Monday, November 10, 2008

The Gift of a Clean Conscience

There are countless gifts which the Lord has bestowed on His children. None so freeing and pure than the clean conscience.

All has been forgiven and the believer is at rest. The saint is pursuing righteousness. He may stumble now and again, but the overriding and default position is in a pursuit of righteousness in Christ.

This is where he can find himself totally free. In the arms of his Savior, forgiven and loved. No longer a slave to that which made him blind.

Lord - thank you for helping your children to see again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Freedom to Question?

More known for his side role in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Ben Stein offers an interesting and fair look into the academic science world with his movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

He investigates several science educators "expelled" from their job and shunned from the academic world for citing intelligent design or suggesting plausibilities within ID. Stein uncovers a world within academia that is vehemently opposed to the teaching of ID as an alternative to Darwinism.

An interesting discovery Stein makes in his documentary is that the cell Darwin discovered in his time would pale to the cell discovered today. Meaning, the scientific evidence at our disposal today actually sheds light on Darwin's theory - and as a result, begins to poke holes in it.

While many scientists agree that Darwin made valuable contribution to science, a growing number of them are beginning to question his "leap of faith" in trying to determine the "origins of the species" and how he made assumptions on life "progressing".

With the knowledge of irreducibile complexity and further study into the structure of cells, Expelled questions what the real motives might be behind leaders in academia.

Is it to preserve science? Or, to quelch sincere questioning that might undermine a belief system?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Moving Toward a Pain and Risk-free Society

I can't pretend to know all that has conspired to cause the government's decision to bail-out Wall Street. But, what I can deduct, is that many who risked unresponsibly and failed, may not have to pay the price of their failings.

Today, we can go to a dentist - have a cavity filled and experience no pain. We can go to work, get paid - while sometimes not exerting any real "effort" or toil. We can get married, and after some time, free ourselves from the discomfort of "dealing" with each other and file for divorce.

To be sure - I am not a lover of pain. Nor, do I advocate an aesetic lifestyle. But there is something peculiar when we do not experience the pain of life. When there is no punishment for bad choices or foolish behavior. When we opt for the comfortable all the time, to avoid pain (even when that pain is the means to our growth).

In Acts, we read that Paul went about preaching the idea that "through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God". And we know that our Savior - Jesus Christ, was not immune to suffering or pain.

Should we be above pain? Don't we already know that it's through trials where we have seen the hand of God and felt His presence most keenly?

Lord, help me, so that I do not begrudge my own pains - but through them, I might lean more and more on your saving right hand.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Heart Gasp

I was on the bus sitting next to an older woman - and the discussion turned to her love of sailing. She told me how she was once very passionate about sailing - and that everytime she sailed - her heart "gasped", as if in awe.

She relayed to me that she never has that sense anymore. Save for one thing:

"When I look around me, at creation, my heart gasps. It's so beautiful."

To imagine that God's artistry in the outdoors may only be a hint at what he has in store for the new earth.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What Does God Desire Most II

I thought it would be good to get some responses from others on this question. Here are some of the responses:

"He desires that all would be saved."
"He desires that all would love him and obey Him."
"He desires Himself."

Of all these - and I know that one cannot pressume upon God - I think the last one most resonates with what I read in the bible and within my own soul.

While some may pressume it to be arrogant - this is the one desire that only God could maintain and hold - without it being full-of-oneself. Only God could and should desire Himself - most.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What Does God Desire Most?

This is a big question and one that requires reflection. In my view, it says a lot about your theology - and how you view God.

How would you answer?

Monday, June 30, 2008

Paul Got Annoyed

In Acts, chapter 16, we read the following story:

As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation." And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out that very hour.

Was it not true what the woman was saying? And why wouldn't Paul like another member of the entourage?

A couple observations.

  1. Being this woman had some type of spirit in her, the way in which she was proclaiming the truth was probably with a tinge of spitefulness. Not of glad or happy proclamation - but more likely of vindictiveness.
  2. Everyone has their "limits" of tolerance. We read that Paul had been putting up with this woman for two days! Can you imagine that? Perhaps what is most amazing is that he put up with it for that long! It was right that Paul finally said, "enough" - and freed the woman.

What can be learned from this episode in the life of Paul? One key point is the name of Jesus Christ has great power. Use it and proclaim it. Another point is that how we speak truth matters greatly. To tell someone that the result of not believing in Christ will result in an eternity in darkness, with pride and spite in our voices will not be received as truth. It will be perceived as hate.

Lord, help us with broken-hearts proclaim your truths - knowing full well that we are benefactors of your grace and not proprietors of it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

7 Things God Has Saved Me From

Abraham Piper recently wrote a great little list of "10 things we don't mention in worship songs - but that I'm happy God saved me from".

I thought I would do my own:

1. Myself
2. Drugs and alcohol use
3. Teenage fatherhood
4. Good looks
5. Being very popular
6. Being wealthy
7. Belief in another religion

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Is this God's Punishment?

A good - balanced response to the recent catastrophies.

Monday, March 17, 2008

On this Age of Skepticism

Tim Keller, author of The Reason for God, gives an important and effective talk on skepticism and belief.

HT: Steve McCoy

Monday, March 03, 2008

Reverse Slam

At a recent church meeting, two men were being voted on to fill an open deacon position. Ballots were issued to the 27 members of the church and very soon after, counted.

"The vote has been tallied, and we have 13 votes for Harold - and 14 for Howard. Close one!"

Howard made his way to the front of the church and faced the congregation.

"I know that we are in a political season right now and there is a lot of slamming of candidates and mud-slinging. Well, I want to do a reverse slam. I want you all to honor Harold. He is truly a man of God. And, he loves you all. Thanks."

Lord, please give us a heart of graciousness when we experience triumph and when we experience loss. Make us humble, and contrite - knowing that all has come from your hand.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Lincoln: A Humble Instrument

In his 1863 "Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day", Abraham Lincoln asserted that American's had taken for granted God's kindness: "We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own".

Marvin Olasky writes in his article "Pilgrim Politician" (WORLD, Feb 9/16, 2008), that this proclamation "applied the Old Testament pattern - God's faithfulness, man's forgetfulness, God's discipline - to a new people who had become [to quote Lincoln] 'too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.'"

Lord, help us to not become too proud or deceieved that we could presume you never existed.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Only With God Can We See

"God is like the sun; you cannot look at it, but without it, you cannot look at anything else."

G.K. Chesterton