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4. 3. 2. 1.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Legalism, License, Utilitarianism, Love

I want to briefly layout 4 approaches to Bible Reading and Prayer though each approach can be discussed for several pages.

a.) Legalism. One is having daily Bible reading and prayer because "Moses" said so, and if you don't you are 'in trouble' and disappointing to God. You might as well hide like Adam in the Garden, knowing your shame and guilt for failing to meet with God.

b.) License. Since the person is confident in "grace" then the commitment to read the Bible and pray is extremely sporadic at best. Our standing with God is based upon the gift of Jesus, so we will rest in that truth, and deduce commitment to commune with God is expressed by "faith in Christ" not by "reading His word."

c.) Utilitarianism. This is like Legalism, but it is viewing Bible reading and prayer as a means to and end, and not the goal itself. 1.) If I read the Bible, then my sanctification will improve, if it is not improving, then I need to read my Bible even more. 2.) If I read the Bible, then my disciplining of other Christians will improve, if it is not improving, then I just got to become smarter through more Bible reading. 3.) If I read the Bible, then my apologetics and evangelism to the lost will improve (i.e. more results, more persons convinced of what I present); If it is not improving then I just need to be smarter and read the Bible more.

d.) Love. Yes we are commanded to seek God; Yes God uses means, and our morning devotions can be a means to an end. However, they should never be pursued "as" or "because" a means to an end; Rather, we should enjoy daily communion with God in Scripture and Prayer because a.) He first loved us, namely in Jesus Christ, and b.) we love him.

When you go to a restaurant you may talk to the waitress, the cashier, and even gab with strangers to be friendly, but 95% of the people you do not address because you are a stranger to them and they are a stranger to you; they would find it odd and even un-welcomed for you to join their table over supper. However, if you walked into a restaurant and were surprised to see your spouse, brother, son, uncle, or relative, then you would go eat with them and fellowship with them without question or without hesitation. You wouldn't do so our of "law" and you wouldn't express some "freedom" to sit elsewhere, and hopefully you wouldn't go sit with them based on ulterior selfish motives to get something out of/ from them.

You would sit with them because they love you and you love them. And aiming to be brief, though many more pages could elaborate...this should be our approach to daily time reading the Bible and praying --- to enjoy and acknowledge His love and communicate our love returned to Him; to enjoy and acknowledge the wisdom of His instruction, guidance, goodness, and precepts, and eagerly express our faith and praise to Him.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What will it take from God to make you praise Him and rejoice in Him, that He has not already done. (and by the way, our praise and rejoicing should be first in WHO HE IS, and moreover what he has done); 

faulty barriers follow:
Before you rejoice and praise God, It will take that God, either:
1. Save a sinner. (see external fruit in evangelism).
2. Mature the sheep. (see external fruit in discipleship).

3. Purge the goats. (see external fruit in discipline.)
4. Help you financially or occupationally? 
5. Enlarge your congregation. (repeat #1).

How foolish am I to murmur against God or impose on God some task of my own petty mind; Nay, dear self, God is already worthy of your fullest praise and rejoicing because of who he his and because of that Scripture testifies to His work, grace, and glory.

Monday, November 5, 2018

WILLIAM TIPTAFT

Choice pithy sayings of William Tiptaft (1803-1864)

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Many who died last year are in Hell, who never committed half the sins some of you have!

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It is of God's grace, if we differ from the mirthful and foolish multitude around us.

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The world, in its various shapes--is Christ's great enemy!

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"God knows best!" and "May Your will be done!" are hard lessons to learn!

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If you were to go about telling people that you had an inheritance worth a million worlds, and yet were out of temper for a trifle--they would not believe you.

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We come into the world crying,
we go through it complaining,
and we go out of it groaning!

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O Lord, deliver us from everything that may entangle our affections and harden our hearts.
Grant that we may hold the world with a loose hand.

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If I love money more than Christ--then woe is me!

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Pride and covetousness cling very close to us--they influence us more than we can imagine.

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If rich men only knew when they died, how . . .
  their relatives would scramble for their money,
  the worms would scramble for their bodies, and
  the devil would scramble for their souls,
they would not be so anxious to save money!

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It is a bad sign when a minister has the smiles of worldly professors.

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O Lord, keep our hearts, keep our eyes, keep our feet, and keep our tongues.

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Lord, teach us more what we are by nature--and what we are by grace.

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If the way to Heaven is so narrow, and so few find it--then what will become of those who never seek it?

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Are you ready to shake hands with death?

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Have you ever esteemed it a mercy--that you are out of Hell?

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Let worldly minds the world pursue,
It has no charms for me;
Once I admired its trifles too,
But grace has set me free!

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I have no stone to cast at the vilest of the vile.
It is all of grace that I am made to differ!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Kingdom of Heaven is Like a Net

Matt 13:47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. (48) When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. (49) So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous (50) and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Commentary: The preaching of the Gospel, is the means of gathering souls to Christ, and into his churches; and those that are gathered into a visible Gospel church state, are of every kind, of all nations in the world; Jews and Gentiles: of all ranks and degrees of men, high and low, rich and poor, bond and free; of all sorts of sinners, and of men good and bad; some who have the truth of grace in them, and others that are only hypocrites: profess in words, and deny in works; have nothing more than a form of godliness, and name to live, and are dead. - John Gill.

Friday, October 26, 2018

RECOGNIZING MY SINFULNESS

“If my sinfulness appears to me to be in any way less detestable than the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Whole Church, Whole Gospel, Whole World

Core Values

#1 We value Jesus above all else - We are His church.
#2 We value life change - Your past is not your future.
#3 We value active faith - We are contributors, not consumers.
#4 We value authenticity - Real relationships require real people.
#5 We value global impact – We live everyday on mission.

We embrace the responsibility to show and share Jesus to our neighbors and to the nations. (2 Corinthians 5:20; Acts 1:8)

The Whole Church with the power of the Whole Gospel for the Whole World - - that is Global Impact! That is our core value! 

-- Sean Simonton (a friend and classmate from Seminary).