Thursday, August 29, 2013

Love Gives Life and Hate Takes Life

"He will never be a martyr, because he has nothing to give. He is a criminal, a cold-blooded murderer. He is not giving his life; we are taking his life.” 
Prosecuting attorney Colonel Michael Mulligan at the sentencing of convicted Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan, for the 2009 massacre on post that left 13 people dead and 32 others wounded. The next day a military jury recommended the death penalty for Hasan.

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." 
The apostle Paul, speaking of Jesus' crucifixion, which gave Paul a new life - Galatians 2:20 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Think Over What I Say

Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.  2 Timothy 2:7

Silly Interviews at the Conference! Part II from Campus Outreach on Vimeo.

The Glorious Grace of the Providence of God

Genesis 48:1-50:26              August 25, 2013            Link for audio/video/document 

 Joseph came to know the grace of God through the suffering he endured throughout his life. But his was not a result of his struggle with sin, but a result of God’s providence. Joseph saw that God’s hand was behind every event in his life, and he right where God has always planned for him to be. While the attitudes and actions of Joseph’s brothers were done with evil intent, the result was intended by God for the good of his family and for the good Egypt – and for the glory of God in fulfilling the promise of God’s blessing to send a saviour into the world through Abraham’s descendants to restore fallen, sinful humanity back to God.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fight Your Sin - Jonathan Parnell

Fight Your Sin: A Storyline for the Battle Lines
by Jonathan Parnell | August 24, 2013
Fight your sin with a storyline. I mean right now. Life is war, even on Saturday. Submerged temptations lie waiting for you just out of sight. Insidious sirens are faintly wooing your way, beckoning you to cruise their waters. You will hear their calls soon enough. This is a plea to steer clear of them from the helm of a story — your story.
I say “your story,” but I mean God’s doing, as we see it in his Book.
All About Action
The Bible is no mere moral code or a set of principles, though it does include these. It’s neither a textbook, nor mainly a philosophy for life. Instead, the Bible is a “transcript” of God’s action in the world, all centered on Jesus Christ, who is the apex of his glory.
The Bible is the dramatic script of God’s doing. It tells God’s authoritative story, which we read as audience, and in which we participate as characters. God has been at work from the beginning, and he is at work today, in our day.
When we have this kind of vision — when we know what God is doing in Scripture and in the pages of our lives — it exposes the turmoil of temptation and the sinking-ship mess of sin. When we see what has really happened, and what is really happening, the storyline of our identity is put to work on the battle lines of our holiness. That is the tactic Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 6.
See It Clear
The church in Corinth hadn’t been seeing things rightly. That’s the occasion of Paul’s writing. What we read in the sixth chapter is an inspired address to their problem, and oftentimes, our own. Paul hammers out one truth after another in the form of chiding questions — “Do you not know… Do you not know… Do you not know?” — all leading up to verse 9 where he gets very basic: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?”
That’s not rocket-science. Anyone with the smallest measure of biblical acumen knows this. Whether their background is corroded with paganism or saturated with the Hebrew Scriptures, they should know that unrighteous creatures are not awarded the nearness of a righteous God.
But Paul continues. He wants the Corinthian Christians to get this sure, to see through the fog. “Do not be deceived,” he tells them. In other words, let me spell this out. “Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9–10).
Then he reminds them: “And such were some of you.”
Here’s Your Story
Paul has detailed what unrighteousness looks like. He has been explicit on who will be left out of the kingdom. And then he tells them: This is who you used to be. But not anymore.You were washed, he says — “You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Do you see what Paul is doing?
He gives them a story — their story. Their story, but God’s doing. They hadn’t been living right. They were surrounded by temptation. They were waning in holiness. And the apostle Paul clears the clutter by appealing to their personal narrative. These divisions among you, the boasting, the sexual immorality, the compromise, the lawsuits — that’s not your story. God has rescued you. Now, you are clean. You are set apart. You are declared righteous.
He reminds them who they are — what God has done — and he tells them to live in this reality, which is precisely where he continues in verses 12–20 with three more “do you not know” statements (1 Corinthians 6:151617).
Drawn into the Doing
God has acted in this world. In the fullness of time, he sent his Son to save a people for himself — a people he chose in the Son before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless. But they were a people lost and fallen, a people in need of redemption. And so Jesus came to walk the way they couldn’t. He persevered in faithfulness at every angle. He lived as the perfect, better Adam, to become a slaughtered, atoning Lamb. On the cross, Jesus took all the sins of his people upon himself. He absorbed the wrath his people deserved. He was dead and buried. And then on the third day, God raised him, conquering sin and the grave. God exalted him to his right hand where he reigns over all. And in his reign, by his Spirit whom he sent, the good news of his victory advances.
And as this news spread, it came to Corinth. And there, in that city, God acted to show the Corinthians how he had acted in the ultimate display of his love and grace. They heard the gospel and the Spirit gave them eyes to see. They believed. They turned from their sins and were united to Jesus by faith. They were washed, they were sanctified, they were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
God acted to draw them into his action. Their story became God’s doing. And the same is true for you, if your faith is in Jesus. God has been at work in the history of the world and he has made you part of it. So on the battle lines, when sin brings its tumult of temptations, when its force feels like an unassailable wind, remember: that’s not your story.
This is. God has rescued you. That’s his doing, your story. Now fight your sin.

© 2013 Desiring God

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Egypt: Eyes Open

And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13

Egypt: Eyes Open from Moving Works on Vimeo.

Friday, August 23, 2013

No One May Pass Through Because of the Beasts

"I cause wild beasts to pass through the land . . . so that no one may pass through because of the beasts.”   Ezekiel 14:15

Bernie Barringer, trying to pass a moose in British Columbia, July 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Juicing on the Blood of Jesus

"I think the one thing I’ll always remember from the field last year happened in Detroit, early in the season. One of the linebackers came up to me—I don’t want to say who it was—and he said, 'Adrian, what are you taking? What juice you using? I gotta get me some of that.' I said, 'I’m juicing on the blood of Jesus. Faith is what got me to this point.' So the Lions came to Minnesota later in the season. That same linebacker came to me and said: 'I appreciate you saying that. You opened my eyes.' That was pretty cool."
Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings - on being the Most Valuable Player in the NFL in 2012-13

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Promised Blessing of God's Grace

Genesis 46:1-47:31         August 18, 2013           Link for audio/video/document

In looking back at his life Jacob saw the promised blessing of God’s grace at work throughout all of his life – despite the fatal infection of sin within his heart. God’s grace is not only blessing of God to give us what we don’t deserve - it is also the power of God to do the work of God in our hearts and lives, both for our good and for God’s glory. But know that the work of God’s grace in us does not offer us a life of peace and comfort, but rather God’s grace offers us a life of learning to constantly and continually rely on God. This is the promised blessing of God’s grace!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Taking a Stand on Your Knees

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.   Philippians 4:5-7

Worship In Christ Alone?

Hymn writer Keith Getty, on worship songs in American churches. Getty co-wrote “In Christ Alone,” a hymn that is gaining popularity in churches.

The Plan to Preserve

Genesis 42-45                August 11, 2013         Link for audio/video/document

Joseph rested in God’s sovereignty over every detail of his life. Joseph knows that God sovereignly brought him to Egypt to prepare for their deliverance from the famine. This was God’s sovereign plan to preserve Jacob and his sons and the nation of Israel. God’s plan was for all this to happen: to preserve them and give them life. And, it was God’s sovereign plan to send Jesus to preserve his children, his plan to preserve his children and give us life - life to guilty, sinful people like us.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

God said, "Let there be light" . . .

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. Genesis 1:2-3

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Journey of Faith: From the Pit to the Palace

Genesis 40:1-41:57               August 4, 2013            Link for audio/video/document

In our journey of faith, from the pit of the depravity of our sinful nature to the palace of the glory of heaven, we come to know presence of God in our hearts and lives through Jesus Christ. There is no pit in this life and in the life to come, that so deep that Jesus is not deeper still. All of our struggles and sufferings in this life are not about God being fair but about God being with us. And as followers of Jesus Christ we know how the story of life will end. There will be a day when everyone and everything will sing glorious, joyful praise to God!