Archive for July, 2010

Boast only in God

Posted: July 30, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity

“…those who understand the gospel cannot possibly look down on anyone, [or boast] since they were saved by sheer grace, not by their perfect doctrine or strong moral character.” ~ Tim Keller

He is offered for us

Posted: July 30, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Christian Theology, Christianity

“Acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ, as He is offered to us in the gospel of His redeeming work, is saving faith. Despairing of any salvation to be obtained by our own efforts, we simply trust in Him to save us; we say no longer, as we contemplate the Cross, merely ‘He saved others’ or ‘He saved the world’ or ‘He saved the Church’; but we say, every one of us, by the strange individualizing power of faith, ‘He loved me and gave Himself for me.’

When a man once says that, in his heart and not merely with his lips, then no matter what his guilt may be, no matter how far he is beyond any human pale, not matter how little opportunity he has for making good the evil that he has done, he is a ransomed soul, a child of God forever.”

—J. Gresham Machen, What Is Faith? (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1991), 154

The wisdom and work of Christ (Prov 6.1-19)

Posted: July 29, 2010 by limabean03 in Uncategorized
preached by Rob Sturdy on July 25th, 2010

Dave is the head of youth ministries at St. Andrew’s Mount Pleasant.  We had a brief conversation a few weeks ago about the challenges facing parents in regards to family worship and discipleship.  Though Dave’s in ministry, my hunch is many of you will connect with his hurried life and frenetic schedule.  He offers some valuable insight on this very important topic.  Thanks for the contribution!

Family discipleship for me is a hot button topic right now. It seems that ever where I look there are 5 steps to discipling your kids, or the perfect plan to a time of family worship. I even found a 30 page manual on how to lead your family in a time of worship. It included this little gem… “If you have a difficult child, follow this simple rule: no scripture, no singing, and no praying means no food.” Now there’s an idea that won’t embitter the child against Jesus!

If I worked a nine to five down at the factory I’d jump at that kind of stuff (except the “no food” manual) because of the routine it offers. Routines are safe. The truth of the matter is that I don’t work down at the factory I work full time in youth ministry. Ministry, by large, is evening and weekend job so my nights with the family vary from week to week and season to season. When it comes to leading my wife and daughter to the cross here’s some things that I have found helpful.

  1. Lead do not push. This goes for anyone. I care more about my family at the feet of Jesus then if we hit our quota of quiet times this week. A little background for me personally is that I’m 29 got a hot wife and a cute daughter of 17mo. It’s taken me years to figure out the little ways I can encourage my family to treasure our time together seeking after Christ.
  1. It’s about movement not molding. For a long time I had in my brain a model of what my family should spiritually look like. How we should operate and what we should value. What I’ve come to find is that model had become an idol where I sacrificed things so we’d fit the mold. Then holding us in that mold took center stage. Where I have grown is that as we try different things we celebrate the growth and not the destination.  One recent growth we celebrated was as we sat down to a hurried meal together and started eating we heard the sweet voice of my daughter simply say “pray” and she lowered her head and folded her hands. This memory still brings a smile to my face.
  1. The “what” is not as important as the time. We must have tried a billion different family devotionals, couples prayer manuals, book studies, and reading plans but none of them ended up being the perfect fit. Either it was good for my wife and boring me to tears or feeding me and not my bride. Where we have landed is that we have learned that celebrating our differences is an act of worship. The time we spend seeking Christ together is what matters even if it is imperfect in content.

When my daughter was born it rocked my spiritual world in both an amazing way and a hard way. The times I treasured with scripture in the early mornings were now taken up with bottles and diapers. It was a hard lesson to learn that my relationship with my creator is more dependent on him then my ability to have a consistent quiet time. This goes for our family time as well. What works for us, for now, is as we get up and have breakfast we read a quick devotion together and pray before we start the day. This happens as best we can. It’s not a legalistic daily thing but it is a priority for us. The night’s I’m home when my daughter goes to bed my wife and I pray for her, us, and her future husband. It’s a simple format that we hold loosely. Two books I’ve found helpful as I’ve wrestled with this are P. Tripp’s book “The Age of Opportunity” and Bruce Ware’s book “Big Truths for Young Hearts”.

Why not pay Dave a visit over at his blog by clicking here.  Or you can always view him in the “friends” section of AwakeningGrace.

Here’s a snippet from a piece by Tullian Tchividjian on Jonathan Edwards view of Free Will. Read Edwards ” Freedom of The Will ” here

Sin has made us God-haters at the core of our souls so that we are all by nature at enmity with God. In order for us to do what God would have us to do, we need to be who God wants us to be. And in order for us to be who God wants us to be, we need new natures. And because we cannot change our own nature, no more than we can push a bus while we are riding in it, we are in need of the sovereign hand of grace to change it for us. We cannot do what pleases God because we will not do what pleases God. And the reason we will not is because we don’t want to.

C’mon Will Gravely!

Posted: July 28, 2010 by limabean03 in Uncategorized

Nothing against Chef Brad, but I know a couple hundred people at 3000 N’ Kings Hwy pulling for Will!  Will, his wife Hatton, and son Thomas are members of Trinity.  Nevertheless, I suppose we’ll pull for both Chef Brad and Will  since they both work at Croissants, home of the Trinity Men’s Bible Study on Thursday mornings at 7:30 a.m.  We appreciate all they do for us!

Hot Tub Story by B. Smiley

Posted: July 27, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Apologetics and Evangelism

watch till the end

Who can tread upon these hot coals, and his heart not burn?  Who can cry out, with Ignatius, ‘Christ my love is crucified!’?  If a friend should die for us, would not our hearts be much affected by his kindness?  That the God of heaven should die for us, how should this stupendous mercy have a melting influence upon us!

The body of Christ is broken, is enough to break the most flinty heart.  At our saviour’s passion, the very stones did cleave asunder: ‘The rocks rent’ (Matt 27.51).  He that is not affected with this has a heart harder than stones.  If Saul was so affected with David’s mercy in sparing his life (1 Sam 24.16), how may we be affected with Christ’s kindness, who to spare our life, lost his own!  Let us pray, that as Christ was cruci-fixus’, so he may be ‘cordi-fixus’- as he was fastened to the cross, so may he be fastened to our hearts.

Thomas Watson, The Lord’s Supper (Banner of Truth Trust) pg 30-31

Where the competition is fiercest by Ray Ortlund

Posted: July 27, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Uncategorized

Does not wisdom call?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights beside the way,
at the crossroads she takes her stand;
beside the gates in front of the town,
at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud.  Proverbs 8:1-3

“The sage, who transmits Solomon’s heritage, does not cloister himself in a monastery or in an esoteric circle of learned or religious people . . . . He makes himself heard in the marketplace where the competition for the hearts of people is fiercest.”

Bruce K. Waltke, Proverbs 1-15 (Grand Rapids, 2004), page 395.

(HT: Ray Ortlund)

The Sex Sermon (Prov 5)

Posted: July 26, 2010 by limabean03 in Uncategorized
preached by Iain Boyd on July 18th, 2010

Pretty funny.  Read the whole thing here.

Dear Christianity Today:

In response to Paul D. Apostle’s article about the Galatian church in your January issue, I have to say how appalled I am by the unchristian tone of this hit piece. Why the negativity? Has he been to the Galatian church recently? I happen to know some of the people at that church, and they are the most loving, caring people I’ve ever met.

Phyllis Snodgrass; Ann Arbor, MI


Dear Editor:

How arrogant of Mr. Apostle to think he has the right to judge these people and label them accursed. Isn’t that God’s job? Regardless of this circumcision issue, these Galatians believe in Jesus just as much as he does, and it is very Pharisaical to condemn them just because they differ on such a secondary issue. Personally, I don’t want a sharp instrument anywhere near my zipper, but that doesn’t give me the right to judge how someone else follows Christ. Can’t we just focus on our common commitment to Christ and furthering His kingdom, instead of tearing down fellow believers over petty doctrinal matters?

Ed Bilgeway; Tonganoxie, KS


Dear CT:

I’ve seen other dubious articles by Paul Apostle in the past, and frankly I’m surprised you felt that his recurrent criticisms of the Church deserved to be printed in your magazine. Mr. Apostle for many years now has had a penchant for thinking he has a right to “mark” certain Christian teachers who don’t agree with his biblical position. Certainly I commend him for desiring to stay faithful to God’s word, but I think he errs in being so dogmatic about his views to the point where he feels free to openly attack his brethren. His attitude makes it difficult to fully unify the Church, and gives credence to the opposition’s view that Christians are judgmental, arrogant people who never show God’s love.

Ken Groener; San Diego, CA

We Delight

Posted: July 24, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Uncategorized

Not one little blade of grass

Posted: July 23, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in The Christian Life

“There is not one little blade of grass, there is no color in this world, that is not intended to make men rejoice.”

John Calvin, quoted in William J. Bouwsma, John Calvin: A Sixteenth Century Portrait (Oxford, 1988), pages 134-135.

a re-post from Ray Ortlund‘s blog

Moral code can easily become our attempt to live up to God’s holiness. Ontology gives way to function. Being is replaced by doing (and not doing). Welcome to planet frustration. This is the world of many followers of Christ—the disappointing drudgery of the religious treadmill.

But there is good news. The gospel doesn’t stop where sanctification begins. Our holiness is not isolated from God’s holiness—it is dependent upon it.

read the rest here

When the pressure to “contextualize” the Gospel jeopardizes the message of the cross by inflating human egos, the cultural pressures must be ignored.

DA Carson ” The Cross & Christian Ministry”, pg34