Are You a Living In Grace?

If you are a fellow believer then you too are Living In Grace that is built upon the firm foundation of Christ our Savior. I pray that as I write here the joy that God has given me will shine through and orthodox thoughts will be shared.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

2 Are we to Relevant to be Separate?

There is nothing new under the sun.  There really isn't and I was just wondering today with all the hoopla over the Emergent Church and other movements within or without the Body of Christ if we have learned nothing from the past.  We cannot be like the world, cannot try to make Christ more like us, or  disregard the commands of Scripture  to reach the world.  Why would a lost and dying world look to a listless and powerless church unable to introduce them to, or express the Gospel of, the resurrected Christ?  If there is no difference in the conduct and attitudes of " christians " as compared to those outside the Church what change has Christ really wrought in our lives?  Must we look, act, and believe like the world in order to evangelize the lost?  Do we have to soften the message of personal obedience and morality in order to be more palatable to those who are in opposition to the message to begin with?

Phil Johnson posted an article, here, in response to some of these questions and how relevance to the world is not what the church needs.  Our message, which is the Gospel, is always relevant to those in need of a Savior.

Preach Christ and Him crucified and God will with His authority take care of the rest.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

3 Word Wednesday:Loving Your Wife

Ephesians 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her

That is a strong statement coming down to us today from the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul and it is just as timely today as it was then.  What manner of love is this and from where does it come?  What does it look like and how should we as Christians express this love on a day to day basis?

Monday, April 25, 2011

0 3-Fold Cord: Schism Sunday Vol. II: Jesus and Politics

Here is a good Question from a fellow blogger that I wanted to share. What do you think? Was Jesus Political?

3-Fold Cord: Schism Sunday Vol. II: Jesus and Politics: "Happy Easter! We wanted to keep today’s Sunday Schism simple in honor of Easter, and what the Lord Jesus Christ did for each and everyon..."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

3 King James' Birthday

This week marked the 400th anniversary of the best known English translation of the Bible: The King James Version of 1611.  This translation brought the Bible wholesale to English speaking people by building upon earlier English translations and continues to this day to be a best seller.

A recent poll of Americans conducted by Lifeway Research, uncovered some pretty interesting facts:
  1. 62%  of Americans own a KJV  Bible
  2. 82% of regular readers of the Bible own a KJV
  3. 76% those 55 yrs and older who own the KJV
  4. 67% those 35-54 yrs old who own the KJV
  5. 27% claim to have never read the KJV for themselves
  6. 89% of Americans own at least one Bible
  7. Women read the Bible more than men
  8. Southerners are more apt to consider the language  beautiful
What do you think? Which translation is your favorite and why?  Is one version more God inspired than another?

0 The Cross and my Savior

The Cross.

Friday, April 22, 2011

4 For the Love of Justice and Men

Is this love?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

4 Peaceful Storm

This is going to be a short post since I am on my phone, we are far from home, and life is swirling about us like a Midwest tornado.

This is our last couple weeks.

1. My mother-in-law goes into the hospital with renal failure, pulmonary failure, and other issues.

2. We drop everything and travel from North Carolina to Arizona.

3. On the way we have a flat and must buy a new tire. ( we are already on a tight budget )

4. Stressful stay at hospital. In law does recover although still incapacitated.

5. We ( wife, myself, and brother-in-law ) clean and prepare house for her return

6. She gets home and we leave

7. We hit a deer in Texas. Van may be totaled but adjuster has not contacted us yet

8. Seems no rental car agency has a one way rental to NC ( we believe we have found one )

9. We leave in the morning.

10. I am overdue for work.

As utterly frustrating as the last couple weeks have been there are a few things that have kept us sane. I have the utmost faith that God has both blessed and been merciful to us through all the turmoil life has brought us and here is why:

1. A sure understanding of God's promises and His faithfulness.

2. Praying friends and family

3. The small coincidences that through faith I attribute to the providential Hand of God. ( things could have went drastically worse )

4. Peace. Peace about tomorrow. And the next day. Even when on the outside I felt like screaming there was a deep peace.

So what has God brought you through? Do you believe God is faithful? Is God only worthy of praise and honor during the good times?

NO!!! I will give thanks in all things and praise Jesus Christ who has redeemed me.

Friday, April 15, 2011

2 The dead and the living

 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 
 Ephesians 2:1

These doors lead down a hallway for those hospital patients recovering from their stay in the critical care wing and they had doctors, nurses, and therapists to attend to and care for their needs.  They had various maladies and were in differing states of wellness, but they all had one thing in common: they were alive.  Once they passed from this life to the next they were ushered out and into the place of the dead apart from those still alive.  

Those not in Christ have everything  in common with the latter and nothing in common with the former.  While the patients can and often are nursed back to health the dead are beyond hope and treatment.  Such are sinners apart from the grace of God, dead in there sins and trespasses, without hope in this world or the world to come.

Romans 3:11

Colossians 2:13
When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh

Dead men neither receive medical care nor do they respond to outside stimuli.  Dead men cannot and do not repent.  They are deaf, dumb, and totally incapable of pleasing a Holy God. The lost cannot seek after God apart from Him and their morality is a vain attempt appear alive and holy.

Ephesians 2:5
even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ ( by grace you have been saved)

Ephesians 2:8
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God

It is by God's amazing grace that we have been saved and brought to life.  This dead and wretched flesh that once dominated and enslaved us is brought to life by faith through the free gift of grace that is from God.

Romans 6:6
knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin

Our old selves, the old person that we were, has been crucified with Christ so that we would no longer be slaves to sin. That old nature, the carnal man, is dead and buried with no power over us.

Romans 6:16
Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

James 1:14-16

 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 

Why do we sin? Because want to and find pleasure in it for a season.  Our own lusts and desires carry us away far from the One who bought us.  It is inside is a cancer that has metastasized to every organ and member of our being and when we give ourselves over to it death is the result.  Physical death.  The end of our lives upon this earth and all that entails.  Are we living daily for and submitting to Christ's Lordship with the resulting righteousness or are we giving in to sin with the resultant death?

John 14:15
" If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

John 14:21
" He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.

Do you love Him?  Are you keeping His commandments not in an effort to earn salvation but out of a heartfelt love for the One who has redeemed you?  Is Jesus both Lord and Savior?

1 John 1:9-10

 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

We as believers are not perfect and sin is so ingrained within us, it so permeates the flesh we live in, that until His return or our death we will deal with its effects upon our lives, but He has promised to be faithful to forgive us when we confess.  Not only forgive but to cleanse us from all the unrighteousness that has accumulated and clings to us in this world.

Have you been saved by Grace?  Are you living for Him, by Him, through Him, and for His glory?  Is he your Lord and do you love His commands?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

0 What is your Focus?

Has the cross came into focus for you?
Have you knelt in humble submission to the One who died there?
Has the Resurrected Lord of Glory called you?
What value does your sin and disobedience hold for you 

Monday, April 11, 2011

2 Huff and Puff you won't blow this House Down

Psalm 18:2
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

The Lord is my Rock and my fortress, my deliverer, in whom I shall trust.  I cannot say that enough and my feeble attempts to glorify the God of my salvation fall miserably short.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

5 The Road Ahead

We are all on this road we call life and though we like to think we have the way mapped out we are woefully inadequate to plot a safe course through the twists and turns that lay before us.  Our plans and our dreams are often in conflict with the will of God and a U-turn or another course correction is in order.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

5 Built to Last or Shaky Ground?

A Mighty Fortress is our God

We had a storm here in North Carolina last night and a mighty storm it was with howling winds, horizontal rain, flashes of lighting illuminating the night sky, and thunderous rolling thunder emanating from the belly of the storm. We, my wife and I, watched the storm both in awe and with a measure of anxiety at the raw power being displayed before us in the symphony of light and sound.  With the storm raging all about us I did the unimaginable

Monday, April 4, 2011

9 Are We Effective?

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
Matthew 28:19

Are we failing, like the polls show, as a called out people to effectively reach the lost with the Good News of the Gospel?  This command, and our obedience to it, is reflective of our attitudes towards our neighbors and more importantly God. 

Witnessing is a vital aspect of a living and vibrant faith and as such should be of the utmost concern to everyone who names the name of Christ.  Our names will probably never be in lights, our fame will not fill stadiums, and books will most likely not be written about us but our testimony is every bit as important to God and those around as those who do such.