sickened by it

Over the past few months, the book of Daniel has captivated me. Themes like the faithfulness of Daniel, the worldliness of kings and kingdoms, the severity of punishments, the sovereignty of God, the power of God, etc have been challenging me and growing me in my understanding.

Well at the end of chapter 8 of Daniel after Daniel has just seen a vision about the future suffering and evil that would come upon his people, Daniel makes this statement: “And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days.” (8:27)

And this lead me to thinking about the expressions “I was sickened by it” or “that makes me sick to my stomach.” And I am sure that most everyone is familiar with expressions like those, with what they mean and when and why they are said.

Daniel and his people were Jews. They were God’s people. And they were in exile and had been taken captive by the Babylonians and Medes and Persians. Things were bad already for Daniel and his people. But for the first 8 chapters of Daniel, Daniel and his peers have demonstrated an incredible steadfastness and faithfulness to God in the face of the trials. So Daniels vision only adds to the difficulty. Things are going to get worse. The thought of more trials, more evil, more deaths, more truth being thrown to the ground (8:12) sounds awful to Daniel. That is because those things are awful. And when you are able to see clearly, able to see by faith, then bad things wrong things stand out and … look bad. Well, that is what happens to Daniel. And what he sees overwhelms him. In the last verse of the passage, Daniel says he is “overcome and lay sick for some days.” What he saw sickened him! What he saw made him sick to his stomach!

Does that ever happen to you?

Wednesday night as I watched ESPN footage of Penn State’s students reacting with violence and rioting, I felt like Daniel. I, Josh, was overcome and lay sick.

Now, I do not know near enough of the details concerning who did what in that stuff. But I do know that when many young boys are being sexually abused it makes me sick. And when I hear about it, there are a few different ways to react. None of them are to get in the streets and riot. None of them are talking about football.

The very thought of it is sickening. The reactions were sickening. I was sickened by it.

May we be more like Daniel… when we see and/or hear of evil and sin, we are sickened by it.

God give us sharp sensitivity to the Spirit’s conviction!

act like men

Did you know that statement is from God’s Word?

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” -1 Corinthians 16:13

There is a place for it! Men need to be men!

  • Be a man with conviction.
  • Be honest.
  • Mean what you say and say what you mean.
  • Love your wife.
  • Spend time with your kids.
  • Work hard.
  • Work a lot.
  • Don’t be lazy.
  • Don’t complain.
  • Don’t make excuses.

There are certainly many, many more ways to “act like men.” But its time to. ACT LIKE MEN! God tells us that in His word.

a beard

No-shave-November has officially begun! (I do not plan for it to last long. It already itches so badly.)

Psalm 133:1-2 says “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down the collar on the robes.”

Augustine commenting on this verse said: “The beard signifies the courageous; the beard distinguishes the grown men, the earnest, the active, the vigourous. So that when we describe such, we say, he is a bearded man.”

As a great friend and brother just reminded me– “Beards are more serious than no-shave November, my friend.”

Yes, they are!

“it was in the hand of the Father…”

This past Sunday I preached on the last passage in Luke 8. The passage that has Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter and also healing the woman who was bleeding. You can hear the sermon here.

In verses 54-55, Dr. Luke writes “But taking her by the hand he called, saying, ‘child, arise.’ And her spirit returned, and she got up at once.”

The idea and the details of ‘her spirit returned’ are fascinating and glorious. Think about that for a bit!

Commenting on this statement, Matthew Henry said:

“This proves that our souls exist and act in a state of separation from the body, and therefore are immortal, that death does not extinguish the candle of the Lord, but takes it out of  a dark lantern. It is not, as Grotius observes, the temperament of the body, or anything that dies with it; but something that subsists by itself, which, after death, is somewhere else than where the body is. Where the soul of the child was in the interval we are not told. It was in the hand of the Father of spirits, to whom all souls at death return.”

a complete reversal

Sunday I preached from Luke 8:26-39. You can listen to it here.

Darrel Bock commenting on how much the demon-possessed man had changed.

“In a complete reversal of the previously possessed man’s demeanor, he is now clothed, whereas before he had been naked; he is now seated, whereas before he had been roaming; he is now associated with others as he sits at Jesus’ feet, whereas before he sought solitude; he is now of sound mind, whereas before he had been crying out in a loud voice; he is now comfortable in the presence of Jesus, whereas before he wanted nothing to do with him.”

God’s re-creating work in a person is so beautiful!

who is the king of the everlasting kingdom?

God’s kingdom is an everlasting kingdom! And the Lord Jesus Christ is the King of that Kingdom.

As we have been studying in the book of Daniel, we have seen how common this “everlasting kingdom” is in Daniel.

  • Daniel 2:47 “The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly your God is God of Gods and Lord of kings…”
  • Daniel 4:3 “How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom…”
  • Daniel 4:34 “for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation”
  • Daniel 6:26 “for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end.”

All of those instances listed above are of worldly kings who have realized that there is a king which is greater than them. That King that is greater is Jesus. Jesus is the king on the throne of David forever (1 Kings 2:45). Jesus is the King of Kings (Rev. 19:16).

Kings reign. Kings reign over people. People bow down and worship kings. Their is a king who is reigning and will reign forever in an everlasting kingdom. That Kingdom is the Kingdom of God, and that King is King Jesus!

a big word we all need to know

P-R-O-P-I-T-I-A-T-I-O-N

I am not a big word type of guy. I don’t use a lot of big words because I don’t really know a lot of them. And I don’t like it too much when someone uses big words with me that I do not know. Although, if they do, I usually go back and look it up so that I can know it next time.

Propitiation is a big word that we all need to know! God’s word is long. 66 books inside one book. Double columns too. And throughout God’s Book there are not a lot of big words. So when God does decide to speak a big word to us- we should listen. We should know it. We should look it up. We should learn it. We are very unwise to say “he is talking over my head” and just leave it with not knowing it. If God uses the word propitiation (which he does), then we need to make sure we know what it means.

The word propitiation is only in the Bible four times: Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2; and 1 John 4:10. It would be quite beneficial for you to memorize all four of those.

Romans 3:25 “whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.”

Hebrews 2:17 “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

1 John 2:2 “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”

1 John 4:10 “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

So what does it mean?

Wayne Grudem says it means “a sacrifice that bears God’s wrath to the end and in so doing changes God’s wrath toward us into favor.” (p.575 in Systematic Theology)

In other words, here is what I often tell our church members to know about it: When Christ died for us, He did not ONLY remove our sins from us or wash them away. When Christ died for us, He did take our sins from us and wash them away. And He did that by taking them upon himself. He became our sin. And therefore, He had to suffer the wrath of God for us because of our sins. SO, Jesus did not just wash away our sins. But He washed our sins and took our judgment and punishment for us because of them.

That is what propitiation is all about! Isn’t that a good big word to know? Re-read those 4 verses in context. Learn those 4 verses. Then trust in Christ even more because HE IS THE PROPITIATION FOR YOUR SINS!


Homecoming 2011 Flag Football game

I plan on doing a post re-capping all of the great Lord’s Day that was our Homecoming 2011, but until I can get to that here is a picture from yesterday’s 6th Annual Flag Football game. This pic was taken at the end of the day- which was after 2+ hours and 3 games. Some players had left already and the rest of us were exhausted. We sure did have a lot of fun!

Lecrae on BET awards cypher

Tonight on the 2011 BET Hip-Hop Awards show, Lecrae was a part of a cypher. His part was less than a minute long but it was very good. While everyone else was rapping about how great they were, Lecrae rapped about Jesus.

Here are a few lines I could understand.

“if you really wanna hate, wait, he got the Word with him, i heard him holla JESUS, the notorious, NO!, the most glorious!”

“But them awards can’t follow u to the grave, u livin for them whips and chains then u a slave.”

Here is his part.