Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

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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Is It All About Jesus?

Jesus 2I wonder as a Pastor what some who attend Church regularly are driven by. I think for some people it can become a routine that completes or starts their week. They may have grown up in the Church and like the routine because it makes them feel good about themselves. People who get into a Church routine might even start to think that they are pleasing God by showing up on a weekly basis. A certain amount of pride or self-righteousness follows that hinders a true relationship with God. Our life with God was never meant to be a routine! Jesus did not die a bloody death and take our sins upon Himself so that we could go to Church once a week and feel good about ourselves.

If we are saved and its truly about Jesus how does that play out in our everyday life? As a Christian I don’t want to just go through the motions every week like those who don’t know Jesus. I want to see transformation in my life and those who attend the Church. I think it starts with the attitude that each person in the Church has. Every one of us who have been saved by grace should desire to be transformed by grace everyday. Our attitude is to be one of submission to everything that Jesus taught and preached about. It is submitting to the authority of the Word regularly. Without an attitude of submission I am nothing more than a pride filled hypocrite. I don’t want to live my life that way. When we lose sight of submission to Jesus and His Word (the entire Bible) we get stuck in a Church routine which never brings pleasure to God. Any person who lives a life of submission is a person that is going to be used by God and knows God. Everyday we have the choice of being submissive and moving forward. Because God is so gracious he gives us the choice. This country, our Churches, and this world is in need of submissive Christians.

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Bible StudyA Pastor in San Diego was informed by a County Official that he was in violation of the county code with his “religious assembly” for having too many people over for a Bible Study. Fox News has the full story here;


When I read about this story I was in shock. What about Christmas time, family barbeque’s, or just hanging out watching the Super Bowl? I find it strange that a problem with a gathering that violates a county code has something to do with the Christian faith. I see persecution coming our way in this country and it is troubling. First we have a Hate Crime Bill (HR 1913) and now this. Maybe this is a wake up call for the Church that has taken its faith in Christ for granted. Maybe this will be a means for us to evangelize and defend our faith in greater ways. Whatever it is we need to wake up and take a look around. Every group in our country is being accepted with the exception of Christianity. However the San Diego problem turns out will be interesting.

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JS1262311It is official in Vermont! Same sex marriages have been approved by their legislature which over rides the Governor’s Veto! The vote was 100 to 49 which was shocking to me. This is another blow to our Country and God’s standard which clearly states that a marriage is between a man and a woman. My hope for any Church that is sold out to Jesus and the Word that it will stand its ground when discussing this issue with those who are for gay marriage. This is just another problem that I see with the “homosexual agenda.” They are demanding rights and getting them which frightens me. What will be next? Could we see the Church be silenced for preaching what the Word of God clearly says is a sin? This issue is not going away so if you are a Christian I hope you are discussing it inside and outside of the Church. There is a tear in the Church in small ways over this issue already. The generation that is in its early 20’s is more accepting of this because they have been taught that it is “normal.” May those who belong to Christ stand their ground on this issue. We have the right to be heard as much as anyone else in this Country.

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srtLast night our town hosted the SILVER RING THING which is an Evangelical purity outreach program. There were over 1300 in attendance. 112 new commitments to Christ and 386 rings were bought. My family was fortunate to host one of the Leaders of this event and I was impressed with the attitude they have for reaching the lost and giving a sound biblical reason of why teens should abstain from any sexual relations until they are married. This event was brought together through the hard work of the Youth Pastors of our community working for the greater good of the next generation. Unless you are blind you know that our country is beyond a moral decline and we are in a dismal situation. If your community is several thousand people or more I suggest getting in touch with this organization and doing this in your community. Society is dancing around the issue of morality and the Church must and needs to take a stand.

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weeping1One thing that has disturbed me over the past couple of years is the lack of remorse I see in people over their sins. People just don’t want to admit when they are wrong and will sometimes give a half-hearted apology when they feel that there is no other alternative. As a Pastor I have witnessed people only apologizing to each other to make themselves look good instead of feeling bad over how they have wronged someone else. I fear that Christians could be approaching God with a half-hearted attitude when it comes to sin in their lives. Growing closer to God means feeling greater remorse for our sins. It means that we are striving for a closer relationship with Him at all times. James 4:8-10 says;

Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.

If we will take these verses seriously we would see greater improvement in our life with God and others inside of the Church. Each of us is so quick to point our fingers at one another, but we need to always take a closer look at ourselves first. Not dealing with sin and grieving over it stifles our relationship with God. Are you the type of Christian who is sorrowful over your sin or you the type that just doesn’t give it much thought? Before we get caught up in style or programs lets get back to some basics and learn to deal with sin properly.

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mhMark Driscoll is the Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA. I have been listening to his sermons lately and really enjoy his perspective. One sermon that he preached that I thought was really outstanding was one that dealt with faith and works. You can find that sermon as a media file at; http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/religionsaves/faith-works

This subject of faith & Works means a lot to me. The meaning comes from being a part of a tradition for many years that teaches wrongly that someone is not saved until they are baptized. Salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone. If you don’t fully understand what it is to be justified by Christ take a look at this sermon. It is 57 minutes long, but it is worth every minute.

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