Monday, April 30, 2007

Psalm 119:133

"Direct my steps by your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me" (Ps. 119:133).

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Pastoral Ministries

I remember when I was younger that the preacher would visit our home every now and then. He came to have fellowship and check on our spiritual needs. When was the last time a pastor or elder was in your home or invited you into theirs?
The pastor would come on his own initiative. Sometimes he would not even announce his coming! This was not a bad thing. We were glad to see him.
If you had a problem at home, he was there, if you had to go to the hospital, he was there, if you lost a loved one he was there, if you wanted to get married he was there. I have even seen a pastor take off his coat and help dig a grave after the funeral sermon because the family could not afford the burial. Ever seen that before?
When did pastors get so important and busy that they could not minister?
Today talking to a pastor is like being at some city office and having to take a number or wait in line in order to be helped.
I am not saying they should be busy doing the work of a deacon or any thing like that. Nor is it my intention to point out any church in particular. I am talking about this matter in a general sense. And I know there are many faithful pastors.
I understand that there are books to be written, personal, devotional, family time, and sometimes the nine to five on the side must be undertaken.
It just seems to me that a pastor is always on the go and I ask my self where to? The sheep's shepherd is so busy building fences that he has forgotten that there are sheep to attend to.
When is the last time you were able to have fellowship one on one with your pastor apart from there being an organized time of fellowship? What ever happened to mentorship?
I miss the days when you could ask the pastor over to the house for Sunday dinner after church, and he would come! I am saddened to see that pastors have become so "important" and busy with "ministry," that they have over looked some of the basic practical aspects of ministry. They are off to do ministry but where and to who is my question? An abstract congregation?
"And he (Jesus) went in to tarry with them" (Lk.24:29). Notice in the text he would have gone further but made time for them.

Friday, April 27, 2007

a Kempis Quote

"You must not be disturbed, then, by fancies foreign to your real self, whatever it may be that causes them. Keep bravely to your resolutions, hold on to your good intent towards God. It is no illusion if sometimes you are suddenly caught up in ecstasy and immediately return to the usual frivolous thoughts that crowd your heart. Such thoughts you put up with rather than encourage, and so long as you find them distasteful and struggle against them , you may count them as gain and not as loss" (a Kempis, Imitaiton bk.iii).


"Election according to the foreknowledge of God" (1Pet.1:2).
The most humbling pride striping doctrine in all of Christian theology is the doctrine of election. No other doctrine sets off as much controversy as election. Eschatology(the study of the end times), baptism, the Lord's supper, or even justification by faith alone do not cause the distention and disdain among Christians that election does in today's church.
Rather than being prideful and wanting to add our two bits to the work of salvation, we should be thankful that God chose to save us rather than leave us to die in our sins.
The scriptural evidence for election is almost superfluous. Yet man fights against it tooth and nail. We are saved by "grace and not of works." It is unfortunate that we can't seem to grasp this because of our pride.
Some say that God merely looks in to the future to see who will have faith and who will not. This belief is known as foresight. It is true that God foresees--he is omnipotent. But not only does god "foresee" he "foreknows!" This is an intimate causal form of knowledge. It is a saving knowledge.
In epistemology (the theory of knowledge) there is what is known as propositional knowledge where one knows "how" and "that." I know how to tie my shoes. I know that I live in Orlando. Another form of knowledge that is not propositional is immediate knowledge. This is a model of knowledge that illustrates "foreknowledge." There is no mediation but a direct link from the knower to the known. God did not have to learn to tie his shoes in this matter. He knows us intimately and directly. For propositional knowledge one has to know that you know, but for immediate knowledge one simply knows. So it is with God he doesn't have to learn of who will have faith or not he "foreknows."
Setting philosophy aside, we should praise God for saving us even before the foundation of the world. Let us not be prideful and want to hold on to some merit of our own but be humble giving God the praise and glory he deserves. Let us thank him also for giving us knowledge of his plan and design of election for us. What we know has been revealed to us by him and not because of our reasoning abilities. Praise his holy name.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Words do Hurt

Ever heard the saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" when you was a kid growing up? Well as you probably soon realized there is not an ounce of truth in it! R.C. Sproul in a sermon on the family illustrates this. He was being bullied, and given his mother's advice he quoted to the bullies this child hood phrase, and in so doing, he began to realize what he was saying wasn't true. The words did hurt. I use to sing the cliche when I was growing up and now am dealing with similar issues in the lives of my children--"Your hair cut looks funny;" "You are fat." etc.
When I was the pastor of a small church a lady had me over to her house and wanted me to listen to her in-home police scanner. I could not believe what I heard. The scanner was picking up phone conversations. And the topic of discussion was me! Ever heard of having the preacher for Sunday dinner? Well I was the main course! I knew I should not listen to people's private conversations but I could not help hearing some of the conversation. The things said about me by the people of my flock hurt me and I will never forget them.
Words cannot be taken back once they are out. Even if said in secret they fly away. "A bird of the air may carry your voice, and a bird in flight may tell the whole matter" (Ecc. 10:20) They never knew I had an insight as to what they really thought about me. As far as they were concerned their conversations were confidential and private.
Let us be careful not to say things to or about our family, friends, and colleagues, that we cannot take back--things that will make a permanent scar for them to carry in their souls all of their lives. Words such as: "I hate you." "You are no longer my son." "I don't love you anymore." "You will never amount to anything." "You are stupid." "I wish you would die" should never uttered. They cannot be taken back.
Furthermore, to be a busy body and a gossip is to preach the gospel of Satan! When the tongue is used for destruction it is as if the fires of hell have kindled its work. (James3:6) We should avoid circles of gossip where the tongue loves to do its work. And we should resist the temptation to get in on the "drama" at school, work, and church. The only contribution that can be made is one of an untamed tongue.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Romans 8:24

"Hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees" (Rom. 8:24)?

Esteeming Others Better than Ourselves

In philosophy (logic) an error/mistake in reasoning is called a fallacy. There are a number of fallacies. My favorite is a fallacy of irrelevance the ad hominem (to the man). This is when something is said about or to the "opponent" that is completely irrelevant to the argument or point of discussion, whether it is true or not. There are several ad hominem arguments. One is the abusive ad hominem. This is when there is a verbal attack on the person not the argument. "You are a no good lying lazy cheat and thief." (words by the way that were addressed to me personally last week by a disgruntled worker.) May be a person is but that does not prevent them from making a legitimate argument for or against something. Then there is the Tu QuoQue (pronounced "kwo kway"). It is my all time favorite logical fallacy. This fallacy is committed when the person argues that they are right because their opponent has done the same thing or something even more objectionable. "How can you tell me to quit smoking tobacco when you chew tobacco!"
I say all of this because this is what we do to one another when we do not esteem the next person better than ourselves. I don't know about you but the list of all my short comings are ad infinitum (more Latin to sound smart). One would get very tired of pointing out what is bad in my life! But this is not the point. The point is that a lot of problems in our relationships can be solved not by pointing out what is bad about the other person in an attempt to rationalize and justify our position, but by building up the other person. I have never won an argument by name calling and trying to point out how much in the right I was, and how much better I am compared to you--and I would be willing to bet that you haven't either.
But the objection might be raised "I am right!" Well what would be so bad about taking a hit for the team? Don't you believe that love covers sin?
I am ashamed to say that I have said things to my wife and children that I would never say to you and all because I did not esteem them better than my self. Let us think about that today.
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself" (Pil. 2:3).

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Myth of Multitasking

I have never been one that could do more than one thing at a time. If I am reading I cannot watch television, if I am working on the computer I cannot talk on the phone, if I am working in my trade full time my academic studies suffer, if I am pursuing my academic studies whole hearted my secular job grows slack.
I realize that perhaps I am just not as good at multitasking as I ought to be. And maybe it is a talent given to some and not others, but I don't think so. I think we are fooling ourselves.
The ancient Greek philosopher realized the impossibility of being a "Jack of all trades--master of none." He (Socrates) says, "does one person do a better job if he practices many crafts or--since he's one person himself--if he practices one?" "If he practices one" (Republic ii).
God would have us serve him as our task in life and none other. We cannot serve the world and God both at the same time. It is one or the other! (Mat. 6:24) I do not intend to imply that everybody quit their jobs and become church related vocation professionals. I do mean to say that we should not place the demands of the world and the comforts that we seek to acquire in it above our spiritual health and forget whom it is that we serve and how he would be served.
Today I have decided to stop "multitasking" and start "tasking" for the master. I will let the things that are really unimportant in life fall by the way side. So what if the house is not clean, the customer gets a little up set, the bill is late, the boss gets mad etc. "Therefore I say do not worry about your life..." (Mat. 6:24).
We become so busy sometimes that I think we forget whom it is we serve. And whom it is that provides for us. "So why do you worry?" Jesus said. (Mat. 6:28)
"Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all of these things will be added to you" (v. 33).
It is time to start breaking down the barriers that stand between us and God and between us and our spouses, and us and our children. Let the cares of this world burn up in the fires of being renewed in the Spirit of God and let us seek Him above all else.
We cannot bear the weight of the pressures of this world if we attempt to multitask our way through life--attempting to serve the world and our Lord.
He will have it one way or the other.
Forget about the cares of this world. Seek God in prayer, study his word, have family devotion, do a service for him--take a mission trip, send some money to help those in need, visit the hospital, or prison. Have you done any of these few mentioned things lately--ever? Or has multitasking proven its deception a reality in your life and rendered you inert in the things of God? You see multitasking is a myth and is really service to a master that is not your own.
I wonder if we could realize that we bring our work home and not Christ to work and then back home with us what a difference we could make and how different out lives would be. I am talking about selling out completely to Jesus. Having found a pearl of great price will you not sell all and go and buy it?

Monday, April 23, 2007

a Kempis Quote

"In this imperfect life, when all is said and done, peace doesn't mean having no enemies, it means being ready to put up with ill treatment. It's the man who has learnt the craft of suffering who really enjoys peace. He is his own master, and the world lies at his feet; he has Christ for his friend, and heaven for his patrimony" (a Kempis, Imitation bk. ii).

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Proverbs 10:12

"Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins" (Prov. 10:12).

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Common/General Grace

This entry is a bit more philosophical than previous entries. On tough issuse I have learned to be open minded and ready for revision. If I am in left field feel free to comment. This is how I see things as of yet at this stage of my understanding. Common grace is grace that is given by God to all of mankind. In the garden, God, under a covenant of works, warned Adam that he would die if he disobeyed by eating the forbidden fruit. Adam did eat, but he lived on and did not die. Not really. He died spiritually and ultimately physically, as do all of us that are born of Adam. Why did Adam live on and in what state? Adam and his descendants (us) were under a general grace given by God that allowed for life under a new covenant of grace (as opposed to the precious covenant of works) with the prospect of reconciliation with God through special, effectual, saving grace.
General grace does not mean that all are able to respond to God equally as regards the obtaining of spiritual life. God has his elect and calls them with a special grace to salvation while others are left in a state of perdition. Common grace does not make possible a way to contribute merit in any way towards salvation.
Common grace does however, allow fallen man, who was created in God's image, to contribute and participate in this world epistemically, ethically, aesthetically, scientifically, etc.
Furthermore, God's law, written in their hearts; testifies to his goodness; makes a contrast with their corruptness; and condemns them consequently. No one is good in themselves, but God. Common grace correlates with God's justice. If the lost did not partake of God's goodness then they would not be culpable for their falleness, broadly speaking. It is the natural order of things. Evil is always contrasted by good. It is common grace that is the playing field of the new covenant. Otherwise logically man would have indeed died--emphatically! (receiving their just reward--everlasting punishment) Remember that total depravity does not mean absolute corruptness. We are dead yet alive--dead spiritually, alive practically--to be such is to partake of common grace. There was no life in Lazarus, but he nevertheless still bore characteristics of humanity in the sense of imago dei.

Friday, April 20, 2007

a Kempis Quote

"Easier to keep your mouth shut than to talk without saying too much" (a Kempis, Imitation bk.i).

God's Discipline

Suffering, trials, temptation, spiritual depression, evil of all sorts (he does not glory in evil, though he can use it for his glory and our good), are all used by God in our lives not for judgment, but for our good. In his wisdom he is able to bring us closer to him by using all things for our good. If we sin we are not subject to the wrath of God. "Where sin abounded grace much more abounded." We are his children and not despised objects that are subject to his judgment.
Just as I discipline my children he disciplines his. In fact this is where we get the model of discipline from. Do we not sometimes distance ourselves when we are angry at our children, bring forth the rod, take away comforts, let them suffer the consequences for their actions etc.? But we do not use discipline as a means of unqualified wrath! We use discipline to mature them.We know that it is for their on good.
While our discipline is not perfect God's is, and we know we are loved by him because of his discipline. Despise it not (Heb. 12:5). "...whatever he allows to happen to us he brings about in the interist of our salvation" (a Kempis bk. ii).

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fear of God

Ever heard the story of the kid in the convent school that encountered a note on the table by a basket of apples that said, "take only one God is watching"? The story goes that there was another basket at the other end of the table filled with chocolate chip cookies. There was a note written in a child's hand writing that said, "take all of the cookies you want." "God is watching the apples!"
Do you ever feel like we are faced more with things that we are not allowed to do as opposed to the things that we can do, and that God is going to get you if you mess up? I was once afraid of God as if he was going to carry out some form of execution on me if I messed up. I am no longer afraid that God is out to get me.
It is those that are outside of Christ that must be fearful of God's judgment of eternal punishment. Those in Christ do not have any cause to be fearful of God's wrath.
This is not to say that we should not fear God. We are to fear God. But not in the sense of fearing his wrath in judgment. Jesus took care of that for us on the cross. Our fear of God is one of Godly fear. It is out of respect to him because of his holiness and all that goes along with his person hood. Apart from this we have no need to fear God. "You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear" (Rom.8:15).
Does this mean that I would not be afraid, say if God suddenly appeared before me? I would fall down in fear just like everybody that has encountered God's immediate presence, as is recorded in the bible.
But I would await those words "fear not."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


[I was called father today.]
Because of the atoning work of Christ we are no longer orphaned from God, and objects of his wrath, but are children of his mercy. Consequently we have been given the dignity of being worthy to be called sons of God, and as such, we are legally qualified to receive all of the benefits of his inheritance (Rom.8:17).
Adoption is based on the doctrine of justification. Justification is a legal transaction whereby we are formally declared righteous in the sight of God. In other words, the price has been paid, the paperwork has been submitted, and it has been approved by the great judge of all the lands (both domestic and foreign).
Adoption is both now and not yet. We are not adopted into the family of God until the Spirit applies Christ to us. And so it is mirrored in this worldly life. Orphans await their adoption; a price must be paid; legal documents must be submitted for the approval of judges; and the child must finally be applied to the home--adopted.
A little orphan girl in a far away country who has put her hope in me called me father today. The price is almost paid, paper work is being processed, and plans are being made to adopt her into our family. Keep her in your prayers.
"For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the spirit of adoption by whom we cry out 'Abba, Father" (Romans 815).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Spurgeon Quote

"A fault-mender is better than a fault-finder" (Spurgeon, Salt Cellars).

Monday, April 16, 2007

a Kempis Quote

"The crown is for endurance; where is it going to come from, if you never meet with difficulties" (Imitation Bk. II)?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

a Kempis Quote

"Fight on like a good soldier; if you fall now and then through weakness, pluck up greater courage than before, trusting that my grace, too, will be more abundant" (Imitation Bk.III).

Friday, April 13, 2007

Death and Dying

When I was a child I imagined that I would never die. I would hold my breath to prove it to myself. Every time I let out a big exhale I said to my self "see there, I am invincible!" (I think this was about the time the movie superman came out.)
The day I was told my brother was killed in a car accident, I held my breath because I wanted to be where he was (I was nine.) As it turned out I was still immortal and remained that way throughout my teens--especially my teens.
I remember the day the concept of immortality really set in for me. It wasn't as much at conversion I don't think as it was at the birth of my twin boys. They were premature and and so small you could hold them in the palms of your hands. I was afraid they were going to die. I never remember having faith in God as much as I did at this time. I had no other choice but to believe that our days are determined by god (Job 14:5). I could not make them live, and the Doctors along with all ot the machines they were pluged into was not going to give them the gift of live that only comes from God and is taken away by him.
Well since then people have lived and died.
All of my extended family have passed away except my sister. My grand parents, parents, brother, aunt and uncle, have all lived out their allotted time and moved on as immortals either in heaven or hell.
Today is my birthday and it is a reminder to me that the years fly by and the time of my crossing the river Jordan draws closer.
I am not afraid of death, its the dying part that is not very appealing to me! But whatever the means of exit is it will be nothing compared to the destination.
Sometimes life can be discouraging and we may want to cash our ticket in prematurely. I can understand how people can loose the will to live and cry out in pain and frustration "I praised the dead who were already dead, more than the living who are still alive. Yet, better than both is he who has never existed" (Ecc.4:2,3).
Apart from Christ the outlook of life is one of despair. In Christ life is given meaning and hope. In Christ we may still want to check out but for a different reason, because it is far better to be with him; we must wait though, for we are still needed here (Phil. 1:23,24).
Earlier I talked about self-deception. I don't think anybody can deceive themselves in the matter of death. No one has made the escape yet! Some have even died more than once! (Lazarus for example) Our Lord even died. There are some, however, that will deceive themselves in to thinking that they will be safe from God's judgment in hell. "It does not exist they say." But God says it does. Don't let your self be deceive on the matter. Come to Christ and be saved from God's wrath. I am not afraid of hell and long to be in heaven where there is no more pain from living in a cursed world.
Life moves quickly. It is like a vapor that disappears . Man is few of days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and then fades away. Where will you stand when it is your time. I know where I will stand--in the righteousness of Christ. (I just don't seem to have enough of my on, no matter how hard I try.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Pride and Self Deception

What is it about the sin of pride that is so offensive to God? It gives us the credit that is due him! We are too unworthy to be prideful about anything. Here lies the nature of the sin of pride; it is a complement given to us by us. It is based on self deception--there is no legitimate grounds for being prideful. It is the original original sin committed by Satan.
Can you honestly say that you have something to be proud of in light of your standing compared to the holiness of God? What makes us feel prideful other than the fact the we have fallen prey to the self deception of it that has its true origin in the father of all lies? He has convinced us of the lie that we have something to boast of. And even if he does not aid us in this, we are quite capable of deluding ourselves without him.
It is a prideful thing to believe that you are not prideful! It comes natural to us. I remember how in my early days as a Christian, I used to brag about how unprideful I was. What irony! I was proud of the "fact" that I was not prideful. The most humble of men have at times been prideful. We could be paupers and still be prideful. Indeed this is the point. We really have nothing to be prideful about. Pride is the most elusive sin that there is and the hold pride has on us through self deception can only be broken by the Holy Spirit of God.
Pride is like the person that believed he was dead but in reality he wasn't. He said to his doctor that he was dead and the doctor in turn assured him that he wasn't. The doctor checked his vitals but the man was still unconvinced. As a last resort the doctor posed the question "does a dead man bleed?" He agreed that they don't. The doctor then pricked his finger--blood came out. In response the man said, "what do you know dead men do bleed!"
My hair is falling out or perhaps it just started growing out of my back--I'm not really sure what is going on with that! But when the fact that my hair was falling out was pointed out to me, I was faced with these options: The person that was so kind to notify me of the fact was wrong or it was indeed falling out. I had two choices if the latter was true: I could not believe it or I could not let my self be deluded about the matter and deal with it. Well I tried both options!
The point is there is always going to be the temptation to rationalize when a hair is brought to our attention. We can say but that is just one example and it is not really relevant to the whole scheme of things. But eventually we have to face our selves in the mirror and say I am indeed as such.
It is not that we would fix the problem if we knew about it. It is that if you are not aware of it you have it nevertheless. One contemporary theologian said that he knows that he is not right about everything. Problem is he doesn't know where he is wrong or he would fix it. I am not to sure about that. Fact is we know the truth about a lot of deficiencies in our lives, and do we fix them? Let us have this attitude Luke 18:9-14. And if we boast let us boast in Christ not in our moral aptitude or good works.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dumbing Down and Being Profound

"Eschatons", "beatific visions," "hypostatic unions" a host of Latin words, Greek words, Hebrew words, made up words, not sure they are words, ten thousand dollar words, run-on sentences etc. all contribute to the pride of wanting to be profound in the sight of others.
As a philosopher I always feel the need to qualify everything but lately I have been making statements and letting them be what they are in a prima facie sort of way. So here goes nothing.
I once wrote a paper in graduate school and after some time went by, I found myself reading it for the purpose of a cross reference. I could not even understand much of what I had written and even had to get the dictionary out to look up some of the words that I had used!
There is nothing wrong with being "deep," "profound", erudite even. But let us not loose perspective. We must have the basics down before we move forward. There is nothing wrong with washing a little meat down with some whole milk every once in a while! If one cannot communicate on all levels of knowledge to all sorts of audiences then why waste the time and trouble?
The Gospel is a simple message. It is relevant to the most unlearned, common, and simple minded. More often than not it is the intellectual that can not comprehend it! M.J. Adler said that there are many a p.h.D. that have read a lot of books and there are many that have mis-read books.
"When the day of judgment comes we shall be examined by what we have done, not about what we have read; whether we have lived conscientiously, not whether we have turned fine phrases. Where are they now, Doctor This and Professor That, whom you used to hear so much about when they were alive, and at the height of their reputation? They have handed over their chairs to other men, who probably never waste a thought on them" (a Kempis)
"A fool in a gown is none the wiser. The same is true of any member of All Fool's College when he wears a square cap" (Spurgeon, salt cellars).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bad Sermons (continued)

"Fine dress, learned degrees, high titles, and grand offices do not give ability. We have heard of doctors of divinity who were duller preachers than the generality of the clergy" (Spurgeon, Salt Cellars).

The Sinfulness of Sin and How it Steals our Happiness

In seminary I once commented in a class discussion that sin is at its worst when we as Christians do wrong knowing all along that we are doing wrong in the very sight of God. I was rebutted by a student that said that if he knows something is wrong he does not do it. I guess you could say that he only sins indirectly in a sense.
Call me not saved if you will, but I not only have to deal with sin "indirectly" but directly! Here I am ashamed to say with Augustine that "I had no motive for my wickedness except wickedness itself" (Confessions). I realize that God provides us a way of escape when we are tempted but I do not always do the right thing in this regard. I am weak.! And sanctification has a lot of work yet to do on me.
If we could only apply the principle of mortification of sin in our lives we would be much happier and at peace with ourselves. God would be more pleased with us as well. Easier said than done though isn't it.
If you are like me in your struggle with sin let us find wisdom in the truth that true happiness can only be found in the pursuit of righteousness. To entertain sin only causes us to be unhappy. No matter how appealing sin is to our flesh it cannot bring happiness, but only a deceptive form of it, which itself soon turns into pain.
"For you were always with me, mercifully punishing me, touching with a bitter taste all my illicit pleasures" (Augustine, Confessions).
"Why do you stand looking in at the shop window, When you can't go inside? The world and its gratifications pass away. Always the lure of the senses will be tempting us to stroll abroad, but what is left after a brief hour of enjoyment? All you carry home with you is a troubled conscience, and a distracted mind. Glad journey out, sad journey home" (a Kempis, Imitation)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Being Productive

We are not all equal in terms of greatness of productivity. One may excel in his vocation only on the level of manual labor, never climbing through the ranks to the top of his field. One may be ignorant of things pertaining to the various areas of academics, while another reaches the status of being called master or doctor.
We are all given a different amount of talents. God only requires that we do not fall short of our potential but rather use our talents wisely--to invest them and bring a return.
Do not be discouraged if your talent is lowly for it is the gift of God and can be invested and turned into something much greater. One's talents ultimately belong to God and he receives all of the glory. But it also pleases him to turn the common into the uncommon and make wise the ignorant. I am not alluding to sinful pride in self, but to the dignity that comes from being children of God.
A small amount of work, though it be done in small amounts, constantly, eventually adds up to a lot of accomplishment! One may cover a certain amount of ground in two easy steps, but another can cover the same ground and even exceed further though it takes three strenuous steps. "Go to the ant thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise" (Proverbs). (Matthew 25)

Spurgeon Quote

"One said that he had a conscience which was as good as new, for he had never used it; and he is the representative of many" (Spurgeon)

Sunday, April 8, 2007

a Kempis Quote

"If you really want to be happy, my son, you must make me your supreme and final end" (Thomas a Kempis).


Complaining is an easy sin. It is also contagious. All it takes is for one person to start complaining and then it spreads to others like a virus. It is easy for the atmosphere to become contaminated with complaints. But nasty weather easily dissipates with a little sunshine.
One time I found myself disgusted at the grumbling of a fellow worker. It seemed as if this was his sole reason for getting out of bed in the morning. His complaining, however, soon became my complaining. Every negative thing at work was thoroughly scrutinized. We had become fellow complainers. My conscience then kicked in and I tried to curve the complaining. It was not long until I realized that I was complaining about his complaining to others. And then I was complaining about my complaining!
Coming to my senses I remembered that we ought to be content in whatever state we are in. The task that we must take on at work may be a hard one and sometimes we find ourselves passing the day in a spirit of grumbling rather than a spirit of contentment and happiness. When this happens let us remember that whatever we do we do not for men but for the Lord. It is the "God man" that we are working for not "the man."
To apply this principle is a big step towards everyday happiness. And you might be surprised to find that this attitude is more appealing to complainers than you think. It gives them a sense of purpose in what may be a dead end job to them. Glorifying God becomes more important than the "injustices" of our lives.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Indwelling Sin in the Believer

Repent and keep repenting. As a new Christian I quickly realized that the road ahead was going to be a little harder, rather, a lot harder, than what people made it out to be. In a legalistic setting our sins carry a statute of limitations. But I have found that in actuality I am still struggling with sins that just don't want to go away.
Those sins are gone forever and we are new creation in a sense. In the sense that we are justified in Christ. Also in the since of true mortification of sins. It is true we do have a new nature and God has removed our culpability from sin.
How then do we account for sins (even familiar sin) in our Christian lives? We are not schizophrenic are we? The old nature is gone and we are created new. However, there still remains the flesh that awaits redemption. We still do things we know to be wrong ,and here in we see the unvarnished vileness of sin. There is indeed a Christian in Romans 7.
We may never be able to over come that besetting sin(s) in this life. We will never stop sinning in the here and now.
That is the goal, nevertheless i.e. mortification of sin/sanctification. Sanctification begins at conversion and continues through out our Christian life. Some times we make visible advancements in holiness while sometimes we make visible our backslidings. Let us not forget though that we are perfect already in Christ and one day our flesh will be glorified as well. "It is true this is that which is aimed at ; but this is not in this life to be accomplished" (John Owen).