Friday, December 17, 2010

The Fear of Being Unfaithful

My heart strained within me a while ago considering the fact that life is long, hard, and wearying. Knowing that I am saved and fully believing that God has called me to full time ministry, my mind contemplated how I was going to remain faithful to Christ for all of that time. How was I ever going to continue to pursue holiness, remain faithful to my family, and rightly divide God’s Word? I know my sinful heart and how unfaithful I find myself already. There is no way, in and of myself, to stay within God’s will for a lifetime. My heart was downcast, but only for a moment.

As I pondered, the spirit was quick to convict me of my horribly sinful thoughts. He reminded me of the character of our God. Our God saves sinners and keeps them. How precious is this thought! It is not I who holds myself through life’s trials, but the God who saved me. Yes, I must do all that I can to faithfully behold the glory of Christ, but God does the heart work and keeps me in Christ. Just as the Old Testament accounts God being faithful to keep Israel and bring them back to himself, so does the New Testament account God, under the new covenant, being faithful to keep his people and bring them back to himself when they stray. He is the good shepherd; when one strays he goes and finds the sheep and brings them back into the fold.

When my parents were considering marriage my mom had just witnessed a pastor break up with his wife after 25+ years of marriage. Her heart was in turmoil within her, she asked, “Tim, how can I trust that you will stay with me through our marriage?” And my Dad’s answer has always stuck with me from the first time I heard it- “You can’t trust me; you have to trust God inside of me.” At first glance one might think that is a cliché spiritual comment, but NO- My dad had it exactly right. Other people can’t trust us for we don’t even trust ourselves! We know our weaknesses; therefore we entrust ourselves to our faithful creator. And others must do the same- trust that God will keep us faithful.

Life is long and being saved at a young age makes it a long time to wait to be in the presence of my savior. However, C.J. Mahaney talks in one of his messages about how the pain of waiting all depends on whom you are waiting with and what you are waiting for. Oh, aren’t we blessed when we consider this thought! We have Emmanuel- God with us. We get to wait in the loving care of our savior, beholding more of his glory every step of the way. We get to wait with our savior until the end and at that moment we will immediately be brought into “the presence of His glory blameless and with great joy.” (Jude 1:24) Consider this and let your hearts rejoice.

The character and the promises of our great and glorious God must be our foundation whenever we are fearful of anything in this life- including remaining faithful. Fear not, brothers and sisters, our God is good and WILL keep you.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

On Trials

God’s blessings don’t always come in nicely wrapped packages to healthy people, but as a bowl of broth to a dying man. He blesses amidst pain.

If we didn’t know that every additional trial was ordained by an infinitely loving God, what hope would we have? If we didn’t know every additional trial was our greatest good, what hope would we have? If we didn’t know that every additional trial was ordained by a sovereign God who deemed us fit to suffer for his name sake, what hope would we have? If we didn’t know that every additional trial was only a part of a masterfully crafted plan to maximize our joy and give God the greatest glory, what hope would we have? We would have none.

If, in the midst of trials, we allow our eyes only to be glued to the immanent things to come and to never gaze into what we have in eternity, we will meet fear and despair face to face every time. If the eyes of our heart are not faithfully trained to simply gaze into the face of our savior while the goings are good, don’t believe for a moment that when God brings a trial, brings pain and affliction, into our lives we will find solace in him. If our eyes are cast down, fixed on what we see, when there is no pain, they will remain there when there is. The eyes of our heart must be fixed looking up if we hope to have peace in times of strife.

Nothing but the character and promises of God will calm the seas of a tumultuous soul. Nothing but a sight of the glory of our risen savior will bring true peace to our hearts. But we mustn’t wait until we are in the midst of a trial to behold the glory of Christ in Scripture. For if we wait it will be too late to bring lasting peace to our soul. True rest in the midst of a trial comes from faithfully beholding the glory of Christ in Scripture before you are put through the furnace. It comes from knowing and loving the character of your God before you see what he has ordained for your life. For a Christian who has beheld glory will realize that his present conditions has never been the means by which he received his joy, it was only in beholding Christ. We must be content with our present condition, but be satisfied in Christ alone. When you lack joy in the midst of pain, know that these positions have been switched.

We must rest in the character of our God. We must rest in the promises of our God. The assurance of a promise is only to the degree of immutability of the promise giver. And, oh, how immutable is our God! Our God “is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).” He has promised to work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). He has promised to never withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11)-the trial is the best thing for us. He has promised that there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”(Romans 8:1)- the trial is a divine grace. God has promised that he is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.” He has promised to do all of this-and he will. Upon this rock will we stand.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lingering Guilt

As I read about David's struggle with lingering guilt in Psalm 51 and experienced the same in my own life I was inspired to write this poem. I hope that you are able to connect with the man's plea before the Father and also cherish the words of life that the Father gives the guilt-ridden man. I apologize for the length and the odd formatting, but I hope you are blessed.

My sin, my ugly sin

Lingers in my mind

After my troubled soul's repented.

“Be gone from me!

You blind my eyes, His grace, to see.”

I crawl to His throne

Ashamed to once again

Beg for mercy and for grace

But I’m too weak….

I must come and humbly speak

"Lord, Lord, I cannot

Come without hanging

My shameful, down trodden head.

I broke your will

I only hope you love me still.

"My soul yearns to feel

What it once had known

My heart is broken and wants you

You to fill

What is lacking in me still

"The melody of your presence

Has left my woeful heart.

The once beautiful song of grace

Has seemingly left

And made my life, of joy, bereft.

"Despise me not, Father

And answer my desperate plea

For it is the prolonged silence of God

That pains my ear.

You alone do I fear."

For a long while

Only sobs were heard

In the Most High's Court.

The broken man

Found no will, nor grace to stand

"My precious, chosen son,

You have placed your head

In the muck and mire of shame

And despair.

You've stepped into Satan's snare.

"Satan waits in silence

For the moment to strike

At the heart of my beloved

To coerce

That his evil sin's the worst.

"Satan threads his lies

Into your shame-full mind

And you, believing his every word,

Made way

For more room, from me, to stray.

“I allowed you to feed

At the trough of sin

That you would finally come to see

That only I

Can keep you from the deepest sigh.

"O redeemed sinner,

Rise from the corner

Where your shame has you tied,

Lift your face,

And behold the Lord of Grace.

"You come before this throne

Begging for a blessing

That your soul had long ago

Already received.

Your many fears are relieved.

“I’m running with arms wide open

To embrace my son

Whose transgressions are ever forgotten.

I forgive

That your soul, again, can live.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Thoughts for Young Men (pt1)

Our small group this past year, has been going through the book "Thoughts for Young Men" by John Charles Ryle. I am going to do quite a few posts with a few of the points he makes in the book. They aren't going to be in any particular order, but all of the ones that I put up, I trust that you will take to heart and apply them to your life. Part one is an excerpt from chapter 4 point 4 which is: For another thing, be diligent in the use of all public means of grace.
"Be regular in going to the house of God, whenever it is open for prayer and preaching, and it is in your power to attend. Be regular in keeping the Lord's Day holy, and determine that God's day out of the seven shall henceforth always be given to its rightful owner"
"Young men, be jealous on this point. Whether you live in town or country, take up a decided line; resolve not to profane your sabbath. Let not the plausible argument of 'needful relaxation for your for your body'-let not the example of all around you-let not the invitation of companions with whom you may be thrown-let none of these things move you to depart from this settled rule that God's day shall be given to God.
Once give over caring for the Sabbath, and in th end you will give over caring for your soul. The steps which lead to this conclusion are easy and regular. Begin with not honouring God's day, and you will son not honour God's house; cease to honour God's house, and you will soon cease to honour God's book; cease to honour Gods book, and by and by you will give God no honour at all. Let a man lay th e foundation of having no sabbath, and i am never surprised if he finishes the top-stone of no God. It is a remarkable saying of Judge Hale, "Of all the persons who were convicted of capital crimes while he was upon th bench, he found only a few who would not confess, on inquiry, that they began their career of wickedness by a neglect of the Sabbath"
"Young men, you may be thrown among companions who forget the honour of the Lord's Day; but resolve, by God's help that you will always remember to keep it holy"
I love in the how he lays out the progression, starting with forgetting the Lord's day and leading to not giving any honor to God. I think that he is smart in making such a big point for us to start with the little things like going to church.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Blogging Starvation

Well since I haven't posted in a stinking long time, I decided that I might as well start sharing my plethora of thoughts on my blog. I haven't posted in about nine months, and I thought that that was a pretty good record and that it was time to post some more and get back into the swing of things. For a while I am going to be posting thoughts, quotes from Thoughts for Young Men, verses from the Bible, and as my commentary on psalm 19 from Bible class comes along I will be posting that as well. It feels good to be back on Heavenly Minded and there will be posts to come, full of wealth and good knowledge. The End...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Idols(part four)

This is the last point and the review in my devotional at creation....

Entertainment is a large idol of our world today. Some things this includes are movies, food, sports, and MUSIC! None of the those are necessarily bad, but they can be. You need to be careful what you are focusing on, this world is not Christ centered and wants you to focus on their product that they are selling you. The reason I bring up this last point is because we are at a huge music festival, and music can tend to be our focus, or in other word or “idol” while we are here. You need to make sure that the reason you are here the reason you are listening to the music is for the glory of God, not for your own personal ejoyment. If Christ is truly your idol you will stive to please him. I found this verse a while ago in my morning devotions that apply to this whole topic of getting rid of your idols,it is 1 Samuel 12:20, "And Samuel said to the people, 'Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart'." At the end there it says with ALL of your heart, you can't serve your idol and God. You must serve him alone, God must be your idol.

Moment of Silence

I believe this is important. I ask only one thing, give one moment of silence just to commemroate the one year aniversary of this blog........well now that is done you can go on with life.

the luggnut

P.S. I do this to break up the seriousnesses of late in this blog. It is not a bad thing to be serious but I thought that it might put a little smile into your day! I will give you some serious material in the next post. Now that my post script is longer than my original script I will stop makeing a fool of my self and my blog.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Idols(part three)

Here is the second part to my devotional for creation. Here is the second point...

If you have your copy of Gods word please turn to the book of Jonah. Most of you know the story of Jonah. If you don’t remember it I will give a quick recap of the story. The Lord comes to Jonah the Prophet and tells him to go to Nineveh and call out against the great evils that have been going on there. Well, he doesn’t like that idea and so he gets onto a ship and tries to flee to Tarshish. On the way, the Lord sends a great storm, it is so bad it is threatening to tear the boat apart. The men wonder whose fault it for this great storm and they decide that it is Jonah’s. And so, Jonah tells them that he is fleeing from the Lord’s will and to throw him over board. After he is thrown overboard a great fish eats him and he spends three days and nights praying in the belly. The fish ended up spitting him out on the shores of Nineveh where the Lord had wanted him to go in the first place. He went and did what he was supposed to do and life went on.
Well, the whole point to bringing up the story of Jonah is because it shows us very clearly the steps going from and idol centered life style to a Christocentric life style.
What is Jonah’s idol in this story? It is HIMSELF! He was not willing to go through persecution for the salvation of others. Nineveh was infamous for its cruelty, and he knew how they would react to his teachings.
Well there are two steps that go on during this story that bring Jonah from a self centered view to a Christ centered view. There is a physical and a spiritual. So he flees from the Lords will and gets on a ship. The big storm comes and the ship is about to crack and all the other men are wondering why is this happening and Jonah steps forward and says that he is a Hebrew and that he is fleeing from the Lord in verse 9. And what did he do next? What did he do to start himself in the right direction, to get himself where he was supposed be? He had them throw him overboard. This is the physical part of the process, it is to totally do away with the idol, get rid of it, throw it out of your life. He did not think he was going to live, he was being thrown into the sea! He know that he was the problem and so he was going to take care of it. So step number on do away with or abolish the idol.
The fish came and swallowed Jonah and he spent three days and three nights in its belly. This where the second step takes place which is the most important part, the spiritual. While he was in the fish he prayed and made his heart right. He realized his total dependence on God and he acknowledges God’s sovereignty. You have to realize that dealing with idols is a heart issue. Notice that he was not where he was supposed to be until his heart was made right. The physical aspect helps only in getting your heart right to the focus back on God. If you just did the physical without making your heart right, what would stop from making a new idol besides God? Again the heart issue is the most important.