Monday, June 23, 2008

Satisfied by Free Grace

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.--Isaiah 55:1-2 (ESV)

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.--Isaiah 55:6-7 (ESV)

Isaiah 55 gives two different gospel calls, one in verses 1 and 2, another in verses 6 and 7. The first call focuses on two things: (1) God's grace cannot be bought nor deserved; rather, it is free grace, and (2) God's grace, not the world's pleasures, will truly satisfy. Think about this. The world sells for a high price unsatisfying pleasures; the LORD freely gives satisfying joy. Which will you choose?

The second gospel call of Isaiah 55 is a simple evangelistic message: Repent and return to the LORD and He will save you. The point which caught my attention this morning is the urgency of verse 6: "Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near." Nonbelievers do not have an eternity to return to God; their "window of opportunity" is short. As we preach to the unsaved, let's not forget the frightening urgency of our message.

Gifts Lead to Service

Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joygulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything.--Deuteronomy 28:47-48a (ESV)

In the midst of God pronouncing curses on those who transgress His law (most of Deut. 28 consists of curses for sin), He teaches us what our response to prosperity should be. Verse 47 implies that when God gives us abundant gifts, our right response is joyful and glad service to Him. Indeed, not doing this warrants the curse of verse 48.

The application of this command is simple: When God makes any good thing abound to you, serve him with joy and gladness.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gay Marriage in California

My brother blogs on the LA Times' editorial on gay marriage.

The final paragraph:

Please do a study of history and make note of all the societies that flourished after legalizing gay marriage. I'm just kidding, don't waste your time. There aren't any. No society in history - even the ones that embraced homosexuality - were so dumb as to think that men and women are so similar that they can be interchanged in marriages without a hitch. NO SOCIETY IN HISTORY IS AS STUPID AS WE ARE. So, yeah, get out there and enjoy all the gay marriage, California.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Desiring God Conference on Words

This sounds like a great conference.

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The Perfect Lamb

You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep in which is a blemish, any defect whatever, for that is an abomination to the LORD your God.--Deuteronomy 17:1 (ESV)

And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.--1 Peter 1:17-19 (ESV)

Only pure, unblemished sacrifices can appease God's wrath. Jesus, the pure Sacrifice, ransoms us by His pure and cleansing blood.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Kingdom Sweat

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.--1 Corinthians 15:58 (ESV)

I was getting a little annoyed--I was getting sweaty, and just before church too! Loading boxes of church supplies into the truck was hot work on a warm day and I could feel my shirt start to stick to my back. "Gosh," I thought. "I'm gonna smell so bad at church. Darn it!" Then, the Spirit corrected my view very quickly. "Wait," I thought, "this is building God's Kingdom. My loading these boxes--and yes, even the resultant sweat--is precious."

Work done for Jesus' Kingdom is never in vain. Labor on, brothers. Our sweat is Kingdom Sweat.

Friday, June 6, 2008


God's love for us is not a reaction to our loveliness, but springs from His lovingness.

Our love for God is not produced by our lovingness, but is a reaction to His loveliness.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Passionate Prayer

I lay prostrate before the LORD those forty days and forty nights because the LORD had said he would destroy you.--Deuteronomy 9:25 (NIV)

When Moses heard God's decree of judgment on the Israelites for their sin of worshipping the golden calf, he prayed passionately for their salvation. Moses was clear of guilt in this sin, but he prayed that God would "overlook the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin" (v. 27). And he didn't just pray a quick prayer every morning. He prayed desperately--on his face before the Lord, eating no food and drinking no water (v.18), for forty days and forty nights! The fact that he mentioned days and nights makes me think that Moses was probably praying around the clock for almost a month and a half.

Moses didn't get discouraged after five weeks of constant prayer and fasting had seen no answer. He persevered in his prayer until God answered him. May we do the same.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Judge, Lawgiver, King, Savior

For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; He will save us.--Isaiah 33:22 (ESV)

God is the Judge who takes criminals' sentences upon Himself.
He is the Lawgiver who dies for those who break His law.
He is the King who suffers to save those who rebel against His rule.
He is our Savior.

20 Reasons to Love (or at least not hate) Fundamentalists

An article at Desiring God.

HT: Justin Taylor