One of my dearest friends and brothers in the whole world is Tanner Turley. He is now living in Boston, MA and planting a church. He is one of my favorite preachers, and I post this to let you know that his sermons are now available online. I love listening to them.
Go to www.redemptionhillchurch.com/resources and you can listen to his sermons. So good!
This week in our Mens and Womens Bible Studies we walked through Revelation 6. Both groups stood in awe of the Sovereignty of God and His redeeming plan to lovingly and graciously save disobedient sinful people by the work of Christ on the cross.
Revelation 6 is the opening of the seven seals. (well, at least the first 6 seals.) The sixth seal, verses 12-17, is the second coming of Christ.
Notice how very similar Rev. 6:12-17 is with Matthew 24:29-31. Thats because it is the same thing. What Matthew is writing about what Jesus is saying on the Mount of Olives is the very thing that John is seeing at the opening of the sixth seal in heaven.
Remember that in Matthew 24:3 we learn that the disciples (that includes John) were there privately listening to Jesus teaching. So in other words, what God is revealing to John in Revelation, John had already heard Jesus teach about on the Mount of Olives. The Bible is so incredibly masterful. It is truly God’s Word.
Don’t be those folks of Revelation 6:15-17 who are so scared of the Wrath of God that they run to the mountains crying out for the mountains to collapse on them and kill them. Instead, be those folks of Revelation 7:10 who know that salvation belongs to the Lamb (Jesus) and that His death on the cross satisfied God’s wrath for all time of those who believe.
Amen! 1 Corinthians 16:22!
This little nugget is so rich and powerful! Paul closes his letter to the Corinthians with such a bold statement.
“If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!”
This verse is 1 Corinthians 16:22. O God, give us more and more men and women with hearts like that!
Yesterday several young guys spent some awesome time praying. It was awesome!
It is common these days to hear a young person say that they are “about to go beast mode” on something. And I am not so sure, but I think it means that they are going to go wild and lose control on something.
So I found it very interesting this week when I noticed one of the Biblical authors saying this very thing about himself.
Asaph, the author of Psalm 73, says to God that he “was like a beast toward you”. (Psalm 73:22)
What is Asaph talking about? Well, Psalm 73 is amazingly beautiful and applicable to so many of our lives. Asaph is recalling a time in his life when he had become so self-absorbed. It was awful and pathetic. His thoughts were all me, me, me. It was a little pity-party, and you can read that in verses 4-14.
But then something changes in Asaph’s perspective- He starts to focus on God. Verse 17 he says “until I went into the sanctuary of God.” His focus and perspective changing from selfish to Godward made all the difference.
Then once Asaph is able to look at his bad attitude and outlook on life in a healthy way, he says in verse 22
“I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.”
Asaph admits that when it came to God, he was totally out of control with his life and focus. He was like a beast. It was selfish, wayward, depressing, and scary. See verses 2-3.
As I think of how few of people I know who will honestly admit being beastly, I realize that only God’s grace can cause someone to deny themself and be honest. I encourage you to read and re-read Psalm 73. It is good. When it comes to your life and God, Don’t go beast-mode against him.
This week our church had a three-part Bible study on the Resurrection. We had a great time digging though God’s Word seeking to understand more and more about the meaning and implication of the fact that Jesus is no longer dead, but is alive.
I was most impacted by Romans 4:24-25:
“…Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”
RAISED FOR OUR JUSTIFICATION!
Easter is coming. April 24th is only two weeks away, and on that Sunday morning Christians all over the place will worship specifically because of the resurrection. How important is the resurrection?
It cannot be understated… for our right-standing before God Almighty is based on the work of Christ in His death and resurrection.
For those that believe, they are justified before God because of His resurrection.
A few days back I posted about this new book I found called Our Home is like a little Church. It is understatement to say that I love this book. It is so short and true. Very practical for me as a parent and my sons as children.
The introduction to the book has an outstanding quote from Martin Luther. I pray that there would be more and more men and fathers who approach family life, home life, and child-rearing with this great responsibility, seriousness, and intensity.
Here is the Martin Luther quote :
“Abraham had in his tent a house of God and a church, just as today any godly and pious head of a household instructs his children… in godliness. Therefore such a house is actually a school and church, and the head of the household is a bishop and priest in his house.”
I have been reading David McIntyre’s book The Hidden Life of Prayer. Already I am longing to pray more. I want to share with you this quote about waiting on God.
“But the most familiar, and perhaps the most impressive, description of prayer in the Old Testament is found in those numerous passages where the life of intercourse with God is spoken of as a waiting upon him. A great scholar has given a beautiful definition of waiting upon God: ‘To wait is not merely to remain impassive. It is to expect- to look for with patience, and also with submission. It is to long for, but not impatiently; to look for, but not to fret at the delay; to watch for, but not relentlessly; to feel that if he does not come, we will acquiesce, and yet to refuse to let the mind acquiesce in the feeling that he will not come.'”
I got all of this from Justin Taylor’s blog which is at http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/
I love the idea that God has designed for all of us who are His witnesses to be in a certain place doing particular things. We all are not to be like each other. Be Who God has you to be, and Be content with that. I hope you like this quote.
From an interview with Michael Horton on his new book, The Gospel Commission: Recovering God’s Strategy for Making Disciples:
I think there has been a lot of anxiety and burnout—indeed, a new kind of low-grade legalism—as believers are given the burden of transforming culture. Most of us are called to making small differences every day in the lives of a few neighbors—like our spouse, children, extended friends and relatives, co-workers. Of course, we pursue our callings as more than jobs, but so do a lot of non-Christians. We are motivated by a concern to love and serve our neighbors, but a lot of non-Christians have a stronger sense of social obligation than we do. What if I’m a janitor or tree surgeon in Iowa rather than a Wall Street mover-and-shaker? Actually, most Christians are the former rather than the latter. I like Os Guinness’s line: “In terms of influence, the problem is not that most Christians aren’t where they should be, but that they aren’t what they should be where they are.” I would only add that it’s only by being regularly steeped in God’s Word, over the long haul, that this kind of maturity becomes something that others recognize even if we don’t.
The first day of April is celebrated as April FOOL’S day. Most everyone knows that. Many people enjoy pranking others to get a laugh on this day. This morning a good brother of mine got me really good with a simple text about sports. I fell for it. He replied with another text saying “April Fools.” Yall know how that goes. Its fun… just as long as the pranks aren’t too serious and devastating.
But I want to comment on the idea of a “Fool”. All day I have been absorbed with this word and its meaning. And that is because of what I know God says about a fool.
Both Psalm 14 and Psalm 53 state this very powerful and attention-grabbing truth:
“The fool says in his heart “There is no God.””
Webster’s Dictionary defines a Fool as = someone lacking in judgment or prudence.
In one of my devotional books, Dianne Neal Matthews has written very well in On This Day:
The Bible has a lot to say about fools. Proverbs alone contains numerous verses that describe fools– that is, not people who lack intelligence but those who have character defects.
Thinking through all of that is disheartening. I know some fools. I know many people who say there is no God. Also very sad, I know many people who are drifting in that direction. More than that, I also know many guys and girls who live like there is no God. I also know some folks who are quite sharp, educated, intelligent people but they have character defects. Its sad. Its foolish.
And still I am fully aware that were it not for God first loving me that I would not at all be loving Him. Were it not for Jesus being the mediator between me and God, I would still be hostile with God. But now because of Jesus, I have peace with God. I am drawing near to God while He is drawing near to me. According to God, that is not foolish. It is humbling to know that a fool like me is no longer considered a fool by God.
As you celebrate April Fools Day, Don’t be foolish! Believe in God!