Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Christ and Culture

I listened to a message by Tim Keller entitled "Being the Church in Our Culture." I was very blessed and encouraged by Tim's understanding and heart to be the church and influence the culture for the kingdom of God. Drawing from Matthew 5:16 he urged us to be fully engaged in our culture modeling the life of Christ and his kingdom through our vocations, gifts, friendships and entire lifestyle. Certainly we are called to do this for the glory of Christ, for our joy in Him and for the good of the church. But living under the King in all aspects of life and culture also has a profound evangelistic effect. Check out Dr. Keller's quote:

"Non Christians need to see Christians who so inhabit their city and so inhabit their neighborhood and so inhabit their profession so that by looking at them they have a picture of what they would be like if they were Christians. ..... They want to see people who are smart as they are, as saavy as they are and yet different, really different, a lot happier, a lot more thoughtful, a lot less selfish, see, they've got to see themselves and yet not see themselves. In other words the Christian church has got to be a dynamic counter culture, it's got to be an alternate city, it's got to show the rest of the city what they would look like if Jesus were Lord." - Tim Keller

May we so live by the gospel and so appeal to the lost that they see in us what it looks like to be a follower of Christ in their world and are compelled to follow too!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Wine of Joy in Jesus

We are looking at Jesus' miracle at Cana of turning water into wine this Sunday. It made me think of the wonderful inheritance we have in him. All who belong to Christ partake of the wine of joy he supplies! Check out Sarah Edwards account of such joy during a wonderful season in her life. Remember, right now it is even better for Sarah than she experienced during that time! The same and better is in store for all of us in Christ! See you at the great wedding feast!

"The word of one of Mr. Watt's Hosannas powerfully affected me; and in the course of the conversation, I uttered them as the real language of my heart with great earnestness and emotion. 'Hosanna to King David's Son, Who reigns on a superior throne.' And while I was uttering the words, my mind was so deeply impressed with the love of Christ and a sense of His immediate presence that I could with difficulty refrain from rising from my seat and leaping for joy. I continued to enjoy this intense and lively and refreshing sense of divine things, accompanied with strong emotions for nearly an hour; after which, I experienced a delightful calm and peace and rest in God until I retired for the night; and during the night, both waking and sleeping, I had joyful views of divine things, and a complacent rest of soul in God. " [1]

[1] excerpt from Dwight, Sereno. The Works of President Edwards: With a Memoir of His Life. Vol. I. New York: G. & C. & H. Carvill. 1830. 171-186. also see "Memoirs of Eminently Pious Women of Britain and America" by David Francis Bacon, p. 313 available at google books.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Center of Our Orbit

Let us aim at greater simplicity in our own personal religion. Let Christ and His person be the sun of our system, and let the main desire of our souls be to live the life of faith in Him, and daily know Him better. This was St. Paul's Christianity. "To me to live is Christ." (Phillipians 1:21).

Taken from the book Expository Thoughts on the Gospels by J.C. Ryle 1856

A great quote. Thanks Jeff! May we keep the Son at the center of all other orbits! Often heresy or distorted Christianity is merely shifting the center from Christ himself to some aspect of doctrine that is mean to point to Christ not itself.

Study the Word!

Study therefore, oh, study the Scriptures much, for thus the Lord will pour wine and oil into your bleeding wounds, and in due time you will say as David did, "In the multitude of my thoughts, O Lord, thy comforts have comforted my soul," (Psalms 94:19).

Taken from the book A Lifting Up For The Downcast by William Bridge 1649

Desperate for Grace

Another good one from Jeff:

There is enough within your soul, O Christian, though you are one of the best of saints, to destroy you in an hour unless the grace of God guards you and keeps your passions in check, and prevents your stubborn will from asserting its own rebellious determinations.

Taken from the book God Loves You by Charles Spurgeon 1834-1892