SBC Sermon: Adjustments

scbible

This was a great sermon from the series, Adjustments, from the book of John. It was helpful to differentiate the common mistakes people make about the act of judgement. How do we handle these situations? The Bible uses the word judgement in many places, however you will see that the Greek words used have different meanings from our English word for judgement. Take a listen.

sermon (dated October 2, 2016)

Philippians 3: 12-14

This scripture was read in church this morning and brought me great comfort and reflection to how I live out my Christian life. Even the Apostle Paul knew he hadn’t arrived to completion in his walk with God…

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus…

The sermon was on vision and I appreciated that and want to work on my own personal vision for my future. Find today’s sermon here.

Re Blog: I went to a strip club

strip-club

From: JUST A JESUS FOLLOWER

A while back I was asked by a group of pastor’s wives to go with them to strip clubs.

That sentence alone sounds strange. But hang with me.

At first I was a little hesitant. And not for reasons you might think.

I love people. Especially ones who are broken; it’s part of my calling. But, given what I’ve walked through, I know how fragile broken people can be.

And I know how insensitive the church can be.

And I was uneasy.

But, these weren’t just any pastors wives.

They had a vision.

One that longed to love on women that society had thrown aside.

It reminded me a lot of Jesus.

So, I jumped on it.

Their plan was to visit these clubs once a month to deliver a meal and gift baskets. I joined them the first night and I’ll be honest, I had NO IDEA what to expect.

Now, I had my fair share of time (back in the day) in bars and such, but I’d never been to a strip club. I was totally unaware of what I was walking into.

We arrived and the bouncer ushered us back into the dressing room where we introduced ourselves and began distributing the gifts and food.

I was shocked by what I saw.

Read the rest here.

 

Faithfulness

Fruit of the Spirit

Scottsdale Bible Church is doing a great sermon series on Galatians 5: 22-23: The Fruit of the Spirit. Last weeks sermon was again worth noting. The 4 major points: 1- Faith saves 2- Faith heals 3- Faith matures/sanctifies 4- Faith empowers

Listen or watch here.

Hebrews 11: 32-35  …And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again…

These verses from the message inspired me. What history we have as Christians. Not a perfect person in the bunch (except for Jesus) but they were empowered by the Holy Spirit to accomplish what God wanted in their moment in time. May we be encouraged to follow where God is taking us.

Reblog: Hammering Some Cold Iron (Doug Wilson)

Theology-That-Bites-Back-e1428814043285

One of the developing memes in my recent controversies is that I like to wax eloquent when writing about sovereign and efficacious grace, but that I do this because I am all about grace for the repentant abuser. Big time grace for the victim, not so much.

This is a charge that is wildly, uproariously, jaw-droppingly and staggeringly false, as in, not true, but I still want to take a moment to respond to it. I don’t know how big lies can get the traction they do, but they still can, and that is why people tell them. Unfortunately, it works on some people. And for some folks, trying to get across what I actually believe about this is like hammering cold iron. But sometimes it is worth trying anyway.

So here is a short gallery of statements I have made in the past about the need for the church to take up the cause of the victim, and on our responsibility to teach our daughters not to be played for victims. Here we go, and links to the full posts are in the titles. Keep in mind that this list of quotations could be a lot longer.

Read the rest here.

~ Lots of good links to his prior articles about broken marriages. Beth

Scottsdale Bible Church: Theistic Naturalism

Scottsdale Bible

All though many of the sermons at Scottsdale Bible Church are worth noting, I thought last weeks was one that hit the nail on the head for me.  Right now, Jamie Rasmussen is preaching a series called Seeds of Doubt from the book of John.  This one hit close to home on the Theistic Naturalism.  Not to spoil it for you but the conclusion was it get from Intellectual Rationality to Unconditional Love, from Morality to Grace and Forgiveness, and from Ritual Discipline to Mystery.  I can’t wait to listen again. Approx. 50 min.

Listen here for yourself.

Reblog: A Meal With No Biting

Theology-That-Bites-Back-e1428814043285by Doug Wilson

Let us begin by acknowledging an unfortunate reality. The apostle Paul warns Christians not to bite and devour one another (Gal. 5:15), and he does this because this is what we are sometimes tempted to do. Christians are never warned off sins that were never going to be an issue. The warning says that we are not to bite and devour because the end result will be that we are consumed. So in this sense, Paul says not to eat one another in this way.

The only alternative to this kind of quarrelsome devouring is to learn how to partake of one another in love. In the verse just prior to this warning (Gal. 5:14), Paul says that the entire law is summed up in the command to love our neighbor. We must love our companions, and companions are those with whom we break bread.

So Christ eats with us here, and we eat with Him. But the Bible teaches us that when we eat together with others in love, this is a covenant love, and covenants depend on what is called partaking. This is koinonia-partaking. We do not just eat with Christ; He offers us His body and blood to eat and to drink. And Christ does not just eat with us; He partakes of us just as we partake of Him. This is a sacramental enactment of what is described throughout the New Testament as union with Christ. We are not just with Him; we are in Him.

Now if you are not learning Christ in this way, if you are not growing in Him in this way, there is only one other way to be—and that is the kind of person who bites, devours, quarrels, accuses. If that is what your home is like, then you are not partaking rightly here. If you are partaking rightly here, if you eat in faith here, you are learning how to resist biting and devouring in another way, in an entirely destructive way.

So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.

~ I don’t normally reblog in entirety but since this was short I did.  You can link to Wilson’s site by clicking on the image. Beth

Reblog: A Failure of Worship

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Challies.com                 September 15, 2014

I find addiction, and the bondage of addiction, to be very difficult to understand. It seems like overcoming addiction should be so simple, and especially for the Christian: Instead of doing that thing, how about next time you just don’t do that thing? Instead of opening that bottle, keep it closed. Instead of buying those pills, buy some groceries. Instead of typing in that web site, type in a different web site. Instead of walking through the doors of the casino, choose not to even go near the casino. If only it was so simple.

To treat addiction so simply is to misunderstand its very nature. I said recently that Kent Dunnington’s Addiction and Virtue is easily one of the most fascinating books I have read recently, and in that book he tells us why addiction is far more than making bad choices instead of good choices. Addicts are not simply satisfying a need or following habits, though they are doing those things as well. Addicts are actually seeking the good life, and are convinced it can be found in and through the addiction. Dunnington says it this way:

We are neither taught nor inclined to think of addicted persons as being actively and passionately engaged in the pursuit of the good life. We tend to think of them as persons who have checked out of the game or who are positively bent on destruction. But this is not so. I maintain that addictive behavior can tell us more than almost any other kind of human behavior about what human beings most deeply desire.

Addicts are expressing a universal desire, but are doing it in a more “sold out” way than most other people. If most people pursue the good life in a halfhearted way, addicts pursue it full-out.

Addiction, then, might be understood as the quest for … ecstatic intoxication. The addicted person, recognizing her own insignificance and her own insufficiency to realize perfect happiness, seeks to be taken up into a consuming experience, longs to be the object rather than the subject of experience, craves to suffer happiness rather than produce it.

“Ecstatic intoxication.” That is what addicts desire, whether the intoxication comes through a substance or an experience, through the rush of the drug or the rush of the sexual experience. In either case, addicts long for that consuming experience and convince themselves it can be found in drugs or alcohol or gambling or pornography or in whatever it is. In this way we see that addiction is actually a failure of worship.

Addictions are addicting just to the extent that they tempt us with the promise of such a perfect happiness, and they are enslaving just to the extent that they mimic and give intimations of this perfection. The depth and power of addiction become more intelligible as we come to see addiction as a counterfeit of the virtue of charity. As such, addiction is appropriately described as a failure of worship, a potent expression of idolatry in which we pursue in the immanent plane that which can only be achieved in relationship with the transcendent God. The cunning and allure of addiction is in fact brought out just to the extent that we see how stunningly addiction enables addicted persons to achieve [imitations] of the goods that right worship makes possible. Such a display demonstrates that addiction can most fittingly be characterized as an enactment of the striving of human persons to attain on their own the flourishing, integrity of self and ecstatic delight that is only to be received through right relationship with God.

Addiction is worship, a failed attempt to find in substances or experiences what can only be found in God. How can you see evidence of that worship? By the way the addiction becomes the means to elevate and interpret any experience.

The fact that anything can count as an excuse to use is a function of the power that addiction has to incorporate every aspect of an addicted person’s life into its own rhythms and rationales. It really is the case for the alcoholic that the good times are vacuous without alcohol, that the hard times are unbearable without alcohol, that loneliness doesn’t feel lonely with alcohol, that loving relationships are mediated by alcohol, that success can only be celebrated with alcohol, that only alcohol can insulate from rejection and so on. To be an alcoholic is to enter into such a relationship with alcohol that everything else in life makes sense only if it is accompanied by alcohol. … [A]ddiction transfigures the most ordinary activities into meaningful transactions.

Do you see it? The Bible calls us to incorporate worship of God into all of life’s rhythms and rationales. The hard times are unbearable without God, loneliness doesn’t feel [as] lonely when we are walking closely with God, loving relationships are mediated and enhanced by shared love for God, success is best celebrated with thanks to God, a relationship with God insulates us from rejection, and so on. To be a God-worshipper is to enter into such a relationship with God that everything else in life only makes sense if it is accompanied by him.

The addict is not merely following deeply-ingrained habits and physical desires, but seeking the escstasy of worship. The problem is not the desire to worship—we are created to be worshippers—but the idolatrous object of that worship. The addict looks elsewhere—anywhere—for what can be found only in God. The addict’s foremost failure is a failure of worship.

I think this is one of the best articles I have read on addiction from a Christian Perspective, hence I posted it in it’s entirety. ~Beth

Reblog: Ask RC

Can a person who has committed suicide go to heaven?

Yes. Heaven is not a place for those who did not sin. It is a place for those whose sins are covered by the blood of Christ. The question, however, is understandable for at least three reasons.

Is suicide unforgiveable?

First, murder is a most grievous sin. Once we get past the common evangelical error that all sins are equally wicked (see an earlier piece here) we recognize that murder will surely be one of the biggest sins. After all, we are told those who practice these things will not see the kingdom of heaven (Gal. 5:21). That said, however, we know of at least two men guilty of murder who are in heaven, David, and Paul.  The list in Galatians 5 is not a list of unforgivable sins. Instead it is a list of those sins, which when they are practiced, evidence a lack of saving faith. Practicing these sins, however, is not the same thing as committing them. We practice these sins, or any sin, when we give up, when we no longer fight the temptation, when we embrace the sin as good.  When, however, we fight, when we repent for falling into these sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (I John 1:9).

read the rest here.