"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." Genesis 1:27
"He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…In love He predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ." Ephesians 1:4-5
"There is a world of difference between that which is constructed and that which is created.
That which is constructed can only be loved after it is constructed.
That which is created can be loved before it is created."
“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding, but delights in airing his own opinions.” Proverbs 18:2
When I picked up David Powlison’s book Speaking Truth in Love I of course imagined myself speaking truth with love to people I love! This Proverb is probably closer to what the book’s theme is intended to communicate concerning truth speaking.
It is loving to bring truth to people’s hearts. Not as the world does with callous belligerence and a Simon Cowell attitude that is unwilling to weigh the impact of harshly spoken words. That habitual “truth hurts” speaking style is evidence that love is not his motivator.
Continue reading “A Fool for Love!”
Recently, I studied the Book of Hebrews with a group of women in my church. Sometimes, when you lead a study you forget to reflect and think personally about how God’s Word is changing you.
This morning as I reflected on the 13 chapters of Hebrews, I realized God has taught me to look at my circumstances, my culture, and my future through Christ colored lens.
Here are some of the glorious truths that are newly precious to my heart:
- God speaks to us through His Son Jesus (1:2)
- Jesus represents God exactly (1:3)
Jesus provides the solution for my sin problem (1:3)
- Jesus is supreme over all that is created (1:2, 4; 2:8)
- Jesus authored–or pioneered my salvation (2:10;5:8-9)
- Ignoring Jesus is ignoring salvation (2:3, 10)
- Jesus is making me holy and is not ashamed of me (2:11; 10:14)
Jesus’ death defeated the devil and freed me from the fear of death! (2:14-15)
Jesus’ incarnation made it possible for Him to become a merciful and faithful High Priest who can help when I am tempted and in need. (2:17; 4:14-16)
- Jesus is my destination and the source of perfect rest. (4:2-7)
- The Word of God is my guidebook to spiritual maturity. By constant use it trains me to distinguish good from evil (4:12; 5:14;6:1)
- Jesus is my anchor in heaven–firm and secure (6:19)
- Jesus is praying for me day after day–how can I fail? (7:25)
- Jesus is my guarantee that God’s standard of perfection has been met. (7:18-22)
- Because of Jesus, my sins are remembered no more–ever–ever–ever (8:12;9:15)
- Jesus has written His law on my mind and heart so that I am more inclined to care about what He cares about. (8:10)
- Jesus’ sacrifice is the basis of my service — even when my conscience wants to accuse me of unworthiness (9:14;10:22)
- With Jesus, believing is seeing! (10:39-11:1)
- Jesus’ indwelling Spirit gives me "eyes" to see and believe the reality and activity of the invisible God (11:1-3)
- With eyes fixed on Jesus, I can face the future with hope regardless of my circumstances. (11:13, 12:2-11)
- With eyes fixed on Jesus, I can endure hardship sure that it is productive rather than destructive! (12:7-11)
- Because of Jesus, I have entered a kingdom that cannot be shaken as the Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Roman, German, Japanese, etc. have been. (12:28)
- Because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever– there is no possibility of being disappointed in or by Him (13:8)
- Jesus is a great Shepherd–He equips me–His sheep with everything I need for doing His will. (13:20-21)
- Jesus is able to strengthen my heart for the journey of faith–it does not come by my efforts but by the sweet gift of grace
Hallelujah! It is all about you Jesus!
We are living in a time when we have difficulty thinking cohesively about faith as it relates to our culture. There are many within and without the church who struggle to express beliefs in a humble, respectful manner. They feel helpless to think critically about their own beliefs or the beliefs of others.
Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC has written a book entitled “The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism” based on years of conversations with curious and doubting minds. He models a humble respectfulness and insightful clarity that is very compelling. This book might be the “Mere Christianity” of our generation.
God’s ways make me smile!
During American Idol audition weeks, Simon predicted that if fresh faced, 24 year old Brooke White made it to Hollywood, she would be drawn to the "dark side."
With that memory in mind it was stunning when American Idol opened the "Idol Gives Back Show." The stage was gorgeous and all 8 contestants were dressed in solid white and backed by a gospel choir. Suddenly the familiar chords of a popular praise song began filling the auditorium and the air waves.
Could they really be singing "Shout to the Lord?"
Continue reading “Idol Gives Back”