Posts Tagged With: gospel

Sunday Morning Sermon for 4/28/13

We have been seeing God at work in our midst at FBC Langdon and it is only fitting that we remember one of the main duties of a disciple of Jesus Christ.  We are called to be His witnesses and to tell our story.  You can listen to the audio by clicking on the sermon “Tell Your Story” in the playlist at the right or by following this link.  Notes are below (I have filled in the names in the areas that I mention were blank) or at the audio site as a PDF.  May you be richly blessed through the Word and may you share that blessing by telling your story about Him.

Tell Your Story

Sermon notes 4/28/13

  1. Teaching – Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 20-25

    1. Training for ourselves

    2. Training the next generation

  2. Testimony – 1 Peter 3:8-17

    1. Sylvia

    2. Collin

    3. Clif

  3. Take it with you – Acts 1:8

    1. Into your homes

    2. Into your community

    3. Into the world

Categories: Acts, Disciples, Gospel, Matthew, Podcasts, Sermon, Service | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Mercy, Judgment, and All that Falls Between

Sunday night after we had arrived back home from a longer than expected return trip from the Black Hills, I pretty much just wanted to veg out and then head to bed a little early perhaps.  But that plan was interrupted by a text message from my sister that simply said:

R U watching the news?

It took a few seconds to switch on the TV and flip to Fox News, only to see Geraldo (who Rush jokingly refers to as “the grim reaper” for his ubiquitous presence in announcing celebrity deaths) and a crawl that announced that Bin Laden had been killed.

There are no words to convey what was going through my mind at that point.  I couldn’t have said much or typed anything.  In fact, I missed sending out a weekday devotional post completely on Monday from a complete inability to process or write anything useful (this blog has been on a slightly longer hiatus of the same sort).  The next day, I ended up writing a devotion for the Tuesday edition that addressed some of these feelings.  All of my friends on facebook seemed to have something to say about the matter and the opinions ran along a pretty varied continuum.  Blog posts were written and things were shared from every corner, but all I could put down at first was this post for Tuesday’s devotional.  While this could be a shameless plug for the devotional, I will just repost it here as well:

When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.  – Proverbs 11:10

After the news broke about the death of Bin Laden Sunday night, I had kind of a conflicted feeling about the scenes of celebration that I was witnessing.  I understand the sentiment to be sure; as this proverb indicates, this is a natural reaction to such an event.  I also noticed many people quoting various Bible verses both “pro” celebration and “con” celebration, which might lead some to think the Bible is a bit contradictory about this type of thing.  But that only comes from a failure to recognize the difference between commandments and observation.  The Bible observes the truth, we tend to celebrate when we feel someone gets “what’s coming to them” in whatever way that manifests.  That isn’t a commandment however.  We are encouraged to mourn the demise of the wicked and to seek their repentance and warn them of judgment if given an opportunity to do so.  God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked either and we are to take our cues from His standards and His perspective.  We shouldn’t rejoice in the death of the wicked and when we do it is another reminder of God’s perfect character juxtaposed against our own fleshly nature.

Take this time as a reminder of the fact that God loved each of us while we were still His enemy and wicked in His sight.

6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  – Romans 5:8

A few weeks back in Bible study at our church, we were talking about the passage in the book of James where he states that “mercy triumphs over judgment.”  There has been a lot of talk about this lately in fact with Rob Bell’s book proclaiming that “Love Wins” and seeming to say that judgment will never come.  But while we are commanded to love and forbidden to judge, God is perfect in love and in judgment and has the authority to administer both.  He will judge, both the living and the dead.  His judgment is sure, more sure than the CIA or the Navy Seals or a human court or any other judgment on this earth.

In that verse I mentioned from James, we are told that judgment is “without mercy to him who has shown no mercy” and Jesus taught this same principle in Matthew 18:23-35.  Why do I share it here?  As much as we are tempted to condemn Bin Laden or someone else that we feel “deserves it,” we should never imagine that we are any better or different.  Yet, God’s rich mercy has flowed to each of us through His Son, Jesus Christ.  If you have received mercy, you must give it as well.  Leave judgment and all that falls short of mercy to the only One who is qualified to mete it out.

Categories: America, Apologetics, Bible Thoughts, Christianity, church, Culture, devotional, Discipleship, Gospel, Kingdom, Law, Messiah, politics, Questions, Salvation, theology, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Emerging Picture Is Not Any Good

The flap is here.  Rob Bell’s book is out and based on what I hear and see, I don’t plan to waste valuable time reading it.  There were plenty of warning bells sounded a few weeks ago when the teaser video came out, but many asked to give the book a chance.  Well, when a MSNBC interviewer asks some straightforward questions and you fumble around in search of an answer, I am not impressed.  Bell looks and sounds like he is searching for the “good sounding answer” that will make folks happy.  When the host accuses Bell of “amending the gospel so that it is palatable,” Rob is just smiling and laughing.  The problem is that Rob is trying to have it both ways and won’t even admit it.  He says that “love will ultimately win in the end,” and when the host asks how that doesn’t make our decisions in the here and now essentially irrelevant, Bell says that “no, they really are relevant.”  Watch the video and see an example of someone who doesn’t know what the Gospel is all about talking to someone who may not believe it but at least understands it.  And yes, I do realize that Bahir’s first question is based on a false dichotomy, but that doesn’t seem to occur to Bell, which might be the most troubling thing of all.

One more piece on discernment that I will throw in as a bonus.  Lifeway has discontinued their practice of offering “Read With Discernment” disclaimers on some of the objectionable material they have chosen to sell.  I pray that their customers have better discernment of truth from fiction and fact from falsehood since Lifeway doesn’t want to bother with making such judgments.

Categories: Apologetics, Christianity, church, Culture, Discipleship, Faith, False Teachers, Gospel, Heresy, Questions, Salvation, Signs of the Times, Southern Baptist, theology, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Radical Together by David Platt – A Review

I received my copy of Radical Together yesterday, and I am already finished reading it.  This was a book that was hard to put down.  It is challenging and engaging at the same time.  I confess that I haven’t yet read David’s first book, Radical, but I plan to do so in the near future thanks to this book.

I am encouraged to see that so many are choosing to engage in a life of faith that goes beyond the culture we are accustomed to here in the western world.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a call to comfort or ease or wealth or prosperity; it is a call to sacrifice, suffering and possible loss in the midst of joy in the journey.  David captures the mind and the spirit and is careful to point his readers back to Scripture itself; directing his readers to see for themselves the basis for his assertions.

This isn’t a comfortable book.  If you elect to read this, prepare to be challenged and possibly changed.  Your view of God and His work and plan in the world may get turned upside down.  This book will challenge you to look beyond the good things to grasp the great things of God, as David uses a technique from our Master’s toolkit and works with phrases that seem almost contradictory at first glance but prove to be true in practical terms.

You can get a taste of this by checking out the first chapter online, in which David asserts that “one of the worst enemies of Christians is good things in the church.”  The other chapter statements offer similarly “backwards” concepts that have to be chewed on which you can see on the title page at the link above, but I have to say something about the final chapter.

The statement for the final chapter is, “we are selfless followers of a self-centered God.”  This one stood out to me the moment I hit the table of contents, but I resisted the urge to read the last chapter first and I recommend you do as well.  I won’t give it all away here, but it has to do with the fact that God doesn’t need you or I to accomplish His plan, yet He includes us in His plan because He loves us.

This isn’t an exercise in theory either.  David and his congregation are living the same journey he is inviting others to discover.  I highly encourage you to read Radical Together, it is a fantastic view of the work of God in His people.

One final thing, in order to be faithfully transparent, I must also mention that  I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

If you have found this review helpful, visit WaterBrook Multnomah and rank my review at their site. Thanks.
http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/bloggingforbooks/reviews/ranking/5256

Categories: Book Reviews, Christianity, church, Culture, devotional, Discipleship, Faith, Giving, Gospel, Grace, Growth, Kingdom, Love, Messiah, ministry, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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