Saturday, February 28, 2009


Exodus 15:11 says, “Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” (ESV) II Samuel 7:22 says, “Therefore you are great, O LORD God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.” More than a generation ago, A. W. Tozer wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” If that statement were true and worthy of consideration in Tozer’s time, it is more than true today and even more worthy of consideration today. What people think of and about God has undeniable and consequential ramifications. People live out their various thoughts, philosophies and opinions about God in their everyday life. Knowing and understanding God therefore is not to be relegated merely to theological or theoretical musings. The knowledge of God and the understanding of God is very practical to every area of our lives. It is of great importance what you conceive God to be in your heart. Tozer also wrote, “A god begotten in the shadows of a fallen heart will quite naturally be no true likeness of the true God.” Psalms 50:21 says in part, “…you thought that I {Or that the I AM} was one like yourself.” (ESV) We have the tendency due to our fallen nature to conceive of a god in our own heart that we can, both love and feel comfortable with. This must grieve our God tremendously. He alone is unique in every area of His being. He alone is the sole epitome of majesty, splendor, glory, and beauty. He is the very essence of holiness, exercising every aspect of this character and nature in perfect holiness. Yet, we so easily degrade and belittle Him with our humanistic imaginations of what we want Him to be to us or for us.
It is imperative for the honor and sake of God that we develop right thinking about Him. He is worthy of right thoughts. We are in desperate need of right thoughts so that we might honor Him, serve Him, enjoy Him, and share Him with those who yet have been instructed in the ways of thinking right thoughts about God.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Character of God and Prayer

I am currently teaching a series on Sunday morning in our Sojourners Adult Bible Class on the subject of the characer and nature of God. The theme of this morning's class was The Relevance of This Study to our lives. The question naturally that begs to be asked, "Does this study have any practical value to my life?" The very question grieves my heart! How could anyone possibly wonder if a study on the character and nature of God would have any relevance to their life? Yet, I find many people in the so-called evangelical church who know many facts about God but they don't know God intimately, experientially, and theologically. J. I. Packer once wrote:"Disregard the study of God and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life..." My challenge this morning was for each Sojourner to mediate on nine ways that this study of the nature and character of God impacts their lives in a practical manner. The eighth way that this study impacts them and becomes relevant is in the area of their prayer life. A study in the nature and character of God enhances our prayer life. We don't know how to pray today. What is worse is that we don't see the need to make any changes to our prayer life or list. We determine what will make us happy, comfy, cozy, and safe and proceed to ask God to give us this and that in order to make it happen. Studying the character and nature of God enables us to pray in accordance with God's character and nature and prevents us from praying contray to His character, His will and/or purposes. Forget the fluff, forget the willy-nilly "Daddy this makes me happy,I want it, so give it to me," and learn to pray according to God's character and nature. Learn to pray as, oh yea, the Puritans!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Learning to Delight at 4:30 am

I am in Bend, Oregon this morning - my last morning here! It has been an enjoyable trip related to my secular employment, but I am glad to be able to go home. Since my wife was unable to come, I have been here alone. I mean without any of the normal distractions of being in your own home with your own wife and family. As a result, I set some goals for myself while I was here. I determined since I was relatively distraction free, except of course for those riveting re-runs of CSI, I wanted to have a more rich devotional time with the Lord. After all I didn't anyone else to interact with. My goals were three fold: 1) to have a keener/richer devotion time; 2) to draw closer to God in intimacy; 3) to enhance my walk with Him. I determined the first morning why I come to the Lord so early in the morning: that is my best time and He is worthy of worship and devotion. I struggle with making sure I am not coming to God for the sole purpose of getting something or benefiting in some way. I come before our God because of His nature and Character, in other words, because He is worthy. I can not not come before our awesome, majestic, holy, and gracious God. To do otherwise is pure lunacy. God has given to us whom He has chosen and redeemed the best that He can give, that is Himself. I come to delight myself in the Lord. Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself also in the LORD..." (NKJV). The Hebrew seems to give us the idea of "to be happy about, take exquisite delight or to make merry over." So I come to God happy about meeting with God, taking an exquisite delight in Him as a "person."

Beleive me, I know how hard it is to be "delightful" at 4:30 am. When that alarm goes off and you have to throw back those warm covers and actually put your feet on the floor, delight is not the first thought in my mind.

It is always worth it. God never disappoints! So, my time here this week has been richer, I have drawn closer in intimacy, and I hope I have enhanced my walk with Him. My wife will know if that goal has been accomplished. You will know and those whom I interact with will know.

For now, I am delighting in my God! I am taking joy, making merry, and deriving pleasure from fellowshipping, worshipping, and loving the LORD God who alone is worthy! Yes, I am excited to leave Bend and head back to Longview and my wife!

Delight in Him and Him alone!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Where Would I Be? (Without You)

Where Would I Be? By Gregg Metcalf I’m the one stained within by a heart black with sin Standing condemed today I won’t even seek after you But everytime you look at me You don’t see what used to be I’m clean by the Son you slew Where would I be without your grace Without your favor poured on me Nothing could I do to obtain One drop of grace that would Remove every stain Until you opened up my eyes I couldn’t see you standing there But you made me realize my sin you would gladly bear thank you for taking me in Now I am yours indeed Having all that I need Every step I take By your grace all the way Growing daily for your sake Yes you give me everthing I need to live for you Even the very will to do Of you I will forever sing

Sensational Statements

"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

I Have Some Good News and I have some Bad News

How many times has a conversation that has begun with that introduction ended well? Normally we are given a choice as to what news we would like to hear first. Being the kind of guy that always rips the band-aid of in one swift motion, I always choose to hear the bad first. My thought process of course is let's get the bad out of the way and then temper the news with something good. The bible certainly has some bad news and some good news! We don't have to be a certified genius to discover that blinding flash of insight. The bad news is that we are eternally seperated from God and under His judgement and wrath while we are outside of His beloved Son. The good news is that God apart from any coersion or force apart from His own good purpose has given us Himself through His Son to be our redeemer. What wonderfully good news! God has purposed to redeem us for His glory!