Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Forgiveness and the Big Kingdom

This is from Paul Tripp... very good!

Paul David Tripp, A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger than You (New Growth Press, 2007), pp. 161-62

Forgiveness and the Big Kingdom

  • Every time you ask for forgiveness, you get it right.
  • Every time you ask for forgiveness, you step out of your little kingdom and into His.
  • Every time you ask for forgiveness, you say that the Bible’s description of you and everyone around you is accurate.
  • Every time you ask for forgiveness, you declare that your life does not belong to you, but has been created for the purpose of the Author.
  • Every time you ask for forgiveness, you say that selfishness is your biggest sin and that grace is your only hope.
  • Every time you ask for forgiveness, you are reminding yourself who you are and what you truly need.
  • Every time you ask for forgiveness, you refuse to be comfortable with your rebellion.
  • Every time you ask for forgiveness, you recognize that the biggest problems you face in life exist inside of you, not outside of you.
  • Every time you ask for forgiveness, you are praying that God’s kingdom would come and his will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.
  • Every time you ask for forgiveness, you make the kingdom of God visible for others to see.
  • Every time you ask for forgiveness, you are worshiping the King of forgiveness and encouraging others to do the same.
  • Every time you ask for forgiveness, your sight is accurate, your head is clear, and your heart is in the right place.
  • Every time you ask for forgiveness, you cry out for an eternity when forgiveness has finished its work once and for all.
  • Every time you ask for forgiveness, you tell yourself that for all the good you have experienced in God’s kingdom, there is still more that is needed and more to come.

A lifestyle of forgiveness expands everything you are touching to the size of God’s kingdom.

Paul David Tripp, A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger than You (New Growth Press, 2007), pp. 161-62

Monday, October 19, 2009

Where is our trust... REALLY?

I don't want a world-wide flu epidemic to wipe out thousands or, God-forbid, millions of the most vulnerable of us around the globe...
I don't want global conflict and war to tear apart whole regions, countries, cities, and families...
I don't want growing unemployment and hardship for hardworking men and women who want nothing more than to provide an honest living, put food on the table and a roof over their families heads...

So I am happy for things like doctors, and researchers, and vaccines...
And I am happy for diplomatic & military strategy and innovation...
and I am happy for entrepreneurial thinking and compassion to help motivate and motivate others to greater opportunity and productivity...

But I must be careful that my trust is ultimately not in those things. But instead, I must Trust in the one who skillfully crafted man to learn and think, create and work, by HIS design.. so we have the benefits of medicine, and innovation, of creativity and a strong work ethic... that come FROM Him... and work to His Glory.

"God is not displeased with the strength of a horse and the legs of a man as good things that He has made. He is displeased with those who hope in their horses and in their legs. He is displeased with the people who put their hope, for example, in missiles or in make-up, in tanks or tanning parlors, in bombs or body-building. God takes no pleasure in corporate efficiency or balanced budgets or welfare systems or new vaccines or education or eloquence or artistic excellence or legal processes, when these things are the treasure in which we hope, or the achievement in which we boast. Why? Because when we put our hope in horses and legs, then the horses and legs get the glory, not God"

~JohnPiper, The Pleasures of God , 208).

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Gospel Way

No human mind could conceive or invent the gospel.
Acting in eternal grace, thou art both its messenger and its message,
lived out on earth through infinite compassion,
applying thy life to insult, injury, death,
that I might be redeemed, ransomed, freed.
Blessed be thou, O Father, for contriving this way,
Eternal thanks to thee, O Lamb of God, for opening this way,
Praise everlasting to thee, O Holy Spirit,
for applying this way to my heart.
Glorious Trinity, impress the gospel on my soul,
until its virtue diffuses every faculty;
Let it be heard, acknowledged, professed, felt.
Teach me to secure this mighty blessing;
Help me to give up every darling lust,
to submit heart and life to its command,
to have it in my will,
controlling my affections,
moulding my understanding;
to adhere strictly to the rules of true religion,
not departing from them in any instance,
nor for any advantage in order to escape evil,
inconvenience or danger.
Take me to the cross to seek glory from its infamy;
Strip me of every pleasing pretence of righteousness by my own doings.
O gracious redeemer,
I have neglected thee too long,
often crucified thee,
crucified thee afresh by my impenitence,
put thee to open shame.
I thank thee for the patience that has borne with me so long,
and for the grace that now makes me willing to be thine.
O unite me to thyself with inseparable bonds,
that nothing may ever draw me back from thee, my Lord, my Saviour.

From The Valley Of Vision (A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions)
Edited by Arthur Bennett
"The Gospel Way" - Page 35

Monday, October 5, 2009

Number and success...

Numbers in a room, as encouraging as they are, ultimately mean very little. There are a great number of ways to get people into a room… and many of those would be for reasons not befitting of Christ’s Bride or Christ’s Mission. In fact, without trying to be to contrary, a number of churches have people in the seats week in and week out and yet are missing the mark when it comes to Gospel-centrality evidenced in the lives of her people. As Chester and Timmis say in chapter 13 of the book Total Church, “... we must not confuse large with successful. Nor for that matter should we equate small with successful!” (pp. 192) We are not necessarily more “successful” if we have 70 people in the room… on the other hand, we are not necessarily more “successful” if we only have 10!

Our desire and measure of success is that we are being shaped by the Gospel and proclaiming the Gospel in word and deed to those around us in need of Jesus. If we can find ways to challenge, assess and encourage the people of River City Church to THAT end… then we will have been faithful to God’s calling and Christ’s mission make disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus… 2 Timothy 2:2.