I feel this way:

Only Pharisees Clean the Outside of Cups While Leaving the Insides Filthy

As I’ve noted elsewhere, Jesus and Paul were both surprisingly silent on how secular culture conducted itself. Paul even went so far as to say that the Christian has no business judging those outside of the Church (1 Corinthians 5:12-13). This exposes our faulty thinking. You see, the only reason why we care about whether secular businesses say “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays” is because for some reason we expect non-Christians to act like Christians. Even worse, we actually want non-Christians to act like Christians and are willing to throw around our collective weight to ensure that it happens.

So what’s the problem with that? It is a self-defeating goal. It is like tolerance…if it works, there is no reason to solve the real problem – in this case, their unbelief and/or their unwillingness to commit to Christ. Jesus said that this was cleaning outside of the cup while leaving the inside (the part that matters) filthy. He said that to the Pharisees (Matthew 23:25-26). Do we really want to go down this road?

Boycotting Non-Christian Retailers Sends The Wrong Message

I’m surprised that neither Liberty Counsel or Focus on the Family ever stopped to ask this simple question, but that’s okay, I’ll ask it for them:

What message is being sent to those “naughty” retailers when Christians boycott their stores?

There are a few that come to mind: do what we want or else; if you don’t cater to us exclusively, we’ll take offense; we will love you if/we will hate you if; etc. But guess which one isn’t being communicated? That’s right, the Gospel message – you know, the one that says that even while we were sinners, Christ died for us? The one that says that God loves us no matter what we do? That the gift of salvation is readily available to anyone who will believe and repent, committing to follow Jesus and make him Lord?

You know, the one that we are to be preaching at all times, in all circumstances, to all people?

Turns out, when we’re busy boycotting people and throwing our weight around to ensure their demise, we cannot simultaneously communicate the love of God to them. Now, I’m not saying that by giving them your money, you are communicating the Gospel to them. I’m just saying that boycotting them doesn’t communicate it and it can’t. At the very least, if you were to shop at one of these retailers, you could communicate the Gospel to the employees there and that could turn the business around.

Which brings another point to the forefront: just because a retailer doesn’t say “Merry Christmas” doesn’t mean there aren’t Christians employed there. And if you’re boycotting the retailer, are you not also harming your brothers and sisters in Christ by ensuring the business, and by extension the employees, don’t make as much money? We could be putting other Christians out of work for the sake of two words.

Is it worth it?

It Is A Distraction From Our Real Goal

Just after Jesus was resurrected he appeared to his disciples and gave them these instructions:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

I just cannot square this “Merry Christmas” uproar with the Great Commission. I cannot see how boycotting retailers for not saying words we like is creating disciples. Can you? Can you tell me how this is advancing the Kingdom of God? Can you tell me how God is pleased with us when we bully non-Christian retailers into “respecting” Christian beliefs to the exclusion of all others? Can you tell me why Jesus would engage in this type of activity?

If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What do you think? Is the phrase “Merry Christmas” important enough for us to pick a fight about it? Why or why not?

You can comment here or at the source below.

Source: http://leavethebuildingblog.com

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Whoever believes will be saved - John Piper



They Will Be Taught Of God
John 6: 41-51
December 6, 2009
Full video here.

HT: Truth Matters

Monday, December 7, 2009

Why Did Jesus Have To Die? - Thabiti Anyabwile

Thabiti Anyabwile is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. He was previously an assistant pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church (Washington, DC).



HT: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Agony by Leonard Ravenhill

Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994) was an English Christian evangelist and author who focused on the subjects of prayer and revival. He is best known for challenging the modern church and his most notable book is Why Revival Tarries.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Shepherds

While they faithfully looked after their sheep at night in the fields outside of Bethlehem, suddenly "the glory of the Lord shone round about them," and an angel proclaimed in their ears a message of good tidings for all.

What the Shepherds Heard Luke 2:8-14

"Fear not," said the angel, expressing Heaven's desire. Sin has produced fear in man's heart, but this message is intended to dispel it.

"I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." What a contrast with earth's news! Heaven's message--the Gospel--is truly "good news," and the reception of it brings joy to all!

"Unto you" introduces a personal appeal. "Is born this day in the city of David," tells a specific and definite fact. "A Saviour" reveals the necessity of the Gift. "Which is Christ the Lord" shows how wondrous in grace and majesty is the Person!

Then a sign was given to them, that they should find this glorious Saviour "wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." Suddenly, all was confirmed to them by a multitude of the Heavenly host breaking forth in chorus: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

What the Shepherds Did Luke 2:15-20

What they heard stirred them to an immediate decision. They said, "Let us now go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which the Lord hath made known to us." They could not be neutral about the matter; they dared not be indifferent concerning it. Faith in the message led them to instant action.

"They came with haste." The glory of the revelation from Heaven had gripped their hearts. Faith's acceptance of the message compelled them to go to Bethlehem with urgency. Such faith was rewarded, for they "found ... the Babe lying in a manger." Christ the Lord, the Subject of Heaven's "Good Tidings"--and the Object of their search--was before them.

"They made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this Child." Their testimony was the result of their faith. Returning to the fields to take up their responsibilities, they are now filled with a new joy, and are heard "glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them."

Dear Reader, the message from Heaven is still being proclaimed. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15). On Calvary's cross, where He "suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18), He finished the work necessary to redeem you from sin. Now He is risen from the dead--no longer in the manger, on the Cross, or in the tomb. He lives! And ...

"Now from the Glory He waits to impart
Peace to the conscience and joy to the heart;
Waits to be gracious, to pardon and heal
All who their sin and their wretchedness feel."


Will you believe the message as the Shepherds did? Will you now come to the Saviour through repentance and faith and be eternally blessed? Repentance is turning from your sins and all efforts to save yourself, realizing that you are on a path that leads you away from God. Faith is putting your trust in Jesus Christ and the work He accomplished on the cross as all that is necessary for your salvation. Jesus says, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37).

"Thousands have fled to His spear-pierced side,
Welcomed they all have been--none are denied;
Weary and laden, they all have been blessed;
Joyfully now in the Saviour they rest."


--D.T.J.

Scripture verses quoted from the King James Version (KJV).

Source: Moments With The Book, www.mwtb.org

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It Will Cost You Everything

What does it cost you to follow Christ? Everything. Steve Lawson preaches on Luke 14 on the Cost of Discipleship. The sad reality is that many people are just part of a crowd, many are in the crowd of those who listen to Piper, Washer, Conway, MacArthur, yet they themselves have not truly submitted to the Lordship of Christ. Search yourself out this very day... have you come to saving faith? Or do you just wish you had the reality of Christ that you see others have? Don't be part of the wrong crowd.