This is a reminder in our unique time of quarantine and social distancing not to distance ourselves from God. In this moment of decreased distraction take time to listen, take time to be still.
As part of the teaching ministry at Third Baptist Church, Keith Myatt and I are hosting a weekly podcast. “Continued” in an effort to dive deeper into the sermon and draw out additional insights, context, and encouragement. This is a conversation that I hope you will benefit from as you listen and are challenged. Go check out “Continued” on your favorite podcast provider. I’ve copied the apple podcast link, but it is available on multiple platforms.
Our first episode focuses in on the physicality of the resurrection of Jesus. Without the physical nature of Jesus’s body being raised from the dead, as opposed to alternate theories like a spiritual resurrection, our faith would be bankrupt. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:16-17, “For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” I pray you are equipped and encouraged as you listen.
Have you ever read through Matthew 5 and saw the completely opposite way in which Jesus describes what it means to be a Kingdom citizen as opposed to a citizen of this world!?! It is truly striking when you dwell on these words. What our culture tells us to pursue, Jesus flips it totally on its head! It is no wonder unbelievers consider us fools. Look at the subjects of each sentence. The worldly man has no desire to be characterized by such words, it would be an insult and an embarrassment.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.
10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Josh Harris, the senior pastor at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD, preaching on this very topic and let his creative energy flow. He wondered what it would look like if these were rewritten from the worlds perspective. Here is his artistic interpretation.
- Blessed are the self-confident because they rule the world.
- Blessed are positive-thinkers because they don’t need anybody’s comfort.
- Blessed are the cocky and assertive because they get what they want.
- Blessed are those who hunger for fame because they get reality TV shows.
- Blessed are the vengeful because they get respect.
- Blessed are the impure, pleasure-seekers because they see a good time.
- Blessed are those who beat their opponents because the victors write the history books.
- Blessed are the popular because everybody loves them.
As you read these, note how they correspond with the way we really see people living in our schools, jobs, homes, and society. Note also how they are the inverse of the biblical text as quoted above. It is scary to see how our culture values the exact opposite of what God says is truly valuable. The world, and our own sin natures, push us to live in these anti-biblical ways. It is hard to go against the flow. But when we allow God’s words to fill us up we find His strength to live out His plan.
Be counter-cultural today!
Your fellow worker in the field, Adam
Tonight Eric Metaxas will be leading a free, live, webcast discussion on his latest book, Miracles.
To reserve your admission to this online event click: Miracles Live Stream.
Metaxes is most well known for two biographies, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery and Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. His latest book, and feature of this webcast, is Miracles: What they are, why they happen, and how they can change your life. Here is a description:
What they are, why they happen, and how they can change your life
An inspiring and eye-opening exploration of the phenomenon of miracles from the New York Times #1 bestselling author of Bonhoeffer.
What are miracles, and why do so many believe in them? What do they tell us about ourselves? And what do we do with experiences that we cannot explain?
In Miracles, Eric Metaxas offers compelling — sometimes electrifying — evidence that there’s something real to be reckoned with, whatever one has thought of the topic before. Miracles is also a timely, thoughtful, and civil answer to the books of the “New Atheists” — Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris — who have passionately asserted not just the impossibility of miracles and the supernatural, but the outright harmfulness of belief in them.
Metaxas — whom ABC News has called a “witty ambassador for faith” — provides the measured and wide-ranging treatment the subject deserves, from serious discussion of the compatibility between faith and science, to astonishing, but well-documented stories of actual miracles from people he knows.
A more personal, anecdotal, and updated version of C. S. Lewis’s 1947 book on the subject, Miracles is a powerfully winsome challenge that miracles are not only possible, but are far more widespread than most of us ever might have imagined.
Today is election day. I voted. You should too. This is our means of having our voice heard.
There is an important issue on the line this year. In TN an amendment is proposed that will allow state guided regulation on the abortion industry. It in no way prevents or outlaws abortions, rather it makes it possible for lawmakers to set regulations for the abortion industry that are in place in many states.
While my visit to Great Clips for a haircut reveals that a hairdresser must have state certification and display their license, abortion clinics in this state do not need any such oversight.
The Tennessean published a Myth vs. Fact article on Amendment 1.
Here are some facts about the amendment, abortion in Tennessee and those on both sides of the campaign.
What the amendment says:
Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.
What the amendment would do:
If passed, the amendment would have no immediate effect on abortion in Tennessee. However, lawmakers would have more ability in the future to pass restrictions that the state Supreme Court has previously ruled were unconstitutional. A “yes” vote would give lawmakers this ability. A “no” vote would leave the state constitution unchanged.
If enacted, Tennessee would become the fourth state in the nation that has an abortion amendment in its constitution. The other three states are Arkansas, Colorado and Rhode Island.
What measures could lawmakers enact if Amendment 1 succeeds?
Examples of measures that lawmakers and others have spoken publicly about include:
• A waiting period before a woman seeking an abortion can obtain one.
• A requirement that doctors give women specifically worded information about abortions and fetal development crafted by lawmakers.
• A ban on abortions past a certain stage of fetal development.
• A requirement that abortion clinics meet the stricter standards of ambulatory surgical centers where typically more complex medical procedures are performed.
• An end to exceptions to abortion restrictions for women who are victims of rape or incest, or in cases in which a woman’s health is at risk.
The campaigns have been very different for the opposing sides.
“Yes on 1” is a grass roots effort creating groups in each county to speak in church, civic groups, and other forums to get the word out about the need for this amendment to pass. They are using social media and primarily word of mouth.
Check out the website. www.yeson1tn.org Here is a video addressing the issue.
“No on 1” is using a TV campaign of commercials funded by Planned Parenthood and ACLU. Check out these ads. They are manipulative, do not address the issue, and appears to be designed to confuse the voter!
Don’t by the hype, Vote Yes on 1 today and make you voice heard for common sense protections of women.
“There is no truth!”
How many times have you heard that before?
In their book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, authors Norman Geisler and Frank Turek provide one of the most valuable tools and tactics a clear-thinker needs to master and have in their arsenal:
“If someone said to you, ‘I have one insight for you that absolutely will revolutionize your ability to quickly and clearly identify the false statements and false philosophies that permeate our culture,’ would you be interested? That’s what we’re about to do here. In fact, if we had to pick just one thinking ability as the most valuable we’ve learned in our many years of seminary and postgraduate education, it would be this: how to identify and refute self-defeating statements.”(i)
What is a self-defeating statement?
A self-defeating (or self-refuting) statement is one that fails to meet its own standard. In…
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Powerful little video.
As the 156th annual convention kicks off in Baltimore, MD this year for America’s largest protestant denomination, here are some interesting facts about The Southern Baptist Convention. This article is packed with clickable resources to dive deep and see how far the rabbit hole goes. 🙂
I’m sure there will be some interesting things to discuss as topics are addressed. Despite the many denominational flaws, I do thank God for the desire to be biblically faithful in our changing times.
We are all writers. Even if you don’t realize it, we are. In emails, texts, school work, reports for your job, in so many ways we all write. The benefits of a journal are tremendous. That is partly why I blog. To be honest, I do for me as much (or more) than I do it for you. I also use the MacJournal software. It helps me reflect on my day/week/situation.
But do you reflect? I don’t do it enough.
While this helps in every area of life, it is particularly useful in your spiritual walk. To reflect on what God has done in the past gives us perspective for where are currently and where we want to go in the future.
In this Russell Moore video requested by DesiringGod.com, he discusses the ability to overcome writers block and the benefits of reflection. Soak in his 2:21 of wisdom.