Friday, November 11, 2011

What I've learned from Penn State

1. We take sports too seriously.
               It's absolutely ridiculous that some are outraged over people losing their jobs. Get a grip people. Children have been abused. Being good at sports or being a good coach doesn't make you a good person.  Possessing talent doesn't mean you have good character. We put people on pedestals because they play a game with a ball. I love sports, but I love them too much. Is it okay to overlook character flaws or warning signs because people are getting results? We are incredibly lost if character doesn't mean something.

2. People actually do believe in  right and wrong.
              There isn't anybody defending Sandusky. Why? He's a monster who did horrible things. In our hearts we understand that some things are wrong and we cry out for justice. Those who kept silent are sinners too. The bible teaches us that those who know to do good and don't do it are sinning. We cannot be silent and let evil prevail.

3. We are very sure of ourselves
             I've heard it a million times, if I would have seen it or known about it I would have put a bullet in his head. I would have done something. Don't get me wrong, I feel the same way, but we don't know. We don't know what we would have done in the same situation. If we are so angry, how can we channel that into good? One good thing that has come out of this is it's reminded us of the horrors of child abuse. It makes us feel good to talk about what we would have done or to stand up for a child on radio or at work. Let's put our money where our mouth is. Volunteer at a shelter, work with those who make the laws, become a foster parent, find a way to advocate for a child, or stop being so selfish and love your child as much as you possibly can. Talk is cheap.

4. Grace is radical
           I want to make it clear that I detest the actions of those involved. Sandusky didn't kill anybody, but he did take their lives away. I pray that they might find wholeness again. However, I keep thinking about something. Let's say justice is served. Whether we agree on what sins deserve death there are a lot of people wishing he would die. Let''s say he gets the chair, but somebody else steps up and says I'll take the chair for him and he can go free. Horrible, offensive, radical, how can that be? That's what Jesus did for us. We had the sentence of death because of our sins and he took the death for us. It would tick off a lot of people if somebody took Sandusky's place, set him free and offered him eternal life. Jesus took Barabbas's place and Barabbas went free. He did it for me, too. If Sandusky would repent of his sins and follow Jesus, it would be the case for him as well. That kind of grace makes me uncomfortable. That kind of grace saved me.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Repentance or Remorse

I do not hesitate to assert that this is perhaps the most subtle and delicate test as to whether we have repented, or where we are: our attitude towards God. Have you noticed it in the psalm? The one against whom David has sinned is God, and yet the one he desires above all is God. That is the difference between remorse and repentance. The man who has not repented, but who is only experiencing remorse, when he realizes he has done something against God, avoids God...The man who has not been dealt with by the Spirit of God and has not been convinced and convicted, tries to get away from God, to avoid him at all costs. He does not think, he does not read the Bible, he does not pray; he does everything he can not to think about these things. But the extraordinary thing about the man who is convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit is that though he knows he has sinned against God, it is God he wants---"Be merciful to me, O God." He wants to be with God---that is the peculiar paradox of repentance, wanting the one I have offended!"

Psalms 51 David flees directly into God's presence and pleads, "Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me" The above paragraph is D. Martin Lloyd-Jones commenting on this passage

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hard Teachings and Soft Hearts

In Luke 14 25-35 Jesus hits His hearers right on the mouth. As the great multitudes follow Him he tells them what  exactly expected from a true follower. If you don't hate your family, you can't be my disciple. If you don't bear your your cross, you can't be my disciple. If you don't renounce all that you have, you cannot be my disciple.

Doesn't Jesus know how to grow a church. If a pastor wants to grow a church he needs to remain politically correct. You don't want to ruffle any feathers. Preach softly, pick on pet sins that no one in your church struggles with, and certainly don't ask for repentance. After all, God is only about love and forgiveness.  Personal holiness doesn't matter. Right?

Well as you can imagine after that message, all hope was lost. Not really. Luke 15:1 tells us that after that the tax collectors and sinners drew near to hear Him. That's the opposite of what should have happened. That kind of preaching drives people away. To be honest, it probably did drive some away. The religious people probably left. As a pastor, that's when you can have church, when all the religious people leave. Then it's just us sinners left, and more importantly the Savior that has redeemed us.

The whole gospel should be preached, not just the parts that we think won't offend. The truth is offensive but His sheep will hear His voice. You know what Jesus does next? All this has set the stage for one of the greatest stories of all time. The Parable of the Prodigal Son. In ch 15, we learn that Jesus delights in the repentance of sinners. We learn about His love for us when we don't deserve it. We learn that our God is a seeking God. He went and looked for us. When He finds us, He rejoices over us.

One more note. I kind of made fun of religious people earlier. Something you learn from ch 15 is that Jesus loves them too. He wants them to come to repentance as well.

Don't be afraid to tell the whole story of Jesus. He asks for everything and somehow still manages to give us more.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Press On, Work, and Fight

Not that I have already attained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Philippians 3:12

So many of us are stuck on the performance treadmill of life. Trying hard to get God to like us is futile. Work this week not for acceptance, but from acceptance. Christian, Christ has made you His own and will keep you.

Remember this as well, grace isn't an excuse to do nothing. Grace inspires effort.

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God in me. 1 Corinthians 15:10

Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Tim 6:12

Press on, work hard, and Fight the good fight. We're saved by grace, created for good works.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yali Jubilee 2011

The Basis of Our Assurance

Gospel-Centered Parenting + Young Children

I've decided that I'm only going to blog when I have something to say. However, I can at least share stuff with you that I find interesting.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why God when I try so hard?

Have you ever asked God Why? Why does this bad stuff keep happening to me when all I'm trying to do is follow you? I went on vacation 3 and a half hours away this weekend. Locked my keys in my car one night. The next day my car broke down and I waited 2 hrs for a tow truck to take it to a dealership that I had no idea how to get to.  My comfort was this sucks, but at least my warranty will take care of it. Wrong. It's not covered under my warranty. I'm spending 70 dollars a day on a rental that also won't be covered and have to drive to St. Louis tomorrow to pick up my car and pay 390 dollars. Let's just say I threw a mighty awesome pity party. A party that rivaled the older brother in the prodigal son story and Eeyore too. God, I'm trying to be a good person.

I've read through Philippians the last two nights and a few things have stuck out to me. Most of us know that Philippians talks about joy and rejoicing some. The thing is I forget that Paul writes this from his imprisonment. It's easy to talk about joy when life is good. Where was Paul's doubt? Didn't he think God left him? All too often I let my circumstances influence my opinion about God. Our circumstances tend to inform us about God rather than God informing us about our circumstances.

God is good, there is no doubt. Accept everything that He allows in your life. Love Jesus and the gospel more than you love your own life. Paul told the Philippians what had happened to him actually helped to advance the gospel. Rather than sulking and pouting, Paul led the roman soldiers to Christ. God loves you with an undying love. If you could understand everything that God was doing in your life right now, I would be terrified. Who wants a God that fits into their small brains? Time to repent of my bad attitude and trust in Jesus. Maybe time for you also.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I'm not very good at this blogging thing. There were all sorts of things over the last week that I could have blogged about. Tornadoes, Osama, Obama, and everything else that dominates the headlines. The truth is there are a lot of smarter people out there that you can learn from about those issues.

I just wanted to mention a couple of things today.  First, I love my mother so much. She's about the only one that reads this blog, so I love you mom. Happy Mothers Day! Also, my wife and the mother of my children is the greatest woman alive. I don't know how she does what she does, but she's truly amazing. I'm so thankful for her.

Lastly, I love you guys too. I post this on facebook hoping that some of my friends will be compelled to love Jesus more. It's not to promote myself, it's to promote Jesus. I pray that you understand salvation is more than intellectual assent to what Jesus has done. If you truly believe the gospel, you then must surrender everything to the Jesus that loves you so much. If there's ever anything I can do to help, please let me know.

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.