Archive for October, 2008

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How to tell if your church loves money more than Jesus…

October 10, 2008

Three steps…

1) Determine how Jesus would vote in an upcoming election. This is by far the most difficult step but still possible. The Bible is His revelation and speaks to all areas of life. So voting is in there, based on candidates who uphold justice (Romans 13).

2) Have the pastor preach on the evils and virtues of candidates and who the Bible is telling us to vote for.

3) Wait for someone to bring up the loss of the church’s tax-exempt status as a reason not to inform people of the Bible’s bearing on the voting booth.

You can determine three things from this actually: 1) need for more Bible study; 2) need for a more courageous pastor; 3) need to remove money (and any of its stanch advocates) as an obstacle to faith.

Example case: Obama is pro-abortion; McCain (though far from perfect) is anti-abortion and pro-life; the Bible is anti-abortion and pro-life. Vote McCain, if for no other reason than his standing on the most important issue facing the United States – the murder of unborn children.

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Mature faith

October 6, 2008

1 Samuel 14:6,

Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the LORD will work for us, for nothing can hinder the LORD from saving by many or by few.”

In the commentary, Looking on the Heart (and excellent commentary), Dale Ralph Davis writes about the mature faith of Jonathan exhibited here in 1 Samuel 14.

Saul, Jonathan’s father, is confronted with the Philistines. In his normal fashion, he waits for someone else to save him (as in chapter 17). Jonathan is the savior this time. He proposes to his armor bearer that they “go over” to one of the garrisons of the Philistines – “these uncircumcised”. Like David will do in a few chapters, Jonathan recognizes that these people should not be opposing the chosen people of Israel.

Jonathan has full confidence in the Lord’s power. The Lord can accomplish His will “by many or by few”. That is the principle that Jonathan knows about that Lord (along with many others). The Lord our God is sovereign over all things (Ephesians 1:11). Jonathan trusts the Lord’s sovereignty.

But trust in the Lord’s sovereignty is not what makes Jonathan’s faith mature. Jonathan first says “it may be”. Trust in the Lord’s freedom to act as He wants is what makes Jonathan’s faith mature. Jonathan knows the Lord. He know that God is good, loving, just, righteous and holy. He knows that God is always accomplishing whatever is most glorifying to Himself. And He knows that God does these things freely, apart from any obligation except those He wants to make. It may be that the Lord will work for Jonathan and his armor bearer to defeat the Philistines, but that might not be what God wants to do. It’s God’s decision and whatever He chooses will be perfect.

Do we live like that? Do we live to make ourselves available to the work of the Lord? Jonathan made himself and his armor bearer available. If the Lord wanted to use them, there they were. If not, Jonathan was willing to leave himself in the hands of His God. Do we make ourselves available like that? Are we willing to give up our lives just to make ourselves available to the Lord, even if He doesn’t use us?