Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gym Time



\From Twitter @1Tim6_11Men

Royal Access For We Beggers

"Imagine that your prayer is a poorly dressed beggar reeking of alcohol and body odor, stumbling toward the palace of the great king. You have become your prayer. As you shuffle toward the barred gate, the guards stiffen. Your smell has preceded you. You stammer out a message for the great king: ‘I want to see the king.’

Your words are barely intelligible, but you whisper one final word, ‘Jesus, I come in the name of Jesus.’ At the name of Jesus, as if by magic, the palace comes alive. The guards snap to attention, bowing low in front of you. Lights come on, and the door flies open. You are ushered into the palace and down a long hallway into the throne room of the great king, who comes running to you and wraps you in his arms.

The name of Jesus gives my prayers royal access. They get through. Jesus isn’t just the Savior of my soul. He’s also the Savior of my prayers. My prayers come before the throne of God as the prayers of Jesus. ‘Asking in Jesus’ name’ isn’t another thing I have to get right so my prayers are perfect. It is one more gift of God because my prayers are so imperfect. "

— Paul Miller, A Praying Life  (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2009), 135

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Progress


From @DailyKeller

Fueled for Life

On April 6, 2014, Scotty Smith preached a sermon at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church entitled “Gospel-Fueled Sanctification.” Here's an excerpt:


   

Click HERE for the sermon notes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Use Your Own Name


From MyBible.com

We Need Our Brokenness

"Now we come to something very important. The constant emphasis on the victorious life or the good Christian life is the Antichrist as it pertains to the gospel. Here’s why. If I am _________ (fill in your favorite victorious-life terminology), then will I be in a position to be grateful for what Jesus did when he was executed on the cross? Perhaps at first I will be overwhelmed with gratitude toward Christ. But over time, as I find that I’m capable of maintaining victory in my life, I will need Jesus less and less. I still want him to meet me at the gate on the way into heaven, but right now I’m doing great without him. I’m a good Christian.
If you embrace this take on the Christian journey, it will kill you.
We need our brokenness. We need to admit it and know it is the real, true stuff of our earthly journey in a fallen world. It’s the cross on which Jesus meets us. It is the incarnation he takes up for us. It’s what his hands touch when he holds us.
…My humanity, my sin, it’s all me. And I need Jesus to love me like I really am: brokenness, wounds, sins, addictions, lies, death, fear…all of it. Take all of it, Lord Jesus. If I don’t present this broken, messed-up person to Jesus, my faith is dishonest, and my understanding of faith will become a way of continuing the ruse and pretense of being good.
I understand that Christians need — desperately — to hear experiential testimonies of the power of the gospel. I understand as well that it’s not pleasant to hear that we are broken and are going to stay that way. I know there will be little enthusiasm for saying sanctification consists, in large measure, in seeing our sin and acknowledging how deeply an extensively it has marred us. No triumphalist will agree that the fight of faith is not a victory party but a bloody war on a battlefield that resembles Omaha Beach.
But that’s the way it is. I’m right on this one.
Michael Spencer, Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality pp. 147-149


Monday, April 14, 2014

Without Saul's Armor

"Many good people think that they ought to guard the Gospel, but it is never so safe as when it stands out in its own naked majesty. It needs no covering from us.

When we protect it with provisos, guard it with exceptions and qualify it with observations, it is like David in Saul’s armor—it is hampered and hindered and you may even hear it cry, ‘I cannot go with these.’

Let the Gospel alone and it will save! Qualify it and the salt has lost its savor. "

                    — Charles Spurgeon - "The Dying Thief in a New Light"

I’m Broken. I Need Jesus. The End.

I needed to read this. I live this. You probably do too.  The Incessant Whisper by Pete Wilson:
I think most of us begin our Christian journey with this simple truth.
I’m broken. I need Jesus. The end.
However as we launch out on this new journey it doesn’t take long before we begin to hear this growing and incessant whisper that says, “Try harder, do more.”
Sing more.Memorize more.Journal more.Preach more.Pray more.Evangelize more.Serve more.
This approach can look quite spiritual to those around us; however, it’s often rooted in a inner conviction that our worth as a Christian is dependent upon our ability to outperform those around us. Behind this spiritual facade is a fragile and insecure heart desperately attempting to get God to love us more.
The cross isn’t something we start with and then move on from. The cross isn’t just the starting line of our faith, it’s the centerpiece. Grace isn’t something we need just for salvation, it’s like air for the believer.
So today when you hear that whisper in your head that says “Try harder, do more,” go back to this.
I’m broken. I need Jesus. The end.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Secret to Creating Community


The biggest problem people have in searching for community is just that. You don't find community; you create it through love. Look how this transforms the way you enter a room full of strangers. Our instinctive thought is, "Who do I know? Who am I comfortable with?" There's nothing wrong with those questions, but the Jesus questions that create communities are, "Who can I love? Who is left out?"

Here are two different formulas for community formation:

1. Search for community where I am loved: become disappointed with community
2. Show hesed love: create community
--Paul Miller, A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relationships (Crossway, 2014), 100; italics original

HT: Strawberry-Rhubarb Theology

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Do Not Give Up On Joy

You don’t have to wallow in sadness.
Ben Stuart says this realization was one of the greatest gifts God gave him in his fight against sadness. He learned from the Psalms that we could push back against sad feelings with the truths of God’s word. We can fight back for joy in God.
In this three minute video, Ben talks about three weapons in the fight against sadness and encourages us to hang in there.


Don’t Give Up on Joy from Desiring God on Vimeo.