How Our Children Come to Faith Poster

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WORD

September 9, 2008

Most Christians don’t read the Bible.

I recently read that less than 10% of professing Christians have read the whole Bible.

I grew up in going to church being told that I needed to read my Bible to be a good Christian. I was motivated by guilt to read it once in a while, but for the most part thought the Bible was boring and I never really got into it.

It was when I started reading the Bible with fresh eyes that God completely rocked my world. He changed my ideas about the Bible, about what God was like, who Jesus was and what Christianity was all about.

My prayer is that through this post God will give you more of a hunger, a thirst, a passion, a burning desire to get to know Him on a whole new level and that His Word would make you a completely new person.

WHAT IS THE BIBLE?

WHO WROTE THE BIBLE?

WHY DO WE AWAYS TEACH FROM THE BIBLE AT DOXA?

WHAT MAKES THE BIBLE SO SPECIAL?

WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT?

WHY DO SHOULD READ THE BIBLE?

WHY READ THE BIBLE?

* IT CLAIMS TO BE THE WORD OF GOD

We believe that the Bible is the revealed Word of God. Even through it was physically written by men, the ultimate author was almighty God.

The church didn’t make this up. The Bible says that about itself. The Bible isn’t here because of the church, the church is here because of the Bible.

Over 2000 times in the Old Testament alone the Bible calls itself the Word of God.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Pet 1:21

For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

The Bible is a collection of God’s Words written by men for you. God speaks to us through His Word just as real as two friends having a conversation face to face.

* THE BIBLE IS TRUE

John 17:17

Sanctify them by the truth, your Word is truth.

Just because the Bible says its true, doesn’t prove that is. It could be lying. There are lots of reason I believe the Bible is true.

-Evidence of how God has used the Bible to change my life.

-Historical and archeological evidence.

-Seeing other people’s lives changed by the Bible.

-Thousands of fulfilled prophecy.

-Amazing unity of the Scriptures…the what?

* THE UNITY OF THE SCRIPTURES

One thing that makes the Bible different from any other book is its unity.

It is unified. Each part needs the others to be complete. There is complete harmony that cannot be explained by coincidence.

Josh McDowell says, “The unity of the Scriptures is only one reason among many which supports the Bible’s claim to be the divine Word of God. Others which could be explained in detail are the testimony of the early church, the witness of history and archeology, the evidence of changed lives throughout the centuries, to name but a few.”

If you where to take ten people who are similar. Ask each one of them separately their opinion on one controversial question. And then compare their answers. Of course they will not agree.

The Bible was written over a period of 1500 years, by more than 40 different authors. These guys came from a wide range of backgrounds.

-Joshua was a military leader

-Daniel was a prime minister

-Peter was a fisherman

-Nehemiah was a cupbearer

-Luke a physician

The Bible was written at a variety of different places.

-Moses wrote in the wilderness

-Paul wrote in prison

-John wrote in exile

The Bible was written on three different continents: Asia, Africa, Europe.

The Bible was written in three different languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.

Yet the Bible is a unit. It is unified from beginning to end.

Written by different people, from different backgrounds, over 1500 years, in different places in extremely different parts of the world the Bible is unified. Not once does the Bible contradict itself. This is not just improbably, it is impossible.

The Bible talks about many controversial subjects. But it never contradicts itself. One part of the Bible always fits in and agrees with every other part of the Bible.

Not only that, the Bible written by different people, from different backgrounds, over 1500 years, in different places in extremely different parts of the world the Bible has ONE unifying theme, Jesus Christ.

The Bible is all about Jesus. From beginning to end there is one unfolding story of God’s plan of salvation for mankind, salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the theme of the entire Bible.

The Old Testament is the preparation for Jesus.

The Gospels reveal Jesus.

The book of Acts spreads the news of Jesus.

The Epistles explain who Jesus is.

Revelation brings everything together and talks of our future with Jesus.

The Bible is God’s Words telling us that our Heavenly Father is head over heels in love with you. No matter what you’ve done, He loves you. There is nothing that you can do that will make God love you more, or love you less. The Bible says that “God demonstrates His own love for us in this, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” There is no greater love in all the world than the love of God for you! Let that truth sink into your soul. The Bible says that you are precious and loved by God. The Bible truly does carry the ultimate message of God’s incredible love to us. God’s love letter to you.

The Bible is God’s Word. It is actually God’s words to you and me. As real as if God were speaking directly into our lives it is for every situation in life.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

You want to live God’s plan for your life? Ask God to give you a deep passion, a deep love, a yearning, a hunger, a thirst for His Word. I challenge you to read it. Study it. Think about it. Memorize it. Listen to it. Meditate on it. The Word of God reveals the person of God and God is greater than we can grasp!

Don’t Waste Your Sports

September 7, 2008

The audio recording from C.J.’s message Sunday at Covenant Life Church:

Don’t Waste Your Sports
C.J. Mahaney
1 Corinthians 10:31
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Covenant Life Church; Gaithersburg, MD
57:34 run time; 13.2MB MP3

Download here.

HT: Sovereign Grace

Art by David Somerville.

How are you growing in your faith?  Are you memorizing scripture?  Have you committed yourself to spending time praying to God or reading His word each day?  Are you leading in an area of ministry in your church?  Have you asked someone to be your accountability partner?  What are you doing?

There will never be a time in life when anyone has everything about the Bible and what it means to be a follower of Christ completely figured out, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be striving to know God more and to continue to mature as Christians.  Christianity isn’t a spectator sport, it’s a way of life that is focused on doing … praying, serving, loving, knowing, teaching, believing, listening, reading, worshipping, striving, perservering, sacerficing, trusting, sharing, and growing … all suggest that, as Christians, we are to be all about doing.  We aren’t meant to be stuck half awake in pews once a week … that’s not what Christianity is about.  So what are you DOING to GROW in your faith in Christ?

HT: Christian Striver via The Plow

The Purpose of Clothing

In the second of a series of messages on the topic of marriage, John Piper turned his attention, briefly, to the issue of clothing, for men and women.

The sermon was delivered this past Sunday, providential timing for all of us as we prepare for the release of the Modesty Survey results. What is more exciting, Piper hinted at the possibility of a full message on the topic of clothing in the near future.

Take a minute or two to read and digest what Piper says in the following excerpt from his sermon manuscript. You can read, watch or listen to the sermon here.

Then God Clothed Them
By John Piper © DesiringGod.org

What does it mean that God clothed [Adam and Eve]? Was he confirming their hypocrisy? Was he aiding and abetting their pretense? If they were naked and shame-free before the Fall, and if they put on clothes to minimize their shame after the Fall, then what is God doing by clothing them even better than they can clothe themselves? I think the answer is that he is doing something with a negative message and something with a positive message.

Negatively, he is saying: You are not what you were and you are not what you ought to be. The chasm between what you are and what you ought to be is huge. Covering yourself with clothing is a right response to this—not to conceal it, but to confess it. Henceforth, you shall wear clothing, not to conceal that you are not what you should be, but to confess that you are not what you should be. One practical implication of this is that public nudity today is not a return to innocence but rebellion against moral reality. God ordains clothes to witness to the glory we have lost, and it is added rebellion to throw them off.

And for those who rebel in the other direction and make clothes themselves a means of power and prestige and attention getting, God’s answer is not a return to nudity but a return to simplicity (1 Timothy 2:9-10). Clothes are not meant to make people think about what is under them. Clothes are meant to direct attention to what is not under them: Arms and hands that serve others in the name of Christ, “beautiful” feet that carry the gospel to where it is needed, and the brightness of a face that has beheld the glory of Jesus.

Additional Modesty Resources

  • The Responsibility of Modesty (Part 2): Excerpted from the survey results, a 22-year-old Christian man shares an insightful analogy explaining the responsibility of women to protect their brothers in Christ.
  • Free To Be Modest: Nancy Leigh DeMoss explains how living under the Ownership and Lordship of Jesus Christ, frees us to be modest.

Leeland - Opposite Way - In Stores February 26th

Here are excerpts of an interview the guys at Rebelution did last October for Do Hard Things with Leeland frontman and namesake, 19-year-old Leeland Mooring.

Mooring stated:

“Our new album is meant to encourage our generation to live passionately for the Lord, even when it means going the ‘opposite way’ of the world,” they explain. “Our goal is to be a creative outlet, helping to raise up a new generation of worshippers who do whatever it takes to make that ‘opposite way’ a reality in their lives.”

Read the entire interview here.

HT: The Rebelution

Known For What We Do

July 5, 2008

Known For What We Do

Bre Engel is a high school senior from Indiana and a member of The Rebelution Forums. Along with other young people from her church Bre participated in some community service projects and gave a report to her local church. Afterwards she heard a man saying, “Aren’t you glad these kids aren’t out smoking pot or drinking, but are instead doing service for our community?”

“That comment just broke my heart,” writes Bre, “because there truly is a level of mediocrity that has infiltrated not just our culture, but our churches as well.” Being considered a “good teen” only requires that we don’t do “bad stuff” like taking drugs, drinking, and wild partying. But is it enough to be known for what we don’t do, or should we be known for what we do?

What Does The Bible Say?

Psalm 1 tells us that “blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord on His law he meditates day and night.”

Charles Spurgeon comments, “Perhaps some of you can claim a sort of negative purity, because you do not walk in the way of the ungodly; but let me ask you–Is your delight in the law of God? Do you study God’s Word? Do you make it the man of your right hand–your best companion and hourly guide?” If not, he concludes, the blessing of Psalm 1 doesn’t belong to you.

God’s Word is clear that just “not sinning” is no standard. We’re not only called to “flee youthful lusts” but to “pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace” (2 Timothy 2:22). We’re not only called to “put to death what is earthly in us” but to “put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3).

In order to reach God’s standard for young people and to enjoy the blessing that He promises, we must get beyond simply avoiding bad stuff. The Apostle Paul makes this calling clear when he writes, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

We’re Fighting Low Expectations

Once we understand God’s expectations we can see how dangerous it is to live in a culture that tells us we’re “good kids” just because of what we don’t do. The obvious question becomes: “What are we doing instead?” Are we doing hard things? Are we growing? My dog doesn’t go to wild parties, that doesn’t make him a good kid.

An education expert recently observed that the current ceiling for students is much closer to where the floor ought to be. The very most our culture expects of us is that we don’t take drugs, drink, or sleep around — but that’s the very least God expects from us. We are told to let our light shine before men that they may see our good works and give glory to God (Matthew 5:16) and that by our love all men will know that we follow Christ (John 13:35).

We must be known for what we do. Not in order to be saved, but because we are saved; not in order to earn God’s favor, but with the favor of His help.

As always, our goal is not just to provide information but also to encourage thoughtful discussion. Here’s a few questions to get us started:

  • Have you ever found yourself getting complacent because of what you don’t do? If so, how have you dealt with it?
  • Have you had an experience similar to Bre’s?
  • What would be a biblical response to someone telling you that you are exceptional just because you’re not involved in certain activities?
  • What kind of activities should teens be known for?

If you’re from the Des Moines area, I’d like to invite you to join us for some free, family-friendly fun under the stars this Friday night. We’ll be showing Evan Almighty. Please join us under the stars if you’re able and feel free to invite neighbor or pass the word on to anyone you think might be interested.

The movie will be shown at Westkirk Presbyterian Church in Urbandale (2700 Colby Woods Dr.) and will begin shortly after sunset. Please bring a battery operated radio and blankets or folding chairs for your comfort … and, of course, don’t forget your bug spray. I hope to see you there.