Addicted to Works

Walter Marshall, a Puritan from the late 1600’s, accurately diagnoses what many times becomes our routine of Christian living and how it steals the joy God intends for us as believers in Christ:

By nature, you are completely addicted to a legal method of salvation. Even after you become a Christian by believing the Gospel, your heart is still addicted to salvation by works. In your heart you still want to make the duties of the law come before the comforts of the Gospel. You find it hard to believe that you should get any blessing before you work for it. This is the mindset you tend to fall into: You sincerely do want to obey the laws of God. Therefore, to make sure you obey the law of God you make all of God’s blessings depend upon how well you keep his law. Some preachers even tell you that you had better not enjoy the blessings of the Gospel! They tell you to diligently obey the law first and that only by doing this will you be safe and happy before God. Just keep in mind, however, that if you go this route, you will never enjoy your salvation for as long as you live in this world.

Be Perfect as Your Father Is

When men will be saviors of themselves, when they look for righteousness by the law, Christ bids them go and keep the commandments…and this He does to humble them and bring them to Himself. But if men are humble and broken by a sight of their sins, then, without mention of the law at all, He comforts them with the free promises of grace, saying: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

~ Samuel Bolton 

King Me: What Every Son Wants From His Father

Thanks to Dave Artman for this book review, just in time for Father’s Day.

An attractive attribute to the book is the name and photo on the cover. The name is suggestively insightful as to what one would expect to find in its pages, but there is so much more than just the obvious. This is not merely a book about a father passing the baton of his own legacy on to his son. In simplest terms, it is about building tomorrow’s godly, masculine men in a feminized world.

Author Steve Farrar does a remarkable job of drawing all of his encouragement and training right from scripture. We men experience many failures in our lives, and Steve lays out the typical failures men encounter and what we should do about them and why. He does so with a humble, down to earth tone that is not steered by political correctness or beating around the bush on delicate issues, such as sex. Brace yourself; Steve gets right down to the brass tacks where you may feel a little uncomfortable. Continue reading

A Secret Worth Sharing

I will admit It is nearly impossible for me to keep a secret from my wife. If I buy a gift for her birthday or Christmas I had better buy it the day before I give it to her; otherwise, I’ll blow the surprise of the gift.

The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him…. Psalm 25.14

God keeps secrets – at least that’s what this verse seems to indicate. It teaches us that there are some truths that God reveals only to those who fear him. Want to know God deeper? Beyond the casual? Beyond facts and figures? Spend time with Him through the only Book He’s ever written. I promise you, with time, you will begin to know and understand the secret of the LORD.

Ideas on Becoming a Servant

I am struck with shallowness that I think, meditate and apply specific texts of Scripture. One such passage is Mark 10:43-44

But whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.

What does that look like? Does it simply mean I let my wife have the TV remote on Monday night and I don’t get to watch Monday Night Football or she gets to choose the pizza toppings? Surely, to be great in the kingdom it must mean something more than that.

I jotted down some quick ideas of ways we can serve one another within the context of the local church and do so with meaning (and hopefully with some depth): Continue reading

7 Suggestion for Encouraging Good Preaching

We’ve all heard good preaching and not-so-good preaching. Here are seven suggestions for encouraging good preaching.
  1. Pray for the preachers. Pray specifically that they will work hard at the Bible passages (1 Timothy 5.17) and preach them faithfully, passionately and in a way that engages the hearers.
  2. From time to time, tell the preachers you are praying for them and looking forward with expectancy to the sermon. That will be a great encouragement and incentive to them to prepare well.
  3. Be there. You may be surprised what an encouragement it is just to have you there, and what a Continue reading

A Christian Response to a Doctrinal Difference

This morning I read in my Bible the following passage. I was struck by how two godly Christians acted and reacted to one brother’s doctrinal difference.

And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. Acts 18.24-26

I understand there are different levels of understanding of Christian orthodoxy and therefore different levels of either acceptance or outright rejection of those Christian teachings. But what is modeled above is often times not my mode of operation. I tend to act or at least think suspiciously of fellow believers who act or believe different than me (which I’ve noticed is just about everyone – I tend to agree with me). Continue reading