Posts in "Sources"
How the Gospel Transforms Work!
I unearthed a lot of good material that did not make it into today's sermon. If you would like to think more about how the gospel transforms your work, I suggest you look at these sites.

I was pleased to find out the August 28, 2010 issue of World Magazine is about work and labor. In that issue they pointed me to a work in progress called, Theology of Work. Though it wasn't helpful now, I am hopeful that a future visit to this site will yield some useful insight. Another site they recommended did have more content, Monday Church. The Biblical Theology of Vocation is very helpful.

The Wikipedia article on Labor Day even includes ideas for celebrating the holiday if you are bored next weekend. May you work and rest, labor and take holiday, to the glory of God.
"Sources", "s"RevReavComment
David Livingstone on Sacrifice
A few weeks ago I included this quote from David Livingstones address to students at Cambridge University in a message and was asked to share it:
People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of the great debt owing to our God, which we could never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own reward of healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with such a word, such a view, and such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering or danger now and then, with a forgoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause and cause the spirit to waver and sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall hereafter be revealed in and for us. I NEVER MADE A SACRIFICE. Of this we ought not to talk when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His Father's throne on high to give Himself for us. (Quoted in Desiring God, John Piper, Multnomah Press: Portland, 1986, p. 201)
Worship Thoughts
Here are a couple additional thoughts that didn't fit into the message on Worship. They won't fit in a couple weeks when I share it at Robinwood either, so no spoiler alert necessary.

The Resurgence, a ministry I recommend you pay attention to, highlights the false gospel preached by rock & roll in this blog post. Their observation about the music we entertain ourselves with is similar to my concern for our worship. Your music preaches a it the right one?

My message hardly qualified as a sermon on worship without this quote by William Temple, former archbishop of Canterbury, which everyone who writes on the topic of worship loves. Here it is in two different forms:
To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.

Both for perplexity and for dulled conscience the remedy is the same; sincere and spiritual worship. For worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose – and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin. Yes – worship in spirit and truth is the way to the solution of perplexity and to the liberation from sin. – William Temple, Readings in St. John’s Gospel, (1942-44).
The Gospel in the Old Testament
Last week the message on the value of the Bible referenced what Jesus might have said when he "opened their eyes" to see what was written in the Scriptures concerning himself (Luke 24:27). The next morning I read this hymn by William Cowper in the Olney Hymnal about the Old Testament Gospel.

Israel in ancient days,
Not only had a view
Of Sinai in a blaze,
But learned the gospel too:
The types and figures were a glass
In which they saw the Savior’s face.

The paschal sacrifice,
And blood–besprinkled door, (Ex. 12:13)
Seen with enlightened eyes,
And once applied with pow’r;
Would teach the need of other blood,
To reconcile an angry God.

The Lamb, the Dove, set forth
His perfect innocence, (Lev 12:6)
Whose blood, of matchless worth,
Should be the soul’s defence:
For he who can for sin atone,
Must have no failings of his own.

The scape–goat on his head (Lev 16:21)
The peoples’ trespass bore,
And to the desert led,
Was to be seen no more:
In him, our Surety seemed to say,
“Behold, I bear your sins away.”

Dipped in his fellows’ blood,
The living bird went free, (Lev 14:51-53)
The type, well understood,
Expressed the sinner’s plea;
Described a guilty soul enlarged,
And by a Savior’s death discharged.

Jesus I love to trace
Throughout the sacred page;
The footsteps of thy grace,
The same in every age!
O grant that I may faithful be
To clearer light, vouchsafed to me.
Preaching the Gospel to Yourself
A few weeks ago I had more good stuff than I could cram into a sermon. Here are some of the quotes I would have used if the sermon had lasted 2 hours!

“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in this psalm] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul?’ he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: ‘Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.’” Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1965), 20.

“If I have observed anything by experience, it is this: a man may take the measure of his growth and decay in grace according to his thoughts and meditations upon the person of Christ, and the glory of Christ’s Kingdom, and of His love.” - John Owen

“Sin is therefore fundamentally opposition to God, rebellion against God, which roots in hatred of God.” – Anthony Hoekema

“Reminding ourselves of the Gospel is the most important daily habit we can establish. If the Gospel is the most vital news in the world, and if salvation by grace is the defining truth of our existence, we should create ways to immerse ourselves in these truths every day. No days off allowed. . .Your audience is your own heart. And the message is simple: Christ died for you sins. It’s a matter of sitting down, grabbing your own attention, and telling yourself, “Hey, listen up! This is what matters most: You’re forgiven! You have hope! Your hope is based on the sacrifice of Jesus. So lets’ not view this day any other way. Let today be governed by this one defining truth.” (Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney pg. 132‐133).

“God did not give us His Gospel just so we could embrace it and be converted. Actually, He offers it to us every day as a gift that keeps on giving to us everything we need for life and godliness... We extract these benefits by being absorbed in the Gospel, speaking it to ourselves when necessary, and by daring to reckon it true in all we do.” (The Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent pg 5).

“My hope lives not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; my trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, He is my righteousness. My faith rests not upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is, in what He has done, and in what He is now doing for me.” (Morning and Evening‐Sept 25 by C.H. Spurgeon)

There is simply no other way to compete with foreboding of my conscience, the condemnings of my heart, and the lies of the world and the Devil than to overwhelm such things with daily rehearsings of the Gospel.” (The Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent, p. 14)

“You are loved and accepted by God through the merit of Jesus, and you are blessed by God through the merit of Jesus. Nothing you ever do will cause Him to love you any more or any less. (Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges, p 73)

“Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee‐it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee‐it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument‐it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to they faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul.” (Morning and Evening‐ June 28 by C.H. Spurgeon.)

“Learn to know Christ and him crucified. Learn to sing to him and say, ‘Lord Jesus, you are my righteousness, I am your sin. You took on you what was mine; yet set on me what was yours. You became what you were not, that I might become what I was not’.” (Martin Luther)

Remember the Gospel! – “There is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot be accepted at all. This is not true of us only when we believe. It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live... it is always on His ‘blood and righteousness’ alone that we can rest.” (B.B. Warfield)
Strategies against Sexual Sin
The seventh commandment says, "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14). When Jesus applied this command He told us that "anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). For all of us, adultery is a matter not merely of our bodies but about our hearts.

Here are some practical suggestions I made in my message last week that I hope will help you combat sexual temptation and avoid sexual sin:
  • Consider your future self.
What will you wish you had done in a year? In ten years? What will your family wish you had done? Almost no one looks ahead and consciously says, "Hey, I think I'll blow up my life." Consider what you wish you would have done. . . then do it.
  • Capture every thought.
One key to spiritual warfare is to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Be Ruthless with your thoughts. It is very easy to be lazy with your thoughts, to linger on questionable ideas, to doubt what you know to be true. If you stick to Philippians 4:8, you'll be on safe ground.
  • Cultivate the presence of God.
Act as though you believe in God's omniscience and God's omnipresence. He is everywhere and He does see everything (Psalm 33:13-15). Don't kid yourself that he doesn't. David understood that his horrific sin with Bathsheba, and all the collateral damage, was against God (Psalm 51:4). Joseph fled from Potiphar's wife because he understood the same thing (Genesis 39:9).
  • Contemplate the Practical and Eternal Consequences of Adultery.
If your thoughts were to play out, or you were to get caught in your sin, what would happened in both the short term and the long term. Spend time imagining the shame you and your family would experience. Consider the devastation it would cause for those who think of you as an example of a Christian person. Consider how it will destroy trust with your spouse and family, if they even chose to stay with you. And, of course, there is more. Consider explaining your actions to God on judgment day. Jesus tells us to consider hell (Matthew 5:27-29).
  • Conquer your body.
Thomas Watson, a puritan pastor wrote, "The flesh pampered is apt to rebel." He reminds us of Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 9:27 warning us that our body can disqualify us if we don't make it our slave. We can't fall of the other side, though. It is possible to workout and get in shape for the admiration of the opposite sex, gaining mastery over your body for the wrong reasons.
  • Cut off opportunities.
Jesus took very seriously the need to be ruthless with the things that cause us to fall. He said, "Cut off out your eye... cut off your hand" (Matthew 5:29). This is hyperbole to remind us not to go places where we will be tempted. Get rid of the TV. Don’t be around people who tempt you. Get accountability for your computer.
  • Cultivate Faith.
Fight fire with fire. The power of lust is its promise of pleasure. We fight it with the promise of God. Linger long on the joy-producing, sin-dulling promises of the scripture!
2 Peter 1:3-4 tells us we escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires by the "great and precious promises" of God!

John Piper says it this way:
"It is this superior satisfaction in future grace that breaks the power of lust. With all eternity hanging in the balance, we fight the fight of faith. Our chief enemy is the lie that says sin will make our future happier. Our chief weapon is the Truth that says God will make our future happier. . . We must fight with a massive promise of superior happiness."
I hope this helps. I would love a world where lust and sexual sin didn't ruin marriages.
A Prophet Like Moses
A message from Deuteronomy 18:15-19, December 20, 2009 by Scott Reavely.

Some of the comparison between Jesus and Moses came from this website. It has even more than I had time to share in this message, complete with scripture references.
Follow-up from Sunday's message
Quotes on idolatry:
  • "Whatever we love most, and are most anxious to retain and please—whatever it be we depend most upon for happiness and help—whatever has most of our hearts—that is, in effect, is our God!" – John Angell James
  • "What is an idol? Is not this the essence of the idea conveyed by the word, that an idol occupies that place in our esteem and affections, in our thoughts, words and ways, in our dependence and reliance, in our worship and devotedness, which is due to God only?" – J.C. Philpot
  • "Idolatry is a worship, in which the honor due to the Triune God, and to God only, is given to some of His creatures, or to some invention of His creatures." – J.C. Ryle
  • "Sin isn’t only doing bad things, it is more fundamentally making good things into ultimate things. Sin is building your life and meaning on anything, even a very good thing, more than on God. Whatever we build our life on will drive us and enslave us. Sin is primarily idolatry." – Tim Keller
David Clarkson (1622-1686), “Soul Idolatry Keeps Men Out of Heaven,” diagnostic list:
  1. Esteem. That which we most highly value we make our God. For estimation is an act of soul worship.
  2. Mindfulness. That which we are most mindful of we make our God. To be most remembered, to be most minded, is an act of worship which is proper to God, and which he requires as due to himself alone.
  3. Intention. That which we most intend we make our god; for to be most intended is an act of worship due only to the true God; for he being the chief good must be the last end.
  4. Resolution. What we are most resolved for we worship as God.
  5. Love. That which we must love we worship as our God; for love is an act of soul-worship.
  6. Trust. That which we most trust we make our god; for confidence and dependence is an act of worship which the Lord calls for as due only to himself.
  7. Fear. That which we most fear we worship as our god; for fear is an act of worship.
  8. Hope. That which we make our hope we worship as God; for hope is an act of worship.
  9. Desire. That which we most desire we worship as our god; for that which is chiefly desired, is the chief good in his account who so desires it; and what he counts his chief good, that he makes his god.
  10. Delight. That which we most delight and rejoice in, that we worship as God; for transcendent delight is an act of worship due only to God; and this affection, in its height and elevation, is called glorying.
  11. Zeal. That for which we are more zealous we worship as god; for such a zeal is an act of worship due only to God ; therefore it is idolatrous to be more zealous for our own things than for the things of God; to be eager in our own cause, and careless in the cause of God; to be more vehement for our own credit, interests, advantages, than for the truths, ways, honour of God; to be fervent in spirit, in following our own business, promoting our designs, but lukewarm and indifferent in the service of God; to count it intolerable for ourselves to be reproached, slandered, reviled, but manifest no indignation when God is dishonoured, his name, worship, profaned; his truths, ways, people, reviled.
  12. Gratitude. That to which we are most grateful, that we worship as God; for gratitude is an act of worship.
  13. When our care and industry is more for other things than for God. We cannot serve God and mammon, God and our lusts too, because this service of ourselves, of the world, takes up that care, that industry, those endeavours, which the Lord must have of necessity, if we will serve him as God; and when these are laid out upon the world and our lusts, we serve them as the Lord ought to be served, and so make them our gods.
Why Jesus is superior to idols -- a summary list from 1st John:
  • He is the Word of Life.
  • He is Life itself.
  • He is the Son of God.
  • He is Light.
  • He is The righteous one.
  • He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
  • He is the Truth.
  • He sends the Anointing that teaches.
  • He is Righteous.
  • God is the Loving Father.
  • He is Pure.
  • He laid down his life for you.
  • He responds to prayer.
  • He came in the flesh.
  • He is greater in you than the one who is in the world.
  • God is love.
  • He is the savior of the world, sent by the Father.
  • God is Invisible.
  • God loved us first.
  • The Spirit is truth.
  • He is the one born of God who keeps us from the evil one
  • He is true God and Eternal Life.
I just found a worship video site where you can watch and learn new worship songs. You don't have to wait for them to be sung at church. Check out CCLITV.
Why I'm Pro-Life.
One resource both Pastor Nathan and I used in our sermon's today is a little book by Randy Alcorn, Why I'm Pro-Life. It is available online as a PDF for free. You can find it by clicking this link. It will be a great resource if you are interesting in exploring the topic more.

Another option for further involvement with this topic is the movie coming to Portland this Thursday, "Come What May." You can read more about it here.