Friday, May 29, 2009

Where do you Turn?

We all sin. There is no one who is without sin. However, I've been thinking a lot lately about those sins that continually creep up in your life. You know the one's I'm talking about. They are different for different people, but they're there. It seems like I've gotten wrong this whole time and I think others probably have as well. Let me explain. When I sense the temptation coming on to sin I begin to dwell on that sin and try my hardest to think of ways to avoid that sin. You may think that sounds like a good plan, but I'm not convinced it's a terrible plan. The more we think of that particular sin the more the temptation grows until we satisfy our longing for that sin by giving in. That is not helpful. Indeed this will happen from time to time. This is why we never get past the gospel. In those times when we do give in to sin where do you turn? If it were not for the gospel of Christ I wouldn't know where to turn. It's in those moments that I remember that Christ purchased me and paid for even that sin on the cross. So when we sin we need, no, we must, turn to the gospel of Christ.

But my question was how do we fight the temptations of sin before we give in? There are many helpful strategies, but I think the answer is the same as the last answer: the gospel. In those moments of temptation we do not need to think about that particular sin. Rather, we need to preach the gospel to ourselves. We need to think of Christ. We need to set our minds on things above, not on things that are on earth (Colossians 3:2). The answer to fighting the temptations of sin are not found in strategies (though they may help to some degree). The answer is found in drawing close to God through Christ. So when you feel the temptations coming on stronger and stronger get on your knees and plead with God to help you and open up His Word and see His unbelievable grace in the gospel of Christ. Pray that God would deliver you from the evil one. Don't turn to your sin! Turn to Christ!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

9 Years Ago Today....

I married the best woman in the world. I'm thankful for her in more ways than I can express. She has been there in numerous ways throughout the years and truly we have become one flesh. Thank you Shannon for your love for me and our family.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Preacher, How do you Pray?

I recently read Lectures to my Students by Charles Spurgeon and was challenged at many points throughout the book. However, these particular sentences have come back over and over again to me:

The preacher who neglects to pray much must be very careless about his ministry. He cannot have comprehended his calling. He cannot have computed the value of a soul, or estimated the meaning of eternity.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Calling all Pastors!

I've been thinking on Colossians 1:21-23 a lot today:

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
My conviction for this has been the role of the pastor in the life of the church. We are called to be shepherds under the headship of Christ. First and foremost, however, we have to realize this is His bride. The church has been purchased by the blood of Christ in order to be presented before Him as blameless and above reproach. The "if" is a huge if. If you see the flow of this Paul says you have been reconciled "if" you continue in the faith. So pastors, it is our jobs to preach in such a way that they continue in the faith (as opposed to continuing to have a great life in this life). We are preparing our people for eternity with the groom, Jesus. So I'm calling out all pastors to go before the Lord and repent of our lack of seriousness in our ministry, especially our preaching of the Word. May we all labor to preach the Word in season and out of season. And may we pray that God would use feeble men to proclaim His Word to prepare the bride that Christ has purchased for Himself.

Expository Preaching

Here is another great word from Piper. This one is about preaching and again I like it.

Amen to Piper's Statments

Many people have posted this, but I felt it well worth doing again.