Sunday, June 22, 2008

Freedom & Control

Currently I'm preaching through Romans. I just preached Romans 9 today. It's about God's selection of Israel as His chosen people. It's about God's sovereignty.

God's sovereignty & Human Responsibility. While Spurgeon says he doesn't try to "reconcile friends", many others have tried to.

Tonight I was watching a message by Louie Giglio called, "Hope When Life Hurts Most" (part 1). In it Louie gracefully handles this tension by saying,
God allows freedom but He maintains control.
Well-said, Louie. May we live this out gracefully as well.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Covenant vs. Contract

What's the difference between a covenant and a contract? Here's one explanation:
A CONTRACT is an agreement made in suspicion. The parties do not trust each other, and they set "limits" to their own responsibility. A COVENANT is an agreement made in trust. The parties love each other and put no limits on their own responsibility.
In other words, a contract is 50-50. I'll do my part but no more. I'll meet you halfway but if you slack off, I'm not coming over to help at all.

A covenant is 100-100. But even if you don't do your 100% part (and who does), I'm still going to strive to do mine.

Why does this matter? Well, marriage is a covenant. In light of the above definition, how would my wife feel if I related to her on the basis of a contract instead of a covenant?

Press this further...what if I related to God on the basis of contract instead of covenant? The Bible teaches that God has made covenants with us. He always keeps his part too. The amazing thing is that while we don't, he never stops loving us. We can harm the relationship but he's always ready to take us back. I prefer the covenant relationship.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Balance or Burnout

Fabulous article from Youthworkers.net. And you don't have to be headed toward burnout to gain much from this article. I challenge you to write down one thing you're going to do as a result of this article. What? What am I doing? Glad you asked:

1. I'm going to reassess my "To Do" list and create a "To Don't" list. Delegate or drop.

2. Get back on my running schedule.

3. Practice saying "No" in the mirror.

4. Rest with God daily (QT), weekly (Unplug on Sat), monthly (Extended QT at beach then see my coach) and annually (incorporate a day-long sabbath once a year).

Balance or Burnout
by Richard A. Swenson, MD

Download this article

Check back with me and see if I did any of it! Share what you're going to do.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Do you recognize the genuine article?

"You cannot be fooled by the imitation if you intimately know the genuine." -unknown

Application: If I know God's word, I won't be fooled by the wannabees.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Praying vs. Preaching

Craig G gets real transparent on his preaching as a pastor of a mega church. It struck a chord with me, to say the least.

I found this quote in the comments,

Study yourself full, Think yourself clear, Pray yourself hot, and let yourself go. --TD Jakes

I'll have to think this through some more. But the bottom line application for me is more prayer and time with God. FROG=Fully Rely on God

Monday, June 09, 2008

Motorazor test



Im testing blogging from my motorazor.

Alltel has no control over, and is not responsible for, the content or use of this picture or the accompanying personal message.

Free me from Discouragement!

Sunday we talked about how we can live freed from discouragement. It starts with our perspective: the dash or the line.

That is when we live in light of eternity instead of living as if there were no eternity.

You can live in light of the dash "-" (representing our life here on earth), or

You can live in light of the line"------------------------------->" (representing life with Christ forever)

When we live in light of eternity, our current circumstances, trials, difficulties, suffering and struggles all still remain. But they begin to shrink as our perspective changes.

God is much bigger than we imagine. And so our problems are not near as large as they appear. Live in light of the line and not the dash today. Let your hope for eternity carry you through your difficulties and free you from discouragement. (Romans 8:19-29)

But how do we actually do it? Here are 3 priorities I believe make all the difference:

To live above our circumstances and free from discouragement, we must live in light of eternity. We do this by...

1. Trusting God so fully that we immerse ourselves in God's word and obey it swiftly and completely.

2. Trusting God so fully that we fully yield to His Holy Spirit. To yield is to a) refuse to sin, and b) offer our bodies fully and faithfully to God.

3. Trusting God so fully that we engage in the risky business of biblical community. That is doing life together with other believers.

Said another way, we trust and obey the word of God, yield to the Spirit of God while doing life with the people of God so that we'll become more and more like the Son of God. When we do that, we'll live above our circumstances and be freed from discouragement.

What step will you take to move towards freedom today?