Adapting to our Culture … Or not…

The following is an excerpt from Voddie Baucham’s sermon on our relationship with culture:

“The goal of your life must not be a scheme to gain popularity, so that you can use it for God, the goal of your life must be to know God better so that you may serve Him more faithfully in whatever arena He opens up for you. Its not that you cannot achieve great things, but do not pursue a path that compromises your knowledge of God in order to get there.

You do not have to satisfy the world or manipulate your position in it so that you can get into a position where God can use you. The fact is that God is big enough. If you think that you need to have the right credentials, then your God is not big enough. God uses the weak things in the world, the despised things in the world.”

“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God  chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”
—1 Corinthians 1:26-29

God please make us weak things. Make us not rely upon our credentials or status, or abilities or popularity, but on You. We don’t need another superstar, but we need the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We need to make much of You.

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The Love of God

“There are no days in heaven, but let’s just say there are for the sake of learning something. You walk into heaven and you may wonder if you will I know everything when you get there. You will know a lot-but you won’t know everything. And thats what makes heaven, that’s what keep heaven from being boring. You will spend the rest of eternity marking out an infinite God. And with every new dawn will bring greater measures of the knowledge of God, and throw you into greater states of ecstasy and Joy!

But not only that, the first day you arrive, grace is lavished upon you. The kindness of God is lavished upon you. You walk through the door and the kindness of God in front of all of creation is poured forth on you, and all of creation looks at what you were-what God has made you, and the kindness He is bestowing on you on that day, and they say (principalities, powers, angels), ‘now we understand who God is!’ And the fall down and they worship God because of His kindness to you.

And then day two, day two we all wake up, you get up, and all of heaven once again turns it eyes towards you and waits. what will he do to this one today. And God comes with a greater measure of kindness, and a greater measure of grace and a greater measure of  beauty and love and douses you with it, and lavishes it on you. Then all principalities and powers and mights and dominions fall down and worship God.” – Paul Washer, The Love of God

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX1uR9GXPzA

Street Evangelism Encounters

I was handing out some tracts downtown, and was stopped by an individual who claimed to have ‘a word’ for me. Now I am always skeptical of this kind of thing, but I listened just out of curiosity. They told me that they used to call themselves a Christian, now consider that title to be derogatory and blasphemous and suggested that the correct term is “Nazarene.” They also warned me not to call Jesus, Jesus, rather Yeshua, because they suggested that Jesus means ‘son of Zeus’.

The final straw was they they were suggesting that I was offending God by calling His son the wrong name, and that I was praying to someone else all together. I realized that this woman was part of the ‘sacred name movement’ developed from the Church of God. This movement also promotes people to obey old testament law, eating kosher foods, and observing Jewish festivals (GotQuestions, n.d.).

It is important to know that “the changing the language of a word does not affect the meaning of the word. We call a bound and covered set of pages a “book.” In German, it becomes abuch. In Spanish, it is alibro; in French, alivre. The language changes, but the object itself does not… In the same way, we can refer to Jesus as “Jesus,” “Yeshua,” or “YehSou” (Cantonese) without changing His nature. In any language, His name means “The Lord Is Salvation.” (GotQuestions, n.d.)


Another team member of mine had a person shout out to them something delusional about their son being boiled alive who was supposed to be the next messiah, and how the team member’s father was a robber. So I guess there was something crazy in the air that night! Not to mention the couple of people who yelled out ‘hail S—-‘

But all of our efforts were worth it that evening, and the Lord was with us, as evidenced by one person receiving salvation! What a night.

Sources

The Sacred Name Movement: http://www.gotquestions.org/Sacred-Name-Movement.html#ixzz37yHWGISX)

Yeshua or Jesus :http://www.gotquestions.org/Yeshua-Jesus.html#ixzz37yJ4rfCG

The Jealous One

Some lyrics to Shai Linne’s song about God’s Jealousy for us:

The God of the Bible who invites our trust
Must be understood to be nothing like us
Most of the time, human jealousy will hurt you
But when comes to God, His jealousy is a virtue

One of His awesome perfections surely
Thunders His law and protects His glory
He gave us the gift of the marriage relationship
To acquaint us with a faint taste of this
A wife for her husband or husband for wife
The only time jealousy is right in this life
But just as the distance is great between earth and stars
God’s thoughts are much higher than ours
So His jealousy is on a whole other level
Unintelligible to the soul of a rebel

But in sacred Scripture, God paints the picture
The aim: to shake your frame- it straight convicts ya
And that’s what it should do
God’s jealousy is frightful, yet it’s delightful and good, too
I couldn’t think of much worse if I tried
Than a dude who smirks if you flirt with His bride

So tell me, what kind of God would He be
If He wasn’t bothered to see idolatry?
Is God just supposed to laugh and withhold His wrath
When He’s replaced by a golden calf?
You say, I don’t worship a golden calf! 
Well for us, it’s self and sex and loads of cash
Atrocious paths, we still don’t know the half
Of how these things provoke His holy wrath
So we stand in awe and wonder how come
God took His jealous anger out on His Son
So all those trust Him can see like we’re supposed to see
And be forgiven for our spiritual adultery! 

Fear Not

An excerpt from Charles Spurgeon’s sermon “Fear Not”, delivered March 9, 1880:

“I pray you will always remember, when you think of His perfection, that He has perfection of mercy as well as of holiness, and perfection of love to sinners as well as perfection of hatred of sin – and that, guilty as you are, you must never doubt His affection, for He has pledged you in His heart’s blood and proved His love by His death! Albeit that you are conscious of being less than nothing and vanity and know that Jesus is absolute perfection, yet regard Him not with timorous dread, but draw near to Him as confidently as a child to its parent, or a wife to her husband.

It is one of Satan’s temptations to make us afraid of Christ. Let us not be ignorant of his devices. Why should you be afraid of Jesus when He tells you not to be? Why dread the Lamb of God? He says, “Fear not.” It is not the preacher who cries, “Fear not,” but it is Jesus Himself who whispers to His poor servant fallen dead at His feet, “Fear not: fear not.”

 It will be disobedience, them, to be afraid. When those lips, which are as lilies dropping sweet-smelling myrrh, say to me, “Child of Mine, fear not,” how can I be afraid? Your safety lies, remember, dear friend, in trusting Jesus and not in being afraid of Him. There was never a soul yet saved by being afraid of Christ-there was never a prodigal that found forgiveness yet by being afraid of his father! This kind of fear needs casting out, for it has torment. Jesus our Lord, is great and good and He has chosen to become the Savior of sinners and we need not fear to approach Him, for, “this man receives sinners.” A Host that entertains at His table the poorest of the poor and the lowest of the low and bids them welcome is not one to be feared! Remember that if you are honestly afraid of Jesus, you must be afriad of grieving Him by being afraid of Him.

When the physician sees the patient shrinking from his knife, he does not wonder, but when Jesus sees you shrinking from that hand which does not wound, but cures by its own wound, He looks with eyes of sorrow upon such fear! Why shrink from Him? The little children ran into His arms! Why shrink from Him? Nothing cuts Him to the quick more than the unking, ungenerous thought that He is unwilling to receive the guilt. If He meant to keep you at a distance, He would have never left Heaven.

 

Read the whole sermon:  http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols25-27/chs1533.pdf