Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!

"Now in putting everything in subjection to Him, He left nothing outside His control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to Him. But we see Him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
   For it is fitting that He, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one origin. That is why He is not ashamed to call them brothers........
....Since therefore the cildren share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery."

I know what you're thinking: "This doesn't sound a lot like Christmas to me." However, I would beg to differ. In these passages of Scripture, we find the very reason why He came: He came to die. Too often we focus on the joys of Christmas (and Christmas certainly is joyful), but we often neglect to look at the dark side of Christmas. Even when Jesus was laying in the manger, His purpose was clear: He came "to save His people from their sins" and "to give His life as a ransom for many."
C.J Mahaney calls it the "disturbing side of Christmas." He said,

"During this time of year, it may be easy to forget that the bigger purpose behind Bethlehem was Calvary. But the purpose of the manger was realized in the horrors of the cross. The purpose of his birth was his death.

Or to put it more personally: Christmas is necessary because I am a sinner. The incarnation reminds us of our desperate condition before a holy God."

I hope that you will experience great joy this Christmas season, yet I also hope that you (or I ) will not forget the true purpose behind our Savior's birth.

I would also encourage you to read these two articles. These two men can explain it better than I ever could:
Born to die for Freedom by John Piper
Disturbing Christmas  by C.J. Mahaney
Also, here is a great song that speaks about the mystery of God sending His son to earth to die. The words are absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Last Thursday, over 2,600 Christians gathered in Cincinnati, Ohio to learn more about the Sufficiency of Scripture and how it applies to every aspect of life. On that same day, the USA Today released an article describing the growing syncretism in our world today.

"Elements of Eastern faiths and New Age thinking have been widely adopted by 65% of U.S. adults, including many who call themselves Protestants and Catholics, according to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released Wednesday."

" 'Mixing and matching practices and beliefs is as much the norm as it is the exception,' Pew's Alan Cooperman says. 'Are they grazing, sampling, just curious? We really don't know.' "

"Despite Americans' overwhelming allegiance to someone they call God (92%), in Pew's 2008 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, 70% said 'many religions can lead to eternal life,' and 68% said 'there's more than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion.' "

During the course of the article, the writer consulted Dr. Albert Mohler. This is what he had to say:
"This is a failure of the pulpit as much as of the pew to be clear about what is and is not compatible with Christianity and belief in salvation only through Christ."

I couldn't agree more with what Dr. Mohler had to say. The blame lies on we who claim to be Christians. We do not believe that Scripture is either inerrant or sufficient. As a result of this, not only is our world in confusion, but the church has doubts as well. This is not surprising at all.  When we deviate even just a little from the authority of God's Word, we open the door to more and more compromise. Don't believe me? Here is what Charles Spurgeon had to say on the subject:

"If we doubt God's Word about one thing, we shall have small confidence in it upon another thing. Sincere faith in God must treat all God's Word alike; for the faith which accepts one Word of God and rejects another is evidently not faith in God...., but faith in our own judgment, faith in our own taste."

And this is what we learned last weekend! We looked at the effects even a little bit of compromise results in. We also attempted to look at what Scripture had to say in all aspects of life. It was truly a time of encourage and edification. For those of you who were not able to make it, I would encourage you to buy the sermons when they come out. But more importantly, I strongly urge you to go back to Scripture in all things!

" All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16-17

I would also encourage you to read the rest of the article from USA Today. You can find it here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christianity and Culture

I spent most of the day yesterday listening to Handel's Messiah. As I listened, I couldn't help but be amazed. Not only is the music exquisite, but the words are amazing as well. In fact, if you were to look at the text, you would find that the majority of it is Scripture.  As I listened, I was challenged as well as encouraged. Here was a man who not only knew his Bible thoroughly, but who spent his whole life cultivating and using his gifts to glorify God. And he is not the only one. Other musicians such as Bach and Haydn also come to mind.

"The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. If heed is not paid to this, it is not true music but a diabolical bawling and twanging."
   Johann Sebastian Bach

"When I think of my God, my heart dances within me for joy, and then my music has to dance, too."
Franz Joseph Haydn

All three of these men were a product of the ideas and doctrine of the Reformation. It was their faith that formed the basis for their music.  Jane Stuart Smith and Betty Carlson, authors of The Gift of Music wrote,

" It can be said that if there had not been a Luther, there would not have been a Bach. The focus of Bach's Spiritual life was in Christianity and in the service of religion through music. It is easy to pass over the previous statement and not realize the truth of the fact that Bach's Christian faith and his music are inseparably united."
The Gift of Music pg. 32

The cultural changes birthed out of the Reformation were not limited to music only. Art, literature, and politics were just some of the areas affected by it. Men such as John Milton, John Bunyan, William Shakespeare, Rembrant, George Washington and Samuel Rutherford represent a few of the men whose Christianity permeated their works.
   In consideration of this, I think we modern day Christians need to seriously rethink the way we look at the world. Too often it seems, we tend to separate our religion from the rest of  life. We need to be reminded that "Whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, do all to the glory of God."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Giveaway at Ribbons of Light

Elise at Ribbons of Light is hosting a giveaway for Emma at her blog. To enter click here