A Godly, Christlike And Spirit-Filled Life

What kind of people are we to be? What kind of life are we to live? Lord, You’re calling us to live a life of “love” (Proverbs 17:9). How, Lord, do we learn what love is? – We learn from You. You show us what love is – “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son … ” (John 3:16). In Jesus, we see perfect love – “The Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). The Holy Spirit fills our lives with Your love – “The fruit of the Spirit is love” (Galatians 5:22). Help us, Lord, to live a Godly, Christlike, Spirit-filled life – a life of love.

An Introduction to Expressive Spiritual Practices

~ Merritt

We’ve surveyed the most well-known of the Classical Spiritual Practices, but there is much more to be said on the subject of Spiritual Practices because the Classics are not the only ones. There is a whole different category of spiritual practices, many of which have been going on for as long as the Classics have, but that are seldom discussed as such: The Expressive Practices.

To be honest with you, I’ve never heard or read anyone saying why the expressive practices aren’t often taught, but if I were to venture a guess, it would have something to do with the fact that many of these involve talents, not to mention spiritual gifts, that not everyone has, yet this view overlooks the fact that there are a great many types of expressive practice that don’t require a special gift or talent.

An Expressive Spiritual Practice is a practice in which we draw closer to God by expressing our relationship with Him, to His glory.

Continue: https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/an-introduction-to-expressive-spiritual-practices/

The Greatness of God’s Love

This morning reading Romans 8 reminded me of the story of little Johnny visiting his grandparents on their farm.

Johnny was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced shooting rocks, but he could never hit the target. Discouraged, he headed back inside for lunch.

As he returned to his grandma’s backyard, he spied her pet duck. Impulsively he took aim and hit the duck square in the head and killed it. Johnny panicked and hid the duck in the woodpile, only to look up and see his sister, Sally, watching.

After lunch that day Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally responded, “Grandma. Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today, didn’t you Johnny?” And then she whispered to him. “Remember the duck!”

So Johnny did the dishes. What choice did he have?

Continue: https://thepreachersword.com/2018/05/31/the-greatness-of-gods-love/

Message to the Elders – Sproul

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Help Lord, Help!

“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!'”1

A while back there was a television ad where a fellow is walking merrily along the sidewalk (footpath) minding his own business when he looks up and sees an attractive woman coming towards him. As he fixes his gaze on her, he is suddenly and rudely awakened as he walks directly into a lamppost. If this were true, one could just imagine the woman in question being highly amused.

I know I’ve certainly walked into things when I was looking in the wrong direction . . . or even worse, when I was looking in the right direction but my mind was on something else.

One is reminded of the words of Hannah More who said, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” Even more important is to be constantly aware of the trouble we can get into if or when we take our eyes off the Lord and decide to go our own way.

It’s hard to imagine Peter being afraid of sinking in the lake when he took his eyes off the Lord. Being a fisherman, Peter surely was a powerful swimmer. I couldn’t imagine him not being one. For whatever reason Peter was afraid and, fortunately for him, as soon as he realized he was in trouble, he looked back to Jesus and cried out, “Lord, save me.”

That’s a good lesson for us to do likewise when we take our eyes off the Lord and acknowledge the fact that we are either in trouble or heading towards it.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, help me to always keep my eyes on you and follow your leading in all areas of my life. But if and when I do take my eyes off you and begin to ‘sink,’ help me to quickly see the error of my way, turn back to you, and cry out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”

1. Matthew 14:30 (NIV).

Comment at: Click HERE

What Is Romans 9 Really About?

Romans 9, a passage I once avoided reading as a young Christian.  I circled around it thinking to myself, “Things were going so well in the Bible, up until this passage! Why did Paul have to throw this wrench into the gears?” It is much like those awkward verses of the sword in the Old Testament which atheists like to use to make Christians squirm, but that is another debate.
What does Paul say here? What Paul seems to be proposing is that the scope of election is narrow and that God has, by some unknown measure, decided to shut some up in ignorance and unbelief, while allowing others to somehow believe, and “who are you, oh man, to answer back?” Has God determined that some are meant to be the proverbial fuel for the fire, this is just their eternal lot and they are the thing made and just have to suck it up? Read in this context, it seems Paul is rebuking those who seem to be asking God hard questions, which does not seem to square with a God presented in Isaiah 1:19 who invites us to come reason with Him. Why does God now silence sincere questioning of His plan to damn some, when His prior offer to reason with Him was once on the table?
What Evan does in the following post is he demonstrates that Romans 9, if read in a wider context, is not intended to narrow the scope of salvation based on arbitrary selection, but is meant to break down the racial barriers which were put up due to ethnic pride and to make the call of the gospel one for all, irrespective of lineage or pedigree. If you take pride in what God made you, as though your genetics serve as some sort of qualification, you have the same problem as those John The Baptist rebukes in Matthew 3:9 who thought their relationship to Abraham gave them an in with God.
If Evan is correct in his arguments, the passage in Romans needn’t be skirted around as a disheartening passage, but should be one that encourages Christians to evangelize to all who are lost.
What Romans 9 Is Really All About

What you talk about

What’s closest to your heart is what you talk about. And, if God is close to your heart, you’ll talk about Him.
~ A.W. Tozer

Why Church Members Are Attending Less Frequently – video


Does Isaiah 53 Refer To The Messiah, Israel, or Someone Else?

“Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” – Isaiah 53

This passage is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful prophetic texts about the crucifixion of Jesus. So many of the descriptions of the servant in this passage correspond to the information about Jesus we get from the New Testament. In fact, most Christians just take it for granted that this text predicted the death and resurrection of the Messiah and wonder how anyone could deny it. Yet, people do. Adherents to Judaism, for example, try to avoid concluding that Jesus fulfilled this passage by saying that the text isn’t even about the Messiah at all, but rather, the text is prophesying something that Israel will do. If that’s the case, then Isaiah 53 cannot be used as Old Testament proof that Jesus was and is the Messiah that they are longing for.

However, there are several reasons to doubt that this text is referring to the nation of Israel, and that it is, in fact, referring to the Messiah.

Read more: Does Isaiah 53 Refer To The Messiah, Israel, or Someone Else?

Andy Stanley and the Old Testament: A Few Concerns