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Archive for April, 2009

 

I just heard R.C. Sproul mention this today as I listened to a podcast of a recent Renewing Your Mind broadcast – If you want a crash course in sanctification, do the following:

Read the Bible (all the way through). Put a mark next to everything you don’t like. Then spend the next ten years working your way through each of them.

Some of the things we don’t like, we may not understand properly. Once we’ve figured them out, we may be able to cross them off the list. If we do understand them properly and still don’t like them, then we have only two options according to Sproul. Either we change our minds or God changes His Word. I think we know which answer is correct. Sproul thinks this would be a good exercise because it would reveal the condition of our heart.

Very interesting and worth a try.

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New Book

 

I picked up Tullain Tchividjian’s book Unfashionable yesterday. I read the forward, introduction, ands the first chapter last night and it looks very interesting. I’ll let you know what I think of it along the way.

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What Paul says in Philippians 3:12-14 is encouraging to me. He says,

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ.

Paul – the great apostle Paul – admits he’s not perfect and that he needs to press on, to keep going and faithfully follow our Lord Jesus Christ. We know we’re not perfect. We’re painfully aware of our flaws and the sins we see as “respectable” and even acceptable (even though God obviously doesn’t).

What is encouraging to me is that Paul admits it, too. The man who wrote nearly half of the New Testament, planted numerous churches, trained numerous men for ministry, encountered Jesus personally, and literally “lost his head” for the Gospel, was simultaneously just and sinful – just like me and, hopefully, just like you.

Encouragement is also found in the fact that Paul presses on and strains forward in his pursuit of holiness. He knew he was still on a journey and in the process of being made and of becoming more and more like Jesus Christ – just like you and me.

I’m not there yet and I need to press on toward the goal for God’s glory and my good. Thanks for the encouragement, Paul!

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He is Risen!

 

He is risen indeed!

I don’t tend to post much on or around Easter because I’m usually too busy. Maybe I’ll write something in the weeks previous next year – Lord willing! Have a great day and don’t forget to remember that Jesus rose from the dead, which changes everything.

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

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I Knew it!

 

I knew it was too good to be true. The Seattle Mariners will not go 162-0 this season. They lost tonight to the Minnesota Twins in the bottom of the ninth inning. One loss and one blown save. I”ll take 1-1, though – they could be 0-2. Part of the reason I love baseball is because it encourages hope and perseverance, which are important when you’re a Mariner fan.

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One of the clearest evidences of the existence of God.

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Joseph had been wrongly imprisoned in Genesis 39 – he was faithful and obedient to God and Potiphar’s wife made up a story. 

“Some time after this,” according to Genesis 40:1, “the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker committed an offense against their lord the king of Egypt.” They found themselves sharing a cell, so to speak, with Joseph.

Each of them had dreams they didn’t understand. Joseph offered his services as the unofficial prison interpreter of dreams. The chief cupbearer would be returned to the good graces of the king, according to Joseph who asked that he would remember him (Joseph, that is) and plead his case before the king. The baker, after seeing this, thought he should get in on the positive interpretations while they lasted. However, the outcome of the baker’s dream was decidedly less positive.

Joseph’s interpretations – obviously from God – took place exactly as he said, but his request was denied. “The chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph but forgot him” (Gen. 40:23).

“After two whole years,” says Genesis 41:1, Pharaoh had a dream that he didn’t understand. The story has come full-circle, yes, but how long did it take? Two years! Joseph sat in that prison as an innocent man for two full years waiting, hoping, and praying that the cupbearer would remember him and say something to Pharaoh the king of Egypt. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, he sat.

Did Joseph ever wonder what God was up to during that time? I’m sure he did. Did he cry out to God? I know he did. Did he ever think that maybe, just maybe, God had forgotten him? It’s possible. Did he ever become unfaithful to the Lord or give up? No, he didn’t! I’m confident of it because of the rest of his story recorded in Genesis.

Joseph remained obedient and faithful to the Lord his God before prison, while he was in prison, and after it, too. 

Some of us may be enduring a “prison” situation right now. For some, “after two whole years” would be a welcome relief. To all in that particular stage of life, the Lord says, “Hang in there! Be faithful! Trust Me – I know what I’m doing!” Even after two whole years.

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