Friday, January 14, 2011

Denzel Washington, Martin Luther, and Our Strange Neglect of the Bible

What are the most precious things we desire? Usually things that we don't have much of. Gold, jewels, iphones, or maybe good grades are some things that we consider precious. Is God's Word precious to us?

Here are a few quotes taken from The Gospel Coalition's Blog. This one by Ray Pennoyer:

What if you and I discovered that God himself—yes, the God who made the universe—was scheduled to speak at a certain college lecture hall or sports arena? I contend that we would spare no expense, time, or energy to get to that event and hear exactly what he had to say. We would be desperate to hear that word from God. And yet, that is what we claim about the Bible. Orthodox Christians around the world affirm and believe that the Bible is the very word of God. Yet do you and I seek to hear it just as desperately? If we are being honest, the answer for most of us would probably be “no.”

Why this strange neglect of the Bible? One reason, I submit, is the superabundance of printed (and now digital) Bibles available here in the West. This abundance has lulled us to sleep. The film The Book of Eli (Warner Bros. Pictures, 2010) sheds important light on this issue, as good art often can. It portrays a dystopian, post-apocalyptic future in which the human race suddenly finds itself without the things it formerly took for granted. The character of Eli, played by Denzel Washington, puts it this way in a conversation with Solara, played by Mila Kunis:

Solara: “What was it like in the world before?”

Eli: “People had more than they needed. We had no idea of what was precious, what wasn’t.”

With access to so many Bibles today, our sense of its importance—and especially of the urgency of our truly knowing its content—has dwindled. Turning back to the film (and here I will give away a few key plot elements), Eli carries under his protection in this dystopian world the last surviving copy of the Bible. Yet when that copy is forceably lost to him, Eli is still able to pass it on to posterity. How is that possible? Because he has taken those precious words from the printed page and made them part of his heart and mind.

If you would like to read the whole article, click on this link.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vancouver 2010

What a great evening to share about Vancouver! It's always great to remember all the great things God has done. Here's the video from Sunday night in case you missed it. I am also currently working on a slideshow of some of the more crazy times! So keep your retinas peeled!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Taking the Unchangeable and Changing

We all know the joke...
Q: How many Baptists does it take to change a light bulb?.......A: Change?  What change?  We don't change!
Hardy har har

Last night we talked about how God's Word is unchangeable (Heb.6:17-18).  When thinking about God's Word, for this example, I do not want you to think of the 66 books that make up the canon.  Sometimes when we talk about the Bible, we can get into a mindset that it is just a book as opposed to THE living Word of God (Heb. 4:12).  So I want you to understand the Bible as God speaking.  God's unchangeable words are given to us, so that we might change.

Change only comes through changing...revolutionary, I know.

What I mean by this, is that we hear messages every Sunday and Wednesday.  In small groups we talk a lot about how our life needs to change based upon truths that are unchanging.  The only problem we have is taking our application from small group and actually applying it.

Here are THREE practical steps to help you apply what you learn:

  1. Write down on a note card ONE thing that you want to work on for the week
  2. On that same note card, write down the one verse that showed you what you should work on.
  3. Read that note card at the beginning of each day
Here are TWO spiritual steps to help you apply what you learn: (Note: without these, you will not apply God's Word!)
    1. Pray that God will help you apply His Word
    2.  Love the Lord
    Without the Help of God, you cannot change.  It is only through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, that we will see what we are doing wrong.  Through that conviction, we then see how we can glorify God with our lives.  It is only through loving the Lord that you will have that desire to change after you have been convicted.

    Take the unchangeable words of God and change...for His glory and grace.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Worse than 450 Bleeding Prophets of Baal

    This taken from the blog at Desiring God Ministries

    And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention. (1 Kings 18:28-29)
    Imagine that scene: 450 prophets of Baal, weeping and pleading, wounds all over their bodies with blood gushing out, exhausted and limping around an altar, hoping for Baal to show himself. Could it ever get any more gruesome that this? Imagine it. Could there ever be a scene more horrible than this?


    The only scene more gruesome than a crowd of people limping around an altar, wounded all over their body with blood gushing out , begging to see a god who doesn’t exist is the true God of the universe hanging on a cross, wounded all over his body with blood gushing out, showing his love to a people who don’t care.

    The prophets of Baal begged their god,  “Answer us!” “Say something!” “Give some gesture!” “Please, do something!”

    And the true God showed his love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. We didn’t ask him for that. We were sinners who didn’t care anything about God, we worshipped ourselves, we were dead in our sins.

    And it was precisely then that God showed himself. It was while we were still weak, at the right time, that Christ died for the ungodly.

    Praise him.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010


    This taken from John Piper's journal:

    O Lord, have mercy on me. I am so discouraged. I am so blank. I feel like there are opponents on every hand, even when I know that most of my people are for me. I am so blind to the future of the church. O Father, am I blind because it is not my future? Perhaps I shall not even live out the year, and you are sparing the church the added burden of a future I had made and could not complete?

    This was written in 1986.  He was so discouraged, he thought about stepping down from his ministry.  You can get a real sense of how he is seeing his world just fall apart.  Have you ever felt like that before?  Have you ever just thought to yourself...

    "I am in way over my head"?  "Why did I take on so much?"  "I will never be able to catch up on my work"?

    I know I've been there before.  My first year here at Calvary, I felt that.  It seemed like all the events and lessons to work on were just too much to bear.  I had come from a church that did an event about once every month.  Here, there are about 3-4 events a month!  How am I going to keep up with that???

    The following sentences of John Piper's journal, read like this:

     I do not doubt for a moment your goodness of power or omnipotence in my life or in the life of the church. I confess that the problem is mine. The weakness is in me. The blindness is in my eyes. The sin—O reveal to me my hidden faults!—is mine and mine the blame. Have mercy, Father. Have mercy on me. I must preach on Sunday, and I can scarcely lift my head.

    How often in our times of woe, do we turn to God and say, "You are perfect and good and the fault is all mine for feeling this way"?  Usually our mindset is, "God make everything easier".  Here are some great biblical truths that we can use, when we feel that the pressures of life seem too much to bear.

    I Peter 5:7 - "casting all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you" are not alone.  You have a loving and merciful Savior that desires for you to lean on him!

    Psalm 38:18 - "I am full of anxiety because of my sin"...maybe you need to take care of sin.

    Romans 8:28-29 - "All things work together for good" that you can become more like Christ.  Even the things that seem overwhelming.  They are there to help you become more like Christ.

    What are some other verses that you have found to be of help when you were in times of uncertainty?