Sunday, December 4, 2016

Put On Words

This morning at church during our corporate confession we talked about words. It was a good word regarding words. Pastor Higgins during the confession exhortation said something about wanting a word on paper rather than be a word in our flesh. 

Last night I read The Unbaked Biscuit out of Fit To Burst by Rachel Jankovic. In my head there seems to be many connections. I can tend to imagine wonderful family time but usually I find myself tired and not wanting to give more of myself. 

As a thought it would be like Christians that can get fussy over the cashier saying, "Happy Holidays!" and returns with toned and attituded, "Merry Christmas!" Maybe we should seek to be more "Merry" in our "Christmas". And because of Jesus we have plenty to be merry in our Christmas season. 

Are we thinking thoughts that are pleasing to the Lord? Is our thinking working its way out into our living? You can have all the right words in your thinking and still have all the wrong words in your living. What you do says something about your worldview. We must be thinking and doing. 

Consider Colossians 3:12 where it says "Put on then, as God's chosen ones"...the words that follow may sound great in our private quiet times, but for God's chosen ones they are words we are commanded to put on. God's chosen ones are called to put life to these words.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Love Pursues

When it comes to others that may wrong and sin against us we ought to consider what God did when Adam and Eve sinned against Him. We also need to consider other Scriptures to help us walk in a manner that pleases our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Lord has commanded us how we ought to handle those situations.

After Adam and Eve sinned against God they hid themselves from the presence of God. Sin does just that it takes us out of fellowship with God. Before their sin Adam and Eve enjoyed the presence of God and now in sin they don't.

But what I want to consider is that God pursued them in the garden. He didn't wait for them to come to Him. Do you pursue those that have wronged you or just let them hide from your presence? To be like God means that we would pursue those that have sinned against us.

To wait until they come to you is to be disobedient to God. Love pursues; hate abandons. Forgiveness does not begin when the person that wrongs you asks you to forgive them. Forgiveness starts in the heart and works its way out into all the sins that are done against you. A heart that is full of forgiveness does not hand it out with a teaspoon but it just overflows to those that have sinned against us.

Prayerfully consider Matthew 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1-2; Colossians 3:13-14; Hebrews 3:12-13. May the Lord help us please Him in how we forgive others as He has forgiven us. A Christian ought to be known as those that "having been forgiven for everything, we must have hearts that are completely and entirely full of forgiveness for those who have wronged us." (quote from Douglas Wilson)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Special Trait

Last night we had a really good discussion at Men 2 Men. We are going through Lectures on Calvinism by Abraham Kuyper. It has been a good book for our men to work through and talk about.

Here is a quote from the section we just finished reading that encouraged us:
"But it remained the special trait of Calvinism that it placed the believer before the face of God, not only in His church, but also in his personal, family, social, and political life. The majesty of God, and the authority of God press upon the Calvinist in the whole of his human existence. He is a pilgrim, not in the sense that he is marching through a world with which he has no concern, but in the sense that at every step of the long way he must remember his responsibility to that God so full of majesty, who awaits him at his journey's end."

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Jacob and Growing Up

This morning at church we talked about Jacob and his wrestling with God. He was not the same after that. His wrestling with God was hard and he grew because of it. What a grace that we can learn form those that went before us. Jacob is proof that God will grow us through our hardships. Many think of blessings as those things that prosper us in material and wealth, but here we see that the blessing was Jacob growing up into godly character. Jacob walked away more humble and dependent on God. Let us want the latter.

What ends up getting in the way of our growth is a heart that is proud and self-reliant. Growth is hard because it means that a few things are going right in our heart. One is that we are humbled. We see the Lord as He is and that changes everything. Second is that we are dependent on the Lord. We see that apart from the Lord and His grace we only stay comfortable. Grace messes up our hair and gets the dishes dirty.

Being a Christian is more about being comforted than being comfortable. We often want to do great things and receive great blessings. But we are Christian for God's glory and not our own. So as was said this morning "If you want God to be great than buckle up!" Just remember to bring a heart that is humbled and dependent on Him. Also remember His promises and trust Him even when things look like they are not going to work out because God is faithful to His promises.

Friday, November 25, 2016

What Should Obedience Look Like?

Taken from My Life For Yours - A Walk Through The Christian Home by Douglas Wilson. Chapter 14 "Practical Considerations pg. 93-94.

So what should obedience look like? What are some key principles that children need to master?

1) Obedience is not hard of hearing. An obedient heart listens for the command and wants to hear it. So deaf obedience is disobedience.

2) Obedience is not forgetful. If a child is told to make his bed on Monday, this command doesn't evaporate by Wednesday. Forgetful obedience is disobedience.

3) Obedience is not piecemeal. If given a list of things to do, accomplishing half of them is not obedience. Partial obedience is disobedience.

4) Obedience is not postponed. Attempts to set an independent schedule for obedience is simply another way of seeking to wrest control of the whole thing away from the parents. Delayed obedience is disobedience.

5) Obedience is not subject to private interpretations. A child should not be allowed to spin the requirements placed upon him so that they are more to his liking. Reinterpreted obedience is disobedience.

6) Obedience is not reluctant or sullen. If obedience is well-pleasing to God, then it's to be well-pleasing to us. Grumpy obedience is disobedience.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Now

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Many families will gather together to celebrate the many blessings God has given us. Hopefully this is just the culmination of 364 days of prior thankfulness. God calls us to give thanks in all circumstances.

What is your giving thanks worth? We must learn to give thanks today. May our thanksgiving be pleasing to the Lord. May this encourage and stir you up to being thick in your giving thanks.

We cannot be thankful when we complain about what we don't have. I am guilty of this. God has given you this but that over there looks better. In reality we only keep our hearts from giving thanks because we covet what we don't have.

God does not just give good gifts to other people. Everything you have is a good gift from the Lord. We don't deserve anything (this includes the hard and dark parts of life too) but God has given us much to taste and see that He is good. We need to have thanksgiving now, not when circumstances and blessings are easy and overflowing.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Not Impressive

A friend of mine shared last night with some families that his wife is not easy to impress. He went on to say that it didn't matter how many books he has read or how much Bible he memorized. She would not be impressed by those things. What impressed her was when he applied his heart to what the Bible had to say about how he should live his life and how he should lead his home.

That was a good word. If you are a husband we ought to strive to line up our way of living with God's way of living. There should be agreement rather than dualism. It is wise to ask yourself, do I live my life and lead my home in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord? May you seek the Lord who can cause you to walk worthy of Him.