Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Personal Reformation

Today is a nice day to consider my own personal reformation. Not so long ago I was working for the weekend, living for baseball and computer games. Oh, don't get me wrong, I went to church. I was committed to church. I even sang in the choir. I was a deacon. I taught Sunday School. But I had no idea (and to a degree still don't) what it meant to be a follower of Jesus Christ. I was quite sure that I had decided to be a believer, and that Jesus was happy to be my friend.

And then things started clashing. What do you mean God chose me? What does Paul mean when he says "elect" or "predestined"? Because these obviously don't mean what they look like they mean. Or do they? I had conversations with a friend (who in retrospect possibly had hyper-Calvinist tendencies) into the wee hours of the morning debating free will vs. predestination.

I began to come around eventually. Some of the influences in my life were the book of Romans, R. C. Sproul's The Invisible Hand, and Southern Seminary. Systematic Theology I & II at SBTS were highly formative, and I continue to benefit from two papers I wrote on God's Sovereignty and Human Freedom and Responsibility and The Problem of Evil.

In the recent days of my personal reformation, I have experienced the joy of real spiritual communion and fellowship with my church, over 160 Piper sermons on Romans, and many discussions about the subject with my best friend.

At this time, I feel like things are culminating at James 1:2-4. In my preaching class this semester we have to preach a sermon (duh). Well, I drew this passage. And the main idea of the passage is that believers should maintain an attitude of joy--even during persecution and poverty. Why? Because trials produce perseverance, and perseverance produces maturity. And maturity is God's design for believers in this life. So, come what may, I am trusting God as he brings about this personal reformation, and I am incredibly grateful that God included me in his saving work.

And, ultimately, "we know that for those that love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28).

"Give what Thou dost command, and command what Thou wilt." -- Augustine of Hippo


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Roasting the Papal Bull

Pyromaniacs' own Dan Phillips has some great ideas for a Reformation Day celebration, including candy "to show how sweet the Gospel is," a "diet of Worms," and they are even "roasting the papal bull."

Awesome. Can I come?


Reformation Day Sale!

Currently $27, the hard-cover ESV Reformation Study Bible is on sale at Ligonier Ministries Store for $15 tomorrow, Reformation Day.

Here's the ad.


Just for Fun

I added a few links down to the right under a heading called "Just for Fun." They include Crummy Church Signs, How Not to Measure Weather, and The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks.

Oh! I should add the funniest blog I have ever read.



Prodigal Jon on Drinking Poison

Tim Challies pointed out this guy, Prodigal Jon, and so I clicked. I'm impressed; I really appreciated the couple of posts that I read, and I thought I'd share them with you. First, the post entitled, "The Worst Part About Drinking Poison" is a must. I won't spoil it for you. Second, read the next post, "This is what $3 gets you." It sure does put things in perspective.

-=Work to live, don't live to work.=-


Monday, October 29, 2007

Following Jesus

Mark 1:35-39 says,
"And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, 'Everyone is looking for you.' And he said to them, 'Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.' And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons."

As I read this passage today in my quiet time, I thought it was interesting that Jesus went outside the town and waited for his disciples to find him. Once they did, he told them it was time for a road trip. He didn't instruct them to go back and pack their bags or kiss their wives good-bye. They just headed out.

Was this normal practice? Did the disciples' wives and families expect them not to come home when they started hanging out with Jesus? Maybe many of his disciples were not married, but they must have seemed irresponsible to leave their normal lives for this Jesus fellow. Who would feed the dog? Who would pay the rent?

Maybe the whole family followed. Maybe they were a whole family of disciples. Probably not, but this passage of Scripture reminds me of the way God brought my family to Louisville, KY in order to go to school. I had encountered some turmoil in my job and we decided it was time to test the waters. We put our house on the market in Knoxville, TN, and two weeks later we had a contract on the house. I remember thinking, "uhhh... God? This seems a bit sudden." I didn't have a job. We didn't have housing arranged in Louisville. What was God doing with us?

Well, God is good, and he provides for our every need. He provided a place to live and a job and we learned to trust God when he leads us. That doesn't mean we didn't wonder what was happening, but like the disciples in Mark 1, we must learn to follow Jesus, ready or not.

Will you follow him?


Friday, October 26, 2007

What Should We Expect?

In the news today, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the 10 year sentence of a 17 year-old male for consensual sexual acts with a 15 year-old female was cruel and unusual punishment. This brings back to my attention a question that I have wrestled with for years. How should Christ followers relate to society? Specifically, should we expect unbelievers to act morally? Should our government legislate in ways that make unbelievers criminals for living life according to their nature?

Of course, I have no question about whether or not we should have laws against theft, murder, kidnapping, etc. We expect laws to protect one person from the wicked intentions of another. But what about laws regulating sexual practices? Yes, there ARE laws in the Bible about ungodly sexual practices, but we do not live in the theocracy for which these laws were written. We live in an ungodly, pagan society. Homosexuality is common, even if it is not normal. Adultery is rampant. Divorce is prevalent. Should our governments have laws that address these issues?

Should we expect government to protect our children from indecency on the television? Should we expect government to regulate the content of shows on the radio? Should we expect anything more from our society than that they are ungodly people doing what ungodly people do? Should we be surprised that schools are teaching sex education to elementary school kids?

I am proud of my country's heritage. I thank God that we have been influenced by godly men for over 200 years. But we cannot expect laws to govern hearts! The condition of our society reflects the condition of the hearts of the people who make up our society. And in my judgment, we no longer live in a "Christian" nation.

So, how should we live in such an ungodly society? Are not followers of Christ called to be salt and light? I do believe we should engage in the public square; the Bible gives us clear instruction:
"Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart'" (Zechariah 7:9-10).

We should be a loud and consistent voice for justice; this honors God. But what purpose do we serve by legislating against consensual immoral acts?

Please feel free to comment.


"You Will Hear But Never Understand"

At the end of Acts (28:17-31), Paul arrived in Rome and asked to speak with the leaders of the Roman Jews. They appointed a time for him to speak and many Jews came to hear Paul. He spent all day trying to make them see the "light of the glory of the gospel of Christ," but they were divided. So Paul quoted Isaiah and said,
"'You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.'
Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen."

These Jews were responsible for their sinful rejection of Jesus, but God ordained this from the beginning. God's chosen would reject the Christ so that God could extend his grace to the Gentiles. We owe our salvation, in part, to the Jews' rejection of their Messiah!

We could thank them, but our hearts are broken that they rejected Christ. This is the epitome of mixed emotions.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Believe the Gospel and Be Baptized

For several months my son, Brandon, has been hinting that he may be a believer. I gather this from his statements when we talk about what it means to be a Christian. He will say things like, "Daddy, I believe in God," or "Daddy, I trust Jesus." Monday night, after our family devotion time, he seemed to indicate again that he believed in Jesus, so I decided to give him some work to do.

I worked from home yesterday in order to help with the kids since my wife was feeling under the weather. I gave Brandon an exercise: read in the book of Acts and write down what one must do to be saved, and what one should do when they are saved. He worked off and on during the afternoon, and he made it through Acts 9. I helped him here and there, and finally he had written enough that I thought he could recognize a pattern. His results were something like this:

accept the message, be baptized (2:41) believe the message
(4:4) believe the good news about Jesus, be baptized (8:35, 38) be filled with the Holy Spirit, be baptized (9:17, 18)

I asked him, "Brandon, do you see a pattern?" He smiled and said, "I need to be baptized!"

I told him to go tell his mom, and we talked about it briefly. I am planning to spend more time talking with him about this, but I think the first fruits of a believer are clearly evident.

I'm looking forward to celebrating his faith in Christ when he is immersed in believer's baptism!


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Godly Men?

Piper just posted a blog entry on Valuing Biblical Manhood, and he fleshes out what he sees as "masculine Christianity."

Would our church/city/state/world be different if more men lived like this? I'm sure this will be a controversial discussion.


Monday, October 22, 2007

The Depths of Sin

How far would you go to have a baby? Today, a Kansas woman was found guilty for strangling an expectant mother and using a kitchen knife to extract the baby, which she kept for her own. The woman was pretending to be nine months pregnant at the time of the murder, and she even attempted to convince her husband that she had delivered the baby unexpectedly while on a shopping trip.

Do you realize that we are restrained from depravity like this, or even worse, only by God's magnificent grace? We are kidnappers and murderers straining against God's restraining grace.

I am horrified by our sin, both the actual sin that people commit and the potential sin within my heart, and I pray that God will be pleased to move in a massive work of grace on the ever darkening continent of North America.

May God forgive us.


10 Simple Evidences for the Reality of Adam and Eve

I just sent an email via Gmail, and a "Sponsored Link" appeared at the top of the page stating, "Adam and Eve, Oh Really? - - Ten good reasons to believe they're the real deal."

I clicked it and thought it was worth passing along.


Groovy, Baby!

Check out R. C. Sproul circa a long time ago in the latest Together for the Gospel advertisement.

Animated Time Line of the Spread of Religion

Yesterday Justin Taylor posted a very cool animated time line of the spread of religion throughout history. May the whole world be blue to the glory of God!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

In Honor of Luther

I am reading a book on the doctrine of sin entitled With Willful Intent and I have happened upon the portion of the text that covers Luther's view on sin. Ten days before Reformation Day, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to pass along a quote. This is from page 66:
Luther acknowledged that the idea of God willing humans to sin seemed clearly to suggest that He was, therefore, the cause of sin. To continue to insist that God had also made the law and expects humans to keep it creates intense conflict. Luther's response to such a dilemma? 'This is too deep for us. God's will is involved, but I am not supposed to know how this all happens.'

Yes, we all struggle with this, don't we? I'm glad the dead guys struggled with it, too!


Oh, That I Might Bear Fruit!

I'm listening to a CD by Jeremy Riddle entitled Full Attention, and I'm praying right now in my life the title track:
May Your voice be louder
May Your voice be clearer
Than all the others, than all the others

May Your face be dearer
May Your words be sweeter
Than all the others
Than all the others in my life

Please keep my eyes fixed on You
Please root my heart so deep in You
Keep me abiding, keep me abiding
Keep me abiding that I
Oh, that I might bear fruit

May Your presence be truer
May Your presence be nearer
Than all the others, than all the others

May Your light burn brighter
May Your love go deeper
Than all the others
Than all the others in my life

What an awesome prayer! May God answer this prayer for all who seek him!

"Oh, that I might bear fruit!"


Friday, October 19, 2007

Who are you voting for, Dr. Grudem?

I recently received an email with a link to an article by Wayne Grudem entitled, "Why Evangelicals Should Support Mitt Romney." Let me preface my comments here by saying that I am terribly disillusioned by any and all politics; I don't think we should bury our heads in the sand, but, at the same time, I see very few real changes happen when "my side" wins elections. That said, I highly regard Dr. Grudem, and I thought this might be worth reading.

Grudem begins with a clear statement of his position on the matter:

As an evangelical professor of Bible and theology, I have decided to support Mitt Romney for President (even though he is a Mormon) for two old-fashioned reasons: First, he is the best-qualified candidate, and second, he holds moral and political values consistent with those in the Bible.

The rest of the article reads like a systematic theology paper. He clearly addresses why he thinks Romney is the best-qualified candidate, why he thinks Romney holds values consistent with the Bible, questions about Romney's religious views and their impact, and finally Romney's ability to win.

I thought it was helpful. What do you think?


HT: Thanks Justin G. for the email!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Equipping the Saints?

As a seminary student, I regularly get to sit under the teaching of godly men. While not perfect, these men regularly exhibit lives that are winsome to the world, filled with spiritual fruit. Often they have processed deeply through issues that students have not even encountered. I am truly grateful for these godly men who invest themselves regularly in their students.

At the same time, I'm afraid many students complete their time in school and feel qualified for ministry, but lack all the training necessary for serving as a role model in a church. Our minds are well fed; we probably know the difference between supralapsarianism and infralapsarianism and we have studies the hypostatic union, but do we still struggle with daily Scripture intake? Do we struggle with frustration? Do we struggle with honoring God in our families? Do we guard our eyes and our minds from temptation?

All these struggles are clearly addressed in Scripture. In a sense, seminary students are "taught to fish" in a way that we are able to go to the Bible and understand and apply these principles to our lives. But there is a condition that is common among students in seminary, and much more rampant among less "fanatical" members of our churches; our churches often fail to make disciples. Many boys and girls grow up through the youth group and fall straight into the weeds that are waiting to choke them to death.

I believe in the grace of God; I believe in God because of his grace. Satan had many opportunities to steal the seed or choke me out. Yet God is faithful and has sustained my spiritual life through temptation and sin, and I often wonder why. My past, despite growing up in a pastor's home, has not been a model of Christian discipleship. I regularly encounter other believers who were discipled by older brothers in the faith, and the benefits are manifold.

Often, it seems, that someone who has been mentored by a thoughtful, godly person is more mature in their faith and practice. Self-discipline is often a result. They seem capable to establish deep, positive relationships with others easily, and they are able to invest themselves in ways that are foreign to those who have never experienced a mentoring relationship.

I think the practice of mentoring is incredibly neglected, and I cannot help but wonder if a school (or a church) can properly equip its people without it.

Please feel free to comment, and if you know of any resources that might be helpful, please pass them along!

Feeling less than adequate to be a role model,


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Introduction to the Trinity

Justin Taylor recently posted an entry on the Desiring God blog called, "Trinity 101." Now, I am a seminary student in the school of theology at one of the premier Southern Baptist schools, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (yes, the THE is capitalized). Furthermore, I have been teaching through Grudem's very helpful Systematic Theology in my Sunday school class for a couple of years. All that said, you need to read this post.

May we ever dwell on the infinite riches of the Trinity!


Monday, October 15, 2007

Reformation Links

Doug Smith over at the Gazing at Glory blog has posted a list of several web sites that host Reformation documents and other related content. He has also posted lists of books, movies, and music related to the movement. Our church (SSBC) is recognizing the month of October as a time of emphasis on the Reformation, so check it out!



Worthy of Worship

Today I read the account of Jesus' anointing at Bethany in Matthew 26. As I mulled over Jesus' acceptance of the woman's extravagant act, the disciple's frustration with her waste, and Judas' decision to betray Jesus, I realized that this is a picture of worship for us, too. The woman saw Jesus for who he is, the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One (not sure if the pun is intended or not), and she decided to give to him an extravagant and very expensive display of her devotion. She believed that Jesus was worthy of this worship; in fact, whatever the ointment's normal purpose was, she believed that it was more important to employ it in worship of Christ.

Conversely, the disciples were "indignant." They couldn't fathom wasting all this very expensive ointment because they were being practical; this ointment could have been a great blessing for many poor people. What were they missing? Obviously, they were still in doubt/denial about Jesus' approaching death. The woman, however, believed his words and decided the time was right for her to give her best in worship of Jesus.

Interestingly, Judas was so offended by this "royal waste" that he couldn't take it any longer. What would drive him to such betrayal? Did he worship the value of this ointment more than he valued the worship of Jesus? I think the Scriptures are clear that he, being the treasurer, was less than thrilled with the wasting of this treasure. Despite being a disciple of Jesus, he was even more so a lover of money; and thus, he was no disciple at all.

So... how do we fit into this story? How does this story apply to our lives? Are we pouring out our best treasures in worship of Christ, or are we treasuring what is rightfully his? Are we nullifying our identification with Christ by finding our greatest satisfaction in something other than Jesus himself?

Forgive me, Jesus, when I desire other things more than you! Forgive us!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Beautiful Maryville TN

I thought I'd share with you some of the images that we often see when we travel to Mom & Dad's in Maryville, TN:

Here's a panorama of Cades Cove
(from wikipedia)

We often see turkeys on the side of the road!
(I didn't take this one...)

We often see deer on the side of the road, too!
(I didn't take this one either...)

Here's Mom & Dad's back yard!

I hope you enjoyed the brief tour of Maryville, TN. Romans 1 is quite evident in East Tennessee!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Spirit Empowered Preaching

I have recently been listening to a series of sermons by Arturo G. Azurdia III on Genesis 37-50, the story of Joseph. Azurdia has been especially pleasant to listen to due to his masterful ability to tell the story, as well as his biblical theology. Azurdia serves as Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Director of Pastoral Mentoring at Western Seminary in Portland, OR. His web site hosts hundreds of his sermons, including 64 messages on Hebrews and 81 messages on Revelation. He also has a section on the Doctrines of Grace.

On a related note, for those of you who read this blog and are not associated with The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, all of Southern's chapel service messages can be found at Southern's Audio Resources page. One of the requirements for my preaching class is to listen and evaluate 18 of the chapel sermons. I'm very grateful for the Audio Resources page, since I work an 8-5 job!

Well, what are you waiting for? Get busy downloading and listening to some of these sermons!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Case in Point: The Law Magnifies Our Sin

I just received an email about a journalist in N.Y., A. J. Jacobs, who attempted for one year to live up to the Law as written in the Old Testament. He was featured on the Today Show this week (Q&A/video). While many aspects of his "attempt" smack of trivializing the Bible, one exchange from the video stuck out in my head: Matt Lauer asks, "Think fast; when's the last time you broke one of the ten commandments?" and Jacobs replies, "Probably during this interview." Lauer laughs and asks, "Which one?" to which Jacobs answers, "I don't know, it's hard to keep track."

This is an incredible testimony of how God accomplishes his purpose in the Law! Romans 3:19 says, "Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God." Romans 7:7-8 says, "if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, 'You shall not covet.' But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness." The purpose of the Law was to stop every mouth! Would Jacobs deny his sin before God after encountering the law?

Jacobs now calls himself a reverent agnostic. He obviously understands his sinful nature, but he is blind to the fact that the only hope for sinners is the cross of Jesus Christ.

We must recognize that Jesus Christ is our only hope!


UPDATE: Keith pointed out that Way of the Master Radio also interviewed Jacobs in an attempt to share the gospel. You can find the podcast here. Thanks Keith!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dogs are Smarter than You Think

In recent study, dogs were show to make erratic, "dumb" choices because of the influences of their owners. If the dog's master expressed obvious interest in an object, even if another, normally more appealing choice was offered, the dog would often investigate first the object of his master's interest. Dogs are so tuned into the social cues that others exhibit that they may completely disregard their own interests.

The study showed that the same dogs would pick the object of their own interest regularly when outside influences were not exhibited.

Interesting. So maybe we need to be more like dogs.

As followers of Christ, we should be so tuned into the interests of our Lord that everything else would pale in comparison. Unfortunately, the opposite is the general rule. Paul talks about this in 2 Corinthians 4:4 when he says, "the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." So "brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Philippians 4:8).

Let us focus on Christ!


Monday, October 08, 2007

Theology at Work

This family celebrated 99 birthdays with 99 balloons. Read more about how they put theology to work in their lives here.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Asking the Question Correctly

While speaking at the Desiring God 2006 National Conferece, Voddie Baucham asked this question regarding the problem of evil (or, if God is good and in control, why do bad things happen?):
How on earth can a holy and righteous God know what I did and thought and said on yesterday and not kill me in my sleep last night?

Why does evil exist? God's magnificent grace!

Humbled to the dust...


Friday, October 05, 2007

Clothed with Christ

Jesus, at the end of Matthew 21, is confronted by the chief priests and elders, and he is asked, "By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?" Jesus demands that they answer his own question first, "The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?" The religious leaders are stumped. They cannot offer a satisfactory answer, and thus Jesus gives them no answer to their question.

In light of this, Jesus begins to tell a few parables. The parable of the two sons describes the responses and actions of two sons to the command of their father. One refuses at first, yet repents and obeys. The other complies with his lips, yet chooses not to obey. Jesus compares the repentance of the tax-collectors and prostitutes with the hypocrisy of the religious leaders.

Jesus further condemns the chief priests and Pharisees in the parable of the tenants. The father placed the vineyard in the hands of the tenants and over time they rejected his ownership of the vineyard. They beat and killed his messengers, and finally they murdered his son, the heir. Jesus concludes this parable by declaring judgment on the religious leaders for their failure to produce fruit, and he shows them from the Scriptures that this was the Lord's marvelous doings; they would be condemned and new tenants would inhabit the vineyard--ones that would produce fruit.

This brings me to Matthew 22:1-14, a passage I read in my devotional time today. Here, Jesus tells the final parable in this particular confrontation, the parable of the wedding feast. A king throws a wedding feast, and the invited either casually or violently reject the king's invitation. The violent rejectors were executed swiftly, and the king sent invitations to anyone his servants met on the roads. Finally, the king has a full house to celebrate the wedding feast, yet he finds someone that has attempted to sneak into the feast without wearing appropriate attire. The king has extended his invitation to the "bad and good." Why then is this man rejected by the king?

Because the man was pretending to be something he was not, because he was not adorned with the "wedding garment" provided for all the official guests, he was bound and ejected from the wedding feast.

I saw so very clearly today that Jesus Christ, by means of his atoning sacrifice and imputed righteousness, has brought his people from the dirty roads, cleaned us up, and given us acceptable attire for heaven. For us to remain in the presence of the King, and to enjoy the wedding of the Son, we must be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. We cannot sneak in with our own best clothes; they are unacceptable. We must be clothed with Christ.

So, what are you wearing to the wedding feast? Armani? Gucci? J. C. Penney? Good works? Helping the poor?

I'm going to choose Christ.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Piper on Overcoming Guilt

John Piper, in the latest issue of Christianity Today, has written an article called "Gutsy Guilt." In it, he has given us a model for fighting guilt based on Micah 7:8-9. This article is based on a sermon he preached at the Passion 07 conference in Atlanta in January. (By the way, this sermon is worth the reading/listening.) Here's what he says:
"Micah 7:8-9 is what victory looks like the morning after failure. Learn to take your theology and speak like this to the Devil or anyone else who tells you that Christ is not capable of using you mightily for his global cause. Here is what you say.

"Rejoice not over me, O my enemy. You make merry over my failure? You think you will draw me into your deception? Think again. When I fall, I shall rise. Yes, I have fallen. I hate what I have done. I grieve at the dishonor I have brought on my King. But hear this, O my enemy, I will rise. I will rise.

When I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me.
Yes, I am sitting in darkness. I feel miserable. I feel guilty. I am guilty. But that is not all that is true about me and my God. The same God who makes my darkness is a sustaining light to me in this very darkness. He will not forsake me.

I will bear the indignation of the LORD because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgment for me.
Oh yes, my enemy, this much truth you say: I have sinned. I am bearing the indignation of the Lord. But that is where your truth stops and my theology begins. He--the very one who is indignant with me--will plead my cause. You say he is against me and that I have no future with him because of my failure. That's what Job's friends said. That is a lie. And you are a liar. My God, whose Son's life is my righteousness and whose Son's death is my punishment, will execute judgment for me. For me! And not against me.

He will bring me out to the light; I shall look upon his vindication.
This misery that I now feel because of my failure, I will bear as long as my dear God ordains. And this I know for sure--as sure as Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is my punishment and my righteousness--God will bring me out to the light, and I will look upon his righteousness, my Lord and my God."

This is a blessing for anyone who struggles regularly with a besetting sin. I think we can all appreciate Piper's ministry for words of wisdom like these.

Resting in Christ,


P.S. - Thank you Steve for sending this my way! Thank you brother!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Discipling Your Children

Justin Taylor recently listed several helpful questions that parents can ask children to discern their current spiritual state, encourage them in the spiritual disciplines, and to monitor parents own spiritual lives. Here are a few:
  • How are your devotions?
  • What is God teaching you?
  • In your own words, what is the gospel?
  • Is there a specific sin you’re aware of that you need my help defeating?
  • What’s daddy most passionate about?
  • How am I doing as a dad?
  • Does my relationship with mom make you excited to be married?
There are several more, but I didn't want to copy Taylor's whole article. :-)

I hope your kids are discipled and that you are challenged by these questions!