Thursday, October 29, 2009

Scripture Memorization

Justin Taylor posted the video below on his blog. It was, for me, an awesome and stern rebuke to memorize scripture as the power and comprehensibility of it are undeniable as you watch and listen.

I hope you enjoy and are stirred up to love and good works by the truth and beauty of The Word.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Very Important Principle

Here is an article John Piper wrote. What do you think about this approach?

Love Truth

One of the Most Important Principles in Reading the Bible

October 27, 2009 | By: John Piper | Category: Commentary

Sometimes readers of the Bible see the conditions that God lays down for his blessing and they conclude from these conditions that our action is first and decisive, then God responds to bless us.

That is not right.

There are indeed real conditions that God often commands. We must meet them for the promised blessing to come. But that does not mean that we are left to ourselves to meet the conditions or that our action is first and decisive.

Here is one example to show what I mean.

In Jeremiah 29:13 God says to the exiles in Babylon, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” So there is a condition: When you seek me with all your heart, then you will find me. So we must seek the Lord. That is the condition of finding him.


But does that mean that we are left to ourselves to seek the Lord? Does it mean that our action of seeking him is first and decisive? Does it mean that God only acts after our seeking?


Listen to what God says in Jeremiah 24:7 to those same exiles in Babylon: “I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.”

So the people will meet the condition of returning to God with their whole heart. God will respond by being their God in the fullest blessing. But the reason they returned with their whole heart is that God gave them a heart to know him. His action was first and decisive.

So now connect that with Jeremiah 29:13. The condition there was that they seek the Lord with their whole heart. Then God will be found by them. But now we see that the promise in Jeremiah 24:7 is that God himself will give them such a heart so that they will return to him with their whole heart.

This is one of the most basic things people need to see about the Bible. It is full of conditions we must meet for God’s blessings. But God does not leave us to meet them on our own. The first and decisive work before and in our willing is God’s prior grace. Without this insight, hundreds of conditional statements in the Bible will lead us astray.

Let this be the key to all Biblical conditions and commands: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13). Yes, we work. But our work is not first or decisive. God’s is. “I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Great Words From Jared Wilson...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 8:46 AM
Jared C. Wilson

One fear we must put aside in our quest for greater gospel-centrality is that it will not preach week to week. The enemy and our own flesh will test our commitment with the “plausible argument” (Col. 2:4) that the gospel will just sound so one-note. We are tempted to think the repetition will have the unintended effect of boring people or making the gospel appear routine and commonplace.

But the gospel is resilient. It is miraculously versatile. It proves itself every day for those awake to it. Because it is the antidote for all sin of all people, power effectual for every type of person no matter their background or circumstance, it is God’s might to save every millisecond and therefore every Sunday.

The gospel is indeed one song. But it is a song with many notes. The news is the same, but some of the words may change and the angles shift. (Use a thesaurus if you have to.) If we are awake to the gospel and seek the wakefulness of others, Christian and non-Christian, the playing of the greatest song at every instance is a lot like the exuberance of childlike wonder in monotonous fun. In Orthodoxy, the great G.K. Chesterton writes:

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

When we “get” the gospel for what it really is — the power to save, the most thrilling news there could be, the declaration that God’s Son died for us and then came back to life! to be the risen Lord and supreme King of the universe, not just the entry fee for heaven but the currency for all of life — we revel in the new creation it unleashes in its wake at every turn. We never get tired of hearing it. It’s the new song that never gets old. “Play it again, play it again!” we will cry.

Gospel wakened people have been given the strength enough to exult in the beautiful monotony of the gospel.
The further good news is that those who are dulled in their senses will not be further dulled by the gospel. In fact, only the gospel can deliver them from their dulled state. No amount of fog and lasers will do it.

What are your thoughts?

Love Truth


Monday, October 19, 2009

My Thoughts on Knowing God Through His Word

Believers, let me ask you this:

If we do not know the Word of God, how will we know the character of God?
If we do not know the character of God, how can we know who God is?
If we do not know who God is, how can we know who we are in Him?
If we do not know the Word of God, the character of God, who God is, or who we are in Him, then how will we ever know the will of God for our lives?

If…“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) Then, the beginning to knowing God is putting the Word of God first in your relationship with God.

Before we get any further let me preface by saying that I am in no way discounting the power of prayer…I’d be a fool. Rather, I am seeking to greater emphasize the power of the Word, and how the power of the Word magnifies the power of prayer. What caveman brain trying say is:

“Words in Bible make prayer stronger…uhg”

Too often we forget that “The Word (our Bible) became flesh and made His dwelling among us…” (John 1:14)

So many times we seek to know God only through prayer, or mainly through prayer, which means many times we are doing all the talking (since it is very rare that prayer is seen as a two way conversation). Please name for me any other relationship you’ve had where you intimately knew a person by continuously engaging in one-sided conversations with them. If you named more than exactly 0 persons you are delusional.

When we do not seek to know Christ first through the word I believe we are putting our proverbial cart before the horse. Now that is not to say that one must fully know and comprehend the entire Word of God in order to begin a relationship with Him, but if we truly want to know the Word, know Christ, know God’s character, know God, and know God’s will for our lives, then we should strive for nothing less.

Thomas, in John 14:5, says “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answers him in verse 6 with a passage many of you will find very familiar. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Constantly we are seeking the will of God. I challenge that if we first know the Word of God we will in shorter time know the will of God.

We so often ask God to bless our endeavors, whether in business, school, family, health, travel, missions, and so on. Too often for many believers we have no power in our prayer because they lack substance. Even though we pray to an all-powerful God, if what we are praying for doesn’t match the Word of God or the character of God, it is not going to match GOD! Therefore, it will never, ever, ever, match the will of God.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, October 12, 2009


Daniel Davis is a photographer here in Dallas and a member of The Village Church. He was on the last team that The Village sent to Sudan and he got some amazing photographs of the people whom we love and minister to in Sudan. If you want a visual of the sweet people in Southern Sudan, take a look at these photographs! Thanks Daniel for bringing their sweet faces back to us here in the states!

HERE is the direct link to the Sudan gallery

It is it doesn't work, or you just want to look around his sight, Click HERE then go to click on See the Way. There you click on Galleries and you will find Sudan.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thoughts from Henry Scougal on Love

Henry Scougal wrote an amazing letter to a friend that was turned into a book. The title is The Life of God in the Soul of Man. Here is a quote he gave on love. Scougal died at the age of 27.

"Love must needs be miserable, and full of trouble and disquietude, when there is not worth and excellency enough in the object to answer the vastness of its capacity...nothing below an infinite good can afford room to stretch itself, and exert its vigour and activity. What is a little skin-deep beauty, or some small degrees of goodness, to match or satisfy a passion which was made for God; designed to embrace an infinite God?"

I have been thinking much about the "active love of God". Many times I make the mistake of viewing His love almost as this "impersonal force" that is pursuing me instead of seeing the relational reality that His intimate love is designed to mainly lead me to Himself, which will naturally overflow in the love for others.

In fact, this will allow me to love others the way that He does instead of loving others in order that they return love back to me. I believe this is the focus He gives us when He tells us to even love our enemies. The point is not that we just "grit our teeth" and do it because He said, but it is because this is the same love He had for us when we were enemies of Him (see Romans 5:10).

What are some thoughts that you have on the "active love of God"?

Love Truth

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Italy considers banning burqa

Considering banning the burqa in Western Europe is like going green in the states....everybody is doing it. Italy just recently joined the group.

I find this topic interesting because of all the factors involved (religious, political, etc...) and the heated debate that it sparks. I also wonder what will happen if all of these countries actually follow through on their considerations and impose the ban. What affect would it have on the spread of Islam and it's influence on the culture and government of Western Europe?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. That is actually why I made this post. This isn't the most natural topic to bring up in conversation but since you all are already here reading tell me what you think. If you don't know much about the topic do some research and get back to me.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Great Thoughts by C.J. Mahaney on Adoption

Not long ago we looked at God’s initiative in our adoption. The more aware we are of God’s initiative the more amazed we are of grace. Our position and status as adopted sons and daughters was secured by God’s initiative in sending his Son.

Today I will focus on the work of the Holy Spirit in our experience of adoption. “God’s purpose was not only to secure our sonship by His Son,” John Stott writes, “but to assure us of it by His Spirit. He sent His Son that we might have the status of sonship, and He sent His Spirit that we might have the experience of it.”*

In other words, God first sent his Son to die for our sins and then God sent his Spirit into our hearts. The immediate cry of the Spirit within our hearts is “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:15).

The Spirit’s Call

This cry—“Abba! Father!”—is the precious privilege and common experience of all Christians. This cry is evidence that we have received adopting grace. This cry assures us of God’s love. It is a means of certainty that God loves you!

I never tire of reading the following illustration from the ministry of Charles Spurgeon:
I once knew a good woman who was the subject of many doubts, and when I got to the bottom of her doubt, it was this: she knew she loved Christ, but she was afraid he did not love her. “Oh!” I said, “that is a doubt that will never trouble me; never, by any possibility, because I am sure of this, that the heart is so corrupt, naturally, that love to God never did get there without God’s putting it there.” You may rest quite certain, that if you love God, it is a fruit, and not a root. It is the fruit of God’s love to you, and did not get there by the force of any goodness in you. You may conclude, with absolute certainty, that God loves you if you love God.**
Let me ask: Are you aware that God loves you, if you love God? You can be. You can be assured of God’s love for you. That cry did not originate with you. That cry is a gift from God. That cry is an evidence of adopting grace. That cry is a means of assuring you of God’s love for you.

Yet it’s possible to grow less aware of this cry. It is possible to hear only the voice of slavery and fear and grow insensitive to the cry of the Spirit.

This was happening to Christians in Galatia. In Galatians 4, Paul writes people who have been seduced by legalism and no longer enjoy adopting grace and have grown deaf to the cry of the Spirit within.

Many voices cry out for our attention each day and seek to distract our attention from the voice of the Spirit. The cry of indwelling sin is one voice. So is the cry of legalism. And the voice of condemnation can be consistently noisy, too. These are loud and distracting voices.

Which voice are you most aware of?

If you are distracted by these voices and the noise in your soul created by sin and legalism and condemnation, this cry will be muffled.

If this is you, I would recommend a pair of divine noise-cancelling earphones. What I mean is that I would encourage you to memorize Galatians 4:1–7. What is revealed in these verses about adopting grace and the Spirit's work within revealing and applying adopting grace will protect you from the voices of sin, legalism, and condemnation. And it will help you to better hear the Spirit’s cry—“Abba! Father!”—for yourself.

* John R. W. Stott, The Message of Galatians (IVP, 1968).
** Charles Spurgeon, sermon: “The Relationship of Marriage” (sermon No. 762).
Posted by C.J. Mahaney