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Practical Calvinism September 12, 2007

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Lar,

Check out this quote from Philip Ryken over at the World Magazine Blog.

Peace,
Joe

Food for Thought August 31, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Links, Quotes.
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Joe,

Yes, I am actually still alive!  As you know, I’m quite busy working on a tough message for this Sunday morning, but to make up for my absence, I think this quote that I read over at Justin Taylor’s blog will keep people occupied for awhile.  Good stuff indeed!

Larry

Vick Finds Jesus August 27, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Quotes, Random Musings.
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I’m not writing that sarcastically, but just using his own words.

The sports fans out there are probably following the Michael Vick dogfighting saga.  Here’s the beginning of CNN’s report on the issue today:

RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) Shortly after entering a guilty plea Monday to a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge, suspended NFL quarterback Michael Vick apologized “for all the things that I’ve done and that I’ve allowed to happen.”

art.vick.press.conf.pool.jpg


In addition to making apologies to Atlanta Falcons teammates, his coach and the National Football League, Vick also said he was sorry “to all the young kids out there for my immature acts.”

“What I did was very immature so that means I need to grow up,” he said.

He said that he was “disappointed in myself” and that “dogfighting is a terrible thing and I … reject it.”

He said, “Through this situation I’ve found Jesus.”

Let’s pray that it is really true, and not a vain profession by a man trying to clean up his public image.

Larry

Habit August 21, 2007

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Lar,

This quote spoke to me yesterday….

I am your constant companion, I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am at your command.
Half of the tasks that you do you might just as well turn over to me
and I will do them quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed, you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done;
after a few lessons I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great people and alas of all failures as well.
Those who are great I have made great,
those who are failures I have made failures.

I am not a machine, but I work with all the precision of a machine,
plus the intelligence of a person.
Now you may run me for profit or you may run me for ruin.
It makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will lay the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.

Who am I? I am called Habit.

All that is quite true isn’t Lar? We are in large part defined by our habits–for good or ill. I think it can be said that our growth in holiness is determined by our putting away old habits and fighting for new ones. New habits of thought. New habits of response. New habits of discipline. New habits of how we spend our mornings and evenings. On and on we could go. Holiness is a grand thing, yes. But it is grand merely because it is the culmination of a lot of little things. A lot of little habits. To put off the old man and live according to the new man is impossible apart from the transformation of our habits. How are we doing here? What areas of our lives are still dictated by the habits of our old man? These are questions that we need to continually ask ourselves. For the Lord aims to bring change to us one little bit at a time.

Pray for me brother. I need grace–O so much grace!–to leave no stone unturned, as it were, to let nothing slip by, but to examine every area, so that I might eat and drink to the glory of God. Let’s do it together brother. For we cannot do it alone.

Seeking Him with you,
Joe

Four-Point Calvinism? August 17, 2007

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Lar,

Here is an interesting quote from R.C. Sproul.

Also, we need to finish the week stronger next time brother! I was caught up in another project today. Lord willing, I will come with something strong next Friday!

Peace,
Joe

Therefore… August 16, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Quotes, Scripture Meditation.
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From a sermon by Piper on Romans 12:1 —

When Paul says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers . . .” he is saying: The life I am calling you to live (in Romans 12-16) is built on something. It doesn’t come out of nowhere. It has roots. It has a foundation. Christian living has roots. It has foundation. It has causes and grounds and reasons. And that is no small thing!

For the next five chapters Paul will call us to live a certain way as Christians. And with this word “therefore” he is saying: The foundation we build our lives on is the foundation laid in Romans 1-11. Paul is turning now from doctrine to practice. He is turning from theology to ethics. From what is true about God and Christ and salvation to what we should do—what we therefore should do because of Romans 1-11. Because of all the truth about God and sin and Christ and the cross and the Spirit and faith and justification—because of all that we have seen in Romans 1-11, therefore we are to build our practical lives on this. Paul moves from foundation to application with the word “therefore.” Christian acting and feeling and speaking are not rootless. They have foundation. They are built on something. Paul spent 11 chapters, and we spent six years, laying the foundation for the building of Romans 12-16. If we miss this connection, we miss everything.

The Point of Christianity: To Glorify the Mercy of God in Christ Let me give you one reason for this and an application. The reason Christianity must build our lifestyle on God’s mercy in Jesus Christ is that the whole point of Christianity is to glorify the mercy of God in Christ. We exist to put the glory of God’s mercy in Christ on display. So Paul spends 11 chapters opening the mercy of God in the work of Christ, and then says, “therefore” build your lives on this. Live a life that shows this! That’s why you exist.

So we say, “Because of God’s mercy revealed in Christ, therefore, I do this and not that. Because of God’s mercy revealed in Christ, therefore I speak this way and not that way. Because of God’s mercy revealed in Christ, therefore I cultivate this kind of emotion and put that kind to death. Because I exist to glorify the mercy of God in Christ, I live this way and not that way. Christian living is built on something!

An Application for Parents: Don’t Say “Just Do It”

One application: Parents, teach your children that the behavior and attitudes you expect from them are built on something! Don’t say, “Just do it.” As they get older help them see that the standards of thought and attitude and action and entertainment and ministry and mercy are all built on the mercy of God in Christ. Help them see that Christian living is not a list of do’s and don’ts, it is a way of showing the glory of God and Christ. Help them see that Christian living—for children and teenagers and adults—is built on the gospel—on the beauty of Christ crucified and risen and reigning. The question is not mainly, “What’s wrong with this music or this movie or this party or this dress or these drugs or these friends?” The question is, How can I act and speak and feel so that I help my friends see the worth of Jesus above all music and movies and parties and friends? How can I live to show that Jesus didn’t come into the world to help me party better but to help me love better and die better?

Cultivate in your home the understanding of the word “therefore” in Romans 12:1. Help the children absorb this worldview. The Christian life has roots. It has foundation. It is built on something. Because of the truth of Romans 1-11, therefore live the life of Romans 12-16. That’s Paul’s first message in verse 1.

You can read the rest here.

Charity in Controversy August 7, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Quotes, Random Musings.
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Joe,

This morning I shared a quote from John Stott that I read in the introduction to the book Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity. As I mentioned, I was greatly encouraged by Justin Taylor’s introductory words. In it, he concedes that many people in our pluralistic society will regard a book such as this with disdain, thinking that to refute the teaching of other people is incompatible with Christian charity and humility. Taylor then gives five principles for engaging in such disputes about theology:

1. Controversy is required when essential truths are called into question. ‘Every significant doctrinal teaching in the church has been refined in the furnace of controversy.’

2. Truth and love are necessary companions in doctrinal disputes.

3. We must distinguish between a tolerant spirit towards persons that manifests itself in love, and a tolerant mind toward ideas that is never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. The former is to be pursued at all costs, while the latter is to be resisted at all costs.

4. We must love and pray for the good of those whom we critique. That’s convicting stuff! Far too often I have been guilty.

5. We must commune with God in the doctrines for which we contend. If I am not moved to love and delight in God’s sovereign power as I contend for the truthfulness of that doctrine, then I am not contending as I ought to. The endurance required to engage in doctrinal controversy is sustained by joy in the One whom we are defending.

Thankful for those who have contended for the truth, and in doing so have preserved the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 4),

Larry

Christ the Controversialist August 7, 2007

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Joe,

And all our blog readers, thanks for bearing with me over the past month or so!  Hopefully this week I will start to get back into the swing of things.  Moving into a new house (in which we still don’t have internet access) and having our first baby has made this last month pretty crazy!  But I’m hoping that things will start to settle down, and to get going with some blogging.  Hopefully our negligence in the past month hasn’t cut down our readership too much!

While much has changed for me in the past month, some things haven’t.  Doctrinal ‘debates’ are still the norm for me.  In the last couple of weeks I have upset some people with a message I preached from the Sermon on the Mount regarding Divorce and Remarriage, and on Sunday at church I was handed a piece of paper with some verses in Jeremiah suggesting that God does not know some future events.

In checking into the verses from Jeremiah, I pulled out my copy of Beyond the Bounds.  I loved reading Justin Taylor’s introduction on why debating doctrinal matters is both important and truly loving.  He referred to a book by John Stott called, ‘Christ the Controversialist’, and shared a quote from Stott that I thought was great:

“We seem in our generation to have moved a long way from this vehement zeal for the truth which Christ and his apostles displayed.  But if we loved the glory of God more, and if we cared more for the eternal good of the souls of men, we would not refuse to engage in necessary controversy, when the truth of the gospel is at stake.  This apostolic command is clear.  We are ‘to maintain the truth in love,’ being neither truthless in our love, nor loveless in our truth, but holding the two in balance.” 

Those are wise words.  I walked away from that quote encouraged to continue standing strong for the precious truths of God’s Word, and longing to stand with both truth and love.   To neglect either is to belittle the glory of God and injure the good of mankind.

Larry

Those who are Faith in Little… July 23, 2007

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Lar,

I trust you can finish the last part of that verse….“will be entrusted with much.”

I confess that as of late I have not been faithful with this blog! I am sorry brother. Yet as is often the case, seasons of unfaithfulness can often lead to greater resolve for future faithfulness. I hope and pray that is the case for me writing on this blog. At the very least, I will be checking in with you once per day this week.

To begin, here is a quote from John Newton. He writes,

“Two heaps of human happiness and misery; now if I can take but the smallest bit from one heap and add to the other, I carry a point. If, as go home, a child has dropped a halfpenny, and if, by giving it another, I can wipe away its tears, I feel I have done something. I should be glad to do greater things, but I will not neglect this. When I hear a knock on my study door, I hear a message from God; it may be a lesson of instruction; perhaps a lesson of penitence; but, since it is his message, it must be interesting.”

There is much to say about this quote, but I’ll point out two things. First, Newton was content to be faithful in the smallest of details. He wisely realized that the big things in life are the small things. And only those who are faithful in those small things will be entrusted with the great. Second, note His trust in the wise providence of God. Do we recognize divine appointments? I confess, I often am annoyed by ‘interruptions’, but then I must ask, who is interrupting me? Isn’t it the Lord? If I believe it, I will welcome and enjoy every single moment. Pray for me, that I might not resist the will of our God!

Enough for now Lar. Lord willing, I will catch you soon, but I have a feeling that I won’t hear much from you today. But that is a good thing really and can be explained further to those who read.

Seeking Him with you,
Joe

Belief and Behavior July 19, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Quotes.
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Joe,

Here’s a great quote I read from Tim Keller:

“Normal preaching should be evangelistic preaching. Ordinarily, ‘edificational’ preaching is more oriented to behavior (”you must obey Christ in this way and this way”) while ‘evangelistic’ preaching is usually oriented toward belief (”you must believe in Christ in this way and this way”). But this misses the unity of the human soul. Edwards in his Affections argues persuasively that, essentially, “if you truly believe, it changes behavior, and if you are not behaving properly, it is because of unbelief.” A person may say, “I know God cares for me, but I am still petrified with fear.” No. If they are running in fear, it is because they don’t ‘know’ God’s care.

Therefore, any failure in behavior in Christians is due to unbelief. The antidote to unbelief is a fresh telling of the gospel. So, if a sermon is Christ-centered in its exposition and application, and if it is oriented toward a) dismantling the unbelief systems of the human heart, and toward b) re-explaining and using the gospel on the unbelief – then it will be highly illuminating to non-Christians even when it is aimed primarily to Christians. Preaching that cannot both edify and evangelize at once is choosing behavior over belief or belief over behavior.”

Laboring to edify and evangelize in every message,

Larry

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty July 18, 2007

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Joe,

As you know, God’s faithfulness has been so manifest in my life numerous ways over the past few weeks.  This morning as I recounted some of those mercies, I was drawn to the words of a great hymn.  I may have posted it on here before, but can we consider these words too often?

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.

Adoring His mercies,

Larry

How I Feel vs. What is Real July 17, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Quotes, Random Musings.
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I remember Sinead O’Connor from her ripping in half a picture of the pope on Saturday night several years ago. Apparently she has just released a new CD that is 99.9% based on the Old Testament Scriptures. I found this portion of a recent interview with her in Christianity Today stunning. Even more stunning, this CD is being marketed to Christians!

I couldn’t help but thinking of Mahaney’s chapter in Living the Cross Centered Life on truth and emotions. The entire article is full of her saying, ‘I think…I feel…’ May the folly of her own beliefs guard us from the temptation to examine what is true in light of how we feel about the truth.

Are you a Christian?

O’Connor: Yeah, by birth and by culture.

Is Theology an album for Christians?

O’Connor: I wouldn’t say it’s just for Christians. It’s 99.9 percent based in the Old Testament. To say that it’s an album for Christians would imply that it’s not for other people. But I think it’s a record that would appeal to all kinds of religions.

What does Jesus mean to you?

O’Connor: I’ve had a lot of faith in Jesus ever since I was a little kid. I always joke with my friends that I have a cab company called “Jesus Cabs.” And I tell my friends, “If you ask Jesus for anything, it will happen. But you have to believe that it’s going to happen.”

What about now? Where do you stand in your faith in Jesus?

O’Connor: I think everybody has an individual relationship with Jesus. I kinda really do believe in this Trinity thing, that God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all one thing. I understand Jesus as being an interceder, someone you ask when you really need a big favor from God. I also feel that Jesus is inside everybody. It’s almost like an energy or a thing that lives inside of us.

How about his role as a Savior?

O’Connor: I grew up in violent circumstances [in a later e-mail, O’Connor clarified that she was abused as a child by a family member], and Jesus was a Savior to me insofar that he would make me forget what was going on. But to say that Jesus is a Savior can sometimes translate as, “Unless people know doctrine, they’re not going to be saved.” I don’t believe that. I believe God loves everybody. And at the end of the day every creation of God goes on to God and his love equally. So I have difficulties with the implication that because somebody on the other side of the world doesn’t know Jesus, they don’t get saved.

So there’s no such thing as Jesus being the one way, truth, and life?

O’Connor: I believe that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and that whole kind of thing is one particular energy. If you want a put a picture of a body on it, then fine. But I call it an energy. Some people paint a picture of Jesus. But to me, he’s an energy. That energy is the same no matter where you are in the world or whose side you’re on. If you call it Allah or you call it God or you call it Buddha, it’s all the same. I thing God saves everybody whether they want to be saved or not. So when we die, we’re all going home.

So it doesn’t matter your lifestyle, we’re all going to heaven.

O’Connor: Yeah, I don’t think God judges anybody. He loves everybody equally. I think there’s a slight difference when it comes to very evil people, but there are not too many of those in the world.

God’s character is very human; he goes through the whole gamut of emotions that a person might go through.

By human, do you mean fallible?

O’Connor: People often say, “If there’s a God, why does he let bad things happen?” We expect God to be perfect, but if we’re made in God’s image, then perhaps God isn’t perfect. And that’s OK. But I also believe that partly we are God. We are part of God and God is something that’s in us and all around us.

Philip the Calculator July 16, 2007

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Lar,

I figure I can’t go wrong starting the week with a little Tozer. These comments are comical, but at the same time, desperate to be heeded. Here is Tozer commenting on John 6:7.

Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.” –John 6:7

Here in the New Testament was Philip the Calculator–Philip the Mathematician, Philip the Clerk. There was need for a miracle, and Philip set out to calculate the odds. Probably every Christian group has at least one person with a calculator. I have sat on boards for many years, and rarely is there a board without a Philip the Calculator among its members. When you suggest something, out comes the calculator to prove that it cannot be done….

As I say, I have been sitting on these boards for many years, and there are always two kinds of board members: those who can see the miracle and those who can only see their calculators and their strings of calculations….

The people with the calculators have seen the problem, but they have not seen God. They have figured things out, but they have not figured God in.

Philip the Calculator. He can be a dangerous man in the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. Every suggestion made in the direction of progress gets a negative vote from this man.

Now Lar, even if we aren’t one to give a negative response to any God-sized ideas, we might at least be inclined to give a fellow brother a certain kind of look that states the same. Let us ask ourselves: what are we praying and working towards right now that is impossible without God? May the Lord grant us the grace to be men of faith, men who are not afraid to do that which only God can do. May the Lord grant us the grace to, in William Carey’s words, expect great things from God and attempt great things for God. Nothing less is worthy of Him.

Praying big prayers with you,
Joe

Wisdom from MLJ July 12, 2007

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These words from Martyn Lloyd-Jones were spoken over 50 years ago, and yet they are full of fresh meaning for us today:

It is being said that the chief need of the Church today is to repent because of its ‘lack of unity’… we would suggest that before she repents of her disunity, she must repent of her apostasy. She must repent of her perversion of, and substitutes for, ‘the faith once delivered to the saints.’ She must repent of setting up her own thinking and methods over against the divine revelation in Holy Scripture. Here lies the reason for her lack of spiritual power and inability to deliver a living message in the power of the Holy Ghost to a world ready to perish.


Night and Day July 12, 2007

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Joe,

I know I have been so MIA lately that some in the Blog Nation may think I’ve fallen off the face of the earth, but I’ve just been a bit busy with moving, and we’re without internet over at the house now.  So eventually I hope to return to a more normal habit of blogging, but it still might be a few days or a week (and then of course there is a baby due next week!).

But here is something that I hope will feed the soul.  Michelle has been reading Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening lately, and the other day she pointed me to this devotional thought.  I think some biblical exegetes may cringe at all that Spurgeon draws out of Genesis 1:5, but it is worthy of reflection and a great encouragement to us who have been made new by the Spirit, yet still wage war against the flesh.

“And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
–Genesis 1:5

The evening was “darkness” and the morning was “light,” and yet the two together are called by the name that is given to the light alone! This is somewhat remarkable, but it has an exact analogy in spiritual experience. In every believer there is darkness and light, and yet he is not to be named a sinner because there is sin in him, but he is to be named a saint because he possesses some degree of holiness.

This will be a most comforting thought to those who are mourning their infirmities, and who ask, “Can I be a child of God while there is so much darkness in me?” Yes; for you, like the day, take not your name from the evening, but from the morning; and you are spoken of in the word of God as if you were even now perfectly holy as you will be soon. You are called the child of light, though there is darkness in you still. You are named after what is the predominating quality in the sight of God, which will one day be the only principle remaining.

Observe that the evening comes first. Naturally we are darkness first in order of time, and the gloom is often first in our mournful apprehension, driving us to cry out in deep humiliation, “God be merciful to me, a sinner.” The place of the morning is second, it dawns when grace overcomes nature. It is a blessed aphorism of John Bunyan, “That which is last, lasts for ever.” That which is first, yields in due season to the last; but nothing comes after the last. So that though you are naturally darkness, when once you become light in the Lord, there is no evening to follow; “thy sun shall no more go down.” The first day in this life is an evening and a morning; but the second day, when we shall be with God, for ever, shall be a day with no evening, but one, sacred, high, eternal noon.

Mere Mortals? July 10, 2007

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Lar,

I got a little caught up in the schedule today (which included you brother!). But I didn’t want to miss a day, so here is a thought provoking quote from C.S. Lewis. He writes.

“You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit–immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”

It’s an incredible reality isn’t it? What changes might take place in our lives if we would meditate upon this more and more? For one, the gospel will surely become more central, for it is the only message through which anyone can become an everlasting splendor rather than an immortal horror. Let’s aim for faithfulness brother. May we never be shy with the gospel for the good of all and the glory of God.

Catch you more tomorrow,
Joe

Monday Morning Quotes and Commentary July 9, 2007

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“A little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in a little thing is a big thing.” – Hudson Taylor

“We look for the big things to do–Jesus took a towel and washed the disciples’ feet. We presume the place to be is the mountaintop of vision–he sends us back into the valley. We like to speak and act out of the rare moments of inspiration–he requires our obedience in the routine, the unseen, and the thankless. Our idea for ourselves is the grand moment and the hushed crowd–his is ordinary things when the footlights are switched off. ” – Os Guinness

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” – Jesus Christ (Luke 16:10).

There is a great deal of kingdom wisdom in these quotes, wisdom that we all need to inundate ourselves with. Often I think we forget that though Jesus Christ ministered to thousands and died for billions, He was prepared to do so by faithfulness in the mundane. For thirty years He walked this earth and lived a normal existence, so much so that when He burst upon the scene, people asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph and Mary?” He did His work day after day–all to the glory of the Father. He hung out. He played. He ate. He drank. He was faithful with His ever-waking moment to the glory of our great God. He always did the things that were pleasing to the Father.

May we take pains to remember that Jesus knows full well what it means to be faithful in the drudgery of life. Let us meditate on His great work at the cross. Absolutely. But let us never forget that He walked as we must walk to the glory of God. For only when we see Him in this light (as well), can we truly be faithful in our every moment.

Whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do everything to the glory of God. O Lord, grant us the grace to live this command–all for the sake of Your name!

Seeking Him with you,
Joe

Our Call to the Ordinary July 8, 2007

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Lar,

Good quote the other day from Luther. I love my books, but realize that that is a risk! A healthy one I believe, but a risk nonetheless. As I said to you yesterday, I have plans for a good blogging week this week. Today will be light of course, but the weekdays certainly need greater focus.

As you know, I am currently reading The Call by Os Guinness. It’s a great book, one that I heartily recommend and may write more about in the coming days. However, in it, he cites Oswald Chambers’ words, words that I definitely need to hear (all the time).

“Walking on the water is easy to impulsive pluck, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is a different thing. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he followed Him afar off on the land. We do not need the grace of God to stand crises, human nature and pride are sufficient, we can face the strain magnificently; but it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes.”

I wonder, do we see God in the details? Are we joyful in our drudgerous activities? Is our ‘common life’ anything but common? Surely the answer, no matter where we are on the spectrum is….“not enough!” Yet the more we come to know the Lord, the more we will live, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Let’s be in it for the long haul brother. For the lessons worth learning take a liftetime to learn.

Seeking to honor Him in all things,
Joe

A Precious Reminder July 6, 2007

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Joe,

What a great reminder I read today, in a quote from Martin Luther. It is a great gift that we have so many Christ-exalting books to nourish our faith with, but how tragic it is when we exalt books over the Word of God:

The multitude of books is a great evil. There is no measure or limit to this fever for writing; every one must be an author; some out of vanity, to acquire celebrity and raise up a name; others for the sake of lucre and gain. The Bible is now buried under so many commentaries, that the text is nothing regarded. I could wish all my books were buried nine ells deep in the ground, by reason of the ill example they will give, every one seeking to imitate me in writing many books, with the hope of procuring fame. But Christ died not to favour our ambition and vain-glory, but that this name might be glorified.

The aggregation of large libraries tends to divert men’s thoughts from the one great book, the Bible, which ought, day and night, to be in every one’s hand. My object, my hope, in translating the Scriptures, was to check the so prevalent production of new works, and so to direct men’s study and thoughts more closely to the divine Word. Never will the writings of mortal man in any respect equal the sentences inspired by God. We must yield the place of honour to the prophets and the apostles, keeping ourselves prostrate at their feet as we listen to their teaching. I would not have those who read my books, in these stormy times, devote one moment to them which they would otherwise have consecrated to the Bible.

I once read of George Mueller that for every one page of a non-biblical book, Mueller would read 10 pages of Holy Scripture. May we always be more enthralled with the words of Scripture more than the words of men.

Larry

Business for the Glory of God June 28, 2007

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Lar,

I just finished a great book this morning. It’s small, but a ‘must read’ (in my opinion) for virtually every Christian. The book? Wayne Grudem’s Business for the Glory of God. You will enjoy it. Here is a quote from his final chapter.

“But how should we remember the poor? How should we open our hearts to our brother in need? A short-term solution is to give food and clothing to the poor, and that is certainly right. But it is no long-term solution, for the food is soon eaten and the clothing wears out.

I believe the only lont-term solution to world poverty is business. That is because businesses produce goods, and businesses produce jobs. And businesses continue producing goods year after year, and continue providing jobs and paying wages year after year. Therefore if we are ever going to see long-term solutions to world poverty, I believe it will come through starting and maintaining productive, profitable businesses.”

He says much more throughout the books, of course, but I am quite confident that you will wholeheartedly agree with his statement after reading the book. I believe he is right in saying that Christians today often have a negative outlook on business. Well, maybe not a negative one, but at least we think that business is somehow neutral. We fail to realize that is good and a wonderful opportunity to reflect and bring glory to our God. O how desperate we are for a transformed worldview Lar! Let’s continue to labor, so that we might see as we ought to see for the sake of His name!

Making money to spend, give, and save to His glory,
Joe