Posted by: thirstnomore | November 9, 2008

Religion vs. Gospel

Here is the article I used in my sermon.  Cool stuff… take a look and tell me what you think?

religion-and-the-gospel

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Posted by: thirstnomore | November 6, 2008

Obama for President

It saddens me to hear the rhetoric of Christians lamenting the electing of Obama as our new president.  We act as if Jesus no longer sits on the throne and has given us over to the rule of Satan.  When in reality Jesus holds everything together and is above all rulers, powers, governments, cultures, peoples. and authorities (See Colossians 1:15-20).  Our faith is in the unseen and not the seen. 

The other part that saddens me is that we act as if Obama is not an image-bearer of God, created with a mind, body, and soul, who is created to worship God, who actually loves Jesus (which he has made quite clear). 

What unites Christians and the church is not political persuasion, or views on issues, but Jesus, the messiah, his blood-bought life, resurrected-life, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Being a follower of Jesus means that we listen to, and live in a different kingdom, the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of politics, presidents, etc. We are to offer the world a counter-culture. It really does not matter what the government is doing, or the economy, our faith does not rise and fall on these factors.  Our hope is in Jesus, our resurrected King.

Here is what we need to do instead (read 1 Tim. 2:1-4, 2 Peter 2:13-17):  these texts gives us a direction as what to do.  Pray for Obama, and our leaders, here and abroad, and serve God. Leaders, governments, and rulers will come and go, but Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tommorrow.  That is where my hope and faith will lie. 

Last, stop complaining and be a solution.  It is easy to sit back and think you know what is best for our country and life without getting involved.  It is easy to write blogs and not do a thing:)  Focus on what matters:  love Jesus, be a good dad, husband, mother, father, son, daughter, freind, love the outcast, poor, lonely, and the widow.  Be a servant, worship Jesus, and pray  a lot!

Posted by: thirstnomore | October 27, 2008

Sermon that rocked my world

I was listening to a podcast of a sermon by John Piper while I am working and he said something profound. He was talking about why Christians do not do missions in foreign countries, and even on our own soil. He said the reason was not lack of money, but too much money. Money is making us soft, comfortable, irrelevant, and not risk-takers, sacrificial, the way of the cross and Jesus.

We spend too much time accumulating stuff and money and not giving. The more we have the less we can see Jesus, and have hearts that beat for him because our allegiance will always be tested. Piper has some great resources (sermons, articles, blogs, books, etc.) at www.desiringgod.org The sermon is called “Proclaiming the Excellencies of Christ and not Prosperity…” it is on the front page of his site.

Something to ponder this week…? Where has accumulation of stuff and comfort become an idol in my heart? What risks am I taking in the name of Jesus, if any? Why or why not? When was the last time I bought something for no particular reason? Why? Have you ever considered missions? Why or why not? What risk is Jesus asking you to take right now? Would love to hear from you…

Posted by: thirstnomore | October 25, 2008

2 Peter 1:3-9

This is a haunting verse. We are going to wrestle it during our small group time this weekend. The haunting part is that if Jesus and the gospel are enough for life (all of life) and godliness, why do I look to other things, people, and externals?

Here are some externals mentioned in “How People Change” By: Lane and Tripp (9-10), that sabotage growth and the gospel:

  • Formalism – doing church activities and attending events.
  • Legalism – rules, do’s and don’ts, no grace
  • Mysticism – looking for emotional and spiritual experiences and highs.
  • Activism – doing stuff for God and not encountering God.
  • Biblicism – bible and theology become goal, not Jesus.
  • Pschology – ism – looking to Jesus as therapist and not savior
  • Social-ism – seeking Christian networks and friends, instead of a personal encounter with Christ.

It is scary to think that we can be part of these things and not change one bit. They become good substitutes for actually encountering the risen Christ in faith and repentance.

Any of these externals relate to you? How can we get back on track? Why are these externals so alluring?

Posted by: thirstnomore | October 24, 2008

Self-Examination

John Calvin proclaimed that our hearts are “idol factories”.  In other words we are sinful by nature and desire to worship self, or invert the worship of the Creator, for the worship of creation (Rom. 1). If people desire to experience joy in the King…Jesus… we must learn to examine our hearts and the idols that creep in and rob us of joy. Part of this is knowing where we are weak and tempted.

I am learning to keep an eye on what robs me of joy and what gives me joy.  Here are some of mine:

Robs me of joy:

  1. Long meetings that accomplish nothing.
  2. Empty conversations (long and shallow)
  3. Staying up late for no reason.
  4. Too much media: TV, Internet, etc.
  5. Not taking time to pray, be still, quiet, reflective, etc.
  6. Not spending time with family and people.
  7. Adults that act like children (not in the biblical sense “child-like faith”).
  8. Spending too much time following sports.
  9. Status-quo, living by sight, and not faith.

Stuff that brings joy:

  1. Books that make me think deeply about God.
  2. Bible centered, gospel centered, passionate preaching (John Piper, Louie Giglio, Matt Chandler, Martyn Llyod Jones, AW Tozer)
  3. Conversations with my wife.
  4. Music and Film that force me to think deeply about issues of the heart and the world.
  5. Times of prayer, reflection, silence, and Bible study.
  6. Reading books with my son and praying with him.
  7. Long meals and conversations with my wife (which might lead to other beautiful parts of a covenant relationship, you know what I mean…)
  8. Big vision, and big dreams…
  9. Being around people that are more godly, humble, helpful, and can see my sin and weakness, and help me change.

What robs you of joy and brings you joy?  I would love to know…

Posted by: thirstnomore | October 24, 2008

Welcome!

Nothing fancy, nothing profound, but could be life changing.  A simple follower of Jesus sharing struggles, doubts, victories, and learning from others.  If you found something so life-giving, life-altering, and breath-taking, wouldn’t you want to share it with others?.  If Jesus offers living water that satisfies all of life, it must be worth looking in to? The great reality is no matter who you are, what you’ve done, where you are going, Jesus offers this living water to all, even Samaritan outcasts (see John 4).

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