Archive for January, 2010

We are studying the Sermon on the Mount for our Wednesday Night program. John Stott reflecting on this part of Scripture says that “it is the least understood and applied” piece of text in the New Testament. This part of scripture is a good one to go back through every few months. I have always thought a good practice was to read it completely through in one setting. This does not take long and helps understand the complete unit as a whole. Mt. 6:8 says “Do not be like them!” This is a pivotal point that Jesus makes. What He is saying is not to be like those outside of the church. To put it a better way, we are not to be like the world. This sermon is a call to live counter – culturally which many Christians find difficult to do. I think what I am seeing in the church today are many who want to define their walk with God on their own terms. The Sermon on the Mount dispels any thoughts of going our own way. It is to the point and only 107 verses long. In the middle of this sermon we find how we are to connect with God. Chapter 6 is a pause of sorts that tells us how to live, pray, and fast. With all the complicated how- to books out there in the Evangelical world this portion of Scripture leaves us with a clear direction that we are to follow. Why do we make our life with God so difficult? He never intended for it to be that way.

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On January 7th, the New Jersey state Senate defeated a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage. The vote was 20-14 and nine Democrats, including Senate President Steve Sweeney, either voted “no” or abstained. It seems that for the next four years this will not be brought up again. When I heard about this on the news I was happy since it seems that many states are caving into allowing this.

The issue of same-sex marriage is one that is not going away. What troubles me is the silence from the Church. Why are we not talking about this more and taking a stand. Even on the local level there seems to be not much talk. This for me is not about equal rights. This is a group wanting equal rights and telling America that we have to agree with them or we are racist. What ever happened to freedom of speech? The bible is clear on marriage! God created Adam and Eve. A man and a woman relationship is the one that God designed and ordained from the beginning.

I will say that my feelings do not drive me to violence in any way. I have the right as a citizen to voice my concerns for this problem as do those on the other side of the issue. What I cannot agree with however, is being shredded for my belief that same-sex marriage is wrong and against the will of God for His creation. I applaud New Jersey for their decision to say “No” to same-sex marriage. My hope is that it will speak loudly to many other states that will have to deal with this decision in the future.

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Many years ago someone told me about a popular book titled Desiring God by John Piper. That was a little over 11 years ago. That book was a too deep for me at the time as a young Christian but after some time in the word I have a great appreciation for its content. Since then I have gone on to read many of John Pipers books, articles, and even have listened to many of his sermons thanks to the wonderful world of iPods. His overall ministry to the Church is one that many preachers will never experience. I say ministry because in the past decade Desiring God Ministries has continually grown. It is a place on the web where you can find biblically sound teaching through articles and grow in your faith in greater ways. On this website you will also find many of his books that you can bring up on a PDF format and print out. I don’t know of many ministries or writers who will let you do something like that. Perhaps that says a lot about who Piper is and his desire to see Christians grow in their faith. If you don’t know who John Piper is I invite you to look him up on CBD (ChristianBooks.com) and order one of his books. If you want to go deeper in your faith and like to be challenged this is a guy you want to read.

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