Thursday, July 30, 2009
Os Guinness; The Call, p.103
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
C.H. Spurgeon, Everyday Religion (sermon #1599)
Monday, July 20, 2009
I thought it might be interesting to share highlights from each of the sessions. Session 1 (Theology of Work) covered a biblical understanding of work - God's work in creation, the effect of the Fall on work, God's work in redemption. We also discussed the purpose of work in our lives. Here are some of the notes from the session -
In Genesis 1-2, we see that creation reveals the "work" of God. God is a worker and in fact, introduces the concept of work. There are three kinds of work that God is engaged in -
Providential work - this is the work that God does in governing, sustaining and overseeing the world. God never rests from this work.
Redemptive work - this is the work that God accomplishes through His Son to redeem the world to Himself. Likewise, God does not rest from this work
Creative work - this is work that we equate to labor. This is the creative work that God accomplished in creating, bringing order and completing His creation. God rested from this work and delighted in the excellence of His creation.
Since God is the ultimate worker, the act of work itself is loaded with inherent meaning, significance and dignity.
Why do we work? First, we work because we're made in the image of God - we're image bearers. As God's image bearers we are to use our God-given creativity and responsibility to use the earth for godly purposes.
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
The Fall has distorted God's intention for work. Instead of being enjoyable and satisfying, the "garden" we labor in is now filled with thistles and thorns - work is now hard and marked with difficulties. The other effect of the Fall is that as workers, we lose perspective on who God is and His purpose for our lives. We no longer work to the glory of God.
Thankfully, that's not where it ends. Instead, God through the work of His Son is redeeming men and women to Himself. Those who trust in Jesus Christ are transformed from "the image of the man of dust [that is, Adam] into those who will bear "the image of the man of heaven [that is, Jesus]" 1 Corinthians 15:49. In the process, He is restoring the nature and purpose of work in the lives of those who belong to Him.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer, p49
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Anthony Selvaggio, A Proverbs Driven Life, p.59-60
Friday, July 03, 2009
Instead, let's discuss what has caught the attention of many - the substance of his apology where he invoked Christian "language" and compared himself to King David.
“I remain committed to rebuilding the trust that has been committed to me over the next 18 months, and it is my hope that I am able to follow the example set by David in the Bible — who after his fall from grace humbly refocused on the work at hand. By doing so, I will ultimately better serve in every area of my life, and I am committed to doing so.”
The editors of New York Times noted this in a commentary entitled God and Mark Sanford. They asked five "experts" including Chuck Colson and LaShawn Barber to comment on Mark Sanford's confession/apology. It's worth checking out the different points of view.
But I found one of the most unintentionally insightful comments to come from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who does not subscribe to the Christian faith. Here's what he said -
"The paradox of American evangelicals is that they are Christian on the one hand and political conservatives on the other with utterly opposing views of redemption. Christians believe that no one is blameless and all must therefore ride the coattails of a perfect being into heaven. But conservatives espouse the gospel of personal accountability. The state cannot save them. Man must earn his bread by the sweat of his brow and not by welfare alone."
It's an interesting comment because I think many Christians actually subscribe to this "gospel of personal responsibility". We may erroneously believe that if we own up to our mistakes, put accountability controls in place and try harder next time, we'll be ok. In other words, when it comes to our moral state, we might think that personal accountability can save us....but it cannot. To be sure, accountability is good thing - taking responsibility for our moral failings is foundational to true repentance. And, being accountable to others is wise.
But what we really need is a Savior, not just accountability and earnest confession. Our moral failings are first and foremost against God and apart from the person of Jesus Christ, we have no means of relating to a holy God. True repentance must be directed to Him and it must rest of what Christ has done on our behalf by bearing our sins.
Our weaknesses are greater than can be addressed by personal accountability or accountability groups. We need a Savior every single day to protect and keep us. That's why I love these words from the hymn, "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" -
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
The real gospel doesn't just feature sin and personal responsibility, it highlights a Savior who has come to save and keep us. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.