Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Do Christians need to hear the gospel?

In Sunday's sermon, I quoted CJ Mahaney in his book The Cross Centered Life, “Three main tendencies in particular tend to draw Christians away from the gospel:

1. Subjectivism, which means basing our view of God on our changing feelings and emotions.
2. Legalism, which means basing our relationship with God on our own performance.
3. Condemnation, which means being more focused on our sin, or on others sin, than on God’s grace.”

Several people commented after the message, how much they appreciated the focus on the cross of Christ. It is not uncommon for us to base our relationship with God on feelings, or on performance, or on thoughts of guilt.

The apostle Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

Notice Paul does not say, “Christ loves me” as we might expect him to say, but that “Christ loved me.”

In other words, Paul could not graduate past the cross of Jesus Christ as the source and power of his faith. It is at the cross that we gain a full assurance of God’s specific, passionate and personal love.

So where does the cross of Christ intersect with your daily life?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Anxiety and Frustration

Sound Bites from our Men's Leadership Study this morning:

“It has been said that our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon, 1834-1892, British Baptist Preacher

“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” Arthur Somers Roche

“Every office battles the copier and all too frequently the copier is victorious.” Unknown

“Much of our frustration in life comes from attempting to control what we cannot control, and neglecting to control what we can.” Dr. Richard Dobbins

The real challenge of Christian living is not to eliminate every uncomfortable circumstance from our lives, but to trust our sovereign, wise, good, and powerful God in the midst of every situation.

Things that might trouble us such as the way we look, the way others treat us, or where we live or work can actually be sources of strength, not weakness.

Jesus said to His disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” John 16:33.

As disciples of Christ, we need to accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and allow God to do His perfect work in us. Our Lord will give us His peace as we confidently entrust ourselves to His care.

Some people assume worry is the result of too much thinking. Actually, it’s the result of too little thinking in the right direction. If you know who God is and understand His purposes, promises, and plans, it will help you not to worry.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Metrical Psalter

My Austin had a poem assignment for his 10th grade English class. He needed to take a Psalm and turn it into a metrical psalter (8 syllable - 6 syllable rhyme). He chose Psalm 13:

How long will You ignore me Lord?
When will I see your face?
How long shall I be abhorred,
Having sorrow and disgrace?

For how long must I be humbled?
Regard me and reply.
Answer me or I will stumble,
And my enemy will say “die”

And my enemy will delight
In my time of deep need.
But I will remain in Your might
My soul shall worship Thee.

My voice will be raised to the Lord
For He has been generous to me,
And His mercy will be adored!