Links & Quotes

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“So I have learned again and again from firsthand experience that there are many professing Christians who have a view of salvation that disconnects it from real life, and that nullifies the threats of the Bible, and puts the sinning person who claims to be a Christian beyond the reach of biblical warnings. I believe this view of the Christian life is comforting thousands who are on the broad way that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13).” —John Piper

“How’s your marriage? On your wedding day, God loaned you an intricately crafted, precisely formed masterpiece. He entrusted you with a one-of-a-kind creation. Value her. Honor him. Some men collect wives as trophies; a means for pleasure, instead of a part of God’s plan. Don’t make this mistake. Be fiercely loyal to one spouse. Fiercely loyal. Don’t even look twice at someone else. No flirting. No teasing. No loitering at her desk or lingering in his office. Who cares if you come across as rude or a prude? You’ve made a promise. Keep it. Your spouse is not your trophy but your treasure. Make your wife the object of your highest devotion. Make your husband the recipient of your deepest passion. Love the one who wears your ring. Make her, make him your giant-size privilege, your towering priority!” —Max Lucado

Tim Elmore reminds us of how important history classes are for our youth generation.

More beauty from our Creator in the design of the human nucleome.

Homosexuality conversationMurray Vassar has another pithy commentary on the frustrations of trying to have a conversation about homosexuality (click the link or click the cartoon to see more).

 

Links & Quotes

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“Be not satisfied, my dear friends, with being saved; desire to know how you are saved, why you are saved, the method by which you are saved. It is a rock on which you stand, I know, but think upon the questions—how you were put upon that rock, by whose love you came there, and why that love was set on you. I would to God that all the members of this church were not only in Christ Jesus, but understood Him, and knew by the assurance of the understanding whereunto they have attained.” —Charles Spurgeon

“I get the impression that some Christians think there are two kinds of history, two kinds of time. First, there is Bible time, and Bible history. Things happened in the Bible that were unique, and that we don’t expect to see happen in normal time and history, where we live, you know, today. Things like God doing extraordinary acts of deliverance, help, and support, or extraordinary empowerments for witness or service. Like Moses leading the people out of Egypt, or Joshua leading them to subdue the land of promise, or David leading an entire nation to build a glorious temple for the Lord. That was then, many Christians seem to think; this is now. But when we think this way we may be cutting ourselves off from one of the most powerful resources for visionary leadership, and that is the promise of the past … Visionary leaders understand that God has done remarkable, nearly incredible things in the past, and they reach back and recall those mighty works of God in order to encourage His people in the present. They recognize that the straight line of the covenant continues from Scripture through Church history right down to our day.” —T.M. Moore

“The psalmist does not yield. He battles unbelief with counterattack. In essence, he says, ‘In myself I feel very weak and helpless and unable to cope. My body is shot and my heart is almost dead. But whatever the reason for this despondency, I will not yield. I will trust God and not myself. He is my strength and my portion’ [Psalm 73:26]. … God has put these testimonies in the Bible so that we might use them to fight the unbelief of despondency.” —John Piper

Yesterday I posted a book review about our brains. Here is 11 things you need to know to keep your brain healthy.

“If homosexuals are bullied, we need to protect them. If they’re unjustly discriminated against, we need to help them. If they’re treated with contempt, the person hurting them should be stopped. If a family member comes out as gay and then is belittled, harmed, or vilified, then the offending family needs to be corrected. If Christians ridicule people who identify as gay or lesbian, they need to admonished. If a church doesn’t welcome seekers of all stripes (including people who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual), then it needs to change. But none of these circumstances are reasons to reinterpret Scripture to affirm homosexuality” (emphasis mine). Read more in Bad Reasons To Adopt Pro-Gay Theology.

Links & Quotes

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“The Apostle Paul tells us that a temple of God, properly adorned and maintained, grows in unity and maturity in the Lord Jesus, as pastors and teachers equip church members to do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16). A building and other facilities can aid in this process, but they are not essential. Indeed, in many ways they can actually distract us from our task by so defining and confining what we do in the name of ministry that our endeavors consistently look more like the ways of the world than the work of the Lord, more like maintaining and maximizing an institution than seeking and advancing a Kingdom not of this world. … As we build our churches let us not lose sight of the fact that what matters most to the Lord is not the number, shape, and usability of the buildings we erect, but the health, growth, and ministries of the people in whom He has come to dwell.” —T.M. Moore

“When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.” —Anais Nin

“The Lord’s Prayer contains 56 words; the Gettysburg Address, 266; the Ten Commandments, 297; the Declaration of Independence, 300; and a recent U.S. government order setting the price of cabbage, 26,911. At the state level, over 250,000 bills are introduced each year. And 25,000 pass the legislatures to disappear into the labyrinths of the law.” —Al Ries and Jack Trout

“For some (even for some Christians), faith is best defined as ‘believing in something that lacks supporting evidence.’ But this is not the definition of faith that is presented on the pages of Christian Scripture.” Read more from J. Warner Wallace on how Christianity Promotes Rational (and Evidential) Exploration.

Frank Turek points out, “Remember, Moses was on the wrong side of the golden calf. And [Abraham] Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was on the wrong side of Dred Scott.…” In this post he shares why same-sex “marriage” proponents are on the wrong side of God, evolution and humanity.

[VIDEO] This 5-minute clip of noted New Testament scholar N.T. Wright on homosexuality is well worth your time—

My son tipped me off to a thought-provoking post on dating relationships: How Our Dating Culture As Already Broken Your Future Wife’s Heart.

Links & Quotes

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Kevin DeYoung has an amazing post—40 Questions For Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags.

“The more people talk about their worldview, the more open and confident they are in making their case, the bolder they become. The bolder and more outspoken they become, the more a ‘spiral of silence’ begins to engulf those who believe otherwise. No one wants to be thought of as holding to a ‘minority position’ on anything, so, rather than speak up in the face of many who are doing so, most will remain silent. This is where the Christian community finds itself at this time, trapped in a spiral of silence before a blustering but empty secular and unbelieving worldview. So it is very important that believers in Jesus Christ make the best use of every opportunity to talk about what is good and pleasing to God.” —T.M. Moore

“Being infinite, God is inexhaustibly interesting. It is impossible, therefore, that God be boring. His continual demonstration of the most intelligent and interesting actions is volcanic. As the source of every good pleasure, He Himself pleases fully and finally. If that’s not how we experience Him, we are either dead or sleeping. It is therefore astonishing how little effort is put into knowing God. … Let us pray that our infinitely great God would open our eyes and hearts to see Him and seek to know Him more.” —John Piper

“The Lord doesn’t want our victory to be merely a one-time experience. His goal isn’t for us to emerge from a crisis, saying, ‘Thank God, I kept my faith through that.’ Yes, you may have made it through that one. But, like victorious Israel at the Red Sea, another trial will eventually come and it may be a different kind of test altogether. Living in God’s rest is a way of life. He wants us to be maintained by His peace and confidence in all our trials, knowing our High Priest is touched by the feelings of our infirmities.” —David Wilkerson

“Part of God’s fullness which He communicates is His happiness. This happiness consists in enjoying and rejoicing in Himself; so does also the creature’s happiness.” —Jonathan Edwards

Jeff Bonzelaar has a fascinating look at the difference between self-esteem and God-esteem.

Eric Metaxas tells an inspiring story about churches making a difference in their community.

[VIDEOS] Bobby Conway at the One Minute Apologist has two videos worth your time—

Links & Quotes

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“You have heard many men’s dying words, and these are mine: A life spent in communion with God is the pleasantest life in the world.” —Matthew Henry, to a friend when near his death

“By the serpent’s seed, we are to understand the devil and all his children, who are permitted by God to tempt and sift His children. But, blessed be God, he can reach no further than our heel.” —George Whitefield

Anyone working with youth should keep close tabs on what Dr. Tim Elmore has to say, as he is very tuned-in to the youth culture. Parents / coaches / teachers / youth pastors, check out 7 Shifts As Generation Y Becomes Generation Z.

3 reasons why heterosexual married sex is better is a good read. But I would add a fourth reason: Because this is the way God intended it to be, so it carries His blessing!

Pastor and church leaders, here is a helpful article from Richard Hammer, lead counsel for the Assemblies of God, following the Supreme Court’s wrongheaded decision on the issue of homosexual “marriage.”

Trip Lee talks about help for people battling a struggle with pornography. Trip discusses this in more depth in his outstanding book Rise. Check this out—

Links & Quotes

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“I firmly believe that the Church of God will have to confess her own sins, before there can be any great work of grace. There must be a deeper work among God’s believing people. I sometimes think it is about time to give up preaching to the ungodly, and preach to those who confess to be Christians. If we had a higher standard of life in the Church of God, there would be thousands more flocking into the Kingdom. So it was in the past; when God’s believing children turned away from their sins and their idols, the fear of God fell upon the people round about. Take up the history of Israel, and you will find that when they put away their strange gods, God visited the nation, and there came a mighty work of grace. … The judgment of God must begin with us.” —Dwight L. Moody

Dr. George Delgado has pioneered a treatment to reverse medically-induced abortions, and save babies’ lives. I am grateful for doctors who honor their Hippocratic Oath.

The Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Rev. Charles Blake, has a strong, loving statement on the recent Supreme Court’s ruling on homosexual “marriage.” I especially like this reminder: “We understand even better now why the Bible calls Christians ‘strangers and pilgrims’ in the world (1 Peter 2:11). It is clearer now why Jesus instructed us to be in the world but ‘not of the world’ (John 17:15-16). In fact, today’s Supreme Court decision is just another legal law that makes the holiness message even stranger to our society. While the moral landscape of our society has definitely shifted, we know that the Bible is yet right and God still reigns.”

No surprise here: Fatherhood & Marriage Bring Out The Best In Men. Among other things: “The contribution of fathers to child-rearing is unique and irreplaceable.” … “Children are not the only ones who benefit; fatherhood and marriage bring out the best in men, too. Recent studies show fatherhood facilitates biological changes that are linked to reductions in risky behavior for men and reduced anger and increased empathy.”

Dr. Tim Elmore discusses why young athletes lack grit and how to build it. I highly recommend Dr. Elmore’s books Generation iY and 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid.

Links & Quotes—Special Supreme Court Issue

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Our culture has become one of soundbites, and the ability to listen to an argument and counter-argument is becoming a rare quality indeed. I have seen the headlines today and I have heard the 10-second soundbites, but reading the Court’s decision in full has been most educational. Read it for yourself here. The biggest concern I have in this decision was stated by Justice Antonin Scalia in his dissent—

“Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact—and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create ‘liberties’ that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”

And Chief Justice John Roberts in his dissenting opinion stated another truth—

“If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”

Something can be legal, and still be immoral (does anyone remember slavery?). The Supreme Court of the United States can define (or re-define) legislative matters, but ultimate moral authority doesn’t belong to those nine justices; it belongs with God and His revealed will in the Bible. Despite what the Supreme Court says, God still has the final word on how marriage is defined.

Ryan T. Anderson gives us some counsel on how to respond to the Court’s decision.

John Piper’s commentary is brilliant—So-Called Same Sex Marriage: Lamenting The New Calamity.

Here is a good way for Christians to respond: “We must always remember that those who traffic in lies are image-bearers of God and objects of His love. But they are ‘defiled’—that’s Paul’s word—both in their thinking and in their values. The Lie has made such an impression on some people that it has taken over their thinking, desires, values, and choices. Such people do not need our condemnation; instead, they need patience, gentleness, and probably a series of extended conversations if they’re ever going to break out of the web of lies in which they have become ensnared. … Thus we need to make sure that our hearts are saturated with love for those we intend to confront, in order to issue a sharp rebuke and, hopefully, gain them for the faith of Christ.” —T.M. Moore

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