Renew Where You Are

Martin Luther was once approached by a man who enthusiastically announced that he’d recently become a Christian. Wanting desperately to serve the Lord, he asked Luther, “What should I do now?” as if to say, should he become a minister or perhaps a traveling evangelist?

Luther asked him, “What is your work now?”

“I’m a shoemaker.”

Much to the cobbler’s surprise, Luther replied, “Then make a good shoe and sell it at a fair price.”

In becoming Christians we don’t need to retreat from the vocational calling we already have. Nor do we need to justify that calling, whatever it is, in terms of its spiritual value or evangelistic usefulness. We simply exercise whatever our calling is with new God-glorifying motives, goals, and standards – and with renewed commitment to performing our calling with greater excellence and higher objectives.

Excerpted from Unfashionable by Tullian Tchividjian



Receiving God’s Love

Lazarus Awakening

When my husband proposed to me so many years ago, I didn’t say, “Wait a minute, John.  Do you have any idea what you’re getting into?”  I didn’t pull out a list of reasons why he couldn’t possibly love me or a rap sheet detailing my inadequacies to prove why he shouldn’t—although there were and are many.

No way! I just threw my arms open wide and accepted his love.  I would have been a fool to turn down an offer like that.

I wonder what would happen in our lives if we stopped resisting God’s love and started receiving it.  What if we stopped trying to do the math, stopped striving to earn His favor? What if we just accepted the altogether-too-good-to-be-true news that the yardstick has been broken and the Cross has opened a door to intimacy with our Maker?

For if we are ever to be His beloved, we must be willing to be loved.

Excerpted from Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver



3 Great Commission Truths

BY: DAVID PLATT

The completion of the Great Commission will include great suffering, but eternity will prove it is worth the price. This statement assumes three significant truths in Scripture.


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Who Would Die For a Lie?

WHO WOULD DIE FOR A LIE?

Those who challenge Christianity often overlook one area of evidence: the transformation of Jesus’ apostles. The radically changed lives of these men give us solid testimony for the validity of Christ’s claims.

I can trust the apostles’ testimonies because eleven of those men died martyrs’ deaths because they stood solid for two truths: Christ’s deity and his resurrection. These men were tortured and flogged, and most finally faced death by some of the cruelest methods then known.

The perspective I often hear is, “Well, those men died for a lie. Many people have done that. So what does it prove?”


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The Empty Tomb

Exploring Popular Theories Explaining the Empty Tomb
If we are not confident that Jesus literally rose from the grave to atone for our sins, our faith for salvation is on shaky ground. But the good news is that Christ’s bodily resurrection is a historical fact. We have ample reason to believe that this pivotal event is factually true, and this gives us ample reason for great confidence in our hope of eternal salvation. The evidence of the empty tomb following the crucifixion does not by itself prove that Jesus rose from the dead. Yet it does require explanation.


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Why Does It Matter?

WHY DOES IT MATTER WHETHER THE RESURRECTION IS TRUE?

There are many claims that various gods exist, but only one God cared enough to become a man and died on our behalf. Of the 99 names of Allah in Islam, not one of them is either Father or Love. Buddha did not come and personally indwell his disciples. No other religion besides Christianity will tell you of a God who loves his people so much that he will endure the hellish pain of the cross in order for us to know him personally.


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Why is the Resurrection Important?

“And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are still in condemnation for your sins. . . . And if we have hope in Christ only for this life, we are the most miserable people in the world” (I Corinthians 15:17, 19 NLT).

WHY IS THE RESURRECTION IMPORTANT?

The disruption and decay of this earth and the inevitability of death are a living reality.

Pain and loss are felt every minute of every day somewhere in the world. Something inside us says, “This makes no sense,” and we hope that life will be better tomorrow. But even if tomorrow is better, it won’t mean much eventually because some day, all that we have and hold will fade from our grasp, and we will die.

But at one point in history, there was a band of believers who trusted in someone to change all that.


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Resurrection Facts to be Reckoned With

With Easter coming this Sunday, the blog will be dedicated to articles surrounding this greatest of miracles, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

RESURRECTION FACTS TO BE RECKONED WITH

Whatever one believes about Christ and his resurrection, everyone has to admit that something significant happened on that morning – significant enough to alter the course of history. That something” was so dramatic that it completely changed 11 men’s lives, enabling them from that time on to endure abuse, suffering and even death. That something was an empty tomb!

If you wish to rationalize away the events surrounding Christ and his resurrection, you must deal

with certain facts. Let’s consider these historical facts for a moment:


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Money

Money is the currency of Christian Hedonism. What you do with it—or desire to do with it—can make or break your happiness forever. The Bible makes clear that what you feel about money can destroy you: “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9).

This passage teaches us to use our money in a way that will bring us the greatest and longest gain. That is, it advocates Christian Hedonism. It confirms that it is not only permitted but also commanded by God that we flee from destruction and pursue our full and lasting pleasure. It implies that all the evils in the world come not because our desires for happiness are too strong, but because they are so weak that we settle for fleeting, money-bought pleasures that do not satisfy our deepest longings, but in the end destroy our souls. The root of all evil is that we are the kind of people who settle for the love of money instead of the love of God (1 Timothy 6:10).

Excerpted from The Dangerous Duty of Delight by John Piper



Parent’s Progress 3.21.13

Every Thursday, we set out a few links for your edification and encouragement. Of course, you might notice that some of the links aren’t very encouraging, as they discuss teenage trends. However, being educated about what is out there means parents can be proactive in doing something about it.


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