Archive for June, 2010

29
Jun

The Price of Our Freedom

   Posted by: jmueller    in Dead Theologians, James Smith

(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Morning Visit”)

“Christ has made us free!”
Galatians 5:1

We were once the slaves of sin, Satan, and the world; but Jesus has made us free!

We are now delivered from the law–and are under grace.

We are dead to sin–and are justified from it.

We are delivered from Satan–and are at war with him.

We overcome the world–and are hastening out of it.

We are at liberty to serve God, and walk with Him in friendship and holy love.

The price of our freedom–was the life and death of Jesus!

The grand moving cause–was the infinite and everlasting love of God our Father.

The efficient cause of our freedom–was the power and operation of the Holy Spirit.

The instrument by which we are brought into our freedom–is the holy gospel.

The grace which puts us into possession of our freedom–is faith.

The end of our freedom–is that we may serve our God in righteousness and holiness all the days of our life, and then be glorified with Him forever!

We are freed from sin–that we may be holy and happy.

Let us stand fast in the liberty with which Christ has made us free!

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25
Jun

He seems to grow more like Satan!

   Posted by: jmueller    in Dead Theologians

Another great excerpt from Grace Gems.

He seems to grow more like Satan!

(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Morning Visit”)

“Their righteousness is from Me!” Isaiah 54:17

The longer the Christian lives–the more he learns. And the more the Spirit teaches him–the more he loathes himself and renounces his own righteousness as filthy rags.

He hoped sensibly . . .
to grow in holiness,
to feel his corruptions subdued, and
to enjoy the presence of his God without interruption.

But instead of this:
he seems to grow more like Satan,
his corruption appears to get stronger and stronger, and
the depravity of his nature appears more and more dreadful!

He thinks himself to be a monster of iniquity, and wonders how God can possibly love him, or show any favor unto him.

Yet, this heart-felt experience . . .
endears God’s free grace,
renders Christ unspeakably precious,
and the gift of righteousness invaluable!

How can such a man be just before God? Where is his righteousness to come from? Jehovah answers, “His righteousness is from Me!”
Jesus wrought it;
the Father imputes it to us;
the gospel reveals it; and
faith receives it, puts it on, and pleads it before God.

Precious Jesus! in You alone, I have righteousness and strength!

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24
Jun

The situation in which she died is instructive:

   Posted by: jmueller    in Dead Theologians

This is today’s Grace Gem:

(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Morning Visit”)

She had hospitably entertained the angels,
she had believed their message,
she had obeyed their command,
she had left Sodom behind her,
she had forsaken the ungodly.

Yet her heart was left in the city!

She was cut off by a visible display of God’s judgment!

“But Lot’s wife looked back–and she became a pillar of salt!”
Genesis 19:26

The situation in which she died is instructive:

It was not in Sodom–but on the plain.

She escaped one judgment–but was overtaken by another!

She was deprived of eternal life–for too highly prizing earth’s comforts!

She was left as sad example of God’s jealousy, and His displeasure against sin.

God will be honored either by our obedience–or by our punishment!

It is dangerous to trifle with the smallest of God’s commands!

We may overcome one temptation–and yet fall by another!

Here is a warning to the covetous–whose hearts are set on earthly things!

Here is a warning to the self-willed–who trifle with God’s commands!

Here is a warning to the undecided–who stand between Sodom and Zoar.

Let us examine–are our hearts detached from the world?

Be not high-minded–but fear!

“Remember Lot’s wife!” Luke 17:32

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24
Jun

The Eyes of Angels and The Face of My Father

   Posted by: jmueller    in Miscellany

This is an excellent post at Wrestling with an Angel.  You can find it here.

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17
Jun

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God

   Posted by: jmueller    in GPBC Elder/Deacon Study, Suffering

There are several audio messages that seem to coincide with many of the chapters of John Piper’s and Justin Taylor’s book ‘Suffering and the Sovereignty of God’.  The book does go further in depth with each of the topics, but these audio messages from the 2005 Desiring God Conference appear to provide a good overview of the topics.  It looks like there are two chapters and an appendix that do not have a corresponding audio message.

Chapter 1 – John Piper – ‘Ten Aspects of God’s Sovereignty Over Suffering and Satan’s Hand in It’

Chapter 2 – Mark Talbot – ‘All the Good that Is Ours in Christ: Seeing God’s Gracious Hand in the Hurts Others Do to Us’

Chapter 3 – John Piper – ‘The Suffering of Christ and the Sovereignty of God’

Chapter 4 – No Message

Chapter 5 – Stephen Saint – ‘Sovereignty, Suffering, and the Work of Missions’

Chapter 6 – Carl Ellis – ‘The Sovereignty of God and Ethnic-Based Suffering’

Chapter 7 – David Powlison – ‘Christ’s Grace and Your Sufferings’

Chapter 8 – No Message

Chapter 9 – Joni Eareckson Tada – ‘Suffering for the Sake Of…’

Appendix A – No Message

Appendix B – Justin Taylor – ‘Interview with John Piper’

And just in case you still need the book and/or study guide, here are the links:

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God online book

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God study guide

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17
Jun

Solar Storms

   Posted by: jmueller    in Miscellany

I was listening to part of the Paul Edwards program on WLQV 1500 AM yesterday while I was cooking dinner.  He was talking about scientific predictions about major solar storms in 2013.  Apparently this is something that happens once every generation.  The implications of this could be devastating to our ‘electronic’ society.  This would be the first generation of humans that would be facing this with this level of electronic and magnetic based technology.

Here is a link to a very good article from the NOAA which describes this in much greater depth.

I am starting to think that I should invest in companies that make optical media for computers, and magnetic shielding for electronic systems.  And of course, start looking at a backup system for my own computers that would not be prone to the magnetic fluctuations.

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13
Jun

Emerging Leader Grads Meeting June 6, 2010

   Posted by: jmueller    in Emerging Leaders

We spent some time talking about the various issues that many of us seem to be struggling with with our kids. We made it up to page 46 of ‘A Man’s Strategy for Conquering Temptation’.

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13
Jun

Test of Assurance

   Posted by: jmueller    in Accountability, Assurance

Scripture tells us that we need to test ourselves to be sure that we are in the Faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Here is a test for you to examine yourself against.

Part 1 – Evidences that neither prove nor disprove your faith.

  1. Do you show signs of visible morality?
  2. Do you have knowledge of God?
  3. Do you show signs of religious involvement?
  4. Are you actively involved in ministry?
  5. Do you feel conviction over your sins?
  6. Do you know when you decided to make Jesus your Lord and Savior?

Part 2 – Proofs of Authentic Christianity

  1. Do you love God?
  2. Have you repented of your sins, and are you still?
  3. Do you have genuine humility?
  4. Are you devoted to bringing God glory?
  5. Do you pray continuously?
  6. Do you have selfless love for the sake of others?
  7. Are you separated from the world?  Does the world also recognize that you are separated from it?
  8. Are you showing signs of spiritual growth?

If Part 1 is true of a person and Part 2 is false, then there is cause to question the validity of your profession of faith.

If Part 2 is true for you, then Part 1 will also be true.

Now here you might say, “I am struggling with some of the items in Part 2″.  Well, join the club.  If you are truly saved, then you are being sanctified.  This means that you will be growing to become more like Christ.  This will not be complete until you go to be with Him.   But you should see signs of growth.  You should be able look back at where you were last year and be able to say that you are holier now than you were then.  Or better yet, ask someone close to you that question.

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9
Jun

Verse of the Day

   Posted by: jmueller    in Bible Verse

I came across this morning:

Job 28:20-28 (ESV)

20 “From where, then, does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living
and concealed from the birds of the air.
22 Abaddon and Death say,
‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’

23 “God understands the way to it,
and he knows its place.
24 For he looks to the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he gave to the wind its weight
and apportioned the waters by measure,
26 when he made a decree for the rain
and a way for the lightning of the thunder,
27 then he saw it and declared it;
he established it, and searched it out.
28 And he said to man,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

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5
Jun

As Iron Sharpens Iron

   Posted by: jmueller    in Accountability

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 NIV

  1. Am I preaching to myself or listening to myself?
  2. Am I equipping myself with Scripture?  How is the consistency and quality of my prayer time?  Am I making it a priority?
  3. Have I handled my finances responsibly?  Am I generously giving back to the Lord?
  4. Am I loving my wife like Christ loved the Church?  How have I shown it; in words, actions and attitudes?
  5. Have I viewed any inappropriate material or wasted too much time on entertainment?
  6. Am I content with where I am and with what God has given me?  Am I daily thanking Him?
  7. Am I praying for God to work in the hearts of people around me?  Have I looked for opportunities to share Jesus with them?  Did I wimp out?
  8. What sins are you struggling with this week?  What are the current idols of your heart?
  9. Are you confessing your sin to God and others? How are you fleeing temptation?
  10. Have you just lied?
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