Category Archives: Faith

A Little Inspiration From The Past

 

While my and wife and I were visiting The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, we got a chance to see Charles H. Spurgeon‘s Bible on display in the library there. He’s a bit of a hero of the faith for me so it was neat to see. However, the inscription left by his eldest son really hit me in the gut. You can read it below.

The inscription reads:

Came into my possession on the death of my dear Mother who wrote “The Bible – father’s constantly used Bible, must be for the elder son, to be ever kept with reverent love as a most precious possession. How often my husband’s dear hands have turned these pages! How often his heart burned within him, as he read this sacred volume and prayed and pondered over its pages!” Incalculably precious to me for father’s sake but even more so for its own.
-October 22, 1903

Gentlemen, I don’t know about you but I pray my wife and future children would be able to say the same thing about me. Let us be men who love the Word and show the Word to our families and all those around us.

 

No Other King Did This For You

 

Twice Jesus submitted Himself to being wrapped in cloth by sinful hands. Once in life. Once in death. Both for us.

What a Savior!
What a King!

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. – Luke 2:7

This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. -Luke 23:52-53

 

Unknown Grace

I was thinking about the grace of God a bit last night and this thought came to mind:

Oh, the depth of grace You’ve shown, deeper still the grace unknown.

I don’t think we really have a clue just how deep grace runs or how many times it has been bestowed on us unknowingly but I think we’ll understand it better one day.

We’ll understand it better when we see grace, face to face.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
– 1 Corinthians 13:12


Waiting

I’m in a season of waiting. It feels like I’m waiting on everything and not sure what happens next. I’m not mad, just waiting. Sometimes it’s weird. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it just feels like waiting a big waiting room called life. I don’t know what happens next. Nonetheless, I say this…

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, 
and in his word I put my hope.
-Psalm 130:5

 

A Piece of Wood?

Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”

Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them.

-Exodus 15:22-25

A piece of wood? Seriously?

If I had to guess, that would have been my response to God.

Leaders, when your people look to you for a solution and you cry out to God, don’t always expect that what He tells you will make sense to you.

God is not required to solve our problems in the way we see fit.


Stop Trying


“You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: ” ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.

-Mark 4:27-31 (NIV)

You’ve just got to love Peter, right? The Son of God tells him what’s going to happen, and Peter says “No Way!”. I can’t crack on Peter too much. The other disciples were right there with him and I do it too. We can easily miss seeing something of ourselves here if we’re not careful. How many times are we SO confident that something will never happen to us? I dare say we even look at Peter and say, “That’ll never happen to me. I’ll never mess up like that.”

We’re so confident in what WE can do.

While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said. But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway. When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”He began to call down curses on himself, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

-Mark 14:66-72 (NIV)

Peter’s confidence in himself was broken. It had to be. Broken, that is. For Peter to grow, it was necessary for him to lose all confidence in his own ability. He had to know that he couldn’t follow Jesus in his own power.

We have to realize that we can’t do it ourselves.

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

-John 21:15-19 (NIV)

After Peter was broken, he had to be mended. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Peter had denied Jesus three times and Jesus is now giving Peter three chances to declare his devotion. Then Jesus says, “Follow me!”. This was an invitation for Peter to stop trusting in his own ability to follow Jesus and live the Christian life and starting trusting the only One Who is able to live such a life to live through Him.

“To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.”

-Colossians 1:29 (NIV)

With all HIS energy.

Stop trying in your power and start trusting in His power.



Rest

Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days. I’ve been either really busy or really lazy depending on which day it was. Now I need some rest. I just wanted to drop this before bed. Perry Noble had this post Wednesday. It included this quote:

“In the Bible God calls those who will not work lazy, but He calls those who will not rest disobedient.” -John Walker

He also included this Scripture reference:

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.
-Isaiah 30:15

Perry’s always dropping some challenging stuff. I don’t have anything to add to it, just wanted to point you his way.

Now I’m going to go be obedient. :)


No Mistakes

Sometimes I feel so jacked up. I mean there are times when I look at my life and wonder why God ever spoke my name. Then I wonder why He ever allowed me to claim His name. How could He ever want me to be labeled Christian? Sometimes I feel like it would be better for everyone involved if I just walked away. Mainly, I feel like it would be better for the name of Jesus if I wasn’t associated with Him.

When I think about that, I remember that it was Him who drew me in the first place (John 6:44). He doesn’t make mistakes, no matter how much I feel like one.

By the way, you aren’t a mistake either.

Unfortunately, it’s not really popular to be honest about stuff like this in most Christian communities. I hope some transparency will create some conversations that should have been happening a long time ago.

What do you think?


Louder Than Words

I’m reminded of the importance of character more often than I ever wished. One of those instances was yesterday when I found out about the moral failure of someone whose ministry I had been following for quite some time. I won’t be dropping the name because I don’t want to add to the gossip. I will, however, be praying for their restoration.

A few months ago, I started reading Louder Than Words by Andy Stanley. I never finished it. It’s amazing how little importance we place on who we are behind closed doors when it comes to keeping up appearances outside of those doors. I’ll be picking the book back up today in an effort to refocus.

If you spend all your time building the outside, the lack of support inside will cause everything to fall.

On a side note, it’s funny how God reaffirms things. Right when I sat down to start writing this, David Platt tweeted this:

Mt. 4:1-17 – The purity of our lives is more important than the success of our ministries.

Wow.


Psalm 150

I thought about this Psalm the other day when I finished my last final of the summer semesters. Then I thought about it again today when I found out that I made A’s in all four of my classes this summer. Praise the Lord, because I’m not nearly good enough to have done that on my own.

1 Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary; 
praise him in his mighty heavens.

2 Praise him for his acts of power; 
praise him for his surpassing greatness.

3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, 
praise him with the harp and lyre,

4 praise him with tambourine and dancing, 
praise him with the strings and flute,

5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, 
praise him with resounding cymbals.

6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. 
Praise the LORD.

-Psalm 150