Dec 27, 2006

"Are there any soldiers here?"

As a runner, I realize that I cannot always run on flat, smooth pavement. Sometimes there are hills, and I know that the hills are good for me because they strengthen my muscles and they cause my endurance to grow. So instead of running away from these hills, I know that for my own good, I must discipline myself to run hills as fast and as often as I can.

Sanctification is the same thing. It's an uphill battle. Being refined by God requires uphill battles! But the wonderful thing is that God has not left us on our own to fight this fight. In a race, when you run with a partner, you are likely to get farther than if you were running by yourself. God has given us a body of believers to help us persevere and more importantly, a Savior who has already ran the race. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." -Hebrews 4:15-16

I've ran races that have weakened my body, blistered my feet, sprained my ankles, sickened my stomach....yet after each race I feel a sense of accomplishment. When temptations come our way, let us not give up and jump into sin, but let us get bloody, get bruised, be ridiculed, be persecuted. Battling sin will hurt! It will separate us from the whole world, a world that lives for the enjoyment of sin!

God has promised new grace for us each day. And with each mountain that we climb, the more our endurance grows. God IS separating us from the world. This battle is going to be difficult because our flesh screams out at the denial of its own pleasures. But God has set His elect apart from the world. We are His own. We are losing ourselves to gain Jesus Christ!

I pray that with each temptation, we do not run away from the hills, but know that enduring will cause our endurance to grow. "Are there any soldiers here? Show me some scars before you talk about the power of sin! Don't show me your broken ankles at the bottom of the pit. I want to see blood!" -John Piper

Dec 26, 2006

There is a fountain

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.

-William Cowper

Dec 13, 2006

Paul's thorn, our weakness

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." -2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Dec 11, 2006

Predestined by His foreknowledge of who would choose Him? Or Predestined by His choosing?

1) Salvation is a work of God
  • Psalm 3:8 "Salvation belongs to the LORD"
  • Matthew 19:23-36 "And Jesus said to His disciples, "Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, "Then who can be saved?"And looking at them Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
  • Ezekial 36:22-32
  • Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God"
2) The Natural Man cannot accept God
  • 1 Corinthians 2:14 "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned."
  • Ephesians 2:3 "among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind"
  • Romans 3:10-11 " "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God."
3) We cannot do anything "good" without God
  • Isaiah 64:6 "We have all become like one who is unclean and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
  • John 15:5 " I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."

Therefore, salvation is a work of God because the natural man cannot accept the things of the Spirit of God, nor can the natural man produce any good works apart from God. The purpose of God in election is based on God being glorified to the fullest, so that no one may boast.

At least, that's how I see it....

Dec 7, 2006

Does God hate the sin, but love the sinner?

If God only hated the sin and not the sinner, why would He throw sinners into hell? It is God who demands Justice and He is justified at hating sin AND the sinner. God is love, but He also is Just and angry at sin.

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

Psalm 5:5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.

Psalm 11:5
The LORD tests the righteous,but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

Hosea 9:15
Every evil of theirs is in Gilgal; there I began to hate them. Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of my house.I will love them no more;all their princes are rebels.

"It is everlasting wrath. It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must suffer it to all eternity. There will be no end to this exquisite horrible misery. When you look forward, you shall see a long for ever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts, and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all. You will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty merciless vengeance; and then when you have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains. So that your punishment will indeed be infinite. Oh, who can express what the state of a soul in such circumstances is! All that we can possibly say about it, gives but a very feeble, faint representation of it; it is inexpressible and inconceivable: For "who knows the power of God's anger?" -Jonathan Edwards

Dec 6, 2006

How would YOU answer these questions?

Now, I know the answers to the following questions, but someone I care about is asking them and I'm having a hard time explaining them in biblical terms. I've always had a problem of clearly articulating myself so people understand what I'm trying to get at...so could you guys help me so I can help someone in turn? REMEMBER: I ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER TO THESE QUESTIONS AND CONSIDER MYSELF A 5 POINT CALVINIST. ALSO, feel free to respond EVEN IF you do not agree with my theology! All opinions are welcome!

1. What if you were not elected to receive salvation, but you really wanted to come to Jesus? He'd just say, "No, you weren't chosen"?

2. Why should I witness if some people aren't chosen?

3. Isn't it a lie to say while witnessing, "Jesus died for your sins" if He didn't actually die for their sins if they were not elected?

Dec 1, 2006

The Pursuit of Holiness

"A farmer plows his field, sows the seed, and fertilizes and cultivates --- all the while knowing that in the final analysis he is utterly dependent on forces outside of himself. He knows he cannot cause the seed to germinate, nor can he produce the rain and sunshine for growing and harvesting the crop. For a successful harvest, he is dependent on these things from God.

Yet the farmer knows that unless he diligently pursues his responsibilities to plow, plant, fertilize, and cultivate, he cannot expect a harvest at the end of the season. In a sense he is in a partnership with God, and he will reap its benefits only when he has fulfilled his own responsibilities.

Farming is a joint venture between God and the farmer. The farmer cannot do what God must do, and God will not do what the farmer should do.

We can say just as accurately that the pursuit of holiness is a joint venture between God and the Christian. No one can attain any degree of holiness without effort on his own part. God has made it possible for us to walk in holiness. But He has given to us the responsibility of doing the walking. He does not do that for us."

-Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness

Nov 25, 2006

So Biblical He Was Never Invited Back

Shocking Youth Message by Paul Washer -

So Biblical He Was Never Invited Back


To download the audio (MP3) or the manuscript to this sermon (PDF) or to leave a
positive comment about this sermon go to: Sermon Audio


For more info about Paul Washer go to:
www.heartcrymissionary.com

This is a Shockingly Powerful & Biblical message
preached to about 5,000 youth in a day when youth
are appealed to through shallow and worldly means.

At one point in this sermon the 5,000 Youth are
clapping and yelling BUT THEN the preacher makes
a comment that CHANGES THE WHOLE ATMOSPHERE TO
WHERE YOU COULD HAVE HEARD A PIN DROP... As you
can imagine, the preacher was never invited back.

We believe the whole sermon will be a blessing
to many souls.

Nov 22, 2006

It doesn't matter what happens to me

It doesn't matter what happens to me - by John Piper

"Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal" -John 12:24-25


"It doesn't matter what happens to me." Those are the words that keep coming back to me as I try to express what Jesus meant when He spoke the words of John 12:24-25
First, there is the call to die. If we are to bear fruit for God, we must die. Now when I am dead, I will not care what they do with my body. It will make no difference to me. I will be home with Jesus. That's the way it is now, too, if I have died already with Christ, which all Christians have. "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Galatians 5:24). Crucified means dead. So in a profound sense I am dead on the earth. "[My life] is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). So it just doesn't matter what happens to me here on earth.

Then there is this strange thing called "hating your life in this world," "He who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal" (John 12:25) What does that mean? It means, at least, that you don't take much thought for your life in this world. In other words, it just doesn't matter much what happens to your life in this world. If men speak well of you, it doesn't matter much. If they hate you, doesn't matter much. If you have a lot of things, it doesn't matter much. If you have little, it doesn't matter much. If you are persecuted or lied about, it doesn't matter much. If you are famous or unknown, it doesn't matter much. If you are dead, these things just don't matter much. Yet this is even more radical. There are some choices to be made here, not just passive experiences. Jesus goes on to say, "If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me" (John 12:26). Where to? He is moving into Gethsemane and toward the cross. Jesus is not just saying: If things go bad, don't fret, since you are dead anyway. He is saing, "Choose to die with me. Choose to hate your life in this world the way I have chosen the cross." This is what Jesus meant when He said, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." (Matthew 16:24) He calls us to choose the cross. People did only one thing on a cross. They died on it. "Take up your cross" means "Like a grain of wheat, fall into the ground and die." Choose it. "Hate your life in this world."

What's the point of all this? Is it aimless masochism? No. It is the path of true love, true life, and true worship. Our aim in dying is fruit: "But if it dies, it bears much fruit" (John 12:24). Our aim in dying is life: "He who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal" (John 12:25). Our aim in dying is to exalt the worth of Christ. "I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things" (Philippians 3:8).
Paul is the great example of what it means to die. He said, "[We carry] about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body" (2 Corinthians 4:10), and "[Through] the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ....the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14). But why? For the sake of radical commitment to ministry: "I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24). I think I hear Paul saying, "It doesn't matter what happens to me if I can just live to the glory of His grace."

Can you speak Paul's words as your own? Can you desire to? As God earnestly that it would be so more and more.

Nov 11, 2006

Reproofs

O MERCIFUL GOD,
When I hear of disagreeable things amongst Christians,
it brings an additional weight and burden on my spirit;
I come to thee in my distress and make lamentable complaint;
Teach me how to take reproofs from friends,
even though I think I do not deserve them;
Use them to make me tenderly afraid of sin,
more jealous over myself,
more concerned to keep heart and life unblameable;
Cause them to help me reflect on my want of spirituality,
to abhor myself,
to look upon myself as unworthy,
and make beneficial to my soul.
May all thy people know how little, mean, and vile I am,
that they may see I am nothing,
less than nothing,
to be accounted nothing,
that so they may pray for me aright,
and have not the least dependence on me.
It is sweet to be nothing and have nothing,
and to be fed with crumbs from thy hands.
Blessed be the name for anything that life brings.
How do poor souls live who have not thee,
or when helpless have no God to go to,
who feel not the constraining force of thy love,
and the sweetness of communion?
O how admirably dost thou captivate the soul,
making all desires and affections centre on thee!
Give me such vivacity in religion,
that I may be able to take all reproofs from other men
as from thy hands,
and glorify thee for them
from a sense of thy beneficient love
and of my need to have my pride destroyed.
-Valley of Vision

Nov 3, 2006

Let this cup pass

Jesus Christ loves you and because He loves you, He died for your sins.

Yes. I believe that....to a point.
Now, if I said that Jesus Christ loved God and because He loved God, He gave up His life to satisfy God's anger at sin, would you agree?

I feel uncomfortable saying that. I agree, but it takes away my self worth. And the Lord knows a man's pride is His stumbling block!

I remember when I was Catholic, during the Easter season, we'd get together every Friday and do the "stations of the cross." I guess it was suppose to make the work of Christ more real. But what was missing from it?


When we look to the cross, we see physically the pain Jesus suffered. We see the nails in His Hands and in His feet. We see the crown of thorns and the disfigurement of His flesh. We imagine how it must have felt to be mocked and beaten by wicked men. We even say to ourselves, "It was I who put Him on that cross." And you're right. It was you and it was me. But what did Jesus mean when He cried out to God, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will." Was it because He was afraid of the Romans? Was He afraid of the cross? While I am sure the thought of torture was of no comfort, could it be that the Christ was more terrified of the most excruciating work of the cross: The Cup of Wrath poured out on Jesus, a perfect man who knew no sin, yet offered Himself for sinners, and more importantly, offered Himself for God to satisfy God's Just judgment at sin.


Can you imagine, the Son of God, perfect in every way: loving, compassionate, without sin, without evil deed or lust, the fulfillment of the Law, the Teacher of Grace, the perfecter of sin, the justifier of man. And He was the man whom God poured out His Wrath on. I was sitting in my car last night, completely shocked. It was if I hadn't known this Truth all along! In a world where everything must be fair, that wasn't! He did nothing wrong! And yet the Father turned His face from Him, His perfect Son, because on Him were laid the sins of the world. The sins of His people. And yet, we still believe it's "unfair" for God to chose whom He will and will not save!

Matthew 27:46
About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?"

Nov 2, 2006

The Pleasure of God in His Creation

I know, I know...this is long. But if you have time, this sermon is so amazing. It's by John Piper. Please take a few minutes to rejoice with Piper at God's delight in His Creation.




The Pleasure of God in His Creation

By John Piper

Psalm 104:31:

“May the glory of the Lord endure forever, may the Lord rejoice in His works.”

God delights in His Son. For all eternity God has been exuberantly happy in the fellowship of the Trinity. He has been overflowing with satisfaction as He looks out over the endless panorama of His own perfections reflected in the radiance of His Son's face.

Then we saw that one of the lessons to be learned from that divine happiness is that God is complete in Himself. He has no deficiencies. And therefore He can't be bribed with something He craves or blackmailed with some secret weakness or coerced by some superior power. And so all that He does, He does, not under constraint, but according to His own good pleasure. He is free, and He takes pleasure in all that He does.

Today we focus on one of the most astonishing things that God has done: He has created the universe, and what a universe it is! And there are two questions that I want to try to answer:

1. Does God take pleasure in His creation?
2. If so, why does He?

The first question I would answer with a resounding, "Yes!" God does take pleasure in His creation.

How do we know this? Genesis 1 describes for us not only the fact of an ordered creation by God, but also God's response to His creation. Five times, you recall, God stands back, as it were, and takes stock of His creation. Each time the text says, "And God saw that it was good" (vv. 4, 12, 18, 21, 25). And when all was finished and man and woman were created in His own image, it says, "And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good."

I take this to mean that God was delighted with His work. When He looked at it, it gave Him pleasure. He was pleased and happy with His creative effort.

Today's text, Psalm 104, is a song to express the joy God has in His creation. The key verse for our purpose is verse 31:

“May the glory of the Lord endure forever, may the Lord rejoice in His works.”

This is not a prayer for something that might not happen. The psalmist does not mean: "O, I hope God will rejoice in His works, but I am not sure He will." If that were the meaning then the first line of the verse would have to have the same sense: "O, I hope God's glory will endure forever, but I am not sure it will."

That is surely not what He means. The rock solid confidence of the whole Bible is that the glory of the Lord will not only endure forever but that it will cover the whole earth like the waters cover the sea (Numbers 14:21; Habakkuk 2:14).

The psalmist is not praying that an uncertainty might come to pass. He's exulting in a certainty that will come to pass. There is no doubt behind the shout, "May the glory of the Lord endure forever!" And there is no doubt behind the shout: "May the Lord rejoice in His works!"

So the answer to the first question is YES! God does take pleasure in His creation. He delights in the work of His hands.

Why Is This Important?

Now the question is, WHY? There are two reasons why this question is important to me.

1. One is that I feel compelled to explain why this pleasure God has in His creation is not an act of idolatry.

Why is this pleasure that God has in creation not a dishonor to the Son of God? Why shouldn't the Son be jealous? Should the Father really share His affection with the world? Should He not be totally satisfied in the beauty of His own perfections reflected back to Him in the person of His Son?

2. The other reason for asking why God delights in His creation is that we need to know this before the delight itself can tell us very much about God's character.

Two people can desire the same thing for such different reasons that one is honorable and the other is perverse.

Why God Takes Pleasure in His Creation

So for these two reasons at least let's try to answer the question why God takes pleasure in His creation. I'll try to sum it up in five statements based on this psalm and some other parts of Scripture.

These statements about why God delights in His creation are not really separate reasons because they overlap so much. But they each express a little differently the basic reason. So let's begin with the basic reason that seems to me to be right here in verse 31:

“May the glory of the Lord endure forever, May the Lord rejoice in His works.”

What this suggests to me is that the joy that God has in His works is owing to the fact that they are the expression of His glory. In other words, I think the two halves of this verse are related something like this: "As long as the glory of the Lord endures in His works, God will indeed rejoice in His works." Or you could say, "May the glory of the Lord endure for ever, so that the Lord may rejoice in His works." So my first and most basic, statement is that:

1. God rejoices in His works because His works are an expression of His glory.

This is what Psalm 19 makes very clear:

“The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims His handiwork.”

So the most basic reason that God delights in His creation is that in creation He sees the reflection of His own glory, and therefore He is not an idolater when He delights in His work.

But what about the Son of God? Does this mean that the creation is in competition with the Son for the affection of the Father? Remember that the Son, too, is called the reflection of God's glory (Hebrews 1:3). Does God delight partly in the Son and partly in the creation? Does the creation rob the Son of any of the Father's delight? Should the Son be jealous of the creation?

No. Before creation the Father and the Son rejoiced in each other with overflowing satisfaction. And when the time came for creation the Bible says that both the Father and the Son were active in the work of creation (1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16).

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. All things were made through Him and without Him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:3)

In other words the work of creation is not merely the work of the Father as though He had to satisfy a need that the Son couldn't meet. Nor was creation merely the work of the Son as though He had to satisfy some need that the Father couldn't meet. Instead it was the work of both of them together.

And so when the Bible teaches that creation expresses the glory of God, we must not think merely of the glory of the Father or the glory of the Son, but rather the glory that they have together. And the glory that they have together is that overflowing mutual joy in each other's perfections. So creation is an expression of the overflow of that life and joy that the Father and the Son have in each other.

There is no competition or jealousy in the Godhead. The Son and Father are equally glorified in creation, because creation is the overflow of gladness that they have in each other.

So the first and most basic statement we can make about why God rejoices in His work of creation is that creation is an expression of His glory.

2. God rejoices in the works of creation because they praise Him.

In Psalm 148 the psalmist calls on creation itself to praise the Lord:

“Praise Him, sun and moon,
“praise Him, all you shining stars!
“Praise Him, you highest heavens,
“and you waters above the heavens!
“Let them praise the name of the Lord!
“For He commanded and they were created. . .
“Praise the Lord from the earth,
“you sea monsters and all deeps.” (vv. 3-5,7)

What does this mean? Well we might say that sun and moon and stars praise God by testifying to us about God. That would be true — that's what Psalm 19 says. But what about verse 7: "Praise the Lord you sea monsters and all deeps!"

One of my favorite poems is Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray in 1751. One of the stanzas says,

“Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
“The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
“Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
“And waste its sweetness on the desert air.”

Gray had been moved by the thought that on the bottom of the ocean there were beautiful gems that no human eye would ever see, and that in distant deserts millions of flowers would bloom, blush with vivid colors, give off a sweet fragrance and never be touched or seen or smelled by anybody — but God!

The psalmist is moved by the same thing it seems in verse 7: "Praise the Lord you sea monsters and all deeps!" He doesn't even know what is in all the deeps of the sea! So the praise of the deeps is not merely what they can testify to man.

It seems to me that creation praises God by simply being what it was created to be in all it's incredible variety. And since most of the creation is beyond the awareness of mankind (in the reaches of space, and in the heights of mountains and at the bottom of the sea) it wasn't created by merely to serve purposes that have to do with us. It was created for the enjoyment of God.

Ranger Rick arrives in our house. I open it and read about the European water spider that lives at the bottom of a lake, but breathes air. It does a somersault on the surface of the water and catches a bubble of air, and holds it over the breathing holes in the middle of its body while it swims to the bottom of the lake and spins a silk web among the seaweed. Then it goes up and brings down bubble after bubble until a little balloon of air is formed where it can live and eat and mate.

I sit there with my mouth open and I think God smiles and says, "Yes John, and I have been enjoying that little piece of art for 10,000 years before anybody on earth knew it existed. And if you only knew how many millions of other wonders there are beyond your sight that I behold with gladness everyday!"

Right here in our text, Psalm 104:25-26 it says,

“Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
“which teems with things innumerable, living things
“both small and great.
“There go the ships,
“and Leviathan which thou didst form to sport in it.”

Why did God create great sea monsters? Just to play, to frolic, in the ocean where no man can see but only God. The teeming ocean declares the glory of God, and praises Him a hundred miles from any human eye. That's the second statement about why God rejoices in His works.

3. God rejoices in the works of creation because they reveal His incomparable wisdom.

Look at verse 24:

“O Lord, how manifold are thy works!
“In wisdom has thou made them all;
“the earth is full of thy creatures.”

"In wisdom thou hast made them all"! In other words the Lord delights in the expressions of His wisdom. This universe is simply a masterpiece of wisdom and order. Or if you just take a part of it like the human body — what an amazing work of knowledge and wisdom. Who can fathom the human brain and the mystery of mind and body!

The world is full of the wisdom of God. Take diatoms for example. Ranger Rick had color photographs of microscopic diatoms. There are 10,000 known species of diatoms! In a teaspoon of lake water there may be a million of these tiny invisible plants. And what are they doing while entertaining God with their microscopic beauty? They are making tons and tons of oxygen so that the animals in the water can breathe!

“O Lord, how manifold are thy works!
“In wisdom hast thou made them all.”

The psalmist simply marveled at how everything worked together. You see this in verse 14:

“Thou dost cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
“and plants for man to cultivate,
“that He may bring forth food from the earth.”

What a wonderful experience it is when God grants us a moment in which we don't take anything for granted, but see the world as though it were invented yesterday! How we would marvel at the wisdom of God.

“The Lord is the everlasting God,
“the Creator of the ends of the earth,
“He does not faint for grow weary,
“His understanding is unsearchable.” (Isaiah 40:28)

4. God rejoices in the works of creation because they reveal His incomparable power.

In Isaiah 40:26 Isaiah looks up at the star-filled sky — perhaps on a night like I remember on a mountain in Utah in September 1968, when the sky was literally a sheet of light and star could not be distinguished from star — He looks up and says,

“Lift up your eyes on high and see:
“who created these?
“He who brings out their host by number,
“calling them all by name;
“by the greatness of His might,
“and because He is strong in power
“not one is missing.”

If Isaiah was stunned at the power of God to create and name and sustain every star in the heaven that He could see, what would be His worship today if He were shown that the nearest of those stars in His sky, Alpha Centauri and Proxima Centauri are 25 million million miles away, and that what He was seeing in His night sky was a tiny patch of our galaxy which has in it a hundred billion stars, and that beyond our galaxy there are millions of galaxies?

What is this universe but the lavish demonstration of the incredible, incomparable, unimaginable exuberance and wisdom and power and greatness of God! And what a God He must be! What a God He must be!

Which brings me to the final statement.

5. God rejoices in the works of creation because they point us beyond themselves to God Himself.

God means for us to be stunned and awed by His work of creation. But not for its own sake. He means for us always to look at His creation and say: If the work of His hands is so full of wisdom and power and grandeur and majesty and beauty, what must this God be like in Himself!!

These are but the backside of His glory seen through a glass darkly. What will it be to see the Creator Himself! Not His works! Not even a billion galaxies will satisfy the human soul. God and God alone is the soul's end.

And so our text draws to a close like this (Psalm 104:31-34):

“May the glory of the Lord endure forever,
“may the Lord rejoice in His works,
“who looks on the earth and it trembles,
“who touches the mountains and they smoke!
“I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
“I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
“May my meditation be pleasing to Him,
“for I rejoice in the Lord.
“Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
“and let the wicked be no more!
“Bless the Lord, O my soul!
“Praise the Lord!”

In the end it will not be the seas or the mountains or the canyons or the clouds or the great galaxies that fill our hearts to breaking with wonder and fill our mouths with eternal praise. It will be God Himself.

Oct 30, 2006

Divine Providence

This is going to be a lame blog entry. So readers (all 2 of you) brace yourselves:

I was on a plane heading back to Minneapolis from Dallas and I realized that the only reason the plane had not plummeted thousands of feet to the ground was not by science or logic, but only by the mere pleasure of God to do so. Even if the weather was perfect, the plane was mechanically functioning, and there were no terrorists on board, planes only stay up in the air if God so choses to make them stay in flight! Now, I know this is a rather ridiculous conclusion (I say that meaning it is something we should all realize!) but for some reason it became more real to me that day. In most of my day to day mundane life, I know intellectually that God is in control. Every breath I take is only because it pleases God for me to take that breath! Every morning when I wake up, it is only because of His grace that He's even allowed me to awake! However, it wasn't until I was on that plane that I finally felt completely helpless and solely dependent on His Hand. And by His grace, the plane landed and I was able to make it safely home. But even if the plane had crashed, it was His Sovereign Hand that allowed it...for His pleasure & His glory.

For the Lord will not reject forever, For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness. For He does not afflict willingly Or grieve the sons of men. To crush under His feet All the prisoners of the land, To deprive a man of justice In the presence of the Most High, To defraud a man in his lawsuit--Of these things the Lord does not approve. Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass,Unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That both good and ill go forth?
Lamentations 3
:31-38

Oct 26, 2006

The unworthiness and unlikeliness of its objects

(Arthur Pink, "The Attributes of God")

"The Gospel addresses men as guilty, condemned, perishing criminals. It declares that the most chaste moralist is in the same terrible plight as is the most voluptuous profligate; and the zealous professor, with all his religious performances, is no better off than the most profane infidel.

The Gospel contemplates every person as a fallen, polluted, hell-deserving and helpless sinner. The grace which the Gospel publishes is his only hope! Grace is a perfection of the divine character which is exercised only toward the elect. Divine grace is the sovereign and saving favor of God exercised in the bestowment of blessings upon those who have no merit in them, and for which no compensation is demanded from them.

Nay, more; grace is the favor of God shown to those who not only have no positive deserts of their own, but who are thoroughly ill-deserving and hell-deserving! Divine grace is completely unmerited and unsought, and is altogether unattracted by anything in or from or by the objects upon which it is bestowed. Grace can neither be bought, earned, nor won by the creature. If it could be, it would cease to be grace. When a thing is said to be of "grace," we mean that the recipient has no claim upon it--that it was not in any way due him. It comes to him as pure charity, and, at first, unasked and undesired.

Because grace is unmerited favor, it must be exercised in a sovereign manner. Therefore does the Lord declare, "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious." Exod. 33:19 The great God is under no obligation to any of His creatures, least of all to those who are rebels against Him.

The distinguishing grace of God is seen in saving those people whom He has sovereignly singled out to be His high favorites. By "distinguishing" we mean that grace discriminates, makes differences, chooses some and passes by others. Nowhere does the glory of God's free and sovereign grace shine more conspicuously, than in the unworthiness and unlikeliness of its objects.

Nothing more riles the natural man, and brings to the surface his innate and inveterate enmity against God, than to press upon him the eternality, the freeness, and the absolute sovereignty of divine grace. That grace cannot be earned or won by any efforts of man, is too self-emptying for self-righteousness. And that grace singles out whom it pleases to be its favored object, arouses hot protests from haughty rebels. "

Oct 23, 2006

Their foot shall slide in due time - Deuteronomy 32:35

"The observation from the words that I would now insist upon is this. -- "There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God." -- By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God's mere will had in the least degree, or in any respect whatsoever, any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment."

- Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Oct 12, 2006

Who will set me free from the body of this death?

"We flatly reject the idea that one can have salvation and be an adulterer/murderer at the same time, unlike Calvinism. So YES, we do definitely reject and oppose Calvinism. We believe the Bible."

I want to address the above statement, (an email I received...I'll leave the author unknown) because I believe this is a common misunderstanding of what "Calvinists" believe.

First and foremost, the idea that I do not "believe the bible" is simply ludicrous. My doctrinal beliefs are based on the bible. I do not call myself a Calvinist because I agree with everything Calvin taught. I believe the bible to be the complete Word of God and I do not value man's opinion or theology higher than God's. And that is not to say I feel my beliefs are perfect to what God's are...but from my studying, I agree that the 5 points of Calvinism are indeed biblical and call to us to glorify God to the fullest.

All right. With that said, let me address this: " We flatly reject the idea that one can have salvation and be an adulterer/murderer at the same time, unlike Calvinism"

I, a 5 point Calvinist, flatly reject the idea that one can have salvation and be an adulterer/murderer at the same time also! How could one, a slave to sin, inherit the Kingdom of God? No "sinner" will be in heaven. But those who have been forgiven and are now a new creation, no longer desiring to sin against our loving and beautiful God will be in heaven with Christ. We will be in heaven with Christ because we are sinners who've been forgiven.

When we have died to sin and are buried with Christ through baptism (note, not regeneration at baptism...read Romans 6) we are new creations. No longer does sin have control over us. While we had no light, we continued in our sin. The evil in this world controlled us and our sinful nature had dominion over our souls. We had no choice but to continue in disobedience until the light of Christ shined in our hearts. The Law showed us our sins. It was like a mirror; we saw ourselves as God see's us. It wasn't only our actions that God looked at, but also the meditations of our heart. Jesus told us that even lusting in our heart was committing adultery in our hearts. And anger in our hearts was the same as murder in our hearts. It is not only the act in itself that is sinful, but the heart itself, in its corruption, that is the cause of sin in the first place.

When we have been saved, we all still sin. But Paul says "consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus" -Romans 6:11. We are dead to sin; we are no longer slaves to it, but slaves of righteousness (Romans 6:18). With the Spirit of God living in every true believer, He will guide us and sanctify us as we carry out His will.

However, when we (as believers) commit sin, we do not delight in it. Remember what Paul said,

"For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin."

Even Paul battled against his flesh, and it will be a constant battle until we have new bodies and this world has been made perfect. Even so, "if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin."-Romans 6:5-7

How amazing!! If I am have been saved, I've been washed in His blood, my sins have been crucified with Him and I am now free to live righteously, through Christ Jesus living in me. I am no longer a liar, an adulterer, murderer, or a coveter. My true self is now in Jesus. "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me!"

"...if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him."

Amen! May the love of Christ rule in your hearts.

Oct 9, 2006

Just to clarify

I just wanted to clarify my last post:

We are "being saved." When we come to know Christ and are "saved" it's not as if we are completely sanctified at that moment. It's a constant growing in grace, a growing in holiness. We are not perfect, but we are being made perfect.

SO...when I say that "Total Depravity, The Trinity, and Justification by faith alone" are essential for "salvation" I mean that they will come to be known as truth. The work of the Holy Spirit is not going to lead us to believe false doctrines, is He? So as we grow in grace, we should, when examining ourselves, come to understand and believe these doctrines.

MY OPINION.

Also, this is an awesome interview with Paul Washer and Kirk Cameron. Let me know what you think. Oh, and if you'd like to download any of his sermons, click here.

Kirk and Todd interviews Paul Washer

Oct 5, 2006

This is me talking with love

It is not my intention to be harsh, or rude. Nor is it my intention to argue about meaningless doctrines. It is my intention to speak the truth with love...and when I write my posts I never desire to attack anyone. However, there are some things I do strongly stand against and sometimes I get hot-headed and start spewing out words that sound cruel.

For that, I want to apologize to anyone I've offended.

But I cannot apologize for my beliefs. If you disagree with me, that is completely fine and I have no problem discussing it! Iron sharpens iron, right? And I believe with my heart that God teaches us through His people. I try to read every thought with an open mind, but if I match it up to scripture and it is found to be a lie, then I have to bring it to light! I have to defend God's Word! My Pastor once said, "God is not a respecter of persons!" And he's right! It doesn't matter if you've studied the bible for 35 years, whether or not you've been an elder or if all your friends tell you that you are the nicest person in the world! That doesn't matter if you are not saved.

The doctrines I believe are essential for salvation are:
  • Total Depravity
  • Justification by faith alone
  • The Trinity
Why these, you ask? Well, if you don't understand how totally depraved your mind is, how your wicked works have made you an enemy of God, how your greatest deeds are like flilthy rags to God, then how can you understand God's mercy? If you don't understand that you've sinned against a perfect, holy and just God, then how will you ever have remorse for breaking His laws?

Secondly, if you do not understand that faith is a gift from God...
Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
well, then how can you understand His grace?

And lastly (these aren't an any particular order) if you do not believe that God sent His Son into the world to die for your sins...then how can you believe anything the bible teaches? The Trinity is so plain in scripture, it just makes me want to pull my hair out when people do not recognize it!

This is God's Truth we are speaking of. It cannot be taken lightly.

Any opinions would be lovely!! And if you think there are other essentials, then comment.

(ps) I'm 5'1 and very quiet. When I speak, people normally do not listen. My voice is pretty quiet. So try and imagine that when I blog. :D

Oct 3, 2006

Spurgeon speaks


"We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it, we do not. The Arminians say, Christ died for all men. Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say, "No, certainly not." We ask them the next question-Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They say, "No." They are obliged to admit this if they are consistent. They say, "No; Christ has died so that any man may be saved if"-and then follow certain conditions of salvation. We say then, we will just go back to the old statement-Christ did not die so as beyond a doubt to secure the salvation of anybody, did He? You must say "No;" you are obliged to say so, for you believe that even after a man has been pardoned, he may yet fall from grace and perish. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why you... We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ's death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved, and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it." (Charles Spurgeon, Sermon 181, New Park Street Pulpit, IV, p. 135)

Sep 29, 2006

Say a little prayer....

Sunday, October 1st, my best friend and I (my best friend being Ariana) will be running our first marathon! 26.2 long, tiring miles!! BUT...we are so excited and so nervous at the same time!!

If you have a moment, could you keep us in your prayers? I pray all of my brothers and sisters have a beautiful weekend, filled with God, with joy, and with glorifying our Father.

May the love of Christ rule in your hearts.

Sep 28, 2006

Be thou my vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Sep 27, 2006

New layout

As you can see, I've made a couple of changes!! I hope you like the new layout!

Unfortunately, I've been a bit down lately, so I haven't much to say....but "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 3:14

Please pray for my obedience.

Sep 22, 2006

Soul-mollifying

(Thomas Brooks, "Heaven on Earth" 1667)

Saving faith is soul-softening, it is
soul-mollifying. Peter believes soundly--and weeps bitterly. Mary Magdalene believes much--and weeps much. Faith sets . . . a wounded Christ, a bruised Christ, a despised Christ, a pierced Christ, a bleeding Christ --before the soul, and this makes the soul sit down and weep bitterly: "They will look on Me whom they have pierced and mourn for Him (all gospel-mourning flows from believing), as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for Him as for a firstborn son who has died." Zechariah 12:10. Oh! the sight of those wounds which their sins have made--will wound their hearts through and through! It will make them lament over Christ with a bitter lamentation. Ah! nothing will kindly, sweetly, and effectually break the hardened heart of a sinner, but faith's beholding the blood of Christ trickling down His sides! That Christ should love man when he was most unlovely; that man's extreme misery should but inflame Christ's affections of love and mercy--this melts the believing soul. That Christ should leave the eternal bosom of His Father; that He who was equal with God--should come in the form of a servant; that He who was clothed with glory--should be wrapped in rags; that He whom the heaven of heavens could not contain--should be cradled in a manger; that from His cradle to His cross--His whole life should be a life of sorrows and sufferings; that the Judge of all flesh should be condemned; that the Lord of life should be put to death; that He who was His Father's joy--should in anguish of spirit cry out, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' that that head which was crowned with honor--should be crowned with thorns; that those eyes which were as a flame of fire, which were clearer than the sun--should be closed up by the darkness of death; that those ears which were used to hear nothing but hallelujahs--should hear nothing but blasphemies; that that face which was white and ruddy--should be spit upon by the beastly Jews; that that tongue which spoke as never any man spoke, yes, as never any angel spoke--should be accused of blasphemy; that those hands which swayed both a golden scepter and an iron rod, and those feet which were as fine brass--should be nailed to the cross--and all this for man's transgression, for man's rebellion! Oh! the sight of these things, the believing of these things, makes a gracious soul to break and bleed, to sigh and groan, to mourn and lament! True faith is a heart-breaking, a heart-melting faith.

Sep 20, 2006

Lord, help me believe

(Thomas Brooks, "Heaven on Earth" 1667)

"That no flesh should glory in His presence." 1 Corinthians 1:29

God does not look for any goodness or merit in the creature to draw
His love--but He will justify, pardon, and save for His name's sake. All
the motives which move God to show mercy are in His own bosom.

Salvation is only from free grace, and not from anything good in us,
or done by us.

God is free to bestow His promises upon whomever He pleases.
He often steps over the rich, and chooses the poor;
He often steps over the learned, and chooses the ignorant;
He often steps over the strong, and chooses the weak;
He often steps over the sweet nature, and chooses the wicked nature;
He often steps over the noble, and chooses the vile; etc.,
that no flesh may glory, and that all may shout out "Grace, grace!"

"By the grace of God I am what I am!" 1 Corinthians 15:10

Sep 19, 2006

Valley of Vision

This prayer book, Valley of Vision, is amazing. It's a Puritan prayer book, full of beautiful prayers about the Trinity, God's grace & mercy, Jesus' sacrifice, and so much more. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new devotional. Here's just one of the prayers I love:

Morning Dedication
Almighty God,
As I cross the threshold of this day
I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to thy care;
Watch over, keep, guide, direct, sanctify, bless me.
Incline my heart to thy ways;
Mould me wholly into the image of Jesus, as a potter forms clay;
May my lips be a well-tuned harp to sound thy praise;
Let those around see me living by the Spirit,
trampling the world underfoot,
unconformed to lying vanities,
clad in the entire armour of God,
shining as a never-dimmed light,
showing holiness in all my doings.
Let no evil this day soil my thoughts, words, hands.
May I travel miry paths with a life pure from spot or stain.
In needful transactions let my affection be in heaven,
and my love soar upwards in flames of fire,
my gaze fixed on unseen things,
my eyes open to the emptiness, fragility,
mockery of earth and its vanities.
May I view all things in the mirror of eternity,
waiting from the coming of my Lord,
listening for the last trumpet call,
hastening unto the new heaven and earth.
Order this day all my communications according to thy wisdom,
Forbid that I should not be profited or made profitable.
May I speak each word as if my last word,
and walk each step as my final one.
If my life should end today, let this be my best day.

Sep 14, 2006

Mr. Spurgeon speaks:


"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I could learn Your statutes." (Psalm 119:67, 71)
In seasons of severe trial, the Christian has nothing on earth that he can trust to, and is therefore compelled to cast himself on God alone. When no human deliverance can avail, he must simply and entirely trust himself to the providence and care of God. Happy storm that wrecks a man on such a rock as this! O blessed hurricane that drives the soul to God--and God alone!
When a man is so poor, so friendless, so helpless that he has nowhere else to turn--he flies into his Father's arms, and is blessedly clasped therein! When he is burdened with troubles so pressing and so peculiar, that he cannot tell them to any but his God, he may be thankful for them; for he will learn more of his Lord then, than at any other time.
Oh, tempest-tossed believer, it is a happy trouble that drives you to your Father! (Charles Spurgeon)

Sep 13, 2006

Romans 9:16: So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.


This past weekend marked the biggest feat of my life: I RAN 21 MILES.

Despite the fact that I walked around like a drunk for the rest of the day (mind you, I was not actually drunk), I felt marvelous. What an accomplishment! What a feat! I was so proud of myself!! I called and told everyone I knew what I had done!

Then it happened. No matter how huge of an accomplishment it was, I forgot that it was God who brought me through it. I found myself getting very cocky and very...well...arrogant. *sigh*

Time and time again, over and over and over again, I fail to recognize that all that I am and all that I have and all that I have done is completely a gift from God. It astounds me how easily I forget that! How can I call myself a Christian? I mean, when I am brutally honest with myself, I see me: Samantha: the worldly, arrogant jerk who enjoys flaunting herself more than glorifying God.

Ouch. That really hurts to say it outloud. Am I alone in this? How much refining will it take? What will I have to loose in order to be genuinely thankful? Because all that I am and all that I do seems to be all that Jesus commands me not to do! It's so frustrating! I feel ashamed even coming to God when I realize these things. The filth is so heavy on my heart, that I cannot comprehend Him forgiving me.

Our Pastor gave one of the best sermons this Sunday. He spoke about how he was in New York with his wife and about how much fun they had. They went dancing, got free lodging, went out for dinner...but they spent little time with God. He said he found himself not wanting to even think about God. And when he got home, he felt so ashamed of himself that he thought himself unworthy to even pray.

But....are we ever actually worthy enough to come to God? The times when our routine is distracted and we don't get to have that "personal worship time" or "1-hour-a-night" bible time, does that make us "unworthy" or is it that we are always "unworthy"? hmmm?

His message hit home. I am never worthy enough to come to God. The only reason I even came to God was because He called me to Himself first! The only reason I love is because He loved me first! The only reason I can approach Him is because of His Son's sacrifice. So the days when I do my "Christian" things make me no more worthy than the days I forget or seem to sin more.

I am not trying to say "stop trying" or anything like that, we are alive only through Him and it is because HE is worthy and because HE is perfect that we are made right. And even still, the merit due to us is ZERO. ZIPPO. ZILCH!

Oh how dark our hearts are, yet how marvelous His grace is to save us.

Sep 11, 2006

My Testimony of His Grace

I am going to get re-baptised this Sunday and I have to read my testimony the church. I thought this a great chance to share God's grace for a sinner as wretched as me! All glory to the One who has cleansed us by the shedding of His blood!

I was baptized as an infant and raised in a Catholic family. I received all the necessary Catholic sacraments, went to church almost every Sunday, but I never really thought much about God. I believed in Him, but I had no desire to know Him.

When I was 16, my friend was killed in a car accident. I was furious at God, I knew He could have prevented it, so why He didn't baffled me. I thought God was the God of love, and this certainly was not loving to me. Instead of running to Him for comfort, I ran away from Him and stopped attending church all together.

When I was 18, I met Michael, who is now my husband. He told me that he loved God and loved going to church! Almost everything we talked about had something to do with God! So when I told him I was Catholic, I figured he'd be pleased that I was a Christian. But he wasn't, to my surprise! And he told me the only way we could stay together would be if the bible was my only authority for Truth. He also said we couldn't get married if I remained Catholic.

This, of course, was a huge blow to my pride. I thought I was right and I desperately tried to prove him wrong. I picked up my bible and actually started reading it for the first time. And instead of convincing Michael that I was right, I was convinced that I was wrong. The bible started making sense suddenly. While I use to think I was a pretty good person, I read in Isaiah that, "all my righteous deeds were like filthy garments" in the sight of God! Suddenly my sins seemed very serious and it finally hit me how wretched and dirty I really was.

I am not completely sure when I was saved. I do know, however, that by no work of my own, I have been saved by His grace. My desires have changed from enjoying my sin, to hating my sin! From being angry when things didn't go my way, to actually praying for brokenness and humility. Suddenly I love reading God's Word and love being in fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ. And now, I understand what Paul meant when he said in Romans 8:28 that, "all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose" I now know that suffering can be a blessing. It's through the most trying of times that my face is fixed on the cross.

Sep 8, 2006

Thy will be done

I was listening to John MacArthur and he was speaking about God's will. He said that God's will is not always done on earth, but that it is only done completely in Heaven....which is why we pray that "His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven."

The Plan of Prayer


I'm confused. Can someone explain this please? I always thought God's will was always done?