Thursday, October 28, 2010

JK on Prayer

My friend Josh King has just written an excellent post about prayer. You should go read it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Radical: A Review

Radical by David Platt is a challenging and convicting book. The thesis of the book is simple: Christians have abandoned a Biblical calling to carry the Gospel to the nations for the American dream of health, wealth, and pleasure. Platt pleads with his readers to be moved with compassion for the 4.5 billion people who are without Christ and the more than 1 billion who live in abject poverty. Platt interweaves Biblical exposition with personal stories from his life and from his church.

I strongly urge you to pick up this book (you can order it from Amazon right now for about the same price of a fast food value meal).

Be warned though. After reading this book, it may affect your life in a radical way.

Here are some favorite quotes:

"... somewhere along the way we had missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable. We were settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves."

"He created human beings, not only to enjoy his grace in a relationship with him, but also to extend his glory to the ends of the earth. Simple enough. Enjoy his grace and extend his glory. This is the twofold purpose behind the creation of the human race in Genesis 1..."

"...there will continue to be millions and millions of people who do not hear as long as we continue to use spare time and spare money to reach them. Those are two radically different questions. "What can we spare?" and "What will it take?"

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Knowing and Obeying Scripture: Verses and Books

Knowing and Obeying Scripture is basic to living the Christian life. Therefore, it ought to be a priority for every Christian.

Psalm 119:9 (ESV) How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

Psalm 119:11 (ESV) I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:16 (ESV) I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.

Psalm 119:105 (ESV) Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

John 17:17 (ESV) Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

Ezra 7:10 (ESV) For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.

2 Tim. 3:14-17 (ESV) But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it [15] and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. [16] All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righ teousness, [17] that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

2 Tim. 2:15 (ESV) Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

James 1:22 (ESV) But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

1 Peter 1:22-2:3 (ESV) Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, [23] since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; [24] for "All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, [25] but the word of the Lord remains forever." And this word is the good news that was preached to you. [2:1] So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. [2] Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation— [3] if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.


Living by the Book by Hendricks

Personal Bible Study Methods by Warren

How to Apply the Bible by Veerman

How to Study the Bible by Arthur

Knowing Scripture by Sproul

Ryken's Bible Handbook

Can I Trust the Bible by Sproul

How to Study the Bible by MacArthur

Promises Made: The Message of the Old Testament by Dever

Promises Kept: The Message of the New Testament by Dever

MacArthur Study Bible (Available in NKJV, NASB, and ESV)

ESV Study Bible

NLT Study Bible

HCSB Study Bible

Special Note:

I highly recommend James White's book The King James Only Controversy. Even if you are not interested in the KJV Only debate that exists, this book helps the reader understand how we got out Bible and why we can have confidence in our English Bibles.

I also recommend The Origin of the Bible which explains issues like inspiration, canonization, and translation.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Being Wise: Books and Scripture

Wisdom is an attribute I highly value. I crave wisdom for myself, for my family, and for those in my church.

Scriptures related to Wisdom

The Book of Proverbs -- seriously, read the whole book regularly. Once a month or so.

Psalm 51:6 (ESV) Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Psalm 90:12 (ESV) So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 111:10 (ESV) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

Acts 6:3 (ESV) Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.

1 Cor. 1:30 (ESV) He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.

Col. 3:16 (ESV) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

James 1:5 (ESV) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

James 3:13 (ESV) Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

James 3:17 (ESV) But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Books on Making Wise Decisions

Decision, Decisions by Swavly

Discovering God's Will by Ferguson

Decision Making and the Will of God by Friesen

Found: God's Will by MacArthur

Finding the Will of God: A Pagan Notion? by Waltke

Books on Wisdom

The Discipline of Discernment by Challies

Spurgeon's Practical Wisdom by Spurgeon

Fool's Gold by MacArthur

A Proverbs Driven life by Selvaggio

Holman Bible Commentary on Proverbs by Anders

Gospel Fear by Burroughs

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

MLB Playoffs 2010: My Predictions

So, it should be clear a) I am a Rangers fan and b) I think they are going to win. I know, I know... that's just crazy fan talk, right? Well... maybe. BUT, the Rangers are legitimate. They have a very solid pitching staff and bullpen, great offensive players, and pretty good defense. That's not to say there aren't issues and concerns. Injuries have been a damper for the last month of the season. But it seems like the Rangers are getting back to form and so this October should be a lot of fun.

I'm not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet... and I'm not sure prophets care a lot about baseball. Regardless, here are my predictions (sure to go wrong) for the 2010 playoffs.

Rangers over the Rays in 5
Yankees over the Twins in 4

Phillies over the Reds in 4
Braves over the Giants in 3

Rangers over the Yankees in 6

Phillies over the Braves in 5

World Series
Texas Rangers over the Philadelphia Phillies in 6

World Series MVP
Josh Hamilton... with Cliff Lee as a close second

However it all shakes out... Go Rangers! It's time!

Loving Others: Scriptures and Books

The Importance of Love:

Proverbs 3:3 (NIV) Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

1 Cor. 13:13 (NIV) And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Loving our families:

Ephesians 5:25 (NIV) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
Ephesians 5:28 (NIV) In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Colossians 3:19 (NIV) Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Titus 2:4 (NIV) Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children,

Loving other Christians:

John 13:35 (NIV) By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

1 Peter 2:17 (NIV) Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

Loving our neighbors:

Leviticus 19:18 (NIV) Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

Romans 13:9-10 (NIV) The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." [10] Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Galatians 5:14 (NIV) The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

James 2:8 (NIV) If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.

Loving our Enemies:

Luke 6:27 (NIV) But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

Luke 6:35 (NIV) But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.


Love Walked Among Us by Paul Miller

Love or Die by Alexander Strauch

Charity and It's Fruits by Jonathan Edwards

This Momentary Marriage by John Piper

Gospel-Powered Parenting by Farley

Christian Love by Hugh Binning

Love That Lasts by Gary Ricucci

Leading with Love by Alexander Strauch

Compelled by Love by Ed Stetzer

Love Your Neighbor by Norman Geisler

Maximum Impact by Wayne Mack

20 Biblical Ways to Glorify God

1. Give God verbal declarations of praise (Rev. 4:8-9).

2. Live a life of noticeable piety (Matt. 5:16; James 1:27; 1 Peter 2:12).

3. Ask God for things in Jesus’ name (John 14:13).

4. Bear fruit and show yourself to be a disciple of Jesus (John 15:8).

5. Declare the truth about Jesus (John 16:14).

6. Love your life less than God (John 21:19; 1 Peter 1:7; 4:16).

7. Worship God as God (Rom. 1:21).

8. Live a life of sexual purity (1 Cor. 6:20).

9. Live a life of generosity (2 Cor. 9:13).

10. Rejoice in God’s glory displayed in creation (Psalm 19:1).

11. Do the works of faith (2 Thess. 1:12).

12. Use your gifts in God’s strength (1 Peter 4:11).

13. Make sure everyone knows you’re not God (Acts 12:23).

14. Live a life of gratitude (Psalm 50:23; 2 Cor. 4:15).

15. In matters of liberty, seek the good of others (1 Cor 10:31).

16. Extend grace to sinners (2 Cor. 8:19).

17. Be a part of a local church (2 Cor. 8:23; Eph. 3:20-21).

18. Tell God you are wrong and he is right (Josh. 7:19; Jer. 13:16; Rev. 16:9).

19. Obey God (Lev. 10:3; Mal. 2:2).

20. Go from a Christ-despiser to a Christ-worshiper (Gal. 1:24).

(HT Kevin DeYoung)

Monday, October 4, 2010

New Sermon Series @ TBC Begins This Sunday

The Road to Calvary
John 18-19

October 10 - The Arrest, John 18:1-11

October 17 - The Trials, John 18:12-27

October 24 - The Condemnation, John 18:28-40

October 31 - The Cross, John 19:1-42

Glorifying God: Scriptures and Books

The Westminster Shorter Catechism begins with the question: What is the chief end of man?

The answer: To glorying God and enjoy Him forever.

Glorifying God is the ultimate aim for everything. All other ambitions, goals, and purposes come under this one great end-- to glorify God by knowing Him, loving Him, fearing Him, honoring Him, serving Him, and delighting in Him.

Psalm 34:3 (NIV) Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.

Psalm 57:5 (NIV) Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.

Isaiah 6:1-3 (NIV) In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. [2] Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. [3] And they were calling to one another:

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory."

John 15:8 (NIV) This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

1 Cor. 10:31 (NIV) So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Ephes. 1:11-12 (NIV) In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, [12] in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

Ephes. 3:20-21 (NIV) Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, [21] to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Rev. 4:11 (NIV) "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

Matthew 5:16 (NIV) In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Books for additional study:

Desiring God by John Piper

The Pleasures of God by John Piper

God's Passion for His Glory by John Piper

A God Entranced Vision of All Things edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor

The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul

Knowing God by J.I. Packer

The Existence and Attributes of God by Stephen Charnock

No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God by John S. Feinberg

Our God is Awesome by Tony Evans

The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer

Pleasures Evermore by Sam Storms

Friday, October 1, 2010

Values and Priorities

We all have values and priorities. These guide us personally and shape the way we lead and influence others, either in our families, churches, or businesses. As a Christians, husband, father, and pastor, I've given a lot of thought to what is most important, what I value on a personal level and what I want to pass on to others. They are:
  • Glorifying God
  • Loving Others (God first, family, friends, neighbors, and enemies)
  • Being Wise
  • Knowing and Obeying Scripture
  • Praying
  • Making Disciples
  • Being respectful
  • Learning and growing
These eight values overlap and intersect. However, it has been helpful for me to think in these categories. Next week, Lord willing, I hope to share Scriptures for each value along with some helpful books for each one.