Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Recent conversations I've had with Christian friends have reminded me of the importance of biblical discernment in making lifestyle choices and the danger of doing so by unbiblical rules which lead to legalism. This is not a tangential issue. If we cling to a list of rules instead of to the Cross we abandon the gospel itself. But if we live without discernment we deny the holiness to which the gospel saves us. Therefore, I'm happy to recommend a new, excellent, little book on this topic designed to help us on both counts: Worldliness, edited by CJ Mahaney. Here's a taste to whet your appetite:

Some people try to define worldliness as living outside a specific set of rules or conservative standards. If you listen to music with a certain beat, dress in fashionable clothes, watch movies with a certain rating or indulge in certain luxuries of modern society, surely you must be worldly.

Others, irritated and repulsed by rules that seem arbitrary, react to definitions of worldliness, assuming it's impossible to define. Or they think legalism will inevitably be the result, so we shouldn't even try.

Ready for a surprise? Both views are wrong. For by focusing exclusively on externals or dismissing the importance of externals, we've missed the point. John - inspired by the Holy Spirit - takes the debate to a whole other level. He takes it inside, for that's where worldliness is. It exists in our hearts.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Weekly Foretaste of Heaven

In recent years I've become increasingly convinced of the special blessing God designed Sunday to be for our joy. In the following clip Ligon Duncan gives pastors advice about how to approach it with the priorities and attitude to make it the weekly foretaste of heaven God intended. I think his wisdom can help us all embrace Sunday as a day of rest, worship and joy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Revelation Made Easy

Last Sunday as I began our new series in Revelation, I made reference to the excellent interpretive principles for our understanding of the book in Dan Hyde's article entitled, "How Do I Read The Book of Revelation?" During the message I only had time to give you five of Hyde's seven principles, all of which are worthy of our consideration. Therefore, you can read the article in its entirety by clicking here.

For too long Revelation has been for many Christians at best strange and at worst scary and intimidating. I hope you will find Hyde's principles bringing as much clarity and understanding to your reading of the book of Revelation as I have. Lord willing as the months pass we'll find our love, obedience and worship of the Savior growing as a result.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Tale of Two Husbands

Few decisions in life are so far reaching as those made by married men. As the leaders of their homes, they have the potential to affect their families in profound ways for good or bad. In light of that I've been reflecting today on the recent decisions of two husbands whose decisions have left large wakes behind them - for good and bad.

First is the decision of my friend Luke to resign from his job for the sake of his wife. And it wasn't just any job. It was a ministry staff position in a good church seemingly custom made for his gifts and personality. Luke was a blessing to many in his position, he made inroads into the community for the Kingdom of God and led a number of people to Christ and was discipling many more. Luke was a cohesive fit on the church staff. Everything looked 'right' about his job - aside from the fact that his wife, finding herself in a very foreign, very challenging context, was dying on the vine at home. So what did Luke do? He said 'no' to the church so he could say 'yes' to his wife. He's now looking at a position in a context more suited to his family's needs. Luke put hands and feet to the biblical reality which recognizes that Christ promised to build His church but commanded us to love our wives sacrificially. Luke is a husband imitating Jesus.

What a contrast Luke's story is to the other husband on my radar today, the famed singer of Christian music Ray Boltz. For twenty years thousands have packed churches and auditoriums to hear Boltz sing songs like 'Thank You', 'Watch the Lamb' and 'I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb.' I, myself, have appreciated his music at times. Therefore, what sad news to hear that he's come out of the closet as a homosexual and divorced his wife and devastated the lives of his four children. Boltz proves that when Christian husbands sin against their wives, the waves are profound.

It's a tale of two husbands - one saying 'no' to himself and 'yes' to his wife to the glory of God despite the pain; the other saying 'yes' to his own selfish lusts in disregard for the precious bride God by His grace gave him to serve. It's a tale of two husbands. Which one are you?

9.21.08 - You won't want to miss it!

You will not want to miss this Sunday - or any other Sunday as far as that goes.

9:00AM - We have the privilege of having our Sudan Team Leader from ReachGlobal with us during our Sunday School hour. Be there!

10:30 AM - Andy will begin a new sermon series in the book of Revelation. Be there!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Best...Sermons

Shortly after I was converted back in 1987 I began listening to radio preachers in order to supplement my own church attendance and study of Scripture. Thanks to the Web we now have excellent, biblical, Christ-centered messages at our disposal to download and listen to 24/7. I can think of few better ways to redeem the time we spend driving, doing dishes, folding laundry, etc.

Continuing the theme of 'The Best Of...' from my Summer '08, here is a link to the two best sermons I've listened to in the past few months (thanks Dawn Talley for the tip):

Click HERE for the sermons.

These messages by Dave Harvey have become a mainstay I keep returning to in bringing the Cross to bear in my relational sin. So biblical, so sound, so convicting, so liberating, so Christ-exalting!