You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Gospel’ category.

I have been woefully absent from blogging for a long time. In the midst of life adjustments I forgot about blogging, but I think I’m back. And I have also moved.

Come check out the new digs here: www.EveryManComplete.com

This past Sunday I had the privilege to preach and my text was Hebrews 12:1-3, one of my favorites. As I tried to unpack this passage and explain what this text meant to the original audience and how it can apply to us, one phrase stuck out. “laying aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us,”. An encumbrance is simply a bulk, weight or mass of some kind. It isn’t necessarily bad. But as the author says, we need to lay it aside. So, I started asking myself what are the encumbrances that I need to lay aside so that I can run the race of faith better? Television, internet, books, relationships…. what is slowing me down? This is not an easy question and sometimes not a pleasant one to answer.

The author then continues to press his point by saying we need also to remove the sin that entangles us. This entanglement is harasses or attacks us. It trips us up. Like running the race with our shoes untied. So what could this sin be that seems to be constant in our lives? Jerry Bridges in his book Respectable Sins, details some of the sins that we passively overlook in our lives. It could be discontentment, unthankfulness, pride, selfishness, lack of self control, impatience & irritability, anger, judgementalism, envy, tongue or worldliness. One thing that is common with all sin – IT ISN’T PASSIVE.

Sin is active.

C.J. Mahaney wrote an article a little more than a month ago concerning the issue with Tiger Woods and the deception of sin:

“Deception is part of sin’s DNA. Sin lies to us. It seeks to convince us that sin brings only pleasure, that it carries no consequences, and that no one will discover it. Sin works hard to make us forget that character, conduct, and consequences are interconnected. And when we neglect this relationship—when we think our sins will not be discovered—we ultimately mock God.”

Some of us have been lulled into thinking that if we can suppress sin long enough it will just away; we have fooled ourselves by saying sin is not really a big deal. And in reality we have mocked God. Proverbs 28:13 “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.” What sin(s) in our lives do we need to confess to God? We have the promise in scripture that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Thank God for his long-suffering for us His children!

“In order for us to be made alive, all our sins must be forgiven, not merely some of them. Not just the big ones. In fact, there is no such thing as a little sin — all sin is an infinite offense because God is infinitely holy. Any type or amount of sin earns a death sentence.”

Jerry Bridges & Bob Bevington, The Great Exchange: My Sin for His Righteousness (Wheaton: Crossway, 2007), 190

I received a prayer letter from some friends serving in a foreign land this morning. What a challenge he put forth in just a short amount of paragraphs. Here is what it reads:

Tuesday, 10:35pm.  After a brimming full weekend of ministry (attending friend’s 50th birthday party, preaching at a small church), Monday had been a day of preparation for guests (6 arrived on Tuesday—two runs to the airport).  A neighbor had confided to us their marriage is on the brink.  Now when we wanted to be finding our pillows, we were sitting in our  neighbor’s kitchen, peeling back the debris from a war zone—a cruel and vicious war.

What hope do you offer two people who have systematically destroyed all hope, trust, and respect for each other?

Jesus Christ. He is the hope for the hopeless and a refuge for the broken.

I wish I could write and say that both offenders fell to their knees and prayed for forgiveness from each other from God.  As best as we could we enunciated the Gospel and told them of their need and the remedy found only in Christ.

How hard it is to see people remain unyielding and their hearts blinded.  But part of ministry, real ministry, is seeing people reject the truth and endeavoring to love them and continue to pray and continue to share God’s truth with them.  Real ministry takes a toll.  It takes endurance.  It takes walking by faith and not by sight.  It often comes when we are at the end of ourselves. When it is not convenient, or wanted, or ideal.  Please pray for us that we would have grace and strength to engage and face the opportunities of real ministry.

“God’s grace – that is, God’s blessings in Christ toward helpless sinners who deserve only his curse – is the only reason Christ tasted death for us. Nothing we could do could cause or compel God to love us enough to send his Son to die for us…

All we can “do” is fall on our faces, bankrupt before him, and receive grace from his almighty, holy, and loving hand while we acknowledge that none of this would be happening were it not for the historical fact that Jesus, “because of the suffering of death” (Heb. 2:9), tasted the full bitterness of the death we deserved.” (p. 219)
Jerry Bridges – The Great Exchange

I recently posted on someone’s status on facebook concerning the question,

“Where will you spend eternity once your final breath is taken?”.

I responded with my conviction from study of scripture that I have a hope, that is not in myself, but God. Here is what I wrote:

“Webster’s definition of Hope: to expect with confidence. I have confidence that I will spend eternity with God. It is surely not because of me… if you’ve ever met me, then you would understand; I am not perfect nor will I ever be. My confidence is also not in who governs us in this country, my confidence is not in what laws are passed, my confidence is not in anything I can do. My real, genuine, bold confidence is in the finished work Jesus Christ did for me on the cross. That is my hope and I long for the day when I met my Savior face to face.”

Where is your hope?

This past weekend I attended a monthly Men’s breakfast at a local church in the area. I have recently met with the pastor a few times concerning us presenting our ministry there and he invited me to their breakfast. He said he was going to speak on purity because of recent discussions he has had with individuals in and out of the church.

The time was good and encouraging – a good expository teaching time from the word in 1 Thessalonians 4. He ended the time by reading Josh Harris’ story of  “the room“, something I had heard a couple of years ago while teaching on purity while a youth pastor in Michigan. I used Josh Harris video series and in that series there is a little video at the end playing out the story.

This is definitely worth your time to read or watch. Whether you are a man or woman, it is convicting and will cause you evaluate your life and relationship with Jesus.

Go here to read it for yourself!

-jeff

James MacDonald posted on Friday a very worthwhile read on how the gospel is being distorted in our day.

Go read it for yourself!

-jeff

Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 7 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 4,698 hits

I’m a book reviewer

I review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers