Sunday, November 9, 2008

djr - 1960 -2008

David was a friend of mine

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Reformation Day

In the midst of the pomp and circumstance of Halloween, let me offer a nod to Reformation Day

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted some advice to the Pope - his 95 Thesis. What started as an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church, quickly spread to become the Protestant Reformation.

While many things came from the reformation, one thing is (to me) the most important - That every believer can read, interpret, and apply the bible in their own lives - indeed, Christianity's Dangerous Idea

So this day, in the midst of costumes and candy, of things we do to distract our children from the paganism and commercialism that has overtaken a once religious holiday, may I suggest pointing to that day which is well worth remembering.

Martin Luther penned this hymn - seldom sung in our modern churches, but well worth remembering

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Happy Reformation Day


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Is There Fellowship In Church Without Love?

And What Does Love Look Like in Fellowship?

The Nine Marks has a nice series on the church, with lesson six being on Fellowship. One of the interesting things is they do not talk about pot lucks, small groups, singing or any other action. All they focus on is Love.

Fellowship: Building a Bond of Unity

"Living as a Church"—Class 6

For the first few weeks of this class, we looked at some of the key building blocks of a healthy New Testament church. We explored the essential attributes of the church and considered how each of those fosters unity. We also thought about how we, as individual members, can promote unity.

Over the next two weeks, we turn to a different set of questions: How should church members relate to one another? What should their relationships look like? What does it mean to have healthy relationships in the church? Why should we care?

I. Love, and why it's important

So how should Christians relate to one another? What should characterize their relationships? The Bible actually has a lot to say about this, and the answer is pretty simple: Christians are to love.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Is it Love - Without Obedience?

The Christian cannot be certain of the reality and depth of his love until he comes face-to-face with the commandments of Christ and is forced to decide what to do about them. Then he will know. “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings” (John 14:24), said our Lord. “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me" (John 14:21). So the final test of love is obedience. Not sweet emotions, not willingness to sacrifice, not zeal, but obedience to the commandments of Christ. Our Lord drew a line plain and tight for everyone to see. On one side He placed those who keep His commandments and said, “These love Me.” On the other side He put those who keep not His sayings, and said, “These love Me not.”

A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Son's Love for His Father

A Eulogy for My Father

by Christopher Buckley

Do Christian Fundamentalists Truly Love God?

A provocative accusation by A.W. Tozer

Neither the word adoration nor any of its forms is found in our familiar King James Bible, but the idea is there in full bloom. The great Bible saints were, above all, enraptured lovers of God. The psalms celebrate the love which David (and a few others) felt for the person of God. As suggested above, Paul admitted that the love of God was in his breast a kind of madness: “For whether we be beside ourselves, it is of God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constraineth us” (2 Cor. 5:13-14). In Weymouth’s translation the passage reads, “For the love of Christ overmasters us.” The idea appears to be that Paul’s love for Christ carried him beyond himself and made him do extravagant things which to a mind untouched with the delights of such love might seem quite irrational. Perhaps the most serious charge that can be brought against modern Christians is that we are not sufficiently in love with Christ. The Christ of Fundamentalism is strong but hardly beautiful. It is rarely that we find anyone aglow with personal love for Christ. I trust it is not uncharitable to say that in my opinion a great deal of praise in conservative circles is perfunctory and forced, where it is not downright insincere.

I never thought of this in exactly this way - but I wonder if it is why I gravitated towards Chi Alpha in college as a new believer - they were a group that was completely in love with Christ, and we did many things that non-believers may well of thought of us out of our mind for. Far more than the other groups on campus (CC, Navs, etc) (which are all fine groups, fyi)

Monday, April 14, 2008

How Not To Love

“All you need is love.”

So said the Beatles. If they’d been singing about God’s love, the statement would have a grain of truth in it.

But what usually goes by the name love in popular culture is not authentic love at all; it’s a deadly fraud.

Far from being “all you need,” it’s something you desperately need to avoid.

The apostle Paul makes that very point in Ephesians 5:1-3. He writes, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.”

From Pastor MacArthur at Pulpit Magazine

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver,
Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

Charles Wesley (via Cyberhymnal)

The Eccentric God

"The only eccentricity that I can discover in the heart of God is the fact that a God such as He is should love sinners such as we are!" On this earth a mother will love the son who has betrayed her and shamed her and is now on his way to a life in prison. That seems to be a natural thing for a mother. But there is nothing natural about this love of God. It is a divine thing. It is forced out by the inward pressure within the heart of the God of all grace. That is why He waits for us, puts up with us, desires to lead us on-He loves us! My brethren, this should be our greatest encouragement in view of all that we know about ourselves: God loves us without measure, and He is so keenly interested in our spiritual growth and progress that He stands by in faithfulness to teach and instruct and discipline us as His own dear children!

A.W. Tozer

Friday, March 28, 2008

God's Grace to Us

Grace - The Greatest Gift of Love Ever?

C.Micheal Patton has a great post on Chuck Swindoll. In it he says this about Grace:

It is a free gift that God offers in exchange for nothing other than a willing hand of reception. Broadly speaking God’s grace is seen in creation (He gave us life for free), in providential provision (He sustains the world for free), and in salvation (He offers to those who have turned against Him reconciliation for free). While other religions may have love, they do not have unconditional grace as the avenue for the expression of that love.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Consider This

Donate to Reclaiming the Mind Ministries

Anyone who has multiple links on my web page is probably loved enough to donate too.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

He is Risen

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)That sav'd a wretch like me!I once was lost, but now am found,Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,And grace my fears reliev'd;How precious did that grace appear,The hour I first believ'd!
Thro' many dangers, toils and snares,I have already come;'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promis'd good to me,His word my hope secures;He will my shield and portion be,As long as life endures
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,And mortal life shall cease;I shall possess, within the vail,A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,The sun forbear to shine;But God, who call'd me here below,Will be for ever mine.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Becoming a Better Apologizer

Tim Challies has a great post on being a better Apologizer

Four Key Points
-Just Do It
-Ask for Forgiveness
-Don’t Rationalize Your Sin
-Learn to Forgive

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Distrust, Suspicion, or Love? Just How Do We Treat Our Neighbors?

Great Post by Tim Challies on what love really means.

Over the years I’ve had to reflect on what made the churches I attended as a child and teenager so ineffective at evangelism. I have to be careful here because I know several people from the churches of my youth who read this site and I want to be careful that I accurately characterize these churches. While there are several reasons I could provide, and they are of varying importance, there is one that I believe stands at the foundation of the rest: These churches often regarded the unbeliever as the enemy. Of course the church would never have articulated that belief, but it seemed to be deeply rooted.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How will a True Christian Community be Known? By Love

12:9 Love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. NET Bible

Biblical love cannot be separated from biblical righteousness. Christian love is drawn toward “right” and repulsed by “wrong.” It is attracted to and adheres to that which is “good,” abhorring and withdrawing from “evil.” Christian love is most certainly not “blind.” Biblical love distinguishes between good and evil, and then acts accordingly, cleaving to the good and avoiding the evil.

Christian love is something like a battery. There must be two poles for current to flow. There is a positive terminal and a negative terminal. In biblical thinking, “love” cannot be separated from “hate.” Love is a choice, a decision. It is a decision to choose one thing and to reject another. Jacob could not “love” both Leah and Rachel; he had to “love” one and to “hate” the other.53 So too we cannot serve two masters, for we will inevitably “love” one and “hate” the other (see Matthew 6:24).

Our love as Christians is to be both a response to God’s love and a reflection of His love. Our Lord’s love was a far cry from the hypocritical “love” of the scribes and Pharisees of His day. They spoke of good, but in practice they did what was evil. While our Lord’s love prompted Him to receive sinners, and to suffer and to die for their salvation, it also manifested itself in Jesus’ strong reaction to evil (see Matthew 20:12-17; 23:1-39). Jesus wanted no association with evil, and thus He even forbade the evil spirits to proclaim that He was the promised Messiah (see Mark 3:11-12).

There are Christians today who urge us to emphasize God’s love. This we should do. But if we are to proclaim God’s love, we must distinguish between good and evil. The love of God is that love which clings to the good and abhors the evil. The love of God cannot and does not overlook sin nor the judgment which it deserves and requires. If we would speak more of God’s love, we must speak more of good and of evil. Rebuke and discipline are not a violation of love but a manifestation of it. Love acts in accordance with righteousness. Bob Deffinbaugh

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Husband, Love your Wives

Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her 5:26 to sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of the water by the word, 5:27 so that he may present the church to himself as glorious – not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless. 5:28 In the same wayhusbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 5:29 For no one has ever hated his own body but he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ also does the church, 5:30 for we are members of his body. (NET BIBLE)