Links & Quotes

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“That which astonishes, astonishes once; but whatever is admirable become more and more admired.” —Joseph Joubert

“Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God.” —Westminster Confession

“Adversity is the first path to trust.” —Lord Byron

“Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters.” —Victor Hugo

“God’s corrections are our instructions; His lashes our lessons, and His scourges our schoolmasters.” —John H. Aughey

“Am I getting nobler, better, more helpful, more humble, as I get older? Am I exhibiting the life that men take knowledge of as having been with Jesus, or am I getting more self-assertive, more deliberately determined to have my own way? It is a great thing to tell yourself the truth.” —Oswald Chambers

“Press into God’s promises. When fears surface, respond with this thought: But God said … And when doubts arise, but God said… And when guilt overwhelms you, but God said…  Search the Scriptures like a miner digging for gold and trust the promises you find.” —Max Lucado

John Hendryx points out several similarities between Islamic and secular fundamentalism.

Josh McDowell reminds us that just teaching someone biblical truth is not enough.

If you would like to check out some devotional readings for Advent, click here.

The importance of belief in God for Issac Newton’s scientific discoveries.

[VIDEO] One of the most beautiful arrangements of Amazing Grace I’ve heard—

Is “Christian” Just A Label?

Josh SchramOur youth pastor, Josh Schram, shared a message yesterday which really convicted me. Here are my notes just as I took them Sunday morning.

Some stereotypes of Christians aren’t very flattering. If we ask someone to think of a farmer or a plumber, we probably all get the same sorts of images in our minds. But when we say “Christian,” there are a lot of images that come to mind. And many of them aren’t very flattering.

The word Christian only appears three times in New Testament (in the NIV)—Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16.

The followers of Jesus preferred to call themselves disciples (see Acts 26:11). That signals a lifestyle, not just a label.

Does my lifestyle reflect the fact that I’m a follower of Jesus, or am I just happy with the title “Christian”? Am I trying to justify not doing the discipleship work that Jesus commanded me to do, namely loving God and loving others (Luke 10:25-37)? Notice especially this verse: But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29).

Why don’t Christians want to put their love into action? They say they’re busy, or don’t have enough resources, or don’t want to get involved, or they think helping may be a trap. But the priest and Levite who didn’t stop to help may have saved the injured man’s life! How much so the Christian of today!

Does my faith in Jesus change the way I live, or is “Christian” just a title I’m happy to live with?

As kids, when we play “follower the leader” we follow all the actions of the leader. But Christians seem to change the rules: “I just need to believe what He says, but I don’t have to do what He says.”

To truly be called a “Christian”—a disciple of Jesus—my LOVE should be in action, just like Jesus (Luke 10:27-28; c.f. Acts 10:38).

If you’re ready to be challenged, check out Josh’s message for yourself—

John Maxwell On Abundance

Intentional LivingJohn Maxwell’s most recent book Intentional Living is chockfull of thought-provoking, life-changing lessons. Here’s what he wrote about changing our outlook from scarcity to abundance.

“Scarcity thinking has nothing to give. It is preoccupied with receiving. Scarcity thinking is all about me. It says, ‘There’s not enough to go around. I had better get something for myself and hold onto it with all I have.’ … People who live in the world of abundance think differently. They know there’s always more. … Abundance thinking is the mindset of people of significance, and it has nothing to do with how much they have. … Anticipation is a key that unlocks the doors to abundance thinking. ‘Doors?’ you maybe asking. ‘Don’t you mean door?’ No. Expecting there to be only one door is scarcity thinking. … Finding and going through one door is an event. Going through many doors is a lifestyle. That requires an abundance mindset. … Sadly, too many people have a scarcity mindset and lack of positive anticipation. As a result, they never open the first door. Unopened doors reinforce scarcity thinking and scarcity living. … Keep searching for doors and opening them. And remember that with each open door, your anticipation will increase and so will abundance. … No one experiences abundance while anticipating scarcity. So why not try of abundance?”

I have posted other quotes from Dr. Maxwell in Intentional Living here and here.

John Maxwell also shares a lot of quotes from other wise people, and I posted a few of my favorite here.

You can also check out my review of Intentional Living by clicking here.

Links & Quotes

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“The whole duty of the Christian can be summed up in this: feel, think, and act in a way that will make God look as great as He really is. Be a telescope for the world of the infinite starry wealth of the glory of God.” —John Piper

It’s pretty sad—and quite telling—when Planned Parenthood’s arguments for abortion sound eerily similar to pro-slavery and pro-Nazi arguments of the past.

Seth Godin reminds us that past performance is no guarantee of future results. Check it out! I also really liked Seth Godin’s warning about getting caught up in the Black Friday hype.

“Things will all work out” and “You can do anything you set your mind to” are just two of the seven sentimental lies you might believe.

Eric Metaxas shares about a “crisis of despair” where the church is desperately needed.

What a comfort we can have in this—“This very day I am being saved by the eternal intercession of Jesus in heaven. Jesus is praying for us and that is our salvation [Hebrews 7:25]. We are saved eternally by the eternal prayers (Romans 8:34) and advocacy (1 John 2:1) of Jesus in heaven as our High Priest. He prays for us and His prayers are answered because He prays perfectly on the basis of His perfect sacrifice.” —John Piper

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones asks a vitally important question: How’s your prayer life?

[VIDEO] A great look at competitiveness from John Maxwell—

Poetry Saturday—Multiply

DSC_0091One man awake, awakens another.
The second awakens his next-door brother.
The three awake can arouse a town
By turning the whole place upside down.
The many awake can cause such a fuss
It finally awakens the rest of us.
One man up with dawn in his eyes
Surely then multiplies. —Lawrence Tribble

Links & Quotes

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“Getting ready to feast on all God’s Word is not first an intellectual challenge; it is first a moral challenge. If you want to eat the solid food of the Word, you must exercise your spiritual senses so as to develop a mind that discerns between good and evil. The startling truth is that, if you stumble over understanding Melchizedek in Genesis and Hebrews, it may be because you watch questionable TV programs. If you stumble over the doctrine of election, it may be because you still use some shady business practices. If you stumble over the God-centered work of Christ in the Cross, it may be because you love money and spend too much and give too little. The pathway to maturity and to solid biblical food is not first becoming an intelligent person, but becoming an obedient person. What you do with alcohol and sex and money and leisure and food and computers has more to do with your capacity for solid food than where you go to school or what books you read.” —John Piper

“When God is our strength, it is strength indeed; when our strength is of our own, it is only weakness.” —Augustine

In the United States of America, our presidents have had much to say about Thanksgiving. In this article, learn what those proclamations tell us.

[VIDEO] A good reminder from Dennis Prager to be thankful for what we DO have, not complaining about what we DON’T have—

8 Quotes Worth Studying From “Proverbs”

ProverbsIn my review of Proverbs by Charles Bridges (which you can read by clicking here), I noted how he weaved the principles in the biblical book of Proverbs into the teaching that occurs throughout the Scripture. In others words, he showed that the wisdom in Proverbs wasn’t just a “stand-alone” wisdom, but integrated into the whole.

In the quotes I’m sharing today, I trust you will get a glimpse of what I mean. The reference in brackets before the quote indicate the Proverb to which Bridges is commenting. I have also linked all of the Scripture references to my friends at Bible Gateway, so you can look them up easily (and I encourage you to do so!).

[Proverbs 1:10-16] “If the temptation prevail, charge it not on God; no—nor on the devil. As the worst he can do, he can only tempt, he cannot force us, to sin. When he has plied us with his utmost power, and most subtle artifice, it is at the choice of our own will, whether we yield or no (see James 1:13-15). The habitual resistance of the will clears us of responsibility (cp. Romans 7:14-17, 19-20, 23). The consent, even if it be not carried out into the act, lays the responsibility at our own door.”

[Proverbs 2:10-11] “The forsaken sin only makes way for some more plausible, but not less deadly passion. The heart, cast into the mold of the Gospel, is the only cover from those snares within and without (Romans 6:17, 18; 2 Corinthians 3:18), which so imperceptibly, yet so fatally, estrange us from God. Never, till the vital principle is implanted, is their mischief discerned. Never, till then, does the heart find its proper object, its true resting-place.”

[Proverbs 3:5-6] “Take one step at a time, every step under Divine warrant and direction (cp. Ezekiel 18:21-23; Nehemiah 1:11). Ever plan for yourself in simple dependence on God. It is nothing less than self-idolatry to conceive that we can carry on even the ordinary matters of the day without His counsel. He loves to be consulted. Therefore, take all thy difficulties to be resolved by Him. Be in the habit of going to Him in the first place—before self-will, self-pleasing, self-wisdom, human friends, convenience, expediency. Before any of these have been consulted, go to God at once. Consider no circumstances too clear to need His direction. In all thy ways, small as well as great; in all thy concerns, personal or relative, temporal or eternal, let Him be supreme.”

[Proverbs 3:11-12] “Faith understands the reasons of the discipline (1 Peter 1:6, 7); acknowledges it as a part of His gracious providence (Deuteronomy 8:2, 15, 16), and the provision of His everlasting covenant (Psalm 89:30-32); waits to see the end of the Lord (James 5:11); and meanwhile draws its main support from the seal of adoption.”

[Proverbs 4:14-17] “To pray not to be led into temptation; yet not to watch, that we enter not into it (Matthew 6:13; 26:41)—is practically to contradict our prayers; to mock our God, by asking for what we do not heartily wish.”

[Proverbs 11:18-19] “Righteousness is the seed; happiness is the harvest. The reward indeed is not from cause, but of consequence; not of debt, but of grace depending upon a free promise; mercifully yet surely linked with Christian perseverance (Ecclesiastes 11:6; Hosea 10:12; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:7, 8).”

[Proverbs 17:22] “If then, Christian, you believe the Gospel to be ‘glad tidings’ (Luke 1:19; 8:1), show that you believe it, by lighting up your face with a smile.”

[Proverbs 28:13] “The love of sin struggles with the power of conscience. The door of access to God is barred (Psalm 66:18). Christian confidence is clouded (Psalm 32:3, 4); and, unless Sovereign mercy interpose, it must end in the sting of ‘the never-dying worm’ (Isaiah 66:24; Mark 9:44-48). The covering of the disease precludes the possibility of the cure. Only the penitent confessor can be the pardoned sinner.”

“The best work on the Proverbs. While explaining the passage in hand, he sets other portions of the Word in new lights.” —C.H. Spurgeon, commenting on this book


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