Learning and Living the God-centered life

One Biblical Doctrine at a time…
The Gospel

We need to understand the language of the gospel

Natively, the gospel is a foreign language to us and we need to learn that the grammar of the gospel is shaped by the gospel itself. He noted how hard it is for us as Americans to learn Latin. The verbs go at the end end. We are a doing community and it’s hard for us to put the “doing” at the end. But the gospel teaches us to put our doing word at the end and Jesus’ doing word at the beginning—but our native tendency is to drag back the doing word and put it at the beginning, and then top that up with Jesus’ doing, just to make life a little better.

There’s a very clear grammar, he said, in the gospel. . . .

The Mood of the Gospel

We need to learn that the grammar of the gospel has its appropriate mood.

In our languages today we speak in the indicative mood and the imperative mood. The indicative mood is saying these are the things that are true. The imperative mood is saying these are things you need to do. And in the gospel, the structure of the grammar is always indicative gives rise to imperative. . . .

The Tense of the Gospel

There’s also a tense of the gospel: the present is to be rooted in the past. You need to go backward to what Christ has done in order to go forward in what you are to do. There is an emphasis of the already and the mopping-up operation of the not-yet.

The Prepositions of the Gospel

Do you remember how Paul uses prepositions in Galatians 2:20-21, where in a few words he summarizes the work of Christ:

The Son of God loved me and gave himself for me;
and therefore I am crucified with Christ;
nevertheless, I live, but not I; Christ lives in me. Read More...

Understanding gospel centered living

Here is a great article from Tullian Tchividjian that will encourage you in what it means to live a gospel-centered life.

I’m ecstatic about the resurgence of gospel centrality taking place in the evangelical church. The idea that the gospel is not only for those outside the church but also for those inside the church; that it not only ignites the Christian life but is the fuel that keeps Christians going and growing every day, may seem like a new idea, but it’s really old. I’m glad it’s re-gaining traction, but as far as we’ve come, we need to go further.

For all the talk of gospel-centeredness, there’s still some fear and trepidation fueled by a common misunderstanding regarding the radical nature of grace. Even amongst the proponents of gospel-centrality, I still hear talk about there being two equal dangers that Christians must avoid: legalism and lawlessness.

Legalism, they say, happens when you focus too much on law, or rules. Lawlessness, they say, happens when you focus too much on grace. Therefore, in order to maintain spiritual equilibrium, you have to balance law and grace. Sometimes, legalism and lawlessness are presented as two ditches on either side of the gospel that we must avoid. If you start getting too much law, you need to balance it with grace. If you start getting too much grace, you need to balance it with law. But I’ve come to believe that this “balanced” way of framing the issue can unwittingly keep us from really understanding the gospel of grace in all of its radical depth and beauty.

It’s more theologically accurate to say that there is one primary enemy of the gospel—legalism—but it comes in two forms. Some people avoid the gospel and try to “save” themselves by keeping the rules, doing what they’re told, maintaining the standards, and so on (you could call this “front-door legalism”).

Other people avoid the gospel and try to “save” themselves by breaking the rules, doing whatever they want, developing their own autonomous standards, and so on (you could call this “back-door legalism”).

In other words, there are two “laws” we can choose to live by other than Christ: the law which says “I can find freedom and fullness of life if I keep the rules” or the law which says “I can find freedom and fullness of life if I break the rules.” Either way you’re still trying to “save” yourself—which means both are legalistic because both are self-salvation projects. Read More...

Gospel-centered praying

A prayer from Pastor Scotty Smith

Dear Lord Jesus,

While I still believe, with all my heart, you are the only Savior, I now see how more of my heart needs more of you and more of the gospel.

There is nobody on the face of the earth that needs the gospel today, and its transforming resources, more than me, and I am SO glad to be able to acknowledge this reality. I need you today, Jesus, as much as I did when you washed away all my sins and covered me with the robe of your righteousness.

You have saved me in the past, when I was justified by grace alone through faith alone; you are saving me in the present, as the Holy Spirit applies more and more of your finished work to my whole being; and you will save me in the future, when you return to finish making all things new, including ME!

Lord Jesus, though I’m never tempted to look to any other name for my justification, I am very tempted to look to other names and means for my transformation—worse of all, is when I look to me to be my own savior. But only you, Jesus, are able to save completely those who come to God through you, for you are always living to pray for us and to advocate for us (Heb 7:25). You are my righteousness, holiness and redemption, and that’s why I only boast in you today! (1 Cor. 1:30-31)

So I come to you today, Jesus, right now! Save me more fully from my fear of man, my need to be in control, my ticky-tacky pettiness. Save me from trying to be anybody’s savior. I want to get irritated far less often and to be spontaneous much more often. I want to “light up” more quickly when I hear your name, Jesus, and not be downcast, when I don’t hear my name.

That’s more than enough confession for one day… Indeed, Jesus, I must be saved, I am being saved, through your name alone. Hallelujah!

Students learn from repetition

If I have learned anything in 35 or 40 years of teaching, it is that students don’t learn everything I teach them. What they learn is what I am excited about, the kinds of things I emphasize again and again and again and again. That had better be the gospel.

If the gospel—even when you are orthodox—becomes something which you primarily assume, but what you are excited about is what you are doing in some sort of social reconstruction, you will be teaching the people that you influence that the gospel really isn’t all that important. You won’t be saying that—you won’t even mean that—but that’s what you will be teaching. And then you are only half a generation away from losing the gospel.

Make sure that in your own practice and excitement, what you talk about, what you think about, what you pray over, what you exude confidence over, joy over, what you are enthusiastic about is Jesus, the gospel, the cross. And out of that framework, by all means, let the transformed life flow. - D.A. Carson

How to understand the Bible

Scripture is of no use to us if we read it merely as a handbook for daily living without recognizing that its principle purpose is to reveal Jesus Christ and his gospel for the salvation of sinners. All Scripture coalesces in Christ, anticipated in the OT and appearing in the flesh in the NT. In Scripture, God issues commands and threatens judgment for transgressors as well as direction for the lives of his people.

Yet the greatest treasure buried in the Scriptures is the good news of the promised Messiah. Everything in the Bible that tells us what to do is “law”, and everything in the Bible that tells us what God has done in Christ to save us is “gospel.” Much like medieval piety, the emphasis in much Christian teaching today is on what we are to do without adequate grounding in the good news of what God has done for us in Christ. “What would Jesus do?” becomes more important than “What has Jesus done?”

The gospel, however, is not just something we needed at conversion so we can spend the rest of our Christian life obsessed with performance; it is something we need every day–the only source of our sanctification as well as our justification. The law guides, but only the gospel gives. We are declared righteous–justified–not by anything that happens within us or done by us, but solely by God’s act of crediting us with Christ’s perfect righteousness through faith alone.

- Michael Horton (Justified: Modern Reformation Essays on the Doctrine of Justification)

We preach Christ crucified

The best preaching is, “We preach Christ crucified.”

The best living is, “We are crucified with Christ.”

The best man is a crucified man.

The more we live beholding our Lord’s unutterable griefs, and understanding how he has fully put away our sin, the more holiness shall we produce.

The more we dwell where the cries of Calvary can be heard, where we can view heaven, and earth, and hell, all moved by his wondrous passion—the more noble will our lives become.

Nothing puts life into men like a dying Savior.

Get close to Christ, and carry the remembrance of him about you from day to day, and you will do right royal deeds.

Come, let us slay sin, for Christ was slain.

Come, let us bury all our pride, for Christ was buried.

Come, let us rise to newness of life, for Christ has risen.

Let us be united with our crucified Lord in his one great object—let us live and die with him, and then every action of our lives will be very beautiful.

- Charles Spurgeon, in a sermon dated November 2, 1884

Relating the gospel to our lives

“Receiving and resting in the truths of the gospel translates into a Christian life of joy, peace, freedom, and love. So the gospel also gives us a new way to live and relate to other people. It frees us from sin’s stranglehold on our lives, liberates our conscience, and releases us from living according to the principles of this world. Since our new identity and new way to live is based solely on faith, the gospel excludes all manner of boasting and arrogance. Everything that we have has been given to us — thus it is called the gospel of God’s grace (Acts 20:24). Moreover, this gospel has continual and daily applicability. It is not only relevant to us when we first believe, but continues to work in us and through us as we continue to believe. This continual life of faith visibly expresses itself in love (Gal 5:6).”

- Neil H. Williams, Gospel Transformation (Jenkintown, Pa.; World Harvest Mission, i-ii.

The gift that keeps on giving

Without the gospel there is nothing but desert on earth and no confession of God and no thanksgiving. But where the gospel and Christ are, there is Bethlehem abounding in grain, and grateful Judea; there everybody has enough in Christ and there is nothing but thanksgiving for God’s mercies. But the doctrines of men [ie legalistic attempts at justification with God through pious duty] thank only themselves, and yet they permit arid land and deadly hunger to remain. No heart is ever satisfied unless it hears Christ preached properly in the gospel; when this happens, a person comes to Bethlehem and finds him; then he also comes and stays in Judea and thanks his God eternally; then he is satisfied; then, too, God is praised and confessed. Apart from the gospel there is nothing but ingratitude and we do nothing but die of hunger. - From a Christmas sermon by Martin Luther (Works, 52:20)

The good news

“The gospel is the best news we could ever hear. The gospel is about Jesus Christ and his power to transform our lives and relationships, communities, and ultimately, the nations. Through this gospel, we are freely given a new identity — an identity not based on race, social class, gender, a theological system, or a system of rules and regulations. Rather it is a new and perfect identity based solely on faith in Jesus — an identity that defines every aspect of our lives. We are now forgiven, righteous, adopted, accepted, free, and heirs to everything that belongs to Christ. So even our sin, weakness, and failures do not define who we are. Because of this good news, we no longer have to hide from our sin and pretend that we have it all together, for God knows and loves us as we are, not as we pretend to be.” - Neil H. Williams, Gospel Transformation, 2nd ed. (Jenkintown, Pa.; World Harvest Mission, 2006)

The Cross

“Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to say to us, ‘I am here because of you. It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.’ Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.” - John R. W. Stott, The Message of Galatians, 179.

The progress of redemption

This article written by Buck Parsons entitled “It is finished”

The atoning death of the Lord of glory is never to be regarded merely as a pleasant fact of history. Redemption has been accomplished. God promised that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent, and He promised that the Christ would be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense. When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order to redeem those under the Law for the express purpose that we, His people, might be adopted as sons of God. God’s Word is filled with the story of God’s enduring love for His people. From Genesis to Revelation, God reveals the progress of the salvation of His people culminating in the death of death in the death of the Savior who cried out “It is finished.” Read More...

How the gospel changes everything

From Resurgence Blog site


How does the Gospel Change Everything?

It is found simply in the not-so-simple phrase by J.I. Packer, "God saves sinners."

God

"God – the Triune Jehovah, Father, Son and Spirit; three Persons working together in sovereign wisdom, power and love achieve the salvation of a chosen people, the Father electing, the Son fulfilling the Father's will by redeeming, the Spirit executing the purpose of Father and Son by renewing."

Saves

"Saves – does everything, first to last, that is involved in bringing man from death in sin to life in glory: plans, achieves and communicates redemption, calls and keeps, justifies, sanctifies, glorifies. Sinners do not save themselves in any sense at all. Salvation, first and last, whole and entire, past, present and future, is of the Lord, to whom be glory for ever; amen."

Sinners

"Sinners – When we are born, we are dead, condemned, depraved, corrupt, perverse, sinful and completely unable to save or even lift a finger to enable salvation (Rom. 2-3; 6:23). This vile sinner doesn't even know he is dead. The law of God exposes the extent of our wickedness (Gal. 3:24)."

The grace of God extends down to us, not because we deserve it, but even as we do not deserve it (Rom 5:8). Our works, even attempts at good works are not adequate to contribute to our salvation or sanctification. Once the Spirit regenerates our dead souls, we by faith receive the completed work of Jesus who accomplishes our justification—a declaration of his righteousness on us. As his grace continues to work in our lives, the gospel comes to fruition (Col. 1:6; 2 Peter 1-3-9) in every aspect of our life.

Tozer speaks...

We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.” ~ A.W. Tozer

Matt Chandler challenges Southern Baptists to get back to the gospel

This articles from the Christian Post

A young evangelical preacher known for his no-frills sermons didn’t go soft when it came to rebuking pastors who are preaching something other than the Gospel and those who are pretending to be godly.

Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, addresses Southern Baptists at the Pastors’ Conference, June 14, in Orlando, Fla.
“I, unfortunately, with a great deal of sorrow have walked away from the idea that all of you are men and women of the Word,” Matt Chandler of The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, told a group of Southern Baptist pastors Monday. “I’ve just come to find that a lot of you are really good at clichés and really bad at tying in the Word.”

Chandler, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for brain cancer, was in Orlando, Fla., as one of several well-known speakers during the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference.

A pastors event is held every year just ahead of the denomination’s annual meeting to encourage and refresh those who lead congregations in the largest Protestant denomination in the country.

Though Southern Baptists overall are recognized for being conservative evangelicals, Chandler took the group back to the core of their faith the Gospel. After all, someone can grow up in the church, go to Vacation Bible School every summer and participate in all the programs and still not understand the Gospel, he indicated.

Chandler has found some pastors to be preaching the Gospel as a means of justification but failing to teach the Gospel as a means of sanctification. That results in churches primarily focused on evangelism and having “no care in the world for the depths of spirituality and understanding the nature and character of God.” Read more...

The gospel is the power of God

Romans 1:16 and the power of God

On Sunday I asked the question; do you think the apostle Paul knew something about God's power? Paul was a student of the Old Testament and knew of God's creation of the world, the delivering of His people through the Red Sea and at Mount Sinai where God wrote the ten commandments on tablets of stone.
Yes, the apostle Paul knew very well about the power of God. And yet when he pens the book of Romans he mentions the power of God as it relates to salvation. The very power of God according to Paul is located in the gospel.

Let's take a closer look at Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. The context of this verse is Paul writing to the Christians in Rome. And he says that is important for these Christians to continue to believe the gospel because it is their salvation that is at stake. This is the point where many today in the American church would respond with "what did you just say?" Why do I need to continue being saved when I learned early on that I got saved? Herein lies the problem in that we have failed to teach people properly the different categories in regard to salvation.

The three categories in salvation

The first category in salvation is a past tense event called justification. This is when at a point in time a person receives Christ as Lord and Savior. It is at this time that God from His public courtroom in heaven declares this person to be righteous, which is grounded in the very life, death and resurrection of Christ. When we talk about someone that got saved we are really talking about when they got justified. Read More...

The gospel-centered life

Ray Ortlund writes:

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
The gospel announces that God is not what we think. God has no swagger, no pride, no bluff, no defensive face-saving, no pushing to the head of the line — what this whole world is made of. God is humble. He does nothing from rivalry, though we picked a fight with him, nor conceit, though we puffed ourselves up against him. God made himself nothing, took the form of a servant, humbled himself in obedience all the way to death on the cross. For us. That gospel doctrine in the Bible creates a gospel culture in a church.

Gospel doctrine – gospel culture = hypocrisy.
Gospel culture – gospel doctrine = fragility.
Gospel doctrine + gospel culture = power.


In one of the most beautiful passages I know of outside the Bible, Jonathan Edwards distinguishes gospel culture from non-gospel culture:

“Spiritual pride is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of Christianity. It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit, to darken the mind and mislead the judgment. It is the main source of all the mischief the devil introduces, to clog and hinder a work of God.

Spiritual pride tends to speak of other persons’ sins with bitterness or with laughter and levity and an air of contempt. But pure Christian humility rather tends either to be silent about these problems or to speak of them with grief and pity. Spiritual pride is very apt to suspect others, but a humble Christian is most guarded about himself. He is as suspicious of nothing in the world as he is of his own heart. The proud person is apt to find fault with other believers, that they are low in grace, and to be much in observing how cold and dead they are and to be quick to note their deficiencies. But the humble Christian has so much to do at home and sees so much evil in his own heart and is so concerned about it that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts. He is apt to esteem others better than himself.”

Jonathan Edwards, Works (Edinburgh, 1979), I:398-400. Style updated.

How are you motivated?


This is a recommended article by Justin Taylor from Kevin DeYoung’s blog site. I imagine there are plenty of Christians who rarely feel the sting of conscience or the pangs of regret. But I also know many, many Christians (including the one I see in the mirror) who easily feel bad for all the things they are not doing or are doing less than perfectly. In fact, I’m convinced most serious Christians live their lives with an almost constant low-level sense of guilt.

How do we feel guilty? Let me count the ways.

We could pray more.
We aren’t bold enough in evangelism.
We like sports too much.
We watch movies and television too often.
Our quiet times are too short or too sporadic.
We don’t give enough.
We bought a new couch.
We don’t read to our kids enough.
Our kids eat Cheetos and french fries.
We don’t recycle enough.
We need to lost 20 pounds.
We could use our time better.
We could live some place harder or in something smaller.
What do we do with all this behind the scenes guilt? We don’t feel stop-dead-in-our-tracks kind of remorse for these things. But these shortcomings can have a cumulative effect whereby even the mature Christian can feel like he’s rather disappointing to God, maybe just barely Christian. Read More...

God-centered Living

This is from Dr. Michael Horton’s book “The gospel driven life.”

It is interesting that the biblical writers chose the word “gospel.” The heart of most religions is good advice, good techniques, good programs, good ideas, and good support systems. These drive us deeper into ourselves, to find our inner light, inner goodness, inner voice, or inner resources. Nothing new can be found inside of us. There is no inner rescuer deep down in my soul; I just hear echoes of my own voice telling me all sorts of crazy things to numb my sense of fear, anxiety, and boredom, the origins of which I cannot truly identify. But the heart of Christianity is Good News. It comes not as a task for us to fulfill, a mission for us to accomplish, a game plan for us to follow with the help of life coaches, but as a report that someone else has already fulfilled, accomplished, followed and achieved everything for us. Good advice may help us in daily direction; the Good News concerning Jesus Christ saves us from sin’s guilt and tyranny over our lives and the fear of death. It is Good News because it does not depend on us. It is about God and His faithfulness to His own purposes and promises.


Learn to tell the gospel story

What is the plot line or the story line of the Bible? It is a true story about the unfolding and progressive plan of God to redeem mankind. The story is not about how someone can have a better marriage, a more successful career, or even how to live a healthy lifestyle. But it is a story about mankind being at enmity with God so that the only reconciliation available is through Jesus Christ who died, was buried and three days later rose from the dead. The pronouncement of this event in history is called the good news. And it is good news because God has acted in the person and work of Jesus Christ to save people from their sins. The very sins that once kept them separated from God have been paid in full by the death of Christ on the cross. Also there has been a transferring of righteousness from Jesus to the account of every believer so that they now have the very righteousness of Christ. It is now that the believer can know with 100% confidence that God is for them and no longer is against them. This is really news, good news, the kind of news that makes an eternal difference in the lives of those who will receive it by faith.

Sometimes we get that turned around and end up making our story the subject of the gospel instead of Christ. Often times, since there is very little instruction for people, I hear about how someone got saved. It normally involves mostly a past tense discussion very little present tense and almost no future tense. My other problem is that the story may involve a person who recovered from an addition problem, or the mother decided not to have an abortion, or they survived cancer. Even though there is not an intentional misrepresentation of the "good news" never the less there is a distortion that can be hurtful. The unbeliever may think well if I accept this Jesus then life will get better because that is what has happened to those telling their stories. The young believer can feel despair in thinking that for some reason they are struggling because they just need to believe more. The point is that the main subject and story line in the Bible is Jesus. Therefore the main story line when we tell a story about the good news must be about Jesus. Read More...

Who is this Jesus?

We are “Marching to the Cross” as a class to study several doctrines that are critical for us to know. In our march the question may come from those inside or even outside the church “who is this Jesus?”

He is the last Adam
1 Corinthians 15:45

He is the Advocate
1 John 2:1

He is the All in All
Colossians 3:11

He is the Almighty
Revelation 1:8

He is altogether lovely
Song of Solomon 5:16

He is the Amen
Revelation 3:14

He is the Ancient of Days
Daniel 7:9-11

He is the Anchor
Hebrews 6:19

He is the Angel of the Lord
Genesis 16:9-14

He is His Anointed
Psalm 2:2 Read More...

The Great Exchange

From the Gospel Coalition Blog site;

John Flavel:

Lord, the condemnation was yours,
that the justification might be mine.

The agony was yours,
that the victory might be mine.

The pain was yours,
and the ease mine.

The stripes were yours,
and the healing balm issuing from them mine.

The vinegar and gall were yours,
that the honey and sweet might be mine.

The curse was yours,
that the blessing might be mine.

The crown of thorns was yours,
that the crown of glory might be mine.

The death was yours,
the life purchased by it mine.

You paid the price
that I might enjoy the inheritance.

John Flavel (1671), from his sermon, “The Solemn Consecration of the Mediator,” in The Fountain of Life Opened Up: or, A Display of Christ in His Essential and Mediatorial Glory.

The cross of Christ

The focus over the next 5 weeks in our community is going to be the cross and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Over this period of time I am hoping to post any number of writings, audio’s and video’s about this subject. One of my key disappointments within the evangelical church in America has been a lack of focus and understanding regarding the gospel. We all know the expression “familiarity breeds contempt” and I fear this statement is true for many Christians today as to the cross of Christ. I pray that as we turn our attention to this important doctrine that we as a community of believers will have a fresh wind of the Spirit that will reignite our passions for Christ.

In this short video Paul Washer gives a strong exhortation that is titled “Jesus Died.” Allow me to encourage you to set aside a few minutes to watch and ponder this great truth in your life and the life of those within your sphere of influence.
To watch simply click on this LINK.



What story are you telling?

When I first started to study “hermeneutics” which is a system of how to the Bible, my teacher had this quip in the notes. Church history must always be remembered as “HIS STORY.” I never forgot that quotation and oh how true that is for us in the 21st Century Church. Yes, I have a story and you have a story it is wonderful, specific and God ordained. But in the greater picture which is most important my story or His story. Does God become the actor in my drama or am I the actor in His drama? Sometimes when we get our theology upside down then we end up working on the wrong end of the problem.
The story I need to learn and be able to tell is the story that happen 2000 years ago at the cross. The outworking of that story will determine a person’s eternal destiny, which is either heaven or hell.

In this audio clip the White Horse Inn interviews some folks at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention about the importance of their story or the gospel story. I think you are going to find this quite interesting. Click on this LINK.

Where is the gospel?

What should those in the church have a regular diet of on a weekly basis? What are people actually hearing within the evangelical church in America? We see more and more that people want to feel good and be motivated so they can leave church feeling upbeat and positive. However when is the last time we have considered death, hell, wrath, judgment and condemnation. Let’s make no mistake it is the gospel saves us from the wrath of God. However today there is a style of preaching that is providing those in the congregation with a “Christless Christianity.”

Listen to this short audio clip from Dr. Michael Horton. Click on this LINK.

In addition, Dr. Michael Horton gives some interesting statistics in the American church. Click on this LINK.

Something to consider for 2010

First of all HAPPY NEW YEAR! I was reflecting on the 2010 year as against when we started this class in August of 2008. Can you believe that we have been together for a year and four months? Time flies when you are studying Bible doctrine as a community.

The beginning of each new year is an excellent time to take a spiritual inventory of your life. May I encourage you to take a few minutes to reflect on these questions this week.
  • Do you have a rich, vibrant, passionate and growing relationship with Jesus Christ?
  • What is the relationship that you have with God's word in regard to reading, studying and devotion time?
  • Are those closest to you seeing Christ when they hear your words and when they observe your behavior?
  • Where is there sin in your life that is known or tolerated that you need to deal with and confess?
  • Do you love God based on Him making much of you, or do you love God because at the cost of His Son, He has made a way for you to make much of Him?

The natural tendency especially for American Christians is to say OK this year I am going to do something different. Then the list comes out, maybe not literally but things like;
  • I am going to read through the Bible
  • I am going to financially give more
  • I am going to serve in the church
  • I am going to pray
  • I am going to have devotion time with my wife or family
  • I am going to become involved in Bible study
  • I am going to attend SS class consistently
  • I am going to be more intentional to evangelize in my neighborhood and workplace
  • I am going to disciple someone
Read More...