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Abiding in Scripture: Week 8

24 Oct

Two whole months. Sixty-one days. One thousand four hundred and sixty four hours. That’s the time that we have been memorizing scripture. Amazing how time flies, but that time seems so much less wasted when we’re abiding in the word.
Am I right?

This week we’re learning 2 Corinthians 5:21. It’s a great verse reminding us of the gospel and how great it was for a perfect God to take on sin on that tree. Memorize, repeat it to yourself and never forget God’s love and mercy in the gospel.

2 Corinthians 5:21
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Be blessed with this verse and all verses. Never take for granted God’s word.

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Abiding in Scripture: Week 7

15 Oct

Well we have ended the first section of verses, now we start a new section.

This week, we will be memorizing Psalm 16:11. It’s a verse that reminds us of the pure joy we receive from God and his presence.

Psalm 16:11
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Memorize and abide in this verse this week!

Abiding in Scripture: Week 6

8 Oct

Hey everyone. We’ve been memorizing scripture together for one month and a half now and I feel like God is really using this program to draw us closer to Him.

Since it’s the first time we memorize scripture together and we’re on our sixth week, I think a review week is in order.

So for this week, there will be no verse to memorize, but we must go over the last verses from the previous weeks and make sure that we know them perfectly well. If we don’t go over verses, we might forget them so make sure you take full advantage of this week.

Blessings.

Animation, Music and Theology

10 Sep

You rarely hear those three words in the same sentence. But a series of videos on YouTube is proving how powerful animation can be in the right context.

Here are a couple samples. I defy you to watch these videos and not be moved. It’s quite amazing how the theology in the song and the music blends perfectly with the images. Words and music by the wonderful people at Sovereign Grace Music.

The Prodigal

The Gospel Song

Talking to Myself

8 Sep

I tend to talk a lot. If you were to ask someone who knows me if I am talkative, you would get an answer along the lines of “He’s quiet”. But I do talk a lot. I talk to myself all the time. Some people might think that does not count as talking. Well, what is talking anyway? Isn’t it just conversing with someone? Can’t I converse with myself?
But that’s besides the point.

I talk to myself so much because I think too much. Whenever I have a decision to make, whether minor or major, I think of every possible outcome and the consequences of all those outcomes. It’s a long process, believe me. Sometimes it’s profitable, but other times it just over-complicates everything for no real reason at all.

I do that a lot with spirituality as well. My rational side discusses with my spiritual side about a certain topic in the bible and very soon I’m having conversations with myself. I’ve done this a lot in the past with the gospel.

Here’s a snippet of what I mean. (I paraphrased a lot. I don’t use this kind of vocabulary when talking to myself.)

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Rational: Because of God’s sovereignty, He allows Satan to do certain things, correct? God “allowed” sin to happen in the garden. God “allowed” Satan to enter the garden in the form of a serpent and God “allowed” Satan to tell vicious lies to Eve about the forbidden fruit. But how can God, a supposedly loving heavenly Father, let such malice and evil enter and torment His creation? Does He not want the best for His children? Does He not love His creation? Our faith is blind if we worship a deceitful God.

Spiritual: We were made for the son to be glorified. We were made to lift our eyes to the heavens and say “My help comes from You”. We have no good besides Him who molded us in our mother’s womb.

The next question is, “How does sin factor into our lives which must be fully devoted to glorifying Christ?” What you do not see, Rational, is that sin is both the ending of something terrible and the beginning of something magnificently beautiful. Because of our sin, we fail. Because of our old nature, we fall short of glory. But it is by the tragedies of our sin that we turn to God for everlasting righteousness. The life full of sin with no reason to boast in itself is the most likely to accept Christ and all his Father’s promises. A life with little sin and many accomplishments will reject righteousness in Christ. It believes that it can obtain righteousness itself without God’s intervention.

So you realize now how important sin is for God to receive glory? Without it, there would be no motivation to turn to Him and render Him glory.

This however does not mean that we are to continue living in sin to give Him even more glory. With His son’s sacrifice, we have new life and are dead to the sinful life we lived before coming to Christ. Sin is done with. We are victorious in His name and nothing, especially more sin, can separate us from the love of God.

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Well this is part one. Maybe I’ll write a part two next week, or maybe not. For now, I think  I’ll just continue to blab away… to myself.

Reading Blogs

25 Aug

I like to read. I never enjoyed it as a kid but I’ve grown out of my immature hatred of literature. For some reason or other, I prefer to read online articles and blogs instead of full books. I read books of course, but I tend to take a longer while than most people I know. I think that’s another thing I will eventually grow out of — resistance to constant book reading.

I follow lots of blogs on the internet, all of which are written either by Christian authors, pastors or just people with a God-given gift of blogging. I pray that these blogs would help me in my pursuit to be like Christ.

Here are some of my favorite blogs and posts:

One of my favorite Christian authors, and authors in general, is Donald Miller. He is a best selling author of five great books: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Blue Like Jazz, Father Fiction, Searching for God Knows What and Through Painted Deserts. I’ve only read Blue Like Jazz but I plan to buy and eat the rest up in no time. When you read Don’s work, it’s almost like he’s right there next to you telling you the story. His writing has an intimate aspect to it, like you’re best of friends. I’ve never read anything like it before. Miller has already helped me cure my “phobia” of books and I hope he never stops writing. His blog is a great everyday read. I visit his site every night excited to read his latest post. I encourage you to check it out for yourself.

Kevin DeYoung is a wonderful blogger. His attempt to add to C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters is a great read and helps us see the ways the devil brings us away from Christianity, notably by leading us to dismiss the importance of churches and fellowship with believers. I encourage you to read it here.

Thabiti Anyabile is one of the greatest preachers I’ve ever heard. I’m pretty sure I’d put him in my top three along with Piper and Mahaney. He recently posted two great videos on his blog. They’re pretty cool to watch.

Albert Mohler is a renown Christian preacher and scholar. He is also the president of Southern Baptist Theological Serminary and he helped found “Together for the Gospel” along with Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever and C.J. Mahaney. His article on college professors and college students is powerful and helpful for any teenager who is attending or will attend University. Being a student myself, I learned a lot from his post. Read it yourself and send it to students you know.

That’s it for now.

Did I bore you? I hope not.

Bunyan’s Way, My Way, Your Way

21 Aug

My church is showing the movie The Pilgrim’s Progress next Friday and I plan not to miss it. The movie is based on the widely acclaimed Christian book written by John Bunyan with the same title written almost five hundred years ago. Bunyan wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress during his time in jail in the 17th century. He was imprisoned because of his faith but he did not let steel bars silence him. His book is an allegory of a man named Christian and his long journey to heaven. It’s a very interesting story and I encourage you to read it (or at least watch the movie).

I think there are many different, but equally valid, ways to view the Christian life. For example, John Bunyan viewed the Christian walk as a life-long journey on the path of righteousness. For him, and probably for many, Chrisitanity was/is all about staying on that path, not getting sidetracked and staying focused on the prize that lies at the end of the road. Others may view Christianity as a constant renewal of the mind every moment of every day with the Word and prayer.

The way you think of Christianity or the metaphor you use probably depends on your personality and your character.

As for me, I can’t help but think of Christianity as a new battle every day. Every morning when we wake up, God lets us live to see another day filled with temptation and sin and every night when we go to sleep, we regain strength for the next day’s battles. There are two reasons why I view Christianity this way.

  1. Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
  2. Mark 1:35 “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”

His graces are new every morning. Why? Because we need them to get through the day, to stay focused on God, on Christ and on the gospel to not fall in our spiritual battles. Every single morning when we wake up, His mercies are there. Why do you think that Jesus got up early in the morning to pray? Because he needed God’s help and strength to get through his day. Jesus knew he was going to face adversity from the pharisees. He knew people didn’t want him to preach, but that was his daily battle. That was his ministry. That was his calling. How could he not fulfill his calling without preparing himself with God’s mercies every morning by going to the Word and in prayer? How can we fulfill our calling without strengthening ourselves at the beginning of every single day?

Viewing Christianity as a daily battle appeals to me because it helps me remember what I must do as a disciple of Christ Jesus. It’s fine if the whole “daily” idea does not appeal to you. I don’t think there is a right and wrong on this subject, different methods appeal to different people. So whatever your method is, just make sure it works.

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