Monthly Archives: June 2016

seek thoughtful biblical balance not extremes

Be careful on the rocky path (or beach) of life’s decisions.


“The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.”‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭14:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Be careful what you accept as truth. Measure the claims of people by the whole counsel of the word of God. Just because someone is well meaning and has a good reputation and has been convinced of X, doesn’t make it right or true.

Many false or incomplete teachings are spread, not because they are biblical theologically, but because so-and-so said it was so or they saw or heard this or that from X, Y or Z.

There are few arguments (especially today) greater than this for being a regular student and reader of a broad spectrum of scripture. Knowing God deeply and widely is the source of true wisdom.

To focus too tightly in one section of the Bible for too long (such as the prophets – to “hear prophetically” or the epistles – “because I want to discern truth”) is to ignore the story of God in the historical books or the beauty of God in the poetry or the magnificence of Christ in the Gospels. Reading broadly informs the heart and mind.
Regular readers know that I use daily and urge others to read the @YouVersion plan ‘M’Cheyne One Year Reading Plan’. Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/O

Be ever growing in your knowledge of Scripture, it will keep you from extremes of the rocky path (or beach)

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Ascribe due greatness to Him who alone deserves glory!

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭11:33-36‬ ‭ESV‬‬http://bible.com/59/rom.11.33-36.esv

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God, you and the opinion of others

Here’s a question for our consideration as we sit on a beach by the vastness of the ocean… or where ever we may be sitting…

Take a good look at the photograph. You’ll notice the waves. Can you hear them? Regular. Never ending.

“Every breaking wave, on the shore, tells the next on there’ll  be one more…”*

Take another look. See the oil tankers? See how small they are relative to the ocean?

If we have no doubt of our acceptance, forgiveness and place of adoption by God through the finished work of Jesus,

Yet we are overly concerned about the opinions of humans,

Then in some way aren’t we putting their opinions at a higher authority than His?

If this is the case, haven’t we made idols out of those opinions by giving them undue influence in our minds and hearts?

See, the oil tankers, when compared to the vastness of the ocean, are quite small.

As should be the opinions of humans.

Let’s strive instead to make God’s opinion paramount, peasing Him through giving HIM glory.

After the ships are long gone, rusting in some dry dock, or forgotten at the bottom, the waves will continue to proclaim the glory of God.

“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭115:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬ http://bible.com/59/psa.115.1.esv

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* “Every Breaking Wave” U2, Songs of Innocence

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Listening… 

I heard a thoughtful sermon at The Falls Church Anglican this morning. Among the texts read was this:

“To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” ‭‭John‬ ‭10:3-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬ http://bible.com/59/jhn.10.3-4.esv

From this text and its preaching I thought of an application. We recognize the voice of Jesus, as with anyone, because we are familiar with it. The same is true with His Word.

Too frequently folks say this: “I try to read the Bible but I don’t feel/get anything from it.” 

I don’t think it’s about their inability to comprehend, it’s certainly not about the coherence of the Bible.

Maybe the challenge is that a chapter here and a chapter there a couple of times a week isn’t enough to really get to know the voice of the Lord speaking through the Scriptures that He inspired. Perhaps listening longer and more regularly will get us more used to the voice and then, when we hear that voice in the Word of God it will bring a feeling of familiarity. Then perhaps that familiarity will help us follow our Shepherd as He speaks to us from His Word.

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a hard question for Christian leaders


Do I as a minister have the faith to undertake the work of disciple-making? Is my first aim to make disciples? Or do I just run an operation? (Willard, p. 11)

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a great pilgrimage, a lifelong pilgrimage


Spiritual formation in Christ is accomplished, and the Great Commission fulfilled, as the regenerate soul makes its highest intent to live in the commandments of Christ and accordingly make realistic plans to realize this intent by an adequate course of spiritual disciplines. Of course, no one can achieve this goal by themselves, but no one has to. God gives us others to share the pilgrimage, and we will be met by Christ in every step of the way. “Look, I am with you every instant,” is what Jesus said, and it is also what he is doing. p. 76

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The Great Ommision

The next few posts will be words by Dallas Willard from the The Great Ommision

We have counted on preaching, teaching, and knowledge or information to foum faith in the hearer and have counted on faith to form the inner life and outward behavior of the Christian. But, for whatever reason, this strategy has not turned out well. The result is that we have multitudes of professing Christians who well may be ready to die but obviously are not ready to live, and can hardly get along with themselves, much less others.
Dallas Willard, New York, HarperCollins, 2006, p. 69.

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