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Food Choices, Church Choices and Their Effects on Living

I’ve been threatening, gathering, pondering and chunk writing portions of a new series (which, at this rate, will end up as a book) on reasons to leave your current ‘not-heretical-but-not-really-deep-theologically’ church for one that is. My friends and my own life experiences are continually giving me new source material to write and use as illustrations.

So you’re at a church that doesn’t teach anything overtly heretical, but the sermons are rather ‘light’ in doctrinal content. The preacher may be content with giving you practical (supposedly) sermons week to week which seem to be ‘how to’ more than anything else. All well and fine. We do need to know ‘how to’ from time to time. But you find yourself a bit ‘critical’ of the sermon week to week – “not enough meat!” So you supplement your church’s sermons with podcasts from people you consider ‘meatier’ – MacArthur, Sproul, Piper, or any number of lesser known but solid biblical and exegetical pastors.

There’s an old saying – if the cook doesn’t eat here, why should you ?

Maybe that’s a bit too strong. Maybe your church is more like this: Not adequately consistent on biblical teaching. The equivalent of eating steak one day, McFood Product 3-4 days out of the week, a McFood Product Apple Pie one day and then one day it’s potluck.

Since we’re running with food illustrations, let me add one more.

My wife and I recently started (maybe over the past 6-8 months) moving the bulk of our diet to being more organic. So we eat at Silver Diner (because they’ve switched over to organic) and Chipoltle as our primary food places if/when we eat outside. The occasional Chic-Fil-A comes in every once in a while (emergency food – but at least we know they serve real chicken) and Arby’s (my wife used to work there, so she knows how the food is prepped – at least the beef).

Since the new food choices have come into play, several things have happened.

1. We’re finding out that processed and non-fresh foods (i.e. canned fruit cocktail versus fresh fruit that you chop up or that is prepared the same day) don’t retain their flavor or their nutritional value. For example, at an event my wife and I went to, my wife (who loves fruit) didn’t finish the fruit cocktail she got (it was one of the healthier choices). She said it didn’t taste like anything. In the past, she used to be able to devour canned fruit cocktail all day….but now…not so much. Fresh fruit tastes better and as you spend extended time around fresh, canned begins to lose its’ appeal.

2. We’re finding ourselves having more energy to do more things. Healthier diet and lifestyle = more energy. The old food choices we used to do (rushing around with little time to cook) tended to ‘fill’ us up, but it left us feeling sluggish and tired afterward. As we’ve learned in researching some restaurants, some of it is because most or ALL of the nutritional value of some foods was pretty much NON-EXISTENT. So your body was working harder to draw nutrients out of something that didn’t have nutrients in it to begin with. Therefore, you’re left tired. Related to that is the additional fact that some of the food which DID have some nutritional value was also high in fat and sodium. So now, the remainder of your body’s energy is spent converting stuff to BAD fat and the sodium content is sapping your body of fluids, dehydrating you. So your body has to work harder to process less and you end up with less energy, altered moods, physiological issues, chemical imbalance, etc… This affects your thinking and communication skills as well. When we switched to organic choices (and added some harder work/regular exercise to the mix), things started to change gradually. At the end of last school year, I did the school yearbook, kept up with the school website and a plethora of changes, did two performances 3 days before the end of the school year and a few dozen other things that normally, I would’ve been completely burnt out to do. I’m not saying I wasn’t tired at the end But compared to last year, I’ve found myself recovering quicker.

3. Overshare time (wife cringing as I type this) !!! We’ve found ourselves more apt to get rid of…stuff. This has also helped with losing weight (since we’re not holding onto stuff in our intestines for extended periods of time) and digestion (good food digests easier).

These three points have great theological significance. Churches that are light on their treatment of theological topics and issues often find their members working harder (whether it be to work themselves into a shout and live off of the emotional high for the next week, or thinking that the various programs and outreaches they get involved in are the equivalent of growth and being spiritual) with diminishing returns (because now they have to involve themselves in ‘more’ over time just to feel like they are ‘doing the Lord’s work’ or ‘serving Him’ or ‘worshipping Him in Spirit and in Truth’).

No real spiritual nutritional value. Just empty spiritual calories to fill you up. ‘How-to’ sermons divorced from their theological and biblical foundations, become morality lessons. Morality lessons don’t transform your way of thinking and they don’t save people. And you can only live off a cliché or morality lesson…until real trials strike.

Good spiritual food (in the form of consistent sound doctrine and good teaching) is like eating steak, organic chicken, fresh vegetables and such….every day. Good food on a regular basis helps your body grow stronger and keeps you free of most diseases. Likewise, good spiritual food will keep you free of most of the pitfalls that some believers constantly face and struggle with (i.e. “Am I good enough now to merit God’s favor beyond Him just saving me ?”). But the key is this: you have to be in the atmosphere consistently. That means you don’t simply live off of podcasts, tapes, CDs and DVDs, but you have people alongside of you who believe the same things, encouraging and strengthening you to move forward. You have a shepherd who consistently teaches and preaches these things every week. Your church consciously is modeled after this line of thought.

As other members of your community are being transformed by the preaching on Sunday and teaching throughout the week, they, in turn, pass that on to you as you interact with them. And as you find yourself being transformed, you pass that back to them. This ‘mutual edification’ gives you the spiritual strength necessary to endure all sorts of trials as they come.

Your view of God changes in a sounder atmosphere. God goes from being a benevolent grandfather up in heaven looking down at you and smiling and waiting to give you all sorts of gifts (because He’s nice and loving) to being the Almighty Creator of the universe, before whom, you deserve nothing but wrath and death, but who instead chooses to give you love, blessings and salvation. Realizing your condition makes God appear as He should – much bigger, much more awesome and then it hits you…. His love for you doesn’t depend on your performance. He didn’t save you because of something you did or would do. He didn’t “see the best in you” and then save you based on that.

It’s easy to think of yourself as being ‘worthy’ of a certain kind of love and knowing that your mate or another human being loves you because you’re you. There’s even a song out about it now (The Best In Me by Marvin Sapp). But knowing that God loves you when the best of ‘you’ is filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) and coming to realize that it doesn’t depend on you at all…well…that’s humility-producing.

It also produces a different kind of sanctification. You’ll find yourself more apt to self-examination (per 2 Cor. 13 and all of 1 John) and find yourself jettisoning as much ‘waste’ in your life that weighs you down from running toward the goal of Christlikeness.

Now I hear, on regular basis, people say things like “well, maybe some people are built up by things from this style of preaching versus that ‘theological’ stuff.” That, to me, falls in line with thinking that “ Well, maybe some people are built up by eating unhealthy food versus all that ‘organic stuff’.”

Objectively speaking, there’s only one meaning to the text of scripture. It cannot mean one thing and the exact opposite of that one thing at the same time. Objectively speaking, only ‘real spiritual food’ brings real spiritual growth. In other words, if what gets taught is false doctrine, no matter how the person feels about it, they are not being built up in the faith. They may be built up in habit, tradition, feeling, thinking and experiencing, but these things are not the Christian faith as taught in scripture.

In food analogy terms: one cannot say that McDonalds builds up people in a healthy fashion and that real beef from one cow builds up people just as well. Both statements are mutually exclusive (if you know how McDonalds’ meat gets mushed together from several different animals in varying shades of health). One is good for you and provides more nutrients for your body.  One is not and provides little nutrients for your body, gives you unwanted antibiotics, possible disease contamination (because those cows aren’t in the healthiest of shape and they eat a lot of filler).  Both taste differently.  So although both might fill you up, don’t mistake being full for being healthy. Both are having different effects on your body over the long haul.

I’ve encountered people who, after eating so much fast food for so many years, really don’t have a taste for real food. They have a taste for food…but not healthy food. And like children, over time, they must be weaned off of the bad food in order to develop a taste for the good.

A few ramblings of a man determined to nudge folks on to better ‘food choices’. I already know that some people will be moderately offended by it because they know that their church has good food. I teach middle school kids who think that McDonalds’ is good food too. But I’ve also been humble enough to sit and watch Super-Size Me and follow up on that with personal research. I also realize that middle school kids don’t necessarily have the maturity and capacity to think at the level of ‘what is this doing to my body over long periods of time’ because they’ve been trained up (by culture, society, media and parents) to have everything ‘now’ and focus on ‘now’. Likewise, there are many believers who have been trained up to not think critically and use their minds to the glory of God (Deut. 6:5).

The thing with good food, though…even if your palate has been trained to love fast food, you can be weaned off of it and moved over to real food. You can grow teeth that will bite into and rend steak. You can develop a taste for fresh fruit so that canned longer appeals to you. It takes time, work and the same way you would reprogram your muscles with daily workouts to grow stronger, you’d need to reprogram your appetite with good foods.

All that said…move somewhere with fresh, real, healthy, nutritious food. Nothing scripture says that you should remain at a place that is malnourishing you. You have friends at these places ? Instead of staying for their benefit, why not bring them with you to your new place of eating ?

The Sovereignty of God and HD Crashes

Day before yesterday, while using the laptop near a hard surface, I’d accidentally knocked it over.  Mind you, my laptop HD had been gradually starting to click since the middle of last year.  I preemptively bought a 630GB internal HD that I’d planned on transferring everything to in late May, but didn’t get around to doing so.

Well, it (my 320GB internal HD in the laptop) finally died, much to my dismay.

I bought a 1TB external for more back ups, but the old 320GB internal isn’t coming up.  And I have (literally) 30-50GB of new things I’ve been doing since my last back up (which was January).  While it was still in the laptop, it WAS coming up as a Firewire drive, but now as USB….nothing.

It’s another one of those “Live Your Theology” moments, as I’ve found myself having to come back to the point of realizing that even a hardware malfunction with the data arm of a hard drive is not outside of the Sovereign control of God. And once again moving back to Romans 8:28, I must remember that all things (including this) are working together for my ultimate good and His highest glory.

I must not form my theology based on my experiences, but allow my theology to dictate how my experiences should be interpreted rightly.  Too many people do it the other way and end up denying that God is God.  They say He is ‘Sovereign but not in control’ and other rubbish.  They say that God didn’t know the future, otherwise He would’ve never allowed a tree to fall and strike someone’s car, killing them instantly or (fill in your calamity here).

Repeatedly in scripture, we’re confronted with God knowing and ordaining things as tiny as a bird falling from a tree (Matthew 10:28-29) to things as large as kingdoms coming into power and specific rulers coming to power (Cyrus in Isaiah 45, Daniel 4:29-37).  It is foolishness to think that God doesn’t know the future or is simply a casual observer to it, fretting all the bad things that happen. It’s insulting to call God a chess player who reacts and ‘always has the upper hand’ after a tragedy of sorts strikes. We cannot speak out of both sides of our mouth and call God Sovereign, yet deny that He is in control of every molecule in the universe.

So while I sit here and pray with my wife, I’ll be putting in a call to MacAuthority in the morning (and a few other places) to see how many hundreds of dollars I’ll be spending to retrieve all the video and audio work I’ve built up since January.  In the meantime, I’m thankful for my wonderful wife who has constantly reminded me to pray first before taking out a hammer to strike things and get them working again. 🙂

Appreciating Mark Driscoll and Theo-Cultural Blindness

Last year, John MacArthur (whom I highly respect) blasted Mark Driscoll on some comments he’d made in a previous sermon on the Song of Solomon overseas.  I also found out that in late 08 into 09, Driscoll preached a new series and also did some ‘spring cleaning’ to his website for Mars Hill – including deleting the old sermons.

A few weeks ago, while staying up insanely late grading papers (I’m took off from work today to head to a dentist appointment in 6.5 hours of writing this…which means I got sleep for about 3-4 before I went there), I gave a listen to his sermon on Birth Control.

I think, sometimes, that some well-meaning folks have been misreading Driscoll.  Someone who visited Fourth Friday Fundamentals a while back stated that ‘if you knew what he had to deal with, you’d understand why he talks the way he talks. In Seattle, this isn’t considered ‘edgy’ – it’s normal’.  Listening to one of his (Driscoll’s) comments about how he went into a store and a lady confronted him and asked him why does he have five kids (at which point the lady broke into the overpopulation argument and the lack of food argument…both of which are false), hearing about how people frequently picket his church (mostly feminist groups and homosexual groups), death threats and the like, I understand the man quite a bit more now.

I *am* glad that he’s cleaned up his language over the years.  Earlier in the decade, some of the things coming from his mouth made it pretty impossible for me to recommend him as anything more than a Christian shock-jock.  I’m glad to say (from listening to some of his more recent sermons) that he’s matured a bit, specifically since speaking at the DG Conference on the very issue of language a couple of years ago.

Mark Driscoll isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea.  If you come from a micropresbyterian denomination where you hold strictly to the RPW, don’t do much interaction on social media and/or watch anything other than FoxNews and the History Channel, Mark Driscoll *might* appear worldly to you, since he does something your church tends not to do – interact with the culture, critique it from a biblical standpoint, confront worldliness and persistent sin directly and call it what it is without selling out the gospel (versus simply cursing the darkness from inside the citadel of light you inhabit).  If you are easily offended at someone actually showing passion and emotion in their preaching…. you probably don’t like John Piper. So you probably won’t like Driscoll either.  You probably won’t care for the music at his church either.

That’s okay.   No one’s making it mandatory for you to listen to him.  But I *do* see him attacking from a pastoral perspective, a lot of tough questions and he has a tendency to nail them head on biblically.

Oh wait – now you think he’s all ‘practical’ and not doctrinal. To those folks I’ll simply say….check his sermon archive on the Mars Hill website.  He does a good job of being both biblical and practical, as good preaching should be.

Anyway, that’s my present take on the issue. I can recommend Driscoll now, even while I don’t agree with everything he does at MHC.  If his preaching is reflective of the life of the church, then Driscoll’s church is a healthy church.

No, they aren’t consistently confessional.  No, they aren’t cessationists. No, their worship doesn’t look like 1647.  At the same time, they aren’t filled with false fire (aka happy clappy), doctrinally they are within the reformed tradition and you will definitely hear the gospel every week at this church. All these things are good.

I think we forget sometimes – church men in all eras make mistakes.  The thing is, we all don’t make (or aren’t prone to make) the same mistakes.  Think for a moment if Edwards or Dabney were alive. Would you support their owning of slaves ?  No, but a lot of ‘reformed’ folks have a tendency to show grace to these men by passing off their mistakes in these areas as blind spots, the men simply being ‘products of their time’.   Their works are still recommended, read and proliferated.  Yet, these men committed heinous sins by being engaged in American (key word) slavery.  A black man considered 3/5 of a person (versus Lev. 19:18) ?

What will people from future generations look back at this generation’s Christians and say “What in the WORLD were they thinking about when they did that ?”  People look at the RPW (at least the Exclusive Psalmody aspect of it) now and think that very same thing.  People look back at Geneva and wonder what convinced the city legislature that they had the authority to execute folk for blasphemy.

Just some thoughts.

On John Piper, Sabbaticals and Rick Warren

Okay, so reading the comments on John Piper’s video where he invites Rick Warren to speak at the 2010 DG National Conference, Piper already predicted a firestorm of controversy for his decision.

Boy was he right.

This happens to come right on the heels of him announcing a nine-month sabbatical to work on his marriage and devote more time to his family. So some people are suspecting it’s a combination of poor judgement in all areas of his life which are leading to the ‘step down’ (just read the comments onthe video above).

Some, like Lane Chaplin, have expressed no further desire to support JP.

Others are simply decrying the decision as poor judgement.

Some are ready to toss Piper to the wolves, as they’ve been calling Piper things such as a ‘Trojan Horse‘ for years now.

I find it a bit interesting that Piper’s topic at Together for the Gospel 2010 (which I won’t be attending) is “Did Jesus Preach the Gospel of Evangelicalism ?“, which, in light of the theme of The Unadjusted Gospel, seems rather contradictory.  Why invite a man to speak at your national conference who actually preaches the very thing that you’re going to be speaking against at T4G ?

Upon giving Piper a listen, I *think* I have a fair idea of what Piper is up to.  It’s real simple.

Listen carefully to what he says to Rick Warren and what he asks Rick Warren to preach on.

When I wrote him, here’s what I said. And he’ll probably watch this video too. I said, “The conference is called ‘THINK: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God. I want you to come. You are the most well-known pragmatist pastor in the world. I don’t think you are a pragmatist at root. Come and tell us why thinking biblically matters to you in your amazingly pragmatic approach to ministry.” I want him to lay his cards on the table. I want him to tell us what makes him tick, because he does come across in much of what he says and does as very results oriented and pragmatic and not theologically driven. And yet, I met him for the first time last year at Ralph Winter’s funeral in Pasadena. And we sat beside each other on the platform for three hours. I like him because he sings. And he sings badly. And anybody who’s willing to sing and sings badly — I like him. And we were talkin’ beforehand and he said to me, “I’m reading all the works of Jonathan Edwards this year. I pick a great theologian every year and I read all of his collected works. I’m on volume 17 of the Yale series of Jonathan Edward’s works.” You’ve got to be kidding me. Nothin’ you have ever said would incline me to think . . . *CROWD LAUGHTER – TEE HEE!* So, these guys are gonna go interview him tomorrow, I think. So you can quote some of these things. I do think he is deeply theological. He is a brilliant man. He wouldn’t have the church he does or the PEACE plan or, uh, all the influence he does and of course the greatest sentence in the Purpose Driven Life is the first one, isn’t it? “It’s not about you; it’s about God.” The glory of God. So, I don’t think he’s emergent. At root I believe he is theological, and doctrinal, and sound. And, what makes him tick? Actively in doing church? Uh, I intend to find out. So, I like him. And I’m frustrated by some of his stuff.”

Folks like Michael Horton have interacted with Warren in the past and share the same theological concerns that Piper does in his last sentence here.

What was Piper thinking ?

I’m guessing the following:

1. For all the people who say Piper’s lost it, think for a moment.  The man has written the best present-day exegetical defense of Romans 9:1-23.  As a single author, he’s probably devoted more work toward answering the errors of N.T. Wright regarding the New Perspective.  He’s not stupid.   So when John Piper says “I think he’s sound”, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and not try to disown him as some have tried to do in their talks.  Piper wouldn’t invite, for example, Joel Osteen to speak at DG.  Why ? Simple – Osteen wouldn’t quote from the WCF.  Osteen also wouldn’t read Edwards (or any other theologian for that matter). Warren at least has degrees from Fuller (when it was still moderately biblical) and Southwestern.  So he has demonstrated the very thing Piper says he suspects of him.   Of course, he’s also contradicted the bulk of that in many of his talks, which brings me to point #2:

2. Piper’s question and speaking topic are HEAVILY loaded and quite blatant.  If Warren answers them honestly and from the suspected ‘theological’ basis sitting underneath of what he claims to privately believe, then he will end up refuting a good 99% of what he’s written in Purpose Driven Church and at least 80% of Purpose Driven Life.

3. Piper’s opening up larger dialogue with Warren and challenging him to grow here. He’s doing what some people say they would do if they had the chance.  He’s doing the opposite of simply spitting and cursing at the darkness – he’s lighting a candle here.

I think it’s a brilliant move and a brilliant gamble on Piper’s part.    Having 2-3 extra days to think on it, I’m not sure it will work, as Warren has proven himself to be a bit of a chameleon (and I’ve been around some of his disciples who do the same).  Part of the reason for that, of course, is that they never stop to think deeply about the implications of the doctrines of grace (or theology in general) and simply file away doctrinal truths as facts.

Piper’s invitation cuts to the heart of that sort of thinking.  I’m waiting to see what the outcome will be in Warren’s speech.

Meanwhile, instead of damning Pastor John as some have done, take the time and pray for him.  Ministry is a hard job and many armchair theologians are a bit too quick to hit the ‘submit’ button on their blogs, but not submit their thinking to a theology of grace regarding others.   At worst, treat him as a brother caught in sin and pray for his repentance.  At best, pray that his intentions for inviting Warren have the desired effect and help to bring Warren face to face with bankruptcy of his own pragmatism.

A Theology of Thankfulness: Psalm 103

[CSF] God the All-Seeing One – 3

With a little of the previous post and more added on, here’s Dr. Spurgeon again:

God knows the burial-places of all his people. He notes as well the resting-place of the man who is buried tombless and alone, as the man over whom a mighty mausoleum has been raised. The traveler who fell in the barren desert, whose body became the prey of the vulture, and whose bones were bleached in the sun—the mariner, who was wrecked far out at sea, and over whose corpse no dirge was ever wailed, except the howling of the winds, and the murmuring of the wild waves—the thousands who have perished in battle, unnumbered and unnoticed—the many who have died alone, amid dreary forests, frozen seas, and devouring snow-storms—all these, and the places of their sepulchre, are known to God. That silent grot within the sea, where pearls lie deep, where now the shipwrecked one is sleeping, is marked by God as the death-place of one of his redeemed; that place upon the mountain-side, the deep ravine into which the traveler fell and was buried in a snow-drift, is marked in the memory of God as the tomb of one of the human race.

No body of man, however it may have been interred or uninterred, has passed beyond the range of God’s knowledge. Blessed be his name, if I shall die, and lie where the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep, in some neglected corner of the churchyard, I shall be known as well, and rise as well recognized by my glorious Father, as if interred in the cathedral, where forests of gothic pillars proudly stand erect, and where the songs of myriads perpetually salute high heaven. I shall be known as well as if I had been buried there in solemn pomp, and had been interred with music and with dread solemnities, and I shall be recognized as well as if the marble trophy and the famous pillar had been raised to my remembrance; for God knoweth no such thing as forgetfulness of the burying-places of his children.

Moses sleeps in some spot that eye hath not seen. God kissed away his soul, and he buried him where Israel could never find him, though they may have searched for him. But God knoweth where Moses sleeps; and if he knows that, he understands where all his children are hidden. Ye cannot bell me where is the tomb of Adam; ye could not point out to me the sleeping place of Abel. Is any man able to discover the tomb of Methuselah and those long-lived dwellers in the time before the flood? Who shall tell where the once-treasured body of Joseph now sleeps in faith? Can any of you discover the tombs of the kings, and mark the exact spot where David and Solomon rest in solitary grandeur? No, those things have passed from human recollection, and we know not where the great and mighty of the past are buried; but God knoweth, for death and Hades are open before the Lord.

And again, further, not only does he know the place where they were buried, but he is cognizant of the history of all their bodies after sepulture or after death. It has often been asked by the infidel, “How can the body of man be restored, when it may have been eaten by the cannibal, or devoured by wild beasts?” Our simple reply is, that God can track every atom of it if he pleases. We do not think it necessary to resurrection that he should do so, but if he so willed it, he could bring every atom of every body that hath ever died: although it hath passed through the most complicated machinery of nature, and become entangled in its passage with plants and beasts, yea, and with the bodies of other men, God hath it still within the range of his knowledge to know where every atom is, and it is within the might of his Omnipotence to call every atom from its wandering, and restore it to its proper sphere, and rebuild the body of which it was a part. It is true, we could not track the dust that long since has moldered.

Buried with exactest care, preserved with the most scrupulous reverence, years passed away, and the body of the monarch, which had long slept well guarded and protected, was at last reached by the careless hand. The coffin had moldered, and the metal was broken for the sake of its own value; a handful of dust was discovered, the last relics of one who was master of many nations. That dust by sacrilegious hand was cast in the aisle of the church, or thrown into the churchyard and blown by the winds into the neighboring field. It was impossible for ever to preserve it; the greatest care was defeated; and at last the monarch was on a level with his slave, “alike unknowing and unknown.” But God knows where every particle of the handful of dust has gone: he has marked in his book the wandering of every one of its atoms. He hath death so open before his view, that he can bring all these together, bone to bone, and clothe them with the very flesh that robed them in the days of yore, and make them live again. Death is open before the Lord.

– C.H. Spurgeon
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Often, men decry the very teachings in scripture that are designed to bring them comfort and assurance and build their reliance upon God.  Men remove absolute Sovereignty from God because they want to be the masters of their own fate, yet they pray as though He is Sovereignly in control once they come to the end of their own ability.

Men remove from God, His omniscience, because they want to operate as free and self-determining creatures, yet will grant God control over nature and other things and pray for the rain or a hurricane to stop.

How foolish are some of these things. It is evident from every page and passage of scripture that God not only sees all of time and knows all of time intimately down to the smallest subatomic particle, but He is Sovereign over all of time and every event in it. Nothing happens outside of His control – Job was not afflicted one moment more OR less than God permitted Satan to do to him. The famine in Moab that brought Ruth and Naomi back to Jerusalem was done so by the Lord in order for them to be in the right place, married to the right person to become the grandfather and grandmother of David, ancestor of Christ.  Joseph’s ordeal was seen, at the end of his life, to have been brought together and planned by God – it was God who sent him to Egypt….in order for him to save many more lives than just his own (Gen. 45:4-9, 50:20).

As my pastor has repeatedly said, the first teaching in  ‘God 101’ is that God is God. He does as He pleases, according to no other counsel but His own.  He sees everything – the death of every saint, the pain of every heart, the thoughts and motivations of every man….. and while this may bring a sense of dread and fear to the man who realizes his own sinfulness, it should also bring comfort.

God, who is rich in mercy, who sees not only the sins you have done, but the sins that you will do.

And if your faith and trust is in Him, He has already taken away the penalty for it.

Yes, even THAT one.

Your sins aren’t more powerful than God.

Soli Deo Gloria,
K. Joel Gilliard
http://theologicallycorrect.com

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Announcing: Fourth Friday Fundamentals!

Blending Christ-centered lyrics and rhyme schemes, expositional preaching, sound Biblical doctrine and fellowship among the saints, a few dedicated brothers have banded together to bring Fourth Friday Fundamentals to the Baltimore area. The site is available at FourthFridayFundamentals.com.

Roughly patterned after First Friday Fundamentals (sponsored by Epiphany Fellowship in Philly), FFF stresses four things:

1. The Holiness of God

2. The Sinfulness of Man

3. The Problem of Man’s Sinfulness in Light of God’s Holiness

4. The Solution to the Problem: The Gospel

Hit the media page up, check the first two messages (which actually cover these first two topics!).

If you’re in the Baltimore area on this coming Friday ( 2/22/08), drop in. We’d LOVE to have you. Directions to the event (held at Believers’ Chapel in Baltimore, MD) are on the site.

Pass the word and tell some friends!

More from Owen on Mortification

http://theologicallycorrect.com/?p=79. This book is a gold mine!