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Archive for the ‘Christian life’ Category

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The title describes the purpose of this short book: Why Christian Kids Need A Christian Education. Douglas Wilson, pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho and one of the founding fathers of the Classical Christian Education movement, makes his case in 71 pages.

Wilson doesn’t get to his point right away, but spends much of his time (and ink) laying the groundwork. He does this by dealing with issues that need to be understood and embraced before the question can be answered. A few of these are knowing what a Christian worldview is and what it isn’t, the nature of education, and what everyone knows – Christian or not.

Wilson pleads for Christian parents to consider the disastrous results of government education and do something about it. Hopefully this book will help you do that.

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Yesterday was the fiftieth anniversary of Joni Eareckson Tada’s diving accident. I remember seeing a movie about her (in which she played herself) produced by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association when God was in the process of drawing me to Himself.  You can read her reflections here – you’ll be glad you did.

Rob Bell says quoting Romans 8:28 is not something Christians should do when comforting someone who’s suffering. Owen Strachan responds here. I’ve heard this piece of “advice” from Christians other than Rob Bell, before and it’s terrible. How can we withhold God’s Word from His people? To do so is to not love them.

The gospel might divide a church, according to Jared Wilson. We’re under obligation to preach the gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ – inside and outside the church. But we need to be ready for the response, which won’t always be good. You can read the three ways this might happen here.

Golfer Matt Kuchar is a class act. This open letter to him by a British journalist explains why.

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The lyrics to William Cowper’s great hymn were needed words this morning. They were a good reminder for me.

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

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Pauls-Life-for-Christ-Philippians-1.19-26

This morning I had the privilege of preaching on Philippians 1:18b-26. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: The gospel advances whether we live or die, and when we live, Jesus Christ is the hub around which everything else revolves.

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Coming Home

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The story is told of a missionary couple returning home after fifty years on a foreign field. They had faithfully served the Lord, raised their children, and made disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, but now it was time to return from the field.

As they disembarked from the ocean liner after their journey across the ocean, they noticed thousands upon thousands of people waiting at the dock. It turned out that a well-known celebrity had made the trip with them, and was greeted by throngs of adoring fans.

The missionary husband saw the welcome the celebrity received and said to his wife, “It’d sure be nice if we got that kind of reception when we got home.” Aware of the disappointment in his voice, his wife said, “Honey, we’re not home yet.”

No, they weren’t home yet. Neither are we. They, like we as believers in Jesus Christ, will be home when we hear the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Jesus told His disciples, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3).

Home is to be in the presence of the Triune God forever, and the reception will be out of this world!

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Chains-for-Christ

This morning I had the privilege of preaching on Philippians 1:12-14. What follows is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: The gospel advances because of suffering – non-believers hear the gospel and believers are encouraged and strengthened.

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This is material that didn’t quite make it into my sermon on Philippians 1:9-11.

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment (Phil. 1:9).

Commenting on this verse, John MacArthur wrote in Reckless Faith,

Those who think of faith as the abandonment of reason cannot be truly discerning. Irrationality and discernment are polar opposites. When Paul prayed that the Philippians’ love would “abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment” emphasis added), he was affirming the rationality of true faith. He also meant to suggest that knowledge and discernment necessarily go hand in hand with genuine spiritual growth.

Biblical faith, therefore is rational. It is reasonable. It is intelligent. It makes good sense. And spiritual truth is meant to be rationally contemplated, examined logically, studied, analyzed, and employed as the only reliable basis for making wise judgments. That process is precisely what Scripture discernment.

Steven Cole, in his sermon on the same passage – after he quoted MacArthur – wrote,

The mood today is that if you are critical of anyone’s doctrinal or personal life, no matter how unbiblical they may be, you are not loving and you are arrogant to judge this person. Jesus’ words, “Judge not, lest you be judged” (Matt. 7:1) are wrenched out of context and misapplied. If people would just keep reading, Jesus goes on to say, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine” (Matt. 7:6). How can you determine if someone is a dog or a swine if you don’t make discerning judgments? A few verses later He warns us to beware of false prophets who come as wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt. 7:15). It takes a discerning sheep to see that this isn’t a fellow-sheep whom we need to embrace, but a ravenous wolf we need to avoid!

 

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