1 Samuel 1: God and Prayer

God carries out his desires and plans by his people’s prayers.

Advertisements

God’s Kindness to His People

Reading through the Old Testament, we often see that the people of Israel continued to sin, rebel, and reject God’s designs and his revealed will for how they are to operate.  He saves them from captivity (Exodus), takes them to the promised Land (Joshua), and after their leaders (Moses and Joshua) die, they reject everything when the new generation begins to grow.  And the theme of the book of Judges is 17:6, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”  So, what should God do to unjust, evil, rebellious, and idolatrous people of Israel?  Be the God who just swept away the Egyptians by his hand and overtake them for their just deserving of death.  But instead, God raises up another — Samuel.  A prophet whom God would bring up to declare the goodness of God, the judgement of God, and the mercy of God to the people who have rebelled against him and deserve nothing but the sword of his wrath. Continue reading “1 Samuel 1: God and Prayer”

Basic Apologetics: God Exists

The problem isn’t evidence — the problem is preference.

 Perceived, But Exchanged

The Scriptures presuppose that God exists. From the first verse, “In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1:1). God exists, and he created all that exists from farthest star to the electrons and to time itself, God is the source of all things. However, in Romans 1, the apostle Paul writes this,

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” Romans‬ ‭1:19-23‬ Continue reading “Basic Apologetics: God Exists”

Basic Apologetics: Truth Exists

After all, if there is no such thing as truth then Christianity cannot be true anymore than atheism can be true.  

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

The famous line from A Few Good Men that rings timeless in its scene in the movie, and as it speaks volumes to our culture.  Many of us can’t handle the truth, so we disregard it.  Or, we choose our emotions or what we feel is right over the truth.  This only seems to work in the realm of personal preference and what we enjoy.  Many times, we forget that there must be something right, there must be truth.  And if truth exists, that means that there is something to figure out as we wander on the earth and search out for it.  After all, if there is no such thing as truth then Christianity cannot be true anymore than atheism can be true.  So, does truth exist?  Can we know that truth exists?

Continue reading “Basic Apologetics: Truth Exists”

Attributes of the Cross: God’s Holiness

Your holiness is not your own.  It is Christ’s.

God is Holy, Holy, Holy

The most well recognized passage in the Scriptures of God’s holiness is Isaiah 6:3 where we read that God is ‘holy, holy, holy.’  This, as R.C. Sproul points out, is the only attribute of God that is repeated in this fashion.  The heavenly beings that shouted this about God did not shout ‘love, love, love’ or ‘justice, justice, justice.’  The holiness of God is massive, and it is the attribute strongly emphasized by heavenly creatures; so, we will do wise to follow their counsel. Continue reading “Attributes of the Cross: God’s Holiness”

Saved to Display Christ

Christian, you were saved to display the excellency of Christ to a self-glorifying world.

We Live to Display

There is not a person in the world who does not display the worth of something.  We have this innate desire to make much of something greater than ourselves and that outside of ourselves.  “Did you see who made the playoffs?” “So, this weekend I went to…”  There must be something of value that we find our value in, that we desire to show as valuable, and something that we so desperately want to invite others in to enjoy it with us.

C.S. Lewis shows us this truth,

The world rings with praise — lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favourite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favourite game — praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians or scholars…[then they] spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it: “Isn’t she lovely? Wasn’t it glorious? Don’t you think that magnificent?”

Yet, the things we enjoy aren’t really that outstanding.  Get the new iPhone 8?  You’re going to be outdated with the 10.  Love your job?  It’ll get harder, and besides, your friend’s job is much more interesting.  This is an endless pursuit of self-glory, and nothing holds its luster.  By pointing to ourselves as supremely valuable, we let so many down.  When we tell others that this thing is deserving of the most praise, we lead them astray by overselling and under-delivering.  How sad, selfish, and sinful we are.  We have completely missed true value, ‘our desires are not too strong, but too weak.’

And why do we seek to display what we delight in?  Because we want to find what is most excellent and point others to glory in it with us.  What are we designed to display?  And how do we know?

Continue reading “Saved to Display Christ”

Weinstein, David, and the Gospel

Though he did not commit any sins, he was sent away with a death warrant for ours; Jesus bore our punishment for us.

Private Sins, Public Shame

The producer of Gangs of New York, Harvey Weinstein, is making newspaper and media headlines.  But sadly, not for another movie, but for multiple allegations and women coming forward to reveal that they have been sexually assaulted, groped, and raped by the director.  According to these women, they have been asked, forced, and paid to make sexual advances or to be alone with him in hotel rooms; they have been tricked into one-on-one meetings in offices or in buildings.  And in all of these horrendous and wicked acts of sexual sin, Weinstein remained in power over their word and fame as actresses.  These secret sins in the hidden areas of offices, closed doors, and hotel rooms have not been exposed for what they are: disturbing acts carried out by a human being with a heart of stone, full of sexual immorality, lust, falsehood, pride, and in the place of power to abuse and shame the opposite sex in the process.

Continue reading “Weinstein, David, and the Gospel”

Seeing Jesus

The issue is not physical sight or intellect, but that of our blindness to Jesus’ value.

A sermon preached on 1 Peter 1:8-12

The Beauty of Faith

A well-known atheist and author, Richard Dawkins (author of The God Delusion), was interviewed by CNN about his views on science and religion.  He was asked the question, “If you were to die and meet God, what would you say to him?”

  • Dawkins says this, “Which god are you? Are you Zeus, Mithras, or Yahweh? And why did you take such great pains to conceal yourself?”

I think some of us have maybe heard the remark that if God would show himself to me, I would believe him, or convert to him, etc.  It almost seems like Dawkins is saying something like that.

Continue reading “Seeing Jesus”