Archive for the ‘christian living’ Category

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Posted: April 7, 2011 by Daniel in christian living
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Genesis 1:28-30

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

This imperative from the Lord was not invalidated when man sinned, it just became impossible to do. Jesus repeats the command in saying:

Matthew 6:33
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

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Saved people, deeply troubled but finding relief

Posted: December 14, 2010 by Daniel in christian living
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They band together against the life of the righteous and condemn the innocent to death. But the Lord has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge.

Psalm 94:21,22

“Be ready for responsive evangelism.”

Phillip Jensen (St Andrews Cathedral in Sydney) gives some great advice for all Christians on doing evangelism. This one of the best talks about this topic that I have ever heard. Vimeo lets you download this video if you follow through to the videos original page. The download link is on the bottom right of the page (you will need quick time player.)

As well as being extremely helpful, this could be a great resource to take to your bible study group and discuss how you might take on evangelism as a group. Its a long video (27min) but is real gold. I recommend that you watch it full screen (click the X-arrows next to the time line.) OK, start buffering, grab a coffee and enjoy.

“Make people hungry to know more.”

“Bring God language into everyday conversation.”

“Break out of the construction, that we should not talk about God.”

“We have found that people that go out on the streets and share the gospel are the ones that see their friends converted.”

Extra! Extra! Read all about it, Christ has lived, died and been resurrected! Read the news about what God has done! Listen to this foolishness (to those who are perishing) now.

Nothing that happens inside of you is good news, because the good news is about something that happened outside of you 2000 years ago. …The good news itself is strictly about Jesus of Nazareth; what God did in Christ, reconciling the world to himself.
Michael Horton, from The Front Page God (mp3.) Windows users, right-click ‘save as.’

This one is on my buying list for when I finish my study from Moore Theological. For all 4 audio sermons visit the Gospel-Driven page at Monergism. To order your copy of the new book visit the Gospel Driven Life book page at Monergism

You can subscribe, assent or intellectually attach to a creed.  But a gospel is a message and it must be told.  We’ve been given a gospel, a message that is intended to be communicated to everyone.  That’s what Jesus said.  Yes we have creeds to govern the truth of that message but the essential thing is the message (truthfully held) and the continued proclamation of that message.  In the end our effectiveness as gospel bearers comes down to two main criteria: BELIEF and VALUE.  Let me explain.

It’s been raining a lot lately so let’s use rain as the analogy.  When it’s cloudy, the weather forecast says it’s going to rain and you start to feel the first few drops on your nose ( I think mine must stick out a way cause that’s where I usually feel it first) you believe it’s going to rain.  Your BELIEF is so strong that it causes you to act according to what you VALUE.  You value the dry clothes on the washing line so you bring them in off the line.  You value the upholstery in your car so you shut the windows.  If you’ve missed the rain for such a long time and it’s breaking the drought then you’ll probably go out in it and let it soak you to the skin (praise God for the rain).  You BELIEVE that it will rain, you BELIEVE that it is raining and you act on that BELIEF according to what you VALUE.

So back to the gospel.  The message that came to you.  God’s revelation of His purposes, His attitude and your only hope.  Let’s be more specific.  God told you that He is going to make it rain.  The storm is brewing.  The rain is judgement, fire and hell.  Devastating rain.  Jesus presents himself as the only fire proof umbrella, the only hope for you or anyone and you say you believe.  I say I believe.  But do I really believe?  Does it make you act on behalf of the things that you value?  Does it make you get out of your comfort zone and bring that message of  judgement and salvation to the sea of souls drowning all around you?  Does it make me pray about my neighbours, my family, my friends, my country, my leaders and ask for opportunities to tell them the message – to pass on the gospel?  Or do my actions prove what I really believe and value.  Does my obsession with what people think of me govern my words, the way I dress, who I hang out with?  Does my addiction to pleasure whether sinful or legitimate make me choose fun over edification and evangelism?  Does my insatiable appetite for comfort, security and ease drive me to spend every waking moment thinking how I might turn this conversation, or this activity or this person into another part of my ever expanding kingdom when really I should be thinking how I might turn all these opportunities to the service of my King Jesus.

What do you believe?   What do you value?

What are you going to do about it?

May we be humbled by God to see the weakness of our belief – the amazing grace of our saviour and the pressing needs of  everyone who has not heard the gospel.  It’s the most important message and if we believe it’s true, we need to tell it to those we value.

Westminster on the Sabbath

Posted: August 14, 2009 by Daniel in christian living, Christianity, church

Of late I have been challenged by a brother via email, who has a different view that me in regard to the day on which the sabbath should take place. Neither of us have moved from our initianl positions. I continue to hold the same position as the Westminster Confession, where it says:

As it is of the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in his Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him: (Exodus 20 v8, 10, 11; Isaiah 56 v2, 4, 6, 7) which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, (Genesis 2 v2,3; 1 Corinthians 16 v1,2; Acts 20 v7) which in Scripture is called the Lord’s day, (Revelation 1 v10) and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.(Exodus 20 v8,10, with Matthew 5 v17,18)

This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts, about their worldly employments and recreations;(Exodus 20 v8; 16 v23, 25, 26, 29, 30; 31 v15–17; Isaiah 58 v13; Nehemiah 13 v15–22) but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.(Isaiah 58 v13; Matthew 12 v1–13)

It has been good for me to sharpen my understanding of this commandment and the importance of glorifying God through our work and our rest. One last link that I would like to share that has a comprehensive handle on the subject is from Brian Schwertley at Reformed Online, The Christian Sabbath Examined, Proved, Applied

Speaking in the presence of God

Posted: July 24, 2009 by Daniel in christian living

Listen to Speaking in the presence of God: Matthew 23:16-22
(right click save-as, to save in windows)

Quotes from this message:

“Its so hard to see your own hypocrisy. The pharisee is not far from the heart of each of us.”

“Speaking the truth is to the glory of God.”

“Speaking the truth is a means of evangelism.”

“Every word we speak is spoken in the presence of God anyway”

“We live in a time where people refuse to commit themselves to promises made, for a better option may come up and they may regret their promises.”


Date:
21 Jun 2009
Preacher:
Fred van Hulst
Size:
5.5Mb
From the Branch sermon archive