Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of. ~Charles Spurgeon

Monday, July 19, 2010

Just How Sovereign Do You Think He Is?

Relying on God's sovereign purpose, knowing that there is a decree of marvelous grace behind everything that happens, we can face difficult circumstances without wavering from God's law. We can face the hostility of the world or even the apostasy of the church without faltering in our ministry. We can trust the wisdom and obey the commands of a sovereign God who works all things out according to the purpose of His holy will.

"I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob. I will look for Him" Isa. 8:17

What's so Great about the Doctrines of Grace     By Richard D. Phillips

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Good Article...And Some Thought

The most important truth about sin is the one least recognized in our day. It is this: all sin is primarily sin against God. Where sin is understood as merely a moral concept rather than mainly a religious one,[1]  where it is seen primarily as a person-to-person problem rather than as primarily 'theocentric,'[2]  motivation for fighting sin is decreased and confusion about the character of God is increased. While recognizing the 'horizontal' (person-to-person) nature of sin, the Bible consistently presents sin as mainly a 'vertical' (person-to-God) offense. My purpose in this article is to promote a God-centered understanding of sin by outlining the biblical evidence for the vertical nature of all sin and then reflecting on the manifold pastoral implications of this view. If we are to understand the seriousness of sin and to help ourselves and others think about and fight sin the way we ought to, we must have this God-centered view of sin.

Read the rest of the article here...

I got a lot out of this article but one of the things that came to mind was...When someone sins against me, I can’t take it personally.  It's not about me.  Most likely it has to do with something that God is working out in that person’s life. Example:  if someone is dealing with a pride issue, they may say something prideful and hurtful to me, but really, it is not about ME.... it's about their pride... a character flaw/ heart issue that God may be rooting out in them. 
If I have been offended, I should be offended on God's behalf because the sin is truly against God.  

If I am upset that someone sinned against Me, made Me sad, made Me mad, misjudged Me, thought the worst of me etc....then my focus is on Me.  I begin to focus on My feelings and slowly, in time it all becomes my own reality...full of lies (Jeremiah 17:9). That is when things get really messy!!!  When Satan has accomplished that, we then begin to demand an apology; we start to have an entitled attitude. We begin to put ourselves on a level we don't belong, as if we are God.  We begin to have haughty eyes, as if we are above that particular sin. A humble attitude is so far from us and we no longer feel compassion towards our brother or sister in Christ, we feel resentment, bitterness and we withdraw from the one we are called to love.  Now, not only does your brother or sister have a heart issue but, you do as well, if you have let it get to this point. 

If a brother or sister in Christ has cancer, we would grieve the cancer but when it is a character flaw and WE are affected by it, we make it about us.  Character flaws, if you have not noticed are a cancer, a cancer to the heart.  If they are not cured/ rooted out, they lead to much physical, mental, and most important spiritual pain to the person and others around.
For me, when the heart issues/ character flaws are revealed, it really releases a huge weight off of my selfish heart.  It forces me to realize it's not against me, it's between them and the Lord.  It also pushes me to trust the Lord with their hearts ( I take myself off of the throne and put Christ back).  I have to remember too, He is not only my creator shaping and molding me, but, He is the creator to all which then in turns causes me to examine my heart to see where He may be shaping me and molding me in and through this.  It requires total humility and trust that God does and will (will being the key word for my impatient heart) work it out for His good, to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

I believe this too is very important when raising a child.  If we were to just focus on the action, just punish the action, get angry with the action, their little hearts would miss the most important point.....Christ, and what He wants to do in their hearts.  Good in marriage too!!

Another great read and an extreme example to this in particular....