Wednesday, December 31, 2008

10 Reasons to Pray the Scriptures – John Piper

John Piper lists ten reasons why we should pray and meditate over biblical truth.

1. Biblical truth saves.
Take heed to yourself and to your doctrine; hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (
1 Timothy 4:16)

2. Biblical truth frees from Satan.
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. (
John 8:32)

3. Biblical truth imparts grace and peace.
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. (
2 Peter 1:2)

4. Biblical truth sanctifies.
Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth. (
John 17:17)

5. Biblical truth serves love.
It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment.
(
Philippians 1:9)

6. Biblical truth protects from error.
Attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God...so that we may no longer be...carried to and fro by every wind of doctrine. (
Ephesians 4:13-14)

7. Biblical truth is the hope of heaven.
Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. (
1 Corinthians 13:12)

8. Biblical truth will be resisted by some.
The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings. (
2 Timothy 4:3)

9. Biblical truth, rightly handled, is approved by God.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (
2 Timothy 2:15)

10. Biblical truth: Continue to grow in it!
Grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (
2 Peter 3:18)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How Deep the Father's Love for Us - Fernando Ortega

My Favorite Bible Verse - Tim Hawkins

The other day I was talking with someone about memorizing Scripture and they asked me what my favorite Bible verse was. Like most people I do have a "life" verse which was central to my coming to faith in Christ, but when it comes to a favorite verse I am finding that the more I memorize God's Word the more I am finding more "favorites."

When asked about my favorite Bible verse I was reminded of this Tim Hawkins video.

Morning



















Compassionate Lord,
Thy mercies have brought me to the dawn
of another day,
Vain will be its gift unless I grow in grace,
increase in knowledge,
ripen for spiritual harvest.
Let me this day know thee as thou art,
love thee supremely,
serve thee wholly,
admire thee fully.
Through grace let my will respond to thee,
Knowing that power to obey is not in me,
but that thy free love alone enables me to serve thee.
Here then is my empty heart,
overflow it with thy choicest gifts;
Here is my blind understanding,
chase away its mists of ignorance.
O ever watchful Shepherd,
lead, guide, tend me this day;
Without thy restraining rod I err and stray;
Hedge up my path lest I wander into
unwholesome pleasure,
and drinks its poisonous streams;
Direct my feet that I be not entangled
in Satans’s secret snares,
nor fall into his hidden traps.
Defend me from assailing foes,
from evil circumstances,
from myself.
My adversaries are part and parcel of my nature;
They cling to me as my very skin;
I cannot escape their contact.
In my rising up and sitting down they barnacle me;
They entice with constant baits;
My enemy is within the citadel;
Come with might power and cast him out,
pierce him to death,
and abolish in my every particle
of carnal life this day.

from
"The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotion"
edited by Arthur Bennett

Monday, December 29, 2008

Marble Island and New Life in Christ




















I recently read an article in British Columbia Magazine (Winter 2008 – “Return to Marble Island”) where Larry Pynn wrote of visiting Marble Island, one of the Queen Charlotte Islands, where his father served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II.

Most soldiers faced bullets and shrapnel during the Second World War. But the Royal Canadian Air Force men who served on Marble Island, off Haida Gwaii, fought a relentless battle against the elements. . . .

Marble Island was the base for one of 11 radar stations the Canadian government built in 1943. Established to protect the nation from a potential Japanese invasion, this Pacific Coast air defence radar system operated until the end of the war in 1945. Of all the stations, Marble Island was perhaps the most vulnerable, a 0.5-square-kilometre outcrop exposed to the lashings of the Pacific Ocean in Cartwright Sound, off the western entrance to Skidegate Channel. . . .

At any given time, a complement of 48 to 79 men of all ranks kept the place patched up and operational. One of these was my father, Corporal James Arthur Pynn, who served at Marble Island between October 1944 and January 1945 as a carpenter with the construction and maintenance unit. . . .

My research into Marble Island so far has left me with one answered question: what remains today of the short lived radar station? To find out, I chartered a six-metre aluminum boat in the Village of Queen Charlotte . . .

What do we find? The camp that once stood on a slim margin of land has been flattened and ravaged by storms, the site overgrown with young spruce. . . . As for the radar station, I encounter no evidence of it during a brutal bushwhack to the top of the island. I do find a large fuel tank and sections of the incline railway; wooden ties, steel rails, and rusting spikes.

These, too, will corrode and disappear in time, as nature patiently washes away all evidence of three years of military occupation, and the memories of lives lived and lost are immortalized in the wind and rain and waves that continue to shape Marble
Island.

This story came to mind this past Sunday when I baptized Darcy at Arrowsmith Baptist Church. Having spend quite a bit of time over the past few months with him in his walk towards Christ, I was reminded of the dramatic changes that occur over time in ones heart when they come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Surrendering our hearts and lives to Christ is an act of abandoning the old and embracing the new. One of the great benefits of witnessing a baptism is that it helps us remember how far we've come; as sinners living in a fallen world, it's often easy to forget. In Christ we could paraphrase Larry Pynn’s last sentence to say:

Our old way of life will corrode and disappear in time, as Jesus patiently washes away all evidence of many years of sinful occupation, and the memories of lives lived and lost are immortalized in the wind and rain and waves of Christ's power and presence that continue to shape our hearts and souls.


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)





Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Divine Intervention of God

Glory of God 1

Not long ago I watched an episode of “Intervention” on television that documented the life of Asa, a 30 year old man who struggled much of his life with bulimia nervosa and chronic alcoholism. Ultimately his family and friends recognized Asa had reached the point in his struggles with these addictions that he was about to die, and so they set up an intentional intervention for the purpose of getting him checked into a treatment center. Though initially aggressively resistant, Asa did surrender to the process and though he did experience a couple of relapses afterward, the treatment did have a transformational effect on his life.

In watching the program I found myself feeling both irritation and sympathy for Asa; irritation in that he refused to take responsibility for his behavior by blaming much of his struggles on others, and sympathy in that realized at times I struggle with that very same issue in my own life. Reflecting on all of this afterward, I also recognized this is also true for all of us. The Bible tells us that we have been “brought forth in iniquity” (Psalm 51:5) and are “by nature children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3). Because we are all born into this fallen world as sinners we have all grown up in families who are sinners, and thus are to some degree dysfunctional. "Just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned" (Romans 5:12).


Asa’s struggle with his addictions is no different that our struggle with sin. We can deny our sin and blame our sin on someone else and refuse help with our sin but the reality is – "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. . . . If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (1 John 1:8,10). And even though the verse between these two tells us there is help with our sin struggle when we seek it: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9) - like Asa, even when we do seek help (confession, forgiveness, cleansing) - there will be times, just like Asa after treatment, when we will have relapses because sin will continue to be an ongoing problem for us while we live on this earth.

Yet because God intervened through Jesus Christ, there is hope: "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5). In this season of celebrating the divine intervention of God through the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – may we reflect both on our great need and the even greater provision by our most sovereign God who continually shows us mercy and grace.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. . . . and from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (John 1: 14; 16)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

D. A. Carson on Technology

After posting “The Distraction of Computers” this morning on this blog, I ran across an article on Justin Taylor's blog by D. A. Carson on modern technology that reflected some of my own thinking on this issue. Below are a few quotes from the article; to read the whole thing Click Here.

Scarcely less important than speed of access is the Internet's sheer intoxicating addictiveness–or, more broadly, we might be better to think of the intoxicating addictiveness of the entire digital world. Many are those who are never quiet, alone, and reflective, who never read material that demands reflection and imagination. . . . This is not to demonize tools that are so very useful. Rather, it is to point out the obvious: information does not necessarily spell knowledge, and knowledge does not necessarily spell wisdom, and the incessant demand for unending sensory input from the digital world (says he, as he writes this on a computer for an electronic theological journal) does not guarantee we make good choices. . . .

. . . . If we are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, then we must be reading the Scriptures perennially, seeking to think God's thoughts after him, focusing on the gospel of God and pondering its implications in every domain of life. We need to hear competing voices of information from the world around us, use our time in the digital world wisely, and learn to shut that world down when it becomes more important to get up in the morning and answer emails than it does to get up and read the Bible and pray. . . . The gospel is the power of God issuing in salvation. Empowered by the Holy Spirit and living in the shadow of the cross and resurrection, we find ourselves wanting to be conformed to the Lord Jesus, wanting to be as holy and as wise as pardoned sinners can be this side of the consummation.

Snow for Christmas in Port Alberni!




The Distraction of Computers

I have not posted for almost a week because I have been experiencing computer/software issues. Trying to resolve this has not only affected my blogging but also my ability to write and communicate – along with taking time away from my family and my devotional time with the Lord. Living in the age of computers is a mixed bag of both blessings and curses. Our modern technology allows us to do things we never could before – yet the same technology distracts us more than ever also.

As I worked through resolving my computer problems, I thought about how this was adversely affecting my spiritual walk with Christ – and I wished that instead I might be so “distracted” by resolving the problems in my relationship with Jesus that it would adversely affect the distraction I was feeling over this computer problem. The computer has become so essential to many of the things that we do in life that it can distract us from is truly essential.

In this season when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, we need to remember that Jesus was born into a world that was vastly different than ours today. There was no technology as we know it - no computers, iPods, cell phones, video cameras, televisions, airplanes, cars, movies, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners or light bulbs. Yet Hebrews 13:8 tell us: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

Yesterday my computer problem was solved. I am grateful that my problem with God was solved through Jesus Christ at Calvary.

Friday, December 12, 2008

God's Position on Abortion

This is from the November 29, 2008 issue of World Magazine.
"He began to have nightmares."

A Spanish newspaper account of the pro-life conversion of Stojan Adasevic, who as Serbia's most renowned abortion doctor performed over 48,000 abortions, he said. That changed after he began having recurring dreams of a field full of children, 4-24 years old, and "a man dressed in a black and white habit" who said he was Thomas Aquinas and the children "are the ones you killed with your abortions." Adasevic is now a pro-life activist and returned to the Orthodox faith of his childhood, despite being ostracized from medical practice in the former Yugoslavia.

The Voyage


















O Lord of the Oceans,
My little bark on a restless sea,
Grant that Jesus may sit at the helm and steer me safely;
Suffer no adverse currents to divert my heavenward course;
Let not my faith be wrecked amid storms and shoals;
Bring me to harbour with flying pennants,
hull unbreached, cargo unspoiled.
I ask great things, expect great things, shall receive great things.
I venture on thee wholly,
fully, my wind, sunshine, anchor, defence.
The voyage is long, the waves high, the storms pitiless,
but my helm is held steady, thy Word secures safe passage,
Thy grace wafts me onward, my haven is guaranteed.
This day will bring me nearer home.
Grant me holy consistency in every transaction,
my peace flowing as a running tide,
my righteousness as every chasing wave.
Help me to live circumspectly,
with skill to convert every care into prayer,
Halo my path with gentleness and love,
smooth every asperity of temper,
let me not forget how easy it is to occasion grief;
May I strive to bind up every wound,
and pour oil on all troubled waters.
May the world this day be happier and better because I live,
Let my mast before me be the Saviour’s cross,
and every oncoming wave the fountain in his side.
Help me, protect me in the moving sea,
until I reach the shore of unceasing praise.

from
"The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotion"
edited by Arthur Bennett

ESV Study Bible 2 Pack Offer

Westminster Bookstore is offering two-packs of hardcover ESV Study Bibles for $52.98--which is 47% off of the retail price of $99.98. This is one of the best study Bibles I have ever seen, and all of those I know who have purchased one have been overwhelmingly positive about getting one. While most seem to want leather covers, I’ve also heard many talk about a desire to purchase an additional decorative/protective cover for their Bible – which works better with a hardcover than a leather cover. To access this offer at the Westminster Bookstore Click Here. An informational video is below.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Joy of the Lord - "The Quad Squad"

I ran across this video tonight - just after preaching on "The Promise of Joy" this past Sunday.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Banquet Message - “Rejoicing in Hope”

(Here is the message I shared at the annual Christmas Banquet at Arrowsmith Baptist Church on December 5, 2008. If you would like to listen/download the audio of this message, Click Here).

Young John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through the train station. He was looking for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn’t - the girl with the rose. His interest in her had begun a months before in a Florida library. Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes penciled inside the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind. In the front of the book, was the previous owner’s name, Miss Hollis Maynell. With time and effort he located her address. She now lived in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond. The very next day he was shipped overseas for service in the midst of World War II. In the months that followed the two grew to know each other intimately through the mail. As the romance blossomed, Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. If he really cared, she said, it wouldn’t matter what she looked like. When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting- at 7PM at the Grand Central Station in New York. “You’ll recognize me,” she wrote, “by the red rose I’ll be wearing on my lapel.”

So at 7 PM John Blanchard stood in the station looking for the girl whose heart he loved, but whose face he’d never seen- the girl with the rose. Blanchard writes – “Suddenly a young woman came towards me, her figure long and slim. Her blond hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness; in her pale green suit she seemed like springtime come alive. But as I started toward her, I suddenly realized that she was not wearing a rose. She looked into my disappointed eyes, smiled, and walked on. It was then that I saw Miss Hollis Maynell; she was standing almost directly behind the beautiful woman I had just seen.”

“She was well past 40, and possessed graying hair tucked under a worn hat. She was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes. And she was wearing a single red rose. At that moment I felt as though I was split in two: my heart and mind sought to follow the beauty of the first women, yet my soul was embraced with a deep longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and held me up during the war. And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible; her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. And so with my fingers gripping the small leather copy of the book that had brought us together, I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, and spoke with words choked back by my disappointment.”

“I’m Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?” The woman’s face broadened into a tolerant smile. “I don’t know what this is about, son,” she answered, “but the young lady in the green suit who just walked in front of me begged me to wear this rose. She said if you were to ask me out to dinner, that I should tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said this is some kind of test!”

We all face such tests in life on a regular basis. While there are times when our hopes and dreams and desires are satisfied beyond our grandest expectations – it seems more often than not that we see our greatest hopes dissolve in the face of reality. We are entering at time of year when we’ve all had such experiences. The Christmas season brings with it high expectations for “good will and great tidings with joy” - yet the reality is that often children are disappointed with their presents, spouses can be frustrated with one another, and families become disillusioned by their relationships with each other.

I remember as a young child growing up in a home without a father where money was hard to come by - and facing the reality that often my hopes for a particular Christmas present rarely came true. I also remember the excitement and expectation I felt when as an older child when my mother told she would soon be married – and the disappointment I came know afterwards once I experienced both the anger and distance of a step-father who was deeply embittered about life and had no time for me.

A few years ago at a Bible study I was leading in a prison an inmate told me that every Christmas season he experiences severe headache, a remnant of a severe beating and fractured skull he received from a drunken father on Christmas morning. At times it is hard to see the hope of this season beyond the scars we’ve received in life. The truth is we do live in a fallen and broken world - in the midst of the season where we proclaim “good will among all men” we can feel the tension of a government that is falling apart as our leaders attack one another for political gain. We try to “rejoice” as we watch the price of fuel go down, yet we wonder if we’ll have the funds to even buy gas. As we Christmas shop for the best prices - we also consider that we might need the money we spend for something more important later on. As the air becomes filled with the songs of holiday tradition - at the same time our ears hear reports of terrorism and war and genocidal atrocities and wide spread violence abroad.

It was because of such things that Jesus came into the world 2000 years ago. The times and place into which Christ was born were oppressive, violent and bloody. Life was hard, food was scarce, sickness and disease was rampant, death was in the air. There was fear and pain and terror and uncertainty everywhere. The prophets of God had spoken of a savior, a deliverer to come, yet the promise of that hope had gone fulfilled for over 400 years – and the dark days of life continued to get ever darker.

It was into this darkness that the light of was Jesus born. The world had grown hard and cynical, yet there was a breath of hope blowing through the hearts of the people of God. In the midst of the misery and oppression there rose up a sense that God was about to do something great and awesome and wonderful. In the midst of the darkness a light of hope dawned on God’s people; in the midst of the despair the promise of joy began to flicker in the shadows of life. The savior, the deliverer had come!

Yet many who had wanted that hope - missed it. On June 6, 1981, Doug Whitt and his new bride, Sylvia, were escorted into their hotel’s fancy bridal suite in the wee hours of the morning. In the room they saw a sofa, chairs, and table, but no bed. Then they discovered the sofa was a hide-a-bed, with a lumpy mattress and sagging springs. After a fitful night’s sleep they woke up in the morning with sore backs. The new husband went to the hotel desk and gave the management a tongue-lashing. "Did you open the door in the room?" asked the clerk. Doug went back to the room. He opened the door they had thought was a closet. There, complete with fruit baskets and chocolates, was a beautiful bedroom.

We most often miss out on the true joy God has for us - because we are looking for it in the wrong places. An old Chinese proverb that says: “If you wish to be happy for one hour, get intoxicated. If you wish to be happy for three days, get married. If you wish to be happy for a week kill your pig and eat it. If you wish to be happy forever, learn to fish.” I know of a few men that would agree with that. But the point is we often confuse happiness with joy. You see while happiness is a feeling, joy is something else. Joy is much deeper than happiness and more than an attitude. Joy is a person. Joy is Jesus.

D.L Moody once said: “Happiness is caused by things that happen around me, and circumstances will mar it; but joy flows right on through trouble; joy flows on through the dark; joy flows in the night as well as in the day; joy flows all through persecution and opposition. Joy is an unceasing fountain bubbling up in the heart; joy is a secret spring the world can’t see and doesn’t know anything about.” What Moody is saying is this - happiness is about our expectations, but joy is about our hope in Jesus.

In his book In A Pit with A Lion on A Snowy Day Mark Batterson writes: "Too often our prayers revolve around asking God to reduce the odds in our lives. We want everything in our favor. But maybe God wants to stack the odds against us so we can experience a miracle of divine proportions. Maybe faith is trusting God no matter how impossible the odds are. Maybe our impossible situations are opportunities to experience a new dimension of God's glory." This is something we all know deep in our hearts by experience. When the heavy waves of struggle wash into our lives and hope begins to drift from the shore – feeling happy has no meaning or effect. There is something – or rather Someone - deeper at work that causes us to joyfully rise above the struggle of situations and circumstances.

We’ve seen that within our own church family. In the first week of August, Alvin Schulz had a mountain bike accident which broke his neck which left him paralyzed from the neck down. One week after the accident his wife Judi sent us an email that said: “I have great hope in God and rejoice in the day He has given us. There will be many things that will come our way and hurdles that will seem like mountains, but our trust is in the Lord. God did not say it would be an easy road. We will only be able to do this through His strength. I wanted you to know that I am taking joy in . . . proclaiming God.”

Jesus said we will have trouble in this world. The Christian life can often seem like a bad bed; good around the outside but pretty lumpy in the middle. Yet we are told to rejoice in our struggles and not lose hope. When the world gets turned upside down, when our sense of security and safety is broken, and when we are worn out and tired and standing out on the edge of life – it is then we are finally ready for God to turn things right-side up again, ready to let Him be our security and safety, ready to be strengthened and saved and delivered - from our struggles with life, our struggles with others, and our struggles with ourselves. It is then we are ready to put our hope in God by finding our joy in Jesus.

Hope in God comes from knowing joy in Jesus. Joy in Jesus causes us to know hope in God. Joyful hope is central to our existence. The Bible says: “Through him (Jesus) we have . . . obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2).

A Persian legend tells us that there was a certain king who needed a faithful servant and had to choose between two candidates. He paid them both the same wage and told them to fill a basket with water from a nearby well, saying that he would come in the evening to inspect their work. After dumping one or two buckets of water into the basket, one of the men said, "What is the good of doing this useless work? As soon as we pour the water in, it runs out the sides." The other answered, "But we have been paid our wages. Our work is the master's business, not ours." "I'm not going to do such fool's work," replied the complainer. Throwing down his bucket, he went away. The other man continued until he had drained the well. Looking down into it, he saw something shiny at the bottom that proved to be a diamond. It was then he realized the purpose of the struggle of pouring water into a leaky basket. Had the well not been emptied dry to the bottom, he never would have found the treasure waiting for him.

Wherever you might be tonight in your walk in this life, know that regardless of how desperate or overwhelming or discouraging your circumstance or situation might be - a joyful hope awaits you in God through Jesus Christ. You may have to bail a lot of water to get there, and it may seem there’s a pretty big hole in your basket - but there is treasure at the bottom of it all waiting for you. Romans 5:5 tells us that: “hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts.” On the night Jesus was born we read that the angels said: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people" (Luke 2:10). Jesus has come. He has come to be our hope and our joy!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Defining the Current Political Crises in Canada

Democracy - rule of the majority; a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

Politics - the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy; the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government; competition between competing interest groups or individuals for power and leadership; political activities characterized by artful and often dishonest practices.

Coalition - a body formed by the coalescing of originally distinct elements; a temporary alliance of distinct parties, persons, or states for joint action.

Coup - a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics; the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group.

Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also, for you have saved us from the hand of Midian.” Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you.” (Judges 8:22-23)

And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them." (1 Samuel 8:7)

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting." (John 18:36)

"Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:33-34)


Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Psalm 2:10-12)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Don't Waste Your Money - Mike Bullmore

(Here are Andy Naselli’s notes on Mike Bullmore’s recent sermon from 1 Corinthians 16, entitled, “What We Should Do with Our Money.” To listen to the whole sermon Click Here).

Our giving should be a planned priority.

  1. Our giving should be proportional to our income. Give obediently, generously, and sacrificially. Cf. C. S. Lewis: “I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusement, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little.

  2. If our giving does not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say it is too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot because our commitment to giving excludes them.”

  3. Our giving should be marked by prudence. It should be transparent, above board, and marked by integrity. For example, a church’s giving should have public accountability.

  4. Our giving and our teaching about giving should be simple and straightforward. No pressure, no gimmicks, no excessive emotion. Simply put: don’t waste your money; rather, use it for God’s purposes and for his glory.

JT