Open Door Equals Smooth Road… Doesn’t It?

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Have you ever assumed that the “open door” equals a “smooth road” equation? In other words, when a new possibility, direction, or opportunity seems to have come your way, does it mean that once you take up the opportunity or walk through that door that it will be smooth sailing?

I find that many well-intentioned Christians, living in America in 2015, answer that question with a strong, “YES”!

Continue reading Open Door Equals Smooth Road… Doesn’t It?

Gospel Fumbles….

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 21: Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins fumbles and then recovers the ball after being hit by Tamba Hali #91 of the Kansas City Chiefs on September 21, 2014 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Chiefs defeat the Dolphins 34-15. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tamba Hali;Ryan Tannehill
Fumble!!   (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

“FUUUMMMMMBBBBLLLLE!!”

I yelled at the TV screen that hung on the wall. I yelled again as if it would help my team to somehow realize that the pig skin was on the ground and now having heard my yelp, certainly they would be more inclined to jump on the ball.

Continue reading Gospel Fumbles….

A Double Shot Of Gospel, Please

coffee beans

It’s what I need. I wake up in the morning and my dry soul must have it. “A double shot of Gospel, please”! Because, I am dull and I forget the glories of what Christ has done for me. Today is a new day in which I am inclined to drift towards my works and efforts. I want to trust in myself. And so…. I need to be reminded of Christ’s work on that cross! The gospel is a double shot for my soul. I need it daily, regular, and often. “Why”, you ask? Because it seems that while I slept last night gospel truths began to lose its grip on me. Like the sand I hold in my hand at the beach, it slips through my fingers.

So, join with me and refresh your soul with the truths of the gospel.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand:
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

Stuart Townend & Keith Getty Copyright © 2001 Thankyou Music

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

1 Timothy 1:15

“If the Lord’s bearing our sin for us is not the gospel, I have no gospel to preach.”

C.H. Spurgeon

“The man who does not glory in the gospel can surely know little of the plague of sin that is within him.

J.C. Ryle

Outside of the cross of Jesus Christ, there is no hope in this world. That cross and resurrection at the core of the Gospel is the only hope for humanity. Wherever you go, ask God for wisdom on how to get that Gospel in, even in the toughest situations of life.  

Ravi Zacharias 

The Righteous Shall Live by Faith For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…

Romans 1:16 ESV

The best news of the Christian gospel is that the supremely glorious Creator of the universe has acted in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection to remove every obstacle between us and himself so that we may find everlasting joy in seeing and savoring his infinite beauty.

John Piper

“If we think the main mission of the church is to improve life in Adam and add a little moral strength to this fading evil age, we have not yet understood the radical condition for which Christ is such a radical solution.” 

Michael Horton, Christless Christianity

The Righteousness of God Through Faith But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

Romans 3:21-25 ESV

“If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.”

Augustine

 

“The reason that marriage is so painful and yet wonderful is because it is a reflection of the gospel, which is painful and wonderful at once. The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” 

Timothy Keller

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Ephesians 5:25-28 ESV

“My work with teenagers has convinced me that one of the main reasons teenagers are not excited by the gospel is that they do not think they need it. Many parents have successfully raised self-righteous little Pharisees. When they look at themselves, they do not see a sinner in desperate need, so they are not grateful for a Savior. Sadly, the same is true of many of their parents.” 

Timothy D. Lane, How People Change

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…

I Corinthians 15:3-4 ESV

“The marker of those who understand the gospel of Jesus Christ is that, when they stumble and fall, when they screw up, they run to God and not from him, because they clearly understand that their acceptance before God is not predicated upon their behavior but on the righteous life of Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death.”

Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel

Hungry?

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“What we hunger for most, we worship”  John Piper A Hunger For God

Funny isn’t it?  Marketing, at it’s best, goes right after our bellies.

Sprite

snickers

 

I could add more images, but you get the idea.

Have you considered the hunger of the soul?

I enjoy reading most anything written by John Piper. But, there is one of his books that calls me back again and again. It probably calls me back because it strikes a chord in my soul.

Disclosure:

I do not hunger for God like I ought or like I want.

My soul is sloppy

My flesh is lazy

And my comfort is always…. always calling.

So, I find myself going back to Pipers book: A Hunger For God.

It is a book about fasting.  NO, wait!  Don’t stop reading! I know……Most of us don’t want to read about fasting.  Neither do I!

Don’t worry, this post won’t bite!

I wonder, why is it that we run from fasting? Might it be because we don’t really understand fasting or that we view it wrongly?

I have a very simple answer as to why I run from the topic. I don’t like the subject because…I LIKE TO EAT. I enjoy…. filling my stomach with really good food! Why, in the world would anyone in their right mind fast?  I LOVE FOOD. I love it – I want more of it, not less.

A blog post on fasting? Seriously, what is that all about?

Here are a couple favorite quotes from the book. I post these quotes and it is my prayer that they might begin to stir our hearts, our hunger for God.

  • “The discipline of self – denial is fraught with dangers – perhaps only surpassed by the dangers of indulgence.”

I hope to do a future post on this. Legalism abounds when it comes to fasting…. but so does the indulgence of non – fasting.

  • “What we hunger for most, we worship”

 

  • “Desire for other things – there’s the enemy. And the only weapon that will triumph is a deeper hunger for God. The weakness of our hunger for God is not because he is unsavory, but because we keep ourselves stuffed with ‘other things'”

 

  • “When God is the supreme hunger of our hearts, he will be supreme in everything.”

 

“Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is nothing upon earth besides thee. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalms 73:25-26

 

  • “The birthplace of Christian fasting is homesickness for God.”

My all time favorite quote:

  • “The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison by apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but the endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night.”

It isn’t because my life is empty that my hunger for God wavers. No, it is because it is full.

How about you?

Is your life…. full?  Is your soul….full?

If your answer is yes: What one change can you make to begin to fill your soul (not with the things of this world) but with the things of God?

 

Brittany Maynard – Clayton McDonald (2 ways to die….)

I am sure I have no idea what all Brittany Maynard was going through….  So many people have chimed in on the issue. I think I will refrain from doing so right now. Instead, I will let the video speak for itself and have us to consider there is another way to die. Lastly, may God bring comfort to the Maynard and McDonald families.

 

I enjoy reading Joni Eareckson Tada because of her perspective on suffering. She has personally helped me so much in my suffering.

If you are not familiar with her story – I encourage you…. get familiar!

Joni writes of Brittany M.:

“I understand she may be in great pain, and her treatment options are limited and have their own devastating side effects, but I believe Brittany is missing a critical factor in her formula for death: God. The journey Brittany — for that matter, all of us — will undertake on the other side of death is the most important venture on which we will ever embark.”  Read more by Joni, click here: Joni Eareckson Tada

Here is another great post by John Piper on the issue.

The above video was copied from the guys at the Rebelution.  You can check them out HERE. 

 

 

 

Thirsty? (Part 2)

snickers

 

Snickers Satisfies

 

Does it?  Isn’t the advertising scheme of Snickers that it does NOT satisfy.  Is the marketing scheme of Snickers aimed at ultimate chocolate bar satisfaction? Of course not!  That would be the death of Snickers.  The marketing hope of ALL marketers is to create a longing for their product so strong that you will return again and again and buy their product. They want to create a hunger for, yet ANOTHER, “satisfying” Snickers bar?

Continue reading Thirsty? (Part 2)

Good Friday!

Cross

I hope that you will have a chance to go to a Good Friday service tonight!  If you live in Brevard County (Florida) and you don’t have a home church, I would like to invite you to join me tonight at Sovereign Grace Church at 7:00 pm.  We will be walking through the Last 7 Sayings Of Jesus On the Cross.  I am certain it will be a God glorifying, Christ exalting evening together!  

Continue reading Good Friday!

Book Bag Wednesday!

backpack

Welcome to Book Bag Wednesday.  T4G is going on this week and since it is below are some great, discounted books.  A few of these are for the pastors and seminary students who follow the gospel connections blog.  But, if you are not a pastor or seminary student, don’t let that stop you!  There are some great books below for everyone!  I hope you will check them out!

 

Click on the book cover and it will take you to Amazon where you will find prices.  

(Prices range from 99 cents to $2.99!)

Some of these book deals are only good for a few days.  So, if you see something you like, grab it!

the sending church

Stop asking Jesus into your heart

Brothers, We are not professionals

Creature of the Word

The Lion and the Lamb

Gospel Centered Teaching 

The Message of the New Testament

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6 Minutes With John Piper And The Gospel

I don’t personally know John Piper.  I have read a lot of his books, listened to many sermons, but… I don’t know him.  I have gained much from him over the years.  Sometimes…. I pull him off the shelf, grab a coffee, and start reading or listening.  I like to think of it as if I am sitting down with a friend.  So why not grab a coffee with John Piper and the gospel today?

Continue reading 6 Minutes With John Piper And The Gospel

The Gospel Song (With John Piper)

Typically, I plan to be posting on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays.  But, given this weeks topic…. I can’t help it!  I am creating a few extra posts this week in light of yesterdays post: What is the Gospel?  Getting that question right is the most important thing we will do in this life!

Below is a favorite song of mine. It is one of the ways I preach the gospel to myself.  It is both profound and yet so simple.

Continue reading The Gospel Song (With John Piper)