Tag Archive for God

We Are No Longer Orphans

community, family, church

We Have Been Adopted And That Means Something

Why is the family of God so important? If you already have a family that you are born into and you go to a good church, what is the big deal about “the family of God”? Why do I need another family?

We explored these questions and more this past week in our youth small groups at my church. I was amazed at how well our youth get it. I stood in front of a group of 6th graders and heard them articulate how before Christ they were orphans but now after receiving Him they are adopted. Ive known adults that didnt get anywhere near this close to understanding the point of Ephesians 1.

The reality is that we are adopted into God’s family, He is our father and that makes us brothers and sisters. Yes moms and dads are called to be moms and dads but that the goal of parents should be to train their children how to be their brothers and sisters in Christ. After all, in heaven there will only be one Father. Our relationship as brothers and sisters in Christ will long out live the other relationships we have here on this earth.

God Want’s Christians To Pester and Bother Him

I admit I have always been prideful in my prayer life. That is to say, I make an effort to get by without God until I get in over my head. I sometimes reason that this matter is too small for God, or this health concern is just God’s way of purifying me so I just need to suck it up and keep on going. These sentiments are froth with pride and deny God the opportunity to show Himself the loving heavenly Father that he truly is. I believe this as I write it but I guarantee you I will be struggling with it 30 minutes from now. So to help me remember, and maybe it will help you too, I post the following sermon montage by Matt Chandler, pastor of the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas. Enjoy!

 

HT: Tim Challies

The Heart Of The King Is In The Hands Of The Lord

The Lord reigns sovereign regardless of who lives in the palace

Like many of you, I have been following events as they unfold in Egypt. Watching this process has left me very conflicted. I am very sympathetic with the protesters who want democratic reforms, but I’m also concerned about where this is all headed. Hosni Mubarak has ruled Egypt with a very autocratic hand which has surely led to the protests we are seeing on the 24-hour news channels, but he has also been a very valuable ally. It is not my task here to be a Mubarak apologist but an imperfect order is much better than no order at all.

I can only imagine what George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Madison must have been feeling when angry Parisians stormed the Bastille in 1789 eventually leading to the execution of King Louis XVI. This same King had granted ships, soldiers, and arms to the struggling American continental congress which enabled them to obtain their independence from the British crown. Surely these great men of American history wanted the same freedom for the people of France that they had fought to secure but they must also have been painfully aware of the price that such a transition would require. Freedom is never free. At some point someone, maybe many someones, will have to sacrifice their own blood to secure it.

I have no idea how the struggle in Egypt will end. I pray that it will open the door for the gospel to be proclaimed more boldly and that it will lead many to come to Jesus. I also pray that it will not end up bringing radical Muslims to power but at this point there is no way to know. What I do know, however, is what I read in the pages of God’s word. In Proverbs it states:

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;he turns it wherever he will.
– Proverbs 21:1

God is sovereign and will do in this situation exactly what will bring Him glory. That’s all I need to know. So I will continue to watch, and wait, and pray, but deep down I have to believe what my brother C.H. Spurgeon once said:

” I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes—

that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit, as well as the sun in the heavens—

that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses.

The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence—

the fall of sere leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche.”
– C. H. Spurgeon

It’s All God’s Fault

God Should Never Be Relegated To The Role Of Cosmic Scapegoat

Playing the blame game is always a losing proposition. This is especially true when you blame everyone else and fail to take responsibility for your own actions. I know, I am a professional at finding fault and deflecting. What I find remarkable is how we allow sin to so alter our perception that we choose to blame God. Of all the people you could choose to make a scapegoat out of, God is the absolute least qualified for the job. We’ll talk more about that in a minute.

What brought this to my attention was a tweet sent by Buffalo wide-receiver Steve Johnson after dropping a pass. Read what Mr. Johnson wrote:

I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…

This post is not intended to be a rant about Steve Johnson. He only wrote what many of us often feel. What he wrote was wrong, as I will point out in a minute, but this is not about Steve, its about my heart and your heart.

What is there about our sin that causes us to doubt the most faithful, loving, kind, gracious, and trustworthy friend that we could ever know? The only sense I can find in this is to examine two positions in the light of eternal Truth. First, lets consider our position:

Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

Ecclesiastes 9:3 – Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Romans 3:9-12 – What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.

Isaiah 1:5-6The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil.

Romans 7:18 – For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.

Now for comparison purposes, lets consider God’s position:

Exodus 15:11 – “Who is like Thee among the gods, O LORD? Who is like Thee, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?

1 Samuel 2:2 – “There is no one holy like the LORD, Indeed, there is no one besides Thee, Nor is there any rock like our God.”

Psalm 24:3-5 – “Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

Isaiah 6:3 – “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

1 Peter 1:16 – “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

No exhaustive commentary on my part can make it more clear that we are in no position to lecture God on what is fair. It is His sheer grace that prevents us from “getting what we deserve.” Let’s take it a step further however and see what God has done despite our position. Examine the following verses:

Ephesians 2:1-9 – “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

We can choose to blame God for many things, but in the end the only thing He is truly guilty of is being Himself. I for one am glad that He is guilty on that charge.

HT: Justin Taylor and Erik Raymond