C.J. Mahaney's advice on raising sons
An excerpt from Charles Bridges study on Proverbs
He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
Proverbs 10: 5
Laziness has just been contrasted with diligence.
Forethought is here opposed to lack of foresight.
The importance of opportunity is practically admitted
in temporal matters.
Joseph wisely gathered in summer and harvest for the coming need.
The woman of Canaan and the blind men improved their
So also will the wise son gather his blessing at the right time.
The freshness of youth is a summer harvest. It is as much the will of God, that the young should gather knowledge, as that the farmer should gather his harvest.
The wise gathering in this summer gives substance, vigor, high-tone
and power of usefulness in later life!
How often may we trace poverty of mind, weakness of character, unprofitable habits, to sleeping in this fruitful harvest!
He who idles away the time of his youth will bear the shame of it when he is old.
While we have opportunity, let us do good.
How high is the privilege of laboring with Christ in such a harvest!
How great the shame of doing nothing where there is so much to be done! What a harvest also is the present “acceptable time”!
Mark the abundance of the means of grace, the living freshness of the gospel. The Bible opens the way. The Savior invites. The Holy Spirit strives with the conscience. The Lord’s Day is a golden gathering time for the week. It draws us aside from the world; it is filled with the peace, joy, and hope of heaven.
Now, am I diligently improving this harvest? Or am I sleeping?
The Lord preserve me from the ruin of sleeping away the invaluable hours of “the day of salvation”! Can I bear the thought of that desponding cry of eternal remorse – “Harvest is past, summer is ended, and we are not saved”!
Study in Proverbs
1 Peter 4:8-11
Have you ever had a rough day? Have you been treated poorly? Have you felt like the world is against you? How do you respond to that kind of day? Can you imagine showing up to Church and serving in Welcoming Ministry with this feeling of oppression? How would you interact with new visitors to the Church or members of the church you don’t know all that well?
The temptation for us is to keep to ourselves when the going gets tough. We tend to want to go to our happy place, a comfortable place, and one that is usually alone.
God calls us to something against our nature, against our natural inclinations. When we want to be inward focused, the Scripture calls us to be outward focused.
And as a welcoming ministry, this is our charge: to be outward focused even when we don’t want to be.Text 1 Peter 4:8-11
And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.Background / Context
Peter is writing this as an encouragement to Christians who are being persecuted (4:12 says they are facing a “fiery trial”) and who consider themselves as pilgrims/sojourners (1:1).
These are believers who daily face a sense of difficulty and yet, Peter is calling them to not wallow in self-pity, but rather to be outward and other focused.Outline
Fervently Love One Another (v8)
Fervently Love: Literally “A Stretched Out Love”. The command here is to love one another to the ends of our ability. Love that goes beyond comfortable. If it were a likened to a foot race, it’s not a light jog but it’s a body breaking sprint that leaves you breathless at the finish line.
In a similar way, the love that we are called to love each other is one that is all out and pushing the limits
We are to love with a love that pushes the limits of our energy
We are to love with a love that pushes the limits of our money/time/resource
We are to love with a love that pushes the limits of our patience (even to the point of being patient with someone who offends us – quoting Proverbs 10:12 - Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins)Be Hospitable without Grumbling (v9)
Hospitable: One of those compound greek words that put together 2 words/ideas to communicate a single idea.
Philoxenos – brotherly love for strangers/foreigners/aliens (also used in 1 Tim 3:2 and Titus 1:8 as one of the qualifications of an elder)
This word implies a generosity to people that you may not know.
This is fitting for us as a welcoming ministry because we come across a lot of new faces. We are commanded to have a brotherly affection towards people and that brotherly affection should result in generous welcoming.
This is why I think the hosting dinners are important and why inviting people to your personal/church events is especially meaningful.
The last part is key “without grumbling” … hospitality should come out of a heart that is willing and not complaining. Generosity is not the act of opening your home/life, it’s the desire to do so with joy. This is in line with the idea of fervently loving (or stretched out loving) that we just described earlier.The How
Minister to One Another with the gifts you’ve received.
It is your responsibility as a “good steward of the manifold grace of God” to exercise your gifts to love others fervently.
There are 2 major areas of spiritual gifting:
Gifts of Speech
Gifts of Service
Whatever gift you have, use it to edify
1 Corinthians 14:12
12 Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.
This is loving to edify / build up others.The Why
It is important to note that these gifts are from God and so we minister with the ability which God supplies (v11). This is sovereignly arranged by God so that God might be glorified in Jesus Christ.
All things must glorify God and this is no exception. Our fervent love, our generous hospitality, and the exercising of our spiritual gifts to edify people MUST honor and glorify God.Conclusion
Fight the tendency to be selfish. Bad days don’t give us the excuse to keep to ourselves. God calls us to be outwardly focused. The Christians that Peter address in this letter had every excuse, but Peter makes no exception. Whatever the circumstance, do not fall to the temptation to ignore others.
Love Fervently – our love for people is not a love that is convenient. It’s a love that is extraordinary; a love that goes out of its way to love.
Be Hospitable in the heart – be generous with your time, money, patience, homes and be glad in your heart. Give of yourself without complaining.
To take full advantage of your small groups. Here are some words to that end:
1) First, take advantage of the leaders--invite them into your lives, seek their prayers, seek their counsel and listen intently to what they have to say, seek to pray for them. These are the SUREST ways you can encourage them as they labor over your souls. They have nothing but your growth and the glory of God on their hearts as they serve you.
God has placed a certain ORDER in your life, and being under a leader in a small group is a part of that. Seek out your leaders as it will prove that you have genuine humility and that you understand the function of the church of Jesus Christ.
If you are not going to your leaders, then you are in a way forsaking the way in which God wants to equip you for your Christian race.
2) Second, I understand we can't forcibly make friendships, but God has providentially placed each of you in a flock and in a small group. Meet with one another for accountability and prayer. Serve one another tirelessly. Consider each other more important than yourself. Be genuinely interested and concerned about what's going on in each other's lives. Not everything can be said and done within the span of a small group gathering. Use your time for one another.
Your Flock is your MAIN source of ministry--ministering and being ministered to. If you are not serving in OUR FLOCK, then you ARE NOT REALLY SERVING the body at large. It's like someone who "loves" their friends but always fights with family.
3.) (This goes beyond small groups) Be gracious and kind to one another. Be sensible and sober as you speak to one another. Do your best not to offend needlessly another brother or sister. Control your actions and your words so that a fellow saint is edified. Treat each other with respect and dignity, being that we are all made in the image of Christ.
Remember, this is your group that God has sovereignly placed you in for the purpose of growing in your salvation. If you have any concerns or thoughts regarding how that purpose is being carried out, come and speak to me. Overall, I think that our structure serves us well. But I appreciate any insight.
4.) And lastly, if there are any difficulties, whether in flock/church or outside, PLEASE SHARE. Don't hold back. Don't go to others just b/c you can't get along w/ someone or you don't "mesh" with a given person, even if a small group leader. As your pastor and flock shepherd, I have the joy, and it is that, of toiling night and day over your souls in prayer and in counsel. I (and Jane) are never too busy to listen, to talk, to pray. Please, don't feel that you are impinging upon our family time. But you have to initiate. You have to make the phone call, send the email, speak to me in person. Even for the sisters, spending time with both Jane and me--that's to your advantage.
Especially for sisters...in light of Titus 2:4-5, being with a married woman & mother is THE WAY of being trained up in biblical womanhood (you can still learn some of this stuff and other things from Susie!). I see THIS as the biggest weakness and greatest threat for our sisters throughout the church. Learn what it means to be submissive to a husband, to take care of children, to care for a home, and to have a gentle and quiet spirit which is precious in the sight of our Lord.
I admonish these things as instruction, as warning, and as correction; but all out of the sincerest love and warmest affection. You have been such a sweet blessing from the Lord. I am utterly undeserving of having the joy of caring for each of you. So it is my distinct honor and privilege to shepherd you by instruction and admonition so that you mature in Christ and can stand before Him on that last day having run a great race (Col 1:28-29).
Thank you for reading this lengthy email. I expect 500 calls and emails and conversations within the next month...
Your grateful servant,
4/16/06 - End of Innocence: The Pain of Losing a Loved One
Sunday Service – Easter
John 11:1-4, 17-44
James just attended a funeral of a distant relative. She was 85 and a faithful woman, who went home with the Lord. And then he heard of a death of another girl who was just 25, at the prime of her time. Over 500 people attended her funeral. People were speechless at her death. We’ll also be dead in the next 100 years. We are powerless before death. We can’t bargain with this.
Solomon said that “better to go to the house of mourning.” The perspective of death reminds us our mortality; keep us in our place.
2 It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.Pain of Losing a Love One
Losing a love one is a unique pain – the most sorrowful pain in our lives.
Katie Couric – an interview in 1991. She said the greatest pain she experienced was the death of her husband, leaving her with two children.
Even Jesus, the Son of God experienced this pain:
John 11:1-2 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill.
These are special friends with Jesus. Jesus loved Mary and Martha, and Lazarus. Later, we found that Lazarus had died, leaving the two sisters alone. V. 32: "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
v. 35 Jesus wept. He was deeply grieved. At the time, men did not show emotion in public, not to mention crying. This was an unbelievable picture that God was showing his human emotion. However, here we saw Christ tenderly shedding tear. Why did he cry? He was not crying because of Lazarus, not his personal loss of Lazarus.
Hebrews 4:15 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.
Our Lord was weeping with Mary, sympathizing with Mary. His response is not callousness, throwing doctrines to us, but showing sympathy.
In history, mankind has experienced such loss and pain. Mankind has longed for seeing the lost loved ones after death. This is a universal longing. “One Sweet Day.” Even ganster guys sang this theme. Eric Clapton, “Tears in Heaven.” He wrote this after the death of his 4-year-old son.
V. 21 Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” You have the power to heal him.The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ
…So that the son of God will be glorified through this event.
v. 25 "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”
What a tremendous statement. There is no eternal life, no resurrection apart from Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way to resurrection because He is the Resurrection.
John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
Apart from Christ – you will wait up a nightmare, meeting a God with his wrath against your sin.
No founders of any religion dared to make claim of such.The Promise of Jesus Christ
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Our strength of our faith is not in our faith, but the object of our faith. This is not how much we believe, but whom we believe.
John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.The Proofs of Jesus Christ
Lazarus: He raised him up from his grave.
John 11:39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days."
40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?" 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me." 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out." 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."
Christ backed it up his own claim. There was no denial. There was no investigation.
The Empty Tomb: Where Christ was buried, the tomb was empty.
Some said the Roman soldiers took the body, the Jewish leaders took the body – they wouldn’t do so, ‘cause they wanted to show Jesus was dead.
The apostles took the body? At that time, they were all discouraged and denying Christ. Why would they die for a lie? All of them martyred except John.
Thomas didn’t believe it. John 20:25 "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe." Christ showed him.
The testimony and Martyrdom of the Apostles.The Question of Jesus Christ
Do you believe this? Do you believe Jesus Christ is the resurrection?
What do you need to do? Believe – there is no condemnation. To believe means to confess your sin, that you are a sinner. You have offended your Holy God, repenting of who you are.Final Thought
For believers: All the more in resurrection Sunday – Death wants to manipulate us, with worry and anxiety. We must not fear death. Death is not the end. Death is a mean to our resurrection. We will not taste death. We exhale our last breath, and the next breath is with the Lord. It’s the passage to life. “When the Lord calls me home, I go with gladness.” Go with eagerness.
Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
We learned that Christ shared our own pain, sorrow. Remember 11:35 when you hesitate to call out to the Lord, pour out your heart.
May we live as we believe the resurrection, because we do. That’s what Paul was pursuing. That he may know the power of his resurrection.
4/9/06 - The Centrality of the Cross: Jesus is Flogged
John 19:1-16 - Jesus died to save us from hell, not from the Cross.
The passage from Isaiah 52:13-53:12 – the prophecy of today’s passage. This passage was skipped from scripture reading in Jewish synagogue.I. The Physical Torture of the Christ (v.1-3)
Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.
Verse 1: He’s flogged. This is not used on Roman citizens. Used to greater inflict to the torture of the crucifixion.
There were no limit on how many; called half-death; death shortly after; sometimes internal organs are exposed.
No description on the details of the torture, but at the time, this was a common knowledge to the readers.
Accompanied by mocking, spitting; insulted “he’s the King of the Jews;” crown of thorn (physical and emotional insult).
You can see the Lord’s dignity, his beauty, enduring the pain from the hand of sinners, the ones who heard “he has no sins,” yet engaged in the act.
OT prophecies of the act: “He will reign in his suffering.”
19 You know my reproach, and my shame and my dishonor;
my foes are all known to you.
20 Reproaches have broken my heart, so that I am in despair.
I looked for pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none.
6 I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.
7 But the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
And Isaiah 53.II. The suffering savior before the World. (v.4 - 8)
Luke 23:47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, "Certainly this man was innocent!"
The robber confessed the innocence of Jesus.
Pilate’s plan was recorded in Luke 23:16 I will therefore punish and release him,” although v.4 – “I’m bringing him out, clearly I didn’t find any guilt in him.” He used the punishment to buy the crowd to release him – “has this man suffered enough?” (after the flogging)
But the crowd showed no sympathy. “His suffering is not enough. He needs to be killed.”
Pilate: “Then you kill him.” He knew they had no authority to do so.
Pilate retreated when he got Caesar’s flag in the temple, while Jewish leaders rioted.
Now the Jewish leaders have the twisted reason. They threaten Pilate again, like in the past. Pilate is afraid and went back to question Jesus again.III. The Silence of Christ (v. 9)
1. Fulfilled the prophesy: Isaiah 53 prophesized his silence when Pilate questioned him again.
2. He knew Pilate’s heart; he knew Pilate heart won’t be moved by what he said.
When we continue to close our heart, refuse to repent, to submit his will. Like Pilate, God will be silent. There will be lack of discernment, lack of insight. It’s a form of God’s judgment.IV. The Responsible parties involved in Christ’s death on the Cross. (v.10-12)
“You have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.”
Acts 2:23 This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
Acts 4:28 … to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
We know that the Romans soldier, the Jewish leaders, and our sin put Christ on the Cross. But ultimately, it was God who delivered Him. It was God’s will for him to suffer.
His death was initiated and completed by God; use these lawless men to do so.
These sinful men are responsible, Pilate was responsible, to hand him over, knowing his innocence. The crowd was resolved to have Christ crucified.V. Jesus is delivered over to the soldiers to be crucified. (v. 14-16)
“We have no King but Caesar.” They are siding with the world, against God.
Pilate made his decision and handed over Christ.Closing Thoughts:
1. God’s sovereignty over men’s evilness.
Men’s childish faith; selfish faith; 9-11: “God of my childhood died in 9-11; if he’s all powerful, he would have saved my husband.”
Reason for the disaster – to break out heart; to humble us.
Luke 13 – man defiled God.
The question for you is not questioning, but to “repent.” You are equally sinful.
The message here is to repent.
2. Jesus suffered for us, so He can be an example for us to follow his step, to suffer for righteousness.
1 Peter 2:14-4:614 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Driven by faith, not by fear.
3. Jesus died to save us from hell, not from the Cross. (Piper)
Cross – the mark which we shall live.
Our glory is not on earth. We are to lose our lives, in order to save it. To deny oneself to pick up the Cross.
The Cross is not the past. This is not the prosperity gospel. The life we live is the live on the Cross. The execution of love of the world.
“Are you suffering for Christ.”
4/2/06 - The Centrality of the Cross: A Tale of Two Kingdoms
7 Differences between the Kingdom of the World and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ
- The rules of the earthly kingdom aresinners (immoral & evil).
John 1:11 Hecame to his own, and his own people did not receive him. ESV
Condemned; falsewitnesses; power corruption; killed in the hand of his own.
True high priestis Annas (the only Gospel recorded this.)
Who sent Christto the Cross: the leader of Israel
Pilate: he hasno guilt; you kill him.
4 Then Pilatesaid to the chief priests and the crowds, "I find no guilt in thisman." ESV
14 and said to them, "Youbrought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examininghim before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your chargesagainst him. ESV
38 Pilate saidto him, "What is truth?"
After he hadsaid this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, "I find noguilt in him. ESV
Jesus, the King of God’s Kingdom isperfectly holy.
No proof ofindictment; Examine àthey found nothing
15 For we do not have a high priestwho is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respecthas been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
26 And here he is, speaking openly,and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know thatthis is the Christ?
He struggles, yet without sin.
- The earthly kingdom’s reign andauthority is an illusion.
Master plan: have the Romans killChrist, while they thought they are in control.
Romans: this is a religious matter.Not our scope.
Christ’s reign and authority is absolute.
John 3: bronze snake àson of man; lifted up. Ps. 23 recorded the prophesy.
Luke 18: online this prophesy.
Luke 24:7 that the Son of Man mustbe delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third dayrise." ESV
The one who’s in control is JesusChrist, the one who’s being crucified. How ironic.
- The earthly kingdom’s focus is a falserighteousness that is purely external.
Hypercritical – they would notenter the place, but at the same time conspired to kill an innocent man.
This is the proof of Christ’sindictment of Matthew 23:27:
27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appearbeautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. ESV
The kingdomof Christ’s focus is atrue righteousness that is internal.
v. 36: not physical kingdom onearth; spiritual kingdom that work in people’s heart and mind, promotingrighteousness, liberated people from the bondage of sin
12 giving thanks to the Father, whohas qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He hasdelivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom ofhis beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
- The power of the earthly kingdom isthe swords.
v. 36.earthly – army – sword.
Afghan manwho converted to Christianity were accused to be killed in Islamic war.
The power of Jesus’ kingdom is thetruth.
v. 37 – converting heart.
Not toassert power and; but simply application of the truth; no force here; in seasonand out of season.
- The people of the earthly kingdom aredriven by fear.
That’s what enslaved man.
3 principle characters of commonmotive; united by their motivation. Each character represented each group ofpeople.
Gentile; for truth, it isirrelevant; relative.
John 18:38 Pilate said to him,"What is truth?" After he had said this, he went back outside to theJews and told them, "I find no guilt in him.”
He just spoke the truth that Christhad no guilt. Okay, he should stand by it. He represented the power. But hedidn’t bind by the truth.
Matthew recorded: “We have no kingbut Caesar. (but what about you?)” Jewish leaders are blackmailing him of theallegiance to Caesar.
2. Jewish Leaders
Pharisees, Sadducees, Centurions.
John 11:45 Many of the Jews therefore,who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him.
Thispassage recorded the most public miracle of Jesus.
Some believed; some went to theleaders to see what they wanted to do with him, rather than “how shall werepent?”
John 11:48 – here’s the fear thatdrove them: Instead of coming to our temple as authority, they will follow him.Romans will come and take over. Their concern is not truth. He is the Messiah,but their response is to put them to death.
48 If we let him go on like this,everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both ourplace and our nation."
53 So from that day on they madeplans to put him to death.
3. Moms and Dads
John 9:18 – those who wereoppressed by Jewish leaders.
18 The Jews did not believe that hehad been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of theman who had received his sight.
The parents knew the truth, butclaimed ignorance. They feared the Jewish leaders.22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jewshad already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was tobe put out of the synagogue.)
3 levels of being unsynagogue. 1)cast out for 7 days; 2) cast out for 30 days; 3) cast out permanently.
- We fear the rejection from society, family, andfriends, by following Christ. What does it mean by following Christ? We areafraid the consequences.
The opposite of faith is notunbelief; the opposite of faith is fear.
The opposite of fear of men is love(not boldness or courage).
John 13 – The Lord washing the feetof his disciples. Opposite of love is selfishness, self-centeredness.
John 18 – The opposite of faith isfear; our struggle of fear. Anxiety opposes faith.
Joshua 8:1 And the LORD said to Joshua,"Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you,and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, andhis people, his city, and his land.
Jeremiah 1:8 Do not be afraid ofthem, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD."
John 12:15 "Fear not, daughterof Zion;behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!"
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you;my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not yourhearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Matthew 13:22 As for what was sownamong thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the worldand the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
Matthew 28:5 But the angel said tothe women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who wascrucified.
Matthew 28:10 Then Jesus said tothem, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me."
Alone in the Garden, He wastrusting his Father, all things are possible for you.
Two implications for us – live byfaith or live by fear.
Heb 11:Hall of fame of faith. Their belief overcame fear. Noah, Abraham, Moses…
List ofitems that we fear:
Hebrews 11:32-40 And what moreshall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah,of David and Samuel and the prophets — 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtainedpromises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escapedthe edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war,put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead byresurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that theymight rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, andeven chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, theywere killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats,destitute, afflicted, mistreated — 38 ofwhom the world was not worthy — wandering about in deserts and mountains, andin dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, though commendedthrough their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God hadprovided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be madeperfect.
Our Lord even continued, truth iseven a greater reality (as oppose to the reality of fear). For believers, truthhas the same influence in our lives. “You obey the voice of Jesus Christ.”
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice,and I know them, and they follow me.
1 John 4:6 We are from God. Whoeverknows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By thiswe know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
The people of Christ’s kingdom are driven by faith in the truth.
- The people of the earthly kingdomexist to suppress the truth.
The people of Christ’s kingdom exist to testify the truth.
- to declare that Jesus is thetruth.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive powerwhen the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
Spiritual joy – to follow biblicalmandate to share the truth.
- The people of the earthly kingdom seekto follow anyone but Jesus Christ.
They would follow anyone.
John 18:39-40 But you have a customthat I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me torelease to you the King of the Jews?" 40 They cried out again, "Notthis man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber.
Jewish leaders would rather let arobber go free. Anything worthy of Barabbas? He chose him because he is notJesus. Anyone but Christ.
The people of God’s kingdom seek to follow Christ and Christ alone.
People, personality, creeds, world,but to the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Follow him even in Calvary.
We are subject of God’s kingdom.
Luke 14:26-27 "If anyone comesto me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children andbrothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Acts 20:24 24 But I do not accountmy life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my courseand the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospelof the grace of God.
2 Timothy 3:12 Indeed, all whodesire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
Revelation 12:11 And they haveconquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, forthey loved not their lives even unto death.
This world promises so much,luxury, comfort, peace.
Christ promises persecution,martyrdom, suffering.
Popular Christianity promises somuch, relationship, good marriage, good life, and (yes, Christ on top of this.)
Are you on this, or purposely denyyourself, taking up the cross.
Are you seeking to put the Cross inthe forefront of your life.
Piper: What a tragic waste – turn awaythe road to Calary. All the clear sighting to eternality is there. All the deepWord of the Lord is there. Death is gain; life in every other road.
“What road are you on?”
What is Cornerstone Bible Church?
1. Who is the head pastor? Who are the pastors? What is the difference between elders and pastors?
- We don’t have a head pastor but we have two elders (James and Bob)
- We practice Biblical eldership and believe in the “plurality of elders”
- Scriptures don’t make a distinction between elder and pastor. Two mandated offices in the Bible: elders (overseers) and deacons (administrators/servants)
- Our elders serve different roles: James is the teaching elder. Elders make decisions unanimously because there is no head or hierarchy.
2. Are you a multi-ethnic church or ‘pan-Asian’ church?
No we are not multi-ethnic. We just seek to be a church. We don’t target certain people, but we aim to teach the Word of God. Our ethnic makeup is majority Korean.
3. What denomination is your church?
We are non-denominational. We believe in the autonomy of the local church. The elders are the overseers of the church. They are unified in doctrine and not by denominational systems. They are to be committed to Scripture.
To be a Christian is to submit to the Lordship of Christ, not just having a knowledge of Christ
Reform sateriology (sp?): How is a man saved? Grace alone through faith (Calvinists vs. Arminians).
Biblical men and women’s roles: we affirm that there is no distinction between people (Jews vs. Gentiles), but there are differences in the roles of men and women.
1 Timothy 2: women should not exercise spiritual authority over men in the church or teach men in the church.
1 Corinthians: different roles in the church and in the family.
Inerrancy and sufficiency of the Scriptures: The Word of God alone is required to equip a man for good works (2 Tim 3:15-17 – for salvation and sanctification).We want to do what the Bible teaches.
Cessation of revelatory gifts: not a charismatic church. Those gifts ceased because the Scriptures are complete and are sufficient.
Progressive Dispensationalists: We are not classical dispensationalists. That can be misleading. We are “futurists”: the millennial kingdom is literal and it is in the future. Others say that the future kingdom is not literal. Scriptures say that there will be a thousand year kingdom; we believe that is literal. Others say that Christ had already come. Our hermeneutic is different than a covenant reformed background. The distinction between covenant and us is that they would see our interpretation is “flat,” that we need to be more imaginative, leading to many double meanings. We interpret by literal, and apply historical/author context.
4. How did CBC start?
Founded Feb 1999. Before the church was planted, many of the members and leaders were in the English congregation of Miracle Land Korean Baptist Church.
5. How do I become a member and get involved in ministry?
First, go through membership process (9-week FOF). The reason we do this is because we want to unite everyone in doctrine and so that in ministry, we would be united in purpose. There is an interview process and a public testimony of salvation that needs to be given.
3/12/06 - Single's Equipping Hour - How to Approach Dating as a Worshiper of Christ Part IX
How to Approach Dating as a Worshiper of Christ Part IX—Practical Ways to Guard Your Purity in a RelationshipINTRODUCTION
1st two messages—theological…this message is utterly practical
Thanks to Randy Alcorn, Joshua Harris, and other resources on sexual purity.
9 principles, 9 ways, 9 key truths that will help guard your purity in a relationship1. Mind your heart with utmost care.
Prov 4:23 “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
*Imperative “watch over”—guard, protect
*“with all diligence”—comprehensive protection program
*Reason for command—the heart is the starting point, the source, the core of your life
**The heart is the inner-man—the real “you”
**What you give your heart to, what you let take hold of your heart, where you focus your heart on…WILL DETERMINE THE COURSE OF YOUR LIFE
*Note what happens if sexual sin gets its hooks into your heart—
Job 31:9-12 “If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or I have lurked at my neighbor’s doorway, 10 may my wife grind for another, and let others kneel down over her. 11 For that would be a lustful crime; moreover, it would be an iniquity punishable by judges. 12 For it would be fire that consumes to Abbadon, and would uproot all my increase.”
**“has been enticed”—lit. “to be made a fool of”
**Sexual sin, this lustful crime, this all-consuming fire, WILL make a total buffoon out of you.
**Your heart gets duped and once that process begins it’s a like a raging wildfire.
*Remember that sexual sin then is a HEART-ISSUE.
Matt 15:18-19 “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”
You either feed your heart/mind w/ nourishment or w/ pollutants, poisons, things that degrade your spiritual vitality.
What you dwell on, what you place in your mind, what you habitually think about—will shape your life. Thoughts lead to actions lead to habits lead to character lead to destiny.
Psa 119:9-11 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. 10 With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from Your commandments. 11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.”
*This is the KEY! Purity, cleansing, sanctification comes by a wholehearted taking in of the commandments, the word, of the Lord.
*This is the SUREFIRE PROTECTIVE MEASURE against sin.
*We’re young people here…young people sins don’t require any novel methods. 2. You are a target for this sin.
*If you don’t think this way—like a soldier on active duty—you are prime for getting taken out.
*Those who fail to prepare for the opportunities this sin will seize, will fail when the time comes—
Prov 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
1 Cor 10:12 “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!”
*Know your enemy. Know your battle. Know what’s at stake.
1 Pet 5:8 “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
The devil wants to derail you from serving God. He wants you imprisoned to sin. God wants you free. Only by exercising self-control and being on alert can we expect to resist the enemy's plan to lead us into sin. Satan "scouts us out" and knows only too well the chinks in the armor of every Christian. His aim is deadly, he excels at tailor-made temptations, and it is at our points of greatest vulnerability that he will attack. Don't forget, though, that “the one [Christ] who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). As powerful as the evil one is to tempt us, God is infinitely more powerful to deliver us. Randy Alcorn
So, BE ON GUARD. Know that this is every man’s vulnerability.
[More specific applications will come with other points]
But for now—Be on a constant state of alert—DEF CON 4 24/7 365…if the devil “devours” (swallows) you, you were never a believer!
**Your FIGHT is NOT against flesh and blood…Eph 6:12
**Knowing that alone, makes you realize the GREATNESS of the struggle and also the importance of prayer, the Word, the protection of the church and her leaders—spiritual arms to fight a spiritual war!3. Watch the eyes.
Psalm 101:3 “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not fasten its grip on me.”
*“worthless thing” goes together w/ “the work of those who fall away” (i.e. apostasy)
*“worthless things” is worthless b/c it’s wicked
Job 31:1-4 “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin? 2 And what is the portion of God from God above or the heritage of the Almighty on high? Is it not calamity to the unjust and disaster to those who work iniquity? Does He not see my ways and number all my steps?”
*Guard your eyes not only from taking in wicked things, but also from vain things—
Psalm 119:37 “Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways.”
*“vanity”—idea of worthless b/c it’s w/o any profit; empty thing
*Women, guard your bodies. Help the brothers.
*Men, what are you focusing on as you look at the sisters, as you think about them? Is there prayer? Or are you preying on them in your fantasies?
*But for everyone—
What are you watching in your private life?
What are you watching when no one is with you, when no one can see you?
Guard your eyes—quickly turn away, change the channel, get out of the room, leave the bookstore, the market, the video store…
1 Cor 15:28 “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’”
*What comes in will either beef up your goodness or decay it..4. You are not alone.
*You are NEVER EVER ALONE.
Job 24:15 “The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, saying, ‘No eye will see me.’ And he disguises his face.”
PRIVACY IS A MYTH. IT IS A HUGE LIE.
Psalm 139—Read it and weep. Read it and sober up. Read it, memorize it, post it on your boyfriend’s head.
vv. 7-10 “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.”
*supposed to be a comfort—can you imagine a life where God is limited?—a life where God cannot reach you when you are in certain kinds of trouble?
*at the same time, it’s a sobering reality…GOD IS EVERYWHERE
*Christ is with you wherever you go and in whatever you do (cf. 1 Cor 6:15-16).
Jeremiah 16:17 “My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.”
Jeremiah 17:10 “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind.”
Prov 24:12 “Does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will He not repay each person according to what he has done?”
Never be alone in a room, car, or in any secluded place. Private intimacy is for marriage. There is a “marriage-bed” (cf. Heb 13:4—coitus in the Greek, which is also Eng. word)
**No word for “dating-bed” or “premarital lovers bed”
**A dating couple should be an open book.5. Speak your mind
If you are a sister or a brother in Christ, and you love that person as one who is born again by God, you will speak up and say the things that need to be said.
For the men—
*Don’t be afraid to say what you have to say—with gentleness, with kindness—so that the sister can have the opportunity to correct her flaws and grow in grace.
**Sure, you’re not the husband, but let’s be honest…there’s an element of preparing for husband-hood and if you shy away from speaking spiritually-sensitive and serious things NOW, how in the world will you say them when you’re married?!
**Don’t be afraid of exercising too much authority or acting like the husband or of losing the girl. If you say it w/ ample amount of gentleness and care, backed by prayer, you will bless that sister and she will appreciate your leadership and selflessness.
Especially for the woman—
Just b/c the guy is the leader, don’t be afraid to speak up when you need to—this does not mean that you are acting like a guy.
Prov 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”
Eph 4:29 “Let no unwholesome (lit. “rotten”) word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
*Your objective in any CHRISTIAN relationship, brother-brother, brother-sister non- romantic, romantic, marriage, is to bring wholesome, nourishing, grace-giving words that will immediately strengthen that other believer’s faith in Christ.
*Your objective is to give the remedy words JUST RIGHT for the occasion.6. Define boundaries or your heart will run wild
*This is not legalism! This is playing it safe!
*The sex drive is powerful, unimaginably powerful for men especially.
**And they must be regulated.
**Speed limit is in place to curb wild driving.
**Standards for intimacy, or what constitutes intimacy, must be set in place to curb wild living.
*“Unintended consequences” scatter the pathway of countless dating couples.
**Don’t be a statistic!
*And set and enforce these standards YOURSELF.
**If you depend on the other person, you are at his or her whim.
**Practice self-control and remember that you are responsible for your own life.
*Plan ahead. Plan out the evening’s itinerary so there’s no chance of a slip-up.
*Prognosticate. What’s the sexual intimacy forecast?
**Storm Tracker 7000 of your conscience says, Watch out. It’s going to be rough.
Then you have to take the appropriate measures to not get hit by the storm.
Matt 6:13 “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
**Do you pray this way? Are you deliberately seeking the HELP of God?
*If you make decisions in the moment of strength, you will avoid temptations in the moment of weakness.
Think about it: you’re calling on your “convictions” when your resistance is lowest. What do you think is going to happen?
Do you really trust yourself that much?! No one should. Radically and in concrete ways, prevent and avoid sexual temptations.7. Cultivate an other-centered dating-life.
*This is a fellowship-model dating experience.
**Heb 10:24 “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
**Note: “let us consider how to stimulate—take some thought into what will be the best way for that person to be selfless and sacrificial, to do a righteous act for someone else, to put the interests of others before his or her own (cf. Phil 2:3-4).
If you cultivate a fellowship-model dating life…
*you won’t get tired of going out in order merely to do things
**filling your life up w/ amusement, superficial pleasures
**these all become routine, stale, and “boring”8. Beware of the moral wear down of long dating relationships.
*When man and woman come together in a non-platonic relationship, marriage is meant to follow soon after.
**Holding marriage off for a long time will unnecessarily ENFLAME natural desires.
**These desires are not meant to be held at bay for THAT LONG.
**It’s like a rodeo bull in the holding pen, just waiting to get out.
1 Cor 7:5 “Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again, so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
**In the intensity of a relationship, how much SELF-CONTROL do you have?9. Call on the cavalry of resources you possess in Christ.
Titus 2:12 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation, to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age…”
Grace of God powerfully aids you by disciplining you to…[READ V. 12]
The grace of God in Christ Jesus, particularly in the gospel, is a powerful MASTER, TEACHER, guiding you away from evil lusts TOWARD self-controlled, God-honoring lives
2 Pet 1:3-4 “…His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence”
What is required of you?
Call out to God for help
Call out to Him for a mental and practical appropriation of these resources, for a mental and practical application and taking on of these great spiritual strengths to YOUR LIFE.
Huanga @ cafenite - Teaching Notes