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Archive for April, 2013

For Christians, theologically, we know that ALL sin is equally deserving of death before God’s eyes.

Yet, practically, both in our individual lives and often in churches, there seems to be some “respectable” sins (in our eyes, not God’s eyes) that tend not to be addressed as seriously or confronted as often with love.

One of them I believe is Discontentment and Complaining (they go hand in hand).

This morning, I was freshly convicted of the ways I sin against God with discontentment, complaining, the “if onlys” I focus so much on in life.  I was freshly convicted as I read my friend’s article on the Biblical Counseling Coalition blog.  My only disagreement with my friend is this.  She says, “Is it just me, or does it seem like discontentment is particularly a struggle among women?”  From knowing my own heart as a man, and talking to a lot of other men, I would say that discontentment is a deep struggle among both men and women.  We may express it in different ways, but it is there deeply.

With that said, I encourage all people (both men and women to read the article prayerfully, and may God’s people and God’s church be increasingly characterized by contentment and unshakable joy in the Rock of Jesus Christ!

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Bible Reading Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

April 18 – Isaiah 46-48

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • Focusing on Isaiah 46-48
  • God is the only Lord
  • Therefore, God does all things for His own glory and for His own name’s sake
  • Isaiah 46:9 – “For MY name’s sake, I defer my anger, for the sake of MY praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off.
  • Isaiah 46:10 – “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.”
  • Isaiah 46:11 – “For MY own sake, for MY own sake, I do it, for how should MY name be profaned?  MY glory I will not give to another.”
  • God is God!
  • Only God deserves glory

How Points to Christ

  • Jesus is the glory of God, the radiance of God’s glory
  • Jesus and His Work is the only reason why God could defer His anger
  • God gets all the glory because salvation from beginning to end is all of God, through God, to God, and for God, all because of Christ!

Apply

  • Please pray that I would not seek to steal God’s glory in this world
  • Please pray for humility, and a hatred of pride
  • Please pray that I would not give glory to other things in this world either
  • Please pray that my trust, joy, delight, and hope would be in God and God alone
  • Especially in so many unknowns in this world, so many things going not the way I thought or planned, all these things reminds me that God is my only Rock and hope!
  • Only He is worthy of my praise

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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: 5,029,000

Language: Wolof

Religion: Islam

Evangelical: 0.00%

For more details…

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Bible Reading Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

April 15 – Genesis 48-50

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • Focusing on Genesis 50
  • The story of Joseph always challenges me, convicts me, and encourages me
  • So often, as I get to the end of the book of Genesis, I am amazed by the forgiveness that Joseph offers to his brothers
  • It is not a begrudging forgiveness or a forgiveness where he just tolerates the existence of his brothers
  • Joseph forgives them and comforts them and takes care of them lavishly
  • However, what I want to notice and meditate on today is the prevailing fear of the brothers after their father died
  • The brothers, like so many of us who have greatly offended and sinned against others (especially God), we are so used to a works-based society/acceptance, that we have a hard time believing in and accepting forgiveness that is free and lavish
  • The brothers think that Joseph is just being nice to them because their father would be angry if Joseph took revenge
  • But, they just could not comprehend such free forgiveness because of Joseph’s faith in God’s sovereignty and grace
  • Similarly, so many people have such a hard time believing in God’s forgiveness because it is so amazing
  • God’s forgiveness of sinners who have greatly and repeatedly and willingly sinned against Him is utterly undeserved
  • There is nothing sinners can DO to make them more eligible to receive God’s forgiveness
  • And, God’s forgiveness He offers is not just for past sins, to try it again to make it up with a better life afterward
  • God’s forgiveness forgives sins past, present, and future!
  • So amazing, so contrary to everything else we experience and feel in this world
  • But, also, so TRUE!
  • Don’t believe your “gut feelings” that you have sinned too much
  • Don’t believe your “normal response” to want to work for someone’s forgiveness and love and acceptance
  • Believe God’s Word that He forgives freely if we repent and believe in Christ

How Points to Christ

  • God can offer such free and lavish forgiveness all because of Jesus Christ, who bore the justice of God’s wrath against sin on the cross
  • Justice has been served, by Jesus
  • That is why all those who are in Christ by repentance and faith, no longer have to pay for their sins anymore
  • Our sins are forgiven!

Apply

  • Please pray that I personally would regularly believe this truth, especially as the enemy wants to constantly bring up a guilty conscience against me
  • Please pray that I would treat others with the same undeserved mercy and grace that I have received from God
  • Please pray that I would joyfully and boldly tell others of God’s unique forgiveness in Christ
  • And please pray that people who are so used to a works-based life, would see the truth and glory of grace in God’s forgiveness

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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: 462,000

Language: Tamasheq

Religion: Islam

Evangelical: 0.00%

For more details…

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Bible Reading Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

April 12 – Mark 13-16

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • Focusing on Mark 15-16
  • Here, in these chapters, is the climax of the Scriptures, the focal point of all Scriptures, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
  • I had the privilege to meditate on Mark 15 more in-depth recently as that is the passaged I preached from on Good Friday
  • What a sweet time of meditation on what Jesus went through to open access for all sinners to be reconciled back to God
  • For a longer mediation on this passage, here is the link to the Good Friday sermon I recently preached
  • In summary, Jesus’ physical sufferings are immense
  • Jesus’ emotional sufferings are great
  • And all of that does not come close to the divine suffering Jesus experienced
  • And, Jesus did all of this voluntarily to reconcile sinners back to God
  • And praise God that Mark doesn’t end in chapter 15, but goes into chapter 16
  • Jesus didn’t just suffer and die, but He conquered death and paid the full penalty of sin, and resurrected from the dead three days later!

How Points to Christ

  • It is ALL about Christ

Apply

  • Please pray that my life would increasingly be ALL about CHRIST!
  • I long to be so satisfied in Christ that I would talk about no one else other than Christ and His sufficiency and supremacy in all things
  • To life is Christ – to enjoy Christ and exalt Christ above all!

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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: 7,067,000

Language: Mongolian, Peripheral

Religion: Buddhism

Evangelical: 0.40%

For more details…

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