Wednesday, September 21, 2011

God is a Creating God

I am presently rereading Mark Dever's Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. It is really good. I think I'm learning (understanding) more this time through than before. I hope that's true at least. With that being said, I am reading it slowly, working through each chapter and thinking through how it would help our church. The following from Dever is describing who God is, because what we know of God affects everything else!
This history recorded in the Bible shows us very plainly that God is a creating God and that He is an electing God. Even if we cannot fully understand everything that is involved with this, it is undeniable that this is what the Bible teaches. It may have implications that we don't fully understand, but no small matters issue from this if we decide that our salvation ultimately comes from God rather than from ourselves.
It effects how we understand God. It affects how we understand ourselves.
We must acknowledge that God is the Great Initiator, the Great Giver, the Creator of the World, the Creator of His people, the Author of our Faith. That is what God is like.

Kevin DeYoung and John Piper Discuss the Pursuit of Holiness (Part 2) - Desiring God

Kevin DeYoung and John Piper Discuss the Pursuit of Holiness (Part 2) - Desiring God:

'via Blog this'

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Gospel Series

I have taken the last few months to preach a series on the gospel and some implications of the gospel on Sunday mornings. You can find the series here.

The series has been broken down by working through the gospel (sermons 1-5), then moving into the three big ways to look at salvation (justification, sanctification, glorification – sermons 6-8), then we moved into an understanding of the church (the gospel community – sermons 9-present).

Tomorrow we’ll continue through this time focusing on the church by looking at baptism. Baptism is one of only two ordinances given to the church. We ought not take lightly the command from Christ to be baptized as a public profession of our faith. If you are in the area, and would like to know more about baptism, I’d encourage you to come and worship/listen tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Do we REALLY want to Live like Jesus?

I want to follow Jesus. I really do, I think. However, when I read and have to preach through Scriptures like Luke 9:57-58 my desires are challenged:
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."
I have to ask myself (and you), "Do I (we) really want to live like Jesus?"

Why We Worship the Way We Do – Kevin DeYoung

Since I've been thinking much about this lately, I thought I'd share this post with you from Kevin DeYoung

Sunday Sermon

This past Sunday AM we had a wonderful gathering with Cypress Lake Baptist Church. Not only was it great to gather with my brothers and sisters in Christ, but we also ordained a new deacon, and added 4 more to our faith family through membership. The PM sermon wasn't recorded, but you can listen to the morning sermon (that is actually a call for humility for every follower of Christ) below:

AM - The Gospel and Leading Servants (Mark 10:35-45)

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Word of God in a Healthy Church

Mark Dever writes:
A healthy church is a church that hears the Word of God and continues to hear the Word of God. And such a church is composed of individual Christians who hear the Word of God and continue to hear the Word of God, always being refashioned and reshaped by it, constantly being washed in the Word and sanctified by God's truth.
In Nine Marks of a Healthy Church

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Patience and Change

From The Deliberate Church:
Accomplishing healthy change in churches for the glory of God and the clarity of the Gospel does not happen in the first year after the new pastor arrives. God is working for eternity, and He has been working from eternity. He's not in a hurry, and we shouldn't be either. So it is wise to show care for the congregation and concern for the unity of the church by not running so far ahead of them that people start falling behind. Run at a pace that the congregation can keep.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gospel Driven Church

One more quote from The Deliberate Church:
And now the million-dollar question: Is it replicable? Can you do this with your church? Of course--not because its's a plug and play program, and certainly not because of any brilliance of our own in coming up with a transferable model. It's replicable because it is scriptural and plain. No matter what size your church is, or where you're located, or what kind of people you're ministering to, you can always be deliberate about being Gospel driven and Gospel governed in everything you do. It's not dependent on discovering the spiritual and cultural preferences of a target audience. You don't have to implement a synthetic curriculum, or be an incredibly creative thinker, or even be the most charismatic leader. You just have to trust that Jesus will build His church by the agency of His Spirit and by the power of His Gospel without buying the newest program or following the most popular trend.

The Sufficiency of Scripture for the Church

I just started reading (again) The Deliberate Church by Mark Dever and Paul Alexander. As a pastor I want to make sure I am leading my flock for the glory of God to believe and apply the gospel and the truth found in the Scriptures in all areas of our church and life. This quote in the "Foreword" is why I'm reading this book:
In whatever we do, we want to be careful about allowing God's Word to set our trajectory, power our progress, and govern our methods. From our preaching and evangelism, to the way we take in new members; from our discipleship and discipline practices, to our leadership models; from the structure of our Sunday morning services, all the way down to the agenda of the elders' meeting, we want our procedures to reflect reliance on the biblical Gospel, submission to its claims, and awareness of its implications for our corporate life together.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Order of Worship

I have had a few conversations lately about the order of a worship service for churches. One person, whom I have grown to respect greatly, told me it would be wise to gather from others their orders of worship and evaluate what would work best for our church. I've posted today on a few networking sites and had some feedback. However, I thought it may be better to put things in one place for myself, and hopefully it would be helpful for others.

How do you think through and set up your order of worship? Do you use particular categories? Do you just have a particular order? Any thoughts and details would be very helpful.

Sunday Sermons

AM - The Gospel and Servant Ministries - Acts 6:1-7

PM - Receive or Reject - Luke 10:10-16