It is not a loving thing to affirm error. Only those people who care about you will tell you that your breath stinks. It is not a loving thing to allow someone to continue down the path of falsehood because you do not want to hurt their feelings.
Friday, December 28, 2007
It is not a loving thing to affirm error. Only those people who care about you will tell you that your breath stinks. It is not a loving thing to allow someone to continue down the path of falsehood because you do not want to hurt their feelings.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
'God...frequently...makes young men and women wiser than the
aged, and gives to many, in a very short time, a closer and
deeper communion with himself than others attain in a long
course of years.'
" Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12, NKJV)
Those of you who wish to contribute to this fund by mail and still receive a tax credit for the 2007 year please have your envelope post marked by December 31st.
Below is a summary of the relevant points we discussed last Wednesday as deduced from 2 Corinthians chapter 9.
1. Benevolence was a part of the early church.
2 Corinthians 9:1 (NKJV) Now concerning the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you;
2. Benevolence was administered through the church.
2 Corinthians 9:5 (NKJV) Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation.
3. Benevolence was collected as a gift and not an obligation.
2 Corinthians 9:5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation.
4. Benevolence seen in view of the law of sowing and reaping.
2 Corinthians 9:6 (NKJV) But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
5. Benevolence should be given cheerfully.
2 Corinthians 9:7 (NKJV) So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
6. Benevolence is founded on God’s provision.
2 Corinthians 9:8-10 (NKJV) And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,
7. Benevolence glorifies God.
2 Corinthians 9:12-13 (NKJV) For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men,
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
The solution may be to get out the Bible and preach to yourself!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
'I look forward to a day of prayer; for my soul hath great
need of quickening and restoration, that it may act more in
the view of eternity.'
Friday, December 21, 2007
Our culture is becoming increasingly politically correct which by the way is not necessarily Biblically correct. Our value system in this country was originally guided by the Christian principles. Today most of the secular society mocks the values taught in the Word of God. This is not a new trend. In the first century the apostle Paul noted that,
Thursday, December 20, 2007
One of the hardest things in theology to grasp is understanding that God thinks differently than us. This is an important concept that will help us get a handle on some of the actions taken by God as recorded in the Bible.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
If you struggle with persecution for your faith, rest assured that the evil committed against you is really intended for Jesus. It is an honor to be counted worthy to receive the insults intended for Christ. This was the sentiment of the apostles and the early church.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The topic of discernment is rarely dealt with in the current Christian climate. Judging from the shelves of most local bookstores the need for discernment is increasing while the ability to discern is diminishing. Even Christian bookstores are not immune to the propagation of error. Given what Paul told Timothy in the first century I suppose that this phenomenon should not come as a surprise.
[i] I read a “pre-release” copy of this book so the page numbers may not be correct.
I suppose Isaiah’s audience would have replied to this question much how we would respond today, with an emphatic yes. Who would doubt God?
Affirmation without action equals unbelief. The reason this question is asked in Isaiah’s day and restated in the Paul’s day (Romans 10:16) is because generally speaking we do not practice half of what we profess to believe. I think Jesus said it best as recorded in Luke 6:46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?
Believing God and demonstrating it by our actions is not just a decision to trust and obey by sheer will power, but rather it is reliance on God’s grace to grant us faith and faithfulness which results in obedience. For example, as the father of a disabled child cried out in Mark 9:24, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” And in Luke 17:5 the Bible records that, “…the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.””
Monday, December 17, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
1. All men are worthy of judgment (Rom 3:23)
2. All men should know that God judges sin (Heb 9:27)
3. All men are delivered from judgment is due to God’s grace (Eph 2:8-9)
4. All men should fear God (Prov 1:7)
5. All men should know that the LORD is God (Psa 100:3)
6. All men should know that God is always in control (Isa 43:13)
7. All men should know that God uses evil for good (Gen 50:20)
We must not make God in our image but see Him for who He really is as revealed in His Word.
December 15, 1739
English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter:
'My brother, entreat the Lord that I may grow in grace, and pick up the fragments of my time, that not a moment of it may be lost.'
According to Ronald Blum an AP baseball writer, “NEW YORK — Roger Clemens, Miguel Tejada and Andy Pettitte were named in the long-awaited Mitchell Report on Thursday, an All-Star roster linked to steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs that put a question mark — if not an asterisk — next to some of baseball's biggest moments.”
Perhaps one of the reasons that cheating is so prevalent is the fact that some cheating is acceptable in sports. For example, if a baseball player traps a ball off of the turf in the outfield he may pretend that he really caught the ball. Sometimes he may not really know if he really caught it, but most of the time he does. The baseball player is not penalized for pretending to make the play. Cheating is common in sports like baseball.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Apparently this motorist somehow ran off the edge of a high rise parking garage in Atlanta. The man driving the car was trapped inside as his car was teetering seven floors above the ground. Fortunately the driver was rescued by some incredibly skilled and brave rescue workers. Can you imagine the sense of relief this man felt and how thankful he was when he saw help outside his car window?
One of the problems we face in sharing the gospel with people today is getting them to recognize their predicament. Most people think that they are just fine when in reality they are like the motorist who was in imminent peril. At any moment each of us could face eternity. Are you ready? It is by God’s grace and His grace alone that we are at this moment given another breath of life (Acts 17:28)
Unfortunately, mankind in general has no awareness of their actual perilous predicament (2 Cor. 4:4). So the mission of those who have seen the light of God’s glory is to respond as emergency personnel and rescue the perishing. "Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God." (2 Corinthians 5:20, NKJV)
The saving message we share is the message of the Gospel. "For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:5-6, NKJV)
Thursday, December 13, 2007
"For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:25-26, NKJV)
Last night we concluded our study of discipleship in our series on Growing in Grace. This series is a practical Bible study focusing on many of the fundamental truths basic to Christianity. In our conclusion to this topic we focused on the fact that the Bible teaches that being a being a disciple of Jesus is what we are called to do as Christians. The call of discipleship is a call of deep commitment, in fact the Bible indicates that the call to discipleship is a call to sacrifice all things and pursue Christ as our chief end.
In the key text above Matthew indicates that any other pursuit is really an unprofitable endeavor. Our lives today are filled with so many obligations and responsibilities that it is easy to lose focus of what is essentially important, namely Christ. In addition, few of us are motivated to make the sacrifices that are consistent with genuine Christianity.
I have always been inspired by the young Jim Elliot who gave up the comforts of America and a future in business to tell the Auca Indians of Ecuador about the gospel of Jesus Christ. This endeavor cost him his life. Jim understood the risks and was willing to pay the cost of discipleship. In his own hand he said, “he is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” God used his sacrifice and the men who traveled with him to eventually bring many of that tribe to the saving knowledge of Christ. God also continues to use Jim’s life as role model for us all of what genuine Christianity looks like.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The admonition to pray is actually a command to pray all the time. This text does not mean that we should do nothing but pray rather that prayer should be such an integral part of our life that we find ourselves praying all the time.
Prayer is talking with God. We are given the privilege to talk with Him 24/7. Perhaps what hinders the frequency of our prayer is just the lack of recognizing His presence.
Monday, December 10, 2007
You may find out more about Tim and his work on his web site Challies.com. Tim also manages Discerning Reader.com which primarily focuses on book reviews with the intent to provide a resource for the discerning reader to find good books worthy of consideration.
I am looking forward to seeing you on Sunday evening December 30th at 6:00 p.m.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Some churches have a tradition of lighting Advent candles. Like a lot of traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation the ritual has lost most of its meaning. Most use this as a time to countdown to Christmas.
1. Sinless Savior: The Incarnation
"“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”" (Matthew 1:23, NKJV)
2. Shepherd Savior: The Good Shepherd
"‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ”" (Matthew 2:6, NKJV)
3. Sovereign Savior: The Providence of God
"and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”" (Matthew 2:15, NKJV)
4. Sorrowful Savior: The Consequence of Sin
"Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.”" (Matthew 2:17-18, NKJV)
5. Submissive Savior: The Despised Messiah
"And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”" (Matthew 2:23, NKJV)
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Christmas is a great time of year. According to an article I read the other day:
"Christmas generates about $435 billion worth of economic activity each year in the United States alone. But how much does the average family spend on Christmas? 2005 statistics show that the average New Zealand family spends $900. In England 43% of parents spend between $189 and 378 per child and 24% between $378 and $945. In the United States the average American will spend about $750 dollars on gifts and accessories. So for a family with two adults that is a total of $1500."
Perhaps the worst thing about all of this is that most of the items are here today and gone tomorrow. I know we will be fortunate if our children’s toys make it intact to the New Year.
An enduring gift you could give yourself or others is the MacArthur Study Bible.
Below is the description from the publisher.
"The MacArthur Study Bible is not designed to fit lifestyles, but to transform lives. This landmark study Bible brings together over 35 years of Bible study from popular Bible teacher John MacArthur, and provides extensive study helps to aid readers in understanding and teaching Scripture. It includes 20,000 study notes, an extensive concordance and an index to key Bible doctrines, multiple time lines, numerous charts, over 50 Bible maps, an outline of Systematic Theology, and more."
Some of the reasons I like this Study Bible:
- NKJV is my primary Bible version. Most of my written work uses NKJV as the text.
- NKJV is a literal Bible version that is very readable.
- MacArthur Study Bible is the best study Bible. It is has extensive notes and it is written from a theological perspective that is consistent with reformed Baptists who distinguish between Israel and the church.
- The reading of the NKJV sounds familiar to the KJV and will be an easy transition for someone that grew up using the KJV.
- NKJV clarifies archaic words and phrases of the KJV and it minimizes the need for explanation of out of date words and phrases.
- My Hebrew professor, James Price was the NKJV OT editor. He is brilliant humble servant of God.
- The NKJV includes footnotes in its apparatus to reference variant readings that are included in most modern translations.
"The NKJV translation project, which was conceived by Arthur Farstad, was inaugurated in 1975 with two meetings (Nashville and Chicago) of 68 interested persons, most of them prominent Baptists but also including some conservative Presbyterians. The men who were invited to these meetings prepared the guidelines for the NKJV. The New Testament was published in 1979, the Psalms in 1980, and the full NKJV Bible in 1982.
The aim of its translators was to update the vocabulary and grammar of the King James Version, while preserving the classic style and beauty of the 1611 version. Although it uses substantially the same Hebrew and Greek texts as the original KJV, it indicates where more commonly accepted manuscripts differ."
Below is the publisher’s brief statement on the NKJV:
"When considering the important factors in choosing a Bible translation — accuracy, beauty, and ease of understanding — the choice is clear. Only the New King James Version offers precision and clarity without sacrificing readability. For a Bible that is both beautifully worded and trustworthy, ideal for study, teaching, personal reading, and congregational use, the NKJV has been selected by more than 25 million customers since its release, and is the preferred translation of thousands of today's most prominent Christian leaders."
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
If you get a chance to catch your breath this season, it may be rewarding to spend a few minutes considering the real "reason for the season." Perhaps the best summary as to why Jesus came to earth in the first place is recorded in Matthew 1:21 "…she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." The name Jesus means deliverer or savior. The reason Jesus came to earth was to "save His people from their sins."
Even in a beautiful season like Christmas we are never far from the consequences of sin. War, sickness, disease, fear, anxiety, divorce, and death are all the result of sin. Sin is that ugly, corrupting influence that disturbs every relationship whether it is the one with our fellow man or with God. As the apostle Paul stated in Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." The ultimate consequence of sin is death. As Romans 6:23a states "for the wages of sin is death…"
Thomas Watson, the great Puritan writer who lived in the 17th century said, "Sin has turned beauty into deformity and the wicked takes more care to have his sin covered than cured." These words still ring true today. People naturally try to look away from the ugliness of sin, yet in this world its presence is impossible to avoid. What is needed is a cure for sin, not a temporary covering.
Christmas is a time that is associated with giving. We give gifts to each other as an expression of our love for one another. In John 3:16 the Bible states that "…God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." The beauty of Christmas is that Jesus has come to provide the cure for sin. Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that God "…made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
How will Jesus cure your sin? In Romans 10:9 the Bible gives the answer, "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." This Christmas you can receive the greatest gift ever given, Jesus Christ. Call on Him now, confess your sin, and he will give you the gift of eternal life.
Do you hear the voice of God calling you? Jesus said in John 10:27-30 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one."
Jesus also said, "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:32) If you would like to make public your profession of faith please give us a call, send an email or better still stop by next Sunday morning and share with us your joy in Christ.
Have a Merry Christmas!
Monday, December 3, 2007
On Sunday nights here at LABC we are going through the Gospel of John verse by verse. Last evening we discussed the passage found in the third chapter of John concerning the serpent in the wilderness. In the context of John’s gospel Jesus is trying to teach Nicodemus what the meaning of the new birth (3:5) by using three illustrations.
In what ways did lifting up the brass serpent (see Numbers 21) in the wilderness illustrate salvation? Below are just a few for your consideration:
1. The cure was for those who were bitten—men must recognize their need for salvation (John 3:19)
2. The cure was received by looking—men must call on the Lord by faith not works (John 3:15)
3. There was only one cure—men must trust in Christ alone (John 14:6)
4. The cure was given by God—salvation is solely a work of God’s grace (John 1:13)
5. The cure always worked—salvation is not partial it is permanent (John 3:16)
6. The cure was individually administered—people do not get saved in groups (John 3:18)
7. The cure was proclaimed to others—those who are saved have an obligation to point others to Christ (John 3:14)
On October 19th, 1879 C. H. Spurgeon preached a sermon on this text in John. His message is still relevant today. You can read it by clicking on the following link.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
“Trick or Treat” will be a phrase repeated thousands of times this October 31st by children roaming the neighborhood trying to collect candy at most every house in the community. It is Halloween and everyone knows the tradition. Or Do We?
But how in the world did this practice start and why do people dress up like witches, goblins, and scary creatures? What is with all the pumpkins and harvest theme? Should Christians be opposed to such rituals?
Traditions that develop over time are often difficult to fully explain, but appears that the holiday evolved from an ancient Celtic feast called Samhain. An ancient people called the Druids thought that on this evening the world of evil spirits and the dead would be released to harass the living in this world. To protect themselves the Druids took on disguises and guarded their property by placing lighted gourds with evil faces carved in them around the house.
When Christianity reached this people group instead of forcing them to stop their pagan celebration totally the early Christians sought to replace the ritual with a new one on the same date. All Saints Day was a day that heroes of the faith were honored. The church called for All Saints Day to be celebrated on November 1st hence the evening before was called All Hallows Eve.
The Church succeeded in getting the people to forget the pagan holiday, but in time the people also lost the significance of the religious holiday.
In America today Halloween is mostly a secular day in which both the Christian and pagan influence of this holiday has been mostly forgotten. Halloween has become a day for the children to dress up, collect candy, and have fun. Some older children like to play pranks on their friends. Most churches no longer participate; some have harvest festivals or give away candy.
LABC's response is to encourage and support people that want to have fun and enjoy the gifts that God has graciously given. In addition, we want to mark this day by reminding people that the joys of a Halloween evening are only a shadow of the true joy that awaits those who put their trust in Jesus.
This fun evening will come to an end just as all things in this life are really short lived. Jesus promised a greater and enduring gift. His treat this Halloween is a joy that will always increase and a life that will never end. Jesus said in, John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” Fullness of Joy can only be found in Jesus.
Below I have summarized the essential points of the good news of Jesus found in the Holy Bible.
Realize your condition before a Holy God
Repent of your sin
Recognize your solution
Receive your savior
"that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10, NKJV)
Rejoice in your salvation
"And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; It shall rejoice in His salvation." (Psalm 35:9, NKJV)
Do you hear the voice of God calling you? Jesus said in John 10:27-30 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.
Ratify your Salvation
Jesus also said, "“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:32, NKJV) If you would like to make public your profession of faith please give us a call, send an email or better still stop by next Sunday morning.
Grace be with you,
Lyndon Avenue Baptist Church
2624 Lyndon Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37415