Thursday, July 29, 2010

Third Day - Cry Out To Jesus W/Lyrics

Is there a better answer to give when faced with pain or problems? Cry out to Jesus!

John Piper - Where are the faithful young men?

I was convicted by this, at the same time I thanked God that I know where a few of these men and women are and I am blessed to count them among my friends!

Coming rain

I close my eyes and resist the stiff wind, enjoying the feeling of it tugging at my shirt and tustling with my hair. A sudden gust forces my eyes back open simply to retain my balance. I inhale deeply and taste the sharp mixture of fresh air cleaned by the coming rain and the pugnent - yet strangely intoxicating - scent of wet asphalt. The charcoal grey clouds are moving closer by the second, boiling over the backdrop of a blue sky that appeared so serene only moments before. Somewhere close the ominous sound of thunder sends shivers down my spine, shivers not of fear but simply wonder at the power and mystery of the thunder. My cheek is stung by a tiny raindrop, whipped forcibly at me by the strengthening wind. I wonder for a split second if it was a stray raindrop, somehow seperated from the bulk of the storm and driven to me by the wind, or if it was the first in line to fall directly over me, a harbinger of his brothers, eagerly awaiting their drop or perhaps free-falling already. I chuckle at myself for such a random thought and focus instead on watching the lightning, I see a flash out of the corner of my eye but it leaves as quickly as it came and I cannot turn my head quickly enough to feel as though I actually saw it. I had never really stopped to consider it before, but I quickly realize that try as I might it is impossible to watch a bolt from inception to retreat. This frustrates me, but in the end simply serves as a reminder to me of my own limitations. The warehouse at my back is hot and stuffy and I am disinclinded to leave this moment, but duty calls and with a final sweep of my eyes, I reluctantly return to work and wait for the rain.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A puritan prayer

O Lord God,
There is no blessing we implore,
but thou art able to give,
hast promised to give,
hast given already to countless multitudes,
all unworthy and guilty like ourselves;
Make us willing to recieve the supply,
of our need from thy bounty.
To this end convince us of sin,
soften our hard hearts,
to bewail our folly, ingratitude, pride,
unbelief, rebellion, corruption.
Through the law may we die to the law,
then look with wonder, submission, delight,
to the provision thou hast made
for the glory of thy Name
in the salvation of sinners.
Give us a hope that makes us not ashamed,
a love that excites to holy obedience,
a joy in thee that is our strength,
a faith in thy Son who loved us and died for us.
May we persevere in duty
when not fully conscious of thee,
wait upon thee and keep thy way,
be humble and earnest suppliants at thy feet,
live continually as on the brink of eternity.
Let us be at thy disposal for the duties
and events of life,
submit our preferences to thy wisdom and will,
resign our enjoyments if thou ,shouldest require it
as our absolute Proprietor and best Friend.
In our unworthiness and provocations
make us grateful for the means of grace
and the ordinances of religion
and teach us to profit by them
more than we have done.
Help us to be in the Spirit on the Lord's Day,
to enter upon the sabbath mindful of its
solemnities, duties, privileges,
setting all things worldly aside
while we worship thee.
May we know the blessedness of men
whose strenth is in thee,
and in whose hearts are the highways
to heaven.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Walk with Christ

2Ti 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
2Ti 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
I have recently been wrestling with the doctrine of the Sabbath day; how exactly we are to keep it holy, and what the correct balance is between enjoying all God’s good gifts and yet making sure the day is separated for God. God has been showing me many things through His word, personal experiences, and godly counsel of parents, pastors and friends. However this post is about a different subject that I have been convicted about as a result of that study.
As I began to be more and more convinced that I was abusing the liberty allowed for the Lord’s Day, I tried to rationalize my continuation in such things, perhaps the foremost rationalization being that were I to conclude that the Lord’s Day is to be used strictly for spiritual thoughts, speech, and actions I would be isolated. Like most people, I’m a social creature, I don’t like being by myself when I know my friends are all off having fun somewhere, so I continued to fight the growing evidence of scriptural and natural revelation, knowing that embracing them would mean I would have to give up doing many things that I enjoy most and usually only get a chance to do on Sunday afternoons. (Watch football and play sports with my friends) God broke me this morning as I gave in to the truth that has been nagging me in the back of my mind all this time, if truth is truth, than to deny it for the sake of pleasure and convenience is an act of cowardice, hypocrisy, and idolatry.
Was not our Lord forsaken of all when arrested? Is it not enough for me to be as the Master? (Matt. 10:25) Was not Paul abandoned by all for standing for the truth? Have not many godly men stood alone through the ages? Are we not called to forsake all to follow Christ? I confess now that my rationalizations were nothing but a fight to feed the flesh that we are called to kill. So I write publicly to remind you, as I have been reminded, that there is an inherent cost built into true Christianity that we are called to count. If being alone is too much to pay than I am no true follower of Christ but a Pharisee, with white-washed walls but inwardly filled with dead men’s bones.
Once I settled this with myself, that I would attempt to obey scripture regardless of the cost, I was reminded that even if all men forsake me, I will not taste the full loneliness of our Lord when he cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, Lama, Sabbachthani” which being interpreted is “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” If I am forsaken by men it is only so I can walk with Christ, who has promised to never leave or forsake me. If there is an area in your life that is contrary to scripture, yet you are holding on to for fear of abandonment, I call you to mortify the deeds of the flesh and walk with Christ.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The father's role as bread-winner.

The following is an excerpt from my pamphlet The Proper Roles in a Biblical Family. Luke 11:11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
Luke 11:12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

The first principle I want to look at is the most basic duty of a father, that of providing and caring for those of your household. It is and always has been the responsibility of the father to provide for the physical necessities of the house. In this passage Jesus calls his own disciples “evil”, yet the assumption is that even the evil men take care of their households. As it is written in I Tim. 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” It is not the responsibility of the wife or the children or the state to care for your family, it is yours and you need to do everything in your power to fulfill that obligation. The scriptures do not say that it is your responsibility to make sure they are provided for, but rather it is your responsibility to provide for them. It has always been Satan’s goal to reverse the decrees of God, he calls good evil and evil good, and he is attempting to reverse the roles in our families as well. Fathers, provide for your families and if you turn even a part of that over to another party, you are letting the proverbial camel’s nose into the tent.
Many ask, “What about the families that need the wife to work?” The situations where that is actually a necessity are few and far between, if the father is willing to work hard there will be no reason for anyone else to have to care for that man’s family. I’m not promising that they will have the same standard of living as the Jones, but no one else needs to work in the vast and overwhelming majority of American families in order for them to survive. The only exceptions I can think of might be if the father has a physical handicap that keeps him from working. I can say this with a fair amount of assurance, because I grew up in a family of eleven, my father was the only one in the family that worked until I, as the oldest boy, got old enough to get a job. Even then my father continued to provide me with all the things he had always provided me with until I moved out of his house, all I had to take care of were the extra things such as my car and cell phone. My father didn’t have a high paying job, yet somehow I always had food in my belly and a dry place to sleep, we had gas in our cars and our house was heated and air-conditioned. Now admittedly we lived in a trailer, our cars were at least ten years old most of the time, and we didn’t have the newest gadgets, but that was a conscious decision my parents made in order to be as biblical as possible. The idea that there has to be two incomes to support a family is a myth that is being propagated by the devil through our modern culture, and thousands of Christians have bought it hook, line and sinker and now go so far as to mock those who refute it. The scriptures always refer to the father as the one who cares for the physical provision of the family, and calls those who abandon it deniers of the faith and worse than infidels, or unbelievers. Fathers, husbands, it is time for us to reclaim our biblical role in our houses and that has to start with the most basic of duties, that of caring for our family’s needs.