Posts Tagged ‘Foundation’
No, that’s not a typo or a repost. Harold Camping is admitting that he had the details wrong, but he wont admit that he’s totally wrong. He claims that October 21 is the “real” day of destruction. It’s for really real this time people. Maybe.
Camping says that God did come, and he has judged us. Claiming that we have all been judged spiritually and are now awaiting either destruction or deliverance on October 21st. So all his followers believe that it doesn’t matter what they do in the following months, because God has already judged them and the world is going to end anyway.
Do you see anything dangerous here?
If I told you that you could do anything you wanted today and God would still send you to heaven, and that if you get caught doing it you won’t stay in prison very long because the world is going to end tomorrow, what would your flesh recommend you do?
Needless to say, I won’t be sweaty in October. Harold will be, but I won’t. As Leonard Ravenhill put it, “Someday some simple soul will come along, read the Bible and believe it, and put all the so-called learned bible scholars to shame.”
Did you brush your teeth this morning? Probably without thinking. When you woke up did you have to ask your stomach if it was time for food? I doubt it.
We are creatures of habit. Things become natural for us after a short while, and we often do them without thinking. This can be a good thing: routinely cleaning your body is essential. But it can also be a bad thing. We must never stop asking ourselves this simple question when in regards to our obedience to Christ: why?
When you read your bible in the morning, stop and ask yourself “Why?” When you attend church on Sunday, when you sing hymns and worship songs, when you kneel at the alter, and when you pray ask yourself “why?”
Don’t let your worship become a monotonous activity. Worship Him because He is worthy, and has plucked you out of the fire.
Don’t read the Word because you are required, or to fill a daily quota. Read the Word because you are hungry for Bread.
Don’t attend a church because “it’s the right thing to do”. Go because you are strengthened through fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Never stop examining yourself. Begin with the question “why?”
1 Corinthians 11:28
“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.”
It’s odd that, despite all the technical things of Christianity that I am comfortable writing about, I find it difficult to write about grace. It’s the most fundamental and foundational aspect of my belief system, yet I don’t know very much about it at all. Perhaps it is because grace is so unnatural; so contradictory with human nature.
I have been convicted lately due to the amount of emphasis I have placed upon my own works. Somehow I transitioned to a place where I was a Christian based upon what I did and didn’t do, and how often I failed or succeeded. I know, based upon scripture, that this is not true Christianity.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
It’s hard for me to grasp the fact that God doesn’t need me to do good things to grant forgiveness. This is totally incompatible with our social structure. Imagine what would happen if nobody had to show up for work to receive their pay checks?
Grace works though. It doesn’t result in thousands of sinning and apathetic “saints”. Why? Because anyone who is truly saved and redeemed will become a new creation, and live to please God. It’s like getting a check in the mail, then going to work to see what the Boss wants you to do that day; because He deserves it, without demanding it.
I see many people abusing this precious gift, though. Claiming redemption when their lover is the World, and feeling justified because they prayed a little prayer and cried a little tear. That’s getting a check in the mail and, without showing up to work, seeking employment elsewhere to get a bonus.
This is where works comes in.
“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
Repentance leads to salvation. Salvation leads to a new creation. The new creation, by it’s new found nature, will do good works. Not because we have to, or to fill a quota, but because the desire of our heart has been changed.
This isn’t to say that you will be without sin. No, the war is far from over. The Devil is still upset about losing you.
Christ has purchased me. He knew I was a sinner. He knew I deserved the deepest, darkest, flames of Hell. Yet He came, and payed a price I could never dream of paying myself.
Humbled by Jesus,
Sex. Alcohol. Nudity. More sex and alcohol.
The super bowl ads were full of all that garbage. Thankfully the host of the party had DVR so we could pause and fast forward all the crap.
What makes things worse is that the following ad was denied because it was too religious and offensive:
It leaves me speechless. They allowed the ad to be viewed in 2-3 states, but the content wasn’t appropriate for a national audience. I would go on about how this angers me, why this is wrong, and how it’s inconsistent, but I’m sure the gears in your head are turning too.
I’m thinking about what I want to do next year. I’m offended by the secular ads, so maybe I wont watch the game. Maybe I’ll write a few letters about how I cannot watch ads that worship sex.
Imagine a day when the ads were clean again. It’s possible. We just need to pray about it.
P.S. If even the mention of John 3:16 offends the world, then why am I, a Christian representing the Messiah, not offending the world?
My family has been upgrading their phones recently. I’m a huge fan of Google, so when they asked me to help pick a few out, I pointed towards Android devices. Mine hasn’t come in the mail yet, but I’ve been able to geek out on my parents phones.
I’ve been spending this time in awe of how such a small device can be so efficient and connected with things around it. I’m not that old, but I remember when you could hurt your arm trying to pull the antenna out on the older generation phones.
I’ve been thinking about how clever we are to have harnessed the power of the sun, wind, and water. We have cars that can travel miles in minutes, buildings scraping the sky, and medicine to cure illness.
And then I looked in the mirror and caught a glimpse of my eye. I watched as it instantly reacted to different levels of light. How it seamlessly, and without my command, adapted to give me vision.
We don’t even come close. As Thomas Edison said, “We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything.”
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.”
This is a very moving video created by The David Crowder Band. I don’t know how familiar you are with their music, but I have to tell you that his work is always something special. When our youth group isn’t singing his songs for worship, we’re listening to them at home.
I don’t mean to glorify man. But the words and music of his songs are so focused upon the important aspects of God that it creates an immediate atmosphere of praise. Some artists smell of pride or greed. There’s none of that with David.
He and his band came together and created a music video for his latest song “(SMS) Shine.” Using over 700,000 pegs from a Lite Brite toy and without the assistance of computer animation they were able to create this 3 minute video.
His full explanation of the song and video can be found here. Please read what he has to say, as it’s a lot more interesting than what I just wrote myself.
Over the past couple days I have been evaluating the immorality of both the Nation and individual lives. Pondering where it comes from, and why it is so rampant in our country today in comparison with previous decades. I’m no theologian but I came up with an answer that has satisfied me.
Our country does not have a lust problem. Our country doesn’t have a racism problem. Our problem isn’t hate, anger, greed, politicians, divorce, adultery, hypocrisy, or false prophets. Our evil outward appearance is only the result of an inward problem: Jesus Christ deficiency.
Anytime that Jesus Christ ceases to be the cornerstone of society our natural tendencies to sin will corrupt what the devil doesn’t.
Put that into a personal perspective: you do not lack self control so much as you lack Jesus Christ. You are not angry so much as you are ignorant to the ways of God. Do not waste your time chasing the vices of your life when you can simply and efficiently cut them down at the source. You are a prayer away from complete and total submission. No fancy tricks, no super Christian powers required, no televangelist needed to direct you.
How are we kept from our knees? If God has provided a way out, and made it so simple to escape, then why have we not tapped this resource? I’m not sure. I imagine that it’s a mix of both the devil’s wise manipulation and our own lack of desire for holiness.
The point is summed up perfectly in my favorite verse:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
No submission, no resistance.
During on of our youth groups bible studies, a question regarding the Trinity came up. This led to a short discussion about how God can inhabit three Persons and still be one. I realize I have never written about this before, so I thought now is as good a time as ever. I have a simple understanding of the trinity which has been enough for me over the years.
This is not an explanation to non-Christians about the Trinity. There is no comprehensible way to explain it without delving into spiritual matters that they do not believe in. So, in order for a non-Christian to understand he must also choose to believe.
Exhibit A: The Common Mousetrap
It has many pieces, which all serve totally different purposes, but for a common goal: to catch a mouse. You cannot have the base without the latch, or the latch without the spring and bar.
Exhibit B: The Egg
I was talking with Mike W at church this morning and he brought up this example that fits perfectly. What is an egg without a shell? Or a shell without egg white? What is egg white without the yolk?
Jesus Christ, Jehovah, and the Holy Spirit are all one. Just as the mousetrap is a mousetrap, and an egg is an egg. They exist in perfect unity, with different purposes, but towards a common goal.
Let me explain them a little bit further individually.
#1 – Jehovah
Jehovah is the foundational member of the trinity. He is the omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient one. Where the Holy Spirit cannot go or what Jesus cannot do, the Father can.
He is called the Father for a reason. He has authority over the other two, thus producing unity. Where there is no authority, there is no unity. This is one of the reasons I had a problem with “The Shack.” It blatantly stated that there is no authority of one over the other in the trinity, when all this would produce is chaos. To say such a thing is in complete disregard to the scriptures and God’s creation. Observe marriage, nature, and civilization and you will recognize the creation called “authority.”
#2 – Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is no less important than Jehovah. However, He is fully man and is dependent upon the Father. He did not heal the sick, or multiply the loaves, or raise Himself from the dead. His Father did that. But there is something He did that the Father could not do. He fulfilled the law.
Jehovah requires sacrifice for the atonement (pardon) of sins. And although He accepted for thousands of years the sacrifice of lambs and other burnt offerings, these were imperfect sacrifices. They could not enable human beings to have complete and unhindered communion with The Father, as we were created for.
So, The Father sent Jesus, The Christ, to take our place on the cross so that His spirit could dwell with us.
#3 – The Holy Spirit
Also known as The Holy Ghost. Like Jesus, the Holy Spirit is no less important. God’s primary method of communication and leadership in our lives is through His Spirit. However our sin blemished and separated us from Him. This is why The Holy Spirit is not heard of much in the Old Testament, before Jesus.
Notice how in the Old Testament it was not only acceptable to cast lots, but it was also encouraged by God. He often altered History by changing the outcome of the cast.
Why? Because He could not communicate with us directly. He had to use barbaric forms of communication until He could break the barrier between Him and us.
Also, take note that there is only one time that the church uses lots in the new testament, after Jesus.
“And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”
Many believe it was a mistake for them to cast lots instead of consulting the Holy Spirit, as we never hear of Matthias again. Perhaps they would have chosen Paul?
I hope you have learned a little something from my writing. I can only hope I helped clear things up a little bit in a subject that is notoriously confusing.
Thank you for reading.
Worship in its purest form does not always require extra time from your schedule. It is so permeated into everything that you cannot do anything without worship.
America is very good at worship. Too bad we worship sex.
I just finished watching a movie, Iron Man 2, with a bunch of my buddies. During the movie I was deeply moved by a realization of how things have changed in the very short time that I’ve been alive. People no longer hope for sex or lustful scenes in a film: they expect it.
Iron Man 2 proved to be an altar upon which to worship sex. Not by devoting a specific scene or lengthy amount of time to it, but by allowing it to permeate everything.
Look at the magazines next time your going through checkout. Before you turn them over (I hope) take note of how many promote sex. Or better yet, find one that doesn’t.
Don’t get me wrong. Sex is a good thing. I often get accusations from atheists concerning the Songs of Solomon. That book, along with Proverbs and a few others, are very explicit in their sexual content. Not because they were trying to sell to the general public, but because God said that it is good, and must be kept good.
The devil is incapable of creating pleasure. So He must take something that God has created for us, and find a way to make it sinful. They say that prostitution is the oldest occupation. That’s because The Enemy was quick to learn that sex is both very pleasurable, and very easy to pollute. Sex is like a mousetrap, with many intricate pieces necessary for it to work properly. Let us look at Gods formula:
One Man, One Woman.
What happens when you alter these elements?
One Man, Many Woman.
This is the most popular alteration in America. Sexual “freedom”. Having a sexual partner without any commitment.
Homosexuality. Built upon emotion and fed by Hollywood’s idea of “love”.
Lust can consume like a fire fed with gasoline. It has gotten to the point that you no longer need a partner to take advantage of the sex drive. I heard a statistic that %60 of internet usage is for pornography. I really, really want to write about that soon.
Our weapon of defense: 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
“For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
Examine your thoughts, your motives, your desires.
My Father and Mother purchased me a couple of books for my eighteenth birthday. One of which was “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis.
I have heard a little bit about it from people in my church, so I had expectations when I first opened it up. At first I didn’t care for it very much. Not because the material was bad, but the way it was presented was so new to me. Lewis calls it “Diabolical Ventriloquism.”
He writes in the place of Screwtape, a senior demon who was promoted from tempting to administration in Hell after a successful campaign on Earth against God through human beings. He writes to His novice nephew, Wormwood, and offers advice for waging spiritual warfare.
It is difficult at first to position yourself to be comfortable when Screwtape talks. His good is our bad, and His bad is our Good. But once it naturally flows past you, you begin to see the genius of Lewis’ writing.
I have never before been so challenged by a book. It has forced me to look at myself through both the eyes of God and Satan. Wanting to please my Lord, while at the same time evading the temptations and tactics of Demons. Everything temporal in my life came into view.
After reading it, I have learned much about prayer, faith, love, joy, hobbies, habits, sin, and countless other things.
If you are looking for a book, I recommend this one. You will not regret it.
Thanks for reading!