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Archive for February, 2013

Many times, it feels like Christians and the church create this holy huddle bubble, where we are simply trying to hide from all the allures and temptations of this world, thinking that is sufficient to keep us safe.

But, while there are biblical calls of wisdom to FLEE temptation, we must recognize that until Christ returns, we live in a fallen and sinful world and culture that we cannot perfectly escape or flee from.

So, the question becomes – when we and our kids intersect, interact, and experience the temptations of this culture, are we ready and prepared?

One area that I personally and the church (on the whole) has not done a good job in preparing God’s people is the area of sexuality and the increasingly sexualized world we live in.

If that is you, or if you just want to add to your arsenal of preparation, I would commend to you this article from the Gospel Coalition on Raising Kids in a Pornified Culture.   I pray that you won’t be discouraged (my first temptation) when you see how far short you fall in adequately preparing you and your kids.  Instead, I pray that we would simply repent of our weaknesses and neglects, turn and trust in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and with great hope that Jesus will win, to start taking steps to grow in preparing ourselves, our kids, and our churches to live in a pornified culture.

And as we do so, let us keep #1 that the article mentions always in mind.  We will not ultimately help our kids or even help people entrenched in the sins of the culture through negative attacks, by just attacking the dangers and foolishness of sin.  We need to highlight the infinitely BETTER glories of God in Christ.  Only a greater delight and affection in God and His good plan for sexuality will squash the paltry offerings this world seeks to tempt us with.

JESUS IS INFINITELY BETTER!

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Bible Reading Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

February 28 – Isaiah 25-27

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • Focusing on Isaiah 26
  • The Lord is an everlasting Rock!
  • The Lord can be trusted forever
  • Peace comes, not through some mystical, magical practice
  • Peace comes to the one who keeps setting his mind on the Lord, trusting that however unstable or uncertain circumstances are, that the Lord is an everlasting Rock
  • People may come and go
  • Plans may succeed or fail
  • Health may be good or bad
  • Finances, jobs, and provision may be high or low
  • But, peace comes not through any of these things or making sure these things are right
  • Peace comes only through setting our mind on the God who never changes, who is always faithful, who is always trustworthy

How Points to Christ

  • Jesus is the Rock
  • Jesus’ death and resurrection is proof that God is fully trustworthy and faithful to all His promises (all of which are undeserved!)
  • We can have perfect peace in Christ because in any and all circumstances, He is always with us and will never leave us or forsake us
  • Peace comes through clinging to Christ

Apply

  • In God’s kindness, he has been showing me how much of my joy and peace and excitement is rooted in eternal things, whether it is health, how well the kids behave, how well I do in sports, how many people show up on Sunday to church, or people’s feedback to sermons
  • But, while these things are good things to pray for and work for, they are really bad objects of hope and peace and trust
  • None of them can withstand the weight of a person’s trust
  • Only Christ is to be our hope, peace, and object of trust
  • Only Christ is sufficient to bear all things
  • Please pray that I would cling daily to Christ

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May God increase our desire for His glory to spread to all nations and peoples – Operation World. and Joshua Project!

Unreached of the Day photo
Please pray for the …

Population: 9,100

Language: Akha

Religion: Ethnic Religions

Evangelical: 0.00%

For more details…

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February 27 – Job 22-24

Bible Reading Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

February 27 – Job 22-24

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • Focusing on Job 22
  • The response of Eliphaz is horrendous
  • Before, he and his other friends (who supposedly were friends of Job) simply had a wrong belief of the origin of suffering
  • They made a direct correlation between personal suffering and personal sin and wickedness
  • While suffering on the whole came from the fall and Adam’s first sin, personal and individual suffering is not always the result and direct consequence and punishment for one’s personal sins
  • Yet, in this chapter, Eliphaz moves from wise silence to foolish speech telling Job he must have sinned to suffer this much to now concocting false accusations of wickedness that Job has done
  • He now falsely accuses Job of being unjust, hurting the poor, and neglecting the needy
  • What a far way he has fallen from being a comforting friend who simply was with Job

How Points to Christ

  • The only perfectly innocent sufferer was the Lord Jesus Christ
  • Jesus was perfect, but He suffered worse than all of us
  • Jesus was falsely accused and condemned to worse suffering
  • All his companions left him
  • But because Jesus faced all suffering alone and conquered it through His death and resurrection, He is now our sympathetic high priest who is with us to comfort us in our suffering
  • While others may attack or accuse us, Jesus is with us to comfort us

Apply

  • Please pray that I would be a sympathetic and compassionate friend to sufferers, pointing people to the only sufficient comfort, the Lord Jesus Christ
  • Please pray that I would teach people an increasingly accurate view of suffering, as many people today have similar thoughts that suffering is from doing something wrong
  • Often, when we suffer, we instinctively ask, “Why, what did I do wrong?”
  • Please pray for a Christ-centered perspective on suffering

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May God increase our desire for His glory to spread to all nations and peoples – Operation World. and Joshua Project!

Unreached of the Day photo
Please pray for the …

Population: 4,600

Language: Bukharic

Religion: Ethnic Religions

Evangelical: 0.00%

For more details…

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February 26 – Judges 5-7

Bible Reading Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

February 26 – Judges 5-7

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • Focusing on Judges 6-7
  • The story of Gideon is so encouraging
  • Despite the reality that Israel AGAIN did evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord again gave them as just punishment into the hands of their enemies (which was much less than they truly deserved)
  • Despite all this, when the people cried out to the Lord for mercy, the Lord still sent a prophet to speak to them
  • God both rebuked them for the sin and sent them a deliverer, Gideon
  • God chose an unlikely man from the weakest tribe and one of the weakest clans in that tribe to deliver Israel
  • Later on, Gideon has a big army to fight against the army of Midian
  • But, God whittles the army down from 22,000 men to 10,000 to 300 men to fight
  • Why?
  • Many people try to make too much out of how the men drank water, trying to come up with speculated reasons for its significance
  • But, God tells us the significance – “the people are still too many – lest Israel boast over God saying their own hand saved them”
  • GOD is their ultimate deliverer, and He wants to make that crystal clear

How Points to Christ

  • God’s ultimate deliverance comes through His Son Jesus Christ
  • Jesus is the ultimate Judge against God’s enemies
  • But He judges by first dying on the cross on behalf of God’s enemies (us, sinners)

Apply

  • I struggle with pride
  • I often struggle thinking that I did something good, whether in my life, family, or ministry
  • Please pray that I would always remember that GOD is the fruit-bearer, the deliverer of souls, and the one who blesses
  • It is ALL from Him by undeserved grace
  • I have NOTHING to boast about or be proud about

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May God increase our desire for His glory to spread to all nations and peoples – Operation World. and Joshua Project!

Unreached of the Day photo
Please pray for the …

Population: 1,315,000

Language: Fulfulde, Maasina

Religion: Islam

Evangelical: 0.75%

For more details…

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